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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Almond Joy Cake


Almond Joy Cake

1 pkg Chocolate cake mix

Coconut Mixture

1 Cup Evap Milk
1 cup sugar
26 large marshmallows
14 oz package coconut

Chocolate/Almond Topping

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cube margarine
1/2 cup evap milk
12 oz package chocolate chips
6 oz package slivered almonds

Bake cake as directed in large pan (larger than 9x13 if possible)
In large saucepan heat coconut mixture until marshmallows are melted and sugar is dissoled. Pour micture oer hot cake when it comes out of the oven.

In medium sauce pan melt margarine, sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar crystals, then add chocolate chips. Stir until melted then add almonds. Pour over cake mixture.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pumpkin Squares with Cider Caramel Sauce


Pumpkin Squares:

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin
2 large eggs
Heat the oven to 325. Grease a 9 by 13 baking pan and set aside. Combine first six ingredients. Add oil, pumpkin, eggs and whisk until the batter is evenly blended. Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Cider caramel sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
salt to taste
In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar and corn starch. Add the cider and stir ewell to dissolve the other ingredients. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until large bubbles form around the perimeter of the pan, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to continue to simmer until it thickens, about 2 minutes more. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the cream and the butter. Let the sauce cool slightly, then taste it and add a pinch of salt, if necessary.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on top and drizzle with warm cider caramel sauce.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

This recipe comes straight from the can of Libby Pumpkin. It's probably one of the most tried and true recipes for pumpkin roll that is out there. I love how moist and light the cake is in this recipe and how thick and creamy the filling is. I hope you enjoy it.


* 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3 large eggs
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
* 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
* 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.
2. COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
3. BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
4. BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baklava

The credit for this one goes to my old favorite of Allrecipes.com. If you have never tried Baklava you are missing out on it's flakey, buttery goodness. This is a simplified version of how to make Baklava that turns out delicious. I prefer to have lot's of flakey layers of the phyllo dough and I butter each layer individually, but you can do them 2 at a time to save time like the recipe advises. If you want to get a little more advanced you can play around with the syrup you spoon over at the end adding cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, lemon, and cloves, you get the idea. You can add a whole new dimension to the dessert with the subtle flavors of the syrup.

  • 1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
  • 1 pound chopped nuts
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place one sheet of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
  4. Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chocolate Peacan Cake

When I saw this recipe initally I knew it would be a showstopper, and that it is. This is a very easy cake to make, but looks like it took much longer to make than it did. I've seen this recipe posted on numerous sites like taste of home, and all recipes, but I got the initial idea from the Pillsbury folks. I don't know why but I love whipped cream as icing, I always have, especially when it comes to cakes, perhaps it is because it isn't quite as sweet as traditional frosting and so you get to taste more of the cake, but once again it adds just enough to this recipe to make it delicious. Give it a try next time you are having guests over and want to impress. I also included a link to the Pioneer Woman for her tutorial on how to make Chocolate Curls, it's an easy tutorial to follow, if you want to make your own.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix with pudding
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs

  • 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pecan Halves, for garnish if desired
  • Chocolate Curls, for garnish if desired

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a saucepan, combine the butter or margarine, 1/4 c whipping cream and brown sugar. Cook over low heat until the butter is just melted, stirring occasionally. Pour into two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. Sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at the highest speed. Carefully spoon the batter over the pecan mixture.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the 1 3/4 cups whipping cream until soft peaks form. Blend in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. To assemble the cake, place one layer on a serving plate, praline side up. Spread with half of the whipped cream. Top with the second layer. Frost with the remaining whipped cream. Garnish with Pecan halves and chocolate curls. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Apple Strudel Muffins

Guess what we're having for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apples

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.
  4. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.
  5. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Coconut Cake

This is one I could not pass up. When I ran across this recipe at Soloman Family Recipes, I knew I had to try it. If you have ever tried Coconut Cream you will know why. It is very rich and moist with the coconut cream infusing the cake, so if you don't like coconut, this is not your recipe. It kind of reminds me of one of my favorite cakes that my best friend growing up's mom use to make, if you put the crushed pineapple on it, it would be pretty close to it. I might just have to try that next time. This cake is wonderful and I hope you enjoy it.


