Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Pin It A gooey, delicious cake that can be served as a decadent breakfat or a delicious dessert or even an after school snack.  Super easy, but super impressive.  Also it fills your house with the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon rolls.  Mmmm!

Cinnamon Roll Cake
1 box butter pecan cake mix (yellow would work fine too)
oil, water and eggs to make cake according to box
1 c butter, softened
1 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 T water

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Make cake mix according to box direcions.  Pour into a greased 9 x13 pan.
3. Mix all ingredients for the filling together until well blended.
4.Drop spoonfuls of filling on top of the cake batter.  Use a knife to swirl the filling in the batter.
5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Allow cake to cool completely before glazing.
7. Mix all ingredients for glaze together in a bowl.  Add water until it is a smooth consistency good for drizzling.
8. Drizzle glaze over the top of the cake.


drop filling on top of batter

swirl with a knife

gooey deliciousness :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mini Donuts

Pin It I got some pretty awesome presents this year, but one of my favorites that is definitely going to get a lot of use is my Babycakes Mini Donut Maker.  Whip up delicious donuts in a matter of minutes.  I'm so excited to use this on one of those days that I really want donuts, but don't want to venture out to get some.  These are also much healthier than your average onut because they are not fried.  This was my first attempt and they turned out pretty good.  I will definitely be experimenting so look forward to new donut recipes soon.  This recipe makes 24 mini donuts.  I know this sounds like a lot, but since they are small they tend to get gobbled up.

Mini Donuts
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp vegetable oil

Powdered sugar
cinnamon and sugar

Chocolate Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp milk

1. Turn on donut maker to allow it to heat up.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix unil large lumps are gone.
4. Stir in oil until well blended.
5. Generously coat donut maker with cookig spray.
6. Put batter into a gallon size ziptop bag and seal.  Cut off one corner so the batter can flow out.**
7. Fill each donut mold with about 2 T of mixture.  Work quickly because the machine is very hot and starts to cook immediately.
8. Close lid and allow donuts to cook for about 5 minutes.  (Wait at least 3 minutes before checking on them or the donuts will split in half)
9. Remove from maker to cool.

** My instruction manual recommended using a bag to pour the batter into the molds.  It worked well for filling the donuts, but since the batter is quite runny it would leak out between batches.  I tried to spoon the batter into the molds and ended up with a mess and donuts without holes.  That being said, use the bag to fill your molds, but have a container to rest the bag in so you don't end up with a disaster.**
Topping Options
For powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar coated donuts:

1. Put sugar mixture of your choice (about 1/2 cup) in a brown paper lunch bag. 
2. As soon as donuts are finished cooking, put them in the bag and shake until they are covered.
3. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

For Chocolate Glazed donuts:

1. Mix glaze ingredients until smooth.
2. Allow donuts to cool completely before frosting.
3. Dip donut tops in glaze and allow to dry on a wire rack.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Classic Cheesecake

Pin It I love a good piece of decadent cheesecake.  This is my favorite cheesecake recipe.  It turns ou perfect everytime.  Believe me, after many failed attempts at making cheesecake, this recipe wins hands down.

Classic Cheesecake
12 chocolate graham cracker, finely crushed (can use regular graham crackers if you want)
1/2 stick butter, melted
4 pkg cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 T vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Mix crushed grahams and butter.  Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch sprig form pan.
3. Cream sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
4.Add eggs on at a time until well blended.
5. Pour mxture over crust.
6. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until center is almost set.
7. Run a knife along the endge to loosen.  Cool completely in pan before serving.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thin Mints

Pin It Thin Mints remind me of selling cookies as  Girl Scout.  These taste quite similar and can be enjoyed year round.  I love making these at Christmas time because they are no bake so they can be made while I'm waiting for other cookies to get out of the oven.  Another pretty addition to holiday cookie trays.  I usually end up making at least a double batch of these also.

Thin Mints
1 bag mint chocolate chips (I used Nestle Toll House)
25 Ritz Crackers
crushed candy canes for garnish

1. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl.
2. Microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
3. Dip crackers in the chocolate and lay on wax paper.
4. Sprinkle candy canes on top to give it a estive touch.
5. Allow to cool completely before trying to remove from wax paper.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

Pin It Another holiday staple for my family.  I love adding these to a cookie tray because you can sprinkle them around to fill in gaps.  I also like to have a smalll bowl of them out at my house during holiday gatherings because they are a great finger food that guests of all ages enjoy.  I usually make a triple batch because they are gobbled up so quickly around here.

