Sunday, December 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  I sure did.  It was nice having both my kids home for Christmas!  I have gotten spoiled and now they will both have to go back to school.  Are you ready for New Years Eve?  Cally and I have been talking about what we are going to make for New Years Eve.  So far we have decided on Baked Pizza Dip, Nacho Dip, BBQ Wienies and Dried Beef dip.


This is my very Talented niece Marley.  Marley had a Birthday last week.  Happy 11th Birthday Marley!!



The Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake was very rich.  You could not eat a very big piece at one time.  I liked it with whipped Cream on top, like the cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

1 1/2 Cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup creamy peanut butter
6 Tablespoon butter, melted
filing
24 ounces cream cheese
1 Cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 Cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 Cup hot fudge topping

In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar and butter.  Press into the bottom of a 8x8 pan that has had foil placed inside and over lapping the edges of the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  In a microwave safe bowl, heat the peanut butter on high for 30 seconds or until softened.  Spread over crust.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth.  Add eggs and beat on low speed just until combined.  Stir in vanilla. Pour over the peanut butter crust.

Bake cheesecake in a 350 degree oven for 55 to 65 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool on wire rack for 1 hour.

Microwave the hot fudge topping for 30 seconds or until warmed.  Spread over cheesecake.  Garnish with Reese cups.  Refrigerate overnight.  To serve lift the cake out of the pan by the foil.  Remove the foil from the cake and serve with whipped cream if desired

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


This morning we delivered Christmas meals that the German Township Fire Dept provided for members of the community.  Volunteering to deliver meals to people who might not have had a Christmas meal was truly   an uplifting experience.  I am blessed to have a family that cares for others.

Today our county was put under a Blizzard Warning.  We are expecting 6 to 10 inches of snow with high winds.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that we get the snow so we can ride our snowmobiles.  We never even took them off the trailer last year so we are anxious to ride.

Last night we went to the Christmas Eve service at church then the four of us came home to have our Christmas dinner.  We had ham, Miss Polly's perfect potatoes, spiced sweet potatoes, green beans and apple pie.  We ate then opened our gifts that we bought for each other.  We had a lot of fun last night and this is one of the best Christmas Eves ever.


This is the Spiced Sweet Potatoes that we had for dinner.  I love sweet potatoes.  The potatoes have a cinnamon glaze on them with melted marshmallows.  They are super yummy!

Spiced Sweet Potatoes

2 lbs sweet potatoes
1/2 C brown sugar
3 T margarine
3 T water
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
mini marshmallows

Peel and cut potatoes.  Boil potatoes until tender but firm.  Drain potatoes.  Place into a greased 9x13 pan.  In a sauce pan, melt the brown sugar, margarine, water, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and cover with marshmallows.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until warmed through and marshmallows are slightly brown.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Melted Snowman-Snowgirl Cookies


My Christmas baking is finished.  Today I made these melted snowman/snowgirl cookies.  I saw these on the internet last year on Truly Custom Cakery and never got around to making them.  I thought they were the cutest cookies I had ever seen.  For iced sugar cookies they were also the easiest sugar cookies I have done.  No need to use a cookie cutter because melted snowman/snowgirls are all out of shape from melting.


I just took a scoop of sugar cookie dough and rolled it out into a circle shape.  Then placed them on the baking sheet to bake.  After cooling I iced them.  You can use your favorite icing recipe to ice these cookies.  It just needs to be a little thin to make it look like it is running over the top of the cookies.  After icing the cookie just place a large marshmallow on top of each cookie.  Before I added more water to my icing to thin it out I took a small amount out and colored it black and orange.  With this black and orange icing I piped eyes, buttons, arms and a nose with a Wilton icing tip #3.  I also used some Wilton snowflake sprinkles to decorate with.

I received an early Christmas present last weekend before I started making my cookies.  If you remember back to this summer I had made a post for cookies and in it I showed you my scraping paddle attachment  that I broke mixing up those cookies.  Well Cally remembered and while she was away at school she had bought me a new scraping paddle and brought it home to me......Luv U Cally!



