Friday, January 29, 2010

Introducing: My Amazing Craftastic Friend Roni

Maybe you also have a friend like Roni, who is so gifted & can do just about anything!
And if you didn't love her so much you would despise her for her talents.
This is the latest creation she has shared with me:

The cutest little loaf of Honey Sunflower Bread :)

I'm so lucky to have a friend who celebrates National Pie Day! Yum!!


1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 box instant vanilla pudding and pie filling, prepared
1 (9 inch) baked pie shell
Cool Whip
Chopped peanuts
Mix the powdered sugar and peanut butter thoroughly until crumbly. Set aside 1/4 cup. Put half of the crumb mixture in bottom of cooled pie shell. Spread with half of pudding. Repeat crumb and pudding layers. Top with Cool Whip. Sprinkle on top with reserved crumb mixture and chopped peanuts.

She delivered this fun little mailbox last year on Valentines Day

Here is one of the many cards she has made for me & my kids

Did I mention she is amazing?
Love you Roni!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rocky Road Fudge Bars

Category: Bar Cookies
Yield: 48 bars
Source: Tracey

1/2 c margarine or butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 c flour
1 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c chopped nuts
1 (8-oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened - reserving 2 oz. for frosting
1/4 c margarine or butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
2 T flour
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
1/4 c chopped nuts
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
2 c miniature marshmallows
1/4 c margarine or butter
1/4 c milk
1 oz unsweetened chocolate - cut up
2 oz Reserved cream cheese
3 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 13x9-inch pan.
In large saucepan, melt 1/2 c margarine and 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat. Stir in 1 c flour and all remaining base ingredients; mix well.
Spread in greased and floured pan.

In small bowl, combine 6 oz. of the cream cheese, 1/4 c margarine, 1/2 c sugar, 2 T flour, 1/2 t vanilla and 1 egg;
beat 1 minute at medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Stir in 1/4 c nuts.
Spread over chocolate mixture; sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.
Bake at 350°F. for 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven; bake an additional 2 minutes.

While marshmallows are baking, in large saucepan, combine 1/4 c margarine, milk, 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate and reserved 2 oz. cream cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring until well blended.
Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar and 1 t vanilla until smooth.
Immediately pour frosting over puffed marshmallows and lightly swirl with knife to marble.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Cut into bars.
Store in refrigerator.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 7180kcal; Protein 70g (141%); Total Fat 358g (551%)(Sat. 133g (666%)); Chol. 887mg (296%); Carb. 987g (329%); Fiber 23g (92%); Sugars 811g; Calcium 808mg (81%); Iron 28mg (155%)

Raspberry Streusel Bars

Category: Bar Cookies
Yield: 25 bars
Source: Brenda
Easy & Yummy!

1 (1 lb 1.5 oz) pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/3 c butter - softened
2 T flour
1 t almond extract
1 egg
1/2 c seedless raspberry jam
Spray bottom of 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, flour, almond extract and egg until dough forms.
Press half of dough into bottom of pan.
Bake at 350º for 15 minutes.
Spread jam over base. Crumble remaining dough over jam.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Variation: Try apricot, blackberry, or strawberry jam for the raspberry.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 1118kcal; Protein 9g (18%); Total Fat 67g (102%)(Sat. 40g (202%)); Chol. 374mg (125%); Carb. 123g (41%); Fiber 2g (9%); Sugars 78g; Calcium 79mg (8%); Iron 2mg (14%)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Puppy Chow

Category: sweets
Yield: 12 servings
Source: Roni
My 10 yr old will love you forever if you make puppy chow for him.

1 (12 oz) box Crispix cereal
2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c peanut butter
5 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 pkg. (1 lb.) powdered sugar
Pour out cereal into large bowl and set aside.
In 1-qt. saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat, stirring frequently until melted.
Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture slowly over cereal while stirring with a spatula to evenly coat.
Pour into a 2-gallon resealable plastic storage bag or grocery bag.
Add powdered sugar slowly. Shake until well coated.
Spread onto wax paper to cool.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 449kcal; Protein 7g (13%); Total Fat 24g (37%)(Sat. 10g (51%)); Chol. 13mg (4%); Carb. 59g (20%); Fiber 3g (12%); Sugars 54g; Calcium 20mg (2%); Iron 1mg (7%)

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Category: Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Source: Miriam
Not your Mother's oatmeal cookie, unless your Mother is Miriam.

1 c unsalted butter, melted
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 c flour
2 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c toasted chopped pecans
1/2 c chopped dried cherries or pineapple
heaping 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
Pre-heat oven to 350º.
Mix the butter, sugar, brown sugar and pumpkin in a mixing bowl by hand.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add the flour, oats, pecans, cherries, spices, salt, and baking soda & mix well.
Drop onto a well greased sheet pan, bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Let cool about 3-5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet.
Store in an airtight container.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4526kcal; Protein 56g (113%); Total Fat 240g (370%)(Sat. 124g (619%)); Chol. 700mg (233%); Carb. 557g (186%); Fiber 27g (107%); Sugars 321g; Calcium 340mg (34%); Iron 19mg (106%)

Peppermint Meltaways

Category: Cookies
Yield: 3 1/2 dozen
Source: Lisa

1 c butter - softened
1/2 c confectioners' sugar
1/2 t peppermint extract
1-1/4 c flour
1/2 c cornstarch
2 T butter - softened
1-1/2 c confectioners' sugar
2 T milk
1/4 t peppermint extract
2-3 drops red food coloring - optional
1/2 c crushed peppermint candies
In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract.
Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Remove to wire racks to cool.
For frosting:
In a small mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy.
Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, extract and food coloring; beat until smooth.
Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies.
Store in an airtight container.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 3596kcal; Protein 19g (39%); Total Fat 210g (323%)(Sat. 132g (660%)); Chol. 552mg (184%); Carb. 418g (139%); Fiber 5g (19%); Sugars 237g; Calcium 123mg (12%); Iron 8mg (43%)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Splendid Neighbors

We watched Julie & Julia tonight with our neighbors.
The movie made me feel even more inadequate as a blogger, not to mention cook!
Movie night with Kevin and Marilyn = Good Times
We take turns choosing the movie, except Marilyn who has been permanently banned since her choice of Me, Myself, & Irene.
We usually miss about half the movie 'cause we're so busy cracking the wise.
S'mores & popcorn are the standard movie night snacks.
Below you will find our Ooey Gooey Indoor S'mores recipe.
bon appetit!