Rolo Pretzel Turtles
1 bag Rolo candies, unwrapped
25-30 round pretzels (or any shape small pretzels)
25-30 pecan halves

1. Arrange 10-12 pretzels on a wax paper covered microwave safe plate.
2. Put one Rolo cany in the center of each pretzel.
3. Microwave pretzels and Rolos for 30 seconds, or until Rolos are just melted.
4. Quickly press a pecan on top of each Rolo, flattening it into the pretzel.
5. Repeat with remaining pretzels and Rolos.
5. Allow to cool completely before removing from wax paper.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Pin It Just to show you how easy the previous recipe is to adapt to your liking.  Here is the chocolate version.  Other successful varieties include: spice cake with white chocolate chips, butter pecan cake with pecans, carrot cake with raisins and nuts.  As you can see the possibilities are endless.  Whatever flavor cake mix  you have on hand will do.

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup white chocolate chips
powdered sugar

1. preheat oven to 350
2. Cream butter, cream cheese and egg until smooth.
3. Mix in cake mix until well combined.
4.Stir in chocolate chips
5. Put 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Drop tablespoon sized globs of dough in powdered sugar and coat thoroughly.
6. Place dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden on the bottom and can easily be remove from parchment paper.

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pin It While I have been MIA, I have not been idle.  I was also anxiously awaiting my early Christmas present from my hubby: a brand new high def camera so I can take decent pictures of my culinary creations.  Lots of posts in the days to follow. 
These are my go-to cookie recipe for the holidays (or really any time of the year).  I learned to make these while working at a catering company when I was 16.  They have been a staple in my kitchen ever since.  I love them because I generally have all of the ingredients handy.  The recipe is also quite versatile and can be changed to a new flavor instantly.

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 box yellow cake mix
1 pkg cream cheese, softened (can be reduced fat, but not fat free)
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream butter, cream cheese and egg until smooth.
3. Mix in cake mix until well combined.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Pour about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl.  Drop tablespoon sized globs (not perfect balls or sugar won't stick) into the powdered sugar and coat well.
6. Place dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or unil golden brown on bottom and when the cookies can be picked up off of the parchment paper without sticking.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Pin It Add some excitement to your breakfast with an egg and hashbrown casserole.  This recipe can serve a crowd and doesn't require constant babysitting if you were making all eggs to order. 

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole
6 eggs (can use egg substitute)
1/2 c sour cream
dash of hot sauce
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 T butter
1 T green chiles
3 T white onion, finely chopped
2 cups shredded hashbrown potatoes
4 precooked breakfast sausage links, cup into pieces or 1/4 lb cooked sausage crumbles
2/3 c shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously butter an 8x8 baking dish or an 8-9 inch pie pan.
3. Put butter, onions, green chiles and  hashbrowns in a skillet.  Cook for 5-10 minutes or until starting to brown.
4. Meanwhile, mix eggs, hot sauce, sour cream and seasoned salt until well combined.
5. Press hashbrown mixture in the bottom and up the sides of baking dish.
6. Sprinkle sausage on top of hasbrowns.
7. Pour egg mixture over sausage.
8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until almost set in the middle and edges are golden.
9. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes, or until melted.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brown Sugar Baked Bacon

Pin It Two ingredients, 20 minutes, breakfast perfection.  Yes, please!

Brown Sugar Baked Bacon
1/2 lb bacon
3/4 cup brown sugar

1. preheat oven to 350.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top of the foil.  Spray rack generously with cooking spray.
3. Put bacon and brown sugar in a gallon size zip top bag.  Shake to coat evenly.
4. Arrange bacon in a single layer on the wire rack.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp.
6. Allow to cool slightly before moving to a serving dish or the brown sugar will be too sticky.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Praline French Toast Bake

Pin It I recently hosted a girls' brunch at my house with my friends.  This week all of the recipes will be brunch inspired.  This recipe can feed a crowd and it is prepared the night before and baked in the morning so it would be perfect for Christmas morning.  Your house also smells like warm vanilla and cinnamon.