Last night we were hit with a winter storm here in Ohio.  The really bad part of the storm is the wind gust that are reaching 50 mph.  It looks like we have about 2 inches of snow but the wind is blowing the snow so hard we are having white outs and drifting on the roads.  It started out yesterday as rain so there are roads that are very slick.  I need to finish my shopping and go to the grocery.  Cally and I started out for town and only made it about 5 miles down the road to Lawrenceville.  We did our few errands that were close and came back home.


The first picture is out our back door and the second picture is out the front door.  I did not want to go to far out because the wind was blowing the snow so bad, you can really see the white out in the first picture.

The dough recipe I used for these snowman/snowgirl cookies is my favorite sugar cookie dough recipe.

Snowman/Snowgirl Cookies
source: The Girl who Ate Everything

1 C sour cream

2 C sugar
1 C butter
4 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
6 C flour
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine sour cream, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.  Beat for 2-3 minutes
Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Let dough chill in fridge for 25 minutes or until firm.
Roll dough out until about 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters to make shapes or circles
Bake until light golden brown, about 8-10 minutes (I baked for 8 minutes)
makes about 4 dozen

Icing

source: Taste and Tell

2 3/4 C powdered sugar

2 t vegetable shortening
3 T water
1 T corn syrup
1/2 t vanilla
food coloring and sprinkles

Beat all ingredients well, the icing should be a little stiff.  Spoon out enough icing to pipe the decorations for your snowman/snowgirl cookies.  Add food coloring and stir well


To the remaining icing add about 1 T water to make the icing a little runny.  Spread the icing on the cookies almost to the edge.  Place a marshmallow on top of the cookie for the head and use the orange and black icing to decorate.  May also add additional baking sprinkles to decorate cookies.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snowman Cookies

Cally and I have been busy in the kitchen today.  We made snowman cookies and candy bark.  These snowman cookies are delicious and also very cute.  We decorated them with Mike and Ike and JuJu candies.  The cookies are really soft and the icing is a vanilla butter cream.

Snowman Cookies
source: The Girl who Ate Everything

1 C sour cream

2 C sugar
1 C butter
4 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
6 C flour
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Combine sour cream, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.  Beat for 2-3 minutes


Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Let dough chill in fridge for 25 minutes or until firm.


Roll dough out until about 1/4 inch thick and use cookie cutters to make shapes or circles


Bake until light golden brown, about 8-10 minutes (I baked for 8 minutes)


makes about 4 dozen


Easy Buttercream Frosting

source:  Brown eyed Baker

1 C butter, at room temperature

1 t vanilla
4 C powdered sugar
3 T heavy whipping cream

To make frosting, Cream butter and vanilla.  Slowly add the powdered sugar.  Once smooth and creamy add the heavy whipping cream and beat at medium -high speed for 1 minute until light and fluffy.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ZipLoc Bag Omelet


This is a neat recipe.  You boil it in a ZipLoc freezer bag.  I was given this recipe many years ago by a coworker.  I did not have freezer bags so I just used a regular bag and it worked but it did shrivel up some from the heat.  They are really easy to make, just throw it all in the bag and squish it together, take the air out of the bag and zip it shut.


Billy is home for Christmas and Cally will be home this Friday.  Next week I am on vacation and Cally and I plan on doing a lot of cookie baking........ so stay tuned!

This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday blog carnival

ZipLoc Bag Omelet

No one has to wait for their special omelet.  Write names on a quart-size ZipLoc freezer bag with permanent marker.

Crack 2 eggs into the bag and shake (I squished) and stir to combine. (I also added a splash of milk to mine)

Put out a variety of ingredients such as:  Cheeses, ham, onions, green peppers, tomato, hash browns, sausage, salsa ect....

Add prepared ingredients of choice to bag and shake.  Make sure to get air out of the bag and zip it up

Place bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes.  You can usually cook 6 to 8 omelets in a large pot.

