Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yummy Garlic Bread

Oh, the WalMart sure has some fun choices for bread. Italian style with herbs or sesame seeds. Sourdough, French, and the yummiest of all that I have found there... Whole Wheat French Loaf. It is simply delish. Oh and at $1.50 a loaf you can't beat it. Originally, I was going to make a big ole sandwich out of it, but tonight I made Yummy Garlic Bread to accompany Cheese Raviolis and Marinara sauce with a little Chipoltle ham in it. Um um umm.

Yummy Garlic Bread

One loaf Whole Wheat bread from the WalMart cut horizontally into two pieces
Butter, softened
Italian Herbs in a grinder
Garlic Powder

Spread some butter on both halves of the bread. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Grind some Italian Herbs on the bread. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Pop in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with Pasta, or salad or with Steak and taters. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pizza Grilled Cheese

First for dinner I made some frozen food from Trader Joes. Rob and I are NOT frozen food people. He ate half of his dinner and I nibbled at mine. Later on, I found myself to be hungry. So I made a grilled pepper jack cheese sandwich on sourdough. It was warm, toasty cheesey and garlicy. Simply divine.

Then, I remembered that I had pepperoni and salami in the deli drawer. The Pizza Grilled Cheese was then created.

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Sourdough bread
pepper jack cheese
garlic powder

Pizza Sauce
Grated Parmesan Reggiano

On a microwave safe plate take two pieces of bread. Layer one side with cheese and salami, layer the other side with cheese and pepperoni. Top one side with another piece of cheese. Microwave for 30-45 seconds. Assemble the sandwich and butter each side. Place sandwich on the pan and grill on high heat. Flip and cook. Flip until both sides are toasty and golden brown. Sprinkle sandwich with Parmesan Reggiano.

Serve your sandwich with warmed pizza sauce for dipping. This sandwich is amazing!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Almond Shortbread Snowballs

I baked. I made a few cookies that I have not made before. As I child, my big sister would make similar cookies but used pecans. As an adult, I created my own with almonds. They passed the test, my Mom, an almond fan, loved them and ate every last one I gifted her in her tin.

Almond Shortbread Snowballs

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup finely chopped raw almonds
powdered sugar to coat cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl combine flour, salt and almond bits. Cream butter. Add p. sugar and mix together. Add almond extract and mix. Slowly add flour mixture until dough is set. Place dough balls on cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, take cookies from cookie sheet and cool on paper towels. Cool completely and roll cookies in powdered sugar.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shortbreads With a Kiss

Oh my my. These cookies melt in your mouth. They do. They are flipping fantastic. You must make these immediately. They are that good. Well make them if you like shortbread cookies and Hershey Kisses.

Shortbreads With a Kiss

1 cup unsalted butter room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar in a shaker
Unwrapped Hershey Kisses

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside. In the KitchenAid mixer, whip up the butter. Add the powdered sugar and whip until smooth. Add the extract and mix again. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix. Once completely mixed shape dough into a ball and wrap it with plastic wrap. Put dough in the fridge for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from frige. Line cookie sheet with parchment. Using a teaspoon, scoop dough. Roll it into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar and then press one Hershey's Kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Coconut Ginger Honey Cookies

I love honey and I love coconut. Over the last year or two I have grown to like ginger. This cookie recipe combines all of those ingredients so nicely. This is sure to be a new holiday cookie for me.

Coconut Ginger Honey Cookies

2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystalized ginger
1/4 cup fine grated coconut
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup Wilcox Honey

1/4 cup or more of the fine grated coconut to roll dough balls in

Combine flour, b. soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk. In another bowl beat butter and brown sugar together. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix. Add ginger and coconut. Mix until those ingredients are incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed. Add the other half and mix again.

Put dough in the 'fridge for about an hour. Remove dough from the 'fridge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a teaspoon scoop dough and shape into balls. Roll balls in coconut and then place on the cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are set a bit. Dough will flatten out.

Cool on a rack and enjoy.

Holiday Baking Time

I have this itch to bake. I bake once a week, usually for Sunday dinner. It's Holiday time people. We need to bake something. In previous posts, under sweets you will find some recipes for yummy things that can be gifted.

Super Sweet Bars
Kahlua Coconut Rolo Brownie Cups
Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge for Christmas
Christmas in July Cookies
Variety Brownies in One Pan
Re-Inventing Chocolate Chip Cookies
A Twist on an Old Sweet

Each of the above mentioned would make a lovely addition to any baked goodie gift.

One recipe that always screams Christmas is Sugar Cookies. My Mom would make the dough. She would roll it out and cut it with our favorite cookie cutters. Bake them and once cooled she would let us paint them with Colored Powdered Sugar glaze. Oh the memories!!! We would make such a mess and indulge in a sugar high.

As an adult, I have tried to make sugar cookies and have been unsuccessful. But if you have a recipe, the time and the patience... DO MAKE SOME and make some memories at the same time.

CVS is having a sale on Hershey's Chocolate. Thanks for the CVS tips LifeasMom.com, RUN don't walk over there, as Hershey kisses make an excellent topper on so many cookies recipes. Make Peanut Butter or Shortbread cookie dough, bake and remove from the oven and top the cookie with a kiss. You will be glad you did. And if you purchase $20 worth of Hershey's Chocolate, CVS will give you $10 bucks back in Extra Care Money. Seriously, get a CVS card.

Over the next week or two, I will bake and post my recipes. Embrace the Holiday Season and try to enjoy the rest of 2008.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pepper Jack Crescent Rolls

I made Pot Roast with carrots, potatoes, purple onion and celery. YUM! I simply sprinkled the meat and veggies with garlic powder, celery salt and fresh cracked pepper. The only thing missing was some kind of bread. I didn't have a nice crusty sourdough round. But, I did have sitting in my 'fridge a tube of those Pilsbury Crescent Rolls. How can I make a yummy carb out of that?

Pepper Jack Crescent Rolls

One roll Pilsbury Crescent rolls
8 one inch by 3 inch thin slices of Pepper Jack cheese
Olive oil spray
Grated Parmesan Reggiano
Italian Seasoning grinder

Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Open roll of Crescents. Seperate into the 8 triangles. Place a piece of cheese on the larger end of the dough and roll as indicated on the directions and place on a cookie sheet. Spray each roll with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and grind a little seasoning on top of that.

Pop them in the oven and bake 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with your meal. Enjoy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

My brother and his roommates welcomed 40 people to their home for Thanksgiving. The 20 somethings prepared an amazing feast. Two 22 pound Organic Free Range Turkeys from Sprouts Market in San Marcos. My sister cooked up a bird too. All 3 Turkeys were fantastic. We had 2 oven baked and one cooked on the grill. One Citrus and Ale Brined, one buttered, and one chili spiced. YUM. Fortunately, lots and lots of leftover turkey.

Top Ten Things To Do With Leftover Turkey

1. Turkey Tacos
2. Turkey Tortilla Soup
3. Turkey Enchiladas
4. Turkey Sandwiches on Rye Bread
5. Turkey Salad made like Tuna or Chicken Salad
6. Turkey Nachos
7. Turkey and Rice
8. Turkey Chili
9. Turkey Calzone
10. Turkey Wraps with spinach and cranberry sauce

Make the most of your turkey leftovers and keep in mind, so you don't get Turkey overload... make the meals ahead and freeze them.

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mmmm Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes. Who doesn't like Mashed Potatoes? One major Turkey Day component is Potatoes. Weither you whip or mash them, they are simply fantastic! This year I tried two ways to make my potatoes.

Mmmm Mashed Potatoes

Boiled Russet Potatoes
Salt and Pepper

Put your hot cooked potatoes in a bowl. Mash them with a potato masher. Add butter and mash some more. Slowly add buttermilk and mash and stir. Add a little buttermilk until the potatoes are the right consistency. Add salt and Pepper to taste. Put your potatoes in an insulated dish or put them in a small crock pot to keep them warm.

Spicy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Boiled Red Potatoes with the skins on
Garlic Salt and Pepper
Small chunks of Pepper Jack cheese

Place your potatoes in a bowl. Mash them. Add butter. Mash and stir. Add buttermilk and stir until potatoes are the right consistency. Season your mashed potatoes to taste. Stir in chunks of cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides for Vegetarians or Everyone

Below you will find three holiday sides that are sure to tempt any guest's pallete. Sides are important meal options. The Turkey cannot stand alone without his supporting actors.

