Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Festive Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer

"This appetizer is so, so simple to make.  It is a perfect addition to your holiday menu whether you're hosting your family for a traditional Christmas dinner or you're attending a holiday buffet.  Add this dish to the menu and you will be the star of the holiday party!"  
1-(8 ounce) package of cream cheese
6 ounces of cocktail sauce (1/2 of a 12 ounce bottle)
1-(4 ounce) can of tiny shrimp, drained and rinsed
Old Bay Seasoning, desired amount
Your choice of crackers
Open can of shrimp and pour into a colander.  Run cold water over shrimp to rinse and allow to drain well.  Place block of cream cheese in center of a serving platter.  Pour cocktail sauce over cream cheese.  Place shrimp on top of cocktail sauce.  (Sauce and shrimp will cascade over the side of the cream cheese.)  Sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning.  Place crackers around edge of platter.  Serve by spreading on crackers.  Enjoy!    

Friday, December 12, 2014

Broccoli, Bacon & Cheese Soup Bowls

Ooey, Gooey & Cheesy Broccoli Soup with Smokey Bacon-OH MY!  Does it get any more Comforting?  Oh Wait-Let's put it in a bread bowl and top it off with even more cheese & bacon.  YUM!!!   YUM!!! and more YUM!!!

1-(11.2 ounce) package of Bear Creek brand Cheddar Broccoli Soup Mix
8 cups water
1-(12 ounce) package Birds Eye Steamfresh Broccoli Florets
1 onion, finely diced
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup Hormel Real Bacon Pieces (from 2.8 ounce jar) + additional bacon pieces for topping
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese + additional cheese for topping
1/2 cup sour cream
Bread bowls, purchased at Bakery

In a large stock pot, combine soup mix and water and prepare according to package directions.  Prepare broccoli in the microwave following directions on package.  In a small sauté pan, sauté onion in canola oil until tender.  Add cooked broccoli, sautéed onion and 1/3 cup bacon pieces to prepared soup.  Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese and sour cream and mix until cheese is melted.  Cut top off of bread bowls and remove some of the bread to hollow bowl for filling.  Spoon soup into bread bowls.  Top with desired amount of shredded cheese and bacon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until soup is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Breakfast Sausage Skillet

"I took my brother-in-law's recipe, Steve's Go-To Skillet Dinner and turned it into a yummy breakfast dish.  It is hearty and so easy!"

cooking oil
3 or 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 link of Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, sliced
6 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat a small amount of cooking oil in a large skillet.  Add potatoes, onions and peppers and cook until tender.  (The vegetables will cook faster if you cover the pan with a lid.)  Add sausage and heat through.  While sausage is heating through, combine eggs, milk, salt & pepper and scramble (heat while stirring) in a separate pan.  Add scrambled eggs to sausage mixture.  Stir to combine.  Top with shredded cheese and heat until cheese melts.  ENJOY!  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grandma's Candied Yams

"These Candied Yams are a must at our Thanksgiving Dinner.  It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them.  They are the perfect amount of golden sweetness and would be a delicious addition to your holiday dinner!" 

4-5 Yams
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
2 cups packed brown sugar

Peel yams and cut into large chunks.  Place in a large stock pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender.  Drain.  Return to the pan and add stick of butter and brown sugar.  Heat on medium heat until butter melts and brown sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until sauce thickens and becomes syrupy.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

"Don't you just love old-fashioned recipes?  I do!  They are always delicious, made with simple ingredients and have a way of bringing back special memories when you eat them.  These cookies are a perfect example of that.  They are chewy, sweet and just like the old fashioned ones, only YUMMIER with just a hint of nutmeg.  Bake some today and then pour yourself a big glass of milk and sit back and enjoy your special memories!"
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Add flour, egg, vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Mix until well combined.  (The mixture will appear crumbly, but will come together when you form it with your hands.)  Form into balls by rolling about 1 Tablespoon of dough in between the palms of your hands.  Roll balls in Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar (recipe follows). 
Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice    
In a small bowl, combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Roll balls of cookie dough in sugar mixture until completely covered.  Place cookies 2 inches apart on non-stick cookie sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup

2-3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 Tablespoon McCormick or Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning
Salt and pepper, desired amount
3-(32 ounce) containers of chicken stock or broth
1-(12 ounce) package of egg noodles
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I just use shredded deli rotisserie chicken.)
1 cup water
1-( .87 ounce) packet of chicken gravy mix
1-(14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained

In a large stockpot, heat 1 Tablespoon of canola oil.  Add carrots, onion, celery, Roasted Garlic & Herb Seasoning, salt and pepper and saute for 15 minutes to soften vegetables.  Add stock/broth and bring to a boil.  Stir in noodles and cook for 12-15 minutes or until noodles are tender.  Add chicken, water, gravy packet and tomatoes and heat through.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake

"This cheesecake would be a delicious alternative to pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving!"

