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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No Bake Snickers Pie

No-Bake Snickers Pie
1 chocolate cookie pie crust or graham cracker pie crust (9-inch)
2 cups fresh whipped cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup dulce de leche, plus 1 tablespoon for drizzling
3 Snickers Bars, roughly chopped.
Beat together the condensed milk, cream cheese and dulce de leche until completely smooth. Fold in the whipped cream until just incorporated. Scatter 1/3 of the Snickers Bars on the bottom of the pie crust. Fold 1/3 of the Snickers pies into the no-bake filling. Spread the filling into the pie crust. Finally, drizzle the top with the remaining dulce de leche and scatter the remaining 1/3 of Snickers pieces on top. Chill the pie for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

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Chocolate Covered PepperMint Cookies - from the Idea Room - Pinterest.com

To make these Chocolate Covered Pepper*Mint* Cookies simply take Keebler’s grasshopper cookies and dip them in white chocolate and sprinkle with some crushed candy canes. They are so simple and fast to make for a last minute gift idea

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Oreo Trufles from Chef in Training via Pinterest.com

OREO TRUFFLES
  • 1 package Double Stuffed Oreos
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened (you can use up to 8 oz., I just like this consistency better)
  • Dipping chocolate
Chop Oreos up finely in a food processor.  Save some of the finely crushed Oreos for garnish later and set it aside.  You don't need too much.

With hands (or a spoon, I just think hands are faster), mash softened cream cheese and crushed Oreos until well combined.
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Roll into 1" balls and place on a wax covered cookie sheet. Put in freezer for 15 minutes.

While balls are in freezer, melt chocolate according to directions.

Pull the Oreo Truffles out of freezer, and dip into chocolate.  Garnish with reserved Oreo crumbs before the chocolate sets up.

Let chocolate set, refrigerate and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth, Divided Use
  • ⅓ cups Sundried Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 2 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 2 whole Chicken Breasts, Grilled And Sliced
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 pinch Salt/pepper To Taste
  • Preparation Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).
    2. With a sharp knife, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape/remove seeds with a spoon.
    3. Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet: bake for 45 minutes. Let squash cool.
    4. Using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash with the tines to remove strands.
    5. In a large, deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute.
    6. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, sundried tomatoes, and broccoli and saute 5 minutes.
    7. Add peas, grilled chicken, and remaining 3/4 cup of chicken broth. Shake about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese into mixture (just enough to thicken the chicken broth).
    8. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes.
    9. Serve on top of the squash strands with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.

Cranberry Pecan Brie from Tablespoon

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 8 ounce wheel of Brie
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1  egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Soak dried cranberries in a small bowl of water for one minute so that they are not hard.
  3. Lay thawed puff pastry sheet on a cookie sheet.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in pecans and toast for about 3 minutes.
  5. Place Brie in the middle of the puff pastry.
  6. Place pecan mixture on top of Brie.
  7. Place brown sugar on top of pecan mixture. The heat of the pecan mixture will help melt the brown sugar.
  8. Drain cranberries. Place them on top of brown sugar.
  9. Bring the edges of the puff pastry up and press them together making sure to seal the dough. If you have excess dough you can cut a leaf or decoration to add to the top of the Brie.
  10. Using a pastry brush, brush the entire pastry with the beaten egg.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven or until the pastry is a golden brown.
  12. Serve with crackers or just by the slice.
I love Brie and this recipe looks so yummy.  I found this on Pinterest.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Roll Tide

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Here's how she made these:  From Pintrest.com
The cupcakes were fairly easy.  I used a boxed red velvet cake mix and I made buttercream frosting and tinted it gray. The houndstooth cupcake liners are from Bake It Pretty.  The script A's are made of white chocolate. I printed off an image from the computer of the script A and placed waxed paper over it and traced the image with the melted white chocolate. That seemed to be the most difficult task, as I do not have the most steadiest of hands.