Trader Joe's Green Bean Casserole

6 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for dish
1 medium onion
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
24 oz bag Trader Joe's frozen French Green Beans
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
8 oz. Trader Joe's Gourmet Fried Onion pieces

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Add onion and saute until it begins to soften about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Set aside to cool.

Cook French Green Beans according to directions on the bag. Melt the remaining 4 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining Salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour over beans and toss to combine.Butter a 9" x 13" glass dish and spread the green bean mixture.Heat broiler, positioning rack about 8 inches from heat. Cook casserole, covered, until mixture is bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook until top is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle Trader Joe's Gourmet Fried onion pieces over top and serve.

Broccoli Casserole Bonnie Olson

Steamed broccoli (2 bags Trader Joe's Broccoli in the bag) with butter
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-2 cups cheese

Mix together in a bowl. Grease a casserole dish and spread broccoli mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top of casserole. Bake at 375 degrees or until bubbly.

This side will knock your socks off. Way way too good to be vegetables!

Cheesy Vegetable Bake From Robby's Auntie Paula

3 Roma Tomatoes sliced
1 large green bell pepper (sliced in rings)
1 large yellow bell (sliced in rings)
1 large red bell pepper (sliced in rings)
1 large onion sliced into rings
Olive oil spray
lemon juice
Lawry's garlic salt
1 pound grated mozzarella cheese

Spray the bottom of casserole dish with olive oil. Place veggie slices in the dish. Sprinkle with the garlic salt. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top. Bury the veggies with the mozzarella cheese. Pop it in a 350 degree F oven until cheese is melted bubbly and a bit golden brown. Serve it. YOU will love it. That is if you love tomatoes, bell peppers and onion. This makes a beautiful addition to any holiday plate.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Tricks

I made my first turkey when I was 19. It was good. So cooked and so tender, it fell right off the bones. As a receptionist, I learned many things, about people, customer service, life experience, and food. You can learn a lot in the Beauty Industry, especially while clients wait for their hairdresser or manicurist. That year I learned many Turkey Tricks that made my first Turkey amazing, even if it was not picture perfect.

Turkey Tricks

1. Brine it in a salt, herb and pumpkin ale mixture.

2. Mix butter and minced garlic together and place it under the skin of the turkey.

3. Bake it in one of those turkey bags.

4. Make sure you remove the bag of yucky stuff from the turkey.

5. Place a small apple and small onion in the cavity. It makes a super moist bird.

6. Make little slits in the the turkey and push garlic cloves into the little holes.

7. Inject the turkey with one of those fancy marinades.

8. Rub your turkey with a mix of herbs and spices.

9. Pour gingerale over your bird.

10. Kosher salt is amazing. Rub salt onto your bird.

Easy Yummy Lower Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

Heck of a title don't ya think? It's true. All of those descriptors are true. I made this out of one cup of fresh pumpkin and took it to Sunday dinner. Rob LOVED it and asked for a second piece, half the size of the first piece. He even said it tasted exactly like Pumpkin Pie!!!!

EASY Yummy Lower Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

One Keebler Ready Made Graham crust (love these things)
1 and a 1/2 block Low Fat Cream Cheese (room temp)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves
1 tbs. flour
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add pumpkin and eggs and sugar and mix until well combined. Add spices and mix. Add flour and vanilla and mix again. Pour mixture into prepared graham cracker crust. You will have some left over. Pour that into a ramekin so you can bake it and taste it before you serve it. Ha (: Be sure to pull the ramekin out long before the pie.

Bake your delectable EASY Yummy Lower Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake for 1 hour. Remove from oven allow it to cool. Top pie the Ready Crust Plastic top and put that sucker in the refrigerator for a few hours or until ready to serve. Sometimes overnight is best. Serve with Cool-Whip or homemade whip cream. What ever makes you happy. It should be about being HAPPY.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baked Pumpkins and Pumpkin Cupcakes

So I baked 2 pumpkins between yesterday and today. Normally I have boiled them. But the Queen Of Pumpkins from Lombardi Ranch bakes her pumpkins. She says wash it real good. Snap off the stem thing, put it on an old cookie sheet and bake it in the oven until it is soft and collapses a bit. Let it cool then cut into it, peel off the skin and puree it. I did this and yielded 15 cups of pumpkin. Enough for 6 small pumpkin pies and 2 large batches of pumpkin bread and Pumpkin Cupcakes and a half recipe of Paula Dean's Pumpkin Cheesecake.

It will be interesting to see if Robby can tell a difference in the pumpkin. I'm not going to tell and I can guarantee he does not read my food blog. Ha!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes about 24 cupcakes

2 1/4 cup sifted flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, white thingies removed slightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Green sugar sprinkles
Brach's Pumpkin Mallow things

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Add pumpkin and mix. Stir in dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until smooth after each addition. Add chocolate and cinnamon chips. Line muffin tins with cups or use souffle cups on a cookie sheet. Fill cups half way. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool. Frost with Chocolate Buttercream. Sprinkle some of the green sugar and then top with one of the Brach Pumpkins. Enjoy your festive treat!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Crazy how time flies. Below you will find two sides. Both have one ingredient in common, corn.

My Dad LOVES Scalloped Corn. My Grandma John would make it for him. He loved it. It was and is one of his favorite Holiday side dishes. The recipe calls for simple ingredients. My Grandma never really wrote her recipes down. She was a bit of this and a bit of that cook. Everything she made was magic, both baking and cooking.

My Version of Dad's Favorite Scalloped Corn

1 can Green Giant Cream Style Corn
1/4 cup yellow corn
1/4 cup white corn
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. sugar
a few shakes salt
a few twists fresh cracked pepper
1 package (tube) of Ritz Crackers (broken to bits)
1 egg

Mix the above ingredients well. Pour into small greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees F until set and golden brown.

Dad rated 5Star on 11/25/04

This side is one of my favorites and the color combinations on the plate are so lovely. The taste of this corn is so yummy. No one ever complains about it.

Herb Corn

2 cups yellow corn
2 cups white corn
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp italian seasonings
1 tsp garlic salt

Combine ingredients. Microwave or place in oven until warmed through.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thanksgiving Appetizers...

I have not posted in awhile. Sorry. My life has changed in my job realm. Change is good, right? Anyhow, trying to get adjusted to a new work environment has taken up most of my spare time.

Can you believe TURKEY day is right around the corner? Nuts. Where has this year gone?

LifeasMom.com is having a Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipe Swap. So, you gotta CHECK it out! Lots of good stuff over there. Don't miss out. When you are there check out the other Recipe Swaps. You will not be disappointed.

When I can I will post some Thanksgiving Side Dishes. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. But first things first!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pistachio Cake makes Frankenstein Cupcakes! ! !

With Halloween here on Friday, I have decided to make Pistachio Cake. I am going to bake them in souffle cups. Once cooled, pull them from the cups. Paint the sides and bottoms with a glaze. Frost the tops with Black Chocolate Frosting (from a previous post) to make Frankenstein's hair, put some of the same frosting in a piping bag for eyes and a mouth! And then use candy corns for the plugs. Cute or what?

Pistachio Cake

One box yellow cake mix
one small box pistachio pudding
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs (no white thingies)
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients. Mix. Add hot water, and mix. Add oil and mix. Add one egg at a time, mixing between each addition. Once combined fold in sour cream.

Place 24 souffle cups on a jelly roll pan. Fill each cup a little less than 2/3 full. Pop in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool and decorate as suggested above. Make glaze out of powdered sugar and water.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sweet Tea

One of my friends, comes to her morning appointments with me, armed with a cup of Iced Sweet Tea. I never could understand why she picked Iced Sweet Tea instead of coffee. She makes gallons of her tea and has it daily.

She would speak of a restaurant that makes the best Iced Sweet Tea and Chicken sandwiches. When she flies home to North Carolina, her Daddy always has her Iced Sweet Tea and Chicken Sandwich waiting for her in the car. Never thinking I'd ever get to experience either, I kinda put that Dream Meal for my friend on the back burner.

Until May 2007, I made a trip to see my sister and her family is Kansas. I had asked my sister about this restaurant and she knew the name and shared that there was one minutes away. So we loaded up the kids, ran the errands, stopped at the library and then to the infamous restaurant. I ordered a Chicken Sandwich and LOVED it. My sister doesn't care for their food too much. I LOVED it. The Sandwich, the waffle cut fries fried in peanut oil. Just delicious. But in my haste, I forgot to order the Sweet Tea.