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

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.  With an electric mixer on medium speed mix cream cheese and sugar 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 50-55 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.  ENJOY!!!

Visit my MooseCreek Cheesecakes page for more delicious cheesecake recipes.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Grandma's Shortbread Cookies

"This family recipe was given to us by my Grandma.  I wait all year for the holidays, because I know that my sweet husband will make these cookies for me.  They are the best shortbread cookies I've ever tasted!"

2 cups softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream together butter and powdered sugar.  Add eggs and extracts.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt and gradually add to creamed mixture.  Form dough into 2 disks and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill dough for about 30 minutes.  Roll out on a floured work surface to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes using cookie cutters.  Place cookies on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 12-16 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just golden brown.  Cool completely and frost with Almond Butter-Cream Icing.  (Recipe follows.)

Almond Butter-Cream Icing:
2 sticks or 1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of shortening
2 pound bag of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring
Light corn syrup or water to thin icing to desired consistency*

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and shortening. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until all combined. Add almond and vanilla extracts.  Add food coloring, if desired.   Frost cookies using decorating bag and star tip or spread icing with an off-set spatula.

*TIP:  If icing is too thick, you may add light corn syrup or water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the icing is the consistency you want.     

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Candy Corn Cookies

"These cookies would be perfect for your Trick-or-Treaters, Fall Bake Sales or Halloween Class Parties!" 

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar*
3/4 cup brown sugar*  
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2-1/4 cups flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
11 snack-size bars from (9.45 ounce) bag of Hershey's candy corn snack-size candy bars, chopped
candy corn candies for decorating
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars.  Add vanilla extract (and water if High Altitude*).  Mix in eggs until thoroughly combined.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to creamed mixture a little at a time until completely combined.  Stir in chopped candy bars.  Spoon by heaping Tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets, flattening slightly.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8-9 minutes.  Remove cookies from the oven and immediately firmly press candy corn into warm cookies to decorate.  
*If you live at High Altitude like I do:  Increase flour to 2-1/2 cups; increase both sugars to 2/3 cup each; and add 2 teaspoons of water when you add the vanilla.  
Makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies.
Chopped Hershey's Candy Corn snack-size candy bars (found with the Halloween candy) 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Crunchy Chicken Casserole

"This is another yummy recipe that my sister shared with me.  I made it recently and my husband and I LOVED it!  It is a perfect casserole to make as the weather gets cooler.  I promise that you will add this recipe to your list of favorite comfort food dinners!" 

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (8 ounce) package of shredded cheddar cheese, plus desired amount of additional shredded cheddar cheese for sprinkling on top
4 cups cooked chicken, diced*
1 (14.5 ounce) can of sliced carrots, drained
1 (2 ounce) jar pimentos
1 package of Stove Top boxed stuffing mix, any flavor; prepared according to package directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add broth, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Lower heat, add 8 ounce package of cheese and stir until cheese is melted.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in chicken, carrots and pimentos.  Spread in a shallow 2-quart casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with desired amount of shredded cheddar cheese.  Spoon prepared stuffing over the top of the casserole.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.   

*You can use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken for this recipe.           

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mom's Oven Stew

"A hearty beef and vegetable stew that is perfect for the cool, Fall weather.  It is comfort food at it's most delicious!"  
1-1/2 to 2 pounds of beef stew meat
6 medium-sized potatoes, cut into chunks (I used Yukon gold.)
3-4 stalks of celery, sliced
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes, not drained (I used tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano.)
3 Tablespoons tapioca
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 slice of bread, torn into pieces
1 (.87 ounce) packet of brown gravy mix
1 cup water
Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven or other oven-safe pot.  Stir until completely combined.  Cover and bake at 250 degrees for 4-1/2 to 5 hours.
Serving suggestion:  We love to eat this yummy stew with fresh baked bread.   