6 c marshmallows
1 1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c butter
1/4 c light corn syrup
1 t vanilla
8 c Golden Grahams Cereal
Melt 5 cups of marshmallows (save 1 c for later), chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup in the microwave or on low heat., stirring occasionally, till all smooth.
Stir in vanilla.
Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal in large bowl; stir until evenly coated.
Stir in remaining marshmallows.
Press evenly into buttered 9x13" pan, pressing down the mixture with buttered hands.
Cool until firm, cut into squares.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 3355kcal; Protein 21g (41%); Total Fat 135g (208%)(Sat. 82g (410%)); Chol. 132mg (44%); Carb. 532g (177%); Fiber 23g (91%); Sugars 375g; Calcium 148mg (15%); Iron 11mg (59%)

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Category: Cupcakes/Muffins
Yield: 1 dozen
Source: peabody blog
I made mini muffins for Lennon's baby shower
If you like the cookie, you'll love the muffin!

1 c unsalted butter
1 c sugar
2 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 c flour
¾ t baking soda
¾ t baking powder
¾ t cream of tarter
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/4 c sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 T cinnamon
Cream the butter and sugar until soft about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tarter & 1/2 t cinnamon.
Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture in the additions. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Scrape the bowl occasionally.
Mix topping ingredients in shallow bowl.
Using desired sized scoop, drop muffin batter one at a time into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar. Place muffin into a greased muffin tin. Sprinkle muffin tops with more cinnamon sugar mixture, if desired.
Depending on the size of your tins, you should get about 12 to 14 muffins.
Bake at 350ºF for approx. 20-22 minutes (9-10 minutes for mini muffins) or until they are golden brown.
*Doubling this recipe is not recommended.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 5039kcal; Protein 53g (106%); Total Fat 258g (396%)(Sat. 158g (789%)); Chol. 1038mg (346%); Carb. 645g (215%); Fiber 16g (62%); Sugars 406g; Calcium 872mg (87%); Iron 21mg (117%)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pecan Tassies

Category: Pies/Tarts
Yield: 2 dozen
Source: Brenda
Bite sized pecan pie...Yum!

3 oz cream cheese
½ c butter
1 c flour
1 egg
1 T butter
1 t vanilla
dash salt
1/3 c pecans - broken
Cream together cream cheese, ½ cup butter and flour.
Chill for 1 hour, then shape into 1-inch balls and press into mini muffin tins.
Beat together egg, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, vanilla, salt and pecans until smooth.
Divide mixture into tins and bake at 325? for 25 minutes.
Cool and remove from pans.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2001kcal; Protein 30g (60%); Total Fat 165g (254%)(Sat. 88g (440%)); Chol. 578mg (193%); Carb. 104g (35%); Fiber 7g (27%); Sugars 3g; Calcium 169mg (17%); Iron 9mg (48%)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Category: Cookies
Yield: 7 dozen
Source: Kristi
Chocolate & peanut butter, what's not to love?

1 c granulated sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 c butter or margarine
1 c peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 c milk
2 t vanilla
3 1/2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 pkgs milk chocolate candies
Cream sugars, butter/margarine, and peanut butter. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla.
Sift together flour, soda and salt and stir into egg mixture.
Shape into 3/4 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar to coat.
Place onto ungreased cookie sheet; bake in 375º oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately press a chocolate candy into each.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 6555kcal; Protein 126g (253%); Total Fat 330g (508%)(Sat. 148g (740%)); Chol. 917mg (306%); Carb. 805g (268%); Fiber 27g (109%); Sugars 443g; Calcium 544mg (54%); Iron 31mg (174%)

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Category: Cookies
Yield: 24 sandwich cookies
Source: Phyllis
Loved by kids young and old.

1/2 c butter - softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 c flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (11 oz) pkg peanut butter and chocolate pieces
1/2 c ready made chocolate frosting
1/2 c peanut butter
In a large bowl beat butter at high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars, soda, and salt, mix well.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Add flour and cocoa to batter. Stir in peanut butter and chocolate pieces.
Cover; chill dough for 2-3 hours or until easy to handle.
Lightly grease baking sheets or cover with parchment paper.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
Flatten cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.
Bake at 375º for 7-8 minutes or until tops are cracked and look dry.
Cool on baking sheets for one minute. Remove and cool completely.
Stir together frosting and peanut butter; spread a scant 2 teaspoons on bottom half of cookies.
Top with remaining cookies, placing bottom sides together.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4828kcal; Protein 138g (276%); Total Fat 324g (499%)(Sat. 108g (542%)); Chol. 456mg (152%); Carb. 413g (138%); Fiber 44g (175%); Sugars 249g; Calcium 411mg (41%); Iron 23mg (128%)

Oreo Truffles

Category: Candy
Yield: 42
Source: Michelle
Sin really is black & white.

