Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mini Caramel Pecan Rolls

Love this new easy recipe!  I have had this recipe for quite some time and finally decided to try it over the holidays.  Amy used to be in my Sunday school class, and she also loved to cook.  We often shared recipes.  Amy has since moved, and she and her family are enjoying the beauty of Colorado.

I debated Cheese Blintzes (which we love), homemade cinnamon rolls, monkey bread but due to time and the Christmas crazies, I decided to try this quick and easy version of pecan rolls. They are just too yummy... but I love pecans.  Next time, I would try to line the pan with foil or wax paper so I could have handles and lift the rolls out and flip them over so the yumminess would be on top!  I didn't do that this time but they were still very enjoyable!

Mini Caramel Pecan Rolls

2  - 8 oz. tubes crescent roll dough
5 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup (or more :)) of chopped pecans
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar/2 tsp cinnamon - mixed

Melt 5 Tbsp butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Add brown sugar, water and pecans to same pan and mix.  Roll out crescent rolls flat - pressing the seams together of 2 rolls to form 8 rectangles.  Brush with the other melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Roll up long-ways. Slice into small one inch rolls and place evenly on top of pecan mixture in pan. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until nice and golden brown.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marinated Cheese

This is one of my very favorite recipes. This is one of the recipes you can be creative with and do just about whatever you want.   I love it because you can make it ahead and it is so festive.  It is also makes a great gift in a cute jar with a baguette.  I like serving this with baguette slices because the baguette soaks up all of the juicy goodness.  Give this one a try and be creative!

(once again, I apologize - picture was taken with my phone.  I hope you get the general idea.!  This is the Marinated Cheese with the kalamata olives.

Marinated Cheese #1

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Paul Newman's Family Italian Dressing (or other favorite Italian)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips, chopped
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp dried basil (throw in some fresh if you have it)
1/2 tsp salt
16 - 26 oz of different cubed cheeses (fresh mozzerella pearls, white sharp cheddar, smoked gouda  - mix  orange and white cheeses)

Mix together and store in a container with a nice seal.   This is best if marinated for at least six hours or overnight. Serve with your favorite baguette slices.

Marinated Cheese #2

I saw this version in a Southern Living Christmas Cookbook.  It is pretty much the same concept but they put a jar of pitted kalamata olives with the cheeses and instead of making the dressing, they used a bottle of Paul Newman's olive oil dressing.  I also loved this variety but then I am a huge olive fan!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Asiago Bagel Breakfast Bake

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday.  I made this Asiago Bagel Breakfast Bake recently for a friend get together.  You should totally surprise your family and make this for them on morning during the holidays.  Serve it with Sausage Pinwheels or bacon and fresh fruit.  If you haven't made Sausage Pinwheels for your family yet, I highly recommend them.  We have them several times a year but they are definitely a holiday morning staple!

I make a traditional breakfast casserole or even a Breakfast pizza on occasion but I have to say, I love this Asiago Bagel Breakfast Bake.  It is easy and has a great flavor!  Chris brought this recipe home from work.  A coworker brought it to work and Chris raved about it so I knew I had to make it.

Once again, my picture isn't the best.  It seems I am always in a hurry - for guests or dinner but I guess you can get a general idea.

Asiago Bagel Breakfast Bake

8 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp fresh chopped tarragon or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 tsp paprika
freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 oz Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated
6 oz. Asiago cheese, grated
4 Asiago Cheese bagels (I got these from Panera)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, tarragon, paprika and season with pepper.  Grate and mix the cheeses in another bowl.   Cut the bagels in bite-size pieces. Grease a 2 qt casserole or souffle dish.  Starting with the bagel pieces, alternate layering the bagel pieces and grated cheese into the dish.  Pour the egg mixture evenly over everything.  Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.  Preheat oven to 350 and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour til eggs are set and top is golden brown.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas - from my family to yours!