1 Duncan Hines Coconut Supreme Cake Mix, prepared as directed on box
150z. can Cream of Coconut (found near your Margarita mixes on the drink isle)
12 oz. Cool whip or real whipped topping
Sweetened flaked coconut

Directions
Bake cake as directed in a 9x13 pan. While the cake is still hot, poke holes in it and pour cream of coconut over cake. Let Cool completely. Spread on whipped topping and sprinkle with flaked coconut. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To add another dimension, try adding crushed pineapple to the top of the cake, and then spreading the whipped cream on and topping with the coconut, it makes for a tropical delight!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Torte

Though this might look intimidating, I promise it's super easy, and will earn you rave reviews at your holiday party's this year. It is beautiful to look at, and the flavors are so subtle yet melt in your mouth. Definitely a keeper!



1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, eggs, eggs and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, and remaining pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice; beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread with a fourth of the filling. Repeat layers three times. Drizzle with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans. Store in the refrigerator.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Holiday Chex Mix

The other night at work one of the girls brought this in to share with everyone and it was one of those snacks that you just can't stop eating. It reminded me a lot of my mom's cracker jack popcorn recipe. If you like cracker jacks, you will love these. It was pretty festive with the halloween colored M&M's and the candy corns in it, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this could be a year round snack, you would just have to change the M&M's to the season and choose another candy in place of the candy corns. It would look adorable to give to people in little holiday sacks. This is super yummy, and you won't regret making it.


4 1/2 cups corn Chex

4 1/2 cups wheat Chex

2 cups peanuts, dry-roasted

4 cups popped popcorn

2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 cups butter (4 sticks)

1 cup light corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 bag milk chocolate chips

1/2 bag white chocolate chips

1 bag chocolate covered pretzels

1 bag Holiday M&M’s

2 cups candy corns or other Holiday candy

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease large roasting pan. Mix cereal, popped popcorn, and peanuts in a large bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium, heavy duty saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour evenly over cereal mixture; stir to coat evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan, stirring frequently to break apart mixture. When completely cool; stir in remaining ingredients. Store in airtight container.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

My neighbor brought this over for us to enjoy back in September.
I asked for the recipie because it was so yummy!

Ingredients

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
6-8 slices swiss cheese
6-8 thin slices of ham
2 eggs beaten
bread crumbs

Sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 c. milk

Directions:
Fillet chicken breasts in half and pound our flat with a mallet. Put one slice of cheese and one slice of ham on each piece of chicken. Roll up, dip in beaten eggs, roll in bread crumbs. Place seam side down in sprayed baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until juices run clear. Mix sauce together and heat up. Top each piece of chicken with sauce. (Great with mashed potatoes.)

Pumpkin Bars

Thank you Paula Dean for these decadent Pumpkin Bars/cake. This is seriously a to die for cake recipe, it bakes up much more like a dense and moist cake then it does like a bar, but she calls them bars, so I will as well. These are very simple to make, and trust me you won't want to take them to a party because you will be keeping them all to yourself! The cream cheese frosting is the finishing touch, so don't forget it.



Bars:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 & 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing:

  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spider Cakes


These are too fun not to share!


Ingredients
  • 1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 can dark chocolate frosting
  • 1 can chocolate sprinkles
  • 24 large marshmallows
  • ¼ cup M&M’S Candies
  • 48 red or black licorice laces
  • 1 toothpick
Directions

Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions. Line cupcake pans with paper-liners. Fill each cup with 2/3 cup of batter. Bake in a preheated 350°F for 18-21 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool completely.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the chocolate frosting in a resealable plastic bag. Spread the tops of the cupcakes with the remaining frosting. Then, coat the tops with the chocolate sprinkles. Cut the marshmallows in half crosswise. Using the reserved frosting, attach two marshmallow pieces to each cupcake as eyes. Dot the center of each marshmallow piece with frosting and attach M&M’S Candies. Then, attach another marshmallow piece with frosting and attach Candies for the mouth. Cut each licorice lace into four equal pieces. Press four holes into 2 sides of each cupcake using the toothpick. Insert a licorice piece into each hole for each spider’s legs, 8 pieces per cupcake.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Helllo Dolly Bars

This is a treat that I first remember eating when I was a counselor at a local girls camp. We use to love these, and everyone always gobbled them up quickly. They are super sweet, and yet super easy to make. They would surely be a good treat to fix with your kids, as they are so easy and mostly involve sprinkling things into the pan, and what kid doesn't love helping mom make a great treat. They would be perfect for sharing with neighbors around the holidays, or just nice as an after school snack. Make a batch with your kids, and they'll thank you!