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chia's Cinnamon Rolls

"These are my hubby's world famous cinnamon rolls or at least they're famous in our little world.  They are truly the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I've ever had.  My family loves them and can't wait until he makes them for us.  They are a lot of work, but they are so worth it!" 

Cinnamon Rolls:
- 1 Cup milk
- 2 Eggs, room temperature (Leave eggs out for an hour or so prior to beginning)
- 1/3 Cup butter
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 5 Cups bleached, all-purpose, flour, divided (2 Cups + 3 Cups)
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup white sugar
- 1 Package (¼ oz) Active dry yeast (I use rapid rise)

Cinnamon Roll Filling:
- 1 Cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 ½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ Cup butter, softened, divided (¼ Cup + ¼ Cup)

Cream Cheese Frosting/Icing:
- 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
- ½ Cup (1 Stick) butter, softened
- 3 ½ to 4 Cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 Cups of the flour and the package of active dry yeast.

2. In a small saucepan, heat and stir the 1 Cup milk, ½ Cup white sugar, 1/3 Cup butter, and 1 Teaspoon salt, over LOW heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is warm (120 to 130 degrees F).  Use a candy/ cooking thermometer and watch it closely. As soon as the mixture reaches 120 degrees F, remove from heat.

3. Add the warm milk mixture to the 2 Cups flour and yeast in the mixing bowl, along with the 2 eggs, which should be at room temperature, and the 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract. Using a stand mixer fitted with a “Paddle” or mixing attachment, beat on LOW speed for approximately 30 seconds, or until the ingredients start to combine with the flour.

4. Scrape the sides of the bowl down and then beat on medium to high speed for 3 minutes.

5. Remove the “Paddle” attachment and attach the “Dough Hook”. Using the dough hook, mix in as much of the remaining 3 Cups of flour as you can, adding a little at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball on the dough hook. At this point, you may need to turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it by hand until it is the right texture:
- The dough should be smooth, elastic and slightly tacky/moist to the touch.
 - It SHOULD NOT be firm (like cookie dough) or dry.

6. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased (with cooking oil or spray), non-metallic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (I usually lightly spray the plastic wrap so it doesn't stick to the dough as it rises); Let dough rise in a warm place till double (about an hour). 

 7. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by combining, in a medium sized bowl, the brown sugar, cinnamon and ¼ Cup of the softened butter. Cut the butter into the sugar and cinnamon until the mixture resembles “course meal”. You want the sugar and cinnamon to be incorporated into the butter so that the mixture has a fairly uniform color and texture; Set mixture aside.

8. Once the dough has risen, “punch” it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough, using a lightly floured rolling pin, into an approximately 16-inch by 21-inch rectangle, which is roughly ¼ – inch thick.

 9. Spread the remaining ¼ Cup softened butter evenly over the top of the dough (I use my hands so that I can gently spread the butter to keep from mis-shaping the dough during this process), leaving approximately 1-inch along the edge of both of the LONG sides of the dough unbuttered. This is so that you have an unbuttered edge to seal after you roll the dough.

 10. Sprinkle the cinnamon roll filling evenly over the buttered portions of the dough, again, leaving around a 1-inch gap along the edge of both of the long sides that do not have any butter or filling on them.

11. Roll the dough, starting from one of the LONG sides (so that you have around a 21-inch long roll when you are done), making sure to keep the roll fairly tight, without deforming the dough, until you reach the far side of the dough. PINCH the seam of the dough together lightly to hold it shut and then place the roll SEAM DOWN for the next step.

12. Using a length of DENTAL FLOSS, slide the floss under one end of the roll. Cut individual roll sections, each approximately 1 ½ inches wide, off of the roll by wrapping the dental floss up and over the top of the roll, pulling each end of the dental floss in the opposite direction, across the top of the roll, so that the floss cleanly cuts through the roll. Slide the floss under the roll again, measure approximately 1 ½ inch and repeat the process to cut around 12 individual rolls.

13. Place the rolls, flat side UP, in a lightly greased or sprayed, 13 x 9 inch baking pan, leaving an even amount of space between each roll to give them room to rise/bake.

14. Loosely cover cinnamon rolls with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until nearly doubled in size (again, approximately 1 hour). While the rolls are raising, PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.