I visited Kansas again this past August. I made sure not to miss the tea. I ordered a chicken sandwich with fries and a large Iced Sweet Tea.

NO WONDER SHE LOVES THE STUFF AND DRINKS IT EVERY MORNING. It ROCKS. It is so amazing. The blend of tea they use is unbelievable. They sweeten it just the right amount. I bought a gallon. I heard their Hand squeezed Lemonade was amazing too. (My sister loves it) I bought a gallon of it too!

I have since dreamed about the tea. The tea in my sister's new neck of the woods, was not as good as the tea in Kansas. Maybe Kansas water tastes a little better. The tea was good. I found some Irish Breakfast at Trader Joe's the other day and I made some with that. The taste is very similar. So I have a placebo, until I visit my sister again.

Sweet Tea

a cup of hot water
one Irish Breakfast Black Tea bag
1-2 tsp simple sugar syrup
1 cup of ice

Put your tea bag int the hot water. Allow it to steep for a couple minutes. Stir in the sweetener. Pour over the glass of ice. Sit back and enjoy.

The restaurant has made it's way west! I am so happy. A few locations that require a bit of a drive. My sister has relocated back to California and luckily in her new neighborhood there is a Chick Fil-A!!! You must check it out as soon as you see one. Pull over, get in there and order yourself a yummy meal. Honest, it is that good!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beef Stew for 2

I love my crock pot. I do. It is my friend. It makes my dinner. It's not that messy. It makes my house smell good. It's contents comfort me and fill my tummy. One of my favorite things to make in the crock pot is Beef Stew. A few simple ingredients and wha-la, a meat and potato meal.

Beef Stew for Two

a pound of lean beef cubed
Lawry's Garlic Salt
Salt and pepper
6-8 small to medium sized Red Potato's
1 cup mini carrots
1 cup celery chunks
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup water

Season the bottom of the Crock pot. Place potatoes on the bottom. Put meat on top of that. Season a little more. Arrange carrots, celery and onion on top of that. Season a little bit more and sprinkle water on top. Put the lid on the crock pot and let the crock pot do the cooking! 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 on low. Serve it up and enjoy. We make our potatoes like baked potatoes.

Robby likes a baked potato. I do too. I like mine with butter, chives, salt, and pepper. He likes his...

Baked Potato Rob's Way

1 large baked potato
a pat or two of butter
1/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
salt and pepper
chives if you have them but you don't have to get that fancy

Take your baked potato and cut an x in the middle of it. Squeeze from both ends and kind of mush the potato a bit. Stuff your pats of butter in the slits. Top with your cottage cheese and then salt and pepper. Sit back and enjoy your baked potato! The use of cottage cheese is a healthier choice than the old favorite, sour cream.

Check out LifeasMom.com for her recipe swap. You won't be dissapointed as this weeks swap is Meat and Taters!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Festive Spiked Punch

The holidays are around the corner. Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then... I won't rush it. Below are recipes for some fun spiked punch drinks.

Mulled Apple Cider

Jug of Apple Juice
Mulling Spice packet
Cinnamon Sticks
Captain Morgan rum

Pour Apple Juice and Mulling Spice into a pot and boil. Let set until it cools. Strain and pour into a pitcher and refrigerate. When ready to serve pour some Cider into a glass of ice and top off with some Captain. Swizzle and serve.

Cranberry Orange Punch

Jug of Cranberry Juice
Juice of an orange
Frozen Slices of an orange
Bacardi Orange Rum

In a punch bowl, pour Cranberry Juice into a punch bowl, squeeze juice from the orange into the Cranberry juice. Stir. Pour half the bottle of Bacardi O into the punch bowl. Stir again. Float frozen oranges on top of the punch. Serve punch in a glass with ice. Float a piece of orange slice on top as a garnish.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Black Chocolate Frosting

Halloween is next Friday! Where has this year gone? Black is a color I associate with Halloween. Black Cats, Witch hats, bats... you know what I mean. Black Frosting would be good for lots of occasions. Over the Hill Parties or Animal Print cakes.

I have made Black Frosting one other time. One of my friends went through a long and troublesome divorce. A bunch of her girlfriends helped her celebrate the finality with a Divorce Party at a local wine bar. It was nice to celebrate the end of that hard time with loving support from all of her girls. I made black frosted cupcakes. They turned your teeth blueish black. The frosting was a butter cream with Wilton's black food coloring. It was good, it tasted black. But the color and the aftermath of black frosting was interesting. However, a true black frosting.

I made a different version of black frosting yesterday. Instead of using a ton of black food dye, I made a Hershey's Chocolate Frosting recipe and then added the black food coloring and a little cinnamon. The black was a brown black. The taste was pretty good.

Black Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter melted
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
a couple shakes cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 16 oz box powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
Black Food coloring

Combine butter and cocoa. Stir until combined. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Slowly add powdered sugar and then a little milk, stir. Do that until ingredients are used up. If you need more milk, add a little more. Add black food coloring until the desired shade of black is achieved.

You can frost with a butter knife or pipe it through a bag.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Boiled Pumpkin Equals Fresh Pumpkin for Recipes

My boyfriend will only eat pumpkin pies with Fresh Pumpkin. He can tell the difference. Only the past year or two have I even attempted making a Pumpkin Pie. Tedious chore, labor of LOVE for Robby's Favorite Birthday and Holiday dessert. Fresh Pumpkin and homemade pie crust are a must, too. Bottom line, only Pumpkin Pies made by his Mom, Diane are the best. Hands down, Di is the Queen of the Pumpkin Pie.

Here is what you need.

One Large Jack O' Lantern Pumpkin uncarved.
A large stock pot
Ziploc bags
Sharpie Marker

Clean your pumpkin with soap and water. Rinse well and dry it. Carefully cut the top off of your pumpkin. Remove seeds and set aside if you want to roast them later. Using a bread knife, saw into the pumpkin. I usually cut 6 to 8 slabs, and then I cut the slabs into smaller chunks. Toss the chunks into your stock pot filled with water. Put the pot on the stove and cook until the pieces are fork tender. Sorry, I have not timed it. I do other things while my pumpkin is boiling, so check them periodically. Once pumpkin chunks are fork tender take them off the stove and drain them. Allow them to cool. Once pumpkin chunks are cooled, take a paring knife and cut the skin from the the chunks. (the first time I ever made pies, I called Robby's sister to ask how this process is done, she gave me directions. I did not write them down. I got to the cooled point, called her to double check and asked do I peel the skin from the chunks? She said No, thinking I was going to peel them before boiling. Anyway, I tried to run them through the Cuisinart and the skins would NOT blend up. My pies were made with the skins. People ate them though.) Process the chunks in the Cuisinart. Measure two cups of Pumpkin puree per bag or however much you see fit. I do two cups for pumpkin bread and pumpkin pies. Label your bags with the Sharpie.

Freeze them and use them for all your Holiday baking or for a Harvest Pumpkin Soup!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

LifeasMom.com is having a recipe swap. Pumpkin recipes a plenty! Life As Mom is a great site. Check it out! Every once in awhile she has a Recipe Swap. Last week was apples. This week its pumpkin. Here is my pumpkin creation. These pumpkin cupcakes are more bread like than cake like. But sooooo good

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with liners or place souffle cups on a baking sheet, set aside. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, eggs, oil and milk. Slowly add flour mixture until well combined. Fill cups to 2/3 full and bake in the oven 25-30 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Let cakes cool.

Cinnamon Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
a pinch ginger
1 stick butter (room temp)

Combine pwd. sugar and milk. Stir. Add vanilla, and stir. Add spices. Add butter and whip until fluffy. Frost your cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Football Foods

Football Season is here! Football Foods are a necessity. There are plenty of things you can toss in the crock pot, that will be ready in a few hours that are out of this world delish! Below you will find a few recipes for Good Eats! These will get you to Superbowl!

Buffalo Chicken Legs

One dozen Chicken Legs (or more depending on the size of your Crock Pot.)
Lawry's Garlic Salt

Sprinkle the bottom of the Crock pot with the seasonings. Put the Chicken Legs, meaty end down in the Crock pot. Sprinkle with more seasonings. Depending on how much time you have cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. The legs will cook and skin will turn golden in the crock pot. When legs are cooked, drain broth from pot. (Reserve broth to make soup with or toss it) Mix the 2 ingredients below.