1 (18oz) pkg Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies - divided
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 lb any flavor dipping chocolate - melted
Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs; reserve for later use.
Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in a medium bowl.
Add cream cheese, mix until well blended.
Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, 1" diameter.
Dip balls in melted chocolate, place on parchment paper.
Sprinkle with reserve cookie crumbs or drizzle with another flavor of chocolate.
Refrigerate 1 hour.
Store covered, in refrigerator.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 782kcal; Protein 17g (34%); Total Fat 78g (120%)(Sat. 49g (246%)); Chol. 246mg (82%); Carb. 6g (2%); Fiber 0g (0%); Sugars 0g; Calcium 179mg (18%); Iron 3mg (15%)

Orange Carrot Cookies

Category: Cookies
Source: Teresa

1 c shortening
3/4 c sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 c cooked carrots, mashed
2 c sifted flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon flavoring
1 orange - juiced
1 orange rind - grated
powdered sugar
Directions: Chill dough. Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet. Bake in 350º oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Combine frosting ingredients using enough pwd sugar for desired consistency. Frost cookies while still warm.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 3545kcal; Protein 35g (69%); Total Fat 213g (327%)(Sat. 85g (423%)); Chol. 326mg (109%); Carb. 374g (125%); Fiber 15g (58%); Sugars 170g; Calcium 706mg (71%); Iron 14mg (79%)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mini Orange Muffins

Category: Cupcakes/Muffins
Yield: 3 dozen
Source: Bonnie

1 c sugar
1/2 c Juice of one orange
1/2 c butter
1 c sour cream
1 c sugar
2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t orange rind - grated
Preheat oven to 375º and grease mini muffin tins.
Mix sugar and juice and set aside for dipping.
Cream butter and sugar. Add sour cream alternately with dry ingredients until just moistened.
Fold in orange rind.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Dip in orange juice mixture while warm.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 3776kcal; Protein 34g (68%); Total Fat 143g (220%)(Sat. 89g (443%)); Chol. 345mg (115%); Carb. 604g (201%); Fiber 7g (27%); Sugars 404g; Calcium 337mg (34%); Iron 12mg (66%)

Holiday Cheese Ball/Tree

Category: Appetizers
Source: Beth

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 T chopped green onions
1 T roasted red pepper
3 drops lemon juice
Dash salt
Dash garlic salt
1 c chopped pecans - optional
Mix all together and form into a ball. Roll in chopped pecans. Serve with crackers.
Note: Add diced jalapenos if you like it spicy.
For Christmas tree shape, double recipe, press into tree mold lined with plastic wrap. Chill, lift out & invert onto platter & add garnish as "tree decoration".
Ex. Yellow pepper cut into star shape, fresh cilantro or rosemary garland, halved cherry tomatoes bulbs & whole almonds for the trunk.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 1256kcal; Protein 46g (92%); Total Fat 116g (179%)(Sat. 73g (366%)); Chol. 365mg (122%); Carb. 11g (4%); Fiber 2g (7%); Sugars 2g; Calcium 1006mg (101%); Iron 4mg (22%)

Giant Spice Cookies

Category: Cookies
Source: Marilyn

1-1/2 c butter
2 c brown sugar
1 egg
4 c flour - sifted
2 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t cloves
1/4 t soda
Cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg.
Sift together remaining ingredients and stir into creamed mixture.
Chill dough about 2 hours.
Roll dough 1/8" thick on floured surface, cut out dough with cookie cutters.
Bake at 350º on ungreased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool 1-2 minutes on baking sheet before transfering to wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 6021kcal; Protein 61g (122%); Total Fat 287g (442%)(Sat. 178g (890%)); Chol. 944mg (315%); Carb. 816g (272%); Fiber 17g (67%); Sugars 426g; Calcium 624mg (62%); Iron 34mg (192%)

Farmhouse Chocolate Mint Cookies

Category: Cookies
Source: Wendy

3/4 c butter
1-1/2 c brown sugar - firmly packed
2 T water
12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 eggs
2-1/2 c flour
1-1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 lb green chocolate mint wafers or Andes mints
chocolate sprinkles - omit if using Andes mints
Place butter, sugar, and water in saucepan on low heat until butter is melted.
Add chocolate pieces and stir until partially melted.
Remove from heat. Continue to stir until chocolateis completely melted.
Pour into a large mixing bowl and let stand about 10 minutes to cool slightly.
With mixer at high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time.
Reduce speed to low and add combined dry ingredients, beating just ubtil blended.
Chill dough about 1 hour.
Line 2 baking sheets with foil.
Roll teaspoonsful of dough into balls. Place 2" apart on cookie sheets.
Bake at 350º for 11-13 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
Immediately place mints on hot cookie.
Allow to soften, then swirl mint over cookies and decorate with chocolate sprinkles,
Remove from baking sheets and cool completely.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 3749kcal; Protein 46g (93%); Total Fat 151g (232%)(Sat. 91g (455%)); Chol. 789mg (263%); Carb. 561g (187%); Fiber 8g (34%); Sugars 319g; Calcium 423mg (42%); Iron 23mg (126%)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Deluxe Oatmeal Cookies

Category: Cookies
Source: Wendy & Great Grandfather Schmucker

3 c oatmeal
1 c raisins
3 c flour
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t salt
2 beaten eggs
1/2 to 2/3 c milk
1 c melted shortening - or (1/2 oil, 1/2 margarine or butter)
1/2 c nuts if desired
Mix oatmeal and raisins in blender. Mix togther all ingredients.
Shape into balls and roll in sugar. Press down on baking sheet.
Bake at 350º for 12 to 15 minutes.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 6040kcal; Protein 101g (201%); Total Fat 240g (369%)(Sat. 92g (461%)); Chol. 554mg (185%); Carb. 887g (296%); Fiber 41g (165%); Sugars 410g; Calcium 674mg (67%); Iron 36mg (201%)

