Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookin' up Christmas

I had 9 days before Christmas and had just started my Christmas baking.  What was I thinking?!?  Usually I start right after Thanksgiving, but not this year.  I still have presents to make so of course I've procrastinated.  Well, I'm happy to say that most of my baking/candy making is done with only a couple things left.  I still have to finish presents, but I'm almost done with one then the others will go easier (I hope). 
I thought I would include some of my traditional candy recipes.  Treats that must be made every year.  Hope you take the time to try them.
This fudge recipe is in a previous post.

Peanut Butter Ritz Candy

1 box Ritz Crackers
1 jar Peanut Butter
1 jar Marshmallow Cream
Dipping Chocolate – white and brown
Colored sprinkles optional (red and green)

Spread one cracker with peanut butter and another with marshmallow cream. Put two crackers together to make a sandwich and then cover with melted chocolate. You can decorate the tops while still “wet” with sprinkles or when “dry” with opposite colored chocolate.

English Toffee

½-¾ C finely chopped nuts (usually walnuts, but whatever you have will work)
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
5 TBSP water
Hershey candy bars to fit the bottom of a pie tin/plate

Place chopped nuts in bottom of pie tin and lay the candy bars on top. In saucepan place sugar, butter and water cooking on high for 5-8 min until color is of a dark caramel. Stir constantly or mix will burn.

Uncle Dean's Sweet Mix

1 ½ cups corn syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
1- big box Honey Grahams*
1- big box Rice Chex*
1 package slivered almonds*
1 cup (+/-) coconut*

Pour cereals, almonds, and coconut into a big bowl.

Over medium/medium-high heat stir together sugar, syrup and butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 min. Add the vanilla and pour over the cereal mix.

Spread out on 2-3 greased cookie sheets. Cool then eat.

* Nuts and amount of coconut are up to your tastes. You can use two boxes of Chex cereal but the contrast is best.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jam Tarts

Why is it I've never made tarts before?  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I don't have a tart pan or maybe I'm just lazy and thought making them was too much effort.  Whatever the reason I'm glad I made these.

The original recipe was found here:
I was so happy to be able to use some of the more unique jams (like raspberry mango and orange peach) that I have canned to make these, but any jam would work.

Jam Tartlets

For the pastry:
6 oz. cream cheese
1 c. butter
2 c. flour
1/8 t. salt

For Filling:
Favorite jam

Place cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add flour and salt and beat until dough comes together and forms a ball

To assemble:
1. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter or glass, cut out circles. Press into mini muffin tins, going all the way up the sides of the cups.
2. Spoon in jam to 2/3 full
3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden brown and filling is set.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar when completely cooled.

linked to

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

I came across this recipe on a blog I follow and all I can say is YUMMM!  This is so good and delicious.  Original recipe was found at

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

1 loaf french bread

2 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1 Tbl flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbl sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)

2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Cut the bread loaf into thick slices.

Combine and whisk the next set of ingredients from the milk down to the eggs

In a saucepan, combine the butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly till bubbly (about 5 minutes)

Grease a 9x13 pan and you're ready to combine all the ingredients

Pour the caramel mixture in the bottom of the pan.

Place the bread slices, in a single layer over the caramel syrup. Squish them in; it's okay to crowd

Pour the milk/egg/pumpkin mixture over the top

Place plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and sprinkle Cinnamon/Sugar mixture over the top (2 Tbl sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon).

Bake for 50 minutes and let it stand for 5 minutes before serving. It will be big a puffy at first and slowly settle down.
Serve with syrup if you want, but we thought it great without and really do my kids need more sugar?  Cool Whip topping would also be great.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Candy Cane Cookies

A couple of years ago while watching Food Network I saw Sandra Lee whip up a batch of these cute candy cane cookies and it was super simple.  I made them that year and then never since.  Evan has been asking for them a lot, so I made some.