Fried Bocconcini with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Servings: approximately 20  (I halved this recipe, but I am listing the full one here-it would be enough for a large group)
Ingredients
For the sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes, juice reserved
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the fried mozzarella:
3-4 cups peanut oil, depending on type of pan you will be frying the cheese in
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 lb. mozzarella bocconcini (about 50 pieces)
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups panko
Special equipment:  Deep-frying thermometer
Instructions
1. For the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the 1/2 cup olive oil.
2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic is soft but not browned, about 1 minute.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
4. Preheat an oven to 200°F.
5. For the fried mozzarella: Drain the cheese from its liquid. Place the cheese on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry.
6. If your cheese balls seem pretty big, halve or quarter them into bite-size pieces.  Once they get the panko breading on them, they will be a lot bigger.
7.In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
8. Put the egg mixture and bread crumbs in separate wide, shallow bowls.  Combine the panko with the teaspoon of salt and Parmesan in another wide, shallow bowl.  (*If you only have one shallow bowl, use it for the panko.  It will help you immensely with the breading process.)
9. Roll the cheese in the flour, dip into the egg mixture and coat with the bread crumbs, shaking off the excess after each step.
10.  Repeat the breading process one more time for each cheese piece.
11. In a large, deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, pour the oil to a depth of 3 inches and heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
12. Working in batches, fry the cheese until golden, about 45 seconds (or until golden brown-watch them carefully as oven temperatures may vary). If you notice that your thermometer’s reading decreases, wait for a little while until the oil gets back up to the proper temperature.
13. Transfer the fried cheese to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and black pepper. Place the cheese on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining cheese.
14.  Serve with the warm tomato sauce.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Black Dahlia #Revenge ABC

Copied from Chicago Tribune's Television:  I was googling the Black Dahlia due to watching a "thirsty" epiosode of Revenge....
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"If fans of ABC's "Revenge" feel like making a drinking game out of watching the soapy series, they now have a drink of choice: the Black Dahlia.

In Wednesday's episode, "Treachery," the real Emily Thorne--I'll call her Amanda (Margarita Levieva) to make things easier--mixed up a few Black Dahlias for herself and bar hunk Jack (Nick Wechsler). I looked around the web for the drink and found many versions of it. But not the "Revenge" version. So here's the recipe as Amanda said it:"

BLACK DAHLIA
  • 3 ounces of vodka
  • 1 ounce Creme de cassis
  • "A little" blackberry liqueur
  • Add ice and shake

She finished it off with a flirty smile and the decision (spoiler alert!) to not fly to Paris and get out of Emily's hair. Instead, she's opting to become a Jack stowaway. Get it? He runs the Stowaway Tavern?

Cheesy Potato Apptetizer

 

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Ingredients

  • 4 baking potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 8 slices bacon - cooked and crumbled
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Brush both side of potato slices with butter; place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides, turning once.
  3. When potatoes are ready, top with bacon, cheese, and green onion; continue baking until the cheese has melted

Holiday Drinks

SpicedCaramelAppleThe Appletini created quite a stir when it was first introduced, but Kara Newman, author of Spice & Ice, put her twist on the apple martini with a little holiday cheer:
Ingredients:
2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1 oz Van Gogh Dutch Caramel Vodka
2-1/2 oz Apple cider
1 dash lemon juice
Directions:
Rim martini glass with agave syrup and crumbled gingersnap cookies at set aside. Add liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into martini glass.

CaCandyCaneLanendy Cane Lane

Ingredients:
2 1-2 oz Van Gogh Blue vodka
1 oz White crème de menthe
1/2 oz Peppermint schnapps
Cream
Splash of Grenadine
Peppermint candy for garnish
Directions:
Add a dash of grenadine into the bottom of a chilled martini glass and set aside. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into the glass with grenadine to create a “swirl” effect. Garnish with peppermint candy.

Holiday Cocktails: Reindeer Tracks

ReindeerTraxRudolph’s nose won’t the only one shining bright after one of these frosty martinis:
Ingredients:
2 oz Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1 oz Hazelnut Liqueur
1/2 oz Crème de Cacao
Splash of Cream
2 Chocolate cookie wafers
Directions:
Rim a martini glass with crushed up chocolate cookie crumbs and set aside. Shake Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka, hazelnut liqueur, Crème de Cacao and cream over ice and pour into the martini glass. Dust top with more chocolate cookie crumbs.

