Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nachos Deluxe

"My husband and I love, love, love nachos on the weekends.  My hubby came up with this yummy version that we can make at home.  I told him that they taste better than any nachos that we've ordered at the local Mexican restaurants.  Lucky for me, now he can make them for us all of the time.  Probably not so lucky for him though huh!  Ha, ha!!"
"Yum!  You're craving Nachos now huh?"

1 pound of hamburger
salt & pepper, desired amounts
chili powder, desired amount
cumin, desired amount
onion powder, desired amount
garlic powder, desired amount
Brown hamburger with desired amounts of seasonings.  Drain. 
Cheese Sauce
1-(22-3/4 ounce) jar of Tostitos Smooth and Cheesy flavored dip
desired amounts of salt & pepper, chili powder, cumin. onion and garlic powder
Heat cheese sauce in a saucepan with desired amounts of seasonings. 
To assemble nachos
Tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (We used Colby jack cheese.)
1 can of Ro*Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained 
sliced pickled jalapenos
sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, spread out a layer of tortilla chips.  Sprinkle shredded cheese over the chips.  Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and chips are warmed through.  Remove from the oven and pour warmed cheese sauce over chips.  Spoon on seasoned hamburger.  Sprinkle on Ro*Tel and  jalapeno slices.  Spoon dollops of sour cream on top of the nachos.  Serve while hot.      

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy Halloween!

"Here are some of my favorite Halloween recipes.  I hope you enjoy them and that you have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

BOO to You! Brownies

3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
Halloween sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Remove from the heat and add sugar, flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee granules, baking powder, salt, eggs and vanilla. Stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in the milk chocolate chips. Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and drizzle Mocha Frosting (recipe follows) over hot brownies.    Cool completely.  Top with mini marshmallows and Halloween sprinkles.  Cut into squares and serve.  TIP:  Cover any leftovers well in order to keep marshmallows from drying out.

Mocha Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Remove from the heat and add cocoa powder, coffee granules, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Pour over hot brownies.

TIP:  I used Wilton Halloween sprinkles, but you could decorate the brownies with candy corn, candy pumpkins or your favorite Halloween candy.

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

4-5 large apples (I used Honey Crisp, but you can use your favorite apple.)
Popsicle sticks
1-(14 ounce) package of Kraft caramels, wrappers removed
1-(12 ounce) package of Nestle Premier white chocolate morsels
desired amount of cinnamon and sugar, combined

Wash and dry apples.  Insert Popsicle sticks into bottoms of apples and set aside.  In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, melt caramels with 2 Tablespoons of water according to package directions.  In another medium-sized saucepan, melt white chocolate chips following package directions or you can melt in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted.  When caramels are melted, dip apples, using a spoon to help you cover apple completely.  Place apples on waxed paper that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Allow to cool slightly and drizzle with melted white chocolate.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  ENJOY!  

Caramel Corn
1-(12 ounce) can of evaporated milk
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks or 1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup Karo light corn syrup
3 bags of microwave popcorn, popped with unpopped kernels removed (*According to the package directions, each bag of microwave popcorn will make about 10 cups of popped corn.  When I made this recipe, I used the equivalent of air-popped popcorn.)

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook milk, brown sugar, butter and Karo syrup until mixture reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  (TIP:  Be Patient-This will take about 30-45 minutes.  Don't be tempted to turn the heat up to speed up the cooking time, because the caramel will burn easily!)  Pour over popcorn and stir to coat popcorn completely.  Spread out on a large piece of waxed paper that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and allow to cool and air dry.  Store in a covered bowl.

*Tip:  Most caramel corn recipes produce a dry, crunchy popcorn.  This caramel corn has a soft and  chewy texture and that's why my husband and I love it!

Candy Corn White Chocolate Bark
2-(12 ounce) bags white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon orange extract
red food coloring + yellow food coloring
1-(11 ounce) package of candy corn (I used Brach's.)

Melt chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat.  Remove from the heat and add orange extract.  Stir until well incorporated and smooth.  Pour onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet.  Spread chocolate out with an off-set spatula until it's about 1/4 inch thick.  Drop food coloring onto chocolate and swirl around with off-set spatula or a butter knife.  (I used 4 drops of red and 6 drops of yellow food coloring.  I mixed the food coloring into the white chocolate with an off-set spatula to make a light orange color, but you could use orange and yellow food coloring and just swirl it around to make a tri-color bark.)  Sprinkle candy corn on top.  Allow to set up.  (TIP:  You can place in the refrigerator to speed up the set up time.)  Break into pieces. 

