Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mustard-Covered Pretzels

Mustard-Covered Pretzels
1/2 c prepared mustard
1 1/2 T honey
3 t apple cider vinegar
1 t dry mustard
6 c small pretzels

1. Preheat the oven to 400* and spray a large baking pan with nonstick spray coating.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the prepared mustard, honey, vinegar, and dry mustard; add the pretzels, stirring to coat.
3. Spread out the pretzels so that they are in 1 or 2 layers on the pan.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once, until the pretzels begin to brown.
5. Cool in the pan or on a wire rack until they begin to crisp.
The pretzels will keep at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Becky's Cinnamon Rolls

I grew up eating these every Christmas morning. Merry Christmas!

Becky's Cinnamon Rolls
1/4 c butter, melted
3 T cinnamon
1 1/2 c brown sugar

1. Follow my roll recipe, when you get to step #6, roll out the dough until it is about 1/4" thick.
2. Spread butter over dough, making sure not to go all the way to the edges.
3. Combine cinnamon and brown sugar, sprinkle generously over butter.
4. Starting at one end, roll the dough up on itself; when you get to the other end, pinch the dough together to make a seal.
5. Cut the dough into cinnamon rolls of desired size* (I shoot for about 1"- 1 1/2"); place on greased baking sheet and continue recipe from step #7.
6. Frost as desired.
*An awesome trick that my mom uses for cutting cinnamon rolls is to use floss - lay it under the log of dough, cross over the top where you want to cut, and pull. Easy Peasy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mint Chocolate Brownies

Mint Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Mix-
1 stick of butter
1 c water
1/2 c shortening
4 T unsweetened cocoa
Cake Mix-
2 eggs
2 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk*
2 c flour
Mint Mix-
1 - 12 oz. bag mint chips
1/3 c milk
1 stick of butter
4 T unsweetened cocoa
6 T milk
1 t vanilla
3-4 c powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400*.
2. Place Chocolate Mix in a small sauce pan, on low, until melted and well mixed. Take off heat and set aside.
3. Mix Cake Mix in a large bowl. Add Chocolate Mix.
4. Grease and flour a cookie sheet (with 1/2" sides). Pour batter on cookie sheet, spread evenly, and bake for 22-25 minutes until it passes toothpick test.
5. Let cake cool for at least 10-15 minutes.
6. Melt Mint Mix in microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until fully melted and smooth; spread over brownies. At this point, I like to put the brownies in the freezer to cool the mint while I make the frosting.
7. Frosting: Melt butter, cocoa, and milk in a small sauce pan, on low. Take off heat, add vanilla and powdered sugar until desired consistency. Mix well; spread over brownies.

*To make "buttermilk", combine .5 c. milk with 1 T. vinegar. Mix well and let sit a few minutes before adding to recipe.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chocolate-Peanut Explosions

Chocolate-Peanut Explosions
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts
8-10 coarsely chopped Reeses (too make it easier, freeze them for about an hour before chopping)

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a large bowl, mix butter and peanut butter with a mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.
3. Add the sugars, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined.
4. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined.
5. Mix in flour; stir in chocolate chips, peanuts, and Reeses.
6. Space evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet; bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
4 slices [turkey] bacon
1 onion, diced
8-10 pods okra, sliced
1- 14.5 oz can [no salt added] diced tomatoes, undrained
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In medium pan, crisp bacon over medium-high heat. Set aside.
2. Saute onion in pan until tender; add okra and tomatoes.
3. Season with salt and pepper; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
4. Stir in bacon and serve. I like it over [brown] rice.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Roll

A healthier take on a classic holiday treat.

Pumpkin Roll
5 eggs, separated (3 whites, 2 whole)
1 1/2 c sugar
1- 15 oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 t ginger
3/4 t nutmeg
3/4 t salt

8 oz [fat free or light] cream cheese, softened
1 c [fat free or light] cool whip
1 c powdered sugar, opt

1. Preheat oven to 375*; grease, line with parchment paper, then grease and flour a jelly roll pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs on high, about 5 minutes.
3. Gradually beat in sugar; fold in pumpkin and lemon juice.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients; fold in to pumpkin mixture.
5. Spread evenly on to pan and bake for 13-15 minutes. Cake should spring back at the touch; do not over bake or else your cake will break when rolled.
6. Immediately turn out on to a clean hand towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar and remove parchment paper (the cake should be a little moist); roll up towel and cake together and cool completely, at least an hour.
7. Whip cream cheese, beat in cool whip and powdered sugar.
8. Unroll pumpkin roll and spread filling evenly over cake; roll back up (sans towel), wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 45 minutes before serving.
*I wouldn't recommend using fat free cheese and cool whip unless you want to add the powdered sugar; it's just not very sweet when they're both FF.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Potato Casserole