Happy Friday, Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Memories

Good Morning Friends.  It is a cool Friday here in Atlanta.  I have been taken back in time reading "You know you are from Scottsboro if..." on Facebook.  So many memories and so many good memories.  It is so good to stroll down memory lane and smell the past along the way.  I remember riding around the square in Scottsboro and Christmas shopping this time of year.  I remember the boards creaking as one walked into Woodall's and David Lee's.  I remember the jewelry stores and the Children's Shoppe.  And, I remember Adam's store that had beautiful wool skirts.  Of course, I remember Elmore's and Mr. Merner's smiling face.  What a wonderful man!  He hired me a 13 to work there part time.  And, ah, the wonderful ladies that worked there, including my Memma. 

I remember walking the square and window shopping and the shoe sales at Hammers.  Ah, yes and the Pig House and the Dairy Queen.  And, of course, there was the awesome event each and every First Monday of the month.

And, there was this time of year, getting ready for two things:  Alabama vs. Auburn football game and Thanksgiving.  I remember the smells of Thanksgiving filling Memma's kitchen.  The baking and the cooking that went on. And, I remember everyone gathering in on Thanksgiving day.  I can see Memma smiling as her kitchen table filled with the first "setting down" to eat.  Of course, that was the men folks.  I remember salivating top get the drumstick of that big old bird.  And, I just remember Scottsboro and the faces and the buildings and the trees and the mountains and the Tennessee River.  And, not realizing how blessed we were.  Oh, as I have said before..If those trees could talk..

Happy Thanksgiving to all...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Black Forest Cherry Cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs almond flavored liquer
Cherry Pie Filling
Chocolate Fudge Icing

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. flour 3 9-inch cake pans
  3. in a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cocoa, baking soda and salt,  Add flour to butter mixture alternatively with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat in vanilla.  Spoon batter into prepared pans.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Brush layers with almond liquer, cool completely.
  5. Spread about 3/4 cup cherry filling between each layer, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Spread choccolate fudge icing on top and sides of cake, reserving about 1 cup for topping. Place reserved icing in a pastry bag fitted with a closed star tip, pipe a 5 inch cirle around in center of cake.  Spoon remaining cherry filling in center of circle.  Garnish with chocolate curls.
Cherry Filling - 2 (21 oz) cans cherry pie filling, 1/2 cup almond flavored liquer and 1/4 cup sugar  In a medium saucepan, combine pie filling, sugar, and liquer over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 lmintues, stirring occasionally. Cool completely.

Chocolate fudge icing

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup milk
12 (1 oz) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsley chopped
6 TBS butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar

In a  large saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar, cream, milk and chocolate over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently with a wire whisk, for 20 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 TBS at a time until butter is completely melted.    Pour into a 13x9 inch baking dish and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.  Next, place chocolate mixture in a medium bowl.  Beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Gradually add confectioner's sugar, beating until combined.

In a large

Chai Spiced Coffee

4 cups strong brewed coffee
1 cup half and half
6 TBS turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cloves

In a medium saucepan, combine coffee, half-and-half, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and cloves over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and serve.

To Die For---Banana Split Hot Chocolate

6 cups milk
3/4 cup banana schnapps
2 TBS grenadine
1 (11.75 oz) jar hot-fudge topping
Garnish:  Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chopped peanuts, sliced banana, maraschino cherries, chocolate sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, banana schnapps, and grenadine, whisking well.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Whish in hot-fudge topping until melted.  Garnish with the above, if desired.

Drinks for the Season ---Peppermint White Chocolate Royale

3 cups half and half (I use fat free)
3 cups milk
1/2 cup peppermint syrup
2 TBS vanilla extract
2 (4 oz) bars white chocolate, chopped
Garnish:  Peppermint whipped cream

In a large saucepan, combine  all 5 ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring occassionally, until white chocolate melts.  Garnish with peppermint whipped cream and white chocolate curls, if desired.

For peppermint whipped cream, fold in crushed peppermint candy into traditional whipped cream to make peppermint whipped cream.  YUMMY!!!

