Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thai Honey Peanut Chicken.

  • 1 pound Chicken, In Chunks
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic (approximately 1 Large Clove)
  • 1 Tablespoon Natural Peanut Butter (heaping Tablespoon Even Better)
  • ½ teaspoons Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Mix ingredients and marinate chicken for 2-3 hours.
Cook chicken in the sauce over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes or until chicken is done. Reduce heat to medium-low and add precooked veggies if desired. Serve topped with sesame seeds.
To thicken sauce if needed: reduce heat to medium-low and add a cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water).
Substitutions: replace chicken with tofu; replace peanut butter with tahini or another nut butter; if using regular peanut butter (i.e. Skippy) instead of natural peanut butter, reduce honey by 1 tablespoon.


  • ½ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
  • 3 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Oreo Cookie Crumbs
  • ½ cups White Chocolate Chips, Melted (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese using a hand mixer until they are well combined.
Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until ingredients are well combined. Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Scoop the dough into 1″ balls (I used a scoop to insure all measured the same) and roll in Oreo cookie crumbs so cookie is covered. Place covered cookie balls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the tops are slightly puffed.
Cool on the pan for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, drizzle cookies with melted white chocolate. Enjoy!

Banana split ICE CREAM CAKE

  • 20 whole Oreo Cookies
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • 4 whole Bananas
  • 1 pint Strawberry Ice Cream
  • 1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 jar (about 16 Oz. Jar) Hot Fudge Sauce
  • 1 container (16 Oz. Container) Frozen Sliced Sweetened Strawberries, Thawed And Drained
  • Fresh Whipped Cream, For Serving
  • Crushed Pineapple, For Serving

Preparation Instructions

Take out the strawberry ice cream to thaw. Place the Oreos in a gallon Ziploc bag and crush well with a rolling pin or small frying pan. Pour the melted butter into the Ziploc bag and mix it up. Press this crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan.
Slice the bananas into 1/2″ rounds and arrange in a single layer on top of the crust. (Use as many banana slices as needed to fill the layer.) Place the pan into the freezer for about 10 minutes.
Scoop the softened strawberry ice cream in small scoops on top of the frozen banana layer, smoothing it together with a spoon dipped in warm water. Return to the freezer for 1-2 hours, until the ice cream is firm again.
Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer to thaw. Warm the hot fudge sauce slightly, just until it is easily spreadable. Pour the fudge over the strawberry ice cream layer, smoothing the top, and place back into the freezer for 15 minutes or so, until the fudge has firmed up again.
Scoop the softened vanilla ice cream in small scoops on top of the fudge layer, again smoothing it together with the back of a spoon dipped in warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the freezer for at least another 4-6 hours until very firm. (At this point the cake could be frozen, well wrapped, for a week or longer!)
Pour the drained sliced sweetened strawberries into a bowl and crush with a pastry blender or a fork until the berries are all mashed up. Store in the fridge until almost ready to serve the cake.
Spread the crushed berries over the top of the cake, to within one-half inch of the edge. Serve with fresh whipped cream and crushed pineapple for those who want it!

pistachio cake!


  • 1 box White Cake Mix
  • 1 package (4 Ounce) Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix
  • ½ cups Orange Juice
  • ½ cups Water
  • ½ cups Vegetable Oil
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • ¾ cups Chocolate Syrup (such As Hershey's)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan.
Mix all ingredients but chocolate syrup and beat for two minutes on medium-high. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the bundt pan.
Add chocolate syrup to the remaining batter and mix well. Pour chocolate-laced batter on top of the pistachio batter.
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Note: You can use a knife to swirl chocolate batter into the pistachio batter for more of a marbled design.
Variation: Coat cake with chocolate ganache!

