Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin French Toast

We just made this french toast for breakfast.  It is scrumptious!  It has a perfect balance of flavors with the pumpkin and cinnamon while still tasting like french toast.  I ate it with the pecans; the rest of the family ate it without.  Each way it is delicious!  The cinnamon syrup is so great.  You have to try it!

Pumpkin French Toast

3 eggs
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 - 6 slices bread
Pecans, chopped

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Place the slices of bread into the egg mixture and let soak while the pan heats up [3-5 minutes].

Spray skillet with non-stick spray in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place bread into the pan and cook until golden brown on 1 side, approx. 2-3 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes longer. Top with pecans and this delicious cinnamon syrup. Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  Krista's Culinary Creations

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Trifle

This Pumpkin Cream Trifle is a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving or for any type of gathering in pumpkin season.  I just made this for a large party, and it was a huge hit.  You just can't beat layers of soft and flavorful pumpkin spice cake layered together with smooth whipped cream and cheesecake pudding, all topped by a delightful crunchy toasted nut and toffee layer.  This dessert really is delicious!  Plus, it is so simple to make.  You can really whip it together once the cake is done and cooled. 

Pumpkin Cream Trifle

 First Layer:
1 pkg spice cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup vegtable oil (can do ¼ cup applesauce, and ¼ cup oil instead)
½ cup water
3 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger

 Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 baking pan with vegtable oil spray. Place all cake ingredients in large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer on low speed from 1 minute. Scrape down sides and then increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes more. Batter should look thick and well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake 32-39 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool completely. (cake can be frozen at this point. Thaw at room temperature before assembling trifle.) When ready to prepare trifle, cut or tear into approx. 1 inch cubes.

 Second Layer (cream):
2 pkgs. (3.4 oz) cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
2 cups freshly whipped cream (unsweetened)

 Combine pudding mixes with milk and blend with whisk until it starts to thicken. Fold in whipped cream, then quickly assemble trifle.

 Third Layer (toppings):
½ cup chopped, toasted pecans or almonds
½ cup Skor toffee bits

 To assemble trifle:

Place 1/3 of cake cubes into trifle bowl. Top with 1/3 of cream mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 of nuts and toffee bits. Repeat layers two more times, ending with nuts and toffee on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered no longer that 24 hours.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

"Oh sweet mystery of life now I have found you" what I was singing when I shoved a spoonful of this creamy dreaminess in my mouth.  Probably one of my favorite side dishes ever.  I happen to love sweet spuds, but these were plum fantastic!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick (about 2 large or 3 medium-small potatoes)
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Combine butter, cream, salt, sugar, and sweet potatoes in large saucepan.  Cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart when poked with fork. This will take between 30 to 45 minutes.
Take off heat and mash sweet potatoes in saucepan with potato masher. You can also put potatoes into a Bosch or Kitchen Aid mixer and mix. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.  (I didn't add any at the end.)

Serves:  4

Recipe Source:  Food

Friday, October 21, 2011

S'more Pancakes with Marshmallow Syrup

Who says you can't have S'mores for breakfast?  This is a perfect way to remember the good ol' campfire s'mores you made on vacation and reminisce about the perfect melty chocolate with the gooey, sugary, toasted marshmallows all between two perfectly sweet graham crackers.  And the best's what's for breakfast.  We absolutely love pancakes around our house.  I created this recipe last year, and we have been in love with them ever since.  I'm not even a huge S'more fan, but these pancakes bring out the best in the S'more.  So with much love, I give you our S'more pancakes with marshmallow syrup.

S'more Pancakes
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Handful of mini-marshmallows

In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  In a medium sized bowl, mix together the oil, eggs and milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Mix just until moistened.  Add the chocolate chips and some marshmallows and gently stir in.  Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Pour about 1/4 cup pancake batter per pancake.  Cook pancakes over medium heat until they start to bubble on top and the other side is lightly browned.  Then flip with a spatula until the other side is browned.  Remove to a oven safe platter and cover with foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.  Makes 12 - 4 inch pancakes.  Top your pancakes with syrup and additional chocolate chips and marshmallows if desired.

Marshmallow Syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup mini marshmallows

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, buttermilk, and sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring regularly.  Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and baking soda.  It will foam up a bit.  Immediately add the marshmallows and stir until mixed into syrup.  It's now ready to serve over your yummy S'more Pancakes.

Recipe Source:  Kimmy's Creation

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday, These Chicks Cooked

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spider Web Pizza

It has been way too long since I last posted on my food blog.  But the fact is I have not cooked in my kitchen for like 6 weeks.  Sad, I know!  Especially since I have a cooking blog.  But honestly, the food I love has become the food I hate.  Ugh!  I haven't been cookin' because I have a bun in my personal oven and have been so sick.  So sick.  It's hard to enjoy food period.  This is my favorite time of year to make food too.  I love fall food, pumpkins, creating Halloween dinners.  Oh, I'm in mourning about my generally nausea.  But thank heavens that I make things and sometimes never post them. I actually made this last year, but never posted it.   So I am finally getting around to posting something.  Hopefully I will be able to get back into the kitchen soon.  I miss it!

This is a spider web pizza.  It is really easy and fun to make with kids.  You simply place all the toppings under the tomato sauce.  This pizza was a pepperoni pizza.  Add a cute olive spider to the top for added decoration.  My hubs hates olives so I didn't put one on, but I'm wishing I would have for the picture. 