Open the bags and the omelet will roll out easily.  Be prepared for everyone to be amazed and enjoy


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Skillet Almond Shortbread


Happy National Cookie Day!  This Skillet Almond Shortbread is amazing.  We love shortbread and I know I have said it before....I LOVE ALMOND FLAVORING.  I saw Trisha Yearwood make this on her cooking show and knew I would be making it.  We have fallen in love with it and I have baked it 3 times in the last week.  It is crunch on the outside and soft and almost doughy on the inside.  It is melt in your mouth good.  Trisha bakes hers in a 10 inch cast iron skillet, I only have a 9 inch cast iron skillet so I just increase the baking time by 7 minutes and it has baked up just fine.


Skillet Almond Shortbread
Trisha Yearwood

1 1/2 Cup plus 2 T sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 Cup sliced almonds with skins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 10 inch cast iron skillet with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, stir 1 1/2 C sugar into the melted butter.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Sift the flour and salt into the batter.  Add the flavoring and stir well.  Pour the batter into the skillet.  Top with the sliced almonds and the remaining 2 T sugar.  Bake until slightly brown on top about 35 minutes.  Cool the shortbread in the skillet.  When cool, use the foil to lift the shortbread from the skillet, remove the foil before serving.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas and Cilantro Lime Rice


We had a great weekend.  The only thing that would have made it better is if Cally would have been home.  Billy has been coming home on the weekends to help at the Knoll Top Tree Farm.  Billy has worked at the tree farm since he turned 16.  A few years back Matt started working at the tree farm with Billy.  They work at the tree farm from 9 am until dark.  So after a long day at the tree farm on Saturday Billy and Matt both came back to the house for dinner.  It has been unseasonable warm around here so we were able to grill out hamburgers on Saturday.


Here are some pictures of Billy and Matt working at the tree farm.  The customer cuts their tree and pulls it up to the barn.  In the picture above our cousin Greg is pulling his tree up to the barn,  Once at the barn the guys will put the tree on the shaker.  It vibrates and shakes the tree so all the loose needles fall off then they put it through the baler which will put a netting around the tree.  Lastly the guys help the customers put the trees in or on the vehicles.


We took our littlest beagle with us Saturday.  He was excited to see Billy.

I saw a recipe on a blog awhile back for Creamy Chicken Enchiladas but when I went back to find it I can not.  So this recipe is what I came up with.  It was really good.  I like that it was baked in whipping cream.  The whipping cream kept them really moist.  The Cilantro Lime Rice tasted just like the rice I have had at Chipotle.  Also on the plate is refried beans with Taco Bell taco sauce and cheese on top.  They taste just like Taco Bells pintos and cheese.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

2 C cooked and shredded chicken
1  8oz cream cheese
1 10oz can rotel tomatoes
1/2 C chopped onions
1/2 t garlic powder
oil, for sauteing onions and rotel tomatoes
6 tortillas
1 C whipping Cream
8 oz Monterrey Jack cheese ( I used 4 cheese Mexican)

Saute onions and rotel tomatoes in oil until onions are tender.  Add garlic powder and stir well.  Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.  Lastly add the chicken and mix all together.

Place 1/6 of the mixture on each tortilla and roll up to close.  Place each tortilla in a greased 9x13 pan.  Pour 1 C whipping cream over enchiladas and cover with foil.  Bake in a 350 degree over for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and take off the foil.  Sprinkle the cheese over top of the enchiladas and place them back in the oven until the cheese is melted

Cilantro Lime Rice
Chipotlefan.com

1 Toil
2 t fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1/2 lime
1/2 salt (sea salt)
1 C long grain white rice
2 C water

Saute the rice in oil until almost translucent.  Add water and bring to a boil.  As soon as the water begins to boil, turn the heat down low.  Simmer, covered for 15-20 min or until all water is absorbed.  Turn off heat.  Don't peek.  Leave it covered for 30 minutes. This is what makes it fluffy.  Remove lid, let some of the steam out.  It may be helpful to transfer rice into a mixing bowl for the next step.  Mix salt and lime juice together until salt is dissolved.  Pout it over rice, fluff with a fork.  Sprinkle in cilantro and toss will to evenly coat with cilantro and lime mixture.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs


We had a terrific weekend last week.  Black Friday shopping, Ohio State beat Michigan, Bengals beat Carson Palmer and Cleveland Browns beat the Steelers.


