Saturday, December 31, 2011
"People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas."
So with those thoughts in mind, eat and be merry! Happy New Year to everyone!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. softened butter
2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. cream
8 oz dark chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/3 cup)
1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. In a medium bowl, blend together sugar, butter, extracts, and cream on low speed. After blended, increase mixer speed to medium high and beat an additional 2 minutes or until mixture is creamy.
Using about a teaspoon size, roll candy into small balls and place on wax paper. Using your thumb, press top of ball down but do not flatten all the way. When completed, place cookie sheet into refrigerator and chill for 20 minutes (I have found that freezing them makes it very easy and much neater when you dip them in the chocolate).
Meanwhile, melt chocolate and shortening in microwave (on 50% power) or over a double boiler until melted.
Using dipping tools or two forks, dip the candy into the chocolate one at a time. Remove excess chocolate by scraping bottom of candy on the side of the bowl. Place back on cookie sheet and refridgerate to harden chocolate. Store patties in the refrigerator.
Make about 36. Recipe is easily doubled.
"There has been only one Christmas - the rest are anniversaries."-W.J. Cameron
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Eggnog Spice Bundt Cake
1 (181/4-ounce) boxed spice cake mix
1 (4-serving) instant vanilla or cheesecake pudding and pie filling mix
1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup light eggnog
3 egg whites
1 1/3 cups toasted chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, oil, eggnog, egg and egg whites in a large bowl. Mix until creamy.
3. Stir in pecans. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.
"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?"
Monday, November 7, 2011
1 unbaked 9 inch pie crust
1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon peel
1 cup light cream
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, spices and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well! Fold in lemon juice and peel. Slowly, you hear, add butter, vanilla, eggs and cream. Make it smooth. Spoon into pie shell. Bake 45 or 50 minutes. Poke a straw in center....clean? Done!
"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." -Erma Bombeck
"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action."
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Baked Apple Pies
1 tablespoon butter
4 or 5 medium to large apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 (8-piece) container refrigerated flaky biscuit dough
1 tablespoon water
Add the butter to a large pan and melt. Add the apples, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the apples are soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
When the filling is cool, roll the biscuits out on a lightly floured surface so that each biscuit forms a 7 to 8-inch circle. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling on each biscuit circle. Brush the edges of the circle with water. Fold the circle over the filling to make a half-moon shape. Seal by pressing the edges with the tines of a fork.
If you are baking these, pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place pies on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is browned. Remove and cool.
If you are frying the pies, preheat deep-fryer with oil to 350 degrees.
Carefully add the pies to the oil, 1 at a time, and fry until golden brown, turning the pies as necessary for even browning, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar immediately.
Adapted from Paula Deen's Fried Apple Pies
"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Victoria Sponge Cake
1 cup butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
4 medium eggs (I used large)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
milk, to loosen
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Grease and line 7in cake pans or 1 larger baking pan (10 inch) with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
Cream the butter and the sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, and stir in the vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little extra milk if necessary, to create a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
Divide the mixture between the cake pans and gently spread out with a spatula.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and peel off the paper. Place onto a wire rack.
(If you made one large cake, use a serrated knife and cut the layer in half. Proceed below)
Sandwich the cakes together with jam, lemon curd or whipped cream and berries or just enjoy on its own.
Adapted from the BBC Food Recipes
"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”
-Walter Bagehot quotes (British political Analyst, Economist and Editor, one of the most influential journalists of the mid-Victorian period.1826-1877)
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Favorite Sugar Cookies
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar (I used 1 1/4 cup which worked fine)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract (I didn't have lemon extract on hand so I used regular lemon juice. You can add more if you like your cookies more lemony!)
1 tablespoon lemon peel
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.
Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon peel.
Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
Adapted from Bunny's Warm Oven Blog
"Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap." -Barbara Jordan
Sunday, August 21, 2011
1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 pkg. plain devil's food cake mix
1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Pan Frosting
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk (for Cola frosting, subsitute 1/3 cup cola for milk)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
Place the chocolate and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cool, stirring, until the chocolate is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.
Place the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the melted chocolate. Blend with mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 to 3 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined. Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto another rack to cool completely, 20 minutes more.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting:
Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over low heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and milk. Let the mixture come just to a boil, stirring, and then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the powdered sugar until the frosting is thickened and smooth. Pour the warm frosting over the top of a cooled cake, spreading it with a spatula so that it reaches all sides of the cake. Work quickly because this frosting goes on best while still warm.
Transfer the cake to a serving platter and spread the warm frosting over the cake. Let the frosting set for 20 minutes, then slice and serve.
"Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed. Chocolate makes it worthwhile."