Crowd Crackers

Category: Snacks
Source: Roni

1 bottle Orville Redenbacher's buttery popcorn oil
1 pkg Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch dressing mix (dry)
5 boxes your favorite snack crackers
Mix oil and dressing mix until blended.
Spread crackers in large oven proof container.
Pour oil mixture over crackers and stir gently until evenly coated.
Bake at 200º for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Puffs

Category: Drop Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen
Source: Sharon

8 oz cream cheese - softened
1/4 c butter or margarine - softened
1 egg - beaten
1 pkg cake mix - any flavor
1 t vanilla
1/2 c coconut - OR
1/2 c pecans or walnuts - chopped
Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.
Add egg to cream cheese mixture.
Add 1/2 of the cake mix and vanilla, Beat well.
Stir in remainder of the cake mix and coconut or nuts by hand.
Drop by spoonful on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 375º for 10-15 minutes.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4025kcal; Protein 54g (107%); Total Fat 239g (367%)(Sat. 104g (519%)); Chol. 580mg (193%); Carb. 429g (143%); Fiber 14g (54%); Sugars 292g; Calcium 1270mg (127%); Iron 13mg (74%)

CranRaspberry Punch

Category: Beverage
Source: Beth

1 (48 oz) bottle Cran-Raspberry juice
1 (2 L) clear soda (7-up, Sprite)
1 ice mold
handfull fresh cranberries
Chill juice & pop.
Make ice ring using any shape mold. Fill 1/2 with water, add fresh cranberries, freeze. Fill with water, freeze until firm.
(if using small shape such as star freeze 2-3 ahead of time)
Just before serving mx juice & pop in punch bowl, add ice ring.

Cranberry Trail Mix

Category: Snacks
Source: Nelda

3 c mixed nuts
6 c small pretzels
3 c dried cranberries
3 egg whites
1-1/2 c sugar
1-1/2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
Spread nuts on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes at 350º until nuts are slightly darker. Cool completely.
Reduce oven to 225º.
In a large bowl, combine nuts, pretzels, & cranberries.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Pour over pretzel mixture and toss until coated.
In another small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, & salt. Sprinkle over pretzel mixture; toss until well coated.
Spread evenly in baking sheet.
Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Cool completely on pan.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2351kcal; Protein 11g (22%); Total Fat 5g (8%)(Sat. 0g (2%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 605g (202%); Fiber 23g (90%); Sugars 539g; Calcium 90mg (9%); Iron 3mg (19%)

Cranberry Salsa

Category: Appetizers
Yield: 3 cups
Source: Patti

1 (12 oz) pkg cranberries - chopped
1/2 c green pepper - chopped
1 jalapeno pepper - chopped
8 oz can crushed pineapple - drained
2 T onion - chopped
1/2 t salt
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c cilantro - chopped
Mix together & chill at least 2 hours.
Serve with chips.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 702kcal; Protein 2g (5%); Total Fat 1g (1%)(Sat. 0g (0%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 182g (61%); Fiber 17g (70%); Sugars 151g; Calcium 42mg (4%); Iron 1mg (7%)

Cranberry Bread

Category: Quick Breads
Yield: 1 9-inch loaf
Source: Dunri
Makes a very pretty loaf

2 c flour
1 c light brown sugar - packed
1-1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
4 T unsalted butter - melted
1 lg egg - lightly beaten
3/4 c whole milk
1 (12 oz) bag whole cranberries
1 T turbinado (raw) sugar
Preheat oven to 350º; butter & flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, egg and milk.
Add milk mixture to dry ingedients, whisk to combine; fold in cranberries.
Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle batter with turbinado sugar.
Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out of bread clean.
Transfer to wire rack to let pan cool.
Remove bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2488kcal; Protein 40g (80%); Total Fat 60g (92%)(Sat. 35g (173%)); Chol. 352mg (117%); Carb. 456g (152%); Fiber 22g (89%); Sugars 236g; Calcium 905mg (91%); Iron 18mg (102%)

Copycat Kit Kat Bars

Category: Candy
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen bars
Source: Roni

75 club crackers
1 c butter
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c whole milk
1/3 c sugar
2/3 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 c milk chocolate morsels
Line an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan with 1 layer of crackers, cutting to fit if necessary; set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk, and sugar.
Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
(Begin timing 5 minutes from when you see the first bubbles.).
Remove from heat, and spread half of butter mixture evenly over crackers.
Place another single layer of crackers evenly over butter mixture, cutting to fit if necessary.
Spread remaining butter mixture evenly over crackers.
Top evenly with remaining crackers.
In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, chocolate morsels, and butterscotch morsels.
Melt over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
Spread evenly over top of crackers. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2790kcal; Protein 6g (12%); Total Fat 188g (289%)(Sat. 119g (594%)); Chol. 500mg (167%); Carb. 287g (96%); Fiber 0g (0%); Sugars 285g; Calcium 380mg (38%); Iron 4mg (24%)

Cinnamon Candy

Category: Candy
Source: Deb

2 c sugar
2/3 c light corn syrup
1 c water
3/4 t cinnamon oil
few drops red food coloring - for desired color
powdered sugar
Cook first 3 ingredients until at a hard crack stage on candy thermometer.
Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon oil and red food coloring.
Pour out on buttered pan sprinkled with powdered sugar to make a 1/8? thin layer.
Let set until hard and then break in pieces.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2204kcal; Protein 0g (0%); Total Fat 0g (1%)(Sat. 0g (0%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 578g (193%); Fiber 0g (0%); Sugars 464g; Calcium 38mg (4%); Iron 0mg (0%)

