Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowflake Quesadillas

School was called off because of snow today.  I wanted to do something fun with my school-ager but didn't have any good craft supplies on hand and all of my baking supplies are going to be used next week for Christmas.  So we made these quesadillas!  Nothing fancy but my daughter had fun making them.

1 flour tortilla
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese

Cut the flour tortilla as you would a paper snow flake (there is no right way!).  Place whole wheat tortilla in greased skillet.  Add cheese to the top then place the "snowflake" tortilla on top of the cheese.  Cook over medium-high heat until cheese melts.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Creme Brulee French Toast

Creme Brulee is probably one of my top three desserts.  I LOVE it!  When I found this recipe I just had to try it.  I know that I just posted a French toast recipe a few days ago, but this one is different.  It is an overnight recipe so it's great for Christmas morning or for when you have overnight guests.  It has a yummy crunchy/sugary/chewy layer--just like a creme brulee!  I would think that it would be extra yummy served with strawberries!

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 TBSP corn syrup

1 loaf of Texas toast (thick sliced bread)

5 eggs

1 1/2 cups half and half cream

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into large, greased jelly roll pan (cookie sheet) Spread to cover completely. Place 12 slices Texas toast bread in a single layer to cover pan (You kind of have to squish them together--but they will fit!). Mix together eggs, cream, salt, and vanilla. Spoon mixture over each piece of bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve. If not serving immediately, turn each slice over( this will prevent bread from sticking to the bottom of the pan.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mini Hot Browns

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that it is hard to get my husband excited about a recipe.  Get excited...because he gets excited about this one!  In other words....you know it has to be good!  I make these every year for Derby and decided to use the left over Thanksgiving turkey for these today.  Very yummy!

  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
  • 18 slices snack bread
  • 6 ounces sliced deli turkey (or leftover Thanksgiving turkey!)
  • 1 small tomato, thinly sliced 
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

  • In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon in water; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; stir in cream and bouillon. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Remove from the heat.

  • Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Layer each with turkey, tomato and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until heated through. 

Call the Dentist! Popcorn

My daughter put together this little concoction last night.  It was pretty good and VERY sweet!

2 bags of buttered microwave popcorn
1 bag of white chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini m&m's
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pop popcorn and empty into large tupperware bowl.  Heat white chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave (stirring every 30 seconds) until melted.  Pour over popcorn.  Add remaining ingredients.  Place lid on bowl and shake.  Spread on large cookie sheet so that the chocolate can dry.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

I have made this several times and I absolutely love it.  It tastes so good slathered on a thick slice of turkey!

1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
3/4 c. sugar
zest and juice of one orange
1 cinnamon stick

Combine zest, juice, sugar, and cinnamon stick with 1/2 cup of water.  Cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves.  Add cranberries and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.  Simmer until the berries have popped or you can press them easily against the side of the pan to squish them (I don't like whole cranberries in my sauce).  Cool to room temperature or refrigerate.  Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fantastic French Toast

I really wish I could remember where I found this recipe so credit could be given where it's due.  I remember when I came across it I thought, "Why do I need a recipe for French toast?"  But this is so good and I don't think I will ever make French toast again without it.  It's very simple and has quite a bit more milk than I would normally use but I think that is why I like it so much.  Sometimes there is just entirely too much egg on my toast and it looks like an egg sandwich rather than French toast.  I will be posting an apple cider syrup recipe sometime soon that would be delicious with this.  Enjoy!

2 eggs
½ c. milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 T. flour
6 slices of Texas toast

First beat eggs, then add remaining ingredients with electric mixer. Dip both sides of bread and place in hot buttered pan. Flip over when browned.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

First, I just want to say that I have not abandoned my little recipe blog.  I started working on my Master's degree this past September and it has consumed me!  I haven't been cooking much and what I have cooked has not been "blog worthy."  

However....I am on break until January and I am so excited to get back in the kitchen!  I started yesterday by making these muffins.  They involve a few extra steps compared to the run-of-the-mill muffin--but let me tell you...this is not your run-of-the-mill muffin!  The extra time is SO worth it!