Potato Casserole
2 c mashed potatoes (I used instant)
1 c [light] sour cream
garlic salt and pepper, to taste
3 large (or 4 medium) potatoes, sliced and cooked*
1 onion, diced thin
1/4 c butter
1 1/2 c Cheddar cheese
6 slices [turkey] bacon, cooked (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Spread mashed potatoes evenly on the bottom of a 9x13 pan; spread sour cream over potatoes and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper.
3. Layer potatoes next; saute onions in butter and pour over potatoes. Top with cheese.
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and crumble bacon on top.
*Peel and slice the potatoes thin, then boil then for about a half hour until soft.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
3 T butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 cans sliced green beans, drained
1- 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom soup
5-6 oz French fried onions, separated
garlic salt and pepper, to taste
1 c Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9x9 pan.
2. In a large skillet, saute onions in butter; add green beans, soup, 3 ounces French-fried onions, garlic salt, and pepper. Stir well.
3. Pour into pan and bake for 20 minutes; sprinkle cheese and remaining onions over casserole and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stone Ground Bread Co. Rolls

My parents owned a bakery when I was younger. This recipe is courtesy of my mom.
Stone Ground Bread Co. Rolls
2 c milk
2 T butter
1/4 c instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 c sugar
4.5-5 c flour (I would recommend using white flour or a mixture of 2:1 white to wheat, but using only wheat makes the rolls too dense)
1 T yeast, or 1 packet yeast
1 T salt

1. Heat milk and butter in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, measure potato flakes and sugar into standing mixer. Add hot milk and mix for about a minute on medium-low speed.
3. While continually mixing, add 1 cup of flour, then yeast, then another cup of flour, then the salt.
4. Add rest of flour, then mix on highest setting for about 2 minutes. If dough is still sticky, add a little flour at a time until no dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl.
5. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise for about 45 minutes.
6. Punch down the dough and then form it into whatever shape you are making: rolls or bread; place in greased pan or on greased baking sheet.
7. Turn the oven on for about 30 seconds and then turn it off and place your pan inside; let rise again for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size. (It may not take more than 30 minutes to rise in this warm environment. You have to watch it carefully so that it doesn't rise too much and fall back on itself, then you'll have collapsed bread or rolls.)
8. After the dough has doubled, take it out of the oven and heat the oven to 350*; Bake bread for 45-50 minutes and rolls for 15-20 minutes. When it's golden brown on top, it's done.
9. Be sure to pop the bread out of the pans when you take them out of the oven and let them cool on racks so it won't get stuck in the pan. And the rolls need to be taken off the baking sheet so they don't get soggy on the bottom.
*makes about 2 doz. rolls or 2 loaves, depending on size

These rolls were made with all whole wheat flour.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds
pumpkin seeds, from one large pumpkin
salt, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a baking sheet.
2. Wash seeds and make sure to get all of the pumpkin guts off of them.
3. Place one layer of wet seeds on baking sheet; sprinkle with salt.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until light brown.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes
1-4 large russet potatoes
oil to coat (I used olive)

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Wash and brush potatoes with a stiff brush; pat dry and use a fork to poke about 10 deep holes in each potato.
3. Lightly coat with oil and sprinkle with salt; place on middle rack.
4. Bake 60 minutes (75 minutes if more than 4 potatoes) until skin is crisp. Top as desired.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Open-Faced Brie and Tomato Sandwich

Open-Faced Brie and Tomato Sandwich
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices artisan bread (we used pumpernickel)
20-28 thin slices of Brie cheese

1. Turn oven on broil; line baking sheet with foil.
2. Place tomatoes baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Broil for 5 minutes; set aside.
4. Butter both sides of bread and top each slice with several slices of brie.
5. Broil until cheese is slightly bubbly and light brown, 3-5 minutes.
6. Top with tomatoes and serve warm.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


3/4 c olive oil
1/4 c white vinegar
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t dried oregano
1 T chopped parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
2. Let sit 10-15 minutes; whisk before serving.
Store at room temperature, in airtight container.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bacon and Tomato Spaghetti Carbonara