                Meg - 14                 Jenna - 16                Annie - 17

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

These are fabulous!  My friend Donna makes something similar all of the time for her son, and I have always loved them.  Recently a preschool mom brought me a few of these and my family devoured them. She shared the recipe with me that she found on Pintrest.  I made them and dipped about half in chocolate and left the other half in the freezer.  I dipped the first ones in dark chocolate but my girls begged me to dip the rest in milk chocolate.  They were yummy either way - you just DIP however - you will want to make your family happy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 sticks butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

14 oz dark chocolate candy coating for dipping

Beat butter and sugars in a large bowl using mixer on medium speed til light and fluffy.  Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, soda and salt.  Mix on low speed or by hand til mixed and add chocolate chips.  Cover and chill dough for one hour.  Lightly flour your hands after dough is chilled and form/roll dough into 1 inch balls.  Arrange on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and freeze for 30 minutes.  Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler according to directions. Using a toothpick, dip cookie balls into chocolate using a spoon to help cover them trying to remove excess chocolate from the bottom of the truffle.  Return the cookie dough ball to wax-paper lined baking sheet.  Chill and store in refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to one week.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Buttery Thumbprint Cookies

We have Secret Sisters during Christmas at preschool.  My Secret Sister last year was Chris and she surprised me with these yummy buttery cookies.  I have been thinking about them since last Christmas.  I think they are heavenly - soft and buttery!  Please try them!  They are pretty quick and easy and only make about 3 dozen cookies.  Top them with your favorite preserves.  I tried apricot, blackberry and raspberry.  I truly liked them all but think my favorite was apricot!  Even if you aren't a fruit-cookie type person, I think you will love these due to the buttery goodness!

Buttery Thumbprint Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
fruit preserves, any flavor

Preheat oven to 375.  Cream together butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla.  Add flour a little bit at a time.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place onto cookie sheet.  Using your finger or a similar item, make a well or indention in the middle of each cookie.  Fill with 1/2 tsp of your favorite preserves.  Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown on bottom.  Drizzle with glaze while warm and allow to cool on a wire rack.


2 Tbsp milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix and place in a ziploc bag.  Make a tiny snip in corner of bag and drizzle each cookie with glaze.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Lace Cookies

This is such a great recipe!  Our Jenna loves them and is always asking me to make them.  Actually, my whole family loves them.  They do take a little more time since you only use 1/2 tsp for each cookie and then after baking, they have to cool five minutes before peeling them off the foil.  If you happen to have a double oven, that would definitely help speed the process.  They are amazing and totally worth the effort!  We did get this recipe from Jenna's club volleyball coach back when she was twelve.  Coach Jen made this recipe for all of her social gatherings.

*I have seen this dipped in chocolate so I dipped only a few.  I knew my family would give me grief if I dipped them all.  I love them as is but they were also quite tasty with the chocolate.  I just dipped once side in melted chocolate and helped to even the chocolate out with my finger!

Lace Cookies

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup quick oats
    Stir, then add:
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp flour
    Stir, then add:
1 egg, beaten

Cover baking sheet with foil - shiny side up.  Using a measuring spoon, place 1/2 tsp of dough on foil 3 inches apart.  Bake for about 8 minutes at 350.  Please keep an eye on these as they burn easily.  Leave them on foil for 5 minutes before gently peeling off.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shrimp Christmas Tree

I made this festive shrimp tree years ago and thought I would try it again when I heard my friend Tammy was having a party.  I love to cook and help my friends entertain. Tammy was kind enough to indulge me.  The tree turned out great.  Tammy had a wonderful party with great food and this Shrimp Christmas Tree was a nice centerpiece in her buffet line. I guess the bad thing is that it is kind of a last minute "put together" but it is so worth it.  Grab a friend to help you out during your next holiday gathering!   Also, excuse my poor photography once again.  I took this picture with my phone just as the party was starting so I didn't get a good picture.  I do see a few holes where I should have put more shrimp or another cherry tomato.  I promise this is so much better looking in person.  Be creative!