Chocolate Snowballs

Category: Cookies
Yield: about 3 dozen
Source: Pam

2 c sugar
1/2 c milk
3/4 c margarine
6 T baking cocoa
3 c quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 c chopped pecans
1 t vanilla extract
powdered sugar - for garnish
Combine sugar, milk, margarine, and cocoa in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
When mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat; stir in oats, pecans and vanilla.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Shape into one-inch balls; roll in powdered sugar.
Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4549kcal; Protein 54g (109%); Total Fat 234g (360%)(Sat. 34g (171%)); Chol. 12mg (4%); Carb. 589g (196%); Fiber 34g (137%); Sugars 418g; Calcium 396mg (40%); Iron 13mg (72%)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chocolate Puffs

Category: Cookies
Yield: 10 dozen
Source: Beth/Dunri

1/2 c butter
3/4 c cocoa
1/4 c oil
2 c sugar
2 t vanilla
4 eggs
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/8 t ground cinnamon
Powdered sugar - sifted

Melt butter, add cocoa and oil stirring until smooth. Pour into large bowl; gradually add sugar, blending thoroughly. Add vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
Sift flour, baking powder, and cinnamon; stir into the chocolate mixture.
Cover and chill 8 hours. Form into balls and roll in powdered sugar.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4251kcal; Protein 65g (129%); Total Fat 179g (276%)(Sat. 74g (370%)); Chol. 1090mg (363%); Carb. 634g (211%); Fiber 28g (113%); Sugars 407g; Calcium 802mg (80%); Iron 25mg (141%)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Category: Cookies|Bar Cookies
Source: Carol

3/4 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
2 c flour
1 (12 oz) pkg semi sweet chocolate chips
3 T butter
1/4 c strong coffee
1/4 c peanut butter
1 c powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350º. Lightly grease a 15 by 10 pan.
Cream 3/4 cup butter for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.
Beat in egg, vanilla, and salt until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer.
Stir in any remaining flour.
Spread dough in pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool completely.
Frosting: Combine chocolate and 3 T butter in pan. Stir over low heat until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat.
Put the choc. mixture in medium bowl. Whisk in coffee & peanut butter until combined.
Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.
Spread on cookie base. Let stand until frosting is set.
Cut into bars.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 5819kcal; Protein 64g (128%); Total Fat 313g (482%)(Sat. 178g (888%)); Chol. 669mg (223%); Carb. 751g (250%); Fiber 30g (122%); Sugars 521g; Calcium 440mg (44%); Iron 29mg (158%)

Cherry Chocolate Fudge

Category: Candy
Yield: 24 squares of fudge
Source: The one & only Miriam

2-1/2 c sugar
1/4 c butter
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 t salt
1 t almond extract
10 oz pkg cherry chip
1/2 c walnuts - chopped
3/4 c chocolate chips

Combine first 5 ingredients in saucepan, Stir over low until blended.
Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly for five minutes. (soft ball stage)
Remove from heat.
Stir in cherry chips and almond extract.
Pour into greased 8x8-inch pan.
Immediately sprinkle chopped walnuts over the cherry mixture.
When fudge is set drizzle melted chocolate over each piece.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 3610kcal; Protein 17g (34%); Total Fat 128g (197%)(Sat. 59g (295%)); Chol. 127mg (42%); Carb. 623g (208%); Fiber 15g (61%); Sugars 594g; Calcium 134mg (13%); Iron 7mg (37%)

Cherries Jubilee Cookies

Category: Cookies
Yield: 3 1/2 dozen
Source: Cindy

1 c dried cherries
1/2 c brandy
1 c butter
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2-1/2 c flour
1/2 t Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 c sugar or sanding sugar

In a small saucepan combine cherries and brandy. Heat just to a simmer; remove from heat.
Let stand 30 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid.
In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add 3/4 cup sugar, beat until combined.
Beat in eggs and 2 t of reserved brandy liquid. Discard remaining liquid.
Add flour and five-spice & beat until combined. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
Stir in soaked cherries.
Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls. Roll balls in sugar to coat.
Arrange cookie balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350º for 10-12 min or until lightly browned & set around edges.
Cool completely on wire racks.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4004kcal; Protein 44g (89%); Total Fat 197g (303%)(Sat. 120g (602%)); Chol. 909mg (303%); Carb. 460g (153%); Fiber 11g (44%); Sugars 218g; Calcium 167mg (17%); Iron 16mg (91%)

Cathedral Windows

Category: Candy
Source: Brenda

1 stick margarine
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips
1 (10 oz) bag colored marshmallows

Melt butter and chocolate chips in microwave; cool. Add marshmallows and stir.
Divide into 2-3 portions on wax paper or foil.
Form into logs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and roll up in the wax paper or foil.
Refrigerate until hardened (overnight is good).
Slice and serve.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2553kcal; Protein 16g (32%); Total Fat 179g (276%)(Sat. 68g (338%)); Chol. 10mg (3%); Carb. 223g (74%); Fiber 23g (90%); Sugars 179g; Calcium 148mg (15%); Iron 10mg (55%)

days of our lives

is the name of the "story" my Grandmother would always watch and my latest attempt at blogging.

The calendar I love from last year. Can't find a current one. :(

The calendar that I created & ordered through my iphoto program came the other day. It's too big to hang in the calendar spot in the kitchen.

Command Central

So, now that it is January 15th maybe I should put up some calendars!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cappuccino Muffins

Category: Cupcakes/Muffins
Yield: a dozen plus, depending on the size
Source: Julie

Streusel topping - combine and set aside:
6 T flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 c butter or marg - softened
Muffins: combine:
2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 t baking powder
2+t instant coffee granules
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
in a separate bowl, combine, then stir into dry mixture:
1 egg
1 c milk
1/2 c butter - (marg), melted
1 tsp vanilla
fold in -
3/4 c choc chips or chunks.

Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle topping over batter.
Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 3355kcal; Protein 46g (93%); Total Fat 154g (237%)(Sat. 94g (470%)); Chol. 602mg (201%); Carb. 453g (151%); Fiber 10g (42%); Sugars 221g; Calcium 1080mg (108%); Iron 20mg (109%)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Candy Cane Butter Cookies

Category: Cookies
Yield: 6 dozen
Source: Amy
These pretty cookies take a little patience and manual dexterity to shape properly, but the results are well worth the effort.

3 c King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 c cornstarch
3 t baking powder
½ t salt
2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
2½ c powdered sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 T peppermint extract
2 t pure vanilla extract
red food coloring

6 oz candy canes, broken
1 c powdered sugar

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat just until smooth. Add the peppermint & vanilla extracts and mix well.
Add the flour mixture and blend just to incorporate.
Divide the dough in half (makes two 22-ounce portions) and add the food coloring to one portion. Divide each portion in half again, form each into a rough cylinder, about 2-inches in diameter, and wrap well with plastic wrap.
Chill for at least 2 hours; overnight is even better.
You should have four cylinders of dough in the refrigerator. Remove one red & one uncolored cylinder from the refrigerator and unwrap.
Cut each cylinder in half crosswise, and then rewrap and return half of each to the refrigerator.
Using a flour-dusted pastry cloth or silicon rolling sheet and continued very light dustings of flour as needed, with your hands, roll each portion of dough out to a long rope, ¾-inch in diameter and about 18 inches long. (Remember rolling clay in grade school art classes?)
Position a colored rope and an uncolored rope side-by-side, and then twist them around each other, compacting the dough as you proceed. The idea here is to get the two colors to twine around each other and stick together. Don’t begin rolling outward until the two halves of dough are adhered to each other. Pinch and push together as needed.

Using your finger tips only, gently begin to roll the dough outward, twisting it as you go (to twist, push forward with the fingertips of one hand and pull back with the fingertips of the other), until the rope is a little less than ½-inch in diameter. As the rope begins to get too long to handle easily, cut it in half and work with one 12-inch length at a time.
Cut the rope into 4-inch lengths, and place cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, about ½-inch apart.
Curve one end of each cookie to form a candy cane shape.
Bake at 375º for about 12 minutes.
Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes; place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Finishing: Using a processor fitted with the steel blade and the pulse action, process the candy canes and powdered sugar to a fine powder.
When cool, dust the cookies lightly with the powdered sugar mixture.
Store in layers separated with wax paper sheets in an airtight container.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie

Category: Poultry|Casserole
Yield: 8 servings
My daughter's favorite meal

1/2 c celery - chopped
1/2 c onion - chopped
1/2 c butter
1/3 c flour
7 t instant chicken bouillon
1/4 t pepper
4 1/2 c milk
3 c cooked chicken - cubed
1 c cooked carrots - sliced
1 c frozen green peas
1 c cooked potatoes - diced
2 Butter crust

Cook celery & onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, bouillon & pepper; add milk. Cook & stir until thickened.
Stir in chicken, carrots, peas, & potatoes; remove from heat.
Roll out or press 1/2 the dough evenly over the bottom & up the sides a buttered 13x9" baking dish or deep dish pie pan.
Pour filling over dough & top with remaining dough.
Cover with foil & freeze or bake at 400º for 40-45 minutes.
*Crescent or biscuit dough can also be used for crust & baked @ 375º for 20-25 minutes.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 676kcal; Protein 26g (51%); Total Fat 43g (67%)(Sat. 26g (128%)); Chol. 152mg (51%); Carb. 46g (15%); Fiber 3g (11%); Sugars 10g; Calcium 195mg (20%); Iron 3mg (17%)

Butter Crust

Category: Pastry
Yield: 1 9-inch crust

1 cup unsalted butter - very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour - plus extra for rolling
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar - (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons if for a sweet recipe)
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water

Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes so that they become thoroughly chilled.
In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.
Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into a disc. Do not over-knead the dough. You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Sprinkle the disc with a little flour on all sides. Wrap the disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Remove the crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. Gently fold in half. Place on to a 9-inch pie plate, gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.
Bake as directed in filling recipe.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2781kcal; Protein 34g (68%); Total Fat 187g (288%)(Sat. 117g (585%)); Chol. 488mg (163%); Carb. 243g (81%); Fiber 8g (34%); Sugars 5g; Calcium 103mg (10%); Iron 15mg (81%)

Lasagna Spinach Roll-Ups

Category: Pasta|Pork
Yield: 12 servings
Even my little boys love this, don't tell them there is spinach in it!

1 (1 lb. 12 oz.) can Italian tomatoes
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 c. water
2 (4 oz.) cans mushroom slices - drained
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley - divided
1 t dried oregano leaves
1 t dried basil leaves
1/4 t pepper
2 dashes hot pepper sauce - (Tabasco)
1 bay leaf
2 (10 oz.) pkg. chopped spinach, thawed
1 (15 oz.) carton ricotta cheese
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 eggs - slightly beaten
8 T Romano cheese - divided
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/8 t ground nutmeg
12 lasagna noodles - cooked & drained
Puree tomatoes in blender until smooth; set aside. Cook sausage, onion and garlic in Dutch oven until meat is browned. Stir in pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, mushrooms, 1/2 of the parsley, oregano, basil, pepper, Tabasco and bay leaf. Simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
Drain and squeeze water from thawed spinach in sieve. Combine spinach, remaining parsley, ricotta, 1/2 the mozzarella, eggs, 1/2 the Romano, salt, pepper and nutmeg in bowl; mix well. Spread 1/3 cup filling on each noodle; roll up.