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
2-(10 ounce) packages of marshmallows (You can also use 2 large jars of marshmallow cream.)
1/4 cup butter
desired food coloring (I mixed red and yellow to make orange.)
2 bags Microwave popcorn, popped with unpopped kernels removed (*According to the package directions, each bag of microwave popcorn makes about 10 cups popped corn.  I used the equivalent of air popped popcorn when I made this recipe.)

In a large saucepan, heat butter and marshmallows until melted.  Add desired color and amount of food coloring and mix well.  Add popped corn and stir until completely covered.  *Using greased hands, form into popcorn balls and allow to cool completely.  Wrap in waxed paper that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. 
*TIP:  This is very messy, so make sure to grease your hands often to keep them from sticking to the popcorn balls.  I sprayed my hands with non-stick cooking spray several times.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Stroganoff Stuffed Spuds

"This is a very hearty recipe that uses a convenient packaged dinner mix.  Just stuff baked potatoes with creamy hamburger stroganoff and a family friendly dinner is served."    
Idaho potatoes, desired number
Wash the potatoes and poke them with a fork.  Rub with canola oil, season with salt and pepper and wrap in aluminum foil.  Place foil-wrapped potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour to 1-1/4 hours at 425 degrees.
1 package hamburger stroganoff dinner mix (I used Ultimate Hamburger Helper Creamy Stroganoff.)
1 pound hamburger
Prepare dinner mix, following the package directions.
To prepare Stuffed Spuds:
Baked Potatoes
Prepared Hamburger Stroganoff
Sour cream
Shredded cheese
dried parsley flakes, if desired
salt & pepper

Cut baked potatoes open and using a fork, break up potato.  Top with Hamburger Stroganoff.  Spoon on a dollop of sour cream and top with shredded cheese.  Sprinkle on desired amount of parsley, salt & pepper.  Enjoy!
Featured Button for #GetHimFed Fridays
This recipe was featured on Anyonita Nibbles

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Caramel Apple Cider

"I love the caramel apple spice drinks at Starbucks.  Unfortunately, the nearest Starbucks is 15 miles away and I don't get to have them as often as I would like.  The solution--make them at home.  I saw several copycat recipes on the Internet, but they were all too sweet for my husband and I so we came up with our own version.  The good news--we don't have to travel to get our caramel apple spice fix.  The bad news--I can't stop drinking them!  Believe me, after tasting this warm & delicious drink, you will have a new addiction too!"
2 cups Apple cider
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 Tablespoons caramel syrup
whipped cream
Additional caramel syrup for drizzling
In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider, water, brown sugar, cinnamon stick and caramel syrup.  Heat until brown sugar is completely dissolved and cider is desired temperature.  Remove cinnamon stick and pour cider into mugs.  Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup.  Makes 2 servings.      
This recipe was featured on Jam Hands 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pumpkin Perfection

"When I think of October, I think Pumpkin!  Here are a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes that are perfect for Fall Festivities.  They are simply PUMPKIN PERFECTION!     
Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 cups gingersnap crumbs
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Combine crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and about one inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top with filling.

2-(8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine cream cheese and sugar. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add canned pumpkin, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours before removing rim of springform pan. When ready to serve, remove rim of pan and slice. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.  ENJOY!!! 

Visit my MooseCreek Cheesecakes page for more delicious cheesecake recipes.
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing
4 eggs
1-2/3 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
1-(15 ounce) can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy,  Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix thoroughly.  Pour into an ungreased 15x10x1 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool and frost with cream cheese icing (Recipe follows.) and cut into bars.
Cream Cheese Icing:
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Cream together cream cheese and butter.  Add vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and mix well.  Ice bars.

Pumpkin Bread with Caramel Icing

3-1/3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
Combine the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs and water.  Stir into dry ingredients.  Add pecans, if desired.  Pour into 2 loaf pans that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pans.  Allow to cool completely and frost with caramel icing (recipe follows).
Caramel Icing:
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated or canned milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar and canned milk to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. *Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla. Ice loaves. 

*Mom's Tip:  To keep Icing from being lumpy, you can use a hand mixer to mix in powdered sugar and vanilla.