15. Once the rolls are raised, remove the plastic wrap, brush with additional melted butter, if desired, and bake for approximately 18 to 20 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are a nice, deep golden brown. Remove rolls from oven and cool for approximately 5 minutes before frosting/icing.

1. In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese and butter, along with the 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract, until thoroughly combined.

2. Mix in as much of the powdered sugar, adding a little bit at a time, to get the frosting/icing to the desired spreading consistency (A little thinner consistency is good for drizzling, while a little firmer consistency is good for spreading – this is kind of a personal taste/preference thing).

3. Spread/drizzle the icing over the cinnamon rolls as desired. You could spread the frosting over the rolls while still in the pan, then cut and remove OR you could cut the rolls, remove them from the baking pan and place them on a cooling rack and then drizzle the icing over the top so that the icing runs down the sides – again, this is personal preference.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Steve's Go-To Skillet Dinner

"My sister told me that this recipe is one of my brother-in-law's favorites.  It's one that he goes back to again and again.  I made it for my hubby recently and I can see why.  It's simple, only needs a few ingredients and is definitely Man-approved!"   

1 link of Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, sliced
3 or 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
cooking oil

Heat a small amount of cooking oil in a large skillet.  Add potatoes, onions and peppers and cook until tender.  (The vegetables will cook faster if you cover the pan with a lid.)  Add sausage and heat through.  Serve with ketchup, spicy mustard or Tabasco (or all three).   

Friday, September 26, 2014

Apple Pie Muffins

"These Muffins are my salute to Fall this year.  They are full of my favorite Fall flavors-apples, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  I love that the apples are mixed into the batter and are also baked into the top of the muffins.  YUM!  As if that was not delicious enough, I topped the muffins with a sweet Apple Pie Spice Drizzle.  YUM, YUM!!"
1-3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
1 (20 ounce) can apple pie filling, divided
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin tins by spraying with non-stick cooking spray or lining with baking or cupcake liners.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice.  Spoon 1 cup of the apple pie filling onto a cutting board and chop into a medium-sized dice.  Add to dry ingredients along with the butter, milk, eggs and vanilla.  Beat mixture with an electric mixer until completely combined.  Using a medium-sized scoop, spoon batter into muffin tins; filling each 2/3 full.  (Batter will make approximately 18 muffins.)  Chop remaining apple pie filling into a medium-sized dice and spoon about 1/2 Tablespoon onto the top of each muffin.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool slightly and drizzle with Apple Pie Spice Drizzle (recipe follows).

Apple Pie Spice Drizzle 
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon apple pie spice*

Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and apple pie spice until smooth.  Drizzle over muffins.

*Substitution:  If you don't have apple pie spice, you may substitute cinnamon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hunter's Style Pork Chops

"My family enjoyed this recipe when I was younger and it's a delicious reminder of dinnertime with my Mom, Step-Dad and Sister.  This recipe combines pork, vegetables and a delicious sauce into a family-friendly main dish.  Sit down at your family table and savor this recipe and your family time together." 
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
4 pork loin chops, each about 3/4 of an inch thick
2 green peppers, sliced into strips
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound white button mushrooms, quartered
1-(8ounce) bottle Sweet & Spicy French Dressing (You can also use Catalina Dressing.)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tomato, chopped
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and brown pork chops on both sides.  Remove chops to a plate and add green peppers, onions and mushrooms.  Saute vegetables until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in Dressing, water, sugar, salt and pepper.  Return pork chops to skillet, nestling them into the sauce.  Heat to boiling and then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until chops are fork-tender.  Add chopped tomato and heat through.  ENJOY!  Makes 4 servings.
Serving Suggestion:  Serve with rice or buttered noodles. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cinnamon Drizzled Zucchini Bread

"Is your garden overflowing with zucchini right now?  This recipe is a perfect way to use it up.  I took my Grandma's Zucchini & Carrot Bread recipe and twisted it up a little bit by following my Mom's yummy suggestion of adding sweet pineapple to the batter.  To make the bread even more irresistible, I drizzled a Cinnamon Icing over the top.  The result:  The most delicious zucchini bread that I've ever tasted!!!  I hope you think so too."

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
1 (8-1/4 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, brown sugar, grated zucchini, crushed pineapple and vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix until completely combined.   Divide batter into 2 loaf pans that have been sprayed with baking spray with flour.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Remove from pans to cool completely.  Drizzle with Cinnamon Drizzle (recipe follows).