Monday, October 18, 2010

sugar cookies @ their best

White Velvet Sugar Cookies
adapted slightly from Amanda
2 cups butter, softened
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ¾ cups flour
**Update (3/23/09) – Ok, here’s the deal, I adapted the original recipe to include 1/4 cup more flour than the original recipe because my dough was so incredibly soft and sticky when I made it with just 4 1/2 cups. However, my Aunt Marilyn (a.k.a. cooking/baking mentor) made these with the 4 1/2 cups from the original recipe and she told me the dough turned out perfectly. She also lives in a humid climate and I live in a very dry climate so that could be a factor, as well as how the flour is measured. Basically, I’m letting you know this so you know there is a 1/4 cup leeway in the flour measurements. Use your best judgement based on how you measure flour and how your dough feels as you make it. Also, my Aunt added 1/4 teaspoon salt as a little pick-me-up to enhance the flavor.**
Cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg yolks and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add flour. The dough will be VERY soft; don’t worry, it gets firmer after chilling. Cover and chill two hours or until firm. Roll out on floured surface to ¼ inch thickness. Cut into shapes; place on greased baking sheets (or use parchment paper). Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until set (but not browned). Cool 5 minutes. Place on wire racks to cool. Frost as desired.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
**This frosting is my absolute favorite sugar cookie frosting. It doesn’t set-up and harden like some sugar cookie frostings – it stays very soft and gooey, perfect for sprinkling with colored sugar or nonpareils. I’m warning you, it is so fantastically delicious, it will ruin you. In a good way. Please don’t hate me for it.**
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form (it helps to use a chilled bowl and chilled beaters – and make sure the peaks are stiff not soft). Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture and mix carefully (so as not to deflate cream) but well. Frost to your heart’s delight! (Be careful if adding coloring – the liquid food coloring found in the baking aisle can quickly thin your icing so you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar to compensate. I prefer to use Wilton’s gel coloring but either will work.)
Sugar Cookie Frosting
**This is my basic, go-to sugar cookie frosting and it is delicious – in a sugar cookie frosting way.**
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons milk
food coloring (if desired)
Combine butter, vanilla and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined. Add milk and food coloring gradually until you reach your desired spreading consistency. Frost away!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ITS FALL!!!!!!!!!

and you know what that means!?  PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. Whether your are looking for a good fall dessert for sunday dinner, or a quick treat to bake for the neighbors.... here is some pumpkin recipes i have found while blog browsing... ENJOY. i cant wait to try the PUMPKIN BLONDIES WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM! YUM.... happy fall baking everyone!


LIBBY'S® Pumpkin Roll

Ingredients for PUMPKIN ROLL 

  • 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 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)


oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) 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.

cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. 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.

COOKING TIP:Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

pumpkin spiced cream cheese breakfast rolls! YUM

Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls
Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls
2 packages/cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 0z cream cheese, softened
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup canned pumkin (Libby’s)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Unroll crescent rolls to form 4 rectangles placed side by side.  Pinch seams together to form one long rectangle.  Place cream cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixer; beat until well combined.  Spread mixture over crescents leaving a 1/2 inch border around edges.  Starting at long end, roll up then cut into 1 inch pieces.  Place around 2 9 inch cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  I left the centers open so the rolls form a circle.
2.  Bake for 28-30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 10 minutes.  Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting recipe below.
4 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon canned pumpkin (Libby’s)
1.  Mix all ingredients into a large bowl until smooth.  Spread over warm rolls.

pumpkin pie milkshake.

Pumpkin Pie MilkshakeRecipe by Our Best Bites

1/3 C pumpkin, canned or homemade1/4 - 1/2 C milk
1/4 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/16 t cloves (just use a 1/8 t measure and fill it half way, or do a pinch)
1/16 t nutmeg
2 T brown sugar
2 C vanilla ice cream
1-2 graham crackers

Pop everything but graham crackers in a blender. Start with 1/4 C milk and then slowly add more if needed to make the blender process it all. I used somewhere between 1/4-1/2 C.

A note about blenders: Here's the problem with making thick, diner style milkshakes at home: A lot of times you have to add so much milk to the thing to get the blender to process that it turns into a milk-slushie instead. Or you have to blend and plunge, blend and plunge, etc. You know the drill, right? So if you have any trouble with your blender, I would recommend blending everything but the ice cream first and then mashing it into the ice cream by hand (well, with a hand. Holding a fork or spoon :) If your scooped ice cream sits out at room temp while you measure the other things and get them all ready, then by the time you mash it all together it should be a good consistency.

Sprinkle with crushed graham cracker crumbs before serving. It reminds me of DQ's Pumkin Pie Blizzard!

Carmael corn

Easy Caramel Corn
12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)
1 C brown sugar

1/4 C white Karo syrup

1/2 t salt (if you are using salted microwave popcorn then omit salt here)

1 stick real butter

1/2 t baking soda

1 t vanilla

Pop popcorn and set aside. Place brown sugar, Karo syrup, salt, and butter in a microwave safe dish. I cut up the butter into chunks so it melts better.