Spider Web Pizza

Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza Sauce
Alfredo Sauce from a jar
Olives for a spider
Any other toppings

Make crust.  Place pepperoni, mozzarella, and any other toppings on top of crust.  Then put on your pizza sauce.  For the alfredo sauce, place the sauce in a ziploc bag.  Cut a small corner off the bag.  Squeeze alfredo sauce from the hole creating a spider web.  Create a spider out of olives if desired. Then cook the pizza according to the directions that go with your crust.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

What could be better than Oreo infused cupcakes? We absolutely love these cupcakes.  These cupcakes are the favorites of my hubs and the little lady of the house.  They may even be the favorite of the little man, but he can't tell me so yet.  This is a delectable cupcake.  It has half an Oreo on the bottom, Oreo in the batter, and a little bit of Oreo in the frosting.  It is pure goodness.  You can also make these into little sweet babies.  I have a fetish for little things, so I love these mini Oreos cupcakes.  Just be sure to buy a bag of the mini Oreos for the garnish and to put on the bottom of the cupcake. 

Oreo Cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 small package chocolate pudding
44 Oreos, divided (16 Oreos coarsely chopped, 14 Oreo halves, 14 Oreo halves for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and sour cream into a stand or electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for close to 2 minutes or until well combined. Coarsely chop 16 oreos.  Gently fold the Oreos into the cake batter.

2. Line the cupcake pans with paper liners. At the bottom of each liner, place half of an Oreo. Then fill with batter until the liner is 1/2-3/4 full. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out mostly clean from center. Let cool completely. (This recipe makes about 28 cupcakes.)

1 cup butter (2 cubes)
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 pounds powdered sugar
3 finely crushed oreos

Beat butter in mixer bowl.  Add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.  Beat until icing is creamy.  If it is too creamy to pipe on, put it in the fridge to harden it up a bit.  When frosting is ready, pipe onto cupcakes. 
Garnish each cupcake with a half of an Oreo. 

Recipe Source:  Kimmy's Original Oreo cupcake was inspired by this cupcake.  The frosting is my Mom's recipe with Oreos added. 

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Sauce and Grilled Veggies

The only thing I could have wished about this meal is that I could have taken a better picture.  It was DE-licious!  Everything was perfect from the fantastic grilled and seasoned veggies to the juicy and savory meat all topped off with the SAUCE!  Oh my!  The sauce.  Boy, oh boy, was it delectable.  If you like blue cheese, you will love this sauce.  I was tempted to dip in there with my fingers it was so good.  Oh, I'm still dreaming about that sauce.  It was the perfect match with the meat and veggies.  Oh the was so good.  Still thinking about it.  Mmmmm.....

Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Sauce and Grilled Veggies
1  3 1/2-4 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed (I couldn't find tenderloin, so I used tri-tip.)
2  Tb. extra virgin olive oil
1-2  tsp. seasoned salt
1-2  tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4- 1  tsp. granulated garlic powder

Blue Cheese Sauce:
4  oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1/2  cup mayonnaise
1/2  cup sour cream
1  Tb. freshly grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
1/8-1/4  tsp. salt (to taste)
1/8-1/4  tsp. freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Preheat your grill for high heat grilling.  Wash the tenderloin and pat dry.  Ligerally coat with olive oil.  Season with the seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic.  Grill for 20 minutes on high heat and then check witha meat thermometer.  When the temperature reaches 125 degrees in a couple places, it is medium-rare.  If you want it more well done, cook it for a bit longer.  Remove from the grill and let rest for 10-20 minutes.  While the meat rests, combine the blue cheese, mayo, sour cream, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl and mash to combine.  Slice the beef and serve witht  the sauce on the side. 

Grilled Veggies

1  pt. cherry tomatoes
1  large sweet onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
1  medium-large zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1  medium-large yellow squash, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
2-3  TB. extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2  tsp. salt, to taste
1/4-1/2  tsp. pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl.  Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Place the vegetables in a grilling basket or directly on the grill.  (We actually didn't have a grilling basket so we put ours directly on the grill.  Put them on skewers if you need to so they don't fall through the grates of the grill.)  Grill for 20-30 minutes (turn after 10 minutes) or until the vegetables are cooked to the desired tenderness.  Place on a serving platter, sprinkle with cheese and serve. 

Recipe Source:  Penzey's Spices

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spicy Honey Chicken

Wow!  This chicken is a fantastic summertime grillin' recipe.  It's not exactly spicy, it's just spiced well.  It's a delicious combination topped with a drippin' honey glaze.  I'm all about delicious spices topped with a little sweet.  Yummm!  This is definitely a keeper.  In this recipe, you coat the chicken with a spice rub and then, while grilling, you glaze the chicken.  You can also just marinate the chicken in the glaze and spice rub for at least one hour for equally delicious results.  Then you wouldn't have to glaze while grilling.  Either way the chicken ends up delicious. 