Not your Grandma's Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake Ingredients:1 1/2 cups butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Pumpkin Pie Filling Ingredients:*
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
*This makes a little more filling than you need, but I used most of it and baked the small amount I had leftover in a greased ramekin for 15-20 minutes — instant pumpkin custard!)

Pecan Streusel Ingredients:
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon cold butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup cinnamon chips (optional — you can find these seasonally at some grocery stores or online from King Arthur’s Flour)

Maple Brown Sugar Glaze Ingredients:
2 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
pinch salt
1 1/2 – 2 cup powdered sugar (I ended up using just 1 1/2)
cinnamon for sprinkling

Directions:
Toast pecans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet, and bake for 4-6 minutes or until fragrant, stirring and flipping nuts once in the middle. Spread the nuts out on a plate to cool. Leave the oven on for the cake.

Make the creamy pumpkin pie filling: In your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice and mix until combined. Set in fridge while you make your cake.

Make the streusel: Combine the flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl and using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until you have crumbly streusel. Mix in the cinnamon chips (if you’re using them) and 1/2 cup of the cooled toasted pecans (if they haven’t completely cooled, stick ‘em in the fridge for a bit first — you don’t want to mix warm nuts into this and melt your butter, since it should stay cold). Save the rest of your nuts for decorating the finished cake. Set the streusel aside.

Make the pound cake: Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until it’s creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating only until yellow disappears after each one. Stir in the vanilla.

Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl and add to creamed mixture gradually, beating on low speed after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour/dollop 1/3 of the batter into greased and floured 10-inch tube pan and use a spatula to smooth it right up against the sides of the pan and level it.

Dump your streusel into your pumpkin pie mixture and fold it together a few times to loosely mix — you’re not trying to combine them completely. Dollop big spoonfuls of this pumpkin mixture on the batter in your tube pan and swirl with a wooden skewer or table knife. Top this layer with another third of the batter and add another pumpkin layer (swirling again). Top with the final third of the batter. Fill a 2-cup ovenproof measuring cup with water and place in oven with cake (this keeps it moist!).

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 55 minutes (the original recipe said 1 hour and 10 minutes, but this was way too short for me. Nevertheless, you should start checking early and often just in case. This is a good practice, also, because you may have to cover the top with foil if it’s getting too brown). To test for doneness, insert a wooden skewer in a few different areas of the cake and pull it out. You want it to come out with just a few moist crumbs (no liquid batter, but not completely clean either).

Let the cake cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the pan. Remove the cake from the pan by topping the pan with a plate and carefully inverting it. Then invert the cake again onto another plate so that it’s right-side up. Let cool completely (at least 1 hour).

Make the Maple Brown Sugar Glaze: Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, whisk in the brown sugar, syrup, and salt, whisking until the brown sugar melts. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar, starting with 1 cup and adding more to thicken per your preference (taste as you go to ensure you don’t oversweeten). Drizzle the glaze over the top of your cooled cake. Sprinkle the cake with toasted pecans immediately (the glaze sets quickly) and dust with cinnamon. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container and microwave for about 20 seconds to serve.

Pizza Casserole..from formamasblogspot.com

Ingredients:
1 bag of Egg Noodles
1 extra large can of Ragu sauce {or any tamato sauce you prefer}
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese {or more depending on how much you ♥ cheese!}
1 1/2 lbs hamburger meat
1 package pepperonis
Brown the meat and drain
Make the egg noodles according to pkg directions - until soft and drain
(dont forget to preheat the oven)
Now, start layering in the casserole dish..the sauce, 1/2 of the noodles, half of the meat, then, layer half of the sauce, rest of noodles, half the cheese, rest of meet rest of sauce and the rest of the cheese - then top with pepperoni's.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes.
Pizza Casserole.  Easy dinner idea

Salted Caramel Latte

Lookout Starbucks..I found this on The Motherload blog....

1 cup milk, steamed
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, prepared in a French Press)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons caramel coffee syrup (I bought mine at our local superstore in the coffee aisle or you can pick them up at your wholesale club for cheap. I accidentally bought sugar-free and it worked like a charm. Feel free to use either variety and adjust to your taste)
Whipped cream
Caramel Sauce
1/8 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Directions:

Prepare your hot water in a kettle. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.
In your coffee cup, mix together the prepared coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and caramel coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with whipped cream, a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, and your pinch of salt.
Bask in your ability to make all good things at home

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

Using the same bowl that you made the hot cocoa in, mix up the following for another tasty drink and a gift.