Place 1 1/2 cups sauce in 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish (3 quart). Arrange stuffed noodles in dish. Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella & Romano cheese.

Cover with foil & Freeze or Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
To prepare from frozen: thaw completely in refrigerator and bake as directed above.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 233kcal; Protein 16g (32%); Total Fat 15g (23%)(Sat. 9g (45%)); Chol. 86mg (29%); Carb. 11g (4%); Fiber 3g (10%); Sugars 5g; Calcium 357mg (36%); Iron 3mg (15%)

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting

Category: Cupcakes/Muffins
Yield: 4 dozen cupcakes or 2 dozen cupcakes & 1 tart
Source: Martha (you know who I mean)
You will be able to see by the amount of blog wall this recipe occupies, this is not a simple recipe.
I first made this for our neighbor, Wesley's 16th birthday. My son also requested this for his 4th grade school birthday treats. It was a big hit at both parties!
2 1/2 c plus 2 T sugar
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c plus 1 T cocoa powder - (not Dutch-processed)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 large eggs
1 c whole milk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 t pure vanilla extract
1 c boiling water
3 c graham cracker crumbs - (from about 40 squares)
2/3 c unsalted butter, melted
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate - finely chopped
Marshmallow Frosting
Preheat oven to 350º. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix ingredients together on low speed.
In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip. Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 6390kcal; Protein 86g (172%); Total Fat 203g (313%)(Sat. 60g (302%)); Chol. 610mg (203%); Carb. 1105g (368%); Fiber 29g (116%); Sugars 901g; Calcium 910mg (91%); Iron 23mg (127%)

Marshmallow Frosting
Category: Frostings and Fillings

16 large egg whites
4 c sugar
1 t cream of tartar
4 t pure vanilla extract

Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined.
Use immediately.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 1726kcal; Protein 29g (58%); Total Fat 0g (1%)(Sat. 0g (0%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 407g (136%); Fiber 0g (0%); Sugars 406g; Calcium 24mg (2%); Iron 0mg (2%)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Recipe Labels

Still trying to find my way around blog world so please excuse me if things are posted in the wrong place &/or in the wrong order. After posting the last 4 recipes it occurred to me that I should explain how I plan to label the recipes I share.
Recipes labeled Sweets Swap are from the cookie/candy exchanges that I have hosted for the last 3 years in December.
Friends gather with their chosen sweets to share and we all take home a new collection of recipes and dozens of sweet morsels.
I hope to have all the recipes from the previous swaps posted by the time December '10 rolls around.
Recipes labeled Most Requested are just that and are frequently prepared favorites.
While almost any type of food makes a good gift, recipes labeled Gift are items that I have given to others.
And those labeled Freezer Friends are dishes that I have prepared for a cooking group that meets once a month to fill each other's freezers.
My next category will most likely be "Grandchildren's Favorites" :)

Candy Cane Brownie Lollipops

Category: Desserts
Yield: 24 servings
Source: Dori

1 pkg (18-21 oz) fudge brownie mix - (plus ingredients to make brownies)
24 candy canes
10 oz chocolate-flavored almond bark
red jimmies - optional

Line 9x13" baking pan with parchment paper; lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions; pour batter into pan.
Bake 30 minutes at the reccomended temperature from brownie mix
or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool 20 minutes or until still slightly warm.
Meanwhile, cut straight ends of candy canes off to form 4½-in.
Place candy cane tops into resealable plastic bag and crush using flat side of meat tenderizer; set aside.
Scoop brownie into 24 rounded scoops, packing brownie into medium scoop using hands.
(Entire brownie will be used.)
Roll brownie scoops into smooth balls.
Insert candy cane sticks into centers of balls, mounding brownie around each stick to secure.
Pinch each brownie ball where candy cane and top of ball meet.
Place almond bark into small bowl; microwave according to package directions until smooth.
Spoon melted bark evenly over each brownie ball, turning to coat completely.
Be sure to coat where candy cane stick meets brownie ball. Allow excess bark to drip off.
Dip into reserved crushed candy canes or jimmies and stand upright on a piece of Parchment Paper.
Repeat with remaining almond bark, lollipops and crushed candy.
Let stand until set. Place into miniature cupcake liners.

Cake Balls

Category: Desserts
Yield: about 30 balls
Source: Shelby & Tammy

1 (18.25 ounce) boxed cake mix
1 (16 ounce) can prepared frosting
Almond Bark Coating or Confectionery Wafer Coating

Prepare and bake the cake mix according to package instructions.
While warm, crumble the cake into a bowl with a electric mixer to a fine texture.
Mix in frosting to make a paste, using a 3/4 to a full can of frosting, according to taste.
Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.
Form the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Place the balls on wax paper; freeze at least 6 hours.
Working in small batches, remove the balls from the freezer;
dip the balls into warm, melted almond bark coating.
Remove the balls, place on wax paper to harden.
Makes about 30 balls.

Almond Bark Coating:
Melt one (20 ounce) package vanilla or chocolate flavored almond bark in double boiler or microwave,
stirring often, until melted; be careful not to scorch.
Stir 1 teaspoon vegetable oil into melted almond bark.
If desired, stir in oil based coloring.