1 batch of sugar cookie dough - either from scratch or use Betty Crocker mix
Red food coloring
Peppermint extract

Once dough is made split it in half.  Color and flavor one  half with coloring and extract.  Roll dough into ropes and twine together, then bend to form candy cane.  Place on cookie sheet and cook as directed by recipe.  Enjoy! 
See super easy and tasty.  Why didn't I make these sooner????

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stuffed Caramel Apples

Although part of our Halloween party these little beauties get their own post.  Peanut butter cups fill the inside of these bad boys and then they are covered with caramel and topped with more peanut butter cups.  How could this be a bad thing?  They aren't unless you are on a diet and have to limit yourself to one little nibble just to see how they taste (yep that we me, but it was a party after all and I had to taste them as this was the first time I've made them).  I found the recipe for these at: with the title Tricky-Treat Stuffed Caramel Apples.  Head on over there and make a batch of your own.  She also had a fudge filling for these.

Of course I was trying to put Doug in a sugar coma with these and the graveyard dessert so he would be forced to stay home, but it didn't work. :(  boo hoo hoo

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Skeleton Cakes

I found this site called where everything is baking.  She has this cool idea to make small cake cupcakes with cake and frosting and then you dip them in chocolate.  I can't remember if it was her site but some place someone took this idea and made cutout stars.  A light bulb went on and I had an idea:  Why not make pumpkins for Halloween?  Well I'll tell you why not,  I didn't have any orange dipping chocolate or any white that I could color.  So, I thought of making ghosts until I found this skull cookie cutter.  I love them.  Some may think this is time consuming, but really it wasn't that bad especially if you like to make candies.  I love how they turned out and so does my mummy.  How about you?

1- 9X13" cake cooked and fully cooled
2 cup cream cheese frosting, bought or made
dipping chocolate
candy for decoration if wanted

After cake is completely cooled, break it up into very tiny pieces in a large bowl.  You may use your food processor if you wish.  Stir in the frosting.  I ended up using my hands.  Once all mixed up line your cake pan (no need to clean it first) with foil or wax paper and dump in the cake mess.  Flatten it all out so it is even.  Freeze for 15-30 min or put in fridge for a couple of hours.  When time is up, take out and start cutting out your chosen shape.  With leftover cake re-shape and flatten again.  Freeze while you dip the first batch.  I found it best to use the bottom as the top and the top as the bottom so you end up with a flat top otherwise you can have bumps.  Now dip the cutout in the melted chocolate.  I found it best to dip what is going to be the bottom in first halfway, let it harden and then dip the top in and decorate immediately if desired.  Let harden on counter and store in fridge when all done.  Repeat with leftover cake.  Because of the cream cheese frosting these should be stored in the fridge.  I'm thinking of trying with just a butter frosting next time and seeing if it works as well.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Easy Chicken Taco Soup

I was at the grocery store a couple weeks ago and they had samples of taco soup and the recipe to go with it.  The soup was so good especially since it was turning cold here.  FYI:  No longer turning cold it IS cold.  I just had to whip up a batch for lunch.  Of course I didn't follow the recipe but went hunting to see what I had on had that could make a taco soup.

It turned out delicious, all spice and warmth.

1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can pinto beans
1 can chili beans
1 can corn kernals (confession:  I hate canned corn except in soups)
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
2 or more diced chicken thighs or breasts
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

Heat large soup pot over medium heat.  Add a little oil and saute the onions till soft.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 min.  Add the chicken pieces and cook until almost done.  At this point add everything else and cook until chicken is done.  Now it is ready to eat.  However, I let it simmer for 3 hours to condense the flavors and thicken it some.  Up to you, but so very yummy either way.  This would also make a good crock pot soup if you like. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sesame Chicken with Snow Peas

Have I mentioned how we love Asian food?  Well at least Doug and I do.  The kids could really do without but I force them to eat it.  It's good for them to broaden their horizons.  Plus, since most of my kids are boys they will have to deal with foreign foods while on their missions so they might as well get use to it now.  Anyway, I get the Food Network Magazine and most times there are only a couple of recipes I want to try.  Not so with this months.  I have over 20 to try and the good ones will make an appearance here.  The first is Sesame Chicken with Snow Peas by Ellie Krieger.  Very authentic in taste and yummy to boot.