Spicy Honey Chicken

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 2lbs
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1. Combine the rub spices in bowl and mix well.
2. Use kitchen shears (or a pair of clean scissors) to trim off any excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and rub in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces.
3. Toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well.  Let the chicken marinate in the fridge with the spice rub for at least an hour.
4. Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

5. While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave so it’s not so thick. Add the vinegar and combine well. Reserve 2 Tablespoons honey glaze for later. Take the rest of glaze and brush on chicken (both sides) in the final moments of grilling.
6.  Take the chicken off the grill and drizzle with the extra 2 Tablespoons of glaze.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  adapted slightly from Our Best Bites

Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Post: Chris' Lemonade Cupcakes

Meet Christina!  She is the mother of four, wife of one, orchestra teacher of many, toe reader, herbal guru, creative artist, animal lover, gardener and culinary genius.  To top it all off, she is one hot mama!  And I'm lucky enough to have her as my sister-in-law.  Chris is one of those ladies who is at home in her own skin.  She's got depth and understanding beyond her years.  She is a true and loyal friend and person and she is a blast to be with.  She is a breath of fresh air.  I love her to pieces.  So back to the part about her being a culinary genius.  Seriously, this woman creates recipes that are so mouth-watering!  She once made me a pizza, that I kid you not, was 3 1/2 inches high, piled with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, basil leaves, heirloom tomatoes, and other deliciousness, and it was so delectable.  I always look forward to her delicious meals!  So I finally was able to get her to guest post for me.  Hooray!  Presenting Chris' Lemonade Cupcakes.  They are heavenly! 

Chris always makes the food look lovely as well!

Lemonade Cupcakes

1 cup sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup scalded milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar

Mix dry flour and baking powder together. Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar and lemon extract. Quickly add flour mixture and stir just until mixed. Slowly stir in hot milk. Pour into cupcake liners and bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Lemon Curd

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1.3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 stick salted butter cut into 1 tablespoon slices

Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon juice and peel into the top of a double broiler. Blend well. set top of double broiler on to bottom with boiling water but make sure that the bottom of the pan does not touch the boiling water. Whisk constantly until thick and 170 degrees for 5 minutes (do not allow to boil). The key to good lemon curd is gentle, constant heat and constant whisking. Remove bowl from over the water and whisk in butter one cube at a time, allowing each curd to melt before adding the next. Cool curd covered in fridge.
Cut a small hole into the top of each cupcake and fill with cooled lemon curd.

Lemon Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or to taste)

Mix all together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. In a pastry bag with a large star or decorating tip swirl frosting onto lemon curd filled cupcakes. Sprinkle with red colored sugar and top with a sliced strawberry.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

We really enjoy a good chicken enchilada in our household.  These definitely fit in the category of DELICIOUS enchiladas.  It is a fabulous twist on the chicken enchilada.  The honey and lime balances out perfectly and the green enchilada sauce mixed with cream (oh my!) is fabulous.  I dare say this is my new favorite enchilada.  These enchiladas will thrill your guests and are easy to make, which leaves the cook very happy! 

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I used 3 small chicken breasts)
8-10 flour tortillas
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream (to lighten them up, I have substituted sour cream with good results)

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour or longer. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Individual Cheesecakes

Look at these sweet little cakes!  Aren't they perdy?  They taste perdy and are perdy darn easy to make too!  This recipe is one that my mom always made while we were growing up.  In my opinion, it's a perfect amount of cheesecake.  (Okay, so I'll fess up.  Sometimes I eat more than one.)  I topped these little cheesecakes with raspberry because it's in season here, but you could top them with any berry or topping. 

Individual Cheesecakes

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
18-24 vanilla wafers
18-24 cupcake liners
Topping (See below for my homemade raspberry topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cream cheese and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Line muffin tins with paper liner and drop a vanilla wafer flat side down into muffin paper.  Cover wafer with cream cheese mixture, 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until firm.  (Watch carefully while baking or the wafer could burn.)  Cool.  Top with whatever topping you'd like.

Homemade Raspberry Topping
1 1/2  cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 (1.6 oz.) package raspberry flavored gelatin
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch

In medium saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Mix jello with cornstarch and gradually add to boiling mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until mixture is clear and thickened slightly. Remove from heat and cool completely.  Spoon a small amount of topping onto the individual cheesecakes.  Then top with 2-3 raspberries. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Birthday Cake Pancakes

If y'all don't know, I love pancakes!  When I saw these pancakes start floating around the blog world, I knew we had to have some.  So we created a recipe, and we love it!  I made these for our family reunion along with 3 other types of pancakes, and these were the first pancakes devoured!  Our favorite way to eat these is with Buttermilk Syrup and topped with sprinkles.  So delicious!  It really is like having a dessert for breakfast.

Birthday Cake Pancakes

1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 1/2 cups white cake mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Rainbow Sprinkles

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until moistened.  Fold in the rainbow sprinkles.  Add as many or as little as you'd like.  Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake on the griddle. Cook until you can see the pancake bubbling and the other side is browned. Flip with a spatula and cook until the other side is browned. Serve with syrup or glaze and sprinkles. 

Recipe Source:  Kimmy's Creation

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lemon Pick-Me-Up

I have been on a major smoothie kick lately.  It's my favorite thing for breakfast this week.  This smoothie was just delightful.  It's very refreshing and invigorating.  Plus, it's low in calories and fat while still having a good flavor.  (I don't know about you, but I'll take a little more fat and cal-babies to have a better flavor.  Why waste the calories, if it doesn't at least taste good?)  This is a perfect light snack, mini-meal or great for after a workout. 

Lemon Pick-Me-Up

3 milk ice-cubes (Fill an ice-cube tray with milk. Freeze 3 hours or until solid.)
1 container (6-ounce) plain fat free yogurt
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Additional lemon zest for garnish

1.  Combine all ingredients in electric blender.  (If your blender is not powerful enough to blend in the milk ice cubes, crack the cubes before hand by placing the ice cubes in a sealed ziploc bag and smashing with a mallet or rolling pin.)  Whirl until smooth.  Spoon into serving glass and garnish with lemon zest. 