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of an 9x9 inch baking pan. Layer the chocolate chips, coconut and pecans over the crumbs. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top, do not mix it in.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let cool completely then cut into squares.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Dip

When I saw this on Taste of Home I knew I would be a fan, simply because it's a recipe I could use my leftover pumpkin on, you know when you make something and have some left over in the can, and don't quite know what to do, cause it isn't enough for another dessert. We'll this recipe is perfect for that. It's got a wonderfully subtle pumpkin flavor, but is sweet and creamy, and absolutely delicious!


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Gingersnap cookies

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger until blended. Serve with gingersnaps. Refrigerate leftovers. This is also great on Zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, served with apples or any other favorite treat.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Gingerbreat Trifle

What could be better than gingerbread and pumpkin combined in an easy to make dessert? I have seen a number of different trifles like this, and found this simplified recipe on Taste of Home, and instantly decided this was the one, simply because of prep time with the pre-packaged mix's.



2 packages (14-1/2 ounces each) gingerbread cake mix
1 package (4.6 ounces) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 can (29 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

Prepare and bake gingerbread according to package directions, using two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cool completely on wire racks.
Meanwhile, for pudding, in a large saucepan, combine pudding mix and milk; stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature. Combine pumpkin and brown sugar; stir into pudding.
In a 4-qt. glass serving bowl, crumble one gingerbread cake; gently press down. Top with half of pudding mixture and whipped topping. Repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
You can garnish with crushed gingersnaps if desired.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Pecan Fudge

The other day I was out with my kids enjoying the festivities of Halloween in our area, and we went into a quaint little candy shop where they had homemade fudge, and I saw a fudge that I'd never had before, Pumpkin Fudge with nuts. After trying a small piece I knew I had to find a recipe to duplicate it. This one comes pretty close. It is very rich, and super creamy. If you like pumpkin pie, you surely won't be disappointed with this fudge. I found this recipe at Annie's Eats, a cute little site I just discovered. This is divine,it just says fall to me, and I hope you enjoy it!



3 cups sugar

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

2 tbsp. corn syrup

2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

9 oz. white chocolate, chopped

7 oz. jar marshmallow crème

1 cup Pecans or walnuts, chopped and toasted

1 tsp. vanilla extract


Directions:

Stir together first six ingredients in a 3 ½ – quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234° (soft-ball stage).

Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into a greased parchment or aluminum foil-lined 8-inch square pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool; cut fudge into squares.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

19 ice cream sandwiches
1 12oz container of cool whip
1 jar (12 ounce) hot fudge topping
1 c. chopped pecans, or 1 c. smashed candy bar (skor, butter finger, the possibilities are endless)

Cut one ice cream sandwich in half. Place one whole and one half sandwich along the short side of an ungreased 9x13 pan. Arrange eight sandwiches in opposite direction in pan. Spread with hot fudge then half of the cool whip. Sprinkle 1/2 c. nuts or your favorite candy bar over the top. Make another layer with the other ice cream sandwiches, top with cool whip and nuts/candy bar and freeze. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad


I LOVE Applebee's oriental chicken salad. The only thing I change is grilled chicken instead of the fried. If you aren't frying the chicken, this is a real quick and simple copy cat of their original.


Dressing
1 c. honey
1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
1 1/4 c. mayo
1 3/4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Salad
Vegetable Oil (for frying)
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 c. flour
1c. corn flakes
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 boneless skinless chiken breasts
10-12 c. romaine lettuce
2 c. chopped red cabbage
2 c. chopeed napa cabbage
2 c. shredded carrots
4 green onions
4 Tbsp. slice almonds
1 can rice noodles (about 1 1/2 c.)

For dressing, combine honey, vinegar, mayo and mustard in a small bowl; blend thoroughly. Refrigerate.

Preheat oil in deep fryer or deep pan over medium heat to 30 . In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. In another bowl combine flour with cornflake crumbs, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in milk mixture then in crumbs. Fry until golden and cooked thoroughly. ( I always have them give me the grilled chicken on this salad so if you like it that way grill it and omit this step.)