5 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 3/4" cubes
6 tsp canola oil
2 scallions thinly sliced
1 Tbsp grated peeled ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp sugar
3-4 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp chili paste
4 cups snow peas
2 Tbsp tasted sesame seeds
Rice to serve on

Whisk 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil and honey in a bowl.  Toss in chicken and marinade for 20 min.  Remove chicken from marinade with slotted spoon.  Heat 2 tsp oil in skillet over med heat.  Cook chicken( in 2 batches if you don't have a big skillet or wok)  turning once or twice until browned add more oil between batches.  Transfer to a plate and set aside. Wipe out skillet.  Heat remaining 2 tsp oil.  Add scallions, ginger, and garlic and cook stirring for 1 min.  Whisk the broth, vinegar, sugar, chili paste, cornstarch and remaining 2 Tbsp soy sauce in a bowl; add to the skillet and cook until thickened.  Stir in remaining 2 tsp sesame oil.  Meanwhile steam the snow peas until crisp tender.  Return chicken to skillet and heat through.  Server chicken and peas over rice/  Top with scallion greens and sesame seeds.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crunch Bacon Coleslaw

I found this recipe at and love it.  It's a new twist to coleslaw and the colors are real pretty.  You just have to try it.

1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
4 cup shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
4 slices bacon fried and crumbled

In large bowl mix cabbages, peanuts and bacon.  In small bowl mix miracle whip, sugar and vinegar.  Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat.  Refridgerate 1 hour and eat.  If you don't have the cabbages you can substitute 1-8oz bag of coleslsaw.
This recipe is linked to

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Green Tomato Cake with Brown Butter Icing

I realize that the title of this post may seem like a contradiction.  Tomatoes and Cake?  Trust me when I say that this thing is sinfully delicious and sweet.  I found this recipe last year when our garden like all previous years yielded nothing but green tomatoes and I really didn't want them to all go to waste.  One of these years I hope to get red tomatoes, but until then this cake sure does come in handy.  The picture while okay really doesn't do the cake justice in part because I didn't have the raisins and therefore didn't add them.
Courtesy of Paula Deen

1 cup butter
 2 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cup diced green tomatoes
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.  Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Sift dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Gradually add to butter mixture.  Stir in tomatoes, raisins and walnuts.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 70-75 min or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool 10 min and then remove from pan and cool completely.  Spoon on icing.

Brown Butter Icing
1/2 cup butter
1 cup powder sugar

In a medium saucepan melt the butter on low and cook 6-8 min or until butter is lightly browned.  Whisk in the sugar utnil smooth.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Garlic Zucchini Pasta

Found this recipe at A Southern Fairytale.  Didn't like the mushrooms in it so I swapped them for some artichoke hearts.  The result was light and delicious.  Later I made it into a veggie side dish by taking out the pasta and instead of artichoke hearts I used roasted corn kernels.  Yumm!

Garlic Zucchini Pasta
1 head of garlic chopped
1 can of chopped arichoke hearts (Corn would work great too about 1 1/2 cups or so)
4 cups grated zucchini
1 red peper chopped
olive oil
14.5 oz spaghetti, cooked until al dente
Parmasean cheese
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes, start with half and move up to taste

Start the pasta.  Heat oil in saute pan.  Saute garlic and artichokes in oil about 2 min.  Add zucchini and red pepper, saute another 12 min or until cooked through.  Add drained pasta and pepper flakes.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.  Top with grated parmasean cheese.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Zucchini Raspberry Bread

We love fresh berries or any fruit for that matter but fresh berries and cream are tops.  Unfortunately we are unable to harvest our own.  Nature has fought the entire way with poor weather and deer.  We've finally got all the berry plants fenced and are now trying to coax the little plants to grow and thrive.  Lucky for us we know people who know people with raspberry plants that over produce and are free for the taking.  Yesterday we went and picked and picked and picked.  Doug laughed when he saw the amount of bowls I was taking, but as it turned out we didn't have enough.  The berries were big and sweet and abundant.  In less than two hours we had our bowls full and I think we got over 7 gallons maybe in the range of 10.  That's a lot of berries for the short amount of time we were picking.