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 ½ cups white sugar
1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp white pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is a fine powder (If you have a small food processor, you can combine just the instant tea and spices in the food processor & then combine everything together in a bowl). Add two-three tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot Cocoa Mix
4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (4 ounce) package instant chocolate fudge pudding
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. If a finer consistency is desired, you can pour the mix into a blender or food processor and run it through that. Store in an airtight container. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (depending on your cocoa preference) of the mix to an 8 ounce mug of boiling water.

This is a great gift...Put this is a pretty jar and give to friends for Christmas.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wine bottle Christmas Decor - Pinterest



Three wine bottles...Sprayed a coat of primer on them...
Let them dry and got out the Epsom salt (found in the drug section area near first aid..) what can I say...I like to think outside the box! About $2 for the box!  Spray with craft bond, and roll in Espsom salt
Looks like snow?  Place on a silver platter or a round mirror...and for Christmas Decor....Neato huh?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies
Magical Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe Courtesy of

Servings: 18 cookies
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1 egg
1 cup sugar, or 1 1/3 cup sugar replacement (recommended: Splenda)
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a large baking sheet.
In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup equivalent of the Splenda, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon.  Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts.  Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet.  With a fork, dipped in Splenda to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie.  Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining Splenda. Cool slightly before removing from pan.

Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip

Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip

Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip Recipe Courtesy of
Servings: 3-4 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2   green onions, sliced thin
1   (14 ounces) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1   (8 ounces) block cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Dash Paula Deen’s Hot Sauce
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand held electric mixer until smooth. Then beat in the mayonnaise until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and stir together until combined. Transfer the dip to a pie plate or shallow gratin dish. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling. Serve hot with crackers, tortilla chips, crostini or veggies.

Candied Apples

Ingredients Add to grocery list

1/2 cup water
1 cup cinnamon candies (recommended: Red Hots)
6 small red apples, peeled, and cored
Cream Cheese Topping, recipe follows
Freshly parsley or mint leaves, for garnish
Cream Cheese Topping:
2 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Directions

In a medium non-stick pan dissolve cinnamon candies in water on low heat. Peel, core and cut apples in 1/2 lengthwise. Once candy has dissolved place apples flat side down in pan. Cook on low to medium heat for about 45 minutes or until apples are tender; turning apples often. Apples should be the color of the candy. Once they are cooked place apples on a serving dish. Allow to cool.
Once apples have cooled place 1 teaspoon Cream Cheese Topping on each apple. Garnish with small piece of fresh parsley or a fresh mint leaf. Refrigerate until serving.
Cream Cheese Topping:
Place all ingredients in a bowl and thoroughly combine with a hand-held mixer. Topping should be stiff.
Donna’s Candied Apples

Maple Pecan Cupcakes

How delicious do these look?  And, they would be great for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Bake Sale: Maple Pecan Cupcakes
Diving into these maple pecan cupcakes from the top, you’ll be met with butter pecan buttercream frosting that tastes exactly like butter pecan ice cream – so much so that you may be tempted to put it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon.  That wouldn’t be a bad choice, but then you would miss out on discovering how well the butter pecan pairs with the pecan-packed maple cupcakes made with a half cup of pure maple syrup.  Together, frosting and cupcake are pecan perfection!
Maple Pecan Cupcakes
Yield: 16 cupcakes
Cupcake Ingredients:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup finely crushed pecans
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
Cupcake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together flour, crushed pecans, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix in the sugar and maple syrup until fully combined.
Add the butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. 
Mix in the eggs and vanilla until just combined.
Mix in the milk until just combined.
Fold in the chopped pecans.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
Pinch salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting Directions:
To prepare the butter pecans, melt two tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium low heat.
Add pecans and salt to the skillet.  Cook for six to eight minutes, stirring periodically, until almost all of the butter is absorbed.  Remove from heat, but leave in the skillet.
To prepare the frosting, in a medium-sized mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix remaining one cup of butter on medium-low speed for three minutes or until light and fluffy.
Slowly mix in powdered sugar until fully combined.
Mix in vanilla until fully combined.
Scrape the cooled pecans and any butter left in the skillet into the frosting and fold in.
Spread onto cooled cupcakes.
Stefani Pollack is the author of the popular cupcake blog, Cupcake Project. While she loves simple chocolate cupcakes, Stefani prefers creative cupcakes inspired by her favorite flavor combinations. She encourages her readers to branch out and experiment in the kitchen. Why cupcakes? They bring out the kid in us! Visit Stefani at www.cupcakeproject.com.