Cinnamon Drizzle
1 cup Powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Whisk together powdered sugar, milk and cinnamon.  Drizzle over cooled bread.

VARIATION:  My Grandma's original recipe called for 1 cup of shredded zucchini and 1 cup of shredded carrot.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mocha Fudge Brownie Banana Splits

"It was my sweet Hubby's Birthday yesterday and I made him a  yummy treat to celebrate.  He loves the combination of coffee and chocolate and he loves, loves, loves Brownie A La Mode so I put all his favorites together and the Mocha Fudge Brownie Banana Split was born.  !!OH MY!!"

"Banana Split meets Brownie A La Mode"
Little Debbie's Large-sized Cosmic Brownies (2 for each serving)
Haagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream (2 scoops for each serving)
Dreyer's Double Fudge Brownie Ice Cream (2 scoops for each serving)
Bananas (1 large or 2 small, per serving) 
Spray Whipped Cream
Chocolate syrup
Maraschino Cherries
For each Banana Split:
Place brownies on the bottom of a bowl (I used a long serving platter which worked perfectly.)  Top with ice cream scoops.  Cut banana in half length-wise and place on each side of ice cream scoops.  Drizzle on desired amount of chocolate syrup and swirl on desired amount of whipped cream.  Top off with maraschino cherries and DIG IN!!!   

Friday, August 29, 2014

Divine Desserts

"Any of these Divine Desserts would be the perfect ending to your End-of-Summer Bash (although they would be delicious any time of the year)!"
*Just click on the links below each picture to see the recipes.
Happy Labor Day & Happy Eating!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cabbage Burgers

"I have eaten these cabbage burgers all my life and I love them!  The original recipe was time consuming because it used homemade bread dough.  My aunt adapted the original recipe to make it easier and quicker and luckily she shared her recipe with me.  I made them for the first time recently and my husband and I devoured them.  They are a delicious and hearty family-friendly dinner and I hope your family loves them as much as we do."

Dough rolled out and ready for filling

Browned meat and cabbage mixture

Stuffed rolls

Rolls doubled in size, basted with butter & ready for baking

Just out of the oven

Ready to enjoy

1 (24 count) bag of Rhodes frozen Texas Rolls
2 pounds hamburger or a combination of 1 pound of hamburger and 1 pound sausage (My Aunt uses a package of Jimmy Dean Sausage with Sage.)
1 onion, diced
garlic salt, pepper, dried thyme and dried basil, to taste (I used a teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon each of pepper, thyme and basil.)
1 (14 ounce) package of shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
4 Tablespoons butter, melted (for basting)

Allow frozen rolls to thaw for about 45 minutes so that the dough becomes pliable.  (I placed the frozen rolls on waxed paper to thaw.)  While the rolls are thawing, brown hamburger (or hamburger and sausage) with onion and seasonings.  Pour into a colander to drain well.  Return to the pan and add shredded cabbage.  Cover and cook until cabbage is softened, about 15 minutes. 

Roll out each roll and place some of the meat mixture (2-3 Tablespoons) in the middle.  Stretch  dough up and around meat mixture and pinch closed.  Place the rolls seam-side down into two greased 9x13 pans, 12 rolls per pan.  Place pans in a warm place and allow rolls to raise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.  Brush rolls with melted butter and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and take rolls out of pans immediately to avoid the rolls becoming soggy.  Serve warm.  ENJOY!

TIP:  I have always dipped these yummy rolls in ketchup, but you can also eat them plain.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lemon Bar Biscotti

"If You love Lemon Bars, You will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Biscotti!  It's so yummy with coffee in the morning or with tea at the end of the day and it makes a delicious dessert too."

1-1/4 cups sugar
1 stick or 1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
zest from 2 lemons, 2-3 teaspoons
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter.  Add  eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.  Divide the dough into two equal portions.  Roll out each portion and shape into 10x3 inch rectangles and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for 15 minutes.

After cooling, cut each rectangle crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.  Place slices cut sides down on cookie sheet.  Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool on wire racks.  Drizzle with or dunk ends in Lemon Drizzle (Recipe follows).