Evan's contributions

Our total bounty of fruit

Now what to do with all these raspberries.  We love them fresh, but there is way too many to eat them all.  I'm freezing some, but I only have so much freezer space.  I could make jelly, but we have enough of that in many varieties to last a very long time.  I've also been blessed with zucchini and had planned on trying a new recipe for blueberry zucchini bread.  Aha!  Instead of frozen blueberries I used fresh raspberries (next time I will use frozen).  The result was delicious and Doug says it may be his favorite.  I tend to agree with him.  I've been looking for a good zucchini bread recipe and I think I've found it.  The original was found at

2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup shredded zucchini
3/4 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup frozen blueberries (or I used raspberries)

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan (for sweet breads I like to use sugar instead of flour).  Beat together the eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla.  Fold in the zucchini.  Beat in the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Gently stir in the berries.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 55-60 mins or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.  Cool 20 min then turn out on rack to complete cooling.  Or if you're like us you'll eat it warm as soon as you take it out of the pan.

Linked to

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Double Peanut Butter Paisley Brownies

Doug made these wonderful brownies for my birthday.  If I hadn't been trying to stick to my diet I probably would have eaten the whole pan.  They may not look it but they are to die for.  At least for me.  There is chocolate and peanut butter one of my favorite flavor combinations.  My dad, not a peanut butter fan weird I know, ate the plain chocolate brownies but this pan was made for me.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter, creamy
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10oz package peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate syrup

Heat oven to 350*.  Grease a 9X13" pan.  Beat butter and peanut butter.  Add sugars and beat well.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Blend in vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder and salt; blending well.  Stir in peanut butter chips.  Spread half of the batter into prepared pan.  Spoon syrup over the top.  Carefully top with remaining batter, swirl with metal spatual or knife for marbled effect.  Bake for 35-40 min or until lightly browned.  Cool completely in pan.  Cut into 24 squares.
This recipe was on the back of Reese's Peanut Butter chips.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Popcorn

This is by far my favorite way to eat popcorn.  If the sugar didn't kill me I could eat the whole bowl by myself.  The kids love it too.

1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Bring corn syrup, honey and sugar to a boil in saucepan. Boil 2 min.  Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Pour over 1 batch of popped popcorn ( approx. 12 cups). 

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Frosting

Autumn deliciousness made in summer.  Yummmm!

This cake was soooo good.  I had to force myself to stop at 2 pieces.  :)

1 spice cake mix
1 large can of pumpkin puree not pie filling

Mix together in bowl.  Pour in a greased 9X13" pan.  Bake at 350* for 27-30 min.  Cool completely.

1 cup butter softened
2 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Mix butter in bowl until whipped.  Add the powdered sugar and beat for 1 min.  Add brown sugar and maple syrup beating for another 2-3 min until fluffy.  Spread on cooled cake.  Top with chopped walnuts.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fruit Salsa

Doug made this great and refreshing fruit salsa.  You serve them with homemade cinnamon/sugar tortilla chips.  We recently had this at a family gathering and had none leftover and many requests for the recipe.  So here it is.

1-2 pounds strawberries; washed, topped, and diced
4 kiwi; peeled and diced
3 fuji apples; cored and diced
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp jam or jelly (any flavor will do we use apple jelly)
1 package 10" tortilla shells

Mix the diced fruit, 2Tbsp granulated sugar, brown sugar and jam/jelly together in a bowl.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat.

