Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

Kathleen found this recipe and I made this last week.  We all loved it.  It is a bit different than the other hashbrown casseroles I have seen.  I did alter the recipe a bit after reading through the reviews.  I made it the way I typed it in.  Enjoy!

Copycat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole
adapted from topsecretrecipes.com

1 26-32 oz bag frozen hashbrowns
2 c shredded Colby or cheddar cheese
1/4 c minced onion
1 c milk
1/2 c beef broth
2 T butter, melted
dash garlic powder
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine the hash browns, cheese and onions in a large bowl.  Combine the milk, broth, 1 T of melted butter, garlic powder, slat and pepper in another bowl.  Mix well and then pour over the hash browns and stir well.

Put into a greased 9 x 13 pan and put in oven.  Stir after 7 minutes and then cook another 45-60 minutes until hash browns are golden brown.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Basil Batter Rolls

My friend, Janet, gave me a stack of cookbooks.  I found this recipe in one and wanted to try it right away.  I ended up freezing more than 1/2 of the batch since this makes 2 dozen and I didn't have a party!   They are easy to make and tasted great!

Basil Batter Rolls
Christmas with Southern Living Cookbook, vol 3

2 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
1/3 c shortening(Beth used Crisco stick)
4 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 salt
1 large egg
2 T pesto
2 cloves garlic, minced
melted butter

Combine yeast and warm water in a 2 c liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Combine yeast mixture, shortening, 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and egg in a large mixing bowl.  Beat at medium speed until well blended.  Stir in pesto and garlic.  Gradually stir in remaining flour--dough will be sticky.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled.

Stir dough; spoon into greased muffin pans, filling half full.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Bake at 400 for 15-16 minutes or until golden.  Brush with melted butter, if desired.  Makes 2 dozen

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Garlic and Herb Beef Roast and Potatoes

I wanted to use some of my fresh herbs. This recipe looked good, and it WAS! I did not put the potatoes in the crockpot---sometimes they don't cook.  I just made mashed and thickened the broth and made gravy.  YUM!

Garlic and Herb Beef Roast and Potatoes

1 tablespoon canola oil
3 lb chuck roast,
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme Beth used dry
1 teaspoon salt,
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup beef broth,
3 cups cubed potatoes Beth didn't use
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery Beth didn't use

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast; cook 8 minutes or until browned on all sides. Beth did NOT do this.  I just put the roast in the crockpot and added ingredients.

Transfer roast to a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker. Rub roast with garlic, parsley, chives, thyme, salt and pepper. Add broth. Cover and cook on Low 5 hours. Add potatoes, carrots and celery. Cover and cook 2 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ginger-Cream Bars

These were the other bars I made for Jenna to take to work. Everyone loved them.

Ginger-Cream Bars
Taste of Home Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup hot coffee

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chopped nuts, optional

1. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and butter. Sift together flour, salt, soda and spices; add to creamed mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and molasses. Blend in coffee. Spread in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.

2. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Cool. For frosting, cream butter and cream cheese; add sugar and vanilla. Spread over bars. Top with nuts if desired. Yield: 5-6 dozen.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Springtime Strawberry Bars

I made these bars for Jenna to take to work as a treat.  I used my frozen strawberry jam.  These were very easy to put together and everyone liked them.
Springtime Strawberry Bars
Taste of Home cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 jar (12 ounces) strawberry preserves

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel. Combine 3 cups flour, almonds, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (do not over mix).

2. Set aside 1 cup of dough. Press the remaining dough into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Spread preserves to within 1/4 in. of edges. Combine the reserved dough with the remaining flour; sprinkle over preserves.

3. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: About 3 dozen.                                 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars


Kathleen made these to take to her internship training.  She did share a bit with us and they were loaded with flavor!
Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars


1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
18 Oreo Cookies, coarsely chopped
about 1/2 cup M&M's (I used plain, use your favorite flavor or other chopped candy)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

Add the flour and stir until just combined, don't overmix.  Stir in the Oreos.

Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

Evenly sprinkle the M&Ms over the top, lightly pressing them down with your finger or a spatula.

Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until done based on add-ins used. Top should be set and edges slightly firm. A toothpick inserted in the center (if you can find a bare patch to test) should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.

Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Copycat Starbucks Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

 Kathleen made this one afternoon for a sweet treat.  It was very good. 
Copycat Starbucks Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake

Pound Cake:
1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter, Softened
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed
⅓ Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
Red Food Coloring

8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice, Freshly Squeezed

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan with non stick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in eggs, lemon juice, and salt. Gradually stir in flour. Stir until just combined.

Pour around ⅓ of the batter into a separate bowl. Stir in raspberry jam and food coloring.

Alternate layers of white and red batter into your loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool for 15-20 minutes.
For the Icing:
Beat softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. An electric mixer or a wooden spoon will work just fine.

Add lemon juice. Gradually add powdered sugar.

Spread over cooled cake.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Crock Pot Nacho Cheese Casserole

I put this together just after lunch one day and it was perfect for supper.  I used my 9 x 13 crockpot. We served it with chips and guacamole.
Crock Pot Nacho Cheese Casserole 

1 pound ground beef
1- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1- 16 ounce can chili beans ( I use Bush's chili beans because they are gluten free)
1- 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1- 11 ounce can corn, drained
1- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 package taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning
4 cups crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips or crushed tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet cook beef until browned and cooked through. Drain off any fat.

Stir tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning into meat.

Layer half of the tortilla chips into crock pot. Beth used a 9 x 13 crockpot

Spread half of the meat mixture on top of chips.

Layer half of the cheese on top of meat mixture.

Repeat layers with remaining chips, meat, and cheese.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours or until heated through.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Cornmeal Pancakes

Kathleen made these for a Saturday breakfast. I was skeptical at first, but fell in love at first bite! Try them soon!

Cornmeal Pancakes

1-1/2 cup (scant) All-purpose Flour
1-1/2 cup Heaping Yellow Cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
4 Tablespoons Sugar
2-1/4 cups Whole Milk (more If Needed)
2 whole Large Eggs
3 teaspoons Vanilla
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
Maple Or Pancake Syrup For Serving (optional)

Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients, stirring gently.

Stir in melted butter. Set batter aside. If batter is overly thick, splash in a small amount of milk.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. When heated, drop 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Stack three pancakes, placing a pat of butter between each pancake. Drizzle with warm maple syrup, Dig in!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Kathleen has made this two times now for lunches for her and Jenna.  The dressing is quite light and tasty.   You can use any veggies you have on hand.  See our notes in the recipe.

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

Serves: 8

12 oz. bow tie pasta
2 medium roma tomatoes
1 medium summer squash*
1 medium zucchini *
1 medium broccoli crown
½ medium red onion
⅔ (15 oz.) jar roasted red peppers *
½ bunch parsley
*** Kathleen used green pepper, broccoli, and artichoke hearts, chopped

¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup olive oil
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
¾ tsp salt
to taste fresh cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander.

While you’re waiting for the pasta water to boil and the pasta to cook, prepare the vegetables (squash, zucchini, broccoli, tomato, onion, parsley, red pepper). Give the vegetables a good wash and then cut into bite sized pieces (onions and red pepper thinly sliced; parsley removed from stems and chopped).

While the pasta is cooling, prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl whisk together the vegetable oil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

Combine the cooked pasta, chopped vegetables, and vinaigrette. Stir until everything is well mixed and coated with vinaigrette. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

We grilled this the other night and served it with the Panda Chow Mein Copycat.  This was quite tasty.
Grilled Huli Huli Chicken
Serves: 5-6

½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup ketchup
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

In a small bowl, mix the first six ingredients.

Pour marinade in a large resealable plastic bag and add chicken. Seal bags and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Remove bag from fridge, drain and discard marinade from chicken.

