Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chocolate-Cherry Sugar-Crusted Shortbread

I am always looking for a new cookie for a cookie exchange.  I have a few favorites but I am trying some new ones this year.  My family seems to love shortbread and sugar cookies so I decided to give this one a try.  It is very yummy!  Just be delicate in the cutting so you can keep nice squares.  We had a few odd shapes and broken pieces... that we just had nibble on as we were rolling them in sugar!



Chocolate-Cherry Sugar-Crusted Shortbread (from Southern Living)

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup semi sweet mini morsels
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy - add powdered sugar, beating well.  Combine flour/salt and add to butter mixture, beating until well blended.  Stir in mini morsels, cherries and vanilla.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Line an 8" square pan with foil, allowing foil to extend over the edges of pan to form handles.  Lightly grease the foil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Press dough into pan.  Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until golden.  Coll 30 minutes or until slightly warm in pan.  Use foil to gently lift shortbread from pan.  Gently cut shortbread into 1" squares using a sharp knife.  Roll shortbread squares in 1/2 sugar - or more if needed.  Yields 64 cookies

Printable Version

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chocolate Espresso Mousse

I don't usually love mousse - I am way more of hearty dessert kind of girl.  I like nuts, texture, etc.  I have to admit - I LOVE this mousse.  I couldn't stop eating it.  I don't love coffee either but the combination of chocolate, coffee and cream makes this a heavenly dessert!  My friend Michelle made it when we had a girlfriend gathering and one of our friends is gluten-intolerant.  We all thought it was wonderful!  Michelle was nice enough to bring me another serving the next week. Okay - maybe two servings - and I didn't share!  :)




Chocolate Espresso Mousse

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, plus more for garnish
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream

Melt chocolate in medium bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring often, until smooth. Remove and let cool slightly.

In small saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, espresso powder, 4 tablespoons sugar, and ¾ cup of cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a spatula until the mixture lightly coats the back of the spatula, 2-3 minutes. Do not boil.  Strain into the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth.  Refrigerate until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.
Using an electric mixture, beat the remaining 1 ¼ cup cream and 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form.
Add whipping cream in increments to chocolate mixture. Divide into 8 servings and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. If longer, let warm up slightly.

Garnish with shaved chocolate and raspberries.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Loeb's Onion Crunch - Product Review

I was recently contacted by Loeb's Onion Crunch and asked to give their product a try and share my review my readers.  They were so generous and sent me a couple of bottles and sample packages.   I LOVE it!  I have eaten it on a baked potato, grilled chicken, plain boring broccoli, frozen meals, salads, etc.  I have even snacked on it by itself.  This onion crunch has a great flavor and isn't as salty as other similar products.  I know it would be perfect on some of your holiday dishes  I plan to use it on my vegetable casserole on Thanksgiving!  I took a bottle to preschool to share with the teachers and they have been enjoying it at lunch on their sandwiches, frozen meals, etc.

Please visit Onion Crunch to read more about this great product and where it can be located.   They have a list of grocery stores all over the United States.  I was worried we couldn't find it in Omaha but I saw it at Baker's just day! It was on a separate promotional stand on the canned vegetable aisle.   There is a product locator on their website and I know it is also available at Amazon.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Casserole

Another new fabulous recipe!  I found this recipe on Pintrest which led me to The Dishy Decorator.  This is my first time to visit this fun blog and I loved it.  The Dishy Decorator is also a Southern Girl transplanted to the Midwest!  She adapted this recipe from Pillsbury Cinnamon French Toast Bake.   I made mine just like the Dishy Decorator and we loved it.  My husband heated it up several mornings before work - he especially loved it.   I think this would be great using the Pillsbury Orange Rolls too!

This is the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas morning treat.  I always have to make Sausage Pinwheels on our holiday mornings  (or usually when Jenna requests them :) but I may have to make this too!


Cinnamon Roll Casserole (adapted from thedishydeocrator.blogspot.com - adapted from Pillsbury)

2 Tbsp melted butter or cooking spray (I used cooking spray)
2 cans ( 12.4 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I actually forgot this and it was still yummy)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup
icing from the cinnamon rolls

Heat oven to 375.  Pour melted butter into a glass 9 x 13 baking dish or spray with cooking spray.  Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls.  Cut each roll into 8 pieces; place pieces over butter in baking dish.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in cream, cinnamon and vanilla until well blended.  Gently pour over roll pieces.  Sprinkle with pecans; drizzle with 1/4 cup maple syrup.  Bake 20-28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, remove metal covers from icing; microwave on medium (50 %) 10 - 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle.  Drizzle over top.  If desired, spoon extra syrup over individual servings ( I felt sweet enough so I didn't do this)

Printable Version



Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin & Wild Rice Soup

Love this new Fall recipe!  I got this recipe from Caleb and Suz - friends from church.  I was wanting to try a Pumpkin Soup of some sort and this sounds like just the one.  I knew my family would want some meat... so I added a some chicken and a few spices!  I took some extra to share with my preschool teacher friends and they also loved it!



Pumpkin and Wild Rice Soup

1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp butter
4 cups chicken broth
1   16 oz can pumpkin
1 1/3 cups cooked wild rice
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 cup heavy cream
snipped chives or parsley for garnish

I also added:

diced cooked chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Saute the onion in the butter in a large saucepan for 5 minutes.  Stir in the broth and pumpkin.  Heat, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 10-15 minutes.  Sire in the wild rice, chicken, pepper and any other seasonings.  Continue to heat for another 10 minutes.  Stir in the cream and heat through - do not boil.  Garnish with chives or parsley and served immediately.