Mix cinnamon and sugar together to make a mix.  Place in a bowl or pie pan ready for dipping in.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Heat oven to 350*F.

To make the tortilla chips cut the tortilla shells into 8 triangles.  Spray one side of chip with cooking spray and dip in the cinnamon/sugar mix.  Place on cookie sheet coated side up.  Bake for 10 min.  Cool.  Eat with salsa.

linked to

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Puppy Chow?

Whether you call it Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies it doesn't really matter it still equals yumminess.  I love these chocolate peanut butter coated cereal gems and the powdered sugar is just icing on the cake.  I added a little maple flavoring which for me just adds to the peanut butter taste.
So grab a bowl and get this mixed up.

12 oz chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/8 tsp maple flavoring
6 cup Crispix cereal
1 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl melt the chocolate chips.  Add the peanut butter and flavoring; stirring till smooth.  Pour in cereal and carefully stir until coated.  Place sugar in a large zip lock bag.  Add cereal mix and shake until all is covered in white.  Eat and Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fruit Pizza

This is the epitome of summer desserts for me.  It is light and sweet and just plain delicious.

1/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter, soft but not melted
1 cup flour

8 oz cream cheese softened
1 jar marshmallow cream
8 oz cool whip

Your choice of fresh fruit.  Berries, bananas, grapes and kiwis work well.
1-11oz can mandarin oranges
1tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350*F.  In a 9X13" pan mix together the butter, sugar and flour with a fork until all combined.  Using fingers pat into an even layer over bottom of pan.  Bake for 15-20 min or until lightly golden brown.  Remove and cool completely.
In medium bowl beat together the cream cheese and marshmallow cream until smooth.  Stir in the cool whip.  Spread over cooled crust.
Drain mandarin oranges reserving juice.  In small saucepan heat reserved juice, 1-2 Tbsp sugar and 3 Tbsp water; bring to a boil.  Stir in dissolved cornstarch until thickened.  Cool completely.
Wash and prepare fruit cutting into pieces if needed.  Top cream cheese filling with fruit.  Spoon thickened juice over top of fruit.  Chill until ready to eat.

Beef and Broccoli

We love Asian food.  Something about it just calls to us.  It is probably the only way I truely eat my full serving of veggies.  This recipe was at and was delicious.  I added a little extra garlic and cut out the Sriracha sauce and wine.

3/4 lb steak thinly sliced
3/4 lb broccoli florets
2 Tbsp high heat cooking oil
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
1 tsp soy sauce
1tsp water
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 dash hot sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup beef broth

Mix marinade and pour over the sliced beef.  A zip lock type bag works great for this.  Set aside and marinate for at least 10 min or up to 2 hours.  When ready to cook prepare the sauce ingredients and set aside.  Blanch the broccoli and drain thoroughly.  Set aside.  Heat oil in wok or large frying pan.  Fry steak in single layer undisturbed for 1 min.  Flip over and add garlic; frying for 30 sec or 1 min until steak is done.  Pour in the sauce and add the broccoli.  Bring to a boil and stir in dissolved cornstarch.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Banana Muffins

Doug found this amazing banana muffin recipe online awhile back and it has become a favorite.  They are moist and sweet and the best part is the streusel type topping they have.  I wish I knew where he got it so I could give them credit but I don't.  This is a keeper especially if you have overripe bananas.

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375*F.  Grease 12 muffin tins or line with paper.  In large bowl beat bananas, egg, white sugar, and butter.  Stir in 1 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until moist.  Spoon into prepared muffin tins.  In small bowl mix brown sugar, 2 Tbsp flour and cinnamon.  Cut in 1 Tbsp butter until it resembles coarse cornmeal.  Sprinkle over top of muffins.  Bake for 18-20 min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

These bars are so rich and delicious.  It's like having a PB&J in dessert form.  The original recipe was found at  Don't forget the milk when you eat these bars.