Grill chicken over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat

Jenna had pinned this recipe and I was headed to the grocery store, so I bought these noodles(they look like Ramen).  I could not find the refrigerated ones at my grocery store.  I cooked the noodles according to the package and the recipe was SPOT on!

Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat


1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 (5.6-ounce) packages refrigerated Yaki-Soba, seasoning sauce packets discarded***Beth used dry 10 oz pkg cooked according to pkg directions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
2 cups shredded cabbage

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and white pepper; set aside.

In a large pot of boiling water, add Yaki-Soba until loosened, about 1-2 minutes; drain well.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cabbage until heated through, about 1 minute.

Stir in Yaki-Soba and soy sauce mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

*Yaki-Soba is ramen-style noodles and can be found in the refrigerated aisle of your local grocery store.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cookies ‘n Cream Extreme Brownies

I made these to accompany a meal taken to some neighbors who had lost their dad.  I didn't realize that the Oreos in the pantry were candy cane flavored, but these still turned out great!

Cookies ‘n Cream Extreme Brownies

From Extreme Brownies: 50 Recipes for the Most Over-the-Top Treats Ever by Connie Weis/Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2014 Found on http://www.crazyforcrust.com

For the Brownies:

2 sticks (1 cup or 8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cake flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
15 Oreo Cookies (or, if you can find them, use the White Fudge Covered Oreos)

For the Fluffy White Frosting:

8 tablespoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup marshmallow creme (such as Fluff)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or another 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
About 1 1/4 cups (or more) Oreo Mini Cookies

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons very hot water

1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with foil and grease with butter or spray with cooking spray.

2.Cut the butter into 1-inch slices and place in a small saucepan. Melt over low heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Turn off the burner but leave the pan on it (to stay warm).

3.Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until incorporated. Gradually whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk in the vanilla.

4.Place the flour and cocoa in sifter or a wire mesh strainer. Sift directly into the batter and stir with a spatula. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread until even. Place the 15 large Oreos evenly on top and press down lightly to cover with the batter.

5.Bake for 28-34 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature on the counter, then cover and let sit overnight (you can also refrigerate it overnight).

6.Make the frosting: beat shortening and butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attached (or a hand mixer). Mix in marshmallow creme and vanilla. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. Spread frosting evenly over top of the brownies. Top evenly with mini Oreos.

7.Make the topping: melt the butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips, then stir in the water to thin. Drizzle over the top of the frosting. Chill the frosted brownies for at least 1 hour until the frosting and topping sets. Remove from pan and slice into bars.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

I made this up for lunch one day after seeing something similar posted on the web.  The avocado melts, but doesn't get hot.  It makes the sandwich nice and creamy! 
The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

2 slices bread
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 slice cheddar cheese
1 slice provolone cheese
2 slices tomato

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place one piece of cheese on unbuttered side of one slice of bread.  Add the avocado slices and then the tomato slices.  Add the other slice of cheese and then top with the other slice of bread.  Fry in a pan until lightly toasted and the cheese had melted.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cheeseburger Hash Brown Cups

 This was an easy dinner for the girls and me one night when Don was gone.  We all liked it.

Cheeseburger Hash Brown Cups
Yield: 12 hash brown cups

20 oz shredded hash brown potatoes (refrigerated or thawed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
¼ cup diced onion
1 lb 95% lean ground beef
1 tablespoon hamburger seasoning Beth used steak seasoning
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
6 grape tomatoes, chopped Beth used 1/2 c chopped tomatoes
½ cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Thoroughly mist 12 cups in a standard muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

Place the shredded potatoes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Add the salt and black pepper and stir to coat. Divide the coated potatoes into the prepared muffin cups and press the hash browns down and up the sides of the cups to form a well in each. Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

While the cups are baking, mist the bottom of a large skillet with cooking spray and cook the onions over medium heat for a few minutes until softened. Add the ground beef and hamburger seasoning and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until browned. Transfer the meat and onions to a bowl and add the ketchup, mustard and chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine.