Lemon Drizzle:
1 (11 ounce) package of white chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon shortening
1 teaspoon lemon extract
10 drops of yellow food coloring
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Powdered sugar for dusting

Melt white chocolate chips with shortening in a saucepan on low heat.  Remove from heat and add extract and food coloring.  Mixture will become thick so stir in vegetable oil to thin into a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over cooled biscotti or dunk ends of biscotti into melted chocolate.  Allow Lemon Drizzle to set and then dust biscotti with powdered sugar.  Serve with coffee, tea or enjoy as a yummy dessert.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Breaded Zucchini Chips

"These Zucchini Chips are little bites of breaded heaven!  My husband liked them so much that he didn't even wait to dip them in Ranch dressing (If you know my Hubby, you know that's a big deal!).   They are perfect as an appetizer, snack or side dish."

1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders and dried oregano, desired amounts*

You will need 3 separate dishes for your breading station.  In one dish, place the flour.  In another dish, add egg + water and in the third dish, place the bread crumbs.  Add desired amount of seasonings to each dish and stir well.  *(I season the flour, egg and bread crumbs very well because we like very seasoned zucchini chips.  Season according to your family's taste.)  Dip zucchini slices first in the seasoned flour, then into the egg mixture and finally into the seasoned bread crumbs.  Lay breaded zucchini on a sheet of waxed paper until canola oil is heated.  This will help the breading to stick to the zucchini.  Pour enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a large frying pan and heat oil on medium heat.  Fry zucchini chips until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with Ranch dressing for dipping.    

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Grandma's Roast & Potatoes

"My husband and I love when my Grandma makes her Roast & Potatoes!  It makes a delicious dinner and the leftover roast makes the yummiest sandwiches the next day!  I recently made this recipe and our whole house smelled like my Grandma's house.  It was so comforting!" 
1-(3 to 4 pound) rump roast
salt & pepper
1 packet of dry Lipton onion soup mix (from 2 packet box)
1/2 cup water
small red potatoes, whole and unpeeled (I used 10 potatoes.)
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can of French onion soup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a Dutch oven or roasting pan with 2 pieces of foil in a cross pattern.
Place roast inside foil.  Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper and packet of onion soup mix.  Pour in water.  Wrap foil up around roast.  Put lid on pan and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours. 
Boil potatoes until fork tender; Drain.  Cool potatoes enough to handle and peel.  Set aside until roast has baked for 2 hours. 
After roast has cooked for 2 hours, remove from the oven and take foil wrapped roast out of the pan.  Open the foil and transfer roast and drippings back into the pan.  Place potatoes around the roast and pour can of French onion soup over roast and potatoes.  Return UNCOVERED pan to the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 1 additional hour.  Serve sliced roast and potatoes with sauce.    

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Let's Celebrate! Cream Cheese Cookie Bars

"I made these cookie bars for a family barbecue recently and everyone enjoyed them.  Whether you are serving them at a Special Birthday Bash or sharing them with the special people in your life, these cookies are a fun addition to any gathering.  They would be perfect for bake sales too!" 
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened
1-(3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup jimmies sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl of a stand mixer (I used a stand mixer because the dough is thick.) cream together butter and cream cheese.  Add flour, sugar, egg, milk, cornstarch, baking powder, almond extract and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are well combined.  Stir in jimmies.  Spoon dough into a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray with flour.  Using your fingers, press dough evenly into pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool and frost with Whipped Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (Recipe follows).
Whipped Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened
1-(3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1-(1 pound box) of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
food coloring, desired color (I made peach frosting by adding 3 drops of red and 2 drops of yellow.)
Sprinkles for decorating
Using the whip attachment of a stand mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar a little at a time until all combined.  Add vanilla, almond extract and food coloring.  Whip for 2-3 minutes.  Frost cooled cookie bars.  Decorate with Sprinkles.
*Tip:  I used a pizza cutter to slice the cookie bars into squares.     
Variation:  You could tint the frosting any color that fits your occasion and use any combination and color of jimmies and sprinkles too!     

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pineapple Drop Cookies

"These cookies are so soft and yummy!  I love when my Mom makes them and recently I made them for the first time.  They are so easy to make but so hard to stop eating!"

3-3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 (1 pound 4 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, un-drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar (mixture will be crumbly).  Mix in eggs, lemon juice and pineapple until smooth.  Stir in flour mixture a little at a time until all combined.  Drop by heaping Tablespoons onto non-stick or Sil-pat lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes (the edges of the cookies will be slightly golden brown).  Cool on cookie sheets for five minutes and then place on cooling racks to cool completely.  Store cookies in air-tight container to keep soft.  Makes about 3 dozen yummy cookies.
This recipe was featured on Tumbleweed Contessa's What'd You Do This Weekend? Link Party .