Ideas for flavors and combinations:
* White cake mix + mint chocolate chip icing/Dipped in chocolate confectioners coating
* French vanilla cake + white chocolate almond icing/Dipped in chocolate confectioners coating
* Red velvet + cream cheese icing/Dipped in vanilla confectioners coating
* Red velvet + cream cheese icing/Dipped in milk chocolate coating
* Chocolate cake + milk chocolate icing/Dipped in chocolate bark
* Lemon cake + lemon frosting/Dipped in white chocolate
* Lemon cake + white chocolate chips + lemon frosting/Dipped in white chocolate
* Spice cake + cream cheese frosting/Dipped in white chocolate coating
* Cherry chip cake + cream cheese frosting/Dipped in white chocolate
* Fudge cake + peppermint chips + fudge frosting/Dipped in dark chocolate
* Chocolate fudge cake + coconut pecan frosting/Dipped in chocolate
* Chocolate cake + butter cream icing/Dipped in dark chocolate coating
* Chocolate cake + chocolate icing/Dipped into raspberry/chocolate chips, melted with a bit of oil
* German chocolate cake + coconut pecan frosting/Dipped in melted semi sweet chocolate chips
* Strawberry cake + vanilla frosting/Dipped in chocolate
* Carrot cake + cream cheese frosting/Dipped in white almond bark
* Chocolate cake + chocolate icing + Andes candy bits/Dipped in chocolate

Butter Rings

Category: Cookies
Source: Shelby
Grandma Pat's recipe

4 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1 c sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1-1/2 c butter - softened
2 eggs - beaten

Stir together the flour, baking powder,1 cup sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Add butter and combine using a pastry blender.
Stir in eggs.
Roll out dough on floured surface.
Cut dough with biscuit cutter with center circle attached to make donut-shaped cookies.
Place rings on baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 350º for 12 minutes until golden.
Be careful, they will brown quickly.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 5191kcal; Protein 67g (134%); Total Fat 291g (448%)(Sat. 179g (894%)); Chol. 1155mg (385%); Carb. 585g (195%); Fiber 14g (55%); Sugars 204g; Calcium 354mg (35%); Iron 26mg (142%)

Almond Roca Cookies

Category: Cookies
Yield: 3 dozen
Source: Beth

2-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 c dark brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 c butter, room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
2 t pure vanilla extract
1 pkg toffee bits
1 c coarsely ground almonds
4 oz milk chocolate
1/2 T vegetable oil

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend sugars together on medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Add eggs and vanilla and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy. At low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and then the toffee bits. Mix until just blended; do not over-mix. Place ground nuts in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll in the ground nuts. Place on baking sheets several inches apart. Bake at 300º approximately 22 minutes and then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Melt the chocolate with the vegetable oil. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled cookies. Place cookies on a baking sheet and place in freezer or refrigerator until chocolate is firmly set.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4768kcal; Protein 67g (134%); Total Fat 252g (388%)(Sat. 124g (622%)); Chol. 911mg (304%); Carb. 574g (191%); Fiber 20g (79%); Sugars 320g; Calcium 579mg (58%); Iron 25mg (137%)

New Discovery

I'm a sucker for a good hand cream but until recently I've never tried a hand scrub.
While in KC last week I stopped at the Natural Body Spa. The shop smelled wonderful and had quite a few interesting items for sale. I noticed a line called Thymes Essentials. The store clerk told me it was one of their best selling products. I chose to try the hand items since the arctic air we have been experiencing this month has left my hands less than soft. My hands showed improvement after the first use. I went back for a facial and left with another great product, Naturopathica pore refining clay mask. I can count on one hand the number of facials I've had but all 3 times my pores received a bad grade.
I would like to order some more Thymes products online soon.
I'll keep you updated on my results and pore score!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Honey Glazed Snack Mix

Category: Snacks
Yield: 14 cups
Very addictive!
Makes a great teacher's gift.

1-12 oz box Crispix cereal
2 c miniature pretzels - use holiday shapes at Christmas
2 c mixed nuts
2/3 c butter - DO NOT use margarine
1/2 c honey
1 t cinnamon
2 c each assorted cookies and candies*

In a large mixing bowl, combine cereal, pretzels and nuts, set aside.
Melt butter in microwave.
Stir in honey & heat in microwave about 30 seconds. Stir in cinnamon.
Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly.
Spread on a large baking sheet (if you don't have a 1/2 sheet pan use 2 cookie sheets.)
Bake at 350º for 15 minutes; stirring every 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Spread on waxed paper to cool completely.
After snack mix is completely cooled add additional desired ingredients.
* At Christmas I add Teddy Grahams cookies, holiday M&Ms, & dried cranberries.
At Thanksgiving I use candy corn & dried apple chips instead of cranberries.
**Recipe can be cut in half if you don't need so much.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 1606kcal; Protein 2g (4%); Total Fat 123g (189%)(Sat. 78g (389%)); Chol. 325mg (108%); Carb. 142g (47%); Fiber 2g (6%); Sugars 139g; Calcium 74mg (7%); Iron 2mg (9%)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Adorable Winter Fairy

One of my favorite things is pictures of my granddaughter.
This picture was taken at Camera Angles in Wichita KS.
They have a couple of themes to choose from every 2 weeks.
This theme is Winter Fairy.
The session is quick, easy & inexpensive.
What more can you ask for in a child's portrait?

Carrot Cake in a Jar

Makes a great gift
Impressive but easy
Any flavor cake can be used,
for Christmas I used a White
Chocolate Cranberry cupcake
(craisins in jar replace coconut)
I found the jars at
The Container Store

Bake Carrot Cake in large cupcake pans.
My recipe yields about 32 lg cupcakes.
Layer in clean & dry jars:
1/8 c coconut
1 cooled cupcake
Pipe cream cheese frosting onto cupcake
Top with small piece of pineapple, coconut or ground pecans, if desired.
Top jar with seasonal sticker or label, if desired.