Prepare the salad by tossing the romaine with cabbages and carrot. Sprinkle green onion, almonds and rice noodles on top of lettuce mixture. Cut chicken into bite size chunks and place on salad Serve with oriental dressing on the side.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Onion-Roasted Potatoes


We enjoy these at least once a month at our house. They are so simple and go with almost anything on the menu.

Ingredients

1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
5 medium potatoes, but into bite size chunks
1/3 cup olive oil

Directions
Preheat oven to 425. In a 9x13 baking dish combine all ingredients. Bake, stirring occasionally 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender golden brown.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

I got this recipe from an issue of Taste of Home, it's quick and easy, but oh so yummy! Your kids will love it, and you'll love how easy it is, enjoy it with a movie or as an after school snack.


Ingredients:

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1 cup honey bear-shaped crackers
  • 1 cup broken thin pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate M&M's

Directions:

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Combine cinnamon-sugar and cocoa; sprinkle over popcorn and toss to coat. Stir in graham snacks, pretzels and M&M's. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 2-1/2 quarts.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Pies with Baklava Crust

I found this recipe on Yum Sugar, a new site for me to visit, but It's become a new favorite. I have grown to have a love for all things Baklava since having a co-worker who use to make baklava on a regular basis and bring it to work. I thought this was an amazing combination of 2 things I love, pumpkin and baklava. It was a little labor intense with the making of the streusel and baking it, but it's worth it, trust me on that one. My mouth is singing just looking at the pictures.


Ingredients

Walnut-Oatmeal Streusel
6 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3 1/2 tablespoons flour
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
Phyllo Crust
5 sheets of phyllo, thawed and room temperature
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Pumpkin Pie Filling
7.5 ounces solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 cup honey
1 egg
1/8 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

  1. Make the walnut-oatmeal streusel: Preheat oven to 350. Combine oats, walnuts, flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in honey. Stir into oat mixture.
  3. Spread streusel on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally until light gold and crunchy, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Let cool on baking sheet on a wire rack. Streusel will keep, covered for up to 3 days.
  5. Make the phyllo crust: Preheat oven to 350. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Gently place one layer of phyllo dough on a large cutting board. Brush with a thin layer of butter and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat this step five times until all 5 sheets have been used.
  6. Cut phyllo into 2 by 2 inch squares. Remove each square and gently press and fold the edges into the mini muffin tin. Bake for 5-8 minutes until phyllo cups are golden.
  7. Make the pumpkin pie filling: combine pumpkin, brown sugar, honey, egg, cream, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger in a large bowl.
  8. Sprinkle a bit of streusel in the bottom of each phyllo cup. Spoon in a small amount of pumpkin pie filling in each phyllo cup. Bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin filling is firm.
  9. Sprinkle a little strusel on each and serve warm.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ham Hock and Beans


This is a recipie my mom made when I was growing up. My hubby's grandmother used to make them for him too. They're something we enjoy occasionally as the weather starts to cool off.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 medium smoked ham hocks, about 4 ounces each
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 pound dried navy white beans
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 cups water
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Directions

In a medium pot with a lid, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, sear the ham hocks in batches, until brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the ham hock and set aside. Add the onions. Season with pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the beans and bay leaves. Season with pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add the reserved ham hocks and water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone and the beans are creamy. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.

Friday, October 16, 2009

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP


This is my neighbor Christine's recipe. Thanks for sharing, it's delicious!


CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water (may use chicken broth)
2 Tbs sugar
3 tsp chili powder
3/4 - 1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
14 oz can or frozen corn (optional)
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

Combine in large pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for 3o minutes. (You can also put this in a crock pot and let it simmer all day on low.)

Serve with:
Sour Cream
Chopped avocado
Sliced olives
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla strips (Smith's carries these in their deli section)

Omelets in a Bag

This is a recipe that I got from Kevin's Aunt Donnette when we have been camping with them. It is super easy to do while camping if you have a camp stove to boil water on, and it's also a fun one to do at home, and simplifies the time it takes to make the omelets. When we have done this before the kids enjoy helping to squish the eggs, and put their own ingredients in their bags, the bigger kids can help cut things up. You can also prepare all of the ingredients before leaving for your camping trip, or the night before if you are at home. Love this easy recipe, and I hope you enjoy it as well.