Sunday, August 7, 2011
My husband's second job is teaching. He is a professor at two colleges, one a community college and the other a university. He teaches nights and weekends, in his spare time ;) His last Saturday morning class was this weekend and he asked me if I would fix a simple snack for the class. I decided on these pull aparts. Pretty much everyone loves cinnamon and sugar with bread so I thought it might appeal to everyone. It did and they loved them. These would be a great addition to a buffet breakfast or a tasty late night snack.
Cinnamon Sugar Pull Aparts
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsps. cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
1 can (12 oz) refrigerated buttermilk flaky biscuits
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously grease or spray a square glass baking pan.
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar and blend well.
Separate dough into 10 buscuits and cut each into quarters. Dip each quarter into the melted butter then dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Arrange in the baking pan so they are touching.
Bake for 19 to 27 minutes. When done, let cool. Remove the pull aparts from the pan and serve on a plate.
Makes about 10 servings.
"Cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously."
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I thought I was all done with the Nutella recipes for a while when I spotted this one as I was just browsing on the internet. Really, who could pass up something that looks like this?! Icing on top of rich, chocolaty Nutella? Not me, no way. As a coincidence, the same kids I made the Nutella Bites for were over visiting my kids again. So I made these brownies for them. They must think all we eat is Nutella in this family. They loved these so much one of them insisted on the recipe. I sent some of the brownies home with them along with the recipe and a jar of Nutella, partly just to save myself from making more of brownies (and eating them).
1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup peanut butter
In a medium bowl combine all-purpose flour, cocoa (sift this in to get rid of lumps), baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Over low heat, melt butter and stir in sugar and vanilla extract until well combined.
To the butter-sugar mixture add eggs, one at a time. Beat until blended. Add cocoa mixture and mix on slow speed, just until blended.
Heat Nutella and peanut butter in the microwave in 20 second intervals until it reaches a runny consistency. Stir this mixture into the batter.
Pour the batter into a glass 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
Cool completely before cutting.
Icing- Mix just enough milk and 1 cup of confectioner's sugar until smooth but not runny, drizzling it over the brownies, then with chocolate chips, if desired.
"Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods."
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
1 1/3 cups cold butter
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup ice-cold water
8 large fresh, firm, ripe peaches (about 4 lb.)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Cut 1 1/3 cups butter into small cubes, and chill 15 minutes. Stir together 4 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas. Gradually stir in 1/2 cup ice water with a fork, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened and dough begins to form a ball and leaves sides of bowl, adding more ice water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if necessary. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap; press and shape dough into 2 flat disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 425º. Place 1 dough disk on a lightly floured surface; sprinkle dough lightly with flour. Roll dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Starting at 1 edge of dough, wrap dough around a rolling pin. Place rolling pin over a 9-inch pie plate, and unroll dough over pie plate. Press dough into pie plate.
Roll remaining dough disk to about 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.
Peel peaches, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; cut slices in half. Stir together brown sugar, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 1/4 cup flour in a bowl; add peaches, stirring to coat. Immediately spoon peach mixture into piecrust in pie plate, and dot with 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter. (Do not make mixture ahead or it will become too juicy.)
Carefully place remaining piecrust over filling; press edges of crusts together to seal. Cut off excess crust, and reserve. Crimp edges of pie. If desired, reroll excess crust to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch leaves using a knife. Brush top of pie with beaten egg; top with leaves. Brush leaves with egg; sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 4 to 5 slits in top of pie for steam to escape.
Freeze pie 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a jelly-roll pan in oven 10 minutes. Place pie on hot jelly-roll pan.
Bake at 425° on lower oven rack 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°; bake 40 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, and bake 25 more minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly (juices will bubble through top). Transfer to a wire rack; cool 2 hours before serving.
“A Georgia peach, a real Georgia peach, a backyard great-grandmother's orchard peach, is as thickly furred as a sweater, and so fluent and sweet that once you bite through the flannel, it brings tears to your eyes.”
-Melissa Fay Greene, ‘Praying for Sheetrock’
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Here in Pittsburgh we have a part of town that is called "The Strip". Now, I know what you are thinking, but it's not really like that. It's a strip of road that runs from downtown to one of the local communities. It has wholesale produce vendors, Italian goods, a seafood market, a Chinese grocery store and many other fascinating places. One of my favorite is Mon Ami, which is a chocolate/candy store with exotic chocolates from around the world. When my brother was home in June, we took him there. As the kids were ordering gelato, I started a conversation with the owner. She mentioned a recent trip to Florida and a lovely dessert she had called Nutella bites. Well, you know me and chocolate, I had to ask for the recipe! Wouldn't you know that nice lady emailed me the recipe right the next day? She kept telling me how good they are. And she could not be more right. I made a double batch and they were literally gone within 30 minutes. These are super easy. Just be sure you make enough!
Mini Nutella Bites
1/2 cup Nutella spread
1 large egg
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 ounce chopped chocolate or chopped nuts to put on top before baking
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line or grease mini cupcake/muffin pan
(12). Put the nutella and egg in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour and whisk until blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full ) and sprinkle with the chocolate or nuts. Bake for about 10 minutes.
You can also serve with some fruit and whipped topping for company
"You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
Monday, July 4, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Ever since the kids got out of school a week and a half ago (Could it be just a week and a half? It feels like last year!), we have all been running. My brother visited with his kids starting the afternoon the kids got out of school. And it's been crazy ever since. But fun. Lots of fun. While we had everyone here, Jim cooked as usual. I handled dessert. But what to make with 5 kids and 4 adults for dinner? It had to appeal to everyone. Well, Paula Deen came up with the answer for me, with a little spin. This is from her The Lady Just Desserts cookbook. This recipe was easy and everyone enjoyed it. It was gone within a day. Can't have a better endorsement than that!
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted, plus extra butter for greasing pan
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 (16-ounce) box light brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup milk, scalded
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with butter.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cocoa and the melted butter. Add the eggs, flour, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat well with a hand-held electric mixer. Add nuts, stirring with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
While cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Beat the brown sugar and butter. Add the cocoa and beat. Stir in the scalded milk and vanilla together in a mixing bowl and beat with the hand-held mixer until smooth. Set aside.
Remove the cake from the oven, and pour the marshmallows over the cake while it is still hot. Pour the frosting over the marshmallows. Let cool slightly before cutting into pieces.
"A happy family is but an earlier heaven."
George Bernard Shaw
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I went a little crazy making food for our family get together. Considering that we were only having two people over and there is five of us, I made enough to feed an Army! But it was fun. And, of course, I had to make dessert. Being that I was so tired from making all the salads, drinks, and other food for the party, the dessert had to be simple. Plus it was over 90 degrees here that day, so the dessert also had to be light and refreshing. This recipe was perfect. It was so simple and so good. It's great for a picnic or get together or just on a hot summer night.
1 store bought graham cracker pie crust
1 14 oz size sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 12 oz container Cool Whip, thawed
1 6 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate, still frozen
In a bowl, gently fold the condensed milk and the Cool Whip together until blended. Add the frozen lemonade concentrate and stir until mixed. Pour into the pie shell and freeze several hours or overnight.
"We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.”
-Alfred E. Neuman
Thursday, May 26, 2011
1 box Devil's Food chocolate cake
15 oz pumpkin puree
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, if desired
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat cake mix and pumpkin together until blended. Add chocolate chips if desired. Batter will be thick.
Line muffin pan with cupcake liners. Fill cups 3/4 full.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Makes about 24 cupcakes.
6 tablespoons softened butter
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until blended. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
"Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with cupcakes"
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Finally, the ship was docked. After a bit more waiting the families were allowed on the pier. We waited anxiously for my brother, who had warned me that he might be one of the last off the ship. True to his word, he was. But I was so happy to see him I didn't care. He dropped his sea bags as soon as he saw me running towards him. We had a long hug then the kids joined in. My brother and husband even gave each other one of those manly hugs, the ones that end with pats on the back.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Things did not turn out so well in the adoption situation. I had such hopes that I could finally, after three long years, have a child or children as part of our family. But it seems it isn't meant to be.
The situation I wrote about in my last post with the respite for the two children not only didn't work out, it ended up with my husband and I being called liars and everyone angry at us.
The initial meeting with these children was with me, the adoption counselor, the pre adoptive mom, and the kids. We met at my house, so the kids could meet me and my kids and get used to the surroundings. We met for over 3 hours. I was a little concerned when most of the meeting was about the pre adoptive mom and no one told me any information or was able to answer my questions, but I chalked it up to her bad situation. By the end of the meeting, the agreement was for us to take the kids starting Saturday until Tuesday. Then we would take them again for a longer periods of time until the pre adoptive mom had a chance to make up her mind about the adoption and we had a chance to get to know the kids.
Well, she dropped them off Saturday without car seats, medical cards or even so much as telling us their last names. We coped the best we could, going out and buying all the supplies they needed ourselves. We tried to keep them busy all weekend running in the yard, going to McDonald's, and having as much fun as we could fit in.
Then, come Sunday night, the pre adoptive mom calls and tells us she is not coming back to get the kids. We were floored. We called the adoption counselor and explained what had happened. We were told, "Well, aren't you were interested in adopting?" After a series of phone calls and emails, it was decided that the pre adoptive mom would come back as planned on Tuesday. On Tuesday she did show up but she was very angry. She came, grabbed the kids and left.
I contacted the adoption counselor and asked what was happening. She explained that the pre adoptive mom could never have abandoned the kids like we told her and that we were wrong by not taking the kids on permanently. I explained that a day and a half was not long enough to decide if we were a good fit (the agency promotes a good fit ad nauseum in their trainings), and she kept implying we were wrong not to take the kids. I also asked why we didn't get any support with this situation and she again said we were wrong and that she did support us.
My husband was pretty upset by this whole conversation and decided to contact the director of the agency. She listened to him, had me send all the relevant emails between us and the counselor, then never contacted us again. My husband emailed her yesterday after waiting a week and she told him that we were liars (it was all "miscommunication") and that the counselor did everything right. She refused to allow us to change counselors, saying this counselor is the only one who does matching (we know there are two) and basically blew us off. So much for being the best adoption agency in Pittsburgh.
So ends our adoption attempts. My husband keeps saying we should try again with another agency, but that means starting all over from the beginning with trainings, CPR certifications, clearances, letters of reference, home inspections and all the stacks of forms you have to fill out. I just can't bring myself to go through it all again, just to sit and hope. It's time to count my blessings and move on. It breaks my heart and I can't stop crying about it, but sometimes you just have to know when it's over. And it's over.
Friday, April 29, 2011
On the way back, we stopped in Winchester, VA. Not as southern as it used to be but still nice. You may think we are strange, but we love the Mt. Hebron Cemetary. The history is unbelievable. And the Virginia Farm market is a definite each time we are there.
Overall, we drove over 600 miles. We even fit in a half hour stop in Williamsburg, which had the only down point of the trip. We saw they are tearing down part of the pottery. Very sad. I grew up going to the pottery every year on my family vacation. We decided that next vacation, we are going back to visit Willamsburg.
And last but not least, it looks like my brother may be on schedule to come home from his deployment next month. Yippeeee! He is thrilled to be finally done (and safe). They have a virus going around the ship which he caught so I haven't been able to talk too much to him lately, but I was able to email him about us being there to meet his ship next month. All the arrangements still need to be made (special passes to get on base, hotels, etc) but if it all goes well, we will get to see him come off the ship.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
21 ounces cherry pie filling
8 ounces Cool Whip
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup of chopped pecans, if desired
Mix all ingredients together and refridgerate for at least two hours. Serve.
"Break open a cherry tree and there are no flowers, but the spring breeze brings forth myriad blossoms."
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Grease a 9x9 inch square pan. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Mix in the oats. Cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until ingredients are well blended. Press half of mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Reserve the other half for topping. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust in the pan, and spread evenly with a knife or the back of a spoon. Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate layer, pressing in gently. Cover, and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cutting into bars.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Thank you to all of you for your thoughts, prayers and very kind words of support this past week. You can't know how much it means to me to know that you all were thinking and praying for us. It was like getting a big hug every time I thought of you all, which was a lot.
On to the sweet stuff now! I know it's probably still cold where most of you live (it is here, it's snowing right now), but that little taste of summer we had last week up here had me thinking about all the great summertime recipes I want to make. I had some peaches from our tree last year that I froze in Fall on hand too. I usually love making peach cobbler, but I came across a recipe for peach ice cream that got rave reviews, so I changed plans and tried it. Yum! There is nothing like homemade!
2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
1 pint half-and-half cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk, or as needed
Puree peaches with the sugar and half-and-half in batches in a blender or food processor. In a gallon ice cream freezer container, mix together the peach mixture, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Pour in enough whole milk to fill the container to the fill line, about 2 cups. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to freeze the ice cream.
Tips- You can make this ice cream a little sweeter by adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar. Cooling the container first will help the ice cream harden faster
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." -Albert Camus
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I will try to get back to some type of routine next week, if my nerves hold out, that is! Hopefully by then, I will have something delicious to share.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
"The path I travel is lit by those who came before me, and it will shine brighter for those who follow me"
Thursday, March 10, 2011
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts, chopped
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream shortening, butter, and sugar together. Beat in whole egg and two egg yolks.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. combine flour mixture with creamed mixture, blending thoroughly. Spread batter in buttered 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan. Sprinkle nuts, chocolate chips and marshmallows over batter.
Beat the two egg whites stiff and fold in brown sugar. Spread over the top of the batter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Cool then cut into bars.