Makes: 1 serving; Calories: 210, Protein: 11 g, Fat: 0 g, Fiber: 0 g

Recipe Source:  Naturally Delicious by the Washington State Dairy Council

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Great Harvest Cinnaburst Copycat Bread

WARNING: This bread is hazardous to your health.  Due to the extreme moistness, the soft texture, and the heavenly burst of cinnamon flavor, one is in danger of suffering from eating a whole loaf in one sitting.  Not only will this overload you with pure delight, but will create a need for you to rebuy cinnamon chips and cancel work for the next day so you can make another loaf and eat it straight out of the oven.  In case of this emergency, be sure to keep a stick of butter next to the oven in preparation for the consumption.   

Great Harvest Cinnaburst Copycat Bread

1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (1 pack)
1/3 cup oil (I used veggie oil)
1/2 T salt
1 egg
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cinnamon chips

  • In mixer combine yeast, sugar, and warm water and milk; let bubble for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in oil and egg.
  • Slowly add 2 cups flour, mix and then add salt.
  • Add 1/2 cup flour at a time until it comes away from side of bowl.
  • Add the cinnamon chips when it gets close to the right consistency. The dough will be very sticky but the softer the dough the lighter the bread. So use the least amount of flour you can handle.  (Note:  Don't overmix the cinnamon chips.)
  • Grease a mixing bowl.  Let dough rise in bowl until doubled in size.
  • Form into loaf (or whatever shape you want).
  • Let rise until double.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  I baked my bread for 30 minutes exactly, and it came out perfect, but my oven cooks hot. 
Makes 2 loaves

Recipe Source:  Slightly adapted from Rae Gun Ramblings

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday, It's a Keeper

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sparkling Mango Lemonade

We've finally been getting some sun rays here in the Pacific Northwest!  Hallelujah!  I've been seeing all these lemonade recipes popping up all over blogs and decided it was time to partake of this delicious summertime beverage.  I decided to pair the lemonade with one of my favorite fruits of summer.  The Mango!  Oh how I love them and could eat them everyday of my life.  This lemonade was perfect.  Not too sweet.  Not too tart.  The mango flavor is very subtle.  Even if you don't care for mango, I'd bet you'd like this because the mango adds just enough to be there, but it doesn't overwhelm.  We loved this!   

Sparkling Mango Lemonade

For the mango syrup:
1 heaping cup sliced mango
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. cold water
Pinch of salt

For the lemonade:
1 cup very hot water
2/3 cup sugar
1¼ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
4½ cups cold sparkling water or seltzer

To make the mango syrup, combine the mango, sugar, lemon juice, water and salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
To make the lemonade, combine the hot water and sugar in a pitcher or glass bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Mix in the lemon juice and water. Stir in the mango puree.

To serve, rub a wedge of lemon or one of the spent lemon halves around the rim of a glass and then dip in sugar. Fill with ice if desired and then lemonade. Garnish with sliced lemon or mango. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6-7 cups

Recipe Source:  Adapted from Annie's Eats

Linked to:  Blue Cricket Design, This Chick Cooks, Sweets for a Saturday

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rhubarb Muffins with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

After trying to figure out how to use my extra rhubarb, I decided upon these rhubarb muffins.  Oh how I love a good muffin at any time of day!  These muffins are a perfect mixture of tart and sweet. 

Rhubarb Muffins with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups 1/4-inch-diced rhubarb (7-1/4 oz.)

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons oatmeal (any type but instant)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil baking cups.

Make the muffin batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Lightly stir the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula until the batter just comes together; do not overmix. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. The batter will be thick.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, using the back of a spoon or a small spatula to settle the batter into the cups. The batter should mound a bit higher than the tops of the cups.

Make the topping: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the topping ingredients except the butter. Cut butter into mixture with a pastry blender or two butter knives until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Generously top muffins with the topping.  Lightly press the topping into the muffin batter.

Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown, spring back most of the way when gently pressed, and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift the muffins out of the pan—if necessary, loosen them with the tip of a paring knife—and let them cool somewhat. Serve warm.

Recipe Source:  adapted from Fine Cooking, topping recipe from

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes

Pancakes....SIGH.....Pancakes.  It's no secret that I love them.  I love the soft, perfect texture.  I love the versatility of the pancake.  You can create so many different flavors to top it with or mix in with it.  Heck, I even just love eating the batter plain.  Maybe love isn't a strong enough word...but I am utterly and completely infatuated with pancakes.  So is it any surprise that pancakes are my kids favorite breakfast ever?  I am always creating new types of pancakes.  In fact, I have a whole list of them I need to blog about.  (It's on that long "To Do" list that never gets done.)  Here's to me getting around to posting my beloved pancakes.  These Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes are amazing!  I can eat them plain without toppings they are so good.  It's a perfect summer meal especially made with fresh picked strawberries.  Delish!

Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes

1 cup flour
1/2 cup white cake mix
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup crushed strawberries
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk
2 oz. softened cream cheese

1.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Then, mix in the egg, crushed strawberries and milk. 

2.  In a small bowl, stir the softened cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy.  (You don't want any lumps in it.)  Mix the cream cheese into the batter.  (I don't like my pancakes super dense so if the batter seems too thick just add a bit of milk.)

3.  Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake on the griddle.  Cook until you can see the pancake bubbling and the other side is browned.  Flip with a spatula and cook until the other side is browned. 

4.  Keep warm and serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, strawberry syrup, strawberry puree with powdered sugar, or anything else that floats your boat.  Enjoy!

Makes about 8 pancakes.

