Friday, January 16, 2015

Cookie of the Month Club

It was recently pointed out, by my non-facebooking friend, that I had not posted the Cookie of the Month Club list.
Oops, sorry! I blame exhaustion from all that Christmas baking!
Things work about the same as the beloved Dessert of the Month Club from last year only just cookies this year.
Cookies mail better and everything tastes better when in arrives in one piece!
Just let me know by email: or 
Facebook message: if you'd like to order a dozen or more cookies. They cost $15/dozen or $20 for delivery. 
I like to have about a week's notice for monthly orders and you can still order or gift a yearly membership for $165 or $225 for delivery year round. (you get one month free when choosing the yearly membership)
That's a better deal than you get from the girl scouts!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa

This is the salsa we make as soon as cranberries appear during the fall at the grocery stores here. I only hope you can still find them in stock because you MUST make this. It is delicious. Spicy and sweet and tangy all in the same bite.
It's almost worth moving to Maine for unlimited cranberries...almost!

Cranberry-Jalapeño Salsa
1 (12oz) pkg fresh cranberries
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c chopped red onion
1 chopped whole jalapeño pepper (seeds & all)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 t salt
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
tortilla chips
Lime wedges
Pulse cranberries and sugar in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until coarsely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides. Add onion, jalapeño and green pepper, pineapple, and salt; pulse 3 to 4 times or until chopped. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Serve with tortilla chips. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed, omitting fresh cilantro. Freeze in an airtight container up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator 12 hours. Stir in cilantro just before serving.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars ~ with Oreo Crust

It's the New Year and while other blogs are posting salad recipes and the newest paleo diet you can count on finding sweets here.
I enjoy salad as much as the next herbivore but nothing beats ending a meal with dessert. 
Traditional cheesecake, baked in a springform pan, sometimes feels like a challenging endeavor. These cheesecake bars are baked in a square baking pan, making them easier to bake and serve. 
They are also versatile as you can use any jam to your liking.
I have used raspberry and blackberry jam, both are quite yummy!
Enjoy & Happy New Year!!

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Crust
12 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed
2 T butter, melted
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1/4 c heavy cream
3 eggs
3 t vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla)
1/4 c blackberry (or other flavor) jam
Line a 8x8" square baking pan with enough foil to hang over edges.
Combine Oreo crumbs and melted butter, press into bottom of baking pan.
Beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. 
Add cream, eggs and vanilla.
Pour filling over crust.
Bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is set but still soft in the middle.
Heat jam in microwave for about 15 seconds and spread on baked bars.
Refrigerate for 4 hours before cutting.
To serve; lift foil lined cheesecake from pan and peel back foil, slice into squares.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Grandma B is spreading the Joy

Don't you wish elves were a thing year 'round?
I know I could use a cleaning elf because housekeeping is not my specialty, just ask my kids.
One elf I don't need is that Elf on a Shelf. I hear he creates all sorts of trouble and messes.
The kids over at The Idea Room had a great idea - The Kindness Elf. An elf that cleans bedrooms and helps out around the house. What the what??
I loved their printable too and decided to use it to elf Grandma B's friends, customers and community members.
So far 2 neighbors and a co-worker have been elfed with baked goods and their own little elf.

You could be next!
Feel free to regift and elf someone yourself.

All the kids are doing it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

This is one of those, I can't believe it's so easy, it tastes like I spent hours making it, recipes.
All you need is your favorite brownie recipe/mix, some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Minis, and a simple frosting. 
Ok, if you want the frosting to look fancy you will need some decorator equipment. But still, easy peasy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites:
Stir up your brownie batter and divide into your desired size of muffin pans. 
Place a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in the batter pressing in just until the top of the candy is level with the batter.
Bake until done but still soft, about 10 minutes for the minis.
Remove from pans and cool.
Prepare frosting and spread or pipe onto the top of the candy, leaving an edge of brownie unfrosted.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 c butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c peanut butter
3 c pwd sugar
2 t whipping cream
Cream the butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter until smooth. 
Mix in the pwd sugar and cream.

You can make these as full-sized cupcakes but the minis
are so cute and just enough sweetness to satisfy your chocolate craving. And if you go for the larger cupcakes you'll need to use the slightly larger Reese's Miniatures
which are individually wrapped...annoying. 
When I buy brownie mix I use this one, even though I have to go to Wal-Mart (ugh) to buy it. But it includes four bags of brownie mix in one box so I don't need to buy it that often.
You can find it in the large family supplies section, I know it well!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Zach's favorite Lemon Cheesecake Bars

The fourth born turned 17 yesterday. Seventeen.
He requested his favorite dessert...Lemon Cheesecake Bars and a trip to the city for a steak dinner.
He's always been the easy one.
Happy Birthday Zach!

