Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti

I don't make fancy spaghetti.  My version is usually just a quick dinner for during the week.  I was looking around the internet and found this yummy version.  Chris has been enjoying cream cheese on his pizza lately - with his standard pepperoni and jalepeno.  Cream cheese is a fabulous addition to pizza - so I figured let's try it in spaghetti.  Nothing like a little added fat and calories - right?  We eat grilled chicken and roasted vegetables most nights of the week anyway!!

I thought it was a fabulous spaghetti!  It was still easy since I used jarred sauce.  I made mine with ground beef but I think I would like some Italian sausage mixed in.  I always sprinkle the top with some Italian seasoning to give it lots of good extra flavor.

I found this recipe over at Gonna Want Seconds.  Visit Kathleens blog.  Her picture of this meal is better than mine - her family votes this recipe their favorite spaghetti!  Give it a try!!

Also, I doubled this recipe and froze an extra pan for later.  I love doing this.  I just didn't top with Parmesan or the French Fried Onion Rings.

Baked Cream Cheese Spaghetti (adapted from Gonna Want Seconds)

8 oz dried spaghetti, cooked according to pkg directions(don't rinse - toss with a little olive oil to keep                                                                  it from sticking together)
1 lb ground beef (or Italian sausage or a mix)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1   24 oz jar of favorite spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced sweet red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature, cubed
2 Tbsp milk
1 - 11/2 cups Parmesan Cheese - shredded
Italian Seasoning
1 cup French Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook Spaghetti according to package directions.  In a large skillet, brown meat with oregano and salt and pepper, drain fat, add tomato sauce and set aside.  In another medium skillet, heat the olive oil to medium high heat, add peppers and onions and saute until tender.  Add cream cheese and milk and stir until well combined.  Set aside.  Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  Pour about 1/2 cup of meat/sauce mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Layer all of the spaghetti next- spreading it out evenly.  Spread all of the cream cheese/veggie mixture next, spreading it out evenly. Next, add the rest of the meat sauce and spread it evenly over the top.  Now, sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and Italian seasoning.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Take out of oven and sprinkle with French Fried Onions - bake for another five minutes - watching so onions don't burn.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Coconut Cream Pound Cake

Chris and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary on Sunday, June 29th.  I made a cake to celebrate!  Everyone in our family likes pound cake .... and coconut.  I searched and found this Coconut Cream Pound Cake on All-Recipes.  It sounded like exactly what I was looking for.  It was perfect - dense, yummy, buttery, coconutty - we enjoyed it all week.  I think Chris ate a piece for breakfast everyday with his coffee.  Yummy!

Coconut Cream Pound Cake (adapted from All Recipes)

1 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
3 cups white sugar
6 eggs

1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
2.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the coconut extract. Mix in flour and baking powder until just moistened, then stir in coconut. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
3.Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack.

Printable Version
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flaked coconut

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Salted Nut Roll Bars

Hi friends - I apologize for not posting as much this summer.  My girls are all home and I just want to spend as much time with them as possible.  I am still cooking a lot - just not always trying new recipes.  If you are new to my blog - please visit back to some of my first-posted recipes.  These are some of my favorite.

Here are a few reminders that I have been making this summer....Chili Cheese Frito and Corn Salad, Some Great Pasta, Sausage Pinwheels, Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Corn and Cucumber Salsa.  I made Chris' favorite Banana Pudding ,,,,,and Mexican Cornbread is a favorite stand-by.   Also, please try the Black Bean and Corn Salsa and Craisen Salad this summer.  And, I made King Ranch Casserole this week - another favorite Mexican dish!  We are making these yummy RIBS today.....

My friend Amy made these fun bars for a pool party last weekend.  I loved how yummy and easy they are.  This is an easy no-bake recipe like Scotch-a-Roos.  I have been trying to not each much sugar - well these little babies about did me in last Saturday.  I kept taking a little bite.... and another little bite - you know what I mean.  They just hit the spot.  I love that I can just keep these items on hand and whip this up anytime!

Salted Nut Roll Bars

16 oz peanuts (I used dry roasted)
3 Tbsp butter
1 pkg peanut butter chips
1  14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1  10 oz bag mini-marshmallows

Grease a 9 x 13 bars.  Sprinkle half of the peanuts in the bottom of the pan.  In a saucepan or in the microwave, melt butter and peanut butter chips.  Add condensed milk and stir til mixed.  Take from stove (or MW) and stir in marshmallows and toss til coated.  Pat mixture down into peanuts in pan - until you have a layer of marshmallow mixture on top of peanuts.  Top with the rest of peanuts and pat firmly down into marshmallow mixture with a spatula.  Chill to firm.  Cut and enjoy!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies

First off, I want to apologize for not posting more.  All three of my girls were home in May and I cooked many of their favorites instead of always trying new recipes.  I love having everyone home. Annie is now traveling with Baylor Business in Europe - taking six hours - but mainly having so much fun.  She is loving it - from swimming in Lake Geneva to paragliding in Interlaken and on and on. Jenna is taking senior pictures this summer.  She is having so much fun with her photography.  She just took the Megabus to Chicago this week - having a great time!  Meg just left for a high school church mission trip to Nicaragua.  SO - we are empty nesters this week.  I love my wonderful husband but I love having the girls and their friends here.  Meg will  be a senior this year - so not empty nesters just yet!

At the end of school, I was enjoying some time on Pintrest.  Everyone loves Pintrest.  Pintrest led me to a great blog with great recipes... Cookies & Cups.  There were so many fun recipes but I printed off two to try.  I will make the other one soon.

In Texas, we love Texas Sheet Cake.  When I saw this recipe for Texas Sheet Cake Cookies - I knew I had to try it.  This recipe only make 24 cookies but I went for it anyway.  If you love Texas Sheet Cake, you will love these cookies.  They are so yummy.  My family thinks they are pretty rich so they enjoyed each cookie with a tall glass of cold milk or they warmed them in the microwave and served with vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy - and be sure to check out Cookies & Cups!

Texas Sheet Cake Cookies (Adapted from Cookies & Cups)

Ingredients for Cookies:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

Ingredients for Icing

1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 Tbsp milk (I ended up putting a little more)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.  In a bowl, use a mixer and beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping sides.  Add in egg and vanilla and continuing mixing.  Mix in baking powder and salt.  Turn mixer to low and slowly add in flour - Dough will be the thick.  In Microwave, melt chocolate chips on high at 30 second intervals ...until melted. Stir after each 30 seconds and mix directly into cookie dough until evenly mixed.  Drop by a measured tablespoon sized mounds onto baking sheet.  Bake for 7-8 minutes or just until cookies appear set. They will be soft on the inside - DO NOT OVERBAKE!!  Transfer to wire rack.

For Icing..Combine butter, cocoa powder and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking until melted together.  Remove from heat and and whisk in powdered sugar.  (May need a little extra milk to reach desired consistency)  Spoon over cookies and allow icing to set before serving.

**Store at room temperature for up to 3 days

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