  • eggs
  • ham cut into bite size pieces (optional)
  • bacon or sausage cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • shredded Cheddar cheese
  • chopped white or green onion (optional)
  • chopped green bell pepper (optional)
  • chopped fresh tomato (optional)
  • chunky salsa (optional)
  • fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Crack 2 eggs into a quart size ziplock freezer bag. Press out most of the air, and seal. Shake or squeeze to beat the eggs. Open the bag, and add the meat, cheese, onion, green pepper, tomato, salsa, and mushrooms. Squeeze out as much of the air as you can, and seal the bag, squish to mix all ingredients together.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Be sure to write the names on the bags so you can tell them apart. Place up to 8 bags at a time into the boiling water. Cook for exactly 13 minutes. Open the bag, and let the omelet roll out onto a plate. The omelet should roll out easily.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Marshmallow Pop's

This is a recipe I saw on Taste of Home a while back and thought it was a perfect holiday treat. You can decorate these according to the specific holiday, red/green for Christmas, Orange and black for Halloween, pastels for easter. The possibilities are endless. It's a quick and fun little treat for kids to help with. As a side note, you can use either popsicle sticks or sucker sticks for the actual sticks.


  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 36 to 40 large marshmallows
  • 18 to 20 Popsicle sticks
  • 3/4 cup colored or chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup ground walnuts or pecans

Directions:

In a shallow microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and oil. Stir until smooth.
Thread two marshmallows onto each wooden stick. Roll marshmallows in melted chocolate, turning to coat, I found using a knife was more effective in getting an even coating on the marshmallow. Allow excess to drip off. Roll in sprinkles, coconut. walnuts, candy, or drizzle with white chocolate. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets, or stand upright in a foam block to avoid smashing pop.. Chill until firm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baked Manicotti

I got this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe, and let me tell you that this simplifies making manicotti. I love manicotti and it's definately much easier than stuffing the shells.


Tomato Sauce
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (in juice)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried basil

Cheese Filling and Pasta
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
16 no-boil lasagna noodles (I use the Barilla brand - apparently they are supposed to be the most similar to homemade pasta and I love them, both in this and in lasagna)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes (if using) in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan chese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs; set aside.

To assemble, pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using soupspoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (You should be able to fit 8 manicotti in each row, allowing all 16 to fit in the dish). Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.

Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Bake until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

The manicotti can be prepared right up until the baking step then covered with a sheet of parchment paper, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the manicotti in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) To bake, remove the parchment, replace the aluminum foil, and increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Found this yummy recipe on realsimple this past week and knew I needed to try it. It was super easy, and reminded me a little of eating pumpkin roll with the cream cheese frosting. I love, love, love the flavors of pumpkin and cream cheese, to me it has fall written all over it. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • 1 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 pieces candy corn

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.
  2. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn

Monday, October 12, 2009

Green Goblins

When I saw this recipe on Gourmet Mom on the Go, I knew that I was going to have to make these for Halloween time with my kids and nephews. What a fun little idea to make little scarry goblins. It's a great way to let kids help and show their creative sides. I hope you have as much fun as I did.



Ingredients:
6 C. Kix Cereal
1 package marshmallows (about 40 large)
3 Tbs. butter or margarine
4 drops green food coloring
Wax Paper
Nonstick Cooking Spray
1 package circus peanuts (you need 2 per goblin)
1 can Pillsbury vanilla icing
assorted candies


Put Marshmallows and butter in large mirowave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave 1 additional minute. Remove from microwave and stir in green food coloring.
Place Kix cereal into your cauldron...I mean large bowl... Pour marshmallow mixture over Kix and stir well. Let cool for 3-5 minutes.After mixture has cooled slightly but is still moldable, spray hands generously with cooking spray (otherwise you'll get VERY sticky!). Scoop out 3/4 C. of the mixture and shape into a firm ball. Place on wax paper to harden. After the Goblin Bodies are set (about 30 minutes), place on top of two Circus Peanut candies. Your Goblins are ready to decorate!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ice Cream Pumpkin Pie

I must admit I'm a sucker when it comes to anything pumpkin... I think that the flavors and smells that it creates in my house and mouth are to die for. This is a new twist on pumpkin pie, and it's super easy, and very delicious. Happy Pumpkin Season!!