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cup peanut butter (*see note)
3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 cup jam or jelly
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds the recipe calls for peanuts)

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter; mix well.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt until just mixed.  Spread the 2/3 of mixture in bottom of greased and floured 9X13" pan.  Spread the jam or jelly on top.  Drop globs of dough mix on top of jam and then sprinkle with nuts.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Enjoy!
*Note:  I used all creamy, but you can do half creamy and half chunky if that is what you like.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lime Coconut Bars

I love citrus flavored food.  I'm especially fond of Lemon Bars.  Recently I found an exceptional recipe at  Today I modified it to make Lime Bars.  All I can say is Yummmmmmm!

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup cold butter cut up
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 lime juice or lemon juice for lemon bars
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup coconut
Blue food coloring optional to make green color

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease a 9x13" pan.  In a bowl cut together the flour, powdered sugar and butter.  A food processor makes quick work of this.  Press into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 15 min.  While it cooks mix together the eggs, sugar, baking powder, juice, and food coloring if desired.  Pour over crust and sprinkle top with coconut.  Bake for 20-25 min or until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into bars.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spanish Rice

Spanish rice.  Sounds kind of exotic and hard to make doesn't it?  Well if not to you then it did to me.  Until today I had only made the Rice A Roni type of spanish rice.  I love the stuff, but really didn't think it would be easy to make from scratch.  Boy was I wrong!  I received this recipe from the county extension office and fell in love.  Easy to do and very tasty.  I love that I can control the heat and the salt content too.  Of course it also tastes fresh and I love the bright colors.  So if your in a spanish mood give this a try.

1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oil
16 oz can tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup uncooked rice

In saucepan, saute onions, peppers, and garlic in oil.  When tender add rest of ingredients except rice.  Bring to a boil.  Add rice, cover, and turn to low.  Cook 20-30 min or until rice is done.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sweet Crescents Rolls

What do you do when you have cans of crescent rolls in your fridge and you want to jazz them up?  Well, I add candy and dried fruit.  At least I did this time for a sweet breakfast roll.
Open 1 can of crescent rolls and separate into triangles.  Brush with melted butter.  Top with mini chocolate chips and heath toffee bits or mini chocolate chips and dried craisins.  Roll up to make crescents, brush with more butter, and cook according to package.  When out of oven and cooled some top with chocolate or caramel syrup.

After School Snacks

Always on the look out for good snacks for the kids, I ran across these recipes in a newspaper and have finally tried them.  They were a hit with kids and husband alike.  They love the taste and I can feel good about them eating them.

Nutty Buddies (pictured)
1/2 cup crushed pretzels
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 Tbsp honey
Mix half the pretzels, the chocolate chips, peanut butter, dry milk and honey in a bowl with hands or fork.  Form 1" ball and roll in remaining crushed pretzels.

Coconut Balls
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup Rice Krispies
2 Tbsp nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup coconut
Mix peanut butter, honey, cereal, and milk.  Roll into 1" balls and roll in coconut.

PBJ Balls
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup Rice Krispies
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp favorite jelly
Mix peanut butter, cereal and milk.  Spread jelly over top and mix in slightly.  Form into 1" balls.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Low Carb Crepes

In my efforts to eat better with gestational diabetes I got this recipe from a friend who was doing a low carb diet.  These really are good and good for you.  I found that you have to cook them on low heat or else they stick to the pan.  I cook mine on the number 2 on my burner dial.  Trial and error are what you will need to find where to cook yours.  This recipe makes one serving, but I find them very filling and split the amount between 2 days.  Since they take so long to cook I also double the recipe and use them all week long.
Here is one cooking.
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup cottage cheese
4 egg whites or equivalent of liquid egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp splenda or other sugar substitute
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend together.  I usually leave out the vanilla and sugar substitute because I figure with toppings I don't need the extra stuff.  Cook in skillet sprayed with cooking spray one at a time.  Serve with your favorite toppings.  I spread peanut butter on top and add low carb syrup (Mrs. Buttersworth).
Stack of finished crepes.