When the hash brown cups are ready, remove from the oven and divide the meat mixture evenly amongst the cups. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the piled meat in the cups and return the pan to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and hash browns are golden brown. Allow to cool for five minutes, remove from pan and serve.

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
3 per cup, 7 PP for 2 cups (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Quick and Easy Refried Black Beans from a Can

 This was quick and easy.  I used canned jalapenos and put in 1 T, chopped.  WOW, it was hot!  Start with just a bit of jalapenos and taste before adding more! 
Quick and Easy Refried Black Beans from a Can

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 jalapeno pepper finely chopped up
1 15 oz can of black beans (don't rinse them - use straight from can)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt + pepper to taste
Additional: cilantro to garnish

Heat vegetable oil in small pot with jalapeno for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat.

Add can of black beans, cumin and salt + pepper into pot. Stir so everything is combined.

Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring very often. You want to boil off the excess liquid in this step.

Once done, turn heat off and let sit for 3 minutes.

If desired, put cilantro on top to garnish.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Crockpot Korean Chicken

This was very good and easy to put together.  My family doesn't care for the texture of shredded chicken, so I tried to slice it.  It was quite tender and falling apart at the end of the cooking time.  I used both thighs and breasts and we served this on tortillas.
Crockpot Korean Chicken
Servings: 8 servings
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 *

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
10 cloves of intact garlic
1/2 red onion, diced Beth used vidalia
2 jalapenos, diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Combine the sugar, soy sauce, red onion, garlic, jalapenos, ginger, rice vinegar, sesame seeds in a small bowl.

2. Add the chicken to the crock pot and cover with the sauce.

3. Cook for 6-8 hours on low. When it has 30 minutes left to cook and the chicken can be easily shredded with a fork, break it into larger pieces. Continue cooking without the lid on so the sauce thickens up.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Guiltless Alfredo Spaghetti Squash Bake

I had a spaghetti squash in my pantry.  I came across this recipe and made it for lunch a few weeks ago.  It made enough for 4 lunches for me!  I LOVED this.
Guiltless Alfredo Spaghetti Squash Bake

Makes 4 servings, approx 210 calories per serving!!

1.5 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh spinach, torn into smaller pieces
1 spaghetti squash
3/4 cup pre-made Alfredo sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
crushed gluten-free crackers

Start by steaming the broccoli florets for a couple minutes, either on the stove or in the microwave, whatever you prefer.

Bake your spaghetti squash lickety-split by placing it on a microwave safe plate. Stab it with a knife on all sides. Please exercise control and do not accidentally stab your own fingers. Place in microwave on high for 10-12 minutes (12 if it’s a large squash).

Once the squash is baked, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the goopy bits and seeds and throw them away. Then, scrape the sides of the squash with a fork to get all the delicious spaghetti squash flesh (not as weird as it sounds) and place in a large bowl.

Mix the spaghetti squash “noodles” with the broccoli, spinach, alfredo, and half of the mozzarella. Stir until all ingredients are well integrated.

Spread the squash mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 deep baking dish. Top with the remainder of the mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and crushed crackers.

Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

I took this to a silent auction at church.  While I didn't get to taste the finished product, I did get to taste each part of the batter and toppings.  I WILL be making this again.  Peanut butter and chocolate, what's NOT to love?
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

For the Chocolate Batter:

1 cup sugar
¼ cup oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk
¾ cup + 2 TBS flour
½ cup +2 TBS cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup boiling water

 For the Peanut Butter Batter:

¼ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1⅓ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk

 For the Peanut Butter Ganache:

8 oz peanut butter chips
½ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup peanut butter

For the Chocolate Ganache:

4 oz milk chocolate chips
3 oz heavy cream


6 regular sized reeses cups, chopped Beth used mini chopped into quarters

1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.

2. Prepare a 9 inch bundt pan with nonstick spray and then sprinkle it with flour. Set aside.

For the chocolate batter:

1. Cream together  sugar and oil in a large bowl.

2. Mix in egg, vanilla and milk.

3. In a separate bowl combine flour, cocoa powder. baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients while stirring until combined.