Lemon Cheesecake Bars
2 c flour
1/2 c pwd sugar
1 c cold butter, cubed
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
4 eggs
2 c sugar
1 t lemon zest
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1/2 t baking pwd
1/4 c flour
Non-melting pwd sugar
Butter baking dish, I use a 10x15" dish. A parchment lined straight cornered baking pan works well also.
Stir together 2 c flour & 1/2 c pwd sugar. 
Cut in butter with pastry blender or food processor until crumbly.
Press dough into prepared dish.
Bake @350º for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. 
While crust is baking combine cream cheese and 1 c sugar until smooth. Add 2 eggs and vanilla.
Pour cream cheese mixture over hot crust.
Whisk 4 eggs in a large bowl until smooth, add 2 c sugar, lemon zest and juice.
Stir together baking pwd and 1/4 c flour, whisk into lemon batter.
Slowly pour over cream cheese layer.
Bake an additional 25 minutes or until filling is set.
Cool in pan for 30 minutes. If using parchment paper, lift from pan and cut into bars.
Chill completely in refrigerator and sprinkle with non-melting pwd sugar.
Garnish with sugared lemon zest, if desired.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Breakfast Burritos...Customized

Breakfast burritos are not difficult to make, can easily be adapted to your personal taste and make for a satisfying breakfast or even dinner, if that's when you choose to eat breakfast.
With the following recipe you can make 4 different breakfast burritos:
Egg and Cheese
Egg, Cheese and Sausage
Egg, Cheese and Vegetables
All of the above
You can also customize the size from bite, snack to full sized - depending on the size of tortilla you use.
I served the bite sized burrito recently at a certain wedding weekend event and at a bridal shower brunch. Even the little grandmothers came back for seconds.
You can also adjust the spices according to your liking. 
We like things spicy at our house.
All I added was a little basil but if you buy unseasoned sausage you might want to add a little cayenne pepper or the like.
If you like vegetables or meat and vegetables this mixture is awesome.
The cheese is pretty basic but may I suggest you shred it yourself instead of buying it shredded, unless you like a little wood pulp with your cheese. And I recently learned this store will give you a discount for buying the whole block.
All that cheese calls for a new cheese knife from one of my favorite kitchen stores.
Next you'll need to scramble the eggs, which couldn't be easier right?
Just don't over do it with the scrambling or the cooking. I like to just push the eggs lightly with a spatula(the kind that won't melt) and take off the heat while the eggs are still "wet".
You'll be cooking them again in the final step so dry over-cooked eggs are not desired. 
Finally ready for the assembly line. Heating each tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds makes folding a little easier.
Spread on the cream cheese and add your choice of toppings.
Fold up the bottom third and pinch in the sides like so.
Tuck in the sides and fold over.
Wa-lah! You can fold/roll however you wish but that's how I do it.
Snack sized vs. full sized. I like to grill the burritos on a panini press but you can also heat in the microwave.
If you are assembling the burritos for later consumption, individual wrapping, labeling and dating are all good ideas. I, for one, don't care for the taste of frozen eggs so I just hold mine in the fridge for up to 5 days but you can freeze them if so desired.
I do however freeze the extra sausage mixture and use it for future burrito building occasions or even in chili.

Breakfast Burritos
1 lb ground sausage
2 t olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 t red pepper flakes
18 eggs
3 c colby jack or pepper jack cheese, shredded
8 oz cream cheese, softened
12 burrito or 24 fajita sized tortillas 
Brown sausage in skillet over medium heat.
Drain fat and season to taste.
Transfer to bowl to cool.
Wipe out skillet with wet paper towel.
Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook onion and pepper for about 5 minutes.
Add beans and red pepper flakes and heat for 2 minutes.
Season with salt & pepper, if desired.
Transfer to bowl to cool.
Wipe out skillet with wet paper towel.
Whisk eggs just until mixed.
Reheat skillet over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to medium low and add eggs, lightly stirring until cooked but not dry.
Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Transfer to bowl to cool.
To assemble burritos; spread a bit of cream cheese on tortilla within an inch of the edge and layer each tortilla with 1/2 cup eggs, 1/3 cup bean mixture or meat or mixture of both.
Top with 1/4 cup cheese. (reduce these amounts for smaller tortillas)
Roll up and wrap in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until ready to cook.
To serve; heat in microwave for 30 seconds & then on panini grill until crisp.
Serve with salsa, sour cream and fresh cilantro, if desired.