Monday, December 11, 2017

Slow Cooker Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

We made this for an appetizer on Thanksgiving day. Jenna especially liked that there is NO mayo in this recipe. It is excellent!
Slow Cooker Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 bag (10 oz) fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 can (13.75 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 bar (8 oz) cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 garlic cloves, minced finely
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Line a slow cooker with a bag for easy cleanup.

Put all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Stir before serving and season with extra salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve with triscuits, wheat thins, baguette slices, tortilla chips, etc.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

My mom called a few weeks ago to tell me we HAD to try these. I found a few different recipes and came up with this to smoke on Thanksgiving. They are delicious!

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends 

adapted from

3 pound chuck roast
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar

Simple Beef Rub

1 Tablespoon coarse Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder

1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Season your chuck roast liberally on all sides with the rub mixture. Put in fridge to marinate overnight

2. Preheat your smoker for indirect grilling at 275 degrees F. Use hickory or oak wood for the most complementary smoke flavor.

3. Smoke the roast until the internal temperature reaches 185-190 degrees.(about 5 hours)

4. Remove the roast from the grill and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes and transfer to a foil baking pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar and drizzle with most of the BBQ sauce, reserving a couple of tablespoons for later. Toss gently to coat all of the pieces in a little of the sauce.

5. Place the pan on the grill, close the lid and cook for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cubed bits of beef are falling apart tender.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Smoked Whole Turkey

We smoked a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. It was very easy to do and tasted great!

Smoked Whole Turkey
Adapted from

Dry Brine

1/3 cup kosher salt
1 T cracked black pepper
1 T brown sugar Beth used brow sugar twin

1 17 -20 # Turkey, thawed, neck and giblets removed

1/4 cup olive oil
1 T ground black pepper
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T paprika
1 T onion powder
1/4 cup butter, softened

Rinse turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a baking sheet.

Combine dry brine ingredients in a small bowl and rub on exterior and internal cavity of the turkey. Place turkey in refrigerator for two hours or up to 24 hours. This will form the crust on the turkey

Preheat smoker to 300°F.

Loosen the skin around the turkey breast by inserting your hand. Use your hand to rub the softened butter under the skin. Then, use a paper towel to wipe some of the dry brine from the turkey skin. Brush on olive oil. Mix the rest of the seasonings together and lightly sprinkle on the turkey.

Smoke at 275-300°F for about 4 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165°F when measured in the thickest part of the breast.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Turtle Bundt Cake

I made this for Thanksgiving and took the leftovers to church and then to Jenna's work. This was very good. See in bold what I used for the caramel(found in a can by sweetened condensed milk) Very good and easy!

Turtle Bundt Cake

Adapted from Betty Crocker


1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box (4-serving size) ™ chocolate-flavor instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup caramel topping Beth used Dulce De Leche, thinned with heavy cream
4 eggs
3/4 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup chocolate frosting (from 16-oz container)
1/4 cup caramel topping Beth used Dulce De Leche, thinned with heavy cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with baking spray with flour.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, oil, 1/4 cup caramel topping and the eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans. Pour into pan.

Bake 38 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 20 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Transfer cake to serving platter. In small microwavable bowl, microwave frosting uncovered on High 20 to 30 seconds on until thin enough to pour over cake. Pour over cake. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.

When ready to serve, pour 1/4 cup caramel topping over chocolate frosting; sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pecan Pie Blondies

I made these during the Packer game(the one that was a shut out) when I needed to stress bake. This was the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I kept them in the fridge until Thanksgiving. They are the BOMB! Very addicting. Next time I will double them!

Pecan Pie Blondies

For the blondies

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the pecan layer

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup heavy cream
1½ cups roughly chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Place butter in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Butter will melt, then begin to bubble and foam. Brown specks will begin to form in the bottom of the pan and a white foam will appear on top of the melted butter. Stir the butter very frequently to prevent burning. This process should take 2-4 minutes. Remove the butter as soon as you see brown specks, remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk for 30 seconds. Transfer butter into large mixing bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes.

3. Whisk the brown sugar into the browned butter. Add the egg, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth it lightly.

4. Prepare the maple pecan layer. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in the brown sugar and maple syrup until brown sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add heavy cream and stir. Stir in the chopped pecans. Pour the pecan mixture evenly over the blondie batter and smooth the top.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bars are set. Allow bars to cool completely before slicing and serving into 16 squares. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 month.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Cranberry Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Jenna came home with some ripe bananas to use or freeze and I doubled this recipe. I took one to church and we ate one on Thanksgiving. This is delicious!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Banana Bread
Adapted from

1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 3 large)
1 large egg
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, divided

4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 ounce white chocolate, chopped (about 3 tablespoons) or 1 square white Almond Bark
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Bake the bread: Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

2. Mash the bananas in the bottom of a large bowl until mostly smooth. Whisk in the egg, then the sour cream and oil. Whisk in the maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda, ginger, and salt over the top, then stir until combined. Gently stir in the flour until barely combined, then fold in 1/2 cup of the cranberries.

3. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check at the 35-minute mark and tent with foil if the bread is browning too quickly at the corners. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on the wire rack to finish cooling completely.

4. While the bread cools, prepare the frosting.  In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low, then slowly add the powdered sugar until combined. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the white chocolate and oil. Microwave, uncovered, for 20 seconds, then stir. Continue microwaving in 20-second bursts, stopping to stir between each.

5. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the top of the cooled bread. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons cranberries, then drizzle with the white chocolate. Allow the chocolate set for a few minutes. Slice and serve.

· To bake this recipe as 12 muffins lightly grease a standard muffin tin, then divide the batter evenly among the cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 22 minutes

· Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Spicy Baked Chicken Thighs

I made these before Thanksgiving for me to have on hand for lunches. I like a bit of spice so used this sriracha powder I had gotten from Sam's. They were quite tasty.

Spicy Baked Chicken Thighs
adapted from

9-10 chicken thighs skinless and  boneless
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced or dehydrated garlic
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
¾ tsp paprika
hot sauce or sriracha garlic powder to taste

In a 9 x 13 pan, combine olive oil and minced garlic.  Add chicken and coat on both sides.

Prepare the seasoning: In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and paprika.

Season both sides of chicken with the seasoning. Sprinkle with dry sriracha powder or hot sauce. Set aside to marinate at least 2 hours, if you have the time.

Bake 45 minutes at 375°F.