Praline French Toast Bake
1 loaf French bread
8 large eggs (can use egg substitute)
1 cup milk
2 cups vanilla almond milk or whipping cream
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla

Praline Topping
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 T light corn syrup
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Slice the bread into 1 inch slices and arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients, except praline topping,  and beat with a whisk until blended, but not frothy.
3. Pour mixture over the bread, making sure all pieces are covered well.
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. Make praline topping by heating all ingredients in a saucepan and heating over medium heat.  Heat until boiling and boil until the top becomes frothy (about 4-5 minutes).
6, Pour evenly over the top of the bread.
7. Bake uncovered at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Pin It With all of the Thanksgiving gatherings this past week I am sick of eating turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy.  My tastebuds need a wake up with some new flavors.  That's why I decided to make some chicken tortilla soup.  This makes a large pot full of soup so invite a crowd over or be prepared for delicious leftovers for days to come.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 c water
1 can corn, drained
1 can white hominy, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
juice of 1 lime
3 T green chiles, more or less to taste
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
sour cream
shredded cheddar
cilantro, chopped

1. In a large soup ot saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, crushed tomatoes, broth and water.  Bring to a boil.
2. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, hominy, green chiles, chicken and lime juice.  Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour.
3. Just before serving, stir in the tortilla strips.  Serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Pin It
Our first official date was to Red Lobster.  Ever since then we have had an obsession with their rolls, however our checkbooks and waistlines don't allow us to eat there as frequently as we would like.  I stumbled across this recipe in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and it is pretty darn close to the real deal.  These are now a staple at our dinner table because they are so quick to prepare and I usually have the ingredients on hand.

Copycap Cheddar Bay Biscuits
2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 c milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 T butter
1 tsp garlic salt
1 T parsley flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine Bisquick , milk and cheese until it forms a ball of dough.
3. Drop spoonfuls of dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Hint: they turn out best when you don't roll them into perfect balls.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slighly golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, melt butter and garlic salt together. 
6. Remove rolls from oven and brush butter mixture over warm rolls.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nutella Fruit Dip

Pin It So you probably noticed the 2 tone fruit dip in the last post.  That's because I was feeling creative and decided to make 2 flavors or dip for a holiday gathering.  My fruit dip recipe is extremely versatile.  You could add any flavor of yogurt, pudding, peanut butter, or anything else delicious you can blend in to the mixture.

Nutella Fruit Dip
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 c Nutella
1 container whipped topping

1. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
2. Stir in Nutella until well blended.
3. Fold in whipped topping.
4. Serve with fruits, cookies and graham crackers.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Crowd Pleasing Fruit Dip

Pin It Albert loves fruit dip.  He would eat it all day if I let him.  I don't mind making it though because then I know he will eat some fruit.  It has now become our go-to item to bring to potlucks and family gatherings because everyone loves it.  Only 3 ingredients and you can easily whip it up in 5 minutes.  Leftovers keep for up to a week in your fridge.

Crowd Pleasing Fruit Dip
1 pkg cream cheese (reduced fat is fine), softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tub whipped topping

1. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
2. Fold in cool whip until well blended.
3. Enjoy on your favorite fruits or graham crackers and cookies.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grandma's Blueberry Coffee Cake

Pin It This is one of those recipes that reminds me of my childhood.  It reminds me of waking up at my grandma's house to the smell of freshly baked breakfast.  This is a classic, dense coffee cake with plump, juicy blueberries and a delicious streusel topping, drizzled with vanilla glaze.  Breakfast perfection!
You could substitue any type of berries, cherries, fruit that you like.

Grandma's Blueberry Coffee Cake
3 1/3 c flour
1 1/3 c sugar
1 c butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 c powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix flour, sugar and butter with a pastry cutter until butter is broken up into pea-sized pieces.
3. Remove 1 1/2 cups of mixture and set aside for topping.
4. To the remaining flour mixture add eggs, milk, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.  Mix well with a hand mixer.
5. Spread batter in a lightly greased jelly roll pan.  Top with blueberries.  Sprinkle reserved topping on top.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned around edges.  Allow to cool completely.
7. Mix powdered sugar with 1 T of water to make a glaze.  Drizzle on top of cake.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Heavenly Ham Sandwiches

Pin It This is a great potluck lunch item.  Ham sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls, covered in a delicious butter mixture and oven baked to perfection.  Recipe can be doubled or halved depending on the number of mouths you have to feed.  These are great even the next day as long as you reheat them.

Heavenly Ham Sandwiches
12 Hawaiian rolls
1/2 lb thin sliced ham
4 slices swiss cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
poppy seeds

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice rolls in half.  Put ham and 1/4 piece of cheese on each roll and replace top.
3. Put butter, mustard, worchestershire and onion powder in microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave until butter is melted.  Stir to mix.
4. Place sandwiches in an oven safe baking dish. 
5. Spoon butter mixture over the top.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
6. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and chesse is melted.
7. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Bake S'mores Bars

Pin It Craving the gooey, melty, messiness of a s'more, but don't have access to a fire?  I have the treat for you.  These bars are easy, fast and taste just like the campfire favorite.  Great for after school snacks or lunch boxes.  This recipe makes an 8x8 pan, but if you double it you can make a 9 x 13 pan.