True Southerners know instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. (If the trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'.) - from Georgia Girl
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Although I have been tempted many times, I've never had cookies for breakfast, until now. I was struck by how different this recipe is, at least in my limited and humble experience! The appeal of having something so easy to grab and eat, especially while running out the door (which I do most mornings!) is too much, so I had to make these. I was a bit overwhelmed by the ingredients at first, but once I got going it was easy. These are sweet, chewy and very versatile. Changing the ingredients to suit what you like is very easy. What's not to love?!
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of honey (I used 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup of butter (I used 1 Tblsp.)
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins (I used dried cherries)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (I didn't use)
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose)
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 and 1/2 cups Cheerios
Combine egg, honey, carrots and butter. Add raisins, walnuts and apricots.
Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Add this to wet mixture and stir until everything is wet. Fold in Cheerios.
Drop mixture onto cookie sheets about an inch apart and bake at 350 for 15 minuts or until cookie is firm.
“Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.”
Thursday, February 24, 2011
1 Butter Pecan cake mix, moist
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
2 large eggs
1 stick butter, melted (I used 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup Smart Butter spread and 1/4 cup skim milk)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup nuts, chopped small
2/3 cup butterscotch chips
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding, eggs, butter, milk and water. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread into a 9x13 inch pan sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle butterscotch chips over batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and let cool.
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (I used fresh grated)
"He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise."
-Henry David Thoreau
Thursday, February 17, 2011
"There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult."
Thursday, February 10, 2011
"As a player, it says everything about you if you made the Hall of Fame. But, then again, boy... there's something about winning a Super Bowl."
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. It's where all the fruit is."
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Since Christmas, I have been trying to cut back on the amount of sweets I eat. I gained a few pounds at Christmas (always do) and since I have a metabolism as slow as a turtle, I need to cut way back for a while. But me without chocolate makes for one cranky person, so I had to make something. I found this recipe on my Sparkpeople site. I changed it a bit to make it even healthier (i.e. I could eat more) so I was surprised when my kids ate most of the cookies! You can add whatever you want to the batter or leave them plain. Since I still don't have any chocolate chips in the house (check out my willpower!), I couldn't add anything. But next time, I think mini chocolate chips would be a great choice.
Chocolate Brownie Drops
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup regular flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
2 large eggs (I used 1/4 cup Egg Beaters (equals 1 egg) and 1 regular egg)
1 tsp vanilla
In medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and cocoa powder.
Cream butter and both sugars with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix again.
Gradually add flour mixture and combine well. Add any extra ingredients like chocolate chips, dried cherries, walnuts, etc. Drop onto baking sheets using a cookie scoop.
Bake at 350 F for 13-15 minutes. When cookies seem soft yet hold their form, they are done. Do not overbake, which will make the cookies dry.
"Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is."
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desires
1 cup each Butterscotch and Chocolate chips
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Mix in brown sugar, vanilla and egg; stir well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in greased and floured 8x8x2 inch pan. Bake butterscotch brownies at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cut butterscotch brownies while warm.
"Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I knew There was milk and toast and honey and a bowl of oranges, too. And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses."
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Marched in a protest? No
Slept past 5 pm? No
Fallen asleep at work/school? Yes
Held a snake? Yes
Ran a red light? Yes
Been given detention in school? No
Totaled your car/motorbike in an accident? No
Been fired from a job? No
Eaten your kid's Halloween candy? YES!
Sang karaoke? No
Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
Kissed in the rain? Yes
Cross dressed? No
Sang in the shower? Yes
Sat on a rooftop? No
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? No
Broken a bone? no
Shaved your head? No
Played a prank on someone? Yes
Felt like killing someone? Yes
Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Yes
Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? Yes
Been in a band? No
Shot a gun? Yes
Donated Blood? No
Eaten alligator meat? No
Eaten cheesecake? Yes
Worry about the future? Yes
Believe in love? Yes
Like to cuddle? Yes
Sleep on a certain side of the bed? Yes
Talk in your sleep? Yes
Laughed until you peed your pants? Yes
Spend too much time on Facebook? No
Play a musical instrument? No
Been to Canada? No
Been to Mexico? No
Been to Europe? No
Been to China? No
Been skinny dipping? No
Gone sky diving? No
Killed an animal without hunting? Yes
Gone snowmobiling? No
Been on TV? No
Dated someone longer than you should have? Yes
Given the wrong person a second chance? Yes
Adopted a stray animal? Yes
Climbed a mountain? No
Taken to the hospital in an ambulance? Yes
Been bungee jumping? No
Miss someone every day? Yes
Speak a second language? No
Passed out when not drinking? Yes
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
'Twill make old women young and fresh,
Create new motions of the flesh.
And cause them long for you know what,
If they but taste of chocolate."