Red Rooster Hot Louisiana Sauce
1/4 - 1/2 cup melted Butter

Pour sauce over legs in the crock pot. Make sure legs get covered in the spicy stuff. Leave them in the crock pot until ready to serve. Turn crock pot to warm or low.

Serve with Ranch dressing and a few celery or carrot sticks.

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs

3 bags Papa Luigi's Meatballs (12 per bag) or 36 homemade pre-cooked Meatballs
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet Vidalia Onion barbecue sauce
1/4 cup Wilcox honey (our friends keep bees and their bees make the best honey)
3 Tablespoons Knott's Boysenberry Jam

Put Meatballs in the crock pot. In a bowl combine the BBQ sauce, honey and jam. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until sauce is well combined and the pour over meatballs. Stir until all meatballs are sauced. Keep on low heat for about 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours. These are delish! Serve with fun toothpicks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Layered Brownie Bars

Brownies... what a yummy dessert. These were created back in the late 90's. They are one of my favorites and they look so darn delectable.

Layered Brownie Bars

One box brownie mix made as directed on box
One recipe of your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 9 X 13 or jelly roll pan. Press your favorite cookie dough into the bottom of the pan. Make sure it is even. Pour the brownie mix on top of the cookie dough. Spread until brownie mix is even. Pop it in the oven and bake according to the box directions. Toothpick test and add time accordingly.

Allow to cool. Cut and serve your delicious brownies and pat yourself on the back.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Time for Hot Dips

It's cooling off a bit. Salsa makes a fun dip, but as the temperatures cool, it's time to bake up some yummy dips. Hot and Cheesy, calorie laden dips. YUMMY. There is something comforting about a Hot Dip. Below you will find two common hot dips. Most ingredients can be found at Trader Joe's.

28413 Spinach Dip

1/2 cup frozen spinach drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese shredded
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. Italian herbs
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded (to top the dip)

In a small bowl, mix the spinach, sour cream and cheeses together. Add the garlic and seasonings and mix. Spray the bottom of an au gratin dish or small souffle dish or large ramekin dish with oil. Transfer dip from bowl to whatever you are going to bake it in and top with the extra cheese. Pop that in the oven and bake for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Sometimes I nuke it first and then put it in the oven so cheese gets bubbly and golden. Microwaving also speeds the cooking time a bit.

This amount of dip will serve 3-4 people as an appetizer. You can double or triple depending on how many guest you are having.

Serve with french bread cubes, or tortilla chips, or pita chips or Miss Vickie's Nine Grain Simply Salted Chips!

28413 Artichoke Dip

1 can Trader Joe's Canned Artichoke (when drained ends up being 8.5 oz)
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. Italian herbs
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cube cream cheese (softened)
1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded

approximately one cup of cheese to top.

Chop Artichoke in the Cuisinart. Dump chopped Artichoke in a medium sized bowl. Add garlic and seasonings and stir. Add sour cream and stir. Add cream cheese and stir. Slowly add cheeses, stirring between each addition. Pour dip into a greased 8 x 8 casserole dish or smaller ones. Sprinkle cheese on top. I put mine in smaller oven proof containers, wrap and freeze for later use. Dip freezes well. If baking a frozen one you can speed up cooking time by microwaving. Otherwise, bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

This amount of dip will serve 6-8 as an appetizer, unless you divy it up into the smaller containers.

Serve with tortilla chips, bread slices, pita chips, whatever your little heart desires. Enjoy.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I ran out of Bisquick. I really wanted a nice crispy waffle. I tried to be healthy about it too.

Here goes...


1 cup unbleached flour
1 packet Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 cup percent milk
a few shakes cinnamon
1 egg (with thingies removed)
1 tbs. canola oil

Get your waffle maker out of the cupboard. Dust it off. Plug it in. Wipe waffle maker with a paper towel. Spray it with a little bit of oil. Wipe if off again. Mix the above ingredients together. It might be a little lumpy because of the oats. When waffle maker is heated and ready, pour a little batter into reservoirs and shut the maker. I cooked mine for 2-3 minutes. The waffle maker light said ready but the waffles were not crispy or cooked enough.

Serve them hot with butter and syrup. We ran out of maple so we had ours with boysenberry and blueberry syrup.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Super Sweet Bars

Super Sweet Bars. Layers of sweet, ooey, gooey goodness. They are almost too sweet. The base of these bars are made with a box of cake mix.

Super Sweet Bars

One box of Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup butter or Margarine

Mix together with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Pat the crust into the bottom of a Jelly Roll pan.

1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
1 cup nuts (slivered almonds, cashew, pecans...)
1 cup Heath Bits O' Brickle (optional)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Sprinkle chips on the crust layer. Layer the coconut. Layer the nuts. Sprinkle the Bits O' Brickle. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the layers of sweet goodness.

Bake for 20-30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Maple Oatmeal Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made some of these to take to San Marcos to see my family. They lasted all of about a day. They are good and a little on the healthy side with the addition of the oatmeal packets.

Maple Oatmeal Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 packets Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup Heath bits o brickle

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl combine butter and sugars. Mix until creamy. Add the egg (with white thingies removed). Add vanilla and cinnamon. Mix. Add baking soda and salt to your flour, add a little of the flour mix at a time and mix until all flour is used up. Now add the packets of Oatmeal. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and Heath bits o brickle. On your cookie sheet drop by tablespoon full and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are set. These are delicious!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Italian Beef Sausage Patty Burgers

Oh, were these burgers ever good! My taste buds are still singing "That's Amore". Yum, Yum and more YUM! If you like Italian Sausage YOU WILL love this recipe for a burger!

Italian Beef Sausage Patty Burgers

One Pound Ground Beef
1 Tbs. Italian Herbs
1/2 tsp. Lawry's Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine all ingredients in your KitchenAid bowl. Using the dough hook, mix well. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and the meat is whipped. I used the dough hook because all the other attachments were dirty. Use the dough hook. It makes a tender burger. Using wax paper and two dessert plates, put piece of wax paper on plate. Take one sixth of the burger mix, roll it into a ball and place on the w. paper. Take another sheet of the w. paper and place it on top of meat. Take the other dessert plate and smash the meat to make a patty. Stack patties on another plate. Once you have made all six patties, put them in the freezer to chill.

While meat is chilling chop the following. One medium red onion and one large bell pepper. Saute the onion and pepper in a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Warm a little Trader Joe's Pizza Sauce in the microwave.

Fire up the grill, Take patties from the freezer and place on the hot grill. Butter your hamburger buns, set aside. Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip. Place buns on grill to toast. Make sure they don't burn. Once burgers are cooked, pull them off the grill. Remove buns when they are toasted to perfection.

Take a toasted bun, spread a little pizza sauce on the bun. Place a slice of Provolone or Mozzarella on top of sauce. Put a burger patty on top of that. Top the burger with a little of the sauteed onion and pepper. Eat and Enjoy and savor every bite.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spicy Chicken Noodle SOUP

It was hotter than heck today. 99 degrees, walking on the asphalt felt like you were walking in an oven. HOT!

One of the local markets had Campbell's Soup on sale. I stocked up on a few cans. Soup is good for the soul sometimes. I bought a potato one and a chicken noodle one. NO soup from a can tastes like a homemade soup. Sorry, sometimes close but not really.

This soup is one of my favorites. I actually love it. It is a twist on a traditional soup.

SPICY Chicken Noodle

One Rotisserie Chicken with broth in the container or 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
5 tablespoons of Better than Bouillon Chicken Broth base
5 cups Hot water
1 tsp. chopped jalapeno
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. Italian herbs
1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilis
Sliced carrots
sliced celery
chopped onion
1 bell pepper chopped (optional)
1/2 cup corn (optional)
1 pound pasta, (bowties, fusilli, penne, whatever you like) cooked put in a Ziploc and refrigerate.

Take out the crockpot. Set pot to low. Remove the chicken from the whole rotisserie chicken (use light and dark meat) and place in crockpot or put your shredded chicken in the crockpot. Combine bouillon and water, add to crockpot. Stir in jalapeno, garlic and Italian herbs. Add your tomatoes, chopped or sliced veggies. Cover pot and do what your need to do. The smell of this soup is amazing. If you are sick or have allergies, this soup will help clear your sinuses. It truly is a tasty soup. I crave it sometimes.