30 Minute Chili from Southern Living




 
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion
  • 2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (16-oz.) can black beans, undrained
  • 1 (15.5-oz.) can small red beans, undrained

Preparation

  • 1. Brown beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Return beef to Dutch oven; sprinkle evenly with seasoning mix, and sauté 1 minute over medium-high heat.
  • 2. Stir in diced tomatoes and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
  • Italian-Style Chili: Substitute 1 lb. Italian pork sausage and 1 lb. lean ground beef for 2 lb. lean ground beef. Remove casings from sausage, and discard; brown sausage and ground beef together as directed. Omit beans, and stir in 1 small onion, diced; 1 green bell pepper, diced; 2 small zucchini, diced; and remaining ingredients. Proceed with recipe as directed. Serve chili over hot cooked spaghetti noodles tossed with olive oil and chopped fresh cilantro. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Prep: 10 min., Cook: 25 min.
To make as shown in the photo, carve out some hard individual bread rolls, and serve chili inside.

How to Make A Snow Globe (Martha Stewart)

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether it's outside your window or inside this classic toy. Homemade globes let you create a wintry scene straight out of your own imagination.
Almost any jar works for this project: Baby-food, pimiento, and olive jars are good choices. Look for plastic or ceramic figurines (metal ones are prone to rust) at flea markets and hobby or model-railroad shops. Synthetic evergreen tips are available at many floral-supply stores.
If the jar lids are not in seasonal colors already, paint them with oil-based enamel paint. Sand the inside of the lid until the surface is rough. With clear-drying epoxy, adhere the figurine to the inside of the lid, and let the epoxy dry.
Fill the jar almost to the top with distilled water; add a pinch of glitter and a dash of glycerin (available at drugstores) to keep the glitter from falling too quickly. Don't add too much, or the glitter will stick to the bottom of the jar when it's flipped. Screw on the lid tightly, being careful not to dislodge the figurine. Turn the jar over and back again -- and let it snow

Glitter Candles

Need some holiday glitter? Roll candles in Mod Podge and then in Epsom salts
to make them sparkle. Pretty.  Too, you can roll a candle in hodge podge and then sprinkle glitter all over it (except on the wick area).  Use the extra fine glitter.

I think we could make this for Christmas??

RAZ Frostyland 2011

O Tannenbaum Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Oh Tannenbaum Cupcakes
So easy...make cupcakes..decorate with frosting and edible glitter...put an ice cream cone on top and decorate like a Christmas tree with green tinted icing.
O Tannenbaum Cupcakes

 
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe Creamy White Frosting or two 16-ounce cans creamy white frosting or vanilla frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 Pine Cupcakes or other 2-1/2-inch cupcakes
  • 12 rolled sugar ice cream cones
  • Green and brown paste food colorings
  • White and/or green edible glitter or sprinkles
  • Small pearl candies or other small candies
  • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)*
Directions
1. In a large bowl mix Creamy White Frosting and powdered sugar. Spread a layer of frosting on each Pine Cupcake.
2. Place an ice cream cone upside down on each cupcake.** Tint remaining frosting forest green with green and brown food coloring. Place green frosting in a large pastry bag fitted with a small open star tip. Starting at the bottom of the cones, pipe short bursts of frosting onto the cones to cover completely.
3. Sprinkle edible glitter around rims of cupcakes. Decorate cones with pear candies and, if desired, thyme leaves. Makes 12 cupcake trees.
From the Test Kitchen
  • Tip *Test Kitchen Tip:If you choose to use fresh thyme on your Christmas trees, you will probably want to remove the herb before eating the Christmas tree cone.
  • Tip **Test Kitchen Tip:If you prefer not to pipe frosting, use only 3 cups Creamy White Frosting or canned frosting. Frost cupcakes as directed in step 1. For step 2, tint the remaining frosting forest green with green and brown food coloring. Place green frosting in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on 100 percent power (high) until smooth and melted but still a little thick. Holding each ice cream cone upside down over bowl, spoon melted frosting over outside of cone to coat completely, allowing excess to drip into bowl. Place coated cones, pointed sides up, on a wire rack set over waxed paper. Let stand until set. Place cones on top of cupcakes. Continue as directed in step 3.
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  • Creamy White Frosting

