Friday, December 31, 2010

Apple Pecan Salad

This is a great salad for fall and winter.

3 TBSP Packed Brown Sugar
3 TBSP finely chopped Pecans
3 small sweet Apples, halved & cored
1 TBSP Butter, melted
1/2 C Canola Oil
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TBSP Honey
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
6 Cups Mixed Greens

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a greased baking dish place apple cut side up. Brush Apples with butter and sprinkle with sugar and pecans. Bake for 15 minutes or until just tender.

For dressing, a screw top jar combine oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.

Arrange greens on a platter, top with apples. Spoon pecans and liquid from pan on top. Drizzle with dressing.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Funeral Potatoes

This is a dish my mom always made growing up on holidays. I love it, and it is the ultimate comfort food.

7-8 Potatoes, boiled until very soft, cooled, peeled, and grated (Or use simply potatoes or frozen hashbrowns)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 TBSP melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 cup parmesan cheese
2-4 TBSP melted butter

Place potatoes in a greased cake pan.
Combine soup, 2 TBSP butter, milk, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Spoon over potatoes.
Combine corn flakes, parmesan and butter. Sprinkle on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Roasted Asparagus

A quick, easy and delicious side dish.

1 LB Asparagus
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 TBSP Olive Oil
3 TBSP grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place asparagus in a baking dish. Sprinkle with pepper. Drizzle with Olive Oil. Toss lightly to coat. Roast, uncovered for 15 minutes or until tender crisp. Toss twice during cooking. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with cheese.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hot Cinnamon Milk

I came across this recipe on a crafting site and had to try it! This stuff is so yummy and is perfect for cold winter nights! I am giving jars of this mix as neighbor gifts this year.

This recipe will fill a quart sized mason jar with the powder mix:
2 cups powdered milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered french vanilla creamer
1/2 TBSP ground cinnamon

Mix 1/3 cup of the powder mix with 1/2 cup hot water and 1/2 cup warm milk, and enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Salted Caramel Brownies

5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 eggs

1¼ cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe follows) Fine sea salt

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with overlapping pieces of foil and spray the foil.

2. In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, melt the chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. (Or, melt in the microwave on 50% power for 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth.) Whisk in the cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool.

3. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour until just combined. Pour about half of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread into the corners. Spoon 9 dollops of Salted Caramel Sauce on top of the brownie batter. Top with the remaining brownie mixture, spread into the corners and level the surface with a spatula. Again, spoon 9 dollops of the Salted Caramel Sauce on top of the brownie batter. With a dull butter knife, gently run it through the batter to swirl the batter just a bit (don’t do it too much or it will all mix together). Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top.

4. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil handles and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Salted Caramel Sauce

Prep/Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 cup granulated sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking as the sugar begins to melt. Some of the sugar will harden into clumps, but that’s okay – it will melt eventually – just keep whisking. Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches a dark amber color. At that point, whisk in the salt, and then add the butter all at once and whisk until it is completely incorporated into the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream (it will foam up when first added). Continue to whisk until it forms a smooth sauce.

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before using in the brownies. The leftover sauce can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (You’ll probably need to warm it up a bit straight from the refrigerator.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Apple Cider

This smells divine, and it tastes amazing. I got this recipe from a friend a few years back and have used it over and over again!

1 Gallon Apple Juice or Apple Cider
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 orange, sliced
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp whole allspice
3 sticks cinnamon
2 whole nutmeg

Mix all juices and sugar in a large pot. You can put the spices in loose, or tied in a cloth. Heat just to boiling, the reduce to low and steep 1 hour. Remove spices and refrigerate any leftovers. Leave orange slices in.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

Yum. Thats all I have to say.

2 cups oats (quick-cooking, old-fashioned or Coach's Oats. I used half old-fashioned and half Coach's)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 (.75 oz snack size) Reeses peanut butter cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Add butter and stir until crumbly. Remove 1 1/2 cups to use as topping. Press remaining mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 13X9 baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven.