Here is Billy and his friends at the OSU/Michigan game.  He said it was one of the best Ohio State games he has ever been to.  Billy and his friends were able to buy tickets to all the home games since they are attending Ohio State.  On Tuesday night last week he participated in another Ohio State tradition which was to jump in Mirror Lake before the Michigan game.  I have read in some news articles that there were between 10,000 and 12,000 students who jumped in the lake on campus.  I was worried about him doing this but he had a great time and only got a small cut on his head.  He says he will do it again next year.  I think they are all crazy.



Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
adapted from Paula Deen

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
4 T Parmesan cheese
1 to 1 1/2 C bread crumbs
3 large eggs
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 t basil
2 T parsley
1/2 t dried oregano
6 strips of string cheese cut into 30 pieces
Spaghetti Sauce
cooked Spaghetti

In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, ground pork, Parmesan  eggs, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, parsley and dried oregano.  Add bread crumbs 1/2 C at a time until mixture is not to wet and can be formed into balls easily.  Form mixture into 30 balls, using your thumb to press a hole in the center.  Insert a piece of the cheese into the hole and close the hole by pushing the meatball mixture around it to secure the cheese inside each ball.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until meatballs are brown and cooked through.  Serve over spaghetti with sauce or alone dipped in pizza sauce



Saturday, November 24, 2012

New York Cherry Cheesecake




I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!  Our family went to my Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving dinner.  I made this cheese cake to go along with the desserts that Mom and Marley made and the pie's that my Dad made.  I love Dad's Butterscotch pie!

I have made this cheesecake a few weeks ago to try out the recipe.  It was a hit with Bill.  He really liked this recipe.  Cally said it reminded her of the cheesecake her and I shared at the Cheesecake Factory.  When I made it the other night I was out of flour so I just left it out.  I do not think it tasted different but the texture sure was different without the flour.  It was light and fluffy with the omission of the flour.  With the flour added it was more dense and less fluffy.  I liked it better with the flour.

Well I am going to close this post as Bill has just come in from outside and we have decided to go into town to the Springfield City Christmas Tree lighting and fireworks show.  I will take some pictures and post them later.


Update:  We are home from the Holiday in the City.  Wow what a good time we had.  After finally finding a parking spot we walked down to the City Hall.  It started out with the lighting of the Christmas Tree and then  a parade with Santa Clause coming to town on a fire truck and ending with the biggest fireworks display that was awesome....We have decided we are going to make this a tradition and go every year.







New York Cherry Cheesecake
adapted from Kraft
crust:
1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs
1/3 C butter, melted
1/4 C sugar

cheesecake:
5 pkg Cream Cheese
1 C sugar
3 T flour
1 T vanilla
1 C sour cream
4 eggs

Topping:
1 can cherry pie filling

crust:
Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides.  Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; press onto bottom of pan.  Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees

cake:
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla with mixer until blended.  Add sour cream; mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low after each just until blended.  Pour over crust.

 Bake at 325 degrees for 40 min, or until center is almost set.  Cool completely.  Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.  Top with pie filling.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Homemade Twinkies




I was sad to hear that Hostess has decided to close their doors.  We do not on a regular basis buy hostess snacks but every once in awhile they sure sound good.  My favorite hostess snack is the orange cupcakes.  I have seen these homemade Twinkies on other blogs before and always thought someday I might try those.  Well Saturday was the day.  They were delicious.  Bill took one bite and said "It tastes like a Twinkie"  The filling was a little heavier than a real twinkie but the flavor was almost the same.