When ready to serve, pull the pasta from the fridge or from your drained pot if you prepare the pasta just before serving. Place some noodles in your bowl. Nuke them for 10 seconds if you want. Then ladle some of your Spicy Chicken Soup over your noodles. Sprinkle a little cheese over it if you would like to. Eat and Enjoy and if you are sick FEEL BETTER!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs... I have never ate one. I have a sincere dislike of eggs. I especially loathe the little white funky thingies that hang off both sides of the yolk. You might notice that I make notations on certain recipes, like following egg, white thingies removed. But I hard boil them and make Egg Salad for Rob or on occasion for Sunday dinners or Superbowl I make Deviled Eggs. I've even been known to sunny side up an egg a time or two. But deviled eggs. Are they evil? "The term deviled came from 18th century England, relating to cooking in fiery hot spices or condiments." -Ron Lester. Check out his informative article here http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/216014/the_origin_of_the_deviled_egg.html?cat=22

28413 Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs boiled and shells peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper
Extra Spicy Hungarian Paprika

Slice your eggs in half. Voila, 24 appetizers. Carefully remove the yolk halves into a small mixing bowl. Set the deviled egg shells on a platter. Mash the yolks up with a fork. Add the mayo and mix it up, until a bit creamy. Salt and pepper the mixture and stir. If you like your yolk mix creamier add more mayo.

I make my D. Eggs fancy by putting an icing tip in a sandwich sized Ziploc bag. I trim the corner of the bag. Put the icing tip part in the bag and twist the part to secure tip in the bag. Spoon the yolk mixture into the Ziploc and pipe the yellow mixture into the egg white shells. After all the shells are filled, pour some paprika into your hand and sprinkle a pinch of paprika onto each D. Egg. They sure look extra perty with the fancy tip piped yolk mix.

Other toppings or additions you might want to consider:
green onion
a slice of black olive
diced ham

Serve with pride.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kahlua Coconut Rolo Brownie Cups

Say that fast a few times...

I made these to take to the Compassionate Friends Family Picnic. Compassionate Friends is a group of People who have something in common. They have all dealt with tremendous loss, the loss of a child, one family lost both of their sons in the same car accident. They had a balloon release in honor of the Children that the Compassionate Friends group had lost. I went with my friend Katie and her family in memory of Taylor. The event was amazing. Emotional but amazing. Taylor loved the sweets!

Kahlua Coconut Rolo Brownie Cups

One package Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix (10.25 oz)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
1 egg
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup shredded coconut

2 packs of Rolos
1/4 cup shredded coconut

In a small mixing bowl combine the brownie mix with the oil and Kahlua. Stir. Add the egg (removing white thingies) and stir. Now add chocolate chips and coconut. Line a muffin tin with cupcake holders or use the Jumbo aluminum cupcake holders on a cookie sheet. You will get 10 with the Jumbo cups. I'm not sure how many with the smaller ones, maybe a dozen. Fill each cup with a generous scoop of brownie mix. Press one Rolo candy info each brownie cup. Sprinkle a little coconut on top and pop them in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-28 minutes. Smaller ones less time. Jumbo ones 25-28 minutes.

These brownies are really good. Really GOOD.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beef Ribs

I was walking through the market. Stumbled over to the Meat Department, spotted some ribs and asked for 3 small slabs. I remembered how my Aunt Peg boils them and then slathers barbecue sauce all over them and then grills them. Rob loved her ribs, so I was going to try and recreate them. Below is what I did.

Beef Ribs

A few slabs of beef ribs
meat tenderizer
garlic salt
Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning

A spicy Rub of various seasonings
Any kind of Barbecue Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet Vidalia Onion, Brown Sugar and Maple and Honey Chipotle)

I filled my stock pot with water, I sprinkled meat tenderizer, garlic salt and Mrs. Dash into the water and stirred it. Add ribs and bring water to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove ribs from the beef stock and place on a jelly roll pan. Sprinkle rub seasoning over ribs. Squirt your favorite barbecue sauce over ribs and brush with a brush or use a fork to spread the sauce.

Heat up your grill and grill ribs on low, bone side down for 10 minutes. Turn the ribs over and grill them for another 10 minutes. DON'T forget them on the grill. I made rib briquets. Only a few of my ribs were salvageable. But man were they good. Extra barbecue sauce helped with the extra crunchy carcinogen nuggets.

I served my ribs with PW's Crash Potatoes. Load them with cheese and butter and sour cream and your meal of Meat and Potatoes is done.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ground Beef Crockpot Chili

Finally some relief from the summer heat and a bit financially at the gas pump! With the not so scorching temps outside, I have been craving some comfort crock pot food. Chili is one of those meals. My Mom makes a bean variety that is amazing and I miss it. Rob loathes beans so I have to make the no bean variety. When Rob and I first started dating about 11 years ago, he showed me this technique on how to make ArSE Kicking Chili with chunks of beef. I made it this recipe the other night. It is really easy and so amazingly delicious!

Ground Beef Crock pot Chili

One pound ground beef
a little olive oil
1 small onion chopped up
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 small can green chilis
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 package Carroll Shelby's (brown bag) or Six Gun Chili Mixin's (yellow and orange bag)
1 medium jar Pace Picante Sauce
a little olive oil

Frito Scoops
Grated cheddar cheese
Sour Cream
Chopped onion

Take your Crock pot out of your cabinet and dust it off or go the local WalMart and invest in one. You will love your Crock pot. It will become your friend and you will soon depend on it. Pour a little olive oil in a skillet and saute your bell peppers and onion for a minute or two. Add your ground beef and start browning it. Only brown it about half way. Dump the meat into your crock pot. Dump Pace Picante Sauce on top of the meat. Stir it up a little bit. Take the big seasoning packet from the Chili Seasoning bag and sprinkle it over meat mixture. Stir. Add the can of green chilis. Put the top on the crock pot and set your pot to the low setting. Go do what you need to, then a few hours later enjoy the best chili ever. EVER! When serving put some Fritos in the bottom of your chili bowl. Spoon a big spoonful on the chips then, top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, onions. Eat it and LOVE it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mini Tostada Appetizers

This afternoon I semi browned a pound of ground beef for our weekly or bi-weekly Taco Night. I added garlic, a packet of Pace Picante Taco Seasoning, and a small can of green chilis. Dumped that in my crock pot and left it there to cook for the rest of the day, while I shampooed my carpet, did my banking, returned some stuff to WalMart. Somehow I forgot to eat some lunch. So, not wanting to spoil my appetite for dinner, I used up some of Mission Round Tortilla chips, I bought for 97 cents a bag (Thank You VONS) to make Mini Tostada Appetizers!

Mini Tostada Appetizers

Mission Tortilla Rounds (pick some perfect ones)
a can of refried beans
seasoned ground beef
shredded cheese blend
sour cream

This is real easy. Heat your beans and beef. Take your perfect tortilla rounds. Spread a little of the beans onto the chip. Sprinkle with a little bit of the cheese. Spoon a little ground beef on top of that. Nuke in the micro for a few seconds. Top with a little more cheese, sour cream, guacamole and salsa if desired. Eat them and Enjoy them. I know I did and they were YUMMY!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

This recipe is similar to Food Network's Ingrid Hoffman's Apple Chimichangas. She uses a pear and an apple. I used fuji apples. Check out her recipe at http://www.foodnetwork.com/. You won't be disappointed. Below is what I used to make tonight's dessert for Sunday dinner. No complaints!

Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large cored fuji apples, no skin, sliced
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup triple sec
8 tortillas
2 cups canola oil

Powdered sugar
Cinnamon sugar
1/2 Fat Dryers Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Melt your butter in a large skillet. Add brown sugar and cinnamon to butter and stir. Stir and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add your sliced apples and cook them for about 5 minutes or until they softened a bit. Add the alcohol and continue to cook another 5 minutes.

Wrap your tortillas in a paper towel and nuke for a minute until they are soft. Spoon 1/2 cup or so of the apples onto your tortilla. Fold it like a burrito and fix the side with a toothpick. In a smaller frying pan, heat your canola oil. Fry each chimichanga until crispy and golden brown. Transfer them to a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar. Serve hot with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice cream. Drizzle some of the syrup from the apples on top of chimichanga and ice cream. ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sponge Candy, Honeycomb, Sea Sponge aka. REALLY GOOD LIGHT AS AIR CANDY

I first stumbled across this stuff in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. I was there for a wedding. On one of the last days, it was rainy, I was staying at the St. Paul hotel and I suited up and headed out umbrella in hand and walked a couple blocks to the store filled with sugar...

