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.