Note: 2 cups of cooked butternut squash can be substituted for pumpkin

Printable Version

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spaghetti Bread

I saw this recipe on Pintrest - which then led me to Rhodes Bread.  I was intrigued - who doesn't love spaghetti and bread.  I added Italian sausage to the spaghetti and topped it was garlic salt/parsley.  We LOVED it!  It was sturdy, easy to cut and yummy to eat.  I wasn't so hot at the braiding though.  When I rolled my bread out, it was thinner on one side than another.  I will make this again in the future - hopefully perfecting the art of bread braiding!

One other thing - be creative with this spaghetti.  Add another meat or maybe mushrooms or black olives.  I think a Chicken Alfredo Bread would also be yummy!





Spaghetti Bread - Adapted from Rhodes Bread

1 loaf of Rhodes Bread down, thawed to room temperature (I did the quick thaw on back of pkg)
6 oz spaghetti, cooked
1 cup thick spaghetti sauce
1-2 cups Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg white, beaten
Parmesan cheese
garlic salt/parsley
Italian seasoning

Spray counter with non - stick cooking spray.  Roll loaf into a 12 x 16 rectangle - keeping as even as possible.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 minutes.  Combine cooked spaghetti, sauce, sausage and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese.  Mix well.  Place mixture lengthwise down middle of down in a 4 inch strip.  Top with rest of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Make cuts 1 1/2 inches apart on long sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of filling.  Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling.  Then braid strips left over right, right over left.  Finish by pulling lst strip over and tucking under braid. Lift braid with both hands and place on a large, sprayed baking sheet.  Brush with egg white and sprinkle with garlic salt, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly and slice to serve!

Printable Version

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Crumb Bars

A co-worker at preschool brought this yummy dessert to our most recent potluck birthday lunch.  I love the tart/sweet (raspberry/chocolate) combination - and they are buttery yummy, too!  Julie shared the recipe so I had to try it.  Julie's version was perfect but as usual, I did change a few things around.  I just decided to make it easier by skipping a step or two - and it was still yummy.




Chocolate Raspberry Crumb Bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, divided
14 oz can condensed milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts ( I used slivered almonds and didn't chop)
1/3 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Beat butter in a large bowl til creamy - gradually beating in flour, sugar and salt until well mixed.  With floured fingers, press 1 1/4 cups (or a little more) of the crumb mixture onto bottom of the pan.  Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Combine 1 cup of chocolate chips with condensed milk in a small sauce pan - melt over low heat stirring til smooth.  (I skipped this step and just pour the condensed milk over the crust and topped with 1 cup chocolate chips).  Stir nuts into remaining crust and sprinkle this over the chocolate chip/condensed milk layer.  Spoon little amounts of raspberry jam over crumb mixture and top with remaining cup of chocolate chips.  Bake for 25-30 minutes - til edges are brown and top is lightly golden.

Printable Version

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Taylor's Favorite - "Better Than Sex" Cake

I grew up calling another dessert - "Better Than Sex".  It was that layered dessert with pecans, butter and flour on the bottom layer, powdered sugar and cream cheese layer, chocolate pudding, layer, Cool Whip layer and chocolate shavings.  It is also amazing!

Annie's best friend, Taylor, LOVES this version of "Better Than Sex".  Her sweet Grandma Martin makes it for her every chance she gets.  I have eaten this cake often when gathering with our dear friends but I hadn't made it til recently.  My girls love it too.  I made it planning to take to preschool to share with the teachers and my youngest wasn't thrilled that I was taking it someplace else.  I, of course, left a few pieces at home.

This cake is easy and delicious!  I like keeping the items on hand so I can make it anytime I need a quick, fun dessert.  Everybody loves this "Better Than Sex"!


Annie and Taylor - so miss these two college freshman



"Better Than Sex" Cake

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix, cooked according to directions
1 can condensed milk
1 jar Mrs. Richardsons butterscotch and caramel sauce
1 small Cool Whip
toffee/chocolate pieces

Make the cake according to the directions.  Right out of the oven while the cake is hot, poke it with holes and pour in the condensed milk.  Continuing poking holes and pour in the butterscotch caramel sauce.  Allow cake to cool.  Top with Cool Whip and toffee/chocolate pieces.  Refrigerate and enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Italian Sausage Ravioli Lasagna

Okay, on Tuesday, I posted a recipe from Southern Living.... Ravioli Spinach Lasagna.  The girls loved it and we just devoured it.  I purchased a large bag of cheese ravioli from Costco so I was itching to try another version.  This was also a huge hit.  I can't believe how easy this recipe is and how much my family loved it.  I am not always a fan of jarred red sauce but this worked - especially combined with the Italian sausage.  Give a try!  Be creative and make your own version!

 Excuse the LARGE piece of sausage front and center of my picture.  :)

Italian Sausage Ravioli Lasagna

1 lb sweet Italian sausage, crumbled while browning
1 jar of favorite red sauce - I used Emeril's Gaahlic variety
Italian seasoning
25 oz bag cheese ravioli
4 oz or so of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
4 oz or so of the Italian 6 cheese variety, shredded

Preheat the oven to 375.  Brown and crumble the Italian sausage; Drain; add back into skillet with jar of red sauce and heat.  In a small bowl, mix the two cheeses together.  Spray a 2 quart souffle dish cooking spray.  Spoon some sauce in the bottom of pan.  Top with half of ravioli in a single layer on sauce.  Top a little more sauce, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and a layer of cheese. Add another layer of sauce, ravioli, Little Italian seasoning, little sauce, other half of ravioli, rest of sauce then top with a layer of cheese.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  (The layering really doesn't matter so much in this dish - can do it anyway and it will taste great)

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spinach-Ravioli Lasagna

This recipe was a huge hit with the family.  We always have leftovers - my girls just don't eat a lot.  Well, I have one in college but Jenna had a friend over and after dinner.... it was ALL gone.  It was SO easy and VERY good.

                        Not a great picture - once again - still tasted great!

Spinach-Ravioli Lasagna (adapted from Southern Living)

1  ( 6 oz) pkg fresh baby spinach, washed and chopped
1/3 cup refrigerated pesto
1  (15 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1  (25 oz) pkg frozen cheese filled ravioli - do not thaw
1 cup ( 4 oz) shredded Italian six-cheese blend
Garnishes - chopped fresh basil, paprika ( mine might have looked better with a garnish :)

Preheat oven to 375.  Chop spinach and toss in a medium bowl with pesto sauce.  Combine Alfredo sauce and broth.  Spoon 1/3  (about 1/2 cup) into bottom of a lightly greased 11 x 7 baking dish.  Top with half of spinach mixture.  Arrange half of ravioli in a single layer over spinach.  Repeat layers once and top with remaining Alfredo sauce.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with Italian cheese.  Bake for 5 more minutes - or until hot and bubbly.  Garnish, if desired.

Printable Version

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Brown Sugar Frosted Pecan Sandies

I was looking for a shortbread type cookie and found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks - Dining by Fireflies - by the Junior League of Charlotte.  I have always loved everything I have tried from there and this cookie was no different.  It was wonderful!  I even wrapped a few up and sent them to my college freshman and she gave them a thumbs up - 5 days after baking them!


Brown Sugar Frosted Pecan Sandies (adapted from Dining by Fireflies)

Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans, (finely chopped)  (I think I forgot this ingredient and it would have made them even better)

Frosting

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup half and half
1 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 to 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter and sugars in large bowl with mixer until well blended.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl and gradually add to creamed mixture.  Mix well after each addition.  Stir in chopped pecans and chill dough 30 minutes. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.  When completely cool. spread cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting and top with a pecan half.

For Frosting - Combine brown sugar and half and half in a small saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, ntil mixture comes to a boil.  Continue to boil 4 minutes - stirring.  Remove from heat and stir in butter.  Add 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and beat with mixer until smooth.  Add more powdered sugar if needed to reach spreading consistency.

Printable Version

 



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Grilled Barbecue Sausage

 This is a favorite recipe of our family and friends.  My hubby often makes it for 4th of July gatherings and other parties.  We had a Bunco party this past weekend with some friends from church.  It was kind of a crazy day so I suggested Chris grill this sausage  - knew all of the guys would enjoy it.  It is just two ingredients... a pkg of Hillshire Farm or Ekrich Smoked Sausage and Kraft original barbque sauce.  I know you are thinking you have another favorite sauce in mind but we have tried several different varieties and the Kraft original works the best in this situation - it kind of "candies" or caramelizes on the sausage and works great!   Serve with toothpicks!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

SCOOPS dessert

My good friend Shelley makes this really fun dessert that is SCOOPS Fritoes with Scotch-a-Roo items piled on top.  I know it sounds weird but it is so yummy and very addicting.  You have to try it!


SCOOPS dessert

1 Family size bag Scoops - lay them all out "scoop side up" on two foil lined cookie sheets (I used 3 platters for 3 different events)

In a small sauce pan, heat to a boil 1 cup Karo syrup, then add 1 cup sugar and stir til dissolve and then add 1 cup creamy peanut butter.   Drizzle over the SCOOPS.

Melt in a microwave save bowl - 1 cup milk chocolate chips ( I used semi sweet), 1 cup butterscotch chips and 1 cup peanut butter.  Drizzle over Karo mixture.  Put in fridge for a bit to harden.


Printable Version

Friday, September 7, 2012

Banana Pound Cake

We love pound cake and we love bananas.  I always seem to have ripe bananas and found this recipe in my Southern Living Homestyle Cooking   .  I try not to cook with shortening since it isn't the healthiest but I gave this a try anyway. It was very yummy - dense and rich like a pound cake but with great banana/pecan flavors!


Banana Pound Cake ( adapted from Southern Living)

1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups mashed bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk  ( made my own with milk and little vinegar)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Beat shortening at medium speed with mixer for 2 minutes or until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating 5-7 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until yellow disappears.

Combine banana, buttermilk and vanilla.  Combine flour, soda and salt;  add to shortening mixture alternately  with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Mix at low speed after each addition just until blended.  Stir in pecans.  Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10 inch tube pan.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15-25 minutes - or until pick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Remove cake from pan, cool completely on wire rack.

Printable Version

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Layered Lemon Pie

It is still so hot here in Nebraska.  My mom reminded me of this yummy dessert from Roseville Bed and Breakfast outside of my hometown - Marshall, Texas.  Their Layered Lemon Dessert was perfect for a Labor Day friend gathering in this hot weather!  I didn't have extra Cool Whip for the topping so I topped with a quick squirt of Redd-Wip as it was served -  perfect!

          (taken with my iphone - just before eating :)

Layered Lemon Pie

Crust

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup ground pecans ( mine were just chopped)
1 1/2 cups butter

Melt butter in microwave, add flour and pecans.  Press into a 9 x 13 pyrex dish.  Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.  Cool

First layer

1 ( 8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 large cool whip (save rest for topping)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Mix all ingredients and spread over cooled crust.

Second layer

2 eggs
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cans condensed milk

Beat eggs well.  Add lemon juice ( the lemon juice cooks the eggs) and beat adding condensed milk.  Pour over cream cheese layer.  Place in refrigerator until set.  Before serving, spread with the rest of the Cool Whip.

Printable Version

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today, my 15 year old daughter had a craving for chocolate chip cookies.... and she wanted to make them all by herself.  She went to Pintrest and found a link over to All Recipes for this yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Meg did make them ALL by herself and they were fabulous.  She used my large cookie scoop and she was so proud of herself!  She just bagged up a few to take to school tomorrow to share with friends.

I have to say - they looked amazing and tasted even better!  I love the larger cookies!  The baking soda in hot water really helped the cookies keep a nice shape!  Way to go Meg!



Best Chocolate Chip Cookies 

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (Meg left these out)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together butter and sugars.  Beat in eggs one at a time - then stir in vanilla.  Dissolve baking soda in hot water.  Add to batter along with salt.  Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts.  Drop by large spoonfuls onto an ungreased pan.  Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until edges are nicely brown.  * Meg had to bake for 12 minutes using the large cookie scoop

Printable Version

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

What a great new side dish!  We have been roasting a ton of vegetables this summer.  I think we have had roasted green beans several times a week - I thought we were due to try another veggie.  I found his recipe in Ina Garten's ....How Easy is That?  My sweet cousin Cristy gave me this fun cookbook when they were visiting from Texas.

I love this roasted cauliflower.  I am not always a huge fan of cauliflower because just have never found a great way to prepare it.  This was yummy - my girls and their friends ate it - we ate every bite.  I highly recommend it.

I will give you Ina's recipe as she gives it.  The only thing I did differently is I used slivered almonds instead of pine nuts and I didn't add the lemon juice at the end!  :)  Enjoy!


Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower (Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa - How Easy is That?)

1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
4 1/2 Tbsp of good olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced ( I didn't use fresh)
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 450.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves.  Boil for 15 seconds then drain, peel and cut off any brown parts.  Cut the large cloves lengthwise.

On a sheet pan, toss the  cauliflower with the garlic, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Spred the mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20 - 25 minutes, tossing twice, until cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.

Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices.  Add the remaining  11/2 Tbsp olive oil, parsley,  nuts and lemon juice.  Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and toss well.  Serve hot or warm.

Printable Version


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Salted Peanut Chews

Do you like a Salted Nut Roll?  My hubby does!  Two co-teachers shared this recipe with me several years back.  If you like a Salted Nut Roll, you will love this bar recipe.


Salted Peanut Chews

Base:

1 box yellow cake mix
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
3cups miniature marshmallows

Topping:

2/3 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 (10 oz) bag peanut butter chips
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1/3 cup butter and egg - beat at low speed.  Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 12 to 18 minutes or until light brown.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with marshmallows - lightly pressing into crust.  Return to oven and bake 1-2 minutes or just until marshmallows begin to puff.  Cool while preparing topping.

In a saucepan, combine all topping ingredients except cereal and peanuts.  Heat just until chips are melted - stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and pour over cereal and peanuts.  Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows - spread to cover.  Refrigerate one hour or until firm.  Cut into bars and store in an airtight container!

Printable Version

Friday, August 17, 2012

Annie is off to Baylor

I cannot believe we just dropped our oldest off at Baylor University!  I went to Baylor so you have to know I was thrilled when Annie chose to attend Baylor.  The fact that Waco, Texas is about 13 hours from Omaha, Nebraska isn't the greatest but I know Annie is where God wants her to be.  She has a wonderful roommate and she has already connected with friends from the past as well as making a ton of new friends.  Baylor does a great job of connecting everyone through Baylor Line Camp and Welcome Week.  

Prayers for our sweet girl as she starts this new chapter in her life!  We love you Annie!


Annie and Gracie got a corner room so it was a little bigger than most - they were thrilled.  Annie was so excited when she and Gracie were first introduced to find out ..... they both love yellow.  AND - they both wear a size 7 shoe!  What more could a girl want in a roommate!

Annie and Gracie - Baylor University Freshmen :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spiced Peach Nut Bread

First, I want to apologize for not sharing as many recipes lately.  Summer, travel, full-time work, dieting and getting my oldest ready for college - I just haven't been cooking as much!  I have posted about 300 recipes  over the past couple years.  I hope you will still search the blog for a new idea.

A friend of the family in Marshall shared this yummy recipe several years back.  Diane is a great cook and an awesome friend to my mom.  Diane said I could share this recipe with you.  Enjoy!


Spiced Peach Nut Bread

2 cups flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp butter, melted
16 can sliced peaches, diced (reserving 1/2 cup juice)
        ( can use peaches with syrup or in own juice)
1 cup chopped pecans

Powdered Sugar glaze (made with peach juice and powdered sugar)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients with a mixer - beat for two minute at medium speed.  Pour into a well greased loaf pan.  Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Immediately remove from pan - cool completely.  If desired, drizzle with glaze.  Wrap tightly or store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Printable Version

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

A co-worker recently reminded me of this yummy treat.  My family loves ice cream  so I knew this Ice Cream Sandwich Cake would be a huge hit.  We were in Texas and my brother was frying fish for us.  This is a favorite meal - not healthy but a favorite.  We had fried fish and shrimp, french fries, hush puppies and cole slaw - a wonderful Fish Fry.  Rob is an amazing cook!  We didn't need dessert after this big meal but  that doesn't usually stop us.

I love this Ice Cream Sandwich Cake because you can be so creative.  We just layered ice cream sandwiches ( we did 32 minis - 16 on each layer), small amount of Cool Whip, Hershey's chocolate syrup, Heath chocolate/toffee pieces with some toasted pecans on the very top.  You could add caramel sauce or use Oreo pieces, or Peanut butter cups or chopped Butterfingers and chopped peanuts.  This dessert took us about 10 minutes to assemble AND it can be made in advance AND it tastes yummy - what more could you ask for!


        Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Layer items in a 9 x 13 pan and refreeze until ready to serve.

Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cool Whip - thin layer
Hershey's Chocolate syrup
Heath Chocolate/Toffee Pieces
Toasted Pecans

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Heavenly Brownies

We love brownies at our house - actually we love all sugar but brownies are a favorite.  My neighbor in Houston, Kendra, was a great cook.  She shared this recipe with me and it is always a hit.  I think it might have to do with the two sticks of butter... of course, the pecans.  This will become one of your favorite recipes - almost always have the ingredients on hand to whip up for guests!



Heavenly Brownies

Mix at low speed:

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 heaping Tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Add:

2 sticks melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans.

Pour into a  greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes.  ENJOY!!

Printable Version

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Spicy Pecan and Feta Cheese Salad

This is an amazing salad recipe.  I made it for a 4th of July party and we loved it.  My hubby and I loved it so much, we had it the next night with grilled chicken on top.  The recipe calls for blue cheese but I am not a huge fan so I used feta cheese.  It is the perfect combination of sweet, tart and spicy.

I got this recipe from my friend Pam a few years back - not sure where she got it.  The Spicy Pecan part of this recipe is heavenly.  I made about 3 cups of Spicy Pecans and we are still enjoying them.  I think they would be great to have around to put on any salad or they would make a yummy Christmas gift - all packaged up nicely.  Please try the pecans - you won't regret it!

One last thing, the vinaigrette calls for onion juice.  I had no idea so of course, I GOOGLED it.  It said I could find onion juice in some stores or puree some onions.  I remember I had some chopped vidalia onions in the freezer.  I thawed them, snipped the corner of the ziploc bag and guess what - I had onion juice.  You could probably leave it out but I didn't want to chance it!

(not at great picture - taken quickly at party before eating :)



Spicy Pecan and Feta Cheese Green Salad

Vinaigrette:

2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup white vinegar
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 1/2 tsp onion juice
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup vegetable oil

Combine sugar, dry mustard, salt and vinegars.  Stir til sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in onion juice and Worcestershire.  Add oil slowly, whisking until blended.

Salad:

4 cups mixed greens
2 green onions, chopped
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (or favorite bleu cheese)
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Spicy Pecans (or more to taste)

Spicy Pecans

2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Hungarian paprika or more to taste(I used regular old paprika)
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups pecan halves
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 325.  Beat egg whites with salt to foamy.  Add sugar, worcestershire, paprika and cayenne. Fold in pecan and melted butter.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet .  Bake 25- 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes - making sure not to burn.  Remove from oven and cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Printable Version


Friday, July 6, 2012

Marble Squares

This recipe is from my friend - Tammy!  Tammy is a lunch buddy, a scrapbooking friend, etc.  Tammy doesn't love to cook but this is one of her "go-to" recipes, and we all love it at my house.  I had all of the ingredients on hand so I made it for the 4th of July.  I think you will add it to your "Go-To" recipes!


MARBLE SQUARES

1  8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

Combine softened cream cheese with sugar until well mixed.  Add egg and blend well.

1/2 cup margarine (I used butter)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream (all I had was light)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz pkg semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine margarine, water and chocolate squares in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Stir in combined flour and sugar.  Add eggs, sour cream, soda and salt.  Mix well.

Pour into greased and floured 15 1/3 x 10 1/2 jelly roll pan.  Spoon cheese mixture over chocolate batter.  Cut through batter with a knife several times for marble effect.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Printable Version

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lemon Ceasar Grilled Chicken

As I mentioned in my last post - we love to grill in the summer.  My crazy friend Kathy gave me this yummy marinade.  She said it was their favorite and we loved it too.  I made it recently with the BLT and Avocado Pasta Salad.

Kathy is an amazing photographer.  She took Annie's senior pictures and will also take Jenna's.  If you live in Omaha and need a photographer - visit Kathy Johnson Portraits.

Okay - back to food!  Try this yummy marinade this weekend when you are grilling out.  AND - try Lemon-Basil Chicken - another one of our favorites!


Lemon Ceasar Grilled Chicken

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. Dijon Style Mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken - pounded with a rolling pin between 2 pcs wax paper for even cooking

Combine ingredients (except chicken) in a bowl.  Put chicken in a ziploc bag - pour over marinade reserving 1/4 cup for basting.  Grill and enjoy!

Printable Version

Friday, June 29, 2012

BLT and Avocado Pasta Salad

I love my fellow bloggers.  Found this tasty recipe over at Greens and Chocolate - a blog that you must visit as Taylor always has great recipes.  I am always wanting a new summer salad for our grilling nights.  This BLT and Avocado Pasta Salad was a great new find.   Also, a few other great summer salads to try - Craisin Salad, Summer Chicken Salad,  Oriental Cabbage Salad and the Easy Living Salad.  Enjoy!


BLT and Avocado Pasta Salad

12 oz penne pasta (or other favorite pasta)
6 slices bacon
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp tried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to direction for al dente pasta.  Meanwhile, cook bacon as you would like.  Set aside and let cool.  In small bowl, combine mayo, yogurt, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Mix well - set aside.  In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, spinach and bacon.  Once pasta is cone cooking ,drain and pour over vegetables and bacon to slightly wilt spinach.  Toss with dressing and avocado.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Serve Cold.

Printable Version

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Frosted Brownies

As I mentioned before, I haven't been cooking much since summer started.  I am working full-time now and everyone is always on the go.

I searched in my old recipes and found this recipe from years back.  I noticed a friend from church, Liz, sent this to me via email back into 2001.  I am not sure why I haven't made it til now.  I had all of the ingredients on hand, trusted Liz's good judgement and gave these brownies a try.  We loved them.  With so many kids coming in and out, these were gone the next day!  Thanks Liz for a new recipe!


Brownies

2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup melted margarine (i used butter)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Mix together and bake in a greased 9 x 13 at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting (make while brownies are baking)

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Boil together sugar, milk and butter until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips.  Stir well.  Make frosting towards the end of the baking time for brownies.  Spread quickly because this frosting hardens fairly fast!

Printable Version

Friday, June 22, 2012

Chicken Tamale Bake

I just haven't been cooking much this summer.  It seems like no one is ever  home!  I did find this recipe over at The Daily Smash 101.  It reminded me of the Mexican Cornbread that my family loves so I gave it a try.  We enjoyed it.  The Daily Smash thought it was a good weekday meal and gave it a 4 1/2 rating.  I can taste the cornbread more in Mexican Cornbread.  I would probably let this bake til the cornbread is done before adding the sauce and chicken.  I still think it was a good choice for an easy weekday meal.  I used precooked grilled chicken from Costco that I cut into bite size pieces and heated it in the skillet with salt/pepper and some Mexican seasonings.  We were quite pleased!

Top with favorite toppings if desired - we enjoyed it as is!

Chicken Tamale Bake


1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
 1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 ( 14 3/4 oz) can cream corn
1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 lb shredded or diced chicken
salt/pepper
toppings - sour cream, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, etc.

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a 9 x 13 with cooking spray.  Mix cheeses in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cheese, milk, egg, cumin, chili powder, corn, muffin mix and green chiles.  Stir just until moistened. Pour into 9 x 13 and bake for 15 minutes or until done. While cornbread is baking, cook chicken in a skillet over medium heat until cooked completely through.  Drain and season with salt and pepper.  Remove cornbread from oven. top with enchilada sauce, cooked chicken and the rest of the cheese.  Bake for another 15 minutes or so.

Printable Version

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Loch Ness Bars

Found this new bar recipe in my Junior League Celebration Cookbook.  It is from the Children's Party Book in Hampton Roads, VA.  It is similar to a Scotch-a-Roo with more chocolate and added marshmallow.  I loved it - we all did but I think we all like Scotch-a-Roos better.  Still another great bar to try!


Loch Ness Bars  (Children's Party Book - Hampton Roads, VA)

1 stick butter
12 oz chocolate chips, divided
1 cup peanut butter
1 (10 oz) pkg miniature  marshmallows
4 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup peanuts (optional)
6 oz butterscotch chips

Combine the butter, 6 oz. chocolate chip and the peanut butter in a large saucepan.  Cook over low heat until melted, stirring until smooth.  Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.  Blend in the cereal and peanuts.  Spread in a  13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Chill until firm.  Melt the rest of the chocolate chips and and the butterscotch chips together, blending until smooth.  Spread on the chilled cereal mixture.  Cut into 1 x 2 inch bars.

Printable Version

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crack Dip

I just haven't gotten back in my cooking mode after a crazy graduation season.  I was looking around other blogs to be inspired.  I love Annie Bakes.  You should totally visit her blog - she just posted the coolest Orange Jell-O Wedges.  She always has new and fun recipes for me to try.  We are always in more of a "snacky" mode in the summer so when I saw her recipe for "Crack Dip", I just knew we had to try it.  Yes, it is has this unique name due to the addictive nature of the dip!  We loved it!




CRACK DIP 

INGREDIENTS:

16 ounces sour cream
1 packet Ranch Dressing Mix
1 (3 ounce) jar Real bacon bits
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium size bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Serve with crackers, baguettes or pretzels.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

EASY Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Love this new recipe!  Donna teaches with me at preschool and she made this for us.  She was nice to share the recipe.  It is easy and makes two loaf pans.  We scarfed it up.  Enjoy!



Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

1 pkg lemon cake mix
1 small box instant coconut pudding
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil

Mix cake mix, pudding, eggs and oil together on medium speed for two minutes - then set aside for 15 minutes or longer.  Mix 1 cup boiling water and 1/4 cup poppy seeds and let stand for the 15 minutes.  Mix the two together and put into two greased bread pans or muffin tins.  Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes or until done in the middle.  Allow to cool slightly in pan then top with favorite glaze or frosting.

Lemon Glaze

2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh if have it
1 tsp lemon rind

Whisk together and drizzle over bread.

Printable Version

Monday, May 28, 2012

Crunchy Vanilla Clusters

What a great recipe!  You will just love these white chocolate crunchy clusters.  They are easy and so yummy.  We served these at Annie's party - courtesy of my sweet friend, Donna.  I have made these before during the holidays, and we just loved them.  Annie is a huge fan of white chocolate, so I knew these would be a nice addition to our dessert open house.  I highly recommend doubling this recipe as it only makes 3 dozen clusters and these will disappear quickly.  The recipe says to store them at room temperature - we like them at room temperature but we also like them stored in the refrigerator!


Crunchy Vanilla Clusters (adapted from Southern Living)

1 ( 3 ounce) pkg ramen noodles
3/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 ( 12 ounce) pkg white chocolate chips

Gently crush ramen noodles before open package.  Open package and discard flavoring packet.  Saute crushed noodles, pecans and almonds in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until toasted - avoid crushing noodles too find while sauteing.  Pour noodle mixture into a large bowl to cool.  Melt white chocolate according to package directions.  ( I used the microwave)  Pour melted chocolate over cooled noodle mixture, tossing gently to coat.  Drop candy mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto wax paper;  let stand until firm - about 45 minutes.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.  Makes about 3 dozen  (we also like ours cold - stored in fridge )

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Annie's graduation party

In Nebraska, the tradition is for the family of the graduate to have an open house.  The parties start in early May and go to early June.  The food is often favorites of the graduate.  One might be a brunch, another catered Mexican food or Italian food or BBQ.  We chose to do a dessert open house since Annie loves ice cream and frosting. I had a blast planning and picking out some of Annie's favorites and of course, adding crowd favorites.  Cheese burger in Paradise serves Blue Bell Ice Cream from Texas and they were so kind to order me 3 gallons of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla.  This was a huge a hit so I will have to have more if we do this theme for Jenna next year.  The sundae bar was such fun.  We also had a "Candy Bar" with some favorite candies.  The dessert table was filled with Oreo Balls, Red Velvet Cake Balls, Monster Bars, English Toffee and popcorn balls from our local Vic's Popcorn.  I even through in a favorite of Annie's - animal crackers and canned vanilla frosting.  The delightful cupcakes were made by Corie at Sweets from Scratch.

After lots of prayer, TONS of help from friends and family, the party was a a success.  My wonderful friends dipped and frosted for about 4 hours the night before the party, while another made cupcakes and a candy for the party.  My sweet friends also worked the ENTIRE party so I could mingle. God graced us with a beautiful night as well, and it was so nice to have my mom and Chris' parents here to celebrate with Annie.

The Candy Bar - I had little treat bags stamped with "Annie" for treats to go ")







We also had a DIY Photo Booth set up in the basement with props, etc.  We got some priceless pics!


Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Graduate

Hi Friends, I am so sorry that I haven't posted in a while.  Annie just graduated from high school this weekend and life has been crazy.  I have been cooking a ton but nothing new to post.  Here in Nebraska, many host an open house for their graduate.  We had ours on Friday night - a dessert theme.  Thanks to a ton of friends and family, we pulled it off.  We had more Oreo balls, Red velvet cake balls, sugar cookies, etc....than you can image.  I promise to post pictures soon.

I have to brag just a tince.  Annie graduated number one in her class of a little of 200.  This is a new high school and she is part of the first senior class.  She had an awesome high experience and plans to attend Baylor University in the Fall.  I went to Baylor and I just know Annie will love it as much as I did!


Annie - Class of 2012 - Elkhorn South High School

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Butterfinger Cake

I have to admit I am not sure where I got this recipe.  I found it a while back while searching on the internet and I was remiss in writing down where the recipe came from.  I would be glad to give you credit if this recipe is from you  - please let me know.

This Butterfinger Cake is fluffy and delightful.  It is in my freezer as I type this... just calling my name.  I think in the future, I would put another layer of the crumb mixture between the ice cream and the whipped topping.  I like more crunch - than fluff!


Butterfinger Ice Cream Cake

1  sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed (about 32)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 Butterfingers, crushed
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk
1   3.4 oz pkgs vanilla instant pudding
1 quart chocolate frozen yogurt, thawed
12 oz or more whipped topping - divided

In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients.  Set aside 1/2 cup for topping.  Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Chill for 5 minutes.  In another large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes, let stand for 2 more minutes or until set.  Stir in frozen yogurt (I used a mixer as my yogurt wasn't totally thawed and it worked great).  Add one cup of whipped topping.  Spread over crust.  Top with remaining whipped topping.  Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.  Freeze for at least 8 hours.  Enjoy!

Printable Version

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Layered Enchilada Casserole

My friend from church, Sara, shared this recipe a while back.  She said it is family favorite.  She also said it freezes well.  We just enjoyed this for dinner tonight and the girls loved it.

Not a great picture - but yummy still the same!

Layered Enchilada Casserole

1 lb hamburger, browned or 2 cups diced cooked chicken
3 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1 can chopped green chiles
1  8 oz sour cream
burrito size flour tortillas
1  16 oz can refried beans
1  10 oz Old El Paso enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Mix meat, 1 1/2 cups cheese, sour cream, green chiles and 2/3 of enchilada sauce.  Layer 3 tortillas (going up side of pan), top with half of the beans, then 1/2 of meat mixture.  Layer 3 more tortillas, remaining beans, other half of meat mixture and top with 2 more tortillas.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top and cover with cheese.   Cover with foil and Bake 45-55 minutes until bubbly or heated through.  Garnish with green onion, lettuce and tomato if desired. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lemon Loaf with Lemon Glaze

I know, I know.... another lemon recipe.  My middle daughter wasn't happy - wishing this was a plain pound cake or something with chocolate.  I heard..." Another Lemon Recipe!"  I mentioned I had this large bag of lemons from Costco.  I still have 4 or 5 so I may not be done with my lemon creativity!

This lemon loaf is delightful!  I love the crunchy top that is formed by the glaze... and how moist the top of the loaf gets from the glaze.  I have a tendency to under-cook loaf cakes and breads.  I am so worried about them being dry that I take them out early and then I have a raw center.  I cooked this right at an hour but the middle wasn't finished cooking.  Get out that handy cake tester and use it in the middle.  You don't want to have to throw out any of this yummy Lemon Loaf!


Lemon Loaf - adapted from The Junior League Celebration Cookbook

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus 2 Tbsp
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk (I made my own with milk and a tsp or so of white vinegar)
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional but I used chopped pecans)

Glaze:

1/2 cup sugar
juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Cream butter,and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, beat in the eggs.  Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the batter, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix well.  Stir in lemon zest and nuts, if desired - mix well.  Pour into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake one hour or until cake tester comes out clean.

While the loaf is baking, stir together the sugar and lemon to make your glaze.  Allow the mixture to stand until the sugar dissolves.

Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan, pierce the top of the loaf with a cake tester in quite a few places.  Spoon the lemon glaze over the loaf.  Allow to cool, then slice and serve.

Printable Version

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pecan Pie Bars

I love pecan pie!  I saw this post on another blog and just had to try it.  They are so good!  I love the shortbread crust!  Please visit Just a Taste for the recipe and to see her wonderful pictures of this yummy dessert!

Pecan Pie Bars :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lemon Bars

I have been on a lemon kick lately.  I bought a huge bag of lemons from Costco so I am being adventurous.  Annie's graduation party is in May, and we are serving all desserts.  I found this lemon bar recipe, and I just love it.  It isn't too difficult, yet nice and lemony but not too sweet..... I love the shortbread-type crust.  The recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar in the filling.  I made a batch with 1/2 cups of sugar and one with 1 cup sugar.  Both were good - just depends on how sweet you like your lemon bars!  I also doubled the recipe - baked in a 9 x 13 and they were perfect!



Lemon Bars (adapted from Taste of Home)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Filling:

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
additional powdered sugar for dusting

Combine flour, butter and powdered sugar in a bowl.  Using a fork, mix til crumbly.  Pat into an 8x8 greased pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 - or until golden.  For filling, beat eggs in a medium bowl.  Add sugar, flour, baking powder,lemon juice and peel;  Beat until frothy.  Pour over the hot crust.  Bake 25 minutes longer or until light golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

9 servings - 263 calories, 11 grams fat; 74 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium

Printable Version 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

For some reason, I wanted to make cookies with Ricotta cheese.  I found this recipe at The Food Network by Giada De Laurentiis with over 600 good reviews - I knew I had found my recipe.

I LOVE them.  I am a chocolate girl but I so love these cookies.  The texture is amazing and I especially love the yummy lemony glaze.  I truly think the glaze makes the cookies.  I must have been a little over zealous with the glaze as I ran out and had to make a little more.  Giada suggest making large cookies with 2 tablespoons of cookie dough.  I didn't - I only use on tablespoon using my cookie scoop.

If you love lemon, you will LOVE these cookies.



Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze ( adapted from Giada De Laurentiis from The Food Network)

Cookies:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) container whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 375.  In a medium bowl, combine, flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Beat to combine and stir in dry ingredients.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spoon dough (about 2 Tbsp each... I only did 1 Tbsp) onto cookie sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes until edges or golden.  Remove from the oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 20 minutes.  Glaze.

Glaze:

Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl stirring until smooth.  Spoon about 1/2 tsp onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread.  Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours then pack into a decorative container.

Printable Version

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ham and Cheese Croissant Casserole - Make Ahead

I am liking this idea of "Make Ahead" breakfast casseroles.  My family loves having "backwards night" and having breakfast for dinner.  I love coming home and just popping my casserole in the oven!

This was easy and tasty.  My friend Lori who is a rather conservative "eater" thought it was amazing.  My hubby on the other hand has an adventurous palate and thought it was good but could be jazzed up a bit.  He would prefer I didn't use croissants (didn't love the sweet) but maybe an asiago bagel.  He also thought I should use a more flavorful cheese and maybe a crunchy veggie.   He did however eat every bite!

I didn't have as much ham as I thought so I threw in a cup of precooked bacon crumbles.  This added a nice texture and flavor.  I know your family will enjoy this new breakfast casserole.  Be creative!


Ham and Cheese Croissant Casserole (adapted from Southern Living)


3 (5-inch) large croissants, diced
1 (8 oz) package chopped cooked ham
1 (5 oz) package Swiss cheese, shredded
6 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1 Tbsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (optional - I used an 1/8)

Place croissant pieces into a lightly greased deep-dish pie plate.  Top with ham and cheese.  Whisk together eggs, next 5 ingredients and if desired, nutmeg and pour over croissants.  Press croissants down to submerge in egg mixture.  Cover tightly and chill 8 - 24 hours.  Preheat oven to 325.  Bake, covered for  35 minutes.  Uncover and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until browned and set.  Don't rush so to get middle set.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Printable Version