Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cinnamon and Sugar Bake Donuts

We made these last week at school in the cooking class I am teaching.  This recipe makes 6 large donuts and 12 mini donuts.  Everyone liked them.
Cinnamon and Sugar Baked Donuts

For the donuts:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the topping:

1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray a donut pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, beat together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and melted butter until well combined.

4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well until combined.

5. Fill your donut pan 3/4 full and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the donuts spring back when touched. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the pan.

6. To make topping, mix together the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl.

7. Dunk each donut in melted butter to completely coat and the swirl around in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Peanut Bars

These were quick and easy to put together.  I used up some colored marshmallows that I had on hand and mixed them with regular mini marshmallows.

1 15.25 oz. yellow cake mix
1 egg
5 Tablespoons margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
10 oz. bag peanut butter chips
4 cups miniature marshmallows
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups rice cereal
2 cups salted roasted peanuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together cake mix, egg and margarine until crumbly. Pat cake mix mixture in an ungreased 13x9 pan. Cook 12 to 15 minutes until light golden brown. Take out of oven, add marshmallows evenly over top. Place back in oven 2 to 4 minutes, watching carefully not to brown, until just puffed. Take out of oven to cool. While cooling, start topping. **** In a saucepan combine sugar, water, peanut butter chips. Heat until just melted, stirring to prevent sticking and burning. Stir in vanilla extract, then rice cereal and roasted peanuts. Work fast, it will set and be difficult to spread if it gets hard. Spread over marshmallows. Cool in refrigerator to set topping. Remove from refrigerator and keep at room temperature. ****Beth melted the peanut butter chips, water and sugar in the microwave.  I found I just needed 1 minute to get them to melt.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nacho Chicken Cheese Spread

This was very easy to put together using leftover grilled chicken.  I cubed it fine instead of shredding it.  We all liked this cold appetizer as a change from all the warm appetizers.
Nacho Chicken Cheese Spread

1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup canned corn, drained
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chili peppers, drained

1. In medium bowl stir together cheese, chicken, sour cream and taco seasoning. Stir in corn and chili peppers. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers. YIELD: 20 servings


Monday, October 28, 2013

Espinaca Dip

I made this for an appetizer for a football party.  I liked it, Don said he like regular queso dip better. 

1 lb. of Velveeta cheese, cut in cubes
2  8 oz. cream cheese blocks, cut in cubes
1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies (drained)
1/2 onion (finely chopped)
1 – 1/2 cups of chopped frozen spinach
4 cubes of chicken bouillon
1/2 cup milk (add more if needed)
Chopped jalapeno to desired heat (online recipes indicate 1/2 cup--I used 1/4 cup

Place all in a crockpot and heat through.Beth cooked it for 2-3 hours on high. Serve with tortilla chips or strips.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Treasure Chest Bars

These were easy to make and tasted great.  I did not chop the nuts, and next time will chop them roughly.  I chopped the cherries into 1/4's. 
Treasure Chest Bars

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1 cup maraschino cherries, cut in half
1 cup salted mixed nuts, broken
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in egg and vanilla until fluffy. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Then stir in cherries, nuts and chocolate chips. Spread into a greased and floured 15x10" jelly roll pan with sides. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes until golden and set.

1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2-3 Tbsp. milk

Melt butter in large saucepan, and then cook over medium heat, watching carefully, until butter begins to turn brown. DO NOT BURN!! Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to make a thin frosting. Frost bars while warm.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies

Kathleen made these while she was home over fall break.  I was in Dallas and came home and tasted them.  I do NOT like coffee at all, but these cookies were great--even with the coffee in them.  I didn't stop at one bite! :-)

Brown Butter Salted Caramel Mocha Cookies

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup caramel bits
3/4 cup Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, begin whisking constantly. When the butter turns brown, fragrant, and you see little brown bits at the bottom of the pan, immediately remove from heat and and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, coffee, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until well combined, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low-speed just until combined (It is a very thick batter. Don't be alarmed when it is hard to mix). Add the caramels and chocolate chunks and stir until just combined.

4. Use a medium (1.5 tbsp) cookie scoop to place dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (I realized I should have pressed them down gently- they don't spread as much you would think) Bake at 350 for 10 minutes until edges just start to turn golden brown. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cool on a wire rack.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Apple Sheet Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

I made these to take to our FPU classes on Sunday morning.  Everyone liked them.  I thought they tasted like 'fall'.
Apple Sheet Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Apple Sheet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
2 cups peeled grated apples (about 3-4 medium apples)

Salted Caramel Frosting

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/3 cup half and half Beth used whipping cream
Pinch of cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or coarse salt
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and lightly dust with flour a 11" x 17" jelly roll pan and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and set aside.

3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition followed by vanilla extract and milk. Stir in grated apples. Gradually add in flour mixture until blended.

4. Spread batter evenly on prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 16-20 minutes until cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

5. Cool completely.

6. In a medium saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, half and half, and cream of tartar over medium heat stirring occasionally until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and stir frequently for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Let cool.

7. Add cooled caramel, reserving 1 tablespoon in a large bowl along with about one cup of confectioners sugar. Stir using an electric mixer medium speed until confectioners sugar is combined. Continue to add in confectioners sugar in about one cup at at time. Stir in milk until creamy.

8. Spread frosting on cooled cake. Drizzle with reserved caramel.

9. Serve with an additional sprinkle of fleur de sel (optional).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars

These were delicious.  I made them for a Packer game a week or so ago.  I served it with cool whip.
Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars
Cookie Layer
1 c. unsalted butter, room temp.
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Pumpkin Pie Layer
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp.
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 heaping tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree(15 oz can)
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.  For the cookie layer:  Cream together butter and brown sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until blended.  Spread/press cookie mixture evenly into baking pan.  For the pumpkin pie layer:  Cream together butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add the baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, flour and pumpkin puree and beat until well blended.  Spread evenly over cookie layer.  For the topping: Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over pumpkin layer.  Bake for 38-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Cut and serve.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Alfredo Dip

This was quick and easy to put together.  It tasted great, too.  We used Sourdough bread cubes as our dippers.
Alfredo Dip

1/2 cup butter {no substitutes}
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add heavy cream and garlic powder; heat to a simmer. Using a whisk; stir in salt, pepper, basil, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes, or until thickened; stirring occasionally. Pour sauce into a small serving bowl. Enjoy with bread sticks for dipping.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sourdough Bread for the Bread Maker

Here is yet another way to use that sourdough starter.  This is a wonderful tasting bread.  I actually cut this into cubes so we could use it to dip into an Alfredo Dip I made.
Sourdough Bread for the Bread Maker

1 1/4 cups sour dough starter
3/4 cups warm water
4 cups bread
1 3/4 tsp salt
3 TBS granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsp yeast

Add in order that your machine lists.  Makes a 2 pound loaf.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Spicy Ranch Crackers

I got this recipe about 4 years ago from a friend in a Bible Study group. Warning! These ARE addictive! You can adjust the amount of spice with adding less red pepper flakes, but it really isn't too spicy.

Spicy Ranch Crackers

1 box Saltine Crackers--all 4 sleeves
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
2 T crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/3 c vegetable or canola oil

Place the saltines in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag and dressing and red pepper flakes.  Mix up a bit. Add the oil and move the bag around to get everything mixed well.  Do NOT shake the bag or else the saltines will break. 

I just flipped the bag over and let it sit for 1/2 hour and then flip it again.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mixed Nut Bars

I made these for treats for FPU class last week.  Everyone liked them.
Mixed Nut Bars

2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 egg

6 cups fancy mixed nuts (no peanuts)(Beth bought the ones with peanuts in them)

1 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
9 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in the food processor.(Beth used a pastry cutter, but you could use 2 knives)
Process until the mixture is the size of small peas.

Mix in the egg.

Spray a jelly-roll pan (17 x 11) with non-stick spray; line with parchment. (Beth didn't do this)
Press the crust mixture into the pan and bake in the preheated oven 10-15 minutes, or until browned around the edges.

Remove from the oven and spread the nuts evenly over the crust.
Bring the honey and brown sugar to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the butter and whipping cream; let the mixture boil 1 minute stirring constantly.

Pour the mixture evenly over the nuts.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is caramelized and bubbling.
Cool the pan on a wire rack, then cut into squares

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Low Carb Pizza Quiche

I made this for dinner one night and then ate it for the rest of the week for breakfast!  A quick, easy dish!

Low Carb Pizza Quiche

By: Kent Altena at

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
½ small onion
1 red bell pepper
4 ounces pepperoni, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large frying pan, brown ground beef with onions, peppers, pepperoni, salt, and pepper. Drain excess fat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add cream and pepper, and beat together. Add shredded cheese to egg-cream mixture.

Grease a large casserole dish well. Layer the ground beef mixture, and then pour the egg cream over top.

Bake for 30 minutes covered, and the final 15 minutes uncovered.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hamburger Beef Jerky

I made a half batch of this and it filled my 6 tray dehydrator!  Don loves beef jerky and I had been looking for a 'homemade spice mix'.  He loved this! I did not let this sit overnight before using my 'jerky gun' and getting it drying.  Still had great flavor.
Hamburger Beef Jerky

5 lb ground beef
4 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
3 tsp onion powder
3 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
3 T brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 T liquid smoke

Mix meat with all the seasonings. Use hands to mix well. Marinade in fridge overnight.

Press onto parchment paper with hands, 1/4 inch thick. (Or use a jerky gun.)

Dry according to your dehydrator's instructions. Beth let it run all night and it was done in the morning.Flip the meat and rotate the racks halfway through drying time.

Store in freezer for long-term storage.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dark Choclate Cherry Pecan Brownies

I made these to take to school for my class.  The boys(and teachers) really liked them.  They were a dense, moist brownie.
Dark Chocolate Cherry Pecan Brownies

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 (3 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cherries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 13 X 9 pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder until well-combined. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese and sugar on medium high until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.
4. On low, gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture; beat 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips, nuts, and cherries. Spoon batter into pan, spreading evenly.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until edges are somewhat firm and set, and the middle still seems a little soft (do not wait until brownies are pulling away from the sides of the pan, a popular "how to tell when brownies are done" indicator). Do not over-bake, or brownies will be dry.
6. Cool in pan on wire rack. Let cool completely before cutting. Store leftovers tightly covered, refrigerate if desired. If you can wait, these brownies are better the next day.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Loaded Baked Cauliflower Casserole

I have a recipe on the blog that is similar to this one, but uses cream cheese.  I like this one because it uses sour cream and that seems to mix better for me.  Carol once again comes through with a great recipe.  Make sure to let it cool a bit before taking a bite(ask me how I know this! )

Carol Taste of Home BB

1 large head cauliflower, broken up into large florets
1-1 1/2 c. low fat Greek yogurt OR sour cream
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
4-5 green onions, thinly sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, divided
Salt and pepper to taste

Use your favorite method to cook the cauliflower florets until crisp-tender-I always steam it. I began testing it with a fork at about the 5 minute mark. The one I made took about 7 minutes to cook through. You don't want to cook it all the way through, because it will be spending some time baking in the oven.

Remove the cauliflower from the pan to a colander and let it cool while preparing the other ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 11x7-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt (or sour cream), 1/2 c. of the shredded cheese, half of the sliced green onions and half of the bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chop the cooked cauliflower into smaller pieces and gently stir it into the yogurt mixture, making sure all the pieces are coated. Depending on the size of the cauliflower you use, you may have to add a little more yogurt to coat the pieces. The head I used was quite large, so I added about 1 1/2 cups or maybe a little more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the cauliflower mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar and crumbled bacon over top.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with the remaining sliced green onions just before serving. 6-8 servings.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fresh Balsamic Crockpot Chicken

I put this in the crockpot one morning before school.  I used frozen, boneless, skinless thighs.  They were perfectly done after school!  We liked the flavor that this had.
Fresh Balsamic Crockpot Chicken

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley

Combine the dry ingredients together and rub them on the chicken. In the bottom of your crockpot place the olive oil and garlic. Put in your chicken next and pour balsamic vinegar over everything. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.. Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley over cooked chicken and enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Breakfast Meatballs

I made these to go along with eggs for breakfast this past week.  I used one cup of mild cheese and 1 cup of sharp cheddar.  This was a nice change from bacon.
Breakfast Meatballs

1 pound hamburger
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
1 - 2 cups shredded cheese
1 egg
Salt pepper, other spices you like
Montreal Steak Seasoning--Beth's addition

Mix all together well. Shape into one inch meatballs and bake at 350 degrees until done. 30 minutes or so.

Almost 0 carbs and a great on the go breakfast. Just put in a zip lock bag and pull out what you need.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

S'mores Cookie Bars

I made these to take for treats to our Tuesday night FPU class.  See my notes in the recipe as to baking times.  These were good, but ended up being a bit crunchier than I intended them to be.
S'mores Cookie Bars

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/4 cups flour
11 oz. dark chocolate chunks
1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows, divided
3 regular (or 2 large) sized Hershey bars, broken into pieces
2 sleeves (boxes usually come with 3) graham crackers, broken into squares

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Incorporate vanilla then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Gradually beat in flour mixture. Fold in dark chocolate chunks and 1 cup of marshmallows.
Lay out graham crackers on a large rimmed baking sheet leaving no gaps between them. Using an ice cream scoop, place balls of cookie dough on the graham crackers. Press out the dough to spread it out, but don’t worry about gaps as the dough will spread and fill the gaps in the oven.

Bake for 5 minutes then press Hershey pieces and 1/4 cup marshmallows on top. Bake for 5-7 more minutes.Beth would suggest to bake for 15 minutes the first bake.  I had to bake an extra 10-15 minutes in order for the cookie dough to get done and the marshmallows got quite brown.

Cool bars in pan. Cut through the cookie layer into squares, making sure to cut where the graham crackers meet. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.

Makes approx. 30 bars. Cookie dough can be made a day ahead of time and refrigerated, but should be taken out of the fridge 1-2 hours before adding to graham crackers to ensure the dough will spread during baking.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Chart House Restaurant Blue Cheese Dressing

This is a delicious blue cheese dressing.  I really liked how the flavors blended after sitting for a few days.
The Chart House Restaurant Blue Cheese Dressing

3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt (scant)
1/3 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
4 oz Danish blue cheese crumble

Serving size 6-8

Suggest letting flavors blend for 1-2 hours before serving

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fudge Peanut Butter Brownies

I made these to take to our two Sunday morning Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Classes.  Ironically I found the recipe on!  They were a great hit and I came home with only a few bars left!
Fudge Peanut Butter Brownies

1 cup of butter (2 sticks, no substitutions)
1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) jar peanut butter

1. Melt 1 cup butter and 1/3 cup cocoa in a saucepan over low heat until butter melts, stirring constantly.

2. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Combine sugar, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

4. Slowly add chocolate mixture and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.

5. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended. Do not over beat.

6. Spread mixture into a greased 15 x 10 inch jellyroll pan.

7. Bake in 350-degree oven for 25–30 minutes.. Don’t overcook.

Peanut Butter Topping
1. Spoon mounds of peanut butter across the top of the hot brownies. As peanut butter begins to soften and melt, gently spread evenly across the top of the hot brownies.

2. Let cool completely, and then chill for 30 minutes until peanut butter sets up firm.

Fudge Frosting
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup whole milk (no substitutions)
10 large marshmallows
1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar

1. Cook 1 stick of butter, milk and marshmallows in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until marshmallows melt.

2. Remove pan from heat and gradually sift in 1/4 cup cocoa, beating with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.

3. Sift powdered sugar and gradually stir into cocoa mixture with hand mixer until smooth.

4. Spread frosting over peanut butter; place back in fridge and chill at least another 20 minutes so fudge frosting will set.

5. If not serving immediately, cover with foil and keep in fridge.

6. To serve, trim off all of the edges of the brownies. Cut into small squares (these are very rich). Optional: Garnish each piece with 1/4 of a miniature peanut butter cup. Best served at room temperature.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chipotle Flour Tortillas

Our local grocery chain here in TX makes a Southwest Tortilla.  I saw this recipe and thought it looked just like those!  They were easy to make(though I needed more flour) and tasted great.  Don gave them two thumbs up. 
Chipotle Flour Tortillas

2/3 c. all purpose flour (8 oz.)*Beth used about 1 1/3 cup
1/4 t. sea salt
1/4 t. baking powder
3 1/2 T. canola oil
1/2 c. hot water (1 min. High in microwave)
1 1/2 t. chipotle in adobe sauce, blended smooth

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder. In another bowl, mix together hot water, oil and chipotle blend.
Pour water mixture over flour mixture. Knead by hand until a smooth ball is formed; do not knead longer than 3 minutes. Cover ball with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Cut dough into 1.5 oz or into 9 equal portions. Beth only made 8 tortillas. Shape into individual balls. Cover with plastic wrap.

Roll each ball into a 7-8” circle and cook in a non-stick skillet over med-hi heat till bubbles form; flip over and cook till light brown. Flip over one more time; put in tortilla warmer or covered in a clean kitchen towel.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

I wanted to try a different blue cheese dressing recipe.  If you like vinaigrette based dressings you will like this.  It was different, but good.
AlabamaNeeNee, TOH website

1/4 cup (60 ml) wine vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon style mustard
2 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh thyme or basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) crumbled blue cheese

Blend all ingredients together, except blue cheese. Crumble cheese in and toss with salad greens. Makes 3/4 cup


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

St. Louis Style Pizza

I wanted to try this recipe since we like thin-cracker like crust pizza.  It was good, but Don said he likes my other pizza dough better. It was easy to make, so give it a try if you like very thin crust.
St Louis Style Pizza

Rating: 51Crust:

2 cups unbleached self-rising flour*
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons water

*Substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt and increase the water to 1/2 cup


2/3 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded smoked provolone or mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
dried Italian or pizza seasoning

Preheat oven to 425°F and lightly grease two 12" round pizza pans, or a couple of large baking sheets.

Make the crust:

Mix the flour, oil, and water together - the mixture will be shaggy. Use your hands to gather it together and form into a ball. Divide it in two and form each half into a disk the rounder the better.
Cover with saran wrap and allow to rest 10 minutes to make for easier rolling - skip this step if you're in a hurry.
Grease a piece of parchment or wax paper about 12" square and set a circle of dough in the middle. Cover with another lightly greased piece. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough very thin - 1/8 inch or less.
Place the dough on the prepared pans. Top each pizza with 1/3 cup of the sauce.
Mix the cheeses together and sprinkle 1/2 over top of each then season with Italian herbs or pizza seasoning.
Bake the pizzas for 9 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted with a few golden brown spots and the edges/bottom of the crust are golden brown.
Remove the pizzas from the oven and let set 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into squares and serve immediately.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Butter Rum Zucchini Muffins

Carol from Taste of Home bulletin board is such a creative cook.  I have loved EVERY single recipe of hers that I have tried.  This was one of the best!  My 2nd garden only produced one zucchini from the 5 plants that looked so great--think the grasshoppers feasted on the plants.  I have enough zucchini to try the other new recipe Carol posted, so look for that in the next week or so!
Carol Taste of Home BB

3 large eggs
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 c. canola OR vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. butter extract
1 1/2 tsp. rum extract
2 c. unpeeled, shredded zucchini
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 (4 serving size) pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 (11 oz.) pkg. butterscotch chips
Raw sugar for sprinkling over tops of muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 12 jumbo OR 24 regular size muffin cups or spray them with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Shred the zucchini using the large whole side of a box grater. Place the shredded zucchini in a mesh strainer to drain; set aside while assembling the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla, butter and rum extract until well blended.

With your hands (or a potato ricer-it works great for this), squeeze the excess moisture out of the shredded zucchini, then stir it into the egg mixture.

In a medium bowl. whisk together the flour, pudding mix, salt, baking soda, baking powder; stir in the butterscotch chips. Add the flour mixture to the egg/zucchini mixture and stir just until combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups-a medium cookie scoop works great for this. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with raw sugar.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes for the jumbo muffins, 15-20 minutes for the regular muffins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes; run a butter knife around the edge of each muffin-don't wait too long or the butterscotch chips will cool and cause the muffins to stick to the muffin cups.  Gently lift the muffins out of the pans to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 12 jumbo muffins or 24 regular muffins.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn

This was fun to make and tasted great!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Popcorn
12 cups popped popcorn  Beth used 2 bags of microwave
2/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
2/3 cup jelly
1/8 teaspoon salt (optional)

Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.   Pop the popcorn and put into a larger bowl.

In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, jelly and salt over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat.

Drizzle some of mixture over popcorn and with a spoon or spatula, gently combine popcorn with mixture. Continue to drizzle mixture over popcorn and combine them until all of the mixture has been used and pretty much all popcorn has coating. Spread mixture out so it's in one layer as much as possible.

Bake for 30 minutes in the oven, stirring popcorn every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Cranberry Christmas Cake

This was a moist delicious cake. I doubled the recipe and made it in a jelly roll pan. I took it to church for our Financial Peace classes. Everyone really liked it.

Cranberry Christmas Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
12 oz fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread in a buttered 9x13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 43 minutes.) Let cool completely before cutting into small slices. I cut mine into fairly small pieces, about 1"x2", so that they could be easily eaten at a party. Enjoy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Crusty Sourdough Rye Bread

As you well know, I LOVE using my sourdough starter. I saw this recipe and had everything to make this bread. I am so glad I did. I put the starter, water and rye flour together in the morning before school and finished it up after school. This is DELICIOUS and made a rather large loaf!

Crusty Sourdough Rye Bread

1 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 (2 1/4 teaspoon) packets active dry yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds

Combine starter, rye flour, and one cup of the water in a large bowl; stir to blend; if you'd like an extra-sour flavor, cover mixture with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place 6-24 hours (I let mine go six hours) until bubbly and sour, even boozy, smelling.

Combine yeast and remaining water in small bowl; let stand about 5 minutes until foamy; stir into sourdough mixture; add whole-wheat flour, 1 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, and caraway seeds; stir (in Kitchen Aid stand mixer on low speed) until dough comes together.

Knead 9-10 minutes (in Kitchen Aid stand mixer on speed #2) until dough is smooth and springy; add more all-purpose flour, a tablespoon or two at a time during the kneading process as necessary to reduce excess stickiness (this particular dough will remain somewhat sticky); cover and let rise about 1 - 1 1/2 hours in a warm place until doubled.

Punch down dough and knead a few strokes to release air; shape into a round loaf and place on a baking stone or a greasing baking sheet; cover loaf lightly and allow to rise about 30 minutes until almost doubled.

Cut a couple small slashes about 3/4" deep on top of loaf; spray loaf with water and bake at 425° for 9 minutes, spraying loaf after 3, 6, and 9 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 400° and bake another 20-25 minutes until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom; transfer finished loaf to cooling rack.

NOTE: If you opt to let your starter and rye combination stand for several hours, you can get by without the additional yeast ~ Just plan on increased rising times.