In microwave-safe dish, microwave the 1 cup of the chocolate chips in 30-second intervals until softened and melted. Stir until smooth. Add sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter. Stir well until smooth and thoroughly combined. Spread onto crust.

Combine the remaining chocolate chips, chopped peanut butter cups, and the reserved crumb topping. Sprinkle evenly over filling.

Bake for 25 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cucumber Punch

I always serve this at parties and it is ALWAYS a hit!

1 can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 2-liter bottles of gingerale
1 cucumber, sliced
1/2 bag ice

Combine all ingredient and stir to combine.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

This unique blend of spices creates and wonderful sweet and spicy nut!

4 TBSP Corn Syrup
4 TBSP Sugar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 TBSP fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups fancy mixed nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheets with greased parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredient except nuts. Add nuts, mixing gently to coat.
3. Spread nuts onto cookie sheets and bake 5 minutes - then stir to coat. Bake another 10 minutes or until bubbly.
4. Immediately turn nuts onto a sheet of parchment paper, and the coating hardens quickly. Keep turning and separating the buts until they are no longer sticky. Nuts should be cooled individually, not clumped together. Makes 6-8 servings.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oven Roasted Pesto Shrimp Skewers

Oh wow, these are delicious as an appetizer, or an entree! They are quick, simple, and easy to make and the results are so tasty!

1 package frozen uncooked peeled and deveined medium shrimp - about 60 total.
1 container prepared pesto
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Wooden Skewers

1. Position oven rack in the upper third of the oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees. Soak skewers in water for 10 minutes.
2. In a bowl combine shrimp and pesto. Thread 2 shrimp onto each skewer.
3. Arrange the skewers in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Sprinkle with red pepper. Roast the shrimp until opaque - about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to serving platter.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken Rumaki

I got this chicken appetizer recipe from a magazine and tried it out at a recent get together. It was delicious and liked my everyone!

1 LB Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breakst halves, cut into 24 pieces

12 bacon slices, halved crosswise

6 green onions, trimmed and each cut into 4 pieces

1 cup thin red sweet pepper strips

½ cup teriyaki glaze

1. Soak 24 4 to 6 inch skewers in water for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap chicken with bacon and thread each skewer with bacon wrapped chicken, green onion, and pepper. Place in a 10 x 15 baking sheet.

3. Bake for 8 minutes. Brush with teriyaki glaze and bake about 16 minutes more or until bacon is cooked through.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Spinach Balls Appetizer

Jim's brother's family always makes these around the holidays. I gave them a shot at a girls night and they were a hit!

Spinach Balls
2 10-oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Shape into 1 inch balls.
3. Arrange on a lightly greased baking sheet and back for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown.

Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 beaten egg

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook until just boiling. Can be served warm, or room temp.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alison's Eggnog Pancakes

This was a fabulous Christmas gift Alison gave to the special 'sisters' in her life last year. I love it when she visits me! I thought this was very clever - something I had not seen before!


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup lite eggnog
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg if desired. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, eggnog and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Yield: 1 dozen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip

9 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 14oz can of water packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup canned alfredo sauce
1/2 cup mayo
3/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 loaf sour dough baguette, sliced

1. Mix all ingredients, except for bread in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 2 hours. Serve with bread.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Dip

This appetizer is perfect for the holidays!

6 oz low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1. Beat all ingredients together. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple slices, pears, and ginger snaps.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grandma Kaye's Fresh Salsa

This is fresh, easy, and delicious!

