Friday, November 30, 2012

Cheeseburger Mac

This is one of those ultra simple comfort foods.
It's made from ingredients most people already have in their homes, great for a weeknight.

When there is a good sale on ground beef, I stock up. I will brown some of it and freeze, it's ready for a dish just like this!


Cheeseburger Mac
Ingredients:
1 Lb Ground beef
¾ Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Ketchup
1 package of shells and cheese dinner mix
1 ¼ Cup Water
1 Medium tomato (Diced)
¼ Cup green onion
Directions:
1. Brown meat in large skillet, drain
2. Add water , milk, and ketchup
3. Stir in uncooked macaroni, return to a boil
4. Reduce heat to medium low and cover pan
5. Simmer 10 minutes or until macaroni is tender
6. Add cheese sauce, tomato, and green onion.
7. Stir until well blended


Click here to print

Ingredients: Minus the tomato. It's been incredibly cold here and I was not running to the store!

Creamy and delicious! Still good without the tomato, though I will admit to missing it.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Great baking tips

As we embark on the great holiday baking season, my friend over at "A Day in the Life of Jennay" posted some amazing baking tips.
Some of them seem simple, but as I read them I did a checklist in my head, and come to find out, she reminded me of a lot of things I should make sure of before I start baking away!
Visit her site here
Visit the original post here

She has a great blog with tons of DIY, Photography, and Recipes. Check it out!

Reposted from "A Day in the Life of Jennay"


Baking Tips for the Holidays!!

My favorite holiday baking hints and tips:
  • Stock up on food storage containers-I use Glad products.  Sign up for e-mail with Glad and get a $1 off coupon-go here!
  • find your recipes and make a grocery list so that you will have everything you need when you start to bake-it’s no fun having to run out and get more supplies while you are in the middle of baking!
  • stock up on Plastic Wrap by Saran…I like to get the red and green colored wrap around the holidays-very festive!
  • clean up and organize your kitchen prior to your baking session-this makes it easier to find storage for all those cookies you are baking!
  • if you are making your own cookie dough like me…spend a day making several batches of logs and freeze them so that when your ready to bake the cookies all you need to do is grab them out of the freezer!  No defrosting necessary!
  • make sure your flour, sugar, and spices are not expired-replace if necessary
  • purchase extra cookie sheets (I have about 6)-this will help if you are making several different kinds of cookies in one day
  • Parchment paper, Parchment paper, Parchment paper…is a must!!  Not only does it minimize cleaning, the cookies bake faster and you can reuse the sheet for the next batch of cookies!  Seriously, invest in it!!
  • Besides Glad food storage containers-find unique ways to wrap those beauties up for gift giving-I’ll be showing some really fun ways to do this up on my blog in the next few weeks!  Stay tuned!
  • I always misplace my potholders and oven mitts -so I like to keep extra sets around for the holiday season.
  • Don’t overload the oven-if you have to bake more than one cookie sheet full of cookies at a time-make sure to rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking.  This makes sure that the cookies bake evenly.
  • Don’t over bake…make sure to keep an eye on the cookies-every oven is different!
  • Cool cookies completely PRIOR to storing.
Hope these help you out with your holiday baking adventures!!
A super cute cartoon to enjoy!!

I just branched out...find me!

I decided to branch out a little into the lesser known (to me) world of Twitter.
You can find me and follow me @jaybee0913

Any tips for me?!

Asian Beef and Snow Peas

I got this recipe from an old sampling site I used to visit, it sounded simple.
We love Chinese, so I thought I would try it. YUM!



Asian Beef with Snow Peas 


Stir-fried beef in a light gingery sauce. Serve over steamed rice or hot egg noodles.

Prep Time 5 Min 
Cook Time 10 Min 
Ready In 15 Min 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons soy sauce 
2 tablespoons rice wine 
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root 
1 tablespoon minced garlic 
1 pound beef round steak, cut into thin strips 
8 ounces snow peas 


Directions

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, brown sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. 

Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the steak and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until evenly browned. Add the snow peas and stir-fry for an additional 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat and simmer until the sauce is thick and smooth. Serve immediately. 








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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cheese and Chile Enchiladas


YUMMY!
I cooked my chicken in the crockpot for 5 hours to get it super shreddable. Doing it that way freed me up to go and do things all day and just throw this meal together in less than 15 minutes.

I was only able to fit 8 in my 9 x 13 pan, so I put the last two in a smaller baking dish, I wasn't going to miss out on leftovers!

Hubby put it best "it's the kind of food that is so good, it just makes you keep eating, even after you are full!"

I tagged this as "spicy" due to the chiles, but as someone who doesn't like spicy, it was fine for me to eat. You might want to use more, hot sauce, or whatever to spice it up for yourself

Cheese and Chile Enchiladas

Ingredients:
8-10 Medium Tortillas
4 Chicken breasts, shredded
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced chilies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan
  3. Mix chicken and one cup of cheese.
  4. Roll the meat into the tortillas and place into pan
  5. In sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute
  6. Add broth and whisk until thick and bubbly
  7. Turn the heat way down and add the sour cream and chilies (do not boil)
  8. Pour sauce over enchiladas and then top with remaining cheese
  9. Cook for 25 minutes, broil for 3 minutes


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This meal is such a go-to classic in my house!

It's so easy and inexpensive, it's one thing I have on my ever ready list of "help" meals. A "help" meal is one you make another family for whatever reason. Death, sickness, new to the neighborhood, any reason you are bringing a meal. Chicken and rice, even the fussiest eaters will like it.

This is also something I put together two batches at a time. Make one, and freeze the other one (uncooked) for another night.

I have also been known to mix frozen mixed veggies into the rice mixture.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

1 can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


Directions:

  • Stir the soup, water, rice, paprika and black pepper in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with the chicken. Season with additional paprika and black pepper. Cover the baking dish.
  • Bake at 375°F. for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Stir the rice before serving.

The original recipe started here

To print, click here

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dirty Salsa

My aunt Vicki made this quite a few times. It has a great taste, and is incredibly addictive!

Dirty Salsa

1 Chopped Red Pepper
1 Chopped Green Pepper
1 Chopped Red Onion
1 Jar of Pimento (Chopped and drained)
1 Can Black Eyed Peas (drained)
1 Can Black Olives (Chopped)
1 Can Whole Kernel Corn (Drained)
½ C Apple Cider Vinegar
½ C Olive Oil
½ C Sugar

Mix all vegetables together with the oil.
Heat vinegar, and dissolve sugar in into it
Add sauce to vegetables
Marinate overnight


Printable




Sunday, November 25, 2012

Deep Chocolate Raspberry Cake

I love this cake.
It is decadence on a plate.
The tartness of the raspberry and the DEEP DARK of the cake were a match made in heaven.

My anti-cake hubby even loved this, but then again, he is a sucker for all things raspberry!

I found the recipe here, and made no changes.



Deep Chocolate Raspberry Cake 
Rich chocolate paired with raspberries - this cake is moist and fudgy. For a special treat, garnish it with fresh raspberries!

Ingredients

6 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate 
6 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate 
7 eggs, separated 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 cup butter 
2 cups white sugar 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
6 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate 
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 
1 (4 ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed 
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves 


Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line bottoms of two 9 inch cake pans with waxed paper. 

To Make Cake: Melt 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate and 6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler, or in a microwave. Cool, and beat in egg yolks. 

In a large bowl, beat butter or margarine, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add chocolate mixture, and continue beating until smooth. Stir in flour until just combined. 

In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar, and continue beating until the whites hold soft peaks. Fold whites into chocolate batter, in three additions. Pour batter into prepared pans, and smooth tops. 

Bake until a toothpick stuck into the centers of the cakes comes out with moist crumbs, about 45 minutes. Cool in pans. 