5. Mix in the boiling water.

For the peanut butter batter:

1. Cream together  butter, peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl.

2. Mix in the egg and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Mix in ⅓ of the flour mixture until mixed. Followed by ⅓ of the milk. Alternate until everything is added.

For the cake:

1. Pour some of the chocolate batter into the prepared bundt pan.

2. Pour peanut butter batter over the chocolate batter.

3. Continue alternating until both batters are completely used.

4. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool before removing from pan.

For the peanut butter ganache:

1. Put the peanut butter chips, heavy cream and peanut butter into a double boiler. Beth melted this in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

2. Heat over medium low heat stirring often until creamy and smooth.

3. Pour over the cake.

4. Allow to mostly harden before adding the chocolate ganache.

For the chocolate ganache:
1. Combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl.

2. Heat for 45 seconds and stir well until creamy.

3. Pour into a small ziplock bag and cut off a small piece of one corner.

4. Drizzle over the cake.

5. Sprinkle with chopped up reeses cups if desired.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sour Cream Banana Coffee Cake

I had ripe bananas that needed to be used.  I made this and took it to church for treats.  It was quite tasty!
Sour Cream Banana Coffee Cake

For the chocolate-nut layer:
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 2/3 cup)
8 ounces sour cream

To make the chocolate-nut layer:
Combine chocolate chips, pecans, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add bananas and sour cream, and mix until combined.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
Sprinkle about a third of the chocolate-nut mixture on the bottom of prepared pan. Drop the cake batter by spoonfuls into the pan. Sprinkle with half of the remaining chocolate-nut mixture. Top with remaining cake batter. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate-nut mixture.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack. Then, invert the cake onto a wire rack, and invert again onto a cake plate.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

I made these to take to church for treats.  It was great, even though I forgot to put the glaze over top!
Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

1 20 oz can apple pie filling (or see directions below for homemade filling)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cup milk
½ cup butter, softened
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs
3 Tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13 X 9 pan

Combine pie filling  and cinnamon – set aside. Combine brown sugar and nuts – set aside. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, milk, ½ cup butter, baking powder, salt, and eggs. Mix on low 30 seconds beat on medium 2 minutes. Pour ½ batter into prepared pan. Spoon ½ pie filling evenly over batter. Spread ½ brown sugar mixture evenly over pie filling. Add remaining batter to pan and spread remaining pie filling over top. Mix 3 Tbsp. melted butter with remaining brown sugar mixture. Spread evenly over top of cake.

Bake 45-50 minutes until tester comes out clean.    


1 ½ cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

4-5 tsp. hot water

Combine all ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cake 20 minutes out of oven.

* For homemade apple filling: Place 4-5 peeled, cored, and sliced cooking apples, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ stick butter, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and ¼ ~½ tsp. salt in a sauce pan over low to medium heat. Heat until apples are slightly softened. You use this instead of the canned pie filling/cinnamon mixture. The measurements for this are approximate as there were no actual measurements to begin with and it depends a lot on the size/type of your apples. The amount of sugar can be changed depending on the tartness of your apples.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dark Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

I made this for our Memorial Day get together. It is very rich, but OH, so GOOD!

Dark Chocolate Tres Leches Cakehttp://www.thedutchbakersdaughter.com


¼ cup oil
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
¼ cup dark cocoa
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup buttermilk

Soaking Liquid:

½ of a (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half/half
¼ tsp vanilla
1 ½ tablespoons dark cocoa


2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar Beth added about 1/4 c more
2 tablespoons dark cocoa
½ tsp. vanilla
Chocolate and/or White Chocolate Curls, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.; grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan (using an 8" rather than a 9” will make it easier to cut in half )  Beth used a 9 "

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

Slowly add the buttermilk, mixing until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

Remove from oven and cool for at least ten minutes before removing from pan.

Carefully, cut the cake in half, horizontally.