Are you ready for the directions? I'm warning you, it's complicated. You might want to take notes. Here we go. Microwave for 30 seconds. That should be enough to melt the butter at least half way. Stir it all to combine. No microwave on high for 2 minutes. Take it out and stir. Microwave for 2 more minutes.

Told you it was complicated.

While the caramel is cooking, put the popcorn in a big bowl. Use one that is way bigger than you think you'll need. Just trust me. Also, try to get any un-popped kernels out so you don't break a tooth and try to sue me.
When the caramel is done cooking, take out of microwave and add baking soda and vanilla. Sit back and watch it do cool things like bubble and foam.

At this point you'll probably want to stick your finger in there and lick it. Don't do it. You are mesmerized by the caramely goodness and are forgetting how hot boiling sugar is. Especially on your tongue. It's hot. Really hot. Don't ask me how I know.

Stir it well and then pour it over the popcorn.

Mix it up well with a big spoon. I usually spread it all out on a piece of foil and let it cool for a minute so it doesn't get stuck in one big clump. The longer it sits out, the firmer it will get, but it won't ever get crunchy-hard unless you bake it.

For crunchy caramel corn: spread out on a cookie sheet (you might need 2) and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

pumpkin crumble

Easy Pumpkin CrumbleRecipe by Our Best Bites

1 boxed yellow or white cake mix
1-2 sticks butter (see notes in instructions)
1 16 oz can pumpkin*
2 eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t ginger
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/3 C chopped pecans
1/2 t additional cinnamon for topping

*This makes a dessert about an inch thick or less. That's because I like a high topping-to-pumpkin ratio. If you'd like it thicker, use a large can of pumpkin and double the rest of the filling ingredients (Eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and spices). Leave the rest of the recipe the same.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place 2 C of the cake mix in a bowl. Cut in 3 T chilled butter. Just use your fingers to crumble the butter until it's in small crumbly pieces. Place mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and press flat with your fingers.

halloween popcorn mix

Monster Munch {Halloween Popcorn Mix}Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 package Almond Bark (1 lb)
12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernals)
1 C candy corn
1 C dry roasted, salted peanuts
1/2 C Reeces Pieces

Pop popcorn and place in a large bowl. Much larger than you think you need. The largest you have. It will make mixing easier! Pour peanuts, candy corn, and reeces pieces on top.

Take a large knife and break up almond bark. Melt according to package directions. I just chop it up a little and microwave it in intervals until smooth and melted.

Pour over popcorn mixture.

Stir until everything is well coated and then spread out onto waxed paper, parchment, or foil. Let sit until completely dry and then break up into clumps.

See? Easy :)

pumpkin and cream cheese whoopie pies

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies
Original recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking


3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 c. oil
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Cream Cheese Filling

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1 8-oz. package cream cheese (you could use light)
3 c. powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup of 1/2-1 tsp. maple extract
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, white sugar, and oil. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Using a 1 tablespoon scoop or a 1/2 tablespoon measure, drop the batter onto a baking sheet (lined, if possible, but not necessary), leaving about 1" between the batter. Try to keep the batter as circular as possible. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until the tops are done and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.

To prepare the filling, beat the butter on high for 1-2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, maple, and vanilla and beat until combined. Transfer to a large Ziploc bag and cut 1/2"-1" off the corner.

Flip the cakes over on a flat surface. Squeeze about 2-3 tablespoons of filling per large whoopie pie (less if you used a 1/2 tablespoon measure) onto every other cake. Top each pie with the remaining cakes. Serve immediately if possible; otherwise, these can be refrigerated in an airtight container. Makes about 30 large whoopie pies.

honey carmael apples

Honey Caramel Apples
Recipe by Our Best Bites, inspired by Everyday Magazine

4 large (or 6 small) crisp apples, chilled in the fridge for at least 1 hour
1 Cup honey
1 Cup heavy cream
1 pinch salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, combine cream, honey, and salt. Once warmed and whisked together, bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer (it should still be bubbling, but not so hot that is splatters all over). Stir and scrape sides of pot down occasionally until a candy thermometer (you should all have one by now--they cost about 3 bucks!) reaches 260 degrees.

To reach 260 degrees can take about 30 minutes, so while your caramel is cooking prepare your apples. Wash and dry them and skewer them with a popsicle stick or bamboo skewer. Place in the fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Also line a baking sheet or cutting board with waxed paper or parchment paper and set aside.

When caramel has reached 260 degrees, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start thickening. You'll have to eyeball the consistency for dipping. If you'd like to help it along you can place your pot in a bowl of ice. And if it gets too hard to coat the apples, just return it to the heat until it's thin again.

Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with a towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one so it gets well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared sheet. Refrigerate for 10-20 minutes to set the caramel and then enjoy!

Tip: Once caramel is set, you can drizzle with chocolate, roll in cookie crumbs, etc. Check out this post about traditional Caramel Apples for lots of great ideas!

pumpkin muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
from Mel B.
1 2/3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice**
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. chocolate chips
Mix ingredients well and then add chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tin (or use muffin liners). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Don’t overbake or they will be dry!
**My tip: if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and woila! – you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (and it is much cheaper than buying it premade). So for this recipe, you would need to triple the above amounts to equal one tablespoon pumpkin pie spice.

pumpkin bars

Pumpkin Bars
from Paula Deen

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (can substitute 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup oil)
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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.

pumpkin white chocolate blondies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chunk and
Candied Ginger Blondies

1/4 Cup butter
3/4 Cup white chocolate chips
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup white chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1/2 Cup pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 Cup chopped crystallized/candied ginger
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
4-5 Tablespoons heavy cream
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt butter in a microwave safe dish until melted and hot.  Pour in chocolate chips, let sit for a minute then stir until melted.  Set aside.  In a large bowl add sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and white chips. Stir in melted chocolate.  Beat eggs and sour cream into a small bowl, then mix into main bowl.  Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until just combined then pour into a foil lined 8×8 inch baking pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with 1/4 Cup chopped candied ginger.  Bake for 28-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.  Let cool completely, cut into squares then refrigerate (so much better chilled, trust me on this one :)
2.  Mix heavy cream and powdered sugar in small bowl until smooth, drizzle over blondies just before serving.
9 blondies

punpkin kissed chocolate chunk cookies

Double Pumpkin Kissed Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
1 Cup pumpkin, from can
3 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
12 oz bag chocolate chunk pieces (or chocolate chips work fine too)
35 or so unwrapped Pumpkin Spice Kisses, quartered
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined then add pumpkin.
2.  Place flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into large bowl; mix to combine then slowly add to wet ingredients then chocolate and kisses.  Mix only until just combined.
3.  If using muffin top pan, scoop 1/4 Cup dough into each muffin top cup that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Press to spread to edges.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  If using baking sheet, scoop medium cookie scoop of dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet, about an inch apart.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges just begin to brown.  Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing.
24 large muffin top size cookies
4 dozen regular size cookies

Friday, July 2, 2010

strawberry-watermelon slush

It's pretty darn simple, and you might already have this stuff around.  Just roughly chop some strawberries.

And juice a lemon

Toss both in your blender along with some cubed watermelon and some sugar,

and blend blend blend.  When its nice and smooth, add ice cubes until it reaches your desired level of slushie-ness.  I think I went for about 4 cups at least.

Pour it into cups and top with an umbrella if you are like me and tiny umbrellas make you happy.

Strawberry-Watermelon Slushie
Recipe from Taste of Home

2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved (I actually used a little less than a pint.  Maybe 3/4 of it)
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
2-4 C ice cubes
In a blender, combine the watermelon, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice; cover and process on high until smooth. With blender running, gradually add ice cubes until desired consistency is reached.  Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately.

Yield: 5-7 cups

banana split squares.

First, you layer the ice cream sandwiches on the bottom of the pan, cutting some of them to fit if necessary.

Then you add a layer of bananas,

then hot fudge and caramel, then strawberries or maraschino cherries.

Then I combined the whipped topping with a can of crushed pineapple and spread it on top of everything and added some crushed Butterfingers, although you could also use toffee bits (or crushed toffee bars) or any kind of chopped nuts.

Then you pop this bad boy in the freezer for at least 4 hours so it can set up. When it's frozen, cut into 12 pieces and serve immediately.

It's super easy and fun way to cool off this summer!

Frozen Banana Split Squares
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen
12 3.5 oz. ice cream sandwiches
3-4 medium bananas
1/2-1 c. hot fudge sauce
1/2-1 c. caramel sauce
1 c. chopped maraschino cherries or sliced strawberries (more or less depending on personal taste)
8 oz. frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed
1 small can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 Butterfinger bars, crushed (or 1/2 c. chocolate-covered toffee bits, nuts, etc.)