Candyland. If you are ever in Minnesota's Twin Cities, I highly recommend you go there. If you are flying, plan to have an extra suitcase to fill with your sweet loot! Check out their website www.candylandstore.com.

When I returned home, I enjoyed tasty popcorn and the sponge candy! When the sponge candy ran out, I had withdrawls and then I went cyber surfing to find a recipe. This website is amazing. Truly amazing and it doesn't stop with sponge candy. There are lots of recipes. If you have time and like fudge, they have fudge types I have never even heard of. The site is www.thatsmyhome.com/general.sponge.htm

That's My Home's Sponge Candy

1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 T. vinegar
1 T. baking soda

Combine sugar, corn syrup and vinegar in a heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Then cook to 300 degrees F or to the crack stage. Remove from heat and stir soda in quickly as it will froth up almost double or triple in size. Pour into a buttered pan. Cool and break into pieces.

Candyland covered their sponge candy with dark or milk chocolate and WOW. This stuff is amazing!

I have made this with light corn syrup and brown sugar. Very good anyway. I am going to try it with honey one of these days. They call it honeycomb... hmm?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

CROCK POT Pork Tenderloin Spaghetti Sauce

Say that fast a few times, never mind. I picked up a pork tenderloin from Sam's Club a while ago and froze it. I left it in the 'fridge to thaw. I opened the package and realized there were two tenderloins. Last night, with one of them, I made Rob's Pork Chops and Rice. I altered the recipe a bit by using chicken broth instead of water in the rice. It was good. With the other, I made CROCK POT Pork Tenderloin Spaghetti Sauce! The meat cooks all day in the sauce and WOW is it ever good. Very tasty, meaty and just plain delish!

CROCK POT Pork Tenderloin Spaghetti Sauce

One 28 oz can Diced tomatoes
One 28 oz can Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce
1 Tbs. Italian herbs
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
1 Tbs. Lawry's Garlic Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
A few shakes Red pepper flakes if you'd like
One Pork Tenderloin (trim fat)

Sprinkle Garlic salt on the bottom of your CROCK. Place tenderloin on garlic salt, sprinkle remaining garlic salt on pork. Crack some pepper on the tenderloin. Dump diced tomatoes and marinara sauce on top pork. Add remaining seasonings and stir. Set CROCK POT on low and cook for most of the day. Tenderloin will break apart when you stir sauce after a day worth of cooking.

Boil Pasta of your choice and serve pasta with your delicious CROCK POT Pork Tenderloin Spaghetti Sauce! We had it over Spaghetti tonight and it was FANTASTIC!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fantastic Guacamole

I was not always a fan of avocado. Yep, sad but true. I have a bit of an allergy to the bumpy black skinned chloropyhl filled mass of deliciousness. Occasionally, my mouth swells when I eat it. Same goes for honeydew and kiwi fruit. It must be a verdant thing.

Anyway, as I have grown and matured in the ways of the taste buds..

I love Guacamole. I'd like to say I make it all by myself. Well, I cut the avocado and remove the seed and scrape the green goodness from the skin, but I use a mix. I do, use a mix. It is Fantastic! They sell it spicy and mild. I have tried both and LOVE both. The seasonings in the packet are amazing. The Guacamole is so good. When people eat it they go nuts and say it is the best.

So below is the not so secret ingredient for Fantastic Guacamole


Two large ripe avocados
One packet McCormick's Produce Partners Great Guacamole Spicy or Mild Seasoning Packet

Simply follow the directions on the back and enjoy.

Red Rice

When in Kansas, I made Red Rice to go with Flautas for dinner. In the past I have used salsa but my Sister suggested tomato paste. I have not used tomato paste much. But the Red Rice was amazing.

Red Rice

1 1/2 cups white rice
2 Tbs butter
Half a can of tomato paste
Garlic Salt
3 cups chicken broth

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add rice. Stir. Cook on medium to high heat to coat rice with butter and toast it a bit. Add tomato paste and seasonings. Stir. Add broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Serve with whatever you'd like. It is very tasty!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Produce A Plenty From Tom's Farm in Corona, California

I spent a week in Kansas with my sister and her family. What a wonderful week and I was lucky enough to meet my newest niece. She is the sweetest little bundle of girlness. Flew in Friday morning. I rushed straight back to work to spend two hours in traffic coming from LAX airport. Holiday weekend 1:30pm GRIDLOCK. Made it to work with like 10 seconds to spare. I worked until 9, came home packed again and left early Saturday morning to Glen Ivy's Hot Springs in Corona, California.

WOW. I needed the spa treatments and the R and R. I work really long days, sitting mostly and my body was gets really tweaked. Glen Ivy was great. I am still detoxing. On the way to the Hot Springs is this really great point of interest. Tom's Farm. My friend and I decided we would check it out Sunday before heading home. OMG. The produce in the market was amazing. I saw things I have only heard about. I wish I had my camera, because if I had it you would see pictures of the most amazing produce in California. Okra, rhubarb, fennel bulbs, ginger...

Tom's Farm has a market. I came home with a cart full of produce and other goodies.

With the red and black plums I will make a Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce.

With the peaches I will make a hot and crusty Peach Cobbler.

With the pickling cucumbers I will make Refrigerator pickles.

The grapes will be eaten and enjoyed.

The fresh green beans were turned into Dilled green beans tonight. YUM!

The yellow and white corn was boiled and served with butter and salt and pepper tonight. YUMMY!

The Roma Tomatoes will turn into bruschetta, and salsa, and a fantastic accompaniment to a sandwich.

SPONGE Candy. OH my my. This stuff is amazing. The first time I tasted it, it was in St. Paul, Minnesota at the Candyland Store. Tom's Farm's Candy store is amazing too!!!

They even had a huge selection of GLUTEN FREE products.

If you are ever in Corona, California you must visit. It is located at 23900 Temescal Canyon Rd. Their website is www. tomsearms.com

I will post some of the recipes from the above mentioned items in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lemon Zucchini Bundt Cake

No the mention of zucchini in the title was not a mistake. As I type, there is in fact, a Lemon Zucchini Bundt Cake in my oven. Baking at 350 degrees F. I will make a comment in the comment section to let you know how it turns out!

Lemon Zucchini Bundt Cake

One box of Lemon Cake mix
one small box of Lemon pudding
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
4 eggs (white string thingies removed)
1 cup shredded zucchini
Cinnamon and Sugar

Simple glaze made of powdered sugar, H20 and lemon juice.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients. Add water and olive oil. Mix until smooth. Scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs until mixed well. Now add the shredded zucchini. Mix until combined. Spray the bottom of your bundt pan with oil. Sprinkle Cinnamon and Sugar on the bottom and sides of pan. Pour batter into pan.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Make simple glaze and glaze cake after it cools.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tequila Chicken Marinade

Uum. Yummy, spicy, sweet with a bite. Tequila Chicken. I have marinated chicken in a Tequila Chicken Marinade that my friend Katie told me about before. I adjusted the marinade a bit and here is the recipe.

Tequila Chicken Marinade

1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup Bols triple sec
1/2 cup Margaritaville Silver Tequila
1/4 cup Wilcox honey
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cracked red pepper
1 tsp diced jalapeno
1/2 tsp Lawry's garlic salt
1 tsp minced garlic

Mix and set aside.

2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
Shaker of Watkins Cilantro flakes or fresh
1 Tbs. Kosher salt

Sprinkle chicken strips with Cilantro and kosher salt. Put strips in Ziploc bag. Pour 2/3 of the Marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in the refrigerator.

Add 1/2 cup olive oil to the remaining marinade to use on vegetables.

Sliced zucchini, onions, bell pepper...

You can marinate the vegetables in the marinade in a Ziploc too, if you would like to.

When ready to serve you can heat your grill to medium flame. Put veggies in a basket or aluminum pan and grill. Place chicken strips on grill and cook 5-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Serve over pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes.

You can serve with cheese and sour cream if you would like to.