Place each half sliced side up on a rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, the half/half, the vanilla, and the cocoa.

Slowly pour the liquid over each half of the cake.

Cover and chill for several hours.

When ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream until stiff, adding the powdered sugar and cocoa.

Place one of the cake halves on a serving plate, cut side up.

Spread whipped cream over the top of the cake layer, and then top with the second cake half.

Frost the top and the sides of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.

Garnish with raspberries or chocolate curls, if desired.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Pull-Apart Party Loaf

I made this to go with leftovers on a 'clean out the fridge night' at our house.  We all liked it.
Pull-Apart Party Loaf

1 (16- to 18-ounce) round loaf Italian or sourdough bread
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
1 teaspoon dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup (about 5 slices) cooked chopped thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup jarred jalapeƱo peppers, chopped
10 (3/4-ounce) slices Land O Lakes® Deli American, chopped(Beth also added some cheddar)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. Place two (24-inch) pieces aluminum foil, crossing one over the other, on flat surface.
Cut bread, using serrated knife, in grid pattern, spacing about 1-inch between rows. Do not cut through bottom crust. Set aside.
Combine melted butter and ranch dressing in medium bowl. Add all remaining ingredients except parsley; mix well.
Place loaf in center of aluminum foil pieces. Spoon cheese mixture into cut areas of bread. Wrap foil loosely around bread. Place onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 30 minutes. Pull back foil; continue baking 5-10 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
Serve immediately.  Pull out individual bread pieces, using tongs or 2 forks and reaching down into loaf to include filling and bread.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

Kathleen made these and they are sinful!  They were crumbly when first mixed up, but came together when we formed them.....just keep working with the dough.
White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

4 cups all purpose flour
⅔ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt
2 sticks (16 TB) salted butter, frozen
1 cup white chocolate chips, plus ½ cup for drizzle
1 cup whole sour cream
2 large eggs
4 tsp pure almond extract
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 egg + 2 tsp water, lightly beaten together (for egg wash)
coarse sugar for sprinkling

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using large holes of a box grater, grate frozen butter into the flour. Use fingers to work in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in white chocolate chips.

In separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, and almond extract until fully incorporated.

Use a fork to stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large clumps form. Gently stir in raspberries with a rubber spatula. Do be gentle, but the berries will break up somewhat; that's ok. Use hands to gently form dough into two even sized balls. Don't overwork dough. Dough will seem rather wet. Wrap dough balls tightly and chill until it's easier to work with, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set oven to 400F, with rack on lower-middle position.

On a lightly floured, flat surface, gently pat each dough ball (might still seem too wet, but it will bake up fine) evenly into an 8-inch circle, about ¾ inch thick each. Using a very sharp knife, cut each circle into 8 triangle wedges. Place triangles on lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart.

Brush the egg wash on top of each triangle. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar. Bake one sheet at a time, about 14-17 minutes or just until tops are light golden. Do not over bake. Allow scones to cool completely to room temp.

Melt ½ cup white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Serve immediately, or store in airtight container for up to 2 days. Baked scones are best within first 24 hours. If they are very slightly under baked, they will stay moist longer.

*Note: If you want to make the dough ahead of time, simply wrap the two dough balls in cling wrap and chill up to 2 days in fridge. Then, shape and bake as directed.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Slow Cooker Cashew Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

This was SO very good.  If you like beef and broccoli, this is a great recipe.
Slow Cooker Cashew Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
1 lb. boneless, beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips(Beth used 2 #)
1 cup beef consumme or beef broth
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups Frozen Broccoli Florets
1 cup cashews
1 cup frozen carrots
White or brown rice, cooked
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the beef consume, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.
  2. Lay the beef strips in the crockpot and pour the sauce over, tossing the strips to coat.
  3. Turn the crockpot on low and cook for about 6 hours. You don’t want to cook the beef too long or it will start to shred.
  4. When it is just about done, take 4 Tbsp of the sauce and whisk it in a small bowl with the cornstarch. Slowly stir this into the crockpot. Add the broccoli, cashews and carrots and stir. Cook an additional 30 minutes so that the sauce can thicken and frozen broccoli and carrots can cook. You don’t want to add the broccoli until the very end or it will be mushy. If you are using fresh broccoli, steam before or add about an hour before it is done cooking to heat through.
  5. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Taco Potatoes

This was another recipe the Pioneer Woman made.  Simple and delicious!