Recipe Source:  Kimmy's Creation

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday

Thursday, July 7, 2011

$250 Cookies

Hands down, one of the best cookie recipes ever!  I use this recipe all the time and people love it.  Sometimes I leave out the Hershey bar and nuts and add in Heath crunch bar pieces or M&M's instead.  Other times, I don't ground up the oatmeal.  I just put it in whole.  Any way you dish it, people will love it.  It really is a recipe that is universally loved!

$250 Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal (blended oatmeal: measure and blend in a blender to a fine powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
12-ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces of Hershey chocolate bars broken into chunks
1 1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Cream butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda.  Add chips, candy bar, and nuts.  Refrigerate for one half hour.  Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on cookies sheet.  Bake for 6-10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes 56 cookies.

Recipe Source:  My wonderful Mom

Linked to:  Foodie Friday, Sweets for a Saturday

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Parade of Pies

I love summer!  It is my favorite season of the year.  Why?  Because I love the sun and everything that goes with it, from swimming to fruit picking.  I love making pies from fresh picked fruit.  Here in Oregon, we are so blessed to have every type of fruit farm available for picking during the summer and fall.  I love it!  So here's a parade of fruit pies for some happy baking this summer. 

This Fresh Peach Pie will knock your socks off!  The filling is a cream cheese, whipped cream mixture topped by peachy delight!

This pie was my favorite growing up.  This Banana Cream Pie is unbeatable!

This Raspberry Cream Pie is now probably my favorite pie ever!  You can't eat just one piece. 

This is the Blackberry Cream Pie, a knock off of the Raspberry Cream Pie!  A huge crowd pleaser!

Happy Baking!!!  Enjoy baking some delicious fruit pies!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dill Dip

Most days of most weeks, I have the same dilemma.  What's the side dish gonna be?  I write out the menu plan for all our main dishes for the week, do all my grocery shopping, and feel all prepared, right?  Right? Wrong!!!  You'd think I'd learn, but I think my baby boy stole that "Things you should have learned by now" brain cell from me when he was born.  So every week, it's...What's the side dish going to be?  Granted it usually incorporates veggies so that narrows down the list.  But sometimes, I just don't want anymore plain ol' green beans or sauteed mushrooms which are my kids favorites.  I want somethin' for the momma!  I found this dill dip recipe from my mom and decided it was mommy night.  It was veggies and dip time.  Soooo simple, right?  But something we usually never have because the Chase-ter can't eat the hard veggies and the girly just licks off the dip and leaves the veggies.  This dip was delightful though.  I thoroughly enjoyed it even if the kids didn't. 

Dill Dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
2 Tablespoons onion flakes
2 Tablespoons dill weed
1 teaspoon seasoning salt

Mix all ingredients and chill for several hours or overnight to blend flavors. 

*You can use light mayo and light sour cream for this.  If you are serving a family of 4, I would half the recipe. 

Recipe Source:  Mi Mamacita

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

There is nothing like a sweet, warm, fresh berry pie!  A la mode this little baby and you've got yourself a completely fantastic dessert.  This pie was so easy to make and tasted so, so good.  I just love rhubarb desserts!  So I do have a tip on using rhubarb that my mom gave me which I love.  Any of you had the problem with rhubarb being too crunchy or hard for the dessert after it is cooked?  Now, thanks to my mom, I always pre-cook the rhubarb before I put it in the pie or any dessert.  I cook it in the vegetable steamer in a pan for 6 minutes until it is softened.  I've found that if I do this, the rhubarb ends up soft and perfectly blended in with the dessert.  Ya know what I'm sayin'?  Cooking it before hand has been a perfect solution for me. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Pre-cooked Pie Shell

2 cups strawberries, sliced
3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/4" pieces
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons oatmeal (any type but instant)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Fill a medium pot with a little bit of water (just enough to steam the rhubarb).  Place a vegetable steamer inside the pot.  Put sliced rhubarb in vegetable steamer, cover with lid, and steam rhubarb for 6 minutes or until tender. 

3.  In a large bowl, mix together the rhubarb, sliced strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch.  Mix until well blended.  Pour the filling into the pre-cooked pie crust. 

4.  Make the crumb topping: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the topping ingredients except the butter. Cut butter into mixture with a pastry blender or two butter knives until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Spread the crumbs over the top of the pie filling. 

5.  Put foil around the edges of the pie crust so that the edges don't overcook.  Cook the pie on the center rack for 45-60 minutes at 400 or until the crumbs are a deep golden brown.  (My oven cooks hot and was done at 45 minutes maybe even less.)

6.  Now cut yourself a monstrous piece of warm pie, load it with ice cream, and enjoy!  ****Kimmy's disclaimer--Doing this everyday is not good for your diet. I've cautioned you. 

Recipe:  My little creation

Linked to:  Made it on Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Sweets for a Saturday

Monday, June 20, 2011

Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

These kabobs were zesty and refreshing.  It seems a little loco to describe meat that way, but I thought the lemon marinade with this chicken made it just that.  It was really yummy.  The marinade was so simple to make too.  Definitely a great and easy dinner.  Serve it up with a side of marinated, grilled veggies and you have a perfect summer dish. 

Garlic Lemon Chicken Kabobs

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch pieces

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

Prepare a medium fire in a grill. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before use.

Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers and discard the excess marinade. Lightly oil the grill grates. Place the kabobs on the grill, cover, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately.  Makes about 4 skewers.