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

No Fuss Cream Cheese Danish

"My husband came up with this very simple, but delicious breakfast dish.  It takes only 4 ingredients and a few minutes to put it together.  Now there's no excuse for skipping breakfast!" 

1-(8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
4 Bakery prepared croissants, split in half
8 Tablespoons strawberry jam or jelly (or your favorite flavor), divided

In a mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  On the bottom half of each croissant, spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture.  Then spread 2 Tablespoons of jam or jelly on top of the cream cheese on each croissant.  Place the tops of the croissants on and Enjoy. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grandma's Cabbage Rolls

"Where I'm from, Cabbage Rolls are a staple for family dinners and are often served at special occasions like weddings and other celebrations.  I have eaten them my whole life and I never get tired of them.  The very best Cabbage Rolls I've ever had are made by my Grandma.  She makes them for our whole family often and my husband and I love when she does!  Now I am sharing her delicious recipe with you." 

2 pounds of ground beef, uncooked*
2 pounds of ground pork or 2-(16 ounce) packages of Jimmy Dean Sausage, original or sage, uncooked*
1 bag of prepared Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Rice (from 4-bag package, prepared according to package directions) 
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 Tablespoons dried minced onion
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 large head of green cabbage
1 (32 ounce) jar of sauerkraut, drained
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix uncooked ground beef and sausage until completely combined.  Add cooked rice, water, eggs, salt, pepper, chicken bouillon granules, garlic salt,  dried minced onion and dried parsley flakes and mix well; set aside. 

Add head of cabbage to a large pot of boiling water.  Boil until leaves begin to separate, about 10 minutes.  Remove cabbage from the water, pull each leaf off of the head and cut out the core from each leaf.  Using some of the large outer leaves cover the bottom of a large roasting pan (18 inch pan with lid).  Form meat mixture into large meatballs and roll up in remaining cabbage leaves, cutting large cabbage leaves in half.  Place cabbage rolls, seam side down, in the roaster.  If any cabbage is left after all of the meat mixture is used, chop it and put it on top of cabbage rolls.  Add just enough water to the roasting pan to cover the cabbage rolls (about 2 inches of water).  Cover roaster with lid and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours.  Remove from the oven and place drained sauerkraut over cabbage rolls.  Combine tomato soup and tomato sauce and pour over sauerkraut.  Put lid back on and return roaster to oven for 1 hour.  Enjoy!

*NOTE:  Instead of using the combination of ground beef and pork, you can use all pork.

TIP:  We love to serve with boiled potatoes and French bread for a delicious meal. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grandma's Stuffed Peppers

"My Grandma's Stuffed Peppers are so delicious and they are one of my favorite family recipes!  I recently made them on my own for the first time and much to my delight they tasted 'almost' as good as when my Grandma makes them for us.  On the day I made them, my husband told me he could hardly stand the wait until he could get off work and get home for dinner.  I even got his seal of approval.  I was so proud!"
A Dutch Oven is a perfect pan for making this recipe.

All of the ingredients needed to make stuffed peppers.
Prepare rice according to package directions.

Remove tops and membranes of peppers.

Place peppers in Dutch Oven.

Combine ground beef, sausage, prepared rice, salt and pepper.

Spoon meat mixture into peppers.

Combine pasta sauce and tomato soup.

Pour sauce over peppers.

This is what the peppers will look like after baking them at 325 degrees for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  Yum!

6 red bell peppers
1 pound ground beef
1 (16 ounce) package of Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage or 1 pound of ground pork
2 cups prepared white rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (24 ounce) jar of Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
1 (10-3/4 ounce) can tomato soup
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray a Dutch oven or large roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray.  
Prepare white rice according to the package directions.  While rice is cooking, cut the tops off of the red peppers and remove the seeds and membranes.  Place peppers into the Dutch oven or similar roasting pan.  In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, sausage or ground pork, prepared rice, salt and pepper.  Spoon the meat mixture into the peppers.  In a bowl, combine the pasta sauce and tomato soup and pour over the top of the peppers.  Put the lid on the Dutch oven or roaster and place in the preheated oven.  Bake at 325 degrees for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.