As you can see in the pictures above, I made my own mold/pan for these twinkies.  It was real simple and I used a spice jar to form the molds.  After baking some of them were a little out of shape but they still tasted the same even if they were not a perfect shaped twinkie.


Homemade Twinkies
Todd Wilbur

cake
4 egg whites
1 16 oz box golden pound cake mix
2/3 C water

Filling
2 t very hot water
1/4 t salt
1 7oz jar marshmallow creme
1/2 C shortening
1/3 C powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 325

Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice.  Wrap the folded foil around a spice bottle to create a mold.  Leave the top of the mold open for pouring in the batter. Make ten of these molds and arrange them on a cookie sheet or a shallow pan.  Grease the insides of each mold with a light coating of nonstick spray.

Disregard the directions on the box of cake mix.  Instead, beat the egg whites until stiff.  In a separate bowl combine cake mix with the water and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes).  fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.

Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 of an inch.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 min or until cake is golden brown and toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

for the filling, combine the salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved.  Let this mixture cool.

Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.

Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine

When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one.  Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling.

Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes

makes 10

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gorilla Bread




Gorilla Bread
slightly adapted from Paula Deen



  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 16.3 oz Grands Homestyle biscuits
  • 1 chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan  with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a sauce pan melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 16 equal cubes. Cut each biscuit in half.   Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Roll each biscuit ball in cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle half of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits,If desired sprinkle on some more nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Iced Mocha Frappe


Billy and Cally are both home this weekend.  We all went out to the Filling Station in Troy to eat dinner for Billy's birthday.  When we got home Cally and I made these Paula Deen Iced Mocha Frappes.  I have tried Cally's frappe before from McDonald's and really did not care for it but these are good.  I made the frozen cubes last night so they would be ready when Cally got home today.  All I had was hazelnut coffee so maybe that is giving it a different taste.  The hazelnut coffee with the hot chocolate is sooooo gooooood  !!


Iced Mocha Frappe
Paula Deen

4 C brewed coffee, hot
4 (1 oz) packages hot chocolate mix (3/4 C mix)
4 T sugar
1 C heavy whipping cream
2 t vanilla
whipped cream for serving

In a heat proof bowl or pitcher, add the coffee, hot chocolate mix and sugar.  Stir until well combined.  Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze, covered, for at least 3 hours and up to 1 week.

Put frozen cubes in a blender.  Add the cream and vanilla and puree until smooth.  Divide the frappe into tall glasses and top with whipping cream.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Breakfast Burritos


I have made these Breakfast Burritos the last 2 weekends.  Cally and I decided it would be nice to have these in the freezer to take out and pop in the microwave for a great warm breakfast!  It sure worked out nice that Cally had them in her freezer last week so she would have a warm breakfast before going out into the yucky weather we had last week.

I make them and assemble them on Sunday.  I put them in the freezer and take them out for breakfast each morning.  To warm them up I wrap two in a wet paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes.  If desired you can also open them up and put on a little taco sauce.  They are wonderful, just like they were made that morning.

I just use eggs, sausage and cheese.  But if you like it exciting you could add onions and peppers.  Actually you could come up with lots of great creations.  To me it is like an omelet inside a tortilla that can be picked up and ate with your hands and on the go if need be.  I think adding shredded hash browns sounds amazing too.  I also love Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Sausage Crumbles.  It makes it so easy to just open the sausage up and pour it into the scrambled eggs



Breakfast Burritos

12 eggs
splash of milk (probably 1/4 C)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C margarine
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
9. 6 oz Jimmy Dean Hearty Sausage Crumbles
20  6" tortillas

Melt butter in skillet.  Mix together eggs and milk.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and scramble the eggs.  When eggs are about done pour in the sausage and stir together.  When the eggs are done to your liking, turn the heat off and sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and sausage mixture.  After cheese is melted, put a small amount of the egg sausage mixture on each burrito and roll them up.  Place in zip lock bags and place in freezer until ready to eat.  When taking out of the freezer, roll them in a wet paper towel and microwave them for about 2 minutes.  If desired you can unroll and put on some taco sauce..... enjoy!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nutmeg and Hazelnut Coffee



I could not find my Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer last weeks so I purchased my usual Hazelnut Coffee Creamer.  While I was making my coffee on Monday I happened to see my nutmeg nuts sitting on the counter and the idea popped into my head to grate some fresh nutmeg into my coffee.... Oh boy was it good.  So if you like Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer like me and can not find it, just put some nutmeg into your coffee along with your usually creamer  :o)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vanilla Popcorn


Tonight I made Vanilla Popcorn.  I have never made any flavored popcorn or popcorn balls before so was unsure how difficult it was going to be.  It was not difficult at all.  I am planning on making this for the holidays.  I saw the Vanilla Popcorn on the blog Read it and Eat.  I adapted her recipe a little bit.  She puts her sugar mixture in the microwave instead of on the stove.  She also says that you do not have to bake your vanilla popcorn but if you do not it is chewy instead of crunchy.  I prefer crunchy.  I think next time I will also add peanuts to mine.  Bill and I have decided once you start eating it that it is hard to stop.  It is so yummy!


Vanilla Popcorn
adapted from Read it and Eat


12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)  
1 cup white granulated sugar
 
1/4 cup white corn syrup
 
1/2 tsp salt 

1 stick real butter

1/2 tsp baking soda
 
1 tsp vanilla

Pop popcorn and put the popcorn in the biggest bowl you have.

Place sugar, corn syrup, salt, and butter in a pan and melt over medium heat.  Stirring constantly stir until mixture begins to boil.  Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.   Stir until it starts to foam a little bit, and gets thick. Pour over popcorn. Mix well with a big spoon.

Spread the popcorn out on a cookie sheet or two.  Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mini Monkey Bread


Bill and I had a busy weekend.  Friday we went out to eat for Sweetest Day.  I bought a coupon off of Restaurant.com for a new restaurant that we had not tried before.  We ate at the Filling Station and really enjoyed it.


On Saturday we went to a Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party at my sister Dina's house.  I made snickerdoodle bars(click here for recipe) for the party and they were a big hit.  Bill and I watched our niece Marley and her friends carve their pumpkins.  We decided to opt out of the hay ride as it was too cold for me.  A lot of fun was had by all.


Today Bill and I took the Corvette out for probably our last ride of the year.  We will be putting the Corvette in storage pretty soon.  Bill took me to George Rogers Clark Park.  Even though this park is right here in Clark County I have never been back to it before.  I was surprised when we came to this beautiful lake.  The trees still looked pretty but I bet last weekend they were amazing.

Tonight for supper we had chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes and biscuits   Since the kids have moved out, a roll of biscuits is too many for Bill and I.  I tried baking what I needed and putting the can back in the fridge to use another time but they go flat and do not bake up fluffy.  So tonight I came up with an idea.  I had a can of 10 biscuits.  I baked 4 of them and then took the remaining 6 and made Monkey Bread.  I love Monkey Bread, it reminds me of Pecan Sticky Rolls.  It is so easy to make.  I prepared the rolls and put them in the pan as supper was finishing up, when I took my biscuits out of the oven I then popped my Monkey Bread in.  I baked my Monkey Bread while we ate supper. Then after supper we had a nice treat.

I want to thank my Friend Shari W for my tube pan!  I love this smaller size.

Mini Monkey Bread

6 biscuits cut into 4's (a total of 24 pieces)
2 T sugar
1 t cinnamon
3 T melted butter
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C chopped Pecans

Grease an 8 inch tube pan.  Put pecans in the bottom of the tube pan.  Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces (for a total of 24 pieces).  Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.  Roll each biscuit in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place in the tube pan.  Melt the butter and brown sugar together and pour over the biscuit pieces.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Invert pan right away onto a plate and let cool...enjoy

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese


Bill and I went to Portsmouth to see Cally last weekend.  She found out that Romney was going to be on campus on Saturday afternoon.  The students could get tickets to attend the rally and she called and asked Bill and I to go with her.  So we got up early on Saturday, stopped and bought some Schulers donuts and headed to Portsmouth.  We had a really good time at the rally.



After the rally we went to eat at Port City Cafe and Pub.  It is an Irish Pub.  It was really neat inside.  It reminded me of an old fashion bar.  We all had Rubens and chips.  I think the Ruben was the best I have ever had.  We will definitely go back there to eat when we are in Portsmouth.


picture from http://www.theportcitycafeandpub.com/about_us.html

This slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese was excellent.  I love being able to put stuff in the crock pot.  The smell is amazing all day long.  The Mac and Cheese was so cheesy.  I did make mine with a different cheese than Trisha did.  I used 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese and 8 oz shredded pepper jack cheese.  Mine had a little bit of a bite to it from the pepper jack cheese.  I have read other reviews for this recipe and those had said they did not boil the macaroni first, they just put it in raw.  I did boil mine first and it was not mushy at all when it was done.



Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Trisha Yearwood


  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces cooked elbow macaroni
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick ) of butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Two 10-ounce bricks sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
  • Dash of paprika

Directions

In a large 4-quart slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray, mix the macaroni, evaporated milk, milk, butter, salt, pepper, eggs and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture and then sprinkle with paprika. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Turn off the slow cooker, stir the mixture and serve hot.
Cook's Note: If you don't have a slow cooker, grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan with butter, add the mixture and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cherry Lime Margarita Sunsational Cake


Our household was not too happy today.  The Reds choked and lost the last 3 games to the Giants.  We have been sick about it.  We are dedicated fans who either watches or listens to every game possible.  Bill and I have been all excited for the playoffs.  It all ended today and now we will have to wait until next year :o(

The Milk glass cake stand in the picture was my birthday present from my Mother in law and Father in law.  I had mentioned that I loved Milk Glass Cake plates a few weeks ago while looking at a cook book with my Mother in law and she started shopping for one for my birthday.  I absolutely love it.  My favorite part of the plate is the ruffle on the edge.  If you look close you can see the clear glass on the edge of the ruffle.

I had to make a cake so I could share my birthday present with you so here I have a Cherry Lime Margarita Sunsational Cake.  This cake was really moist and tart.  This is one of Bill's favorite cakes.  I have made different flavors of this cake and posted them on my blog before.  This summer I happened to find Margarita jello and bought a box and it has been sitting in my cupboard waiting to be used.  A flavor that I have taking a liking to this summer is Cherry Lime.  I have in the fridge a carton of Minute Maid Cherry Limeade.  I decided to make a Cherry Lime Margarita Sunsational Cake.  Next time I make it I am going to use a cherry cake mix.  I think it will give it more of a tart cherry taste.  Also if I can not find margarita jello I will use lime jello.



Cherry Lime Margarita Sunsational Cake

1 Box White Cake Mix 
1 small box margarita jello
3/4 C Minute Maid Cherry Limeade
3/4 C oil
4 eggs

Mix together and beat for 3 minutes

Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan

Bake 350 degrees for 34 to 40 minutes

When cake is done poke holes in the top and sides with a fork.  Pour glaze over the cake.

Glaze: 4 T Cherry Limeade and enough powder sugar to soupy consistency.  Pour over cake.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes


These are the pancakes I talked about in the last blog update.  Cally made these for her and I on Sunday morning.  They were really good!  You could taste the lemon but it was not so strong that it was sour.  I was worried they would be sour but they were actually really good.  I had Cally fix mine without the blueberries.  The lemon flavor mixed with the maple syrup was a sweet lemony taste.

These pancakes also were made out of my Birthday cookbook.  Cally and I already have some other recipes picked out to make the next time she is home.