Bacon and Tomato Spaghetti Carbonara
16 oz spaghetti
6-8 slices bacon (we used turkey bacon)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil; add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet, chop, and set aside.
3. Drain bacon fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the skillet (or drain all and add 1 tablespoon olive oil); add garlic, onion, and bay leaf, and saute, covered, until onions are translucent. Remove bay leaf and discard.
4. Drain pasta and return to pot; toss in bacon, garlic, and onions.
5. Toss in tomatoes and cheese; serve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cactus Cornbread

Cactus Cornbread
2 cups water
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 - 1 c diced nopalitos (about 1 large pad)
1 c yellow cornmeal
1 c flour
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 egg, beaten
1 c milk
1/4 c butter-flavored shortening (or butter), melted
3/4 c corn

1. Preheat oven to 425*; grease and flour (or cornmeal) an 8" square pan.
2. Boil water and baking soda together; add nopalitos and boil until they become a dull green color. Drain well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; blend in egg and milk.
4. Add shortening and mix well; fold in corn and nopalitos.
5. Pour into pan and bake about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and passes toothpick test.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I had never tried Brussels sprouts before this recipe, so I'm not sure that all Brussels sprouts taste this yummy. ;)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 t dry mustard
1 t ground red pepper
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400*; line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Cut off the stems and remove any yellowing outer leaves of Brussels sprouts; place in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
3. Toss Brussels sprouts with remaining ingredients; spread evenly on baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. (Shake the pan from time to time for even browning.)
4. Sprinkle with a little bit more salt and serve.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Banana Cake

Banana Cake
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c shortening (I use butter-flavored)
2 room temperature eggs, separated
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 c buttermilk
1 t baking soda
2 1/4 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350* and lightly grease two 9" round pans.
2. Cream together sugar and shortening; add egg yolks and bananas and blend well. Set aside egg whites.
3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine buttermilk and baking soda. Be careful - this will expand quite a bit.
4. In another medium-sized bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Add 1/3 of the wet mixture to the banana mixture, then 1/3 of the dry mixture. Repeat twice until both smaller bowls are empty; stir in vanilla.
6. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites until slightly stiffened; fold into batter.
7. Pour batter into pans and bake 35-45 minutes until cakes pass toothpick test.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slow Cooker Brisket

Slow Cooker Brisket
3-4 lbs beef brisket
2 t salt
4 t dry mustard
4 t paprika
2 t garlic powder
1 t pepper

1. Trim all excess fat off brisket.
2. Mix seasonings together well; rub into brisket.
3. Place meat in greased slow cooker with the side that had more fat face-up.
4. Cook for 10-12 hours on low.
5. Remove from slow cooker and let sit for 15 minutes; cut slices across the grain and serve.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thai Chicken

Thai Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1/4 t ground coriander
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 white onion, chopped
1/4 c butter
1- 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 pint half and half (or heavy whipping cream)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
about 2 cups brown rice (or however much you want)

1. Place chicken, garlic, spices, and lime zest/juice in a large ziploc bag; place in fridge to marinate overnight.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion in butter until clear.
3. Add chicken and marinade; cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomato sauce and tomatoes; cook, covered, for 30 minutes.
5. Remove from heat; add half and half and cilantro just before serving over rice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce

Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce
1 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 juicy, over-ripe tomatoes, diced
1 t garlic salt
2 t basil

1. In a large skillet, saute garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about a minute.
2. Add tomatoes, garlic salt, and basil.
3. Simmer sauce, stirring frequently, until liquid has reduced, about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orzo Primavera

Orzo Primavera
2 T olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 zucchini, shredded or chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded or chopped
3 c chicken broth
1 c uncooked orzo pasta
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T parsley
1 c frozen peas
salt and pepper, to taste
3 roma tomatoes, diced