Prepare it, grill it and enjoy it. This is what We are having for dinner tonite!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Figure It Out Dip or Spread

I entered this Dip in PW's Dairy Contest. I have made it several times, but I don't always write down the recipe. The last time I made it, I wrote down the recipe.

Figure it Out Dip or Spread

1 8 oz block cream cheese (softened)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 small packet toasted onion dip mix
1 tablespoon dill
3 green onions sliced in very thin pieces
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp. Lawry’s Garlic Salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated and diced up a bit in the Cuisinart mini prep
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese grated and diced up a bit in the Cuisinart mini prep

In a bowl mix the above ingredients until well incorporated. Put in the ‘fridge. Overnight is really good, but if you don’t have the time to make it ahead, give it a few hours as the flavors need time to blend.

This can be served with pretzel slims, pita chips, potato chips, veggies…

When I serve this, sometimes, I put the dip in a margarita or martini glass and place that on a plate and put the chips, etc on the plate. Excellent presentation. This dip is thick so it is nice to have a spreader available for guests to scoop.

This dip is pretty amazing. People love to guess the flavors. It goes pretty quick, if you have a large group you might want to make a double batch.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rob's Pork Chops and Rice

I am fortunate enough to have a man who will cook for me once in a while. Monday night he made his favorite family dinner and his specialty... Pork Chops and Rice. I purchased the ingredients and helped dice up the green onions but he created the amazing dinner. He only complained once that I bought a pork tenderloin, instead of pork chops with the bones. (Silly me, I hate to dissect things from bone)

Fiello Family Pork Chops the Rob Way

One Pork Tenderloin or 6-8 pork chops with bones
one bunch green onions, sliced
1 stick butter
salt and pepper
celery salt
1 1/2 cups white rice
3 cups water

In a large skillet, melt half of the stick of butter. Take a handful of the green onions and saute them a bit in the butter. Add the pork, season with salts and pepper and cook until pork is done. Remove pork from the skillet and place on a plate. Wrap with aluminum foil and place in the microwave or oven so pork stays warm.

Pour the water into the skillet that you cooked your pork in. Stir and scrape bottom of the skillet until broth turns brown. Add remaining butter and green onions and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add rice and cook for approxiamately 20 minutes. Allow rice to cool for 5 minutes. Serve pork over a bed of buttery pork flavored rice. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Zucchini Cakes Thanks to Ree and Ryan

Zucchini Cakes. Hmm? Is that kinda like a pancake but with Zucchini instead of flour?

The Pioneer Woman has done it again, introducing Delicious foods and now with her guest blogger Ryan. Ryan was kind enough to concoct something so wonderful and share with PW's groupies. Thanks to Ryan and Ree. Check out Ryan's Zucchini Cakes at http://www.thepioneerwomancooks.com/. Below you will find my version with Ryan's inspiration.

Herbed Garlic Zucchini Cakes

2 cups shredded garden fresh zucchini
1/2 cup garlic and herb bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp basil
1 egg (with white things gone)
salt and pepper
a few shakes Lawry's Garlic Salt

Olive oil
ketchup or marinara sauce or ranch dressing or some kind of yogurt dip

In a mixing bowl, combine zucchini, crumbs and cheese. Add the garlic and spices and stir. Now add the egg and stir until all ingredients are combined well. Pour olive oil into a fry pan, enough oil to fry one side at a time. Heat until zuke will sizzle.

Using a table spoon scoop a heaping blob of the zuke mix, take another table spoon and smash that into a patty. Yes, spoon your zucchini cake. Place zuke patty onto the pool of hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes until the cake is browned. Flip and do the same to the other side. Serve immediately with whichever dip you chose.

Enjoy! They are crunchy, a little cheesy and just so darn tasty! Rob is not home yet. I will post his opinion once he eats one of these babies.

Zucchini Bread

The garden is still producing! The Zuke plants are supplying dark green juicy gems! Bust out the Cuisinart because it's time to shred zucchini, to make some bread to gift to neighbors or co-workers or just for your family! When the garden gives you zucchini, make bread.

Zucchini Bread

2 cups fresh grated zucchini
4 eggs (white things removed)
1 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
3 1/2 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup of pecan or walnut pieces (optional)
cinnamon and sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine zucchini, eggs, oil and water. Mix. Sift dry ingredients and add by cupful to wet mix (mixing after each addition) until all dry ingredients are used up. Prepare two loaf pans with oil. Sprinkle bottoms of pans with cinnamon sugar. Pour bread batter into pans and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge for Christmas

I found this recipe while cruising through the supermarket. It is from McCormick! It pretty much rocks and tastes amazing and is so unbelievably easy to make! Check out McCormick.com for other amazing recipes!

Easy No-Cook Cinnamon Fudge

1 box powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. ground McCormick Cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. Pure McCormick Vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Allow foil to extend over sides and butter foil. In a bowl, mix together sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. In a saucepan, heat butter and milk, until butter melts. Add vanilla. Add liquid mixture to sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Using the foil lift the fudge from the pan and cut into 2 inch pieces.

I line a small muffin tin with Christmas themed muffin cups. I drop spoonfuls of fudge into the cups and allow to set. They gift really well, in these little cups and it makes for the perfect portion of sweet!

Christmas in July Cookies

Christmas in JULY? Christmas will be here before we know it! So get ready. Just kidding! But, if you want to, check out LifeasMom.com, there are loads of great Christmas ideas to get you in the pre-holiday planning Christmas Spirit.

This is a Christmas cookie favorite with a twist. Cinnamon and chocolate together? One of my favorite combos.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles! ! !

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs with the white things removed

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1/4 cup Valhrona Cocoa

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixed together to roll dough in.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In your mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and other dry ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Using a tablespoon, scoop and shape dough into balls and roll them into the cinnamon sugar mixture Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set. Makes 2-3 dozen.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grandma John's Overnight Casserole and Jamie's Overnight Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Grandma John would come to California every couple of years and spend time with us. What fun times, in the car, in the kitchen, at restaurants, and playing card games. Grandma John had a fun sense of humor, a mean poker face and one heck of culinary background. Was it cooking for 8 kids that made her a wiz in the kitchen, passion, or just really good taste buds? She could cook or bake anything. She didn't use the fanciest of ingredients but she would have given any celebrity chef a run for their chef hat!

Grandma John's Overnight Casserole (previously posted)

1 3/4 cup cooked elbow macaroni
2 cups cooked and diced chicken
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheese
2 cups milk
buttered bread crumbs

Put macaroni in a large bowl. Add chicken and cheese. In a separate bowl combine soups and milk. Pour soup over macaroni, chicken and cheese. Mix well and pour into a greased casserole dish. Cover casserole dish and put container in refrigerator overnight. When ready to cook, put in oven for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees F.

Jamie's Overnight Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Similar to Grandma John's, just a bit Jami-fied.

One pound cooked pasta any kind (I used Trader Joe's Whole wheat flax fusilli)

2 cups cooked chicken tenderloins chopped

1 cup frozen or fresh broccoli

1 cup shredded mozzarella

2 cans cream of chicken soup

2 cups milk

a few shakes Lawry's Garlic Salt

a few shakes black pepper

Put fusilli in a large bowl. Add chicken, broccoli and mozzarella to the bowl. In another combine the two cans of soup and milk. Pour soup mixture over pasta mixture and stir. Pour mixture into a greased casserole, cover and place in the refrigerator over night. When ready to cook, pull casserole from refrigerator and bake for an hour and a half in a 350 degree oven.

This is way good. SO, go the market, buy all this stuff and make it and bake it! Pioneer Woman has a fancy spaghetti pasta with cream of chicken soup. Check hers out at http://www.thepioneerwomancooks.com/!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Garlic Garden Fresh Zucchini

Do you have leftover zucchini and need to find a way to use it up? Cut it into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and make this tasty side dish.

Garlic Garden Fresh Zucchini serves 2

2 zucchini sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
Lawry's garlic salt
fresh lemon slices to squeeze

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sorry no exact measurements for this side dish, it is very easy and hard to mess up. Spray the bottom of small casserole dish with olive oil. Place zucchini slices in a layer. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Layer some more zucchini. Sprinkle with a little more garlic salt. Squirt fresh lemon juice on top of that. Cover with foil and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Serve alongside whatever!