Taco Potatoes

5 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large chunks Beth used less
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup taco seasoning

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the potatoes in a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Toss to coat thoroughly.

Pour out onto 2 baking sheets and roast until sizzly and somewhat crisp, shaking the pans as you go, 35 to 40 minutes.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Green Chile Chicken

The girls and I saw this on a recent episode of the Pioneer Woman and knew we would make it. We roasted the peppers in the oven. We all like this chicken.

Green Chile Chicken


1/2 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce (more To Taste)(Beth used 2 T puree)
2 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
6 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
6 whole Hatch, Anaheim, Or Poblano Chiles
1/2 pound Monterey Jack Cheese, Cut Into Slices Or Grated
Pico De Gallo Or Salsa, For Serving
Beans, For Serving
Rice For Serving


First, make the marinade for the chicken: Combine olive oil, lime juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in a blender and mix until it's totally pureed. Pour into a large ziploc bag with the chicken breasts. Seal the bag, smush it around to coat the chicken, and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours (overnight if possible.) ***Note: You can use any marinade, homemade or storebought, you'd like! Anything works.

After the chicken has marinated, roast the chiles by using metal tongs to hold the peppers one by one over the flame of your stovetop until the skin is totally charred. (If you don't have a gas stove, you can use an outdoor grill OR place them on a baking sheet directly under your oven's broilers.) When the skin is totally blackened, place the chiles in a large ziploc and seal the bag to allow the chiles to sweat for a good 20 minutes. Remove them from the bag and use a knife to scrape off most of the blackened skin. Slice the chiles in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds and membranes. Lay out the roasted, seeded chile halves so they'll be ready.

Grill the chicken (or saute it in a skillet) over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on the first side. Turn the chicken over, and on the cooked side lay on 2 chile halves and a nice slice of cheese. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow the chicken to finish cooking for 4 to 5 minutes, until it's totally done in the center. The cheese should melt on its own; if it needs a little help, invert an iron skillet over it (or put the lid on the skillet, if using).

Remove the chicken from the skillet and serve it with rice and beans on the side. Top the chicken with a spoonful of pico de gallo or salsa.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Samoa Sheet Cake

I love the Samoa Girl Scout Cookies and pinned this a long time ago to try.  I made it last week for a ladies get together and everyone liked it.
Samoa Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter
1 cup water
4 Tablespoons cocoa
½ cup shortening
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup butter
6 Tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
⅛ cup caramel sauce, I used caramel ice cream topping in the jar
Additional Toppings
2½ cups toasted coconut, See instructions below for how to make it
7 to 8 ounces caramel, either Kraft Caramel Cubes or from a block of Caramel
⅛ cup evaporated milk Beth used 2 %
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening or oil

Before making the cake, line an 18x13x1 inch cookie sheet with foil and spread shredded sweetened coconut evenly over cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes, checking and tossing coconut regularly, every 2-5 minutes, to make sure all the coconut gets toasted evenly and does not burn. Coconut is done when it is golden brown.

In a large mixing bowl, measure flour and sugar. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, water, cocoa and shortening. Bring to a boil. After mixture reaches a boil, add it to the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Add buttermilk, then baking soda, then eggs, then vanilla in that order, mixing in-between each addition.

Pour into a greased 18x13x1 inch cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine butter and milk and bring to a boil. Stir caramel sauce and then add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth.

After cake has cooked, remove from oven and poke holes in hot cake with a fork. Pour frosting evenly over top. Immediately sprinkle with top of warm frosting with toasted coconut.

In microwavable bowl, add caramel and evaporated milk and cook on high in 30 second increments, string in between each increment. Continue to cook and stir until caramel is smooth. Drizzle over coconut.

In another microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips and shortening (or oil). Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until the chocolate in melted. Drizzle over caramel.

Let Caramel and Chocolate drizzle set before cutting into it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Healthy 30 Minute Sriracha Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

Kathleen made these and I was afraid they would be too spicy. I thought it had the perfect amount of spice.  If you want the flavor, but not the spice, I would half the sriracha.
Healthy 30 Minute Sriracha Teriyaki Meatball Bowls

For the meatballs:

1 pound ground turkey meat Beth used ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons ginger, grated
1 scallion, white part only, minced Beth used sweet onion, minced
1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons oil (olive, vegetable, canola) for frying
For the Sriracha Teriyaki:
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup raw honey
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons water, divided
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
For the rice:
2 cups instant brown rice, cooked according to package instructions
Scallions, for sprinkling

For the meatballs:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to simmer (you want it very hot) while you prepare the meatballs.

In a large bowl combine ground turkey meat, garlic, egg, cilantro, sriracha, soy, ginger, scallion, pepper, and panko. Slowly add the water, a few tablespoons at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape when rolled into meatballs.

Scoop one heaping tablespoon sized round of meat into your palm and roll it into a small ball; repeat until all meat has been rolled into meatballs.

Fry meatballs in batches in the hot oil, 1-2 minutes on each side; or just until lightly browned.
Place semi-cooked meatballs on prepared baking sheet. Once all meatballs have been panfried, place the baking sheet in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they're cooked though.

While the meatballs bake, make your sriracha teriyaki!

In a small saucepan combine the soy sauce, honey, 1/2 cup of the water, sesame oil, sriracha sauce, and ginger. Heat over a medium-low flame and stir constantly until the honey is dissolved; about 3 minutes..

In a small dish combine the cornstarch with the remaining 3 tablespoons of water, then pour it into the glaze, stir well to combine.

Increase the heat to medium high. Cook the sauce, stirring constantly, just until thickened. This should only take 2 minutes. Once it's thickened remove from heat and stir in sesame seeds.
At this point the meatballs should be ready to come out of the oven! Transfer them from the baking sheet straight into the pot with the sauce; stir to coat.

Place 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl. Top with a few meatballs, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and some chopped scallions! Enjoy!

Monday, June 1, 2015

S'mores Pizookie

Once again my daughters put coffee in a recipe and didn't tell me.  I did NOT taste the coffee in this and LOVED it!
S'mores Pizookie

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips (We subbed chocolate covered toffee bits)

Pizookie Toppings:
2/3 cup marshmallow cream
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave, stirring after the first minute and then every 30 seconds after that until smooth and melted. (Alternatively, you may melt chocolate in a double boiler/heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.) Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, beat eggs with vanilla. Sprinkle coffee or espresso powder over the top and let sit until dissolved/absorbed by eggs. Mix in.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until smooth and blend in both sugars until well mixed. With mixer on low, stir in egg mixture. Blend in melted chocolate until well incorporated, scraping bowl and mixing again before proceeding. Slowly stir in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow consistency of the cookie dough to become fudge-like. (We skipped this step and it worked fine)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

If making cookies: For each cookie, scoop approximately 3 tablespoons of dough into a mound (I use a size 20 cookie scoop and level off the dough). Space mounds of dough 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges of cookies are just set and centers are still soft. Allow cookies to cool on pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

If making pizookie: This recipe makes too much dough to fit into the cast iron skillet, so we took out 8 cookie scoops of dough and baked them as cookies (you may just eat the dough, too) :). Spread the remaining batter into a cast iron skillet. Bake at 350 for 42-45 minutes or until a knife comes out cooked, but with some fudge-like cookie on it (it will continue cooking, so don't overbake). 

Spread marshmallow cream over the cookie. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top (until lightly covered). Sprinkle miniature marshmallows over the crumbs. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until the marshmallows are lightly browned.