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

In my efforts to clean the clutter in my house I am going through my recipe collection.  Okay, maybe it is more than a collection and a horde, but I am finally trying to go through all the clippings and saved web pages to find the recipes that I want to keep and those that although sound good are just gross.  So, to that end you will be seeing a lot of recipe posts in the future as I go through the stash.  These recipes are ones that I will be making again and again and have gotten the seal of approval from husband and kids.  Here we go!
Banana Bars
(I think I heard my heart shutting down as I ate these bars so for your sake I have cut the frosting recipe in half and cut back on the sugar in the bars.  The picture shows with full recipe of frosting and as you can see a tiny bar with an inch of frosting.  It was good but like I said my heart tried to shut down. :)  For the original recipe see my baking addiction.)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup mashed banana
Heat oven to 350* and grease a 9X13" pan.  Cream the butter and sugar.  Add in eggs one at a time.  Stir in the sour cream and vanilla.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Mix in the mashed banana.  Put in pan and bake for 25-30 min or until done.  Cool completely.
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/4 cup softened butter
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Beat together and spread over cooled bars. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cooking with bananas

I'm not a chef or culinary anything, but I do like to bake.  Recently I had some overripe bananas and looked up some new recipes to try.  I can't believe the amount of sugar called for!  It is my opinion that people underestimate the sweetness of an overripe banana.  Maybe they cook with ripe bananas and not overripe but really you need the banana to get really soft and ripe before you bake with it.  Hence the two pictures.  The first is of course what my bananas looked on the out side and the other is the inside.  Really a few more days or even a week of ripening wouldn't have hurt them any and would have only increased the sweet taste.  So next time you want to bake with bananas make sure they are good and ripe and then cut back on the sugar.  I usually cut it in half, but you can experiment to your liking.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's - Lasagna for dessert

Did I have the kids going tonight! Being April Fool's Day and all, I found a recipe in a magazine for fake out lasagna. It looks like the real deal but is really a sweet treat. It helped that the last two nights we really did have lasagna for dinner. So this is how it played out:
Me - Who wants dessert?
Kids - Me!
Me - We have some leftover lasagna from last night so were going to eat it for dessert.
Kids - What?! Then I don't want any. Can I have a cookie instead?
Me - Nope. Eat this first and then you can have a cookie.
So I dish them all up and set it out on the table for them to eat. "What is this?" they ask. Lasagna comes the reply. Of course by this time the torture is at peak level and Doug says that I have something to say to the kids so I say April Fool's.

Ben eating his "lasagna" with a chagrined express after being fooled

Chris dug right in

View from the side

Top view

Make a box of instant vanilla pudding (I used banana). Cut a loaf of pound cake into 1/4-in-thick slices. Arrange half of the slices in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish, then press 20 vanilla wafers into the cake. Make fake tomato sauce: MIx 3/4 cup strawberry jam with 5 crushed oreos and dollop half of the mixture over the wafers. Sweeten 3/4 cup ricotta cheese with 2 teaspoons sugar; dollop half over the jam. Top with 1 sliced banana and half of the pudding. Repeat with the remaining cake, 20 more wafers, the remaining jam adn ricotta mictures, another sliced banana and the remaining pudding. Top with shaved white chocolate, crushed wafers and mint; chill.
From Food Network Magazine

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quick and Chewy Crescent Bars

Sunday Dessert
These bars are easy and delicious. The original recipe was on, but I added chocolate chips to it. How can you go wrong with added chocolate?
1/2 cup flour
1 cup coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup cold butter
1 can crescent rolls
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix the flour, coconut, sugar and pecans. Cut in the butter. (I used whole pecans and put everything in the food processor to chop them up then added the butter.) Unroll the crescent rolls into 2 rectangles. Place on a 15X10" pan; pressing together edges and covering the pan.
Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the rolls leaving 1/2" around the edges. Top with flour mix and press lightly Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake for 12-15 min in a 400* oven.