3 Medium Roma Tomatoes
1 Bunch of Cilantro
1 Bunch of Green Onions
1-2 Jalepeno Peppers
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 Avacado
Juice of 1 Lime

Chop all ingredients and combine. Can be processed in a food processor for a finer salsa.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

Mom's Cranberry Sauce
1/2 bag cranberries
1 orange
1 cup sugar

Add cranberries, 1 c. sugar - puree in a food processor
cut the ends off the orange and cut into sections
 add orange sections one at a time until smooth (no chunks)

refrigerate until you serve

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mom's Rolls

by Picasa
1T yeast to 1/4 c. warm water - a little warmer than room temp w/1-2 t sugar in the water
1 cup scalded milk or powdered milk (1 cup warm water to 2/3 c. powder - follow package instructions)

1 cup mashed potatoes (can use package mashed potatoes)
combine and cool

2/3 c. oil
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp salt

Add above 3 ingredients to the milk and potato mixture and mix
Combine yeast mixture
Add 2 beaten eggs

Stir in 6 c. flour to make stiff dough
Knead or put in Bosch on high for 6 minutes
Transfer into another blow with oil in bowl

Let rise until double - about 3 hours
Punch down and put in fridge

Remove from fridge one hour before baking
Roll into a circle
cut into pizza wedges, spread with melted butter roll up from the biggest edge to the smallest
Put them on a cookie sheet and let rise

Bake at 400 until light golden brown

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cheesy Corn Muffins

My friend Sarah shared this recipe and it is so yummy! The muffins are moist and flavorful, and the recipe is so easy!

1 C milk

1 C low-fat cottage cheese

2 eggs

½ C packed cheddar cheese (about 2 oz.)

2 pkg (8.5 oz. each) corn muffin mix

1) Preheat 400. Line 18 muffin cups. Combine milk, cottage cheese and eggs in large bowl. Use an electric mixer to blend on medium speed 1-2 min.

2) Stir in cheddar cheese, then stir in muffin mix just until blended. Don’t over mix

3) Bake 13-15 min. or til light brown and clean toothpick

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Pumpkin Pie Bites
2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts
1 large canned pumpkin
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
1 spice cake mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray mini muffin pan
Use cookie cutter (or the top of a bottle or small cup) to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Then make stems with the scraps. Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix canned pumpkin, spice cake mix and chocolate chips
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.
Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Red Velvet Cookies

These cookies are a twist on the famous red velvet cupcake. These cookies are chewy and the frosting gives that hint of cupcake.

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon red food coloring

Pre-made Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and combine until smooth. Beat in red food coloring. Stir in cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt until just combined.

Drop by the tsp onto baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Let cool completely and Frost with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beacon Hill Cookies

Can you tell I'm stocking my freezer for Christmas?

This is Jim's Mom's recipe and also Jim's favorite cookie. I love 'em too.

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup angel flake coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Melt chips in microwave
2. Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beat after each addition. Beat until mixture forms stiff peaks.
3. Add vinegar & vanilla, beat well (beating process takes about 10 minutes)
4. Fold in coconut, nuts and chocolate.
5. Drop from tsp onto greased baking sheets, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Makes 30

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

You can't go wrong with these cookies - peanut butter, chocolate...what's not to like? Jim love love loves these cookies!

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 TBSP milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
54 chocolate kisses

1. Beat shortening & peanut butter until combined. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking soda - beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in egg, milk & vanilla. Beat in flour.
2. shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Immediately press a chocolate kiss unto each cookie's center. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool.

Buffalo Chicken Soup

1 TBSP Butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/2 cup diced onions
2 14-oz cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup blue cheese
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 2-LB rotisserie chicken, shredded
additional hot pepper sauce and blue cheese for topping

1. Melt butter in a large pot, add celery and onion. Cook until onion is tender. Add broth, milk, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a simmer.
2. In a large bowl combine cheeses and flour. Add cheese a little at a time, letting it melt in between each addition. Stir in chicken and heat through.
3. Top with additional blue cheese and hot pepper sauce.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Spritz Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp Almond Extract
2 TBSP Milk
3 1/2 cups flour
8 drops food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl beat butter on high for 30 seconds. Add sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping bowl. Beat in egg, vanilla, almond extract, milk and food coloring. Beat in flour.

3. Force dough through a cookie press onto ungreased baking sheets, sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are firm, but not brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.