No Bake S'Mores Bars
3 3/4 cups mini marshmallows, divided
2 T butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups Golden Grahams cereal
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, divided

1. Put 3 cups of marshmallows and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.
2. Stir in vanilla then add cereal and coat well.
3. Mix in 1/2 cup of marshmallows and 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
4. Press into a well greased 8x8 pan.
5. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of marshmallows and chocolate chips on top.
6. Allow to cool before cutting (place in fridge if you are really hungry)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Pin It I have never been a huge fan of 5 ingredient or less recipes because I like experimenting and adding my own spices or ingredients to liven things up.  When I stumbled upon this recipe while watching Food Network one day, they made these cookies look so delcious that I had to try them.  I was pleasantly surprised.  They are moist and chewy and can be mixedup in the amount of time it takes to preheat your oven.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup natural, creamy peanut butter (I used Trader Joe's)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
sugar for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well blended.
3. Spoon tablespoons of dough into sugar and roll into balls.  Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
4. Press down with a fork to make a criss-cross pattern on the cookies.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  They will look under cooked.  Let cookies cool slightly before removing from baking sheet and placing on cooling rack.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stuffed Green Peppers

Pin It A great meal for a cold weeknight.  Warm, tomatoey, meaty goodness nestled inside crisp green pepper shells and toppd with cheese.  Very easy to assemble, minimal cleanup, great leftovers.  What more could you want?  These could easily be assembled the night before and baked when you get home from work.

Stuffed Green Peppers
4 medium green bell peppers
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Cut off tops of peppers and remove seeds.  Submerge peppers in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. ***do not skip the boiling or it will take forever to bake these***(I learned my lesson)
3. Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onions.  Drain well and return to skillet.
4. Add tomato sauce, rice and spices.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Remove peppers from water and drain well.  Place peppers in an oven safe dish.  Fill peppers with meat filling.  Top with shredded parmesan.
**if you have extra filling, pile it between all of the peppers.  It is still dellicious and great for people who want a little bit more, but not a whole pepper.**
6. Bake 20-25 minutes until peppers are tender and cheese is lightly browned.

Friday, November 4, 2011

So Easy Shepherd's Pie

Pin It Since Albert is a meat and potatoes kind of guy he loves shepherd's pie.  This is one of those meals that can be made a day in advance and heated when you are ready.  Comfort food at it's finest :)

So Easy Shepherd's Pie
1 lb ground beef
1 packet onion soup mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 1/2 cups of water
1 can corn, drained
4 medium baking potatoes, peeled and chunked
1/4 c milk
1 T butter
3 T sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, boil potatoes until tender.
2. Meanwhile brown and drain ground beef in a large skillet.
3. Put beef back in skillet.  Add oinion soup mix, gravy mix and 1 1/2 cups of water.  Stir until mixture comes to a boil.  Take off heat.
4. Drain potatoes and put back in pot.  Add milk, butter and sour cream.  Mash until smooth.  Add more milk and sour cream to get to desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 7x11 baking dish with cooking spray.
6. Put beef mixture in bottom of pan.  Cover with corn.
7. Smooth potatoes on top of corn.
8. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbling.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Steamed Lobster Tails

Pin It My husband and I love a good lobster tail, but it isn't exactly in our budget to go out for seafood all the of the time.  One of Albert's good friends' moms is an amazing cook and she shared this recipe with us so we could make lobster at home.  I had always thought that lobster would be scary to cook and definitely too hard to do at home, but I was mistaken.  Anyone can make lobster in their home with minimal cooking experience or fancy supplies.  The only necessary cooking item that you need is a broiler pan. 

Steamed Lobster Tails
2 lobster tails
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 packet of seafood and crab boil seasoning (I used McCormick's)
2 T Old Bay Seasoning
Melted Butter for dipping

1. Fill bottom of broiler pan with 1/2 inch of water.
2. Arrange lemons and onions in a single lyer inthe water.  Sprinkle with seafood seasoning packet and Old Bay.
3. Put grate on top of broiler pan.  Lay lobster tails across the openings of the grate.
4. Cover tightly with foil.  You want all of the sides to be sealed so it creates a steamer effect.
5. Place broiler pan over 2 burners on your stove.  Turn heat to medium high.
6. When you can see steam, set your timer for 8 minutes.  DO NOT PEEK!  It will ruin the steam effect.  It is ok if some of the liquid escapes out of the sides.  It is easy to clean up.
7. When timer goes off, turn off burners and let lobster cool for a few minutes, until steam slows so you don't burn yourself. 
8. Carefully uncover.
9. Serve with melted butter for dipping.