1 quart butter pecan ice cream or similar flavor, softened
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup chocolate ice cream topping, optional
Additional whipped cream

Spread ice cream into the crust; freeze for 2 hours or until firm. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; fold in whipped cream. Spread over ice cream. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm. May be frozen for up to 2 months.
Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before slicing. Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping. Drizzle with chocolate ice cream topping if desired. Dollop with whipped cream.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Marshmallow Witches

This is another great recipe I got from taste of home, are these little guys seriously not the cutest witches you have ever seen? I thought they would be great fun for a Halloween party, or even as after school snacks for the kids. I love Holidays, and finding new fun recipes to try to make the holidays fun for the kids.

  • 1/2 cup vanilla frosting, divided
  • 36 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • 1 drop each green, red and yellow food coloring, optional
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 12 chocolate wafers
  • 12 miniature peanut butter cups
  • 12 milk chocolate kisses

Directions:

For the face of each witch, place a dab of frosting on the bottom of three chocolate chips; press two for eyes and one for nose onto each marshmallow.
For hair, combine green food coloring and a drop of water in a small resealable plastic bag; add coconut and shake well. Spread a small amount of frosting on sides of marshmallows; press coconut hair into frosting. Place 3 tablespoons of frosting in a small heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; tint orange with red and yellow food coloring. Set aside.
For hats, spread some of the remaining frosting in the center of chocolate wafers; press peanut butter cups upside down into frosting. Lightly spread bottoms of chocolate kisses with frosting; place on peanut butter cups. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert a small star tip. Fill the bag with frosting and pipe stars around the base of each peanut butter cup. Secure a hat to each witch with a dab of frosting.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe originated from a Pillsbury bake off, and it has been circulating around on a few blogs I read, so I thought I would try it out, since I love the magic middle cookies, I thought these would be a great twist, and besides I LOVE peanut butter cookies. They were sure to not dissapoint, as I am sure you too will find out, they are fairly quick when you use the pre-made cookie dough, you can also make this using your favorite PB cookie recipe, and it would be great, but the pre-made dough just cuts down on the time. It would be a great one to have your kids help with as well.


  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 roll Pillsbury refigerated peanut butter cookie dough, well chilled
  • non-stick cooking spray
Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 375* F. In small bowl, mix chopped peanuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. In another small bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1 inch) balls.
  3. Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.
  4. Roll each covered ball in peanut/sugar mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Spray bottom of drinking glass with non-stick cooking spray; flatten each ball to 1/2 inch thickness with bottom of glass. Sprinkle remaining peanut/sugar mixture evenly on tops of flattened cookies; gently press into dough.
  5. Bake 7 - 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.
Makes 24 "gooey-in-the-middle" cookies!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Candy Corn Popcorn Balls

This recipe comes from Cooking Light and it's another fun way you can make a treat with your kids, that welcomes the Halloween spirit. What could be better than popcorn, marshmallows and candy corn. It would be a really fun treat to take to a school class, or to share at a party. They are yummy if you are a fan of rice krispy treats you will definitely love these.


  • 8 cups popped light butter microwave popcorn (about 1 [3-ounce] bag)
  • 1 cup candy corn
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
  • Cooking spray

Preparation

Combine popcorn and candy corn in a large bowl.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and (10-ounce) bag marshmallows. Reduce heat to low; cook for 7 minutes or until the marshmallows melt and the mixture is smooth, stirring frequently.

Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat well. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray; shape popcorn mixture into 20 (2-inch) balls.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Easy Donuts

I love homemade donuts, it's something that reminds me of Halloween when I was growing up, probably because we made them a number of times on Halloween. When I saw this recipe on realsimple I knew I had to give it a try, afterall, we love making pride biscuits when camping with biscuit dough, why not donuts in the fall. Though they aren't quite the same as a true homemade donut, they are close enough for me!


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 8-count package large refrigerated biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  2. Place the biscuits on a cutting board. Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter or old pill bottle, cut a hole in the center of each biscuit, reserving the extra dough for "holes."
  3. Test the heat of the oil by dipping the edge of a doughnut in the pan. When the oil is hot enough, the edge will bubble. Place 4 of the doughnuts and holes in the skillet and cook until golden brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel–lined plate to drain. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, reheat, and cook the remaining doughnuts and holes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss the warm doughnuts in the mixture a few at a time. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    This recipe makes 8 doughnuts, plus holes.