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.