Cashew Chicken

I've been craving hamburgers during this pregnancy, but I know that all that red fatty meat isn't the best, so I looked around to find interesting chicken dishes. I love asian food and saw a recipe for Cashew Chicken on and actually wanted to eat it so here is the recipe for you. This site has a lot of good asian recipes if you like that type of food.
10 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup cashews
1 sm green pepper (I used red), cut into small square pieces
5 slices ginger
1/4 onion, cut into small square pieces
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp rice wine
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
3/4 tsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp water
3 dashes white pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp rice wine
1/8 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
Sprinkle the chicken with the baking soda and let rest for 15-20 min. Rinse chicken completely and pat dry. Mix corn starch and rice wine and rub over meat marinating for 15 min. Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in wok and stir-fry the chicken till it turns white or is half done. Remove chicken. Heat another tablespoon oil and add the onion, pepper, and ginger. Stir-fry until you smell the peppery smell of the peppers. Add chicken back in and the cashews. Do a few quick stirs. Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken is cooked and well coated with sauce. Season to taste and serve over rice.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Green Chili Pulled Beef Burrito

We have church later in the afternoons right now so my crock pot is getting a workout on Sundays. While looking for new things to make I came across this recipe from The original meat was pork, but I had a beef roast on hand and used it. The taste was excellent and one recipe we will keep around. Word of caution: I only used 1 Tbsp of the chipolte pepper and ended up with a mild spiciness that was perfect for the kids.
1-2 Tbsp chipolte chili pepper powder
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 pounds boneless roast (beef, pork or chicken breasts would work)
1 poblano chili
16 oz green salsa
12 - 8in tortilla shells
1 cup guacamole
1 cup sour cream
Mix the pepper powder, oil and salt. Rub over meat. Put meat in crock pot. Finely chop the pepper and put over the meat. Pour the salsa over the meat. Put on lid and cook for 8-10 hours on low. When done. Remove meat and shred. Put back in pot with liquid. Serve on tortillas using a slotted spoon or tongs. Garnish with guacamole and sour cream. Enjoy.
No picture because we ate it all too fast. :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Brownies - YUMMM

Doesn't the title and the picture just say it all. I think I have found my favorite from scratch brownie recipe. I love fudgey brownies, not those cake like things that are so dry you need a gallon of milk to get them down. I ran across a recipe on my baking addiction tweaked it for me and the result was perfect in my opinion. I put it up for you to judge.
Mint Brownies
1 cup butter
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate (4oz total)
1 Tbsp peppermint syrup (like Torini)
3 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cup brown sugar
1+ cup andes mints, broken into 3rds
In a saucepan melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar and peppermint syrup. When cool add the eggs one at a time stirring until glossy. Sift the flour and cocoa in the pan. Stir until just moist and then add the mints. Pour into a greased 9X13" pan and bake at 350*F for 23-27min.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Upside Down Sunshine Cake

Not an "Oh, I've got to have it!" dessert, but an okay dessert and so simple to make. When I asked Doug if it was a keeper, Ben piped up that it was. So, for Ben it is a keeper and I'll share it with you. There is also a peach variation that sounds yummy. This is from
1 pgk (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
1 3oz orange jello
12 pineapple slice drained (I needed just over one can)
12 Maraschino cherries
Cool whip topping
Heat oven ot 350*. Prepare cake mix as directed. Liberally spray a 9X13" pan with cooking spray. Spinkle the dry jello over bottom of pan. Top wwith pineapple and put a cherry in the middle of each pineapple. Pour batter over fruit. Bake 40-45 min until done. Cool 5 min. Loosen cake from sides of dish; invert onto platter. Gently remove pan and cool completly. Serve topped with cool whip.
Upside Down Peachy-Keen Cake
Omit cherries. Prepare recipe as directed using raspberry jello and substituting drained peach slices for the pineapple.