Broiler pan over 2 burners

Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pin It Happy Halloween!  What better way to celebrate than by carving a pumpkin and getting a delicious, nutritious snack out of it as well.  The smell of roasting pumpkin seeds reminds me of fall and being a kid and carving pumpkins with my family.  Even though we don't have kids, my husband and I still carve a pumpkin to welcome all of the trick-or-treaters to our home.  You don't have to actually carve the pumpkin to enjoy these delicious seeds, but it is an added festive bonus.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 pumpkin for carving
1 tsp olive oil
seasoned salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut off top of pumpkin and scoop out seeds and goo.  Separate the seeds from the goo.
3. Arrange seeds in a single layer on a foil covered baking sheet.
4. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently.
5. Sprinkle with seasoned salt to taste.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes, tossing every 5, until golden brown.
7. Cool slightly and enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Candy Corn Cookies

Pin It Just in time for Halloween, perfect 2-bite cookies.  Great for taking to a party and definitely a crowd pleaser.   The original recipe can be found at Life as a Loft House, one of my new fave food blogs.  Lots of good ideas and recipes.   Note - you need to let the dough chill for at least 3 hours, so plan accordingly.

Candy Corn Cookies

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
Zest of 1 medium lemon
Juice from half of lemon
1/8 tsp salt
3 cups flour (all purpose)
1/2 tsp baking soda
red food dye
yellow food dye
1/2 cup sugar for rolling
1. Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
2. Add egg, lemon juice and zest.  Beat until smooth.
3. Slowly add flour, salt and baking soda.  Mix until combined.
4. Divide dough into 3 equal parts.  Leave one piece white, dye one piece yellow and the other piece orange.
5. Line a loaf pan with foil.  Press white dough in an evn layer on the bottom.  Then layer orange dough.  Top with yellow dough.
6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.  Dough must be firm.
7. Preheat oven to 325.
8. Remove dough from loaf pan and foil.  Slice off a 1/2 inch think slice from the short end of the loaf.
9. Lay flat and cut slice into 6 triangles.  Roll each triangle in sugar.
10. Arrange dough on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
11. Bake 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden.
12. Cool and enjoy.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Pin It I have a habit  of buying bananas and never eating them.  I know they are healthy, but I really can't handle the texture.  Because of this I always have very ripe bananas at my house and sometimes I just don't want banana bread.  I stumbled upon this recipe at Skinny Taste, my go to website for recipe ideas.  This is a great use for those leftover bananas.  I would describe it more as a dessert than a breakfast muffin, which is why I looked forward to waking up and eating one of these for 3 days in a row.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

  • 3  ripe bananas, mashed

  • 1/4 cup apple sauce

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp butter, softened

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • 1. preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    2. Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, applesauce, vanilla and bananas.  Mix thoroughly.
    3. Slowly add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Blend at low speed until just combined.  Be careful not to overmix.
    4. Stir in chocolate chips.
    5. Evenly divide mixture into 12 lined muffin cups.
    6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Meat Lovers Lasagna

    Pin It My huband loves meat.  The more meat the better.  I on the other hand prefer a variety of flavors and textures in my foods.  Veggie lasagna is my fave.  This recipe was my first attempt at no boil noodles and I am now converted.  They are so simple and save you tons of time.  I thought they might be gummy or hard, but they tasted just like regular boiled noodles.  This can also be made the night before and just heated before dinner the next day.  Leftovers store really well. 

    Meat Lovers Lasagna
    **makes a 2 qt, 7 x 11 baking dish**
    1 pkg no boil lasagna noodles (I used Barilla)
    1 lb ground beef
    1/2 lb ground italian sausage, hot or mild
    1 cup ricotta cheese, rediced fat is fine
    1 1/2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese
    1 can Italian style diced tomatoes, drained
    1 large can tomato sauce

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Brown ad crumble beef and sausage in a large skillet.  Drain and return meat to skillet.
    3. Add tomatoes and sauce.  Heat through.
    4. Spread 1/2 c meat sauce on bottom of 7 x 11 baking dish.
    5. Add a layer of lasagna noodles, spread 1/3 ricotta cheese on noodles, pour meat sauce to cover cheese, sprinkle with mozzerella.  Repeat until you have 3 layers.  End with mozzerella on top.
    6. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbling.