Sunday, December 31, 2017

Root Beer Stewed Beef

I saw this recipe and made a few changes. We all loved it. I served it over mashed potatoes for Don and mashed cauliflower for me and Jenna.

Root Beer Stewed Beef
Adapted from

3-4 lbs chuck roast, fat trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 12 oz can root beer
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 cup beef stock

Put the onions, garlic, beef broth, and root beer in a slow-cooker that has been greased or has a liner, stir.

Place the beef cubes in the slow-cooker.

Cook in the crockpot on low for 8 hours.  If desired, thicken during the last half hour(on high) with 1/2 c water and 1/4 c flour(shaken together).  Serve over mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Low Carb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

These were very easy to make and Jenna and I LOVED them.

Low Carb Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into flowerets
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons water
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon pepper

1. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave cauliflower and water for 8-10 minutes or until tender.

2. Place cauliflower, garlic and butter in food processor or use a hand blender. Beth used this.
3. Add seasonings to taste. Pulse until contents are mostly smooth and scrape the sides as needed.

4. Serve immediately.

Serving size:1 serving (Total recipe makes 4 servings)
Protein 2.95g, Fat 12.40g, Cals 142, Carbs 8.05g, Fiber 3.10g -- NET CARBS: 4.95g

Friday, December 29, 2017

Loaded Dr Pepper Bars

I made these during a Packer game as my "stress baking" therapy. I sent them to work with Jenna. They were tasty, but very crumbly for some reason. The frosting was VERY good.

Loaded Dr Pepper Bars

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
5 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup Dr Pepper Beth used Diet
1½ cups flour
1¼ cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chocolate candies (M and M's)

Optional Toppings:

Crumbled chocolate sandwich cookies Beth used mini oreos
Crumbled toffee bar
Chocolate candies Beth used M and M's

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch pan.

Combine the melted butter and sugar; mix until combined. Add eggs, Dr Pepper, and vanilla, then whisk until fully incorporated. Add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, flour, and chocolate candies, stirring until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake the bars for 30–35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool, frost,(see recipe below) and decorate with desired toppings.

Dr Pepper Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup Dr. Pepper Beth used Diet
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat the butter until soft and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar and cocoa and continue mixing until combined. Stir together the Dr. Pepper and vanilla and very slowly pour it into the frosting, beating with the mixer on high speed to thin it down a bit. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jalapeno Popper Tater Tot Appetizer

I made this for a Sunday School Christmas party.  I thought we would serve it over crackers, but it was easier to eat with a fork.  Quite tasty!

Jalapeno Popper Tater Tot Appetizer

adapted from

 2 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature.
1 cup sour cream
2 cups Mexican Cheddar Jack Shredded Cheese, divided Beth used medium cheddar
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
3-6 Jalapeno Peppers, deseeded and diced
1 small can diced green chilies
2 lb. bag of tater tots
6 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Line a casserole dish with tater tots. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

3. While the tater tots are baking, cook bacon, blot fat away, and crumble into small pieces. Dice the peppers and slice the onions.

4. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, 1½ cups of Cheddar cheese, bacon (save a little bit for the topping), diced Jalapeno peppers, green chilies and most of the sliced onions (save a few for the top). Beat all ingredients with a mixer.

5. Spread the jalapeno mixture over the top of the tater tots.

6. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese. Sprinkle the extra bacon pieces and onion slices over the top.

7. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Serve with crackers or eat with a fork!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Molasses Ginger Cookie Blossoms

This is Don's aunt's recipe for Molasses cookies. I added the peppermint Hershey's kiss. They are great cookies with or without the kiss!
Molasses Ginger Cookie Blossoms
Don's Aunt Evie

1 c sugar
3/4 c shortening(part butter)
1 egg
1/4 c dark molasses
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t salt
1 package peppermint kisses.

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together.  Add the egg and molasses and cream well.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  

Roll into balls and dip in sugar

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.  Immediately top with a peppermint kiss.  Let cool completely.  Makes 3 dozen.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Rocky Road Candy

I had all the ingredients to make this and thought it was very good.