    Yield: about 3 cups
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup shortening
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 3 - 4 tablespoons milk
     

  • Directions
    In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. Gradually add milk until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Makes about 3 cups.

Candy Canes dipped in Chocolate

For an added treat this Christmas, dip your candy canes in melted chocolate bark...
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Mini German Pancakes

Mini German Pancakes from Real Mom Kitchen (via Pinterest.com)
1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Blend first six ingredients (milk thru orange zest) in a blender.  Be careful to see that any flour clumps get well-blended.
  2. Blend in butter a little at a time in order to temper the eggs.
  3. Grease muffin tins well and distribute batter evenly between 24 tins (I did more like 18. Gimme Some Oven’s tins were slightly less than half-full.  I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and filled it almost full.) Bake for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top.
  4. Served with your favorite toppings.  (Mine was a dusting of powdered sugar and triple berry sauce.  I have other suggestions up top)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Nifty Little Project ---found on Pinterest

Pinned Image
DIY watercolor silhouette. (Stickers on first then paint, dry, and remove stickers.)

What you need:
• Print outs of Animals or any subject with an interesting silhouette. With a bouquet of flowers you could do something beautiful like this.
• Watercolor paper
• Watercolor paints (2-3 colors will do)
• Brush
• Xacto blade or small scissors
• Masking tape

1. Print out your image to fit comfortably on your watercolor paper with room around.
Cut out your animal with as much detail as possible (but don't go crazy, note I skipped the hair on the elephant's back.
 Position your cut-out and trace with your pencil. Try to keep your pencil line light.
Give your subject a surface to stand on so he doesn't float.
Tape your watercolor paper down to a piece of cardboard or art board all the way around the very edge.


5. Use your brush to wet the entire background around your animal. I didn't go all the way to the edge and tried to leave a few small spots dry. Tip: you can tint the water lightly with watercolor paint so that you can see where you have missed.
. Load your brush up with wet paint and touch your brush to the paper. The paint will spread but only on the wet areas. Add more paint. Move the board around to help the paint spread. Use your brush to cheat your paint into smaller details.




Tip: Try to continue the tone "behind: the animal. For example: If the left side of the trunk is purple, continue on the right side of the trunk with purple.


5. Step back and squint.  Can you see your animal clearly? Is the background too bright? Too busy? If so, brush over the entire background with a wet brush to mute and blend the background.


6. Let your painting dry completely before removing tape carefully.


Found this on Pinterest.com  and it is from "A Beautiful Mess" blog.

I love the look of family photos printed on canvas, but I never knew I could make them at home! After transferring photos to fabric, I was super excited to try some pieces using stretched canvas. I hope this inspires some of you to make something special for your home...
Photo to canvas transfer steps
Here's how to transfer photo to canvas: 1. Supplies needed- stretched canvas (I chose an 8x10 size), gel medium (I used this kind from Liquidex), paint brush and the image you want to transfer (laser copy) and a spray bottle filled with water. Remember, your image will print reversed. 2. Completely cover your canvas with gel medium. Use a heavy coat. 3. Press the photo copy onto the canvas and let it dry for several hours or overnight. 4. After your image is completely dry, use a spray bottle to wet the top of the paper. 5. Rub the surface with your fingers until pieces of the paper start coming off. When pieces start coming up your image will be revealed. This step takes patience and is messy! Be careful not to rub too hard as this can remove your transfer on accident. Continue until all the paper is removed and the image is completely visible! 6. Cover your canvas with one more coat of gel medium to seal and protect the image.
Note: You can expect an imperfect transfer. I think the imperfections are absolutely lovely! It's best to choose an image that is not incredibly detailed to work with. Each transfer is different. The more you experiment, the better!
Photo on canvas