When the Garden Gives You Tomatoes, Make The Getskow version of Brucshetta

I love bringing things to Sunday dinners. This Sunday I was determined to use ingredients fresh out of my parents garden to make an appetizer. One main thing found in the garden are tomatoes. We have cherry tomatoes and larger round ones, not sure of their official name. Another, vegetable found in the garden are bell peppers and they planted three colors. The final ingredient I yanked from the earth were two red onions.

The Getskow Garden Brucshetta

4-5 large garden fresh tomatoes
2 small garden fresh red onions
2 garden fresh purple bell peppers (YES, purple)
2 garden fresh green bell peppers
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder or the equivalent in minced garlic

One store bought baguette

Wash and trim all garden fresh produce. Chop all garden fresh items into small pieces. Combine in a bowl. Add seasonings and Olive oil and vinegar. Cover and place in the refrigerator.

Just before serving time prepare your baguette. Slice up the baguette into thin slices. Spray slices with olive oil and toast them in the oven. 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Serve toasted baguette alongside the bowl of brucshetta. Unless, you are serving your guests from a tray. Spoon a tablespoon on top of the toasted slice and serve immediately.

When the Garden Gives You Zucchini, Make Muffins

My Mom lovingly tends to the garden each summer when my Dad's leaves for the Midwest. Tending to the garden is a time consuming and sometimes difficult job, especially when the temperature has been over 100 degrees many a day, and humid too!

Tomatoes, 3 colors of bell pepper, strawberries, lemons, onions and zucchini grow in this garden. The zucchini grow fast and big. I picked some zucchini yesterday. Gave a couple to a friend and brought a couple home.

I have decided to make MUFFINS! I am not a fan of zucchini bread. It weird, really. Put a zucchini in something sweet? I am used to eating grilled zucchini, not sweet zucchini. I found a basic recipe for Zucchini Muffins on the Internet. This site has just about every muffin you could imagine on it. http://www.muffinrecipes.net/. I modeled my recipe after one I read, but spiced mine up a bit.

Garden Fresh Zucchini Muffins

1 cup sugar
2 eggs (white thingies removed)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded garden fresh zucchini
2 cups unbleached flour
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix the first four ingredients together. Add the zucchini, and dry ingredients and mix well. If you would like some of your muffins to be pecan free, stop here and fill muffins cups 2/3 full. Add the chopped pecans to the remainder of the batter and mix. Fill the remaining cups. You should have enough batter for 12 muffins and one mini loaf or 4 more muffins.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with butter, or cooled with nothing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Quick and Easy Appetizers

Robby's Mommer is one amazing lady. She can do anything. Yep, anything. One of her greatest qualities is hospitality. She is the Queen of Hospitality. She always has something for everyone at her house. She can put together just about anything in the kitchen at a moments notice and whatever it is, it is always Fantastic. These appetizers are easy and most items can be stored in your refrigerator. They are Mommer inspired and Just about anyone could look at the appetizer plate and find something they like. Here goes.

Quick and Easy Appetizers

Cheddar Cheese cubed
Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese cubed
Gallo Salami sliced or cubed
Jalapeno Stuffed Olives
Mini Dill Pickles

Using a cute divided relish tray, arrange your snack foods in the little compartments. Make sure to put a little cup with toothpicks beside the plate. Serve and watch the snacks disappear. They will and be ready with more snacks to refill!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chocolate Crescent Pockets

I had a special guest in my kitchen today. Her name is Katie and she is visiting her Grandpa, our friend Juan for the next couple of weeks. I thought she might like to hang out and do some girlie stuff, so I asked Juan if she could hang out with me. She came to my house at 6 am. I had made her a little bed on the couch, I left her to slumber and I lumbered back upstairs. Beauty sleep was our first girlie thing to do.

Our second girlie thing was to bake up a yummy breakfast. Yes a breakfast that included chocolate. When I told her what we were going to make she didn't even look at me like I was crazy. We washed our hands and then prepared a "very rich" breakfast as Katie put it.

Chocolate Crescent Pockets (will make 8, or 16 small ones if you feel like cutting the 8 triangles in half)

one roll Pillsbury Crescent rolls
1-2 tablespoons butter
Cinnamon sugar
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll Crescents and place on baking pan. Spread a little butter on the larger end of triangle. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the butter. Place 12-15 chocolate chips on top of that. Fold the the two larger ends of triangle together and press with fingertips to seam the sides. Pull the skinny pointed end up and press the new sides together forming a pocket. Style the remaining dough from pointed end over the top of fold it, as long as pocket is formed. Spread a tiny bit of butter on top of that and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Repeat until all of your rolls have been transformed into chocolate pockets.

Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. Allow to cool just a bit. Serve and enjoy the chocolaty flaky warm goodness.

After we had breakfast we painted her toenails and fingernails in a Patriotic Zebra Pattern. Then swam all day long, had lunch, Swam more, came home and watched Hairspray. She had a great day and said her breakfast was the best one she had ever had and she would like to make them for her Grandpa.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Variety Brownies In One Pan

Make them think you slaved for hours in your kitchen. Really you only use one large brownie mix or 2-3 smaller bagged ones, one bowl and one Jelly roll type pan and you have 3 different types of brownies. Quite genius I think and when you taste the variety you will go out of your mind.

Mix your favorite Brownie mix (sometimes I replace the water the recipe calls for with milk or flavored alcohol) and spread batter into the greased jelly roll pan.

Coconut Brownies
Sprinkle coconut on one third of the batter in the pan. The coconut will toast up so nicely and add such a great taste and texture to your brownie!

Chocolate Heath Bar Brownie
Take 2-3 Heath bars and crack them up. Place toffee pieces on brownie batter on the next third of the pan. Sprinkle a handful or two of semi-sweet chocolate chips on top of toffee.

Smore Brownies
Cut large marshmallows in half or use 1-2 cups mini marshmallows, a dozen Unwrapped Hershey Kisses, and a handful of walnuts. Pull brownies from oven when they are 3-5 minutes from being done. Sprinkle the marshmallows on brownies. Pop them back in the oven and bake the last few minutes. Once they have plumped, pull the brownies out and top your marshmallow with the kisses and nuts.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Re-Inventing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are awesome. Imagine just adding one or two ingredients and have a new yummy tasting cookie. The buttery chocolaty goodness with ? ? ? ?

Basically, take your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and add some other good stuff.

Cinnamon Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
I add cinnamon and a packet or two of Maple and Brown sugar oatmeal to mine. They are delish!

Red, White and Blue Cookies
Omit chocolate chip and add a handful of dried cranberries, add 1 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips, and a handful of dried blueberries. That's it and you will have the best Patriotic White Chocolate Chip cookie ever!

Toasted Coconut and Pecan Cookies
Keep the chocolate chips and add 1/2 cup toasted coconut and 1/2 cup pecans. YUMMY!

Caramel Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies
Add 1-2 packets of Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal, keep the chocolate chips in your recipe and then cut 10 or 12 caramels into 4's and mix into your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Add a cup of Peanut Butter chips to your favorite cookie dough or chop up some Reece's Peanut butter cups. OH YEAH!!!

Experiment. Make some unique cookies right now and then share your idea in the comment section. (:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fantastic Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad! Oh, am I a fan. I love Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing. (NO, mayo on my pasta, please!) It has been my favorite for years.

Jamie's Fantastic Pasta Salad

1 16 oz box any type of Pasta (I used Disney's Pirate Pasta with cool shapes, a skull, treasure chest, pirates...)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1/4 tsp. regular salt
1/2 tbs. McCormick's Italian Pepper and Onion Seasoning blend
2 Tbs. Italian Seasonings

1/2 cup cubed Gallo Salami
1/2 cup chopped reduced fat string cheese
1/2 cup cubed Pepper Jack Cheese (you can use any types of cheese you want)
1/4 cup chopped peperoncini rings
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small can sliced black olives (optional)

Boil your pasta with a little salt. Once cooked according to directions on the box. Drain and rinse and set aside. Mix the Italian Dressing Ingredients and set aside.

Once the pasta has cooled toss it in a bowl or gallon size Ziploc bag. Pour Italian Dressing over pasta and toss. Add remaining ingredients and stir or shake bag after each addition. Put your Fantastic Pasta Salad in the refrigerator for an hour or two so the flavors can blend. Serve with a Sandwich (Mmm Monte Cristo) or Marinated Tri tip or whatever your little heart desires.

You can tame down the spiciness of the Fantastic Pasta Salad by omitting the Pepper Jack, peperoncinis, and adjust the seasonings.