Christmas Rocky Road Candy

·        24 oz white almond bark(1 package)

·        2 sticks butter

·        1/2 cup corn syrup

·        3 teaspoons pure peppermint extract

·        1 ½ cups mini marshmallows

·        1 package m and m baking bits

·        1/2 cup nuts

·        Candy cane or other Christmas baking decorations.

1.     Place the white chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl.   Stir until melted. 

2.      Stir the mixture with a spatula or a whisk until the chocolate and butter have fully combined. Add the peppermint extract and allow to cool slightly. Add the nuts, m and m's and marshmallows and mix until just combined. Pour the mixture into a square container, and sprinkle some extra candies and cute icing decorations on top. Cover with aluminum foil and place this in the refrigerator til set.

3.     Slice the rocky road into bite-sized squares, and you're done!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Creamy Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken

This was quite easy to make and very tasty. I did NOT thicken the broth at the end. It was thick enough for us.

Creamy Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken

Adapted from

2 # chicken breasts or tenders
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp cut in cubes
1 cup chicken broth
1 package Ranch Dressing Mix, dry
chives, for garnish
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled for garnish

Put a crockpot liner in a 5-6 qt crockpot for easy cleanup. Add onion and garlic.  Top with the chicken. Add the cream cheese, broth and ranch dressing.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4. Take chicken out and thicken sauce with a slurry of 1 T flour to ¼ cup water if desired. Pour sauce over chicken and add bacon and chives for garnish.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I saw this recipe and changed a few things. I doubled it,(see in bold), took them to a Sunday School party and then Kathleen took the leftovers to work.  Everyone liked these!

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Yield: 9x9 baking dish

For the Cookie Bars:
3/4 c butter, softened
1/4 c shortening
1 c brown sugar
3/4 tsp tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, extra large
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c miniature chocolate chips
1/4 c crushed peppermint candy

1/4 c andes peppermint baking bits

For the Drizzle:
2 Tbs semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 T andes peppermint baking bits
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbs crushed peppermint candy

Preheat oven to 350º F and spray a 9"x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Use a 9 x 13 if doubling.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and shortening together.

Add the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, egg, vanilla and peppermint extract, beat until fluffy.

Stir in the flour until the dough comes together, fold in the mini chocolate chips, peppermint baking bits and crushed peppermint candy.

Press the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 16-18 minutes,(45-50 Minutes if doubling) until lightly golden.
Let cool in the pan completely.

To a small microwave safe bowl add 2 Tbs of chocolate chips and peppermint baking bits and oil, melt for 30 seconds, stir until smooth.

Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top and sprinkle on the 2 Tbs of crushed peppermint candy.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Buttermilk Blue Dressing

I was watching a cooking show on PBS early morning a few weeks ago. I looked up this recipe and tried it. It was a bit too lemony for me, so I will cut back on the lemon juice and make it again.

Buttermilk Blue Dressing

1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice(next time cut this back to half)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 ounces blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix all together.  Serve as salad dressing or dip.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fathead, Keto Rolls

Kathleen made these to go with dinner last week. They are delicious!

Fathead, Keto Rolls

2 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 egg beaten
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup almond flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 425°

In a small bowl, add cream cheese and mozzarella. Microwave on high for 20 seconds at a time until melted. 

In a separate bowl, whisk egg until beaten. Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Work mozzarella and cream cheese mixture into dough. Dough will be sticky. Stir in cheddar cheese.

Spoon dough onto plastic wrap. Dust the top of it with almond flour.

Fold the plastic wrap over the dough and gently start working into a ball.

Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Cut dough ball into 4. Roll each section into a ball. Cut the ball in half. This is your top and bottom bun !

Sit cut side down on parchment paper or very well greased sheet pan.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden and set up.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Kathleen found this recipe, so I made them. They have a little 'bite' to them, but are so good!

Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2¼ cups all purpose flour

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bow, beat the butter and sugars together until nice and fluffy.
Beat in cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and cayenne pepper until well blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
Stir in unsweetened cocoa and flour just until combined.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Use a cookie scoop to scoop out dough and use the palm of your hands to form into a ball. Roll the ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with your palm.
Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Crockpot Chocolate Covered Craisins

I love chocolate covered raisins, so wanted to try this. Be warned, make them small so you feel like you can eat more!
Crockpot Chocolate Covered Craisins

2-3# almond bark--dark
1 3 pound package craisins

Put ingredients in the crockpot and set on low.  Cook for 1 hour, stirring a few times.  Drop by tablespoons and let cool.  These are addicting!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Chicken Breasts, Stuffed and Baked

I had some asparagus I needed to use up so I came up with this recipe. I made 4 breasts and put blue cheese in 2 and Mozzarella in 2. This was very good.

Chicken Breasts, Stuffed and Baked
chicken breast
mozzarella cheese
blue cheese
bell peppers
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

Slice the bell pepper. Put 1 T olive oil in a pan and saute the bell pepper, onions, garlic and asparagus spears until just tender. Cool slightly.

Pound the chicken breasts until about ½ inch thick.  Sprinkle with seasonings. Place a few asparagus spears, bell pepper and onions over the chicken. Top with cheese of choice.  Fold over and secure with toothpicks or tie with string. Season outside of chicken, also.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken is done.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Banana Apple Bread

I have had this recipe for over 12 years and just made it a few weeks ago. I doubled the recipe and made up the frosting. Jenna took it to their new building down south and everyone loved it!

Banana Apple Bread
adapted from Jenn Poland via Southern Living 1985

1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c peeled, chopped apple
1 c mashed banana(3)
1 1/2 c flour 1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t apple pie spice
1 t vanilla

Frosting(enough for 2 loaves)
1/4 c peanut butter, smooth
2 T butter
1 c powdered sugar
1-2 T milk

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter. Gradually add sugar. Add eggs, one at a time and then add vanilla. Beat well. Stir in apples and banana.

Combine flour, soda, salt and apple pie spice. Add this to the creamed mixture, stirring until blended.

Spoon batter into a greased and bread pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack.

When cooled, spread frosting over bread.


Mix all ingredients together and then spread over cool bread.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sore Throat Remedy

A few weeks ago I had a very sore throat and tried this. I used white vinegar and it was hard to get down, but it worked. Next time I will use cider vinegar since I think that is more mild.

Sore Throat Remedy

2 T honey
2 T vinegar--next time I will use cider vinegar
2 T lemon juice
dash of cinnamon

Mix all together and heat in microwave.  Drink and your sore throat will go away!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Baked Cheesy Green Beans

I had green beans in the refrigerator and knew I would make this recipe. I am glad I did. Simple and tasty!

Baked Cheesy Green Beans
Adapted from

2 lb. green beans, cleaned with ends removed
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. mozzarella
2/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
kosher salt
pinch red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400°. Place green beans into a shallow baking dish or skillet. Pour cream over beans and mince the garlic over the top. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.

Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan and bake until beans are tender and cheese is melted, 25-30 minutes. If desired, broil until cheese is browned. Garnish with more parm and serve.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Crock Pot Greek Flank Steak

I put this together at about 10 am and it was nice and tender by 4:30 pm. We all really liked it.

Crock Pot Greek Flank Steak 

adapted from e meals

1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Greek seasoning  I used this
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (1#) flank steaks, cut in half
1 cup beef broth

Place onion in a 5 - 7 quart slow cooker. Stir together oil, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, Greek seasoning and cayenne pepper. Rub mixture over steaks and place on onions in the slow cooker. Add broth, cover and cook on low 8 hours.

Cut steak across the grain into thin slices.The meat was too tender to do this--it fell apart WITH the grain.  Thicken sauce if desired. Serve steak with onions and gravy from slow cooker.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Creamy Turkey Soup

I boiled the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving and made this soup. Don and I really liked it.

Creamy Turkey Soup
Adapted from

1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup flour
6 cups turkey broth, divided ( or chicken bouillon)
2 cups milk or 2 cups cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
12 oz kluski egg noodles

Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic in butter until soft, not brown. Add flour and mix well.

Gradually add 2 cups broth and milk. Cook and stir until it thickens.

Stir in remaining 4 cups broth, and all remaining ingredients. Simmer 10-12 minutes until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Self Rising Buttermilk Biscuits

We made these for Thanksgiving Day. They were quite tasty and freeze well.
Self Rising Buttermilk Biscuits

½ cup cold butter
2¼ c self rising flour
1¼ c buttermilk
flour for dusting
melted butter

1. Cut butter into flour with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a ¾-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over into itself, like you are folding a piece of paper into a letter, in three sections. Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a ¾-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

3. Press or pat dough to ½-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Try to make sure they touch because this will help them rise higher.

4. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Vegetable Ranch Dip

I had all the ingredients to make this, so this was another appetizer we made for Thanksgiving. It was very good.
Vegetable Ranch Dip

2 bars (8 oz each) cream cheese or use a 7.5 oz tub of chive and onion spread + 1 bar of cream cheese
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can (2.25 oz) chopped olives
1 packet (1 oz) ranch seasoning mix, regular or buttermilk

Combine softened cream cheese  with all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.

Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving. Overnight is best.

Serve with your favorite crackers

    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Slow Cooker Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

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

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

    Line a slow cooker with a bag for easy cleanup.

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

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

    Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

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

    Poor Man’s Burnt Ends 

    adapted from

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

    Simple Beef Rub

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Saturday, December 9, 2017

    Smoked Whole Turkey

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

    Smoked Whole Turkey
    Adapted from

    Dry Brine

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

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

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

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

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

    Preheat smoker to 300°F.

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

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

    Friday, December 8, 2017

    Turtle Bundt Cake

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

    Turtle Bundt Cake

    Adapted from Betty Crocker


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    Pecan Pie Blondies

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

    Pecan Pie Blondies

    For the blondies

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

    For the pecan layer

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Wednesday, December 6, 2017

    Cranberry Cream Cheese Banana Bread

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

    Cranberry Cream Cheese Banana Bread
    Adapted from

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    Spicy Baked Chicken Thighs

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

    Spicy Baked Chicken Thighs
    adapted from

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

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

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

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

    Bake 45 minutes at 375°F.

    Monday, December 4, 2017

    Chickpea Green Curry

    Kathleen made this. It was very good. Next time we will chop the vegetables into smaller pieces.
    Chickpea Green Curry

    2 tbsp coconut oil
    1/2 of an onion, chopped
    1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
    1 clove of garlic, chopped
    3 tablespoons green curry paste
    1 can of coconut milk
    1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    2 cups of mixed vegetables (we used Stir Fry that had green beans, water chestnuts, squash, broccoli and carrots)
    2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

    Sweat the onions and green pepper in the coconut oil until translucent. Add the garlic and green chili paste and cook for about 30 seconds.

    Add the coconut milk and mixed vegetables, cook for 5-10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Stir in the garbanzo beans and cook a minute more.

    Sprinkle with cilantro before serving over rice.

    Sunday, December 3, 2017

    Sea Salt Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I made these for Don's lunches. They taste great! I had to bake them for 18 minutes for crunchy cookies!

    Sea Salt Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Adapted from

    1 c. peanut butter—Beth used ½ creamy and ½ crunchy
    1 c. butter, at room temperature
    1-1/2 c. packed brown sugar
    1/2 c. granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. sea salt
    1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
    1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 c. peanut butter chocolate chips
    sea salt

    Preheat oven to 350° F.

    In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl 2 to 3 times. Add peanut butter and incorporate. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in all three chocolates.

    Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet, about 2” apart. Sprinkle dough with sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, Beth baked for 16-18 minutes for crunchy cookies, or until golden brown.. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

    Saturday, December 2, 2017

    Pralines and Caramel Sheet Cake

    I made this for Jenna to take to work for her " day before her birthday treats" since she was to be out of the office on her birthday.  Everyone loved this!

    Pralines and Caramel Sheet Cake
    adapted from


    1½ cups chopped pecans
    ¾ cup brown sugar

    1 cup butter
    1 cup water
    2 cups brown sugar
    ½ cup buttermilk
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 t salt
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups flour

    Caramel Frosting

    6 Tablespoons butter
    ½ cup heavy cream
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 cups powdered sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla


    Lay a sheet of parchment paper on flat surface.
    Heat medium size skillet over medium high heat. Place pecans in skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add brown sugar and stir constantly until brown sugar is melted, about 5 minutes, and coats the pecans. Dump the nuts onto parchment paper and separate the nuts while they cool.  You will used these on top of the frosting.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, water and shortening. Bring to a boil. After mixture reaches a boil, remove from heat.  Stir in brown sugar and continue to stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add buttermilk, then baking soda, then eggs, then vanilla in that order, mixing in-between each addition.  Add flour and stir until smooth.