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice*
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces

*I bought pumpkin pie spice and it has mysteriously vanished from my spice drawer.  My toddler loves to pull that drawer open and play with all of the spices so I feel quite certain I will find it somewhere one day.  ANYWAY, I had to make my own pumpkin pie spice (which were actually a lot of the spices I had already used) and here is the mix:
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  I lifted the liners and tilted them a little (see picture) to ensure the bottom was completely covered.  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tsp. of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.  
Recipe from annies-eats.com

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sour Cream Pork Chops

I'm always trying to find a good way to make pork chops--a way that doesn't result in something dry or chewy.  I found the way!  These were yummy.  Next time, I will make them with boneless chops because the gravy/sauce made it hard to find the bone to cut away from the meat.  But they were very yum and will make an appearance on my dinner table again very soon.  I think these are even company worthy!

2 T vegetable oil
4 (1 inch thick) boneless pork chops
1 1/2 cups sliced onion, seperated into rings
1 cup beef broth
1/2 T dried parsley
1 t paprika
1 t prepared mustard
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 cup sour cream

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork chops, and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until browned. Place onion evenly over pork chops.

In a small bowl, combine broth, parsley, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour broth mixture over pork chops. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in sour cream, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Do not let boil. Serve over hot rice.

Mexican Rice with Lime

I've been trying a long time to make a good Mexican rice.  I did it yesterday to go along with tacos and I am putting the recipe here TODAY so I don't forget how I did it because this will be my new go-to rice recipe when I am cooking Mexican.

2 T oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 large tomato, chopped
1 and 1/2 small limes, juiced

Heat oil in large skillet.  Cook onion until transparent.  Add garlic and rice to onion.  Saute for a few minutes until rice begins to brown.  Add chicken broth (careful, it wants to splatter!) and tomato.  Cook, covered, on very low heat for 17-19 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir in lime juice and serve.

Blueberry Cobbler

My mom's birthday was yesterday and she requested blueberry cobbler for dessert.  We found a jar of cobbler filling at a local produce stand and it was really good.  Scott (who I think is scared of fruit if it isn't an apple or a banana)  ate it and said it was really good.  The cakey cobbler was the perfect compliment to the fruit in the cobbler.  I bet this would be even better if it were made with fresh blueberries!
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/2 cups milk

Cobbler filling of your choice (I used a jar.  If using cans, it might take 1 1/2-2 cans of filling.)

Heat oven to 350.  Place butter in 13x9 pan and let it melt in the oven. 

Mix sugar, flour and milk slowly to avoid clumping.  Remove pan with melted butter from oven.  Pour flour mixture over butter.  Do not mix!  Pour cobbler filling over flour mixture.  The cakey part of the cobbler will rise to the top while baking.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.  (I baked for 30.)

adapted from Paula Deen

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

I feel a little silly putting this on here because it isn't really a "recipe."  It is more of a meal idea.  But Scott and I LOVE these little pizzas.  We have them several times a month--whenever I have left over grilled chicken.  They make a great light meal when he has late nights at work.
three individual pizza crusts
olive oil
2/3 cup of buffalo sauce (our favorite is Kroger brand medium)
1/4 cup of ranch dressing
about 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 grilled chicken breast, sliced thin
ranch dressing for drizzeling

Heat oven to 450.

Combine buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.  Brush pizza crusts with olive oil.  Divide sauce evenly over pizza crusts and spread to the edge.  Top with cheese and sliced chicken.  Drizzle with ranch dressing.

Lower oven temp to 425.  Place pizzas directly on oven rack and bake for 10 minutes.

Beef Arrostito Sandwiches

So I bought this roast.....

I've never made a roast.  In fact I have never bought a roast.  I called my mom and asked her what I needed to do with this bottom round roast I bought.  She laughed and said that there wasn't much I could do with it; apparently it isn't the best cut of meat.....no wonder it was so cheap!

I was determined to make it into something edible; and I did!!  This was so yummy and had a great amount of flavor.  I used LOTS of spices and herbs. I DARE you to buy the cheap cut of meat and try it yourself! :)

3 lb bottom round roast (I used two 1 1/2 lb pieces)
3 cups beef broth
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 T oregano
2 t black pepper
2 t basil
1 T parsley
1/2 t celery seed
1 1/2 t salt

hoagie rolls
mozzarella cheese

Place beef in crock pot.  Combine broth with spices and pour over roast.  Cook on low heat until meat is done, about 4 hours.  When meat is cooked through, remove from crock pot leaving broth mixture.  Thinly slice meat and return to crock pot and cook for about 45 minutes to absorb some of the flavor. 