Shrimp Christmas Tree

18 inch or so styrofoam cone covered in green wrapping paper
4 lbs shrimp - cooked, peel and deveined  - with tails on
festive toothpicks
cherry tomatoes
a tree topper

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tippin's Cornbread

I got this yummy recipe from Leslie, a co-teacher at preschool.  My girls love cornbread so I knew they would love this.  I have always made good Southern cornbread in an iron skillet but it isn't the sweet kind.  My girls, especially the middle daughter loves the sweet, corn bread.  This recipe must be a re-make from Tippin's Restaurant.....  AND - my girls did love it.  It is sweet but not overly sweet - I think you will be very impressed.  This makes a large 9 x 13 so great to take to party or serve with your favorite soup.  Be sure to cook it long enough.  I cooked mine for 30 and my tester came out clean then the middle of mine sank :(.  Be sure to cook it for the 35-40 minutes.

Tippin's Cornbread

2 boxes single Jiffy yellow cake mix
2 boxes single Jiffy cornbread mix
2/3 cup milk
1 cup water
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil

Mix the milk, water, eggs and oil in a large bowl.  Add the cake mixes and gently mix just til the dry ingredients are blended.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Pecan & Salted Caramel Candies and Pintrest

If you have not found Pintrest yet, I highly recommend it.  I just love it and I know you will too.  My oldest two girls are also addicted.  What is Pintrest?  I found this definition on their website....

 Pinterest is a viritual pinboard.  Pintrest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

I am constantly on Pintrest and I have already found several recipes.  I made these yummy little treats this past weekend for a Sunday School Party.  They are easy and just delightful!  Please visit King Arthur Flour for this recipe.  I did change it a bit  based on some of the comments I found on the website but still the same general idea. This is a great new holiday candy!

Pecan and Salted Caramel Candies (adapted from King Arthur Flour)

pecan halves
1 bag of Kraft caramels
sea salt
Ghiradelli 60% cacao chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.  Lightly grease or line with parchment paper. Flatten caramels using a rolling pin, glass or whatever works for you.  I used the bottom of a glass and then made the edges more pliable with my fingers.  Place 2 pecan halves side by side on cookie sheet - repeating as often as you have room on your cookie sheet.  Top with a flattened caramel and heat in oven for about 5 minutes.  Remove and top with 3 chocolate chips; return to oven for about 1 minutes then sprinkle with sea salt;  Top with another pecan half

Friday, December 2, 2011

Frosted Double Chocolate Cookies

Annie is our oldest daughter and turning 18 in January.  Annie is so busy with school, college applications, etc that I was surprised when she picked up a Nestle Toll House Holiday Recipe book she saw while at the grocery store.  She saw a recipe that looked awesome and decided to make them.  I wasn't even home and she made them entirely by herself.  We LOVED them.  They were so yummy that we devoured them quickly. The only problem is the recipe only made 15 cookies - WHAT recipe only makes 15 cookies!!  We were just getting started... and they were gone. Great new recipe but I would totally double the recipe if going to the trouble!

Frosted Double Chocolate Cookies (adapted from Nestle Toll House Holiday)

2 cups Nestle Toll House semi sweet morsels, divided
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional - we didn't use)

Chocolate Frosting:

1 Tbsp butter
1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 374.  Microwave 3/4 cup morsels in a small uncovered, mw safe bowl for 1 minutes and stir; MW at additional 15 minute intervals to melted.  Cool to room temperature.  Combine flour, soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Beat in chocolate and egg.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in 3/4 cup morsels and nuts - drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased  (I always grease) baking sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are set but centers are soft.  Cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes then removed to a wire rack.  Cool completely.  Thinly frost centers of cookies.


Microwave remaining 1/2 cup morsels and butter in medium, uncovered bowl on high for about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth - may need to microwave in 15 second intervals til melted and smooth.  Add powdered sugar, milk and stir until smooth!  YUM!

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