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
Pioneer Woman

zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 C evaporated milk
1 1/2 C plus 1 T flour
1/4 t salt
1 heaping T baking powder
3 T sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 heaping C blueberries
2 T butter, melted plus extra for serving
maple syrup

Zest the lemon and set the zest aside.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the evaporated milk.  Stir and let it sit for a few minutes to thicken.  In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Add the baking powder and sugar.  Crack the egg into the evaporated milk/lemon mixture and add the vanilla.  Add the lemon zest to the evaporated milk mixture and stir to combine.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients,Stirring in gently with a fork as you pour it in.  Be careful not to over mix it.  Then fold in the blueberries.  Finally stir in the melted butter.  Heat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and add 2 T butter to the pan. Use
1/4 C measure to drop the batter into the pan.  Then cook them on both sides until done.

click on the link below to see where these pancakes are partying

Saturday Dishes 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fried Mozzarella and a Birthday surprise


I had a great weekend.  My birthday is tomorrow and Cally had said early on that she would be home the weekend before my birthday to celebrate with me.  Then last week she said with midterm coming up she had too much work and could not make it home.  At that point it was going on 3 weeks since I had seen Cally.  I was bummed but knew she had work to do so it was ok.  I then started making my own plans to go see her on the weekend of the 13th.  I kept asking Bill about reserving a room in Portsmouth for the 13th.  He was not paying a whole lot of attention to me.  On Thursday night I found a room at the Greenbo Lake National Park Lodge.  He would not say for sure he was on board with going to see her.  On Friday I decided I was just going to book the room at the lodge because rooms were filling up fast in that area for the next weekend.  

Bill and I had plans for Friday night, we were leaving as soon as he arrived home from work to put our car in the New Carlisle Heritage of Flights car show.  We went to the car show with our cousin Greg.  Greg has a 63 Impala SS.  We have been attending car shows with him some this summer.  Below is Greg's 63 Impala SS and our Corvette at the car show.



While at the car show Cally called me a couple of times and chit chatted with me about her day and what she was doing for supper.  I told Bill and Greg about my conversations with Cally and they listened to what I had to say about her day.  Little did I know Greg was also in on the secret surprise I had later on in the evening.  It started to rain so Bill and I ordered a pizza and decided to call it a night and go home.  I was the first one in the door when we arrived home.  All the lights were off but I could see some inside the kitchen from the garage light behind me and I said to Bill, Someone has been in the house cause there is a cake, flowers and a present on the kitchen bar.... I no longer said that and the light came on and Cally jumped out of the living room yelling Happy Birthday.  It was the best surprise I had ever had.


This was my present from Cally.  We love Pioneer Woman.  I have her first cookbook and we also watch her cooking show on Saturday.  Cally and I made several dishes from the cookbook this weekend.  Below is Cally preparing and frying the mozzarella sticks.


The Fried Mozzarella sticks were our favorite.  They are the best Mozzarella sticks I have ever had.  They were super easy to make too.  We also made Lemon Blueberry Pancakes and I will blog about them soon.... they were also scrumptious.

Fried Mozzarella
from Pioneer Woman

16 pieces string cheese, removed from their wrappers
1/2 C flour
2 eggs
1/4 C milk
2 C panko bread crumbs
1 T dried parsley flakes
canola oil for frying
pizza sauce for dipping

Slices the sting cheese pieces in half for a total of 32 pieces.  Place the flour in a small bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and milk.  In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the parsley flakes.  One by one roll the mozzarella pieces in the flout.  Then briefly dunk them in the egg/milk mixture.  Finally roll them in the panko mixture.  Use your hands if necessary to get the crumbs to adhere.  Place the mozzarella pieces on a baking sheet, then place them in the freezer for 20 to 30 min (I only had mine in for 10 to 15) to flash freeze.

To Fry the mozzarella, heat 1 1/2 inches of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the mozzarella sticks 6 to 8 pieces at a time.  Watch them closely and turn them over to brown evenly.  They should cook for less than 2 minutes; make sure the cheese doesn't start to bubble and leak.

Remove them to a paper towel-lined plate.  Serve immediately with warm pizza sauce.
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