Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pizza Fries

When I stumbled across this recipe, I KNEW we would make this one! What's not to love about cheese, fries and sauce?? I was right. These were a great snack(or meal).  We DID have to cook them longer than the 10 minutes---about 30 to get to where they were hot enough.

Pizza Fries

Bag of frozen straight cut fries (I used crinkle
15 oz jar pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Bake 1/2 package of frozen fries according to directions on bag.

Place cooked fries in the bottom of a round foil take away container or an 8x8 square baking pan. Heat pizza sauce in a small saucepan on stove over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Pour pizza sauce on top of fries in pan.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over top of the pizza sauce. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Let fries cool at least 10 minutes before digging in. YUM! :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Italian Bread

I was in the mood to bake bread and this fit the bill! This recipe is very easy to make and tasted great.
Italian Bread

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 T. shortening, melted or oil
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
4 c. flour

Sprinkle yeast on water in large bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt, and half of flour. Stir to combine.

Add melted shortening and rest of flour. Mix well. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 minutes.

Place dough into a greased bowl in warm place and cover with towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down and knead for one minute. Divide in half and shape in loaves (roll up and pinch very tightly).

Place on greased cookie sheet, seam side down, slice top with white sharp knife, then cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Can be brushed with butter afterwards or brushed with egg white before and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

Allow to cool on a rack for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

We made these while Jenna was home for Christmas break. Everyone loved them and they will be a go to baked donut recipe. I don't think our cream cheese was room temperature when we did the glaze--thus the chunks! Still tasted great!
Baked Cinnamon Bun Donuts with Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

For the Donuts

1 c all-purpose flour
4 tbsp white sugar
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon (add more if you like cinnamon or want a stronger ‘cinnamon bun’ taste)
1/2 tsp salt, optional
6 tbsp buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter, melted

For the Glaze
1/2 c (or more) powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (use more if you like a stronger vanilla flavor)
1/4 tsp+ cinnamon, optional
1-2+ tsp Water, Milk, Half and half or cream
For the Donuts

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease or cooking-spray the donut pan (or muffin tin).

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon (and salt).

Add buttermilk, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Whisk or stir to combine.

Use a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off) to pipe the batter into a 6-donut pan. Or just be extra neat and do this with a spoon which is what I did.

Bake 8 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven, until doughnuts spring back when touched or until dough is set. Donuts will not be golden brown, but should be springy.

Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan, about 5 minutes.

For the Glaze

While donuts are baking or cooling, make the glaze by combining powdered sugar, room temperature softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and milk/cream/water. Whisk or stir to combine, adding the liquid, one teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

Dip the donuts into the glaze while warm (or cool).

Add a final dusting of cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, or cinnamon-sugar mixture; sprinkles, or other extras at end, as desired.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crock pot Cajun Cabbage

I saw this recipe and knew we would like it here at our house. I cooked the meats the night before and I put it on just before we left for church and it cooked 4 ish hours on low. Next time I will cook it at least 5-5 1/2 hours so the cabbage wilts a bit more. I sent some to a friends house and she and her husband both loved it.

Crock pot Cajun Cabbage
Crockin’girls on facebook
Cabbage, one head, chopped (not too small)
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 lb. ground sausage, browned and drained
1 large onion chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Ro-Tel
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded.
Layer in crock pot cabbage, ground beef, ground sausage, onion, diced tomatoes, and Ro-Tel. Cook for 4 hours on low or until cabbage is tender; then stir ingredients together and sprinkle shredded cheese over top. Replace lid and continue cooking until the cheese has melted.
Sever with piping hot cornbread.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chili Con Queso El Dorado

I saw this in my newest magazine and new we would like it. It was delicious. It makes quite a bit and heats well one time. It seems to separate if heated too many time.
Chili Con Queso El Dorado
Carolyn Kumpe--Simple and Delicious Dec 2011/Jan 2012

1 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 cans (5 ounces each) evaporated milk
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce
Tortilla chips

In a large saucepan, saute onions in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add chilies and chipotle peppers; cook 2 minutes longer. Gradually stir in milk; heat through.

Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted. Stir in the cilantro, salt and pepper sauce. Serve warm with tortilla chips. Yield: 4 cups.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

S'Mores Dip

How can a dip with 3 ingredients taste so yummy? This one fits the bill to a 't'. We dipped 'nilla wafers in this dip. It is very good warmed up, but it will turn brown when totally mixed up. You will be tempted to eat this by the spoonfuls--I won't tell!

S 'Mores Dip

1 - 13 oz jar of Marshmallow Fluff (two of the smaller 7 oz jars will work too)
1 - 14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 Cup of Milk Chocolate Chips

First, pour the Marshmallow Fluff into whatever container you are going to serve the dip in. Doing this now gives it time to spread out and settle.
In a separate bowl combine the Chocolate Chips and the Sweetened Condensed Milk. Make sure the bowl is microwave safe!
Mix together until all of the Chocolate Chips are coated. Add the mixture to the microwave for about 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir quickly. You'll end up with a wonderful hot fudge-like mixture.
Pour a little more than half of the fudgey chocolate over the Marshmallow Fluff in your serving dish. You can use more or less...it's totally a preference thing!
Next, I used a spatula to fold the Fluff onto the Fudge so we had chocolate all through the dip

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bacon Crisps

These were very tasty. How can one go wrong with cheese, buttery crackers and bacon? A must for our next football party!
Bacon Crisps
Paula Deen

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound sliced bacon -- cut in half
1 sleeve Waverly Wafers or other buttery crackers(We used Ritz)

Preheat the oven to 250F.
Place 1 teaspoon of the cheese on each cracker and wrap tightly with a strip of bacon (no toothpick required!).
Place the wrapped crackers on a broiler rack on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet on the oven rack; bake for 2 hours, or until the bacon is done.
Do not turn.
Drain on paper towels.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

These can be frozen after they're cooked.
Place the frozen crisps on a baking sheet and reheat them for 5 minutes in a 350F oven.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cranberry Meatballs

I made this recipe, but only made one pound of meatballs. They nearly drowned in the sauce! I had some jalapeno sausage that I cut into chunks and added to the crockpot. Don really liked it. Can be a main meal or used as an appetizer. I don't remember where I found this recipe--somewhere on the internet.

Cranberry Meatballs

Make your meatballs like you normally would with whatever recipe you have. But make sure they are baked or fried before adding the following mixture to them. Or you can buy already made meatballs and use them in the following recipe. If I am using the frozen meatballs, I do not thaw them. I place them in the roaster or slowcooker and add the following sauce and let them cook.

In a separate bowl combine

l lb. cranberry sauce, jellied or whole berry
1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
12 oz. chili sauce
l Tbsp lemon juice.

Blend together.

Then stir in the meatballs to coat.  Use at least 3 # of meatballs or add sausage

Place meatballs and sauce in the slowcooker and bake for one hour or longer depending on the amount of meatballs. You can place the sauce and meatballs in a roaster or casserole dish with a lid. Bake at 350 for one hour. Either way stir your meatballs and sauce to evenly coat everything together.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

This is another recipe we saw the Pioneer Woman bake. We had some fresh blackberries that we needed to use and this turned out perfect!
Blackberry Cobbler
1 stick Butter
1-1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Self-Rising Flour(We made our own by adding 1/2 salt and 1 1/2 t baking powder)
1 cup Milk
2 cups Blackberries (frozen Or Fresh)

Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together. Butter a baking dish.
Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.
Posted by on July 3 2009

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pico De Gallo

I saw Mike had posted this recipe on Facebook and we had the ingredients. We made half a batch and it was still a lot. It is a good thing we LOVE Mexican food! This gets better as it sits, so make it ahead of time. You won't be disappointed!
Pico de Gallo
Mike Siehr

5 pounds Roma tomatoes diced small
2 bunches garden onions diced fine
1 red onion diced fine
2 Jalapeno peppers finely chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
juice of 3 limes
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Mix in bowl chill in fridge for 2 hours mixing it up every half hour, serve with chips.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Syrup in the Crockpot

I saw this and KNEW I had to try this. I so love my crockpots! I doubled this recipe and put them in jelly jars. I got 7 jelly jars out of this. We opened a jar and stirred it well and poured over ice cream! Yum.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup in the Crockpot

2 cups of white granulated sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix together the sugar, cocoa and salt. After they are well incorporated add the water. Stir until everything has been moistened.  Now add your vanilla extract and just stir to incorporate.

Equally half the mixture between two pint sized canning jars. Wipe the rims so that they are clean and apply the lid and ring. 

Line the crock pot with a dish cloth or dish towel. Place the two jars on top of the towel so that they will not be touching. Turn the crock pot to high.

Pour warm water (I just used water straight from the tap) over the jars until they are covered completely.

Place the lid on and watch for the water to come to a boil. Once the water comes to a complete boil,(It took about  1.5 hours) let it cook for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. This will completely dissolve the sugar and make the syrup a nice consistency.

Once the water has been boiling long enough turn the crock pot off and carefully remove the lid. Using an oven mit or pot holder in one hand and a pair of tongs or jar lifter in the other, remove the jars from the crock pot and place on a kitchen towel. Let them sit away from any drafts, fans or major air flow over night.

Now you have homemade chocolate syrup to use in or on anything you'd like.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Next Day Tex-Mex Casserole

This was another recipe from the Jelly Roll Cookbook. It was fast and easy to put together--just need to remember to make it the night before you need it.
Next Day Tex-Mex Casserole
Jelly Roll Pan cookbook

1 14.5 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 1/2 c milk(divided)
12 eggs
1 1/2 t salt
7-8 slices bread, cubed
3 c shredded cheddar cheese
sliced jalapenos(opt)
sour cream(opt)

Spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Drain off juice from tomatoes into a glass measuring cup; reserve tomatoes.  Add enough milk to the juice to make 1 cup of liquid--set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Add tomato juice mixture, salt and remaining 2 cups milk.  Arrange bread cubes in the jelly roll pan.  Spread reserved tomatoes over bread layer.  Sprinkle 2 cups of cheese over tomatoes and bread.  Pour egg mixture over the layers in pan.  Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.  Sprinkle a few sliced chiles over top, if desired.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Heat oven to 350.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned on top.  Let cool slightly before cutting into serving pieces.  Serve with sour cream and salsa as desired.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pancake and Sausage Casserole

My mom brought down a Jelly Roll Cookbook she had gotten. I want to try almost all of them! The day they left we tried two breakfast recipes. What WAS I thinking??? We gave some away since we could only eat so much! This recipe is great and tastes like you are eating pancakes.
Pancake and Sausage Casserole
Jelly roll pan cookbook

1-16 ounce package bulk pork breakfast sausage
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4  teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat the baking dish in the oven.
2.     Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain.

3.     Mix the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla to form a batter. Add the sausage and stir. Pour into the preheated baking dish.
4.     Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the dish comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting to serve.   Serve with butter and syrup.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bite Sized Apple Pies

I saw this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine just as we were getting our apples from my parents in Wisconsin. We finally made these after Christmas and these were wonderful! We will be making these again. They are best eaten on the same day since the crust gets soggy if you try to save them.

Bite Sized Apple Pies
Taste of Home magazine

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 package (14.1 ounces) refrigerated pie pastry
3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
2 medium tart apples, each cut into 8 wedges

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside 1 tablespoon. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry. Brush with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

Cut each sheet into eight 1-in. strips, about 8 inches long. Wrap one strip around each apple wedge, placing sugared side of pastry against the apple.****Beth cut 16 strips since her apples were small.

Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with remaining butter; sprinkle with reserved sugar mixture. Bake at 425° for 13-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve warm.
Yield: 16 servings.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

I needed whole berry cranberry sauce for an appetizer recipe I was making and didn't have any in the pantry. I found this recipe and made it. It was good, just a bit thinner than the canned version.

Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce


1 lb fresh cranberries (Beth used 12 oz bag)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, cover, then turn to medium heat.
Continue cooking until all the berries pop.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Refrigerate until cold, or serve warm.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Caramel Apple Marshmallow Tarts

These were delicious! Don really really really liked them. We didn't eat them all that night and put them in an airtight container. That was a mistake since the crusts got soggy. We know now not to do that next time. There WILL be a next time!
Caramel Apple Marshmallow Tarts

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 cup apple pie filling (from 21-oz can) We diced this smaller
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
3 tablespoons caramel topping
Heat oven to 400°F. Unroll pie crusts on work surface. With 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut 4 rounds from each pie crust.***We got more than 4 rounds using a wide mouth jar ring

Spoon about 2 tablespoons pie filling onto center of each pie crust round. Firmly fold edge of crust over sides of filling, ruffling decoratively. Place on ungreased large cookie sheet. ****We put each round into a muffin tin and it worked great!

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle marshmallows over filling. Bake 3 to 4 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed and just beginning to brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Just before serving, drizzle about 1 teaspoon caramel topping over each tart.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Sweet Corn Fritters

    We had some leftover corn and Jenna found this recipe. They are very good and not hard to put together. Eat them plain or with sour cream, like a baked potato.

    Sweet Corn Fritters

    2 large ears fresh sweet corn (or 1 packed cup of thawed, drained, frozen corn)
    2 large eggs
    1/4 cup whole milk
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
    1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    peanut oil for frying (may substitute canola) ****We used vegetable oil

    Over a large bowl, using a sharp knife, carefully shave the corn kernels off the cob. With the back of the knife, scrap the milky juice from the cob into the bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk into the corn until thoroughly combined. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Pour into the bowl of the corn mixture, and stir with a spatula to form a thick batter.

    Pour oil about 3/4-inch deep into a heavy-duty skillet. Over med-high heat bring oil to 375°F. When oil is hot, drop rounded tablespoons of batter carefully into the oil. Don’t crowd, the fritters should not touch each other. Best done in two batches. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until the corn fritters are golden brown. Drain on paper towels or wire rack. Salt if desired, and serve corn fritters immediately.

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    Sweet and Sour Cabbage

    This recipe comes from my sister's blog. We made this for Christmas lunch, too. The red cabbage makes a pretty presentation and also tastes great!

    Sweet and Sour Cabbage

    1 head red cabbage
    1/2 lb. bacon
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. vinegar
    salt and pepper

    Cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and add cabbage to bacon drippings. Cook cabbage until wilted. ( I added a lid). Add sugar and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Crumble bacon and add to cabbage.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Bacon Breadstick Focaccia

    I saw this recipe in early November and new I would make this when Jenna was home over Christmas break. It was very easy to put together---just don't fry the bacon too crisp so it can still bend. Everyone liked this.
    Bacon Breadstick Focaccia
    1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated breadsticks (12 breadsticks)
    10 slices packaged precooked bacon (from 2.1-oz package)
    1 egg, beaten
    1 slice packaged precooked bacon, finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, if desired
    Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough; separate into 12 strips. Starting at center of ungreased cookie sheet, coil bacon slices with dough strips into a loose spiral, pinching ends together securely as strips are added.

    Drizzle or brush egg over dough, using all of egg to fill crevices. Sprinkle with chopped bacon and parsley.

    Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Cut into wedges; serve warm.

      Thursday, January 12, 2012

      Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

      While my parents and sister were here, we watched the Pioneer Woman make these on a Christmas special.  Having only eaten brussel sprouts once in my life(and I think raw from the garden) I knew I wanted to try these.  We fixed them for Christmas dinner and we all were pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed these

      Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries
      Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond

      3 pounds Brussels sprouts
      1/2 cup olive oil
      1 cup balsamic vinegar
      3/4 cup sugar
      1 cup dried cranberries

      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

      Trim/clean the Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half. Arrange on 2 baking sheets and toss with the olive oil. Roast until brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

      Combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and reduce until very thick.

      Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the roasted sprouts, then sprinkle on the dried cranberries.

      Wednesday, January 11, 2012

      Italian Drip Beef

      I was looking for a different Italian Beef recipe and found this by the Pioneer Woman. It was easy to put together and tasted great. I did change this up by using my crockpot(can you believe it? )We served this on homemade hamburger buns with a side of German Potato Salad.

      Italian Drip Beef
      Adapted from  Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman

      1 whole Beef Chuck Roast, 2.5 To 4 Pound
      1 can Beef Consomme Or Beef Broth
      3 Tablespoons (heaping) Italian Seasoning
      1 teaspoon Salt
      ¼ cups Water
      ½ jars (16 Oz) Pepperoncini Peppers, With Juice
      Buttered, Toasted Deli Rolls
      Provolone cheese

      Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot or dutch oven.(Beth put this in a crockpot) Stir lightly to combine seasoning with the liquid.
      Cover and bake in a 275 degree oven* for 5 to 6 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart. **If meat is not yet tender, return to oven for 30 minute intervals till it’s tender!**(Beth cooked in crockpot on low all day)

      Remove from oven. With two forks, completely shred all meat, leaving no large chunks behind. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a simmer on the stove.

      Tuesday, January 10, 2012

      Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

      We were getting ready to start our fondue night on Christmas eve, when I discovered no shrimp sauce for the breaded shrimp. I found this recipe and it tastes just like store bought! Loved it and had everything in my fridge or pantry to make this!
      Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

      1/2 cup catsup
      1/2 cup chili sauce
      1/2 teaspoon horseradish (I used horseradish sauce)
      3 -4 drops Tabasco sauce
      Mix all ingredients together and serve! 

      Monday, January 9, 2012

      Cranberry Caramelized Onion Cheese Spread

      I was on a cranberry kick this holiday season. I saw this recipe and it had everything I loved in it. I made this and took it to a party. It was very good.
      Cranberry Caramelized Onion Cheese Spread T
      Taste of Home Cooking School Cook Book
      Posted by jd_az

      1 package (8oz) cream cheese, soften
      4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
      1 cup (4oz) finely shredded cheddar cheese
      2 teaspoons vegetable oil
      1 medium onion, sliced, quartered
      1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
      1 cup ocean spray fresh or frozen cranberries
      1/4 cup water
      1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
      1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
      assorted crackers

      Combine cream cheese and blue cheese in a medium mixing bowl; beat until smooth and creamy. Add cheddar cheese; beat until well blended. Spread in shallow serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

      Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 2-4 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in 1 tsp sugar. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until onion is soft and golden, stirring occasionally. Remove onion from skillet; set aside.
      In the same skillet, combine cranberries, remaining sugar and water. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture thicken, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar and onions. Cool slightly.

      To serve, bring cheese spread to room temperature. Spoon cranberry mixture over cheese spread; sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with crackers. Yield: 24 servings.

      Sunday, January 8, 2012

      Crockpot Peanut Clusters

      Every year at Christmas, I usually just melt chocolate and add nuts. I saw this recipe and since I LOVE heath bars, knew I wanted to try this. We did a candy mold making day and I used the left over melted chocolate to drizzle over the tops. We LOVED these. I followed the directions to a "T" and they turned out perfect. This makes a LOT!
      Crockpot Peanut Clusters

      1-16 oz jar (salted) dry roasted peanuts
      1-16 oz jar (unsalted) dry roasted peanuts
      1 Bar (sweet) German Chocolate - broken into pieces
      1-12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
      1-1/2 packs white almond bark(microwave until soft and runny) I used 36 oz
      1-12 oz bag butterscotch chips
      1-12 oz bag Heath candy chips
      1-Large Hershey candy bar (broken into pieces)

      Use a large crock-pot and place items in pot in order they are listed. Cook on low heat for two (2) hours. DO NOT LIFT LID during cooking time. After two hours stir well and spoon by heaping teaspoons onto waxed paper on a cookie sheet. MAKES A LOT!!, so have at least three cookie sheets prepared. Cool completely. Store in tight containers.

      Saturday, January 7, 2012

      Homemade Brown Sugar

      I have seen "recipes" floating around the internet for homemade brown sugar and thought it was neat.  I HAD to use this recipe one day when I was totally out and committed to make a recipe with brown sugar!  We made 4 cups worth and it tasted just like what you buy.

      Homemade Brown Sugar

      1 cup white sugar
      1T molasses(more if you want dark brown sugar)
      Mix well--I used a hand mixer and beat it for 2-3 minutes.

      Friday, January 6, 2012

      Soft Gingersnap Cookies

      I saw a few blogs saying that they HAD to make these cookies every year. They WERE very good. I love soft cookies and even Don, who likes crunchy cookies, liked these.

      Soft Gingersnap Cookies

      Yield: 3 dozen cookies

      2 1/4 cups flour
      1 tsp. baking powder
      1/4 tsp. salt
      1 tsp. ground ginger
      1 tsp. cinnamon
      1/2 tsp. ground cloves
      Pinch of fresh nutmeg
      3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
      1 cup light brown sugar
      1 egg
      1 tsp. vanilla
      1/4 cup molasses
      White sugar-to roll the cookie dough in

      1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
      2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients together.
      3. With a mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. This will take a couple of minutes.
      4. Add in the egg and vanilla extra. Mix until well combined.
      5. Add in the molasses. Mix until the molasses is combined with the other ingredients.
      6. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Add in a little at a time until all of the flour is mixed in.
      7. Form the dough into Tablespoon sized balls. Roll the dough in white sugar.
      8. Place the cookie dough balls on a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Make sure they are a couple inches apart.
      9. I pressed down on the cookies slightly to help them flatten out. If you like puffy cookies, don't press them down.
      10. Bake for 8 minutes and NO longer. You want them to stay soft! Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a cooling rack.

      Thursday, January 5, 2012

      Homemade Chocolate Granola

      I really liked this different granola. Don didn't care for it as a cereal, but Kathleen discovered it is great over ice cream and would be a great mix in for yogurt!

      Homemade Chocolate Granola

      1/3 cup brown sugar
      1/3 cup oil
      ½ cup honey
      ½ cup cocoa
      3 cups old fashioned oats
      4 cups quick cooking oats (you can use all old fashioned oats, but we like the texture with both kinds)
      1 cup chocolate chips
      In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, oil, and honey. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa.

      Place oats in a large bowl and stir in sugar/cocoa mixture. Spread into 2 9×13 pans.(or one jelly roll pan)

      Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in chocolate chips.

      Turn off oven and return granola to oven. (Yes you turn the oven off and place granola back in it. This helps the granola to finish cooking without over cooking it.)

      Leave in oven for 1-2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in sealed containers or jars.

      Wednesday, January 4, 2012

      Honey and Bacon Chicken Bites

      These were a hit as an appetizer for a Packer game. They were easy to put together and tasted great!
      Honey and Bacon Chicken Bites
      1 pound boneless chicken breasts
      20 thin bacon slices
      3 tbsp honey
      2 tsp coarse mustard
      fresh lemon juice

      Cut the chicken breast in thin strips

      Combine 3 tbsp honey with 2 tsp coarse mustard. Squeeze in some lemon juice about a tbsp or so. Wrap the bacon around the chicken strips.

      Place chicken in a roasting tray or on a cookie sheet.  Brush the chicken bites with half the marinade,  Bake them in a preheated oven at 425F (225C) for 10 to 13 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.  Flip them over and brush them with the remaining marinade.
      Put them back in the oven for another 10 to 13 minutes, until the other side is crispy as well. Keep an eye on them

      Tuesday, January 3, 2012

      Creamy Cauliflower Soup

      We had some cauliflower we needed to use up and went looking through cookbooks. This was easy, but we thought lacked flavor so we added spices(see end of recipe) and it was much tastier. I think we could have added a bit more potato flakes to make it a bit thicker.
      Creamy Cauliflower Soup
      Veggie Meals by Rachael Ray

      1 medium head cauliflower, cored and separated into small pieces
      1 small onion, chopped
      1 qt milk
      2 c water
      1T olive oil
      1 T butter
      salt and pepper to taste
      1/2 c instant potato flakes
      Place cauliflower, onion, milk, water, olive oil and butter in a deep pan over medium high heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. 

      Remove cover and mash cauliflower with a potato masher or hand blender.  Stir in potato flakes to thicken.  Adjust seasons.  Serve with toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

      **** We added 1/4 t nutmeg, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 t thyme and 1/2 c Parmesan cheese to this soup.

      Monday, January 2, 2012

      No Bake Cookies and Cream Bars

      These were quite tasty and very simple to make. I think they would be great sliced very thin and used as the chocolate base to S'mores!

      No Bake Cookies and Cream Bars

      One 16 oz package of Oreo
      5 cups Large Marshmallows
      4 tablespoons butter

      Place Oreos in food processor and pulse until ground. Melt marshmallows and butter in microwave until puffed(in a greased bowl)about 1 1/2- 2 minutes. Remove and pour in ground Oreo Cookies. Stir to combine then transfer to a foil lined 8×8 inch baking pan. Let set up for 10 minutes. Remove bars out of pan with edges of foil and cut into squares.

      Makes 9 large bars or 12 regular size bars

      I've linked this recipe at Sweet as Sugar

      Sunday, January 1, 2012

      Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli in Crock Pot

      This was a very good meal. Easy to put together and pretty much a meal in one!
      Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli in Crock Pot
      by Piece of Cake Recipes

      4-6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
      1 pound chopped fresh broccoli
      1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of broccoli soup
      1 cup milk
      2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
      salt and pepper to taste

      Layer chicken and rest of ingredients ( 1 1/2 cups cheese) in Crock Pot. On LOW heat, cook for 6-7 hours. Serve with white rice. Sprinkle the remaining shredded 1/2 cup of cheese on top of the dished up chicken.