Recipe Source:  Annie's Eats

Linked to:  Made it on Monday, Full Plate Thursday

Friday, June 17, 2011

Raspberry Cream Pie

Seriously, I have NO will power to resist this pie.  Nope, none!  I will eat a piece of this pie everyday until it's done. (Maybe even more.) It is just absolutely delectable!  I usually only make it when we have people to share it with because if not, we end up eating it all ourselves.  And that's bad, because do you know where it truly ends up?  My back END!  The fresh raspberries with the filling just screams summer to me.  Okay, let's face it, this dessert is always screaming to me since it is probably my favorite pie ever!  The cream layer is really a vanilla custard type pudding mixed with whipping cream.  Making it a layer of heaven topped with a fresh raspberry glaze.  Divine!

Raspberry Cream Pie

1 baked single pie crust
1 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 cups sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Prepare and bake a single pie crust shell. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar and the salt; stir to mix well. Add 2-3 tablespoons milk to sugar/flour and stir to create a smooth paste; add remaining milk and stir to blend. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook pudding mixture until it begins to bubble; continue to cook 1 minute (mixture will be thick). Stirring egg yolks constantly, spoon a small amount pudding into beaten egg yolks. Pour egg yolks back into saucepan and stir well to mix. Return pan to heat and continue to cook until mixture thickens (very thick) do not allow to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool pudding.

Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Stir approximately 1/4 whip cream into cool pudding mixture; fold in remaining whipped cream; spoon pudding mixture into baked pie shell, cover and chill pie for at least 1/2 to 1 hour to partially set.

In a medium saucepan, crush berries with a potato masher; add 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and water, mix well. Over medium heat, stirring, bring berries to a boil (berry glaze will be clear and thickened). Remove from heat and cool. Spoon berry glaze over pudding in pie shell. Refrigerate 2 hours to overnight to completely set. Garnish with an additional dollop of whipped cream, additional fresh berries and a mint leaf as desired. Makes 1 pie.

Recipe Source:  adapted from Summer's Recipes

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday

Monday, June 13, 2011

Grilled Potatoes

So I have a confession to make.  I had never grilled anything on a grill (minus the Georgey Foreman) until last week.  It was my first time grilling.  Can you believe it?  My hubs always grills for us.  But the last couple weeks, he has gotten home way too late, and I couldn't hold out for my grillin' to be done.  So I fired up our ol' grill, put on some goggles, grabbed the tongs, and headed out on a mission.  Meanwhile, the two kids are running amuck outside, inside, wherever, as I'm crazily trying to grill, keep them safe, and find some plates to put the finished product on.  (Whoever thinks to bring out clean plates?  I didn't!)  My conclusion:  Food on the grill cooks way fast and tastes way good.  I think I love it.  Now as a grill expert (wink, wink), I am always looking for new things to grill.  These potatoes were a great twist off the traditional french fry that's not going to clog your arteries with grease. (Although, they are drizzled with butter.  You've got to live a little.  Right?)  They are a great side dish for our Spiced Up California Burgers or my favorite Gourmet Burgers.

Grilled Potatoes

Large Idaho or russet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1/2 stick melted butter
1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

Preheat and grease grill. Boil potatoes in water for 6 minutes, until slightly cooked but raw in center. Strain potatoes in a colander. Place potato slices on grill. Using a pastry brush, apply butter and sprinkle each slice with House Seasoning. Grill potatoes slices for 4 to 5 minutes and flip slices, repeating with butter and House Seasoning. Cook until grilled through.

House Seasoning:
2 Tablespoons salt
1/2 Tablespoon black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder

Combine ingredients in a small bowl.

Recipe Source: Paula Deen

Linked to:  Made it on Monday

Friday, June 10, 2011

Indoor S'mores

If you're havin' a hankerin' for a s'more, but don't want to break out the open flames, try these S'mores bars.  They're a delicious alternative and super easy to make.  The kiddos can help you make them and snitch a little on the side too! 

Indoor S’mores

8 cups Golden Grahams Cereal (12 ounce box)
5 cups miniature marshmallows (10.5 ounce package)
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
5 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
¼ cup light corn syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups miniature marshmallows

1. Grease a 9x13 pan. Pour cereal into large bowl.
2. In a medium bowl, heat butter in microwave until melted; add marshmallows, chocolate chips and corn syrup. Continue heating in microwave until melted 1 ½ -2 minutes, stirring after every 30 seconds. Stir in vanilla. (When I make these again, I will do this step in a sauce pan on the stove over medium heat stirring constantly until it is melted.)
3. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal; stir until coated. Place ½ of  this mixture in prepared pan. Then sprinkle with 1 cup marshmallows. Add remaining mixture, pressing down and top with remaining marshmallows.
4. Refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. Cut into bars.

Recipe Source:  My SIL Elisabeth Merrill

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday, Made it on Monday, Sweet Treats Thursday

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Spiced-Up California Burgers

By the time summer rolls around, all I want to do is grill, grill, grills.  For reals!  There is just something about that smoky, fresh, grill taste.  It makes everything taste better.  Food + Grill = Happiness for the Tastebuds and Drooling from the Neighbors.  Just the smell of someone grilling, makes me want to invite myself to their house.  I love it.  Since we are BARELY rolling into summer in the Pacific NW (Depressing, I know.  How's a Vegas girl supposed to live with no SUN?), we are finally trying out some new recipes.  These burgers are fabulous!  A perfect way to start our grillin' season.  For dessert with this, you have to try this Grilled Pineapple.  It is to die for or at least worth donating your liver for.