Place meat on hoagie rolls and top with mozzarella cheese.  Place under broiler until cheese has melted.  Serve with remaining broth for dipping.  I recommend straining the broth while the sandwiches are broiling so you don't have clumps of spices in your au jus.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Heaven Cookies

I will post a picture of these the next time I make them--promise!

If you make these, make sure you have a gallon of milk in reserve just to drink with these cookies.  They are VERY rich!  These were another rare "thumbs up" from the hubby.  He said it was like eating a Reese's Peanut Butter cup....I assumed that was a good thing!

I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe.  The author said that she doubled the recipe.  I did also and it didn't seem to be an excessive amount of cookies.  This could possibly be because I made them with an enormous cookie scoop.  Anyhow, I am going to post the recipe doubled.  Enjoy!

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
2 c. peanut butter at room temperature
1 1/2 c. plus 1 T. (for sprinkling) sugar
1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 T. milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. peanut butter chips
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Place sprinkling sugar on a plate. Drop by rounded tablespoons (I like big cookies!) onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (mine took the full 12 because, well...they were huge!).  Do not over bake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

taken from melskitchencafe.com

Sugar Cookie Bars

When I try something new in the kitchen, my husband usually gives me a "Pretty good!"  But this time I got...."Oh my gosh!  These are FANTASTIC!"  Score!  I get such gratification when he shows enthusiasm over something I cook!  Now my 8-year-old daughter likes anything with sprinkles and frosting, so of course she gave them the thumbs up.  Now the 10-month-old...well, she'll eat anything! :)

When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it.  I love sugar cookies but absolutely HATE making them.  I only make them at Christmas and they usually wind up with several tears splashed on top because I am horrible at the rolling and cutting and lifting.....I'm getting tense just thinking about it.  But these....oh these little things....oh how they make me smile.  You mix up the dough and press it into a baking sheet.  That's it!  No rolling, no cutting....ahhhhh.

Cookie Bars:
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 t. vanilla
5 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda

1 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
food coloring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a rimmed cookie sheet (I think mine was 12 x 17).  Combine the butter and sugar with an eclectic mixer beating at medium-high speed until light and smooth.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla. 

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda; stirring together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and press into an even layer.  Bake 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth.  Blend in the vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until smooth.  Tint as desired with food coloring.  Spread over the cookie in the pan, cut into bars and serve.

adapted from annies-eats.com

Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of the best dinners I have made in a LONG time!  They were SO good.  My daughter (who lives on macaroni and cheese) even spied it across the table and said, "I think I might like to try that"--she did and she liked it! 

The edges that weren't touched by the enchilada sauce got very crispy, almost like a chimichanga (without the deep frying!) Very yum!
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 onion
1 c. sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas 
1 can red enchilada sauce (I used medium)
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear. Meanwhile, combine onion and sour cream in a blender and puree.  Shred the chicken and return it to the skillet. Add the onion and sour cream mixture, cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano and ground black pepper. Heat until cheese melts. Stir in salt, tomato sauce, chili powder, and garlic.

Roll even amounts of the mixture in the tortillas. Arrange in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce and 3/4 cup cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 20 minutes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

I first had these at Red Lobster several years ago and I managed to duplicate the recipe (about nine years ago I think?!).  Since then, I have perfected it by adding fresh garlic to the dough and DOUBLING the cheese!  They are yummy and so easy with Bisquick! 

4 c. Bisquick
1 1/3 c. buttermilk (regular milk will work just fine too)
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2. parsley

Preheat oven to 450.  Combine Bisquick, milk, cheese, and garlic until a soft dough forms.  Spoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I use an extra large cookie scoop).  Bake 8-10 minutes.  While baking, melt butter and combine with garlic powder and parsley.  When biscuits are finished baking, brush with butter mixture.

Lemon Buttermilk Pie

I had some buttermilk that needed to be used so I was FORCED to make this yummy pie.  Nothing says comfort food for me like something custardy...is that a word?  Anyway, the recipe says to bake for about 25 minutes but I have to say, mine took nearly an hour to set.  I'm going to leave the original time just in case there was something wrong with my oven that day.