    Pour into a greased 15x10x1 inch cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 15- 20 minutes.
    Allow cake to cool.
    Caramel Frosting
    While cake is cooling combine butter, cream and brown sugar in medium sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat and stir in powder sugar and vanilla.
    Pour frosting evenly over top.  Sprinkle with pralines.

    Friday, December 1, 2017

    Chicken with Garlic Herb Butter Sauce

    This was quick and very easy. I will make this again for sure. You could serve this over noodles.
    Chicken with Garlic Herb Butter Sauce
    Adapted from

    4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins—Beth used 8
    1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/3 cup chicken stock
    4 Tbsp butter, divided
    1 T chopped dried sage
    1 T chopped thyme
    1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

    1. Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pound thicker parts of chicken with the flat side of a meat mallet to even their thickness.

    2. Dab chicken dry with paper towels, then season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil to skillet, then add chicken.

    3. Cook chicken about 5 - 6 minutes per side or until center registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Transfer to a plate.

    4. Reduce burner temperature slightly, then melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter in same skillet. Add in garlic and sage and saute until garlic is golden brown, about 30 seconds.

    5. Pour in chicken broth and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Dice remaining butter into 3 pieces then add to skillet along with thyme and rosemary. Stir until butter is melted.

    6. Return chicken to pan and spoon sauce over top. Serve warm.

    Thursday, November 30, 2017

    Better Than Anything Chex Mix

    Kathleen wanted something sweet the other night. I had pinned this recipe a long time ago and we adapted it to our liking. It is addicting!
    Better Than Anything Chex Mix 
    adapted from

    8 cups Chocolate Chex cereal
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    6 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons light corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup mini chocolate chips
    1 cup mini marshmallows
    1/2 cup caramel bits
    2 Tbsp heavy cream
    1/2 cup MILK chocolate baking chips 
    1/2 cup white chocolate baking chips
    1 tsp coarse sea salt

    Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.

    In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.

    Make sure Chex mixture is cool to the touch.  Evenly sprinkle mini m and m's and miniature marshmallows over Chex mixture.

    In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and 1 T cream uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack.

    Microwave the milk chocolate baking chips next, with 1 T cream, starting with 20-seconds and stirring, then at 20 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth. Drizzle over the snack mixture.

    Then microwave the white baking chips in 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth, and drizzle that over the snack mixture. Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all while candy drizzles are still wet.

    Let cool and then break apart and store in tightly covered container.

    Wednesday, November 29, 2017

    Cinnamon Almond Pancakes

    I was hungry for pancakes the other night, so after putting a few different recipes together, came up with his for dinner! This recipe can easily be cut in half, but fed our family of 4 with a few pancakes left over!

    Cinnamon Almond Pancakes

    2 c almond flour
    4 eggs
    2 T Splenda or other sweetener
    4 T vegetable oil
    2 t vanilla
    2 t cinnamon
    1/4 t salt
    butter for cooking

    Mix all ingredients with a mixer.  Melt butter in a pan.  Spoon in 1/4 c of batter for each pancake.  Cook until you see bubbles form.  Flip and cook on the other side.  Enjoy!

    Tuesday, November 28, 2017

    Corn Soup, Mexican Style

    Jenna made this for dinner one night. It was delicious and Don really liked it!

     Corn Soup, Mexican Style

    4 tablespoons butter
    1 small white onion, chopped
    1 jalapeno, minced
    5 cloves garlic, crushed
    3 tablespoons flour
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    4 cups chicken stock
    6 cups frozen corn kernels
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1½ cups heavy cream, half and half, or milk
    1 cup freshly chopped cilantro
    ½ lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
    1 jalapeno, sliced
    1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add in the onions and minced jalapeno and sauté for about 5 minutes, then stir in garlic and cook an additional 1 minute.
    2. Stir in the flour, cumin, and chili powder and cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock until smooth and bring to a boil. Add in the corn, sugar, and salt. Once it returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
    3. Stir in cream and cilantro. Serve topped with crumbled bacon and jalapeno slices.