Spice-Up California Burgers

1 lb. lean ground beef
5 medium green onions, sliced (1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
4 slices pepper Jack cheese
4 hamburger buns
4 leaves romaine lettuce
4 slices tomato
1/2 cup French-fried onions

1.  Heat gas or charcoal grill.  In large bowl, mix beef, green onions, salt and pepper.  Shape mixture into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch thick. 

2.  Place patties on grill over medium-high heat.  Cover grill; cook 8 to 12 minutes, turning once, until meat thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160 degrees F.  Top each burger with 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce and 1 slice cheese.  Cover grill; cook about 30 seconds longer or until cheese begins to melt. 

3.  Remove burgers from grill; cover to keep warm.  Place buns, cut sides down on, on grill.  Cover grill; cook about 1 minute or until golden brown. 

4.  On bun bottoms, layer lettuce and tomato.  Top with burgers and French-fried onions.  Cover with bun tops. 

Recipe Source:  Betty Crocker's "Best Meal in Minutes"

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday, Friday Potluck

Friday, June 3, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Growing up, I used to watch Disney's "Mickey and the Beanstalk" cartoon with my brother.  There's a song in the movie where Donald, Goofy, and Mickey sing, "Pancakes piled up 'til they reach the sky. I'm going to eat and eat and eat and eat and eat until I die."  Oh how we used to bellow that song at the top of our lungs.  But ya know, that is pretty much my motto with pancakes.  The more there are, the merrier I am.  I love pancakes.  I love whole wheats, buttermilks, flavored.  Any way you hand them to me, I'll  eat 'em.  They are one of my all time favorite foods evah!  I love to surprise my family with all sorts of new pancakes.  These new pancakes were DELISH!  I kept eating them all throughout the day.  These pair fabulously with maple syrup or just eat them plain.  Either way, they are a delicious way to start the day.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.  Then add the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is moistened.  Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat.  Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Spoon batter (1/4 cup per pancake) onto the hot griddle.  When the pancake starts bubbling on one side and is lightly browned, flip to the other side.  Brown on other side.  Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Potluck Sunday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Made it on Monday

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lemon Roasted Broccoli

Let me preface this recipe by saying that the hubs hates broccoli.  Even my daughter refuses to eat, "The trees..."  When I made this recipe, the hubs said, "Congratulations honey!  You just made broccoli edible."  Then, I saw him, and I kid you not, snitch a piece of broccoli off of the pan.  What the?  What's happening in my house?  My husband who eats Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms, or Frosted Flakes for breakfast every morning, snitching broccoli?  Either the world has come to an end or this broccoli is ridiculously good.  This is DEFINITELY a great way to eat broccoli. 

Roasted Broccoli

1-2 heads of broccoli
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 medium lemon
zest of half of a lemon
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Wash your broccoli and dry completely. (It is essential that the broccoli is dry to crisp correctly.) Cut the broccoli into medium sized florets. Place broccoli on foil in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil.  Toss this around. Sprinkle broccoli with lemon zest and squeeze the juice of half your lemon over broccoli. Add salt, pepper and chopped garlic and toss this all around getting everything well coated. Roast in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. The broccoli should get crispy in spots and be a dark green color. You'll see it start to turn dark brown in spots and this means its getting good, really good.

Once the broccoli is fork tender and crispy to your liking take it out.  Squeeze the other half of the lemon all over the broccoli if desired. Sprinkle grated Parmesan over broccoli and let the heat from the broccoli melt it slightly.  Remember the broccoli is going to cook down so it may look like a lot initially but once it's roasted it will be about half the amount.

Recipe Source:  My friend Brook adapted this recipe from Ina Garten

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday, Friday Food, Potluck Sunday

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hershey's Kisses Macaroon Cookies

Have I told you that I love coconut?  Huge fan and lover of all things coconut. So when I originally saw a picture of these on the back of a Hershey Kiss bag I knew these had to be created.  I loved the idea, but not the recipe.  So I changed it up a bit and came up with this.  Let me be the first to tell you...Fabulous!  The cookie is so soft and moist and topped with the chocolate kiss.  Hello y'all!  Just a perfect combo. 

Hershey's Kisses Macaroon Cookies

1/3 cup butter or magarine, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups sweetened coconut flakes, divided
about 36 Hershey's Kisses

1. Beat butter, sour cream and sugar in large bowl until well blended.  Add egg yolk and vanilla.  Beat well.  Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended.  Stir in 3 cups coconut. 
2.  Cover, refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.  Remove wrappers from chocolate kisses.  Heat oven to 350.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in remaining 2 cups coconut.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet. 
3.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven; immediately press a chocolate kiss on top of each cookie.  Cool 1 minute; carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool completely.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes

I grew up feasting upon these pancakes and now make these for my family all the time.  We absolutely love them.  They also turn out so delicious and moist.  You can top them with anything from fruit to chocolate.  They are our absolute favorite buttermilk pancakes ever!

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 eggs - separate whites and yolks
3 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon salt

In a medium size bowl, mix egg yolks, buttermilk, and oil.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, soda, and salt.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.  Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into other ingredients. 

Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Pour batter (1/4 cup per pancake) onto the greased skillet.  When pancake is bubbling and browned, flip to the other side with a spatula.  Brown other side of the pancake and serve.

Linked to:  Tuesday Night Supper Club, Full Plate Thursday

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Coconut Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Nut Cookies

Hey y'all.  I just have to tell you that these cookies are so, so yummy!  Definitely one of my all time favorite cookie recipes.  Someone always asks for the recipe when we bring these cookies to parties and such.  They are delish! 

