Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chai Tea Spice Blend

I made this to try since I love chai tea.  I ground everything up in the magic bullet and then put 1 regular tea bag and a teaspoon of this spice in an infuser.  Tasted great!
Chai Tea Spice Blend
¼” slice of fresh ginger root (about 1 tsp.)
6 black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 3″ stick broken up)
1 tsp. cardamom seeds
3/4 tsp. fennel seeds

Place all ingredients in a blender or spice grinder and grind until all is pretty fine. Store in a lidded jar in a dark cabinet or your refrigerator if you’re worried about the ginger. To make tea from this spice blend, boil your water in a proper teakettle and add your teabag(s) or loose tea in an infuser.

Add 1 tsp. Chai Spice Blend to the infuser along with your tea for every 2 cups of water/tea you want to serve. Steep for 5 minutes with the lid on and serve in cups with milk or cream and sweetener of your choice. 

Makes about 5 tsp. of spice blend

Monday, September 29, 2014

Payday Chex Mix

We made this for a snack when we went to visit Kathleen in OKC.  We had to add powdered sugar to a bag/bowl and shake to make it less sticky.  Very yummy.  We doubled this and needed 1 more T milk.

Payday Chex Mix

6 cups Rice Chex cereal
14 oz caramels
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cup salted peanuts
**powdered sugar

In a large bowl melt the caramels and milk in the microwave. Stir after 1 minute and again every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Add chex and peanuts to the caramel and quickly yet carefully stir until well coated. Pour onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper or silicon baking mat and let it set up. ***Beth put this mix in a large Ziploc with some powdered sugar and shook to get rid of the 'stickyness'.  Store in a closed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Caramel Apple Crisp Bars

Since it is fall now, I have been wanting to cook with apples and cinnamon!  I made this for FPU this past week.  YUM!
Caramel Apple Crisp Bars

2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1-1/4 cups flour, divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 pkg. (11 oz.) KRAFT Caramels
2 Tbsp. milk
2 large apples, chopped (about 2 cups)
Heat oven to 350ºF.

Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray. Mix oats, 1 cup flour, baking soda and spices until blended.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture until blended. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.

Meanwhile, microwave caramels and milk in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until caramels are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring every 30 sec. Stir in remaining flour.

Sprinkle apples over crust; drizzle with caramel sauce. Crumble remaining oat mixture over caramel sauce.

Bake 20 to 25 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift dessert from pan before cutting into bars.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Brownies

We needed a quick dessert for this past Sunday's Packer game.  I found this recipe and thought we would try it.  We ALL loved it and think it is better than a Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll!

Cinnamon Roll Brownies


1 box of white cake mix…or any flavor you’d like(We used a yellow mix)
2/3 cup cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

The Swirl:

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. or so of water just for consistency


Cream Cheese Frosting to top the Brownies

First prepare the swirl, and set aside.  In a medium bowl combine all of the swirl ingredients until it’s thick and blended.

Prepare a 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray for that Cinnamon Roll look,or any cake pan will work, too.

Mix together the cake batter with the cream, butter and vanilla, and pour it 3/4 of the way into the cake pan.

Add dollops of the swirl into the cake batter and use a knife to swirl it around in pretty Cinnamon Roll-ish designs.(We saved about 1/2 cup to put on top after it came out of the oven)

Place the pan onto a Sheet pan to protect your oven in the event of a slight spill- over. Put in the oven at 350 for approx. 35-40 minutes, or until it’s cooked through.

Let it cool completely before flipping it out of the pan. Flip out onto a plate. We topped with the SWIRL mix that was left over and then  with the cream cheese frosting in a swirl like pattern.

Cut it up into brownie sized pieces.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chocolate Praline Cake

Jenna made this recipe from the Cakemix Doctor cookbook.  It was a moist and delicious cake and had everyone talking about how great it was!
Chocolate Praline Cake

For the praline:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup chopped pecans

For the cake:

1 package (18.25 to 26.2 ounces) chocolate cake mix with pudding
3 large eggs
1 to 1 1/3 cups water (see note above)
½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/4 c confectioners’ sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1 tablespoon or 1 oz sq semi sweet grated chocolate or miniature chocolate chips, if desired

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut 2 rounds of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of two 9-inch round layer pans. Spray the bottom of the pans with vegetable oil, place the parchment rounds in the pans, then spray the parchment with oil.

For the praline, place the butter, cream, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the butter has melted, 3 minutes. Divide the mixture between the two pans. Sprinkle the pecans over the top, dividing them between the two pans. Set the pans aside.

For the cake, place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the mixer speed to medium and blend for 1½ minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter between the two pans, pouring it over the pecans. Place the pans in the oven side by side.

Bake the cakes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, according to your cake mix directions. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto a rack with wax paper on it to cool praline-side up. Remove the parchment rounds.

Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream. Place the cream in a chilled large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until cream has thickened, 1 minute. Stop the machine and add the sugar. Beat the cream and sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes more.

To assemble the cake, place on cooled layer on a cake stand, praline-side up. Spread with half of the whipped cream. Place the second layer on top of the first, and spread the top with the rest of the whipped cream. Garnish the top with grated chocolate or mini chips. **we needed to make 1 1/2 times the whipped topping to cover the cake

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

I made these for our first Financial Peace University class last week.  Everyone liked them.  I suggest keeping them refrigerated to keep the crust from getting soggy.  They were still firm after 4 days.
Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup Butter, softened
1/4 cup mild flavor molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
2 Eggs

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon  Butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons  Fat Free Half & Half

Heat oven to 350°F.

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter and molasses in bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add flour, baking soda and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; beat at low speed until well mixed. Place 3/4 cup mixture into bowl. Add oats to 3/4 cup molasses mixture; mix well. Set aside.

Press remaining mixture into ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

Combine pumpkin, 1/2 cup sugar, cream cheese, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in bowl. Beat until well mixed. Add eggs; continue beating until well mixed. Spread mixture over crust to within 1/4 inch of edge. Crumble reserved oat mixture over filling. Bake 25-30 minutes or until topping is light golden brown. Cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in bowl. Beat at medium speed, gradually adding enough half & half for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled bars. Store bars in loosely covered container in refrigerator.

*Substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.
Beth cut this recipe in half.  I made it in a 9 x 13 glass pan.  It did take an extra 15 minutes to bake because it was a thicker bar.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crockpot Pineapple Pork

Crock Pot Pineapple Pork

adapted from Betsy Burtis on TNT recipe list
Serving Size: 8

2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds)
20 ounces pineapple tidbits, packed in juice, undrained
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
4 tablespoons instant tapioca, for thickening
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2teaspoon paprika

1 medium onion, chunked
1 bell pepper, chopped large
Salt and pepper

1. Ideal Slow cooker Size: 4-Quart

2. Grease the insert of your slow cooker or use a slow cooker liner

3. Season the tenderloins well with salt and pepper, then place them in the slow cooker.

4. In a small bowl stir together the pineapple and it’s juice, mustard, tapioca, honey, soy sauce, onion, and paprika.

5. Pour mixture over the pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or until the pork is very tender.  Add bell pepper during the last 1-2 hours of cooking.