Line the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish with the ice cream sandwiches, cutting them to fit as necessary. Slice the bananas into pieces about 1/4" thick and arrange over the sandwiches. Spread the hot fudge and caramel sauces over the bananas. Sprinkle with cherries or strawberries (or both, if desired). Combine the thawed frozen whipped topping with the can of undrained pineapple and spread over everything. Sprinkle with crushed candy bars and freeze for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, cut into 12 pieces and serve immediately, freezing any leftovers.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

pasta with tomato and blue cheese sauce.

  • 1-½ pound Pasta (angel Hair Or Thin Spaghetti)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole 28-ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  • Dash Of Sugar
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste
  • ¾ cups Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach
  • Half And Half, For Thinning
  • Extra Blue Cheese Crumbles, For Garnish
Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add minced garlic and cook for a minute. Pour in drained tomatoes. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in crumbled blue cheese. Add cream and stir, then a little splash of half-and-half if sauce is too thick. Cook for a minute or two, tasting and adding more seasonings as needed.
At the very, very, very last minute. toss in spinach. Immediately toss in the cooked and drained pasta. Serve immediately!

stuffed french toast.

Here’s a list of everything you need: a loaf of French or Italian bread, eggs, milk, butter, cream cheese, cinnamon, and jam or fresh fruit (if you’re like me, you’ll use both). I also added slivered almonds just for the fun of it, but you don’t have to … unless you want to. If you do, let me know when and where I can invite myself over for breakfast. Thanks.

Before you can invite me over for breakfast, you’ll need to know how to make this. Slice a loaf of bread in 2-inch pieces. You should get about six pieces all together, not including the end pieces. Using a paring knife, cut a deep slit across the top in the middle of each slice, approximately 4 inches long (as pictured above). This will form your “pocket.” Once you’re done, set the bread aside.

I decided to go with strawberries for the filling. They were almost too pretty to eat. You could use any fruit or no fruit at all, but I highly recommend strawberries.

Wash the strawberries, remove the stems, and cut slices in each one. Turn them a quarter turn and slice them again, adding them to a bowl.

Next, macerate the strawberries, which is fancy way of saying add a little sugar and mix it in. Set them aside and allow the sugar to release its magic.

Next, add jam to the cream cheese and mix both of them until well combined.

The cream cheese mixture now looks like strawberry yogurt. Yum!

Now comes the fun part! Grab a slice of bread and add about a tablespoon (or as much as you like) of cream cheese filling. Personally, I like about 2 tablespoons per slice. Do the same thing with the fresh fruit. Make sure to close the opening by gently pressing the bread together. This will make frying them easier and less messy. Set the filled slices aside.

Now it’s time to make the egg bath. Mix eggs, milk, and cinnamon together until well mixed. Turn the stove top on to medium-high to preheat the skillet. While your skillet is heating up, dip sliced bread in the egg wash for about 20 seconds on both sides. Only dip as many slices as you plan on frying. In other words, if your pan can only fry two pieces at a time, be sure to only coat two pieces of bread a time.

Add a little butter to the surface of skillet. This will help prevent the French toast from sticking. I heart butter.

Fry each slice for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from heat and serve.

If you’re interested in making your stuffed French toast a little more glamorous, sprinkle powdered sugar over the tops of the slices and garnish with fresh strawberries and almonds.

bacon and egg mcmuffins.

Here’s the lowdown….press your english muffin inside Texas Size Muffin cups, line inside with bacon, sprinkle inside with cheese, break an egg inside, season with salt and pepper, bake and woo hoo you are done!!  Mmmm!
How cute?!
Bacon and Cheese Egg McMuffin Cups
3 whole english muffins plus one half, split
6 slices ready cooked bacon, not microwaved, just right out of package
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 large eggs
Pinches of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Press english muffins carefully into bottom of  a 6 cup Texas size muffin tin.  Form a little circle with the bacon and place around inside of muffin.  Sprinkle inside with cheese then top with a whole egg in each cup, keeping inside the bacon ring.  Sprinkle with pinches of kosher salt and pepper.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg is cooked through, not jiggly :)
2.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.  Serve as is or with some of your favorite hot sauce and a side of fruit!!
6 servings