Put a Picture in a Jar and add Olive Oil

Pinned Image

Butternut Squash Chicken Stew

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded & chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup pitted and quartered kalamata olives
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Steam the butternut squash until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Remove half of the squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Steam the remaining squash until very tender, an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken thighs, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate and allow to cool. Pour broth into a medium-sized bowl.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil.
  7. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to turn brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add minced garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute.
  9. To the saucepan, add tomatoes, butternut squash pieces, mashed butternut squash. Stir to combine.
  10. Stir in reserved chicken broth and quinoa. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the quinoa turns translucent, about 15 minutes.
  11. Shred the chicken with your fingers or a fork.
  12. Stir the chicken, olives and pepper into the stew and simmer, uncovered, to heat, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in parsley and serve.

Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad

1  lb. cooked chicken breasts, cut into ½″ cubes
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup halved purple grapes
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ cup whipped cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine chicken, mayonnaise, celery, grapes, almonds, parsley, and salt in a bowl. Add whipped cream and pepper; fold to combine.
Neiman Marcus Chicken Salad

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Easy Candy - with Rolo Candy and Pretzels...

three ingredients...
Rolo (store bought chocolate/caramel candies), pretzels and pecan halves
Bottom line, if you just threw those three things in a bowl it would be pretty yummy! 


For these tasty treats, all you have to do is lay the pretzels on a baking sheet (I used these cute square ones, but the mini twists would work too).  Top each pretzel with an unwrapped Rolo candy.


Bake in the oven at 250*F for 4-5 minutes (no longer).
When you remove them from the oven, the Rolo will still be in the same shape as when it went in the oven. Place a pecan half on top of the Rolo and press down a bit.
Top each of the Rolo with one pecan half.
Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for about 5-7 minutes to allow the Rolo to cool.
Remove from freezer and enjoy! Or place in a container to enjoy later.  These will last several days- probably more, but they've never lasted that long in our house!

These are so delicious!  A great sweet-salty combo. 
Enjoy!

Pulled Pork Recipe

easiest pulled pork recipe. Pork butt, 1 can diet pepsi, 1/2 bottle sweet baby ray's BBQ sauce and lawry's season salt. Coat pork with Lawry's, put all ingredients in crock pot and cook for 4 hours,then use 2 forks to shred the pork and cook for 1 more hour. Serve on kaiser roll, delish

Mozzarella Sticks

Directions

  • Place a piece of string cheese near the bottom corner of one egg roll wrapper (keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use). Fold bottom corner over cheese. Roll up halfway; fold sides toward center over cheese. Moisten remaining corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese.
  • In an electric skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil to 375°.
  • Fry sticks, a few at a time, for 30-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with marinara sauce. Yield: 1 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 mozzarella stick (calculated without marinara sauce) equals 241 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 423 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein.

Ingredients

  • 12 pieces string cheese
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Marinara or spaghetti sauce

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bite Size Apple Pies - From Cookingupnorth.blogspot.com

Bite Size Apple Pies
Taste of Home

1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 pkg. (14.1 oz..} refrigerated pie crust
3 tbsp. melted butter, divided
2 medium tart apples, each cut into 8 wedges

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon, set aside 1 Tbsp. On a lightly floured surface, unroll the pastry. Brush with  2 Tbsp. melted butter, sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

Cut each sheet into 8 one inch strips, about 8 in. long. Wrap one strip around each apple wedge, placing sugared side of pastry against apple.

Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar mixture. bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 16.
Bite Size Apple Pies
Taste of Home

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cowboy Take Me Away - Or What's on my Easel



Well, I am still plugging away at this cowboy....Trying to get this painting  up to par and I think I just messed up the horses mouth....darn it.