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
8 ounces of chocolate chips
1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
3 ½ ounces macadamia nuts, chopped coarsely (about ¾ cup)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease two 17x14-inch cookie sheets. In mixer, beat butter, sugars, egg, salt, and vanilla at medium speed until fluffy. Reduce mix to low speed, add flour, increase mixer speed gradually and beat just until blended. Stir in chocolate, coconut, and nuts. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough on cookie sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 17 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned and tops look dry. Cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to completely cool. Makes 26 cookies.

Recipe Source:  My Mom

Linked to:  Foodie Friday, Friday Favorites, Friday Potluck, Sweets for a Saturday, Potluck Sunday, Savory Sundays, A Themed Baker's Sunday

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cafe Rio's Sweet Pork

Dear Sweet Pork, oh how I love you. I loved you enough to eat you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the same day. Should I be admitting that? I had a salad with it, and I made a burrito with it. Then I made the same meal again the next week which we never do in our foodie home. That's how much I liked it. The second time I made it using homemade enchilada sauce which made it even more fabulous! I really adore Cafe Rio, but I don't live close enough to get any. Now I feel like I can bring Cafe Rio home anytime I want, and I have. : )

Cafe Rio's Sweet Pork

2 pounds pork (boneless pork rib meat works great)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can diced green chilies
3/4 (10oz) can red enchilada sauce (or use homemade - half the recipe of the Quick Enchilada Sauce for the Sweet Pork)
1 c. brown sugar

1. Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinate. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinate for a few hours or overnight.

2. Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry) or on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

3. In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

4. Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!

Recipe Source: Favorite Family Recipes

This is how we like to eat our Cafe Rio Sweet Pork:

In the tortilla:
Sweet Pork
Mexican Mix Cheese
Black Beans
Cilantro Rice

To the side:
Pico de Gallo
Sour Cream

Linked to:  Hunk of Meat Mondays, Potluck Sunday

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lion House Cheesecake

Holy smokes people!  This cheesecake is heavenly!  I really, really enjoy a good cheesecake, and this cheesecake is among the best I've ever had.  You wanna hear my theory on why it is so delectable and more desirable than other cheesecakes?  Okay, so it has this sour cream topping layer, and I tell you what, that is the secret ingredient to making it so fabulous.  Cheesecake can get really rich at times, but watch out, because the sour cream layer tones the richness down and makes it purely delicious until the very last bite.  Thus, I eat way bigger pieces than I should multiple times a day.  It's that addicting!  This cheesecake is just so smooth and creamy.  It's perfection in a graham cracker crust.  Oh peeps, you have to have some.  Do y'all want to come over for dessert?

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 8-ounce packages softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Crust:  In a medium bowl thoroughly mix the ingredients.  Press firmly into a 10-inch springform pan, lining bottom and sides; set aside.  Make filling.

Filling:  In a large mixer bowl beat cream cheese well.  Add sugar a little at a time; add eggs one at a time; add vanilla.  Combine thoroughly.  Pour into crust; fill to within 1/2 inch of top to allow room for topping.  Bake 55 to 60 minutes at 300 degrees.  While cheesecake is baking, prepare topping.

Topping:  In a small mixer bowl whip sour cream; add sugar gradually, add vanilla.  Pour over baked cheesecake and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Makes 10-12 servings.

Recipe Source:  Lion House Desserts

We topped it with raspberry topping, but you could use any topping or leave it naked. ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Mother's Day line up starting with Praline-Pecan French Toast

Let me just start out by saying - I have the best husband ever!!!!  There I said it.  It's out in the open.  All Saturday night, he was prepping food for me so that I didn't have to cook or prepare a single thing on Mother's Day.  And let me just say, the hubs has been holding out on me.  He has some crazy skills in the kitchen.  The boy can cook.  So he surprised me for breakfast by baking me this Praline-Pecan French Toast...

Yep, that's bread underneath there smothered in a praline-pecan mixture.  It was fantastic!  I even had the leftovers this morning, and it was still delicious!  He and the kidlets brought me breakfast in bed with the sweetest cards ever!  I thoroughly enjoyed laying in bed, reading my cards and eating 'til I was stuffed.

Then for dinner, he made me a gourmet burger which, oh my heavenly days, was delicious.  I felt like a Carl's Jr. commercial eating it.  "If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face."

Click here for a recipe of these gourmet burgers.  My man knows how to work that grill.  :)

For dessert?  Creamy, perfectly smooth, decadent, cheesecake.  Yes, he baked me a cheesecake.  That's what he was doing the night before.  I love cheesecake.  This was definitely one of the best cheesecakes I've ever eaten.  I'll be posting his recipe soon.  Mouthwatering! 

It was not only a great day for food, but to reflect on how much I am truly blessed.  I was raised by a wonderful mother who is an absolute angel. The gratitude and love I have for her are more than I could ever express in words.  I have a wonderful mother-in-law who I also love dearly, and I have the best husband and sweetest kids ever.  I am so blessed! 

Now on to Praline-Pecan French Toast

1 (16 oz.) French bread loaf
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
3/4 cup chopped pecans
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Cut 10 (1 inch thick) slices of bread.  Reserve remaining bread for another use. 

2.  Stir together brown sugar and next 2 ingredients; pour into a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans. 

3. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients.  Arrange bread slices over pecans; pour egg mixture over bread.  Cover and chill 8 hours. 

4.  Preheat oven to 350.  Bake bread 35-37 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately. 

Recipe Source:  Southern Living February 2011

This is how the french toast looks when you pull it out of the oven.  The pecan side is face down.  Just flip it over and serve. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails