Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Toasted Coconut Cookies

These are crispy and yummy. They were quick to put together.
DSC_0062

Toasted Coconut Cookies 

Taste of Home Cookie Cookbook

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Fold in oats, coconut and nuts.

Drop by tablespoonfuls (Beth used a cookie scoop) onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375° for 10-11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: about 5 dozen.


    Tuesday, February 27, 2018

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

    These were quick and easy to put together. They taste great!
    DSC_0061

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
    2 cups quick-cooking oats
    1 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup butter
    1/2 cup chopped peanuts
    1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 large egg, beaten
    1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
    1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

    Heat oven to 350°F. Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in peanuts. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture. Stir egg into remaining crumb mixture. Press onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.


    Stir together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in small bowl until well combined. Pour evenly over partially baked crust. Stir together reserved crumb mixture and chocolate chips. Sprinkle evenly over peanut butter layer. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars

    Monday, February 26, 2018

    Roasted Beet Salad

    I made this for our salad portion of dinner. I LOVED this!
    DSC_0060

    Roasted Beet Salad
    adapted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Mediterranean Diet

    2 large beets
    3 T olive oil
    1 T onion or shallot, chopped fine
    1 clove minced garlic
    1 T apple cider vinegar
    1/2 t Dijon mustard
    1-2 t mint leaves, chopped fine
    2 t honey
    zest of 1 lemon
    1/4 t salt
    1/4 t pepper
    1 c romaine lettuce
    2 oz feta cheese
    2 T pistachios, chopped

    Preheat oven to 400.  Remove greens from beets, wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour or until fork tender. Cool.

    Cut beets into small cubes.

    In a small bowl, mix olive oil, onion, garlic, vinegar, mustard, mint, honey, lemon zest and salt and pepper together.  Ad 2 T of this dressing to the beets.

    Toss remaining dressing with the lettuce.  Divide lettuce between 4 plates.  Equally divide the beets and top with feta and pistachios.

    Sunday, February 25, 2018

    Chicken Piccata

    I decided to make this for a quick dinner. Half way through cooking, I looked for the capers to discover I must have used them and not replaced them! This chicken was very good with out the capers!
    DSC_0059
    Chicken Piccata
    Adapted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Mediterranean Diet

    1 1/2-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
    1/4 c flour Beth used gluten free
    1/2 t salt
    1/2 t pepper
    2 T olive oil
    1 onion, diced finely
    2/3 c chicken broth
    1 T lemon juice
    1 clove minced garlic
    3 T capers

    Combine flour, salt and pepper together in a shallow bowl.  Dredge chicken breasts in flour and place in a skillet with 2 T olive oil over medium heat.  Cook for 6-8 minutes on each side.  Turn heat down and cook until 165 degrees.

    Transfer chicken to a plate and cover with foil.  Add onion to the pan and cook for 1 minute.  Add garlic, chicken broth, lemon juice and capers and cook for 5-7 minutes until reduced by 1/2.

    Pour the sauce  evenly over each chicken breast and serve!

    Saturday, February 24, 2018

    Curried Cauliflower

    This was a great tasting recipe. I loved the addition of the raisins and onions.
    DSC_0058
    Curried Cauliflower
    adapted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Mediterranean Diet

    1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
    2 T olive oil
    1/2 t salt
    1/2 t pepper
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 t curry powder
    1 medium red onion, sliced thin
    1/4 c golden raisins
    1/4 c slivered almonds

    Preheat oven to 400.

    Mix all ingredients except almonds in a large bowl.  Transfer to a 9 x 13 pan or a jelly roll plan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with almonds(Beth forgot these)

    Friday, February 23, 2018

    Rolo Rocky Road Fudge

    I adapted this recipe to what I had and it turned out great. Next time I might crush up the graham crackers instead of using the crumbs for more texture.
    DSC_0054
    DSC_0055

    Rolo Rocky Road Fudge
    adapted from https://www.sweetestmenu.com/easy-rolo-rocky-road/

    2 cups milk chocolate  Beth used Nestles S'mores chips
    1 12 oz bag dark chocolate chips
    1/2 cup roasted peanuts, salted or unsalted
    1 cup mini marshmallows
    1 cup crushed graham crackers Beth used graham cracker crumbs
    1 bag Rolo chocolate candies

    Grease an 8  or 9inch square baking tin. Place both the chocolates in a large bowl and place in the microwave. Cook for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted.

    Add the roasted peanuts, marshmallows and crushed graham crackers into the chocolate and stir until well mixed. Add half the Rolos and stir. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and spread until smooth. Press the extra Rolo pieces on top.

    Refrigerate for at least one hour or until the chocolate is set. Cut into small squares and serve. Keep in the fridge in an air-tight container.






    Thursday, February 22, 2018

    Balsamic Vinaigrette

    I made this for my lunch salad. It was quick and easy. I used grainy mustard and it gave this recipe a 'kick'. I also used my hand blender to mix and it made it creamy. YUM!
    DSC_0053

    Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Adapted from chinesegrandma.com

    1 tsp honey
    1 tablespoon dijon or grainy mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 garlic clove, minced

    Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well or use a hand blender to emulsify.

    Keeps indefinitely in refrigerator. Makes approximately one cup of vinaigrette.






    Wednesday, February 21, 2018

    Caramel Apple Treats

    I found this recipe last September and finally made it for our FPU. I love anything that has caramel. This did not disappoint. It was very easy to make.
    DSC_0052

    Caramel Apple Treats

    adapted from http://www.delish.com/


    1 8 oz. tube crescent dough
    1 apple, cored, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
    1/2 c. brown sugar
    1/4 c. cinnamon sugar
    Pinch kosher salt
    caramel ice cream topping

    1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

    2. Roll out crescent rolls onto parchment. Pinch seams to make one single sheet. Prick all over with a fork. Top with a single layer of brown sugar, doing your best to cover all over.

    3. Top with apples distributing evenly, then sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top. Drizzle caramel on top. Bake until golden, 22 to 25 minutes.

    4. Let cool completely before slicing into pieces and serving.





    Tuesday, February 20, 2018

    Lemon Sheet Cake from Scratch

    It has been cool here in Texas and when I saw this recipe, I thought of Spring time! I made this for a Bible study. It was excellent!
    DSC_0050

    Lemon Sheet Cake from Scratch

    adapted from https://backforseconds.com


    Cake

    3/4 cups unsalted butter
    1/2 cup lemon juice Beth used bottled
    1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

    Frosting

    1/2 cup butter
    8 oz softened cream cheese
    4 cups powdered sugar
    4 tablespoons lemon juice
    lemon zest


    Cake

    Preheat oven to 350.

    In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat, stirring often. Turn off heat and whisk in lemon juice and sugar. Stir in yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and flour, mixing until well combined.

    Pour into greased jelly roll pan and bake 15-18 minutes or until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. (Or for a thicker cake bake in a 9x13" pan for 25-30 minutes) Cool completely.

    Frosting

    In a mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Beat until fluffy.

    Spread over cooled cake.






    Monday, February 19, 2018

    Sugar Cookie Cake Bars

    I took these to a Ladies Bible study at church. I tinted the frosting with red coloring and used Valentine's decorations since it was the week of Valentine's. They are very good.
    DSC_0048

    Sugar Cookie Cake Bars
    adapted from https://bitzngiggles.com/sugar-cookie-cake-bars/


    Cookie Bars


    2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    2 cups sugar
    4 large eggs
    5 cups flour
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    Frosting

    2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    4 cups powdered sugar
    4 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    A pinch of salt
    Nonpareils for decoration


    1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

    2.In a large bowl cream together the butter and the sugar.

    3.Mix in one egg at a time.

    4.Add vanilla extract and mix well.

    5.In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda.

    6.Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, a little at a time. Mix well. This will be a very thicj batter.

    7.Wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking and pat out onto prepared jelly roll pan.

    8.Bake for 15-20 minutes.


    For the Frosting

    1.Beat butter until creamy.

    2.Mix in the vanilla and salt.

    3.Add the powdered sugar gradually, mixing well.

    4.Add the milk and mix until it reaches desired consistency.

    5.Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake bars. Add sprinkles.









    Sunday, February 18, 2018

    Tuscan Chicken Skillet

    This was a quick and easy dish. It was very good.
    DSC_0046

    Tuscan Chicken Skillet
    http://thewanderlustkitchen.com/tuscan-chicken-skillet/



    1 pound chicken breast tenderloins

    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

    12 ounces brown mushrooms, sliced

    1/2 cup diced yellow onion

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    2/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

    1 teaspoon oregano

    1/2 teaspoon thyme

    1/2(14.5 oz) can Cannelini Beans, drained and rinsed

    2 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes

    1 tablespoon sugar

    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Parsley for garnish



    1.     Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, then add the chicken and brown for 3 minutes on each side.

    2.     Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the sliced mushrooms in a single layer and brown, working in batches, a few minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    3.     Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and sundried tomatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the oregano, thyme, beans, diced tomatoes, and sugar.

    4.     Transfer the chicken back to the pan and spoon some of the sauce and vegetables over top of the chicken. Cook, covered, on the stove top until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is bubbling, about ten minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.


    Saturday, February 17, 2018

    Mediterranean Baked Zucchini Sticks

    I made this as a side dish last week. Next time it will be a main dish. Kathleen and I loved this!
    DSC_0047
     Mediterranean Baked Zucchini Sticks
    http://ifoodreal.com/baked-zucchini-sticks/

    4 zucchini, medium
    1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
    1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
    1/2 cup Kalamata olives, finely chopped
    3 large garlic cloves, minced
    1 tbsp oregano, dried
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
    1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the middle with a spoon or melon baller. Discard or eat the flesh. Set aside.

    2. In a medium bowl, mix to combine bell pepper, tomato, olives, garlic, oregano and black pepper. Fill each zucchini with a mixture distributing evenly. Place in a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Top with feta cheese and broil on high for 3 more minutes or until cheese has browned. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot or cold.

    Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 2-3 days.

    Friday, February 16, 2018

    Apple Coffee Cake

    I made this for our FPU class and then took some to the teachers at the school I used to teach at. It is quite tasty. I forgot to add the pecans!
    DSC_0045

    Apple Coffee Cake
    Adapted from https://bunnyswarmoven.net

    Topping

    1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup butter cold, cut into small pieces
    1 Tablespoon cinnamon
    1 cup chopped pecans, optional

    Cake Batter

    3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 cup butter room temperature
    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    3 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups sour cream
    2 or 3 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced

    Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


    In a medium size bowl combine 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter pieces and cinnamon. Mix with a fork or pastry blender,  until topping is crumbly and butter is blended in, add chopped pecans, if desired. Set aside.


    In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the 3/4 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla extract and sour cream, and then, baking powder and baking soda.

    Place half of the batter into the bottom of the prepared  and smooth with a spatula to level it out.

    Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the streusel mixture and the apples, then 1/2 cup of the streusel mixture.

    Spoon remaining batter over streusel apple layer. Top with remaining streusel. Press the streusel down into the batter lightly with your hand.

    Bake cake at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.





    Thursday, February 15, 2018

    Easy Coffee Cake

    I made this recipe for Don to take to work. Everyone liked it.
    DSC_0042

    Easy Coffee Cake

    1 box yellow cake mix (dry)
    4 large eggs
    1 cup water
    1 cup canola oil
    1 small package instant butterscotch pudding
    1 small package instant vanilla pudding 


    Topping
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1 cup chopped pecans


    Mix the dry cake mix, eggs, water, oil and dry pudding mixes together in a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes.

    In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans to make the streusel.

    Grease a 9×13″ pan and pour in 1/2 the cake batter. Sprinkle 1/2 of the streusel topping over the cake batter. Repeat the layers.

    Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    Pecan Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I made these last week. They are quite tasty.
    DSC_0041

    Pecan Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Adapted from https://www.365daysofbakingandmore.com


    1 cup butter, room temperature
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoon vanilla
    2 1/4 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup uncooked oatmeal
    1 cup chopped pecans
    2 cups white chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add sugars and beat until light and smooth.

    Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and pecans to the butter mixture.

    Mix in the white chocolate chips.

    Use a cookie scoop and place cookies on the cookie sheets about 1 inch apart.

    Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until slightly golden.

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018

    Mediterranean Chopped Salad

    I adapted this recipe to my taste and made half of it for a meal. It was very good.
    DSC_0043

    Mediterranean Chopped Salad
    adapted from https://www.familyfoodonthetable.com


    8 oz. romaine lettuce chopped
    1 15.5 oz. can chick peas rinsed and drained
    1/2 English cucumber, diced
    1/2 cup olives pitted and sliced
    1/2 cup pepperoncini peppers chopped
    1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
    1/3 to 1/2 cup Italian dressing, or your favorite dressing


    Place lettuce on a place.  Add other ingredients in a row.  Drizzle with dressing to taste.

    Sunday, February 11, 2018

    Banana Bundt Cake With Cinnamon Swirl

    I made this for our FPU last week. It was very tasty!
    DSC_0039

    Banana Bundt Cake With Cinnamon Swirl

    adapted from http://www.mountainmamacooks.com

    For the cake:

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    12 tablespoons butter
    6 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
    1/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

    For the cinnamon swirl:

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    pinch salt


    Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

    Brown the butter by placing a sauté pan on the stove set to medium heat. Melt butter, stirring occasionally until it starts to brown about 3-6 minutes. Cool.

    In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.

    In a large bowl, beat slightly cooled butter, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Stir in mashed bananas, vanilla and sour cream.  Add the flour mixture to this and mix until just incorporated.

    Melt 4 tablespoons butter and add brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt; stir to combine.

    Spread 1/3 of the batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the batter and then swirl through the batter with a table knife. Place 1/3 of the remaining batter evenly over the first layer and top with the other half of the cinnamon sugar mixture; swirl. Spread the remaining batter evenly over the top.

    Bake about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cake cool 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from pan. Let cool another 20-30 minutes.




    Saturday, February 10, 2018

    Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

    I put this together before church last week and cooked it on high. It was very good.
    DSC_0036
    DSC_0038
    Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

    https://fitslowcookerqueen.com/slow-cooker-mediterranean-chicken/


    2 lbs chicken breasts, sliced thin and cut into 3 pieces
    1 or 2 15 oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    1 pint grape tomatoes
    1 medium lemon, sliced thin
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 T olive oil
    1 T lemon juice
    1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
    1 t paprika
    1 t ground coriander
    1 t oregano
    1 t cumin
    1 t curry powder
    1 t chili pepper
    1 t salt


    Add chicken to slow cooker.

    Mix together remaining ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the chicken.

     Cook HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 6-8.







    Friday, February 9, 2018

    Healthy Baked Falafel

    Because I found out I have high cholesterol, the doctor wants me to try eating the Mediterranean Diet. I found this recipe and made it last weekend. The girls and I really liked it.....Don, not so much!
    DSC_0034
    Healthy Baked Falafel 
    adapted from https://www.pickyeaterblog.com/healthy-falafel-recipe/

    whole-wheat pitas or flat out bread
    15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained and rinsed
    1/2 red onion, very finely chopped
    1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
    3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    4 cloves chopped garlic
    1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
    1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
    3/4 tsp. salt 
    1/4 tsp. lemon juice
    1/8 tsp. paprika, or more to taste
    black pepper, to taste

    1/2 tsp. baking powder

    olive oil nonstick spray
    baby spinach 
    diced tomatoes
    red onions, chopped or sliced
    store bought hummus
    tzatzki sauce

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the pitas, baking powder, and nonstick spray) in a food processor, and give them a good chop.

    2. Transfer into a bowl, add the baking powder and stir together.

    3. Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with olive oil nonstick spray. One at a time, take spoonfuls of mixture in your hands and form 15 balls, Beth got 18, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray.

    4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

    5. Chop the veggies for the topping, and warm up your pita bread.

    6. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened.

    7. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.

    8. Cut the whole pitas into halves, add hummus and fill with spinach, 3 falafel balls, diced tomato and onion, and top with and tzatziki sauce.

    Thursday, February 8, 2018

    Almond Sandies

    This was the latest cookie I made for lunches. They are crunchy and taste great!
    DSC_0220
    Almond Sandies
    Taste of Home Cookiebook

    1 cup butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup slivered almonds Beth used sliced

    1. Preheat oven to 300°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Fold in almonds.

    2. Drop by level tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 22-24 minutes. Cool for 1-2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Yield: about 4 dozen. Beth got about 3.5 dozen.

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018

    Cranberry Bliss Coffeecake

    I made this recipe for a dessert to take to FPU and a ladies lunch. It turned out great!
    DSC_0219
    Cranberry Bliss Coffeecake
    Adapted from https://letthebakingbeginblog.com

    4 eggs
    1 3/4 cup sugar, granulated
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 cup melted butter
    1 cup buttermilk or sour cream
    2 cups white chocolate chips or 10 oz white almond bark, roughly chopped
    1 cups dried craisins, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, then well drained and towel dried

    Frosting
    8 oz cream cheese, softened
    2-3 cups powdered sugar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    ½ tsp orange extract or zest of ½ orange
    1-2 T milk

    Topping:

    2 Tbsp white chocolate chips, melted
    1 cup dried craisins, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, then well drained and towel dried


    Preheat oven to 350F with the rack in the middle.

    To a large bowl add eggs, sugar, vanilla and whisk until combined. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and whisk just until incorporated. Next add melted butter and buttermilk, whisking after each. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

    Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and pour the batter and spread evenly. Bake for 50-60 minutes OR until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

    In a bowl use a mixer to mix together all frosting ingredients.

    Melt the white chocolate for the topping.

    Spread the Cream Cheese Frosting with a spatula all over the cooled cake. Sprinkle dried craisins on top. In a zigzag motion drizzle the melted white chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, then cut and serve.

    Tuesday, February 6, 2018

    Butterscotch Gooey Nut Bars

    I had a bag of sugar cookie mix and wanted to try this recipe. It was very good! I took it to FPU and a ladies lunch.
    DSC_0217
    Butterscotch Gooey Nut Bars
    adapted from https://challengedairy.com/community/butterscotch-gooey-nut-bars


    1 package (17.5oz) sugar cookie mix Beth used a 22 oz pouch
    1 package (3.4oz) instant butterscotch pudding mix
    ½ cup butter, cold
    1 egg
    1 package (10oz) caramels
    ½ cup evaporated milk
    1 cup roasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
    1 cup roasted cashews
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup butterscotch chips

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, combine the sugar cookie mix, pudding mix, butter and egg.  Using 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut the ingredients together until little pieces form.  Press into an ungreased 9”x13” baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set.

    Meanwhile, in a large saucepan,Beth did this in the microwave, combine the caramels and milk over medium-low heat, stirring often until melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nuts and vanilla extract.

    Pour the caramel mixture over the top of the crust. Sprinkle with the butterscotch chips and let cool completely. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!


    Monday, February 5, 2018

    Slow Cooker Black Beans

    I found this recipe while reading Southern Living. The girls made these and Jenna said it is her new favorite recipe for black beans.
    DSC_0215
    Slow Cooker Black Beans
    Southern Living magazine Feb. 2018

    1 pound dried black beans
    1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
    1 yellow onion, chopped 
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    3 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped (optional)
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise
    6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
    1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    1 teaspoon light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano we used dried and increased to 1 t


    Rinse and sort black beans. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, and, if desired, bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

    Transfer onion mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker; add beans, jalapeño chile, chicken broth, salt, brown sugar, cumin, pepper, and chopped oregano. Cover and cook on LOW until beans are tender, about 6 hours.

    Sunday, February 4, 2018

    Mom's Spiced Sheet Squares

    I decided to bake late one afternoon and had been 'reading' a cookbook that a friend passed on to me. Jenna took these to work and everyone liked them.
    DSC_0199
    Mom's Spiced Sheet Squares
    A Quilter's Christmas Cookbook

    1 t baking soda
    1/2 c sour milk Beth used lemon juice and regular milk
    1/2 c shortening Beth used butter
    1 egg
    1 t nutmeg
    1 c brown sugar
    1 t ground cloves
    1 t cinnamon
    1/2 c molasses
    3 c flour
    1/2 t salt
    1 c finely chopped nuts Beth used walnuts
    1 c raisins
    1 1/4 powdered sugar Beth used more
    4 t water Beth used more

    Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray.

    Dissolve baking soda in sour milk in a large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients except powdered sugar and water.  Spread batter in a greased jelly roll pan.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes.

    Mix powdered sugar and water together and drizzle over warm bars.  Cool and cut into squares.

    Saturday, February 3, 2018

    Jalapeno Garlic Onion Hamburgers

    These were quick and easy to mix up. I didn't use a full Texas jalapeno, since they are very large. I really liked the flavor!
    DSC_0196

    Jalapeno Garlic Onion Hamburgers

    1 jalapeno, finely chopped Can use less
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 Small Onion -- chopped
    1 pound ground beef

    Mix all ingredients together and form into 4 patties.  Grill until done.  Can top with your preferred cheese.  YUM!

    Friday, February 2, 2018

    Toffee Oat Cookies

    These were quite tasty! See my changes in bold.
    DSC_0194

    Toffee Oat Cookies

    Taste of Home Cookie Book

    3/4 cup butter, softened
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    2-1/4 cups oats
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 package English toffee bits (10 ounces) or almond brickle chips (7-1/2 ounces) Beth used chocolate covered toffee bits




    1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in toffee bits.

    2. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.Beth used a cookie scoop. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: about 4 dozen.

    Thursday, February 1, 2018

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    I made this to have on hand for a snack. It is very good. I made it with ranch dressing this time so everyone here would eat it!
    DSC_0191

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Peggy Foster, Taste of Home

    1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
    1 cup cooked chicken breast
    1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce
    1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese salad dressing
    2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese


    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread cream cheese into an ungreased shallow 1-qt. baking dish. Layer with chicken, wing sauce and salad dressing. Sprinkle with cheese.

    2. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with baguette slices. Yield: about 2 cups.