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add olive oil.
2. Throw garlic, zucchini, and carrots into skillet and saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil; add orzo and bring back up to a boil.
4. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until most liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
5. Uncover and stir in cheese, parsley, and peas; season with salt and pepper.
6. Toss in tomatoes just before serving.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
2 eggplants
3 egg whites
3 T water
1/2 c fine breadcrumbs
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese, separated
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 T basil leaves, chopped
1/2 T oregano
1/2 T garlic salt
1/4 t nutmeg
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (I use no salt added)
1 c mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400*; foil line and grease two baking sheets, and grease one 9x13 pan.
2. Cut eggplants into 1/4" slices.
3. In a shallow dish, whisk together egg whites and water.
4. In another shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
5. Dredge eggplant slices in egg white mixture and then coat in breadcrumb mixture.
6. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheets; bake 15 minutes, flip slices, and bake another 15 minutes.
7. Combine spices, tomato sauce, and tomatoes; spread 1/2 cup on the bottom of the 9x13 pan (just enough for a thin layer).
8. Lay half of the eggplant slices over sauce, overlapping a bit if necessary.
9. Spoon half of the remaining sauce (1 cup) over eggplant and sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup) over sauce.
10. Layer remaining eggplant, then remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses.
11. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until sauce begins to bubble and the cheese turns golden.
*Each serving (about 2 slices with sauce) is only 174 calories.
Serve by itself or over wheat pasta.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Spicy Ricey Ground Beef Mixture (recipe follows)
10 poblano peppers
2 c Mexican blend cheese

1. Make Spicy Ricey Ground Beef.
2. Preheat oven to 375* and lightly grease 2- 9x13 pans.
3. Cut tops off of peppers (like a pumpkin) and deseed.
4. Stuff ground beef mixture into peppers up to 1/4-1/2 inch from top and replace tops.
5. Lay 5 peppers, alternating directions, on each pan.
6. Bake 30 minutes, sprinkle cheese over peppers, return to oven for 10 more minutes.
7. Let sit at least 5 minutes before serving.

Spicy Ricey Ground Beef Mixture
2 lb ground beef
2 T olive oil
1 - 14 oz can beef broth
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
Round 1 Spices-
-1 T onion powder
-2 T garlic powder
-1 t salt
-1/2 t black pepper
-1 chicken bouillon cube, ground
-1 beef bouillon cube, ground
Round 2 Spices-
-3 T crushed red pepper or chili powder
-1 1/2 t garlic powder
-3 1/2 t ground cumin
-1 T brown sugar
-1/2 t onion powder
3 c cooked rice

1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet; drain fat.
2. Add olive oil, beef broth, and tomato sauce; simmer, covered, over low-medium heat for 60 minutes.
3. Stir in Round 1 Spices and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
4. Stir in Round 2 Spices; reduce heat to low.
5. Cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Take off heat and let cool before adding rice and stuffing into peppers.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cinnamon Walnut Banana Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Walnut Banana Coffee Cake
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar, plus a little more
3 over-ripe bananas
1/3 c milk
1 T vegetable oil
1 T vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
2 t cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c walnuts, chopped and roasted

1. Preheat oven to 325*.
2. Lightly grease and sugar a loaf pan.
3. Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl; mix in bananas, milk, oil and vanilla.
4. Sprinkle flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over mixture; mix until just blended; stir in nuts.
5. Pour batter into pans and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake about 45 minutes, until it passes toothpick test.

(In this picture, I forgot to sugar before I baked. Oops.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Roasted Nuts (and Toasted Sesame Seeds)

Roasted Nuts
1. Preheat oven to 400*.
2. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper first).
3. Bake 5 minutes; shake.
4. Bake 3-5 more minutes, or until golden brown.
5. Let cool on baking sheet before serving or storing.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Toasted Sesame Seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325*.
2. Spread seeds evenly on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper first).
3. Bake about 20-25 minutes, shaking once or twice, until browned and fragrant.
4. Let cool on baking sheet before serving or storing.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Slow Cooker Sour Cream & Onion Chicken

Slow Cooker Sour Cream & Onion Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 - 10.5 oz can [reduced fat] cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c [light] sour cream
1 1/4 c water
1 pouch onion soup mix
1/2 onion, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
rice (opt)
cheddar cheese (opt)

1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
2. Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl; pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours; serve over rice, topped with cheese.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Steak Sauce Meatloaf

Steak Sauce Meatloaf
2 lb ground beef
1/3 c Heinz 57 sauce
1/3 c + 2 T Worcestershire sauce, separated
1 c plain bread crumbs (or 2-3 pieces of bread left out to dry and then crumbled)
1/3 c onion, finely chopped
1/4 c celery, finely chopped
1/4 c carrots, finely chopped
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (just 1/3 c Worcestershire sauce).
3. Form into loaf and place in the middle of a 9x13 pan.
4. Brush remaining Worcestershire sauce over top and sides of loaf.
5. Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour, or until cooked all the way through.
Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


4 c flour
2 t salt
1/2 c shortening
1 c + 2-4 T lukewarm water

1. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl*; cut in shortening.
2. Add 1 cup water, blend well (don't be afraid to get your hands dirty), and gradually add more water until dough is pliable and easy to work with.
3. Halve and let sit about half an hour.
4. Divide dough into golf- to baseball-sized balls, depending on desired thickness of tortillas.
5. Roll out each ball on a floured surface and shape tortillas.
6. Spread a little bit of olive oil on a large pan; place over medium heat.
7. Place rolled out tortilla dough, one at a time, into pan; flip halfway through cooking to evenly cook both sides.

Makes about a dozen 8" tortillas, depending on size and thickness.
*This recipe also works very well in a standing mixer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We just moved. I'm still looking for my Kitchenaid...
See you next week!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 1/4 c peanut butter (I use half crunchy/half creamy)
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 c corn syrup
1/4 c sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 t vanilla extract

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, sugar, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth; fold in flour mixture, careful not to over mix.
4. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350*.
6. Roll 1/4 cup portions into balls and space evenly on cookie sheet. Using a fork, flatten balls down into disks.
7. Bake until cookies are puffed and lightly brown around the edges (they will look undone between the cracks), 12-14 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
8. Cool 5 minutes on sheets, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

French Toast Batter

French Toast Batter
2 eggs
1 c milk (for a richer taste, try half & half)
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t vanilla

1. Mix all ingredients in a shallow medium-sized bowl.
2. Quickly dip bread (preferably Texas toast) in batter.
3. Grill on medium-high heat, until lightly brown. Flip and brown other side.
Makes about 10 pieces of french toast.

Yes, this picture was taken with my phone.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Four Layer Angel Strata Pie

Four Layer Angel Strata Pie
2 deep dish pie crusts
2 eggs, separated
1/2 t vinegar
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 c sugar, separated
2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c water
2 c heavy whipping cream 
1/2 t vanilla

1. Bake pie crust as directed.
2. Preheat oven to 325*.
Layer 1 - Meringue
1. Whip egg whites (save yolks and set aside in refrigerator) until foamy; beat in vinegar, cinnamon, and salt.
2. Gradually beat in 1/2 c sugar and whip until stiff.
3. Spread half of the meringue over the bottom and sides of each crust.
4. Bake for 15 minutes, until raised and slightly brown. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until completely cool.
Layer 2 - Hard Chocolate
1. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix chocolate chips and water. Microwave for about 2-2 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth.
2. Spread 1/4 of the chocolate into each of the pie crusts; refrigerate 10 minutes until layer is crisp.
3. Stir egg yolks into remaining melted chocolate and set aside in the refrigerator.
Layer 3 - Whipped Cream
1. Whip heavy cream until it starts to firm up; beat in vanilla and remaining sugar.
2. Once whipped cream has thickened, spread 1/4 of it into each pie; refrigerate at least 10 minutes.
Layer 4 - Chocolate Whipped Cream
1. Pull melted chocolate out of the refrigerator and mix in to remaining whipped cream; spread 1/2 of chocolate whipped cream over each of the pies.
2. Chill pie, uncovered, for at least 4 hours before serving. After 4 hours, cover pie.
Pies will keep for up to 4 days, covered in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bacon and Asparagus Carbonara

My variation of this recipe.

Bacon and Asparagus Carbonara

6-8 c water
1 t salt
2 large eggs
1 c Parmesan cheese
2 T olive oil
1 lb bacon, coarsely chopped
13.25 oz (or about .75 lb) spaghetti
1 bunch asparagus, cut into .5-1 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
pepper and garlic salt to taste

1. Pour water and salt into a large pot and turn on high to boil.
2. Mix eggs and cheese in a small bowl; set aside.
3. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet set on medium-medium high heat; sprinkle bacon into skillet and cover to cook, stirring occasionally.
4. Once water has boiled, add spaghetti and cook until just al dente; add asparagus and continue to cook for one minute.
5. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of water to the side.
6. Return pasta to pot and stir in egg/cheese mixture.
7. Drain bacon grease; add garlic to skillet along with 1/4 cup of pasta water. Cook for one minute; turn off heat.
8. Slowly stir pasta/asparagus into bacon/garlic skillet, mixing well. Add more pasta water for desired consistency. Add garlic salt and pepper; serve.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
.5 t vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

1. Cream together cream cheese and butter.
2. Mix in vanilla.
3. Slowly add powdered sugar.

This will make enough frosting for a 9x13 cake or about 18 cupcakes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Grad Cap Cupcakes

Grad Cap Cupcakes
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Dove Chocolate Squares
M&Ms (mini work best, I used regular)

1. Place frosting in a piping bag, or a piping bag.
2. Place Reese's cups face down on parchment paper. Dab a little bit of frosting on each cup; lay chocolate square on top.
3. Pipe two tassel lines of frosting coming from the middle of the "cap"; place M&M where the lines meet.
4. Let the grad caps chill in the freezer (or fridge) while you frost the cupcakes [this will cement the chocolate together and harden the tassels].
5. Top each cupcake with a grad cap and serve.

Please excuse the frosting job on this one. It was a long day...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
1.5 lbs boneless chicken
6 oz (1/2 can) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (no pulp is best)
3 T brown sugar
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 T kosher salt
3 T ketchup
peanuts (opt)

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup.
2. Pour sauce mixture evenly over the chicken in the slow cooker and toss to coat.

3. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Serve over rice. We add peanuts to almost all Asian food we cook. Try it out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding
3 just-ripe bananas (yellow/light green)
3 T lemon juice, separated
1.5 c sugar, separated
8 large egg yolks
5 T cornstarch
6 c half-and-half
.5 t salt
3 T butter
2 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325*.
2. Place 3 bananas (skin-on) on baking sheet and bake until skins are black, about 20 minutes. Let cool for a minute or two, peel and throw in food processor with 2 T lemon juice until smooth. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of puree (this will prevent "pudding skin" from forming) and set aside.
3. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, yolks, and cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth.
4. Bring half-and-half, remaining sugar, and salt to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat.
5. Whisk 1/2 cup half-and-half mixture into yolk mixture, then slowly pour tempered yolk mixture into saucepan; stir in banana puree.
6. Cook until thick, about 2 minutes; remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
7. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding and refrigerate until it begins to set up, about 30 minutes.
*Recipe courtesy of Cook's Country.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie

Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie
2 store-bought deep-dish pie crusts
.25 c butter
.5 onion, chopped
.5 green pepper, chopped
1/3 c flour
.5 t salt
.5 t pepper
1- 14.5 oz can chicken broth
.25 c milk
2.5 c chicken, cooked and shredded
2 c frozen mixed vegetables
2 c Cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 425*. Prepare crusts as directed, if needed.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add onion and pepper, cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in flour, salt, pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk; add frozen veggies.
4. Cover and let cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until thickened; add chicken. Remove from heat.
5. Spoon into crust; top with cheese. Cover with second crust and seal edges. Cut slits in top crust.
6. Place pie pan on a foil-lined cookie sheet to catch any overflow. Bake 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 minutes, cover edges with tin foil to prevent burning.
7. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Baked Stuffed Jalapenos

Baked Stuffed Jalapenos
15-20 jalapenos
8 oz cream cheese
1 c Cheddar cheese
1 c Feta cheese (opt)
2 tsp herbs de providence
2 tsp garlic salt
eggs and breadcrumbs (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 425*. Put on gloves. I cannot stress this enough.
2. Cut the stems off of the jalapenos, cut in half length-wise, and remove seeds.
3. In a medium bowl, combine cheeses and seasonings. Spoon mixture into jalapenos.
4. If desired, dip jalapenos in beaten eggs, then coat in breadcrumbs. (Personally, I prefer them without the bread crumbs because they have more of a kick without.)
5. Line jalapenos up on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Without coating:

 With coating:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate Fondue
1.5 c chocolate chips
.5 c heavy cream (or half and half)
2 tsp vanilla

1a. Place
chocolate chips in little dipper slow cooker. Pour cream and vanilla over chips, cover, and let sit for about an hour. Do not stir during that hour - it will be ok. :)

1b. Place all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl; heat in microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is completely melted.

Serve with marshmallows, bananas, apples, pretzels, etc.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Cream of Chicken Chicken

Slow Cooker Cream of Chicken Chicken
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
2 cans (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 T celery salt
1 t basil
1 t parsley
1 c sour cream (or cream cheese for a richer taste)

1. Place chicken in 3.5 to 5-qt slow cooker.
2. Mix soup, soup mix, celery salt, basil, and parsley together; pour over chicken.
3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. One hour before serving, stir in sour cream (cream cheese).