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 T. flour
1 T. grated lemon zest
4 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 stick butter, melted
unbaked pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and lemon zest.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the buttermilk and melted butter. Pour mixture into pie crust.   Bake until the top is lightly browned and the center is set, about 25 minutes (remember, mine took much longer).  Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.  Serve with whipped cream.

recipe from foodnetwork.com (Emeril Lagasse)

Choco-Peanut Butter-Banana Breakfast Strudel

This was good and OH SO rich!  I do not like milk at all and this little treat left me craving a glass of the white stuff.  Molly had a great time helping to spread the peanut butter and hazelnut spread.

1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (6 rolls)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup hazelnut spread with cocoa
2 firm ripe small bananas
1 egg white, beaten
1 T. sugar mixed with a 1/4 t. sugar

Heat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.  Sprinkle a small amount of flour on a sheet of wax paper.  Unroll dough onto floured paper into one long rectangle; pressing perforations to seal.  Cover with another sheet of waxed paper and, with a rolling pin, roll out to a 18x9" rectangle.  Spread peanut butter onto rectangle leaving an inch around the edges; repeat with hazelnut spread.  Cut bananas into skinny slices and arrange in two rows down the center of the spreads.  Fold in short ends of rectangle 1 inch.  Starting at one long side of rectangle, roll up tightly; pinch edges of dough to seal.  Remove from waxed paper and place seal side down on prepared baking sheet.  Brush with egg white and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Immediately transfer to wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes.  Loosely wrap foil around strudel; refrigerate 30-1 hour, or until chilled.

recipe from Pillsbury.com

Pumpkin and Apple Muffins

I know...it's June and I have posted two pumpkin recipes.  I actually made these in October but I have been so busy with school and family over the last several months I did not have a minute to devote to this blog.  I'm trying to play a little catch up, which is why there are the "pumpkin in June" recipes.  But really...would it be SO bad to have a little summer pumpkin?  I don't think so...

1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 apple, peeled and finely chopped (I used Granny Smith)
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
3T. sugar

Combine first six ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in center of mixture.  Combine pumpkin, butter, and eggs in another bowl then pour into dry mixture; stirring just until moistened.  Stir in apples and spoon into greased muffin pans.  Combine remaining sugar and pumpkin pie spice and sprinkle on top of muffin batter.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Quiche: Times Two!

My husband's family stayed with us for a weekend in October when our baby was baptized.  I made two quiches for breakfast.  One chocked full of jalepenos and green chilies.  My brother-in-law do not have the same love for spicy foods that the rest do (especially in the morning!) so, I made a tamer version for us.  I made these the night before and just popped them in the oven the next morning.

Tex-Mex Quiche:
9 inch pie crust
1 lb. breakfast sausage
4 eggs
1/2 c. half and half
4 oz can green chilies, drained
2 cups pepperjack cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese

Brown sausage and crumble; drain and set aside.  Whisk together eggs, half and half, green chilies, and salt & pepper (to taste); set aside.  Fill unbaked pie shell with cheese.  Top with sausage and pour egg mixture over sausage then scatter jalapenos on top (again--to taste!)  Bake @ 375 for about 45 minutes or until the center is set.

"Boring but Delicious" Quiche:
9 inch pie crust
1 lb. breakfast sausage
4 eggs
1/2 c. half and half
3 cups mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage and crumble; set aside.  Fill pie shell with cheese and sausage.  Whisk together eggs, half and half, and salt & pepper (to taste).  Pour egg mixture over sausage.  Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until center is set.

Pumpkin "Muffies"

I made these with the intention of them being a cookie but their texture reminded me of those muffies that you can get at Panera.  The texture was more cakey than cookie--it was a nice surprise!

  2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4 t. salt
1 T. vanilla
1 cup mashed pumpkin
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
4-5 cups of flour (enough to make firm)
2 T. cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk

Cream together first 5 ingredients; add pumpkin and set aside.  Mix the dry ingredients together and then slowly combine with pumpkin mixture.  Add buttermilk and mix.  Add flour until batter is firm enough to hold a peak.  Drop by spoonfuls and bake for 12-15 minutes.