To Make Frosting: In a saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Chop 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, and stir into the cream. Remove saucepan from heat, and continue stirring until smooth. Pour frosting into bowl, and press sheet of plastic wrap directly against surface of chocolate to prevent formation of a skin. Refrigerate until thick enough to spread. 

To Make Filling: Drain the thawed raspberries, if necessary, and combine with the jam. Sandwich the cake layers with raspberry filling. Spread top and sides with chocolate frosting. 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

American Chop Suey

My grandmother makes this all the time.
My mother makes it all the time.
I make this all the time.

It's cheap, simple, and a great weeknight meal.
What makes it even better is, it stretches! You can easily feed a TON of people with this meal.
Every time I bite into it, I am 6 again and everything is simple!

I was watching something on TV, some Food Network program and they were talking about this (but made with tomatoes, not tomato soup...sinners!) and apparently this is only a New England food? Being native, it never entered my mind that not everyone was eating this same meal!


American Chop Suey


Ingredients:

1 (16 oz) Package uncooked elbow macaroni
1 Lb lean ground beef
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Green pepper (chopped)
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed tomato soup
Parmesan Cheese



Directions

Cook macaroni according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a separate large skillet over medium high heat, sauté the ground beef, green pepper, and the onion for 5 to 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and crumbly.
Drain thoroughly and leave the meat, peppers, and onion in the skillet. Pour the two cans of tomato soup into the skillet and stir well to combine.
When noodles are done, drain thoroughly and return noodles to the pot.
Add the hamburger mixture from the skillet to the pot.
Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add Parmesan cheese to taste. (and some to serve on top!)



Click here to print

Ingredients



Friday, November 23, 2012

Triple Chocolate Mess

Ooey
Gooey
Chocolate....and it takes no time to put together!
There is nothing pretty about this dessert...I won't pretend there is...but the taste is incredible!
Go to the store, get the stuff, make it tonight!


Triple Chocolate Mess

Ingredients:
1 Package chocolate cake mix
1 Pint sour cream
1 Package chocolate pudding
1 Bag chocolate chips
4 Large eggs
¾ Cup oil
1 Cup water

Directions:
  1. Spray Crock Pot with Pam
  2. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl
  3. Pour into Crock Pot
  4. Cook 4-5 hours
  5. DO NOT open lid while cooking

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a large, wonderful family that looks for ANY reason to get together. Thanksgiving is just a GREAT reason!
Included are aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and even the extended family (my Auntie Vicki's family is there, and they might as well be blood!). It's great watching the kids grow and forge the tight bonds I have with my own cousins.

We had way too much food...per usual. Auntie Vicki was chasing people down with take home containers; begging and pleading for people to share in the leftover bounty.
Not that anyone minds, we are (once again) very fortunate to be surrounded by awesome, creative cooks. Everything is delicious, and we all eat entirely too much. Yes, there was some of the proverbial "after dinner naps" going on. It's tradition! (It might be a law...yes, I think it might be)

What did I bring?
I brought mucho food-o!
Lucky duck me had my mother up from NC, and between her, my daughter, and myself, we whipped it up between last night and this morning. Yay for kitchen helpers!

I post this now, in order to keep with the timing of the season.
As these recipes post to the blog, I will link them so there will be easy access for you!

I made:

1. BLT Bites
2. Deviled Eggs
3. Mashed Potato
4. Carrots
5. Macaroni and Cheese
6. Pecan Pie
7. Chocolate Toffee Creme Pie
8. Key Lime Pie
9. Corn Casserole


This Thanksgiving, as always, I am beyond thankful for all my amazing friends and family. I very much think about those who are no longer with us, and keep them in my heart always.

Do you have some awesome, go-to, everyone L-O-V-E-S Thanksgiving recipes you want to share with me? Please do!

Molasses Cookies

This recipe was handed down from my Grammie Dwinells.
I have my handwritten copy (thanks Auntie Audrey) and it's one of the very few paper recipes I refuse to ever part with.

There is just something about familiar handwriting that makes it like a little hug everytime I pull it out to make them,


Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup shortening
1 Cup molasses
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoon cinnamon
2 Teaspoon ginger
2 Teaspoon baking soda
½ Cup hot water
3 Cups flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix together sugar and shortening
  3. Add molasses, eggs, cinnamon, and ginger
  4. Mix 2 baking soda into hot water and add to mixture
  5. After all is blended well, add flour
  6. Use more flour for fluffier cookies, use less for thinner, crispier cookies
  7. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes


Ingredients

And the flour, because it just wouldn't be right for me to remember ALL the ingredients

I like mine on the chewy side!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fig Pinwheels


I was one of those odd little children who thought Fig Newtons were just AMAZING. I liked everything about them...including the "break them apart and stick them back together" aspect.
Guess it takes very little to amuse me!

I found this on the Martha Stewart site and tweaked it slightly.

They were addictive, hubby kept grabbing one every time he walked by the plate. 

Fig Pinwheels

Ingredients:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups dried figs, stemmed
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup apple juice
1 cup orange juice

Directions:

  1. Make dough: Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl, set aside.
  2. Put butter and sugars in a bowl. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs.
  3. Reduce speed to low and gradually add in flour mixture.
  4. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  5. Transfer one of the dough halves to a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll out to a 10 by 12 inch rectangle, trim edges with a knife.
  6. Transfer each rectangle on parchment to a baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  7. Make filling: Bring figs, raisins, and juices to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often until fruit has softened and only a few tablespoons of liquid remain, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. Puree in food processor until smooth.
  8. Spread half the filling over each rectangle. Starting with a long side, roll dough into a log.
  9. Wrap each roll in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 350. Cut logs into ¼ inch thick slices. Transfer slices to parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges turn golden brown. About 15 minutes. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cucidati Cookies


I love fig.
Give me a fig cookie, I am a happy girl.
These are well worth the effort!


Cucidati (Italian Fig Cookies)

Dough:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk

Filling:
1 cup dried figs
1 cup dried dates (pitted)
¾ cup raisins
½ cup walnuts (chopped)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup honey
¼ cup orange marmalade

Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoon milk (approx)
Colored sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar and combine well.
  2. Cut in the shortening with a fork or pastry blender and work the mixture until it looks like cornmeal.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, vanilla, and milk
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix with an electric mixer for a full 5 minutes. Dough will be soft.
  5. Knead dough by hand for 5 minutes.
  6. Divide dough into 4 parts, wrapping each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
  7. Filling: grind figs, dates, and raisins in food processor until coarse. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Mixture will be very thick.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper
  9. Work with one piece of dough at a time. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Cut dough into 2x3 inch rectangles. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of each. Carefully fold the short edges over to meet in the middle and pinch to seal. Seal sides as well.
  10. Place each cookie, seam side down, on a baking sheet, leaving 1-2 inches between each.
  11. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown
  12. Remove from oven and put on rack to cool.
  13. For the icing: Mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and add enough milk to achieve the desired consistency. You want the icing to be thick enough not to be runny, but still easily spreadable. Ice the tops of the cookies and decorate with sprinkles if desired.
  14. Let the icing set completely before storing in an airtight container

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

I had this recipe for a long time before I decided to try it.
I was a little turned off by the use of Gulf Wax....get over it. Anytime I dip something I use this method now. You don't taste it, and it makes the chocolate oh-so-smooth!



Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup super chunky peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
Chocolate Dip:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bar, at room temperature, broken into small chunks
1 ounce paraffin (such as Gulf Wax)

Preparation:

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking pad. 

In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and confectioners' sugar. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, cream butter, peanut butter, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add flour mixture and begin mixing on low speed. Once mixture begins to get thick, increase speed to thoroughly mix until combined, scraping down sides. Scrape batter from beaters, and mix in chocolate with a large spoon. 

Refrigerate dough for 1 hour to firm up. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until bottom edges just barely begin to turn brown. Do not over-bake. Cool on racks. 

Chocolate Dip:
Place paraffin and slowly melt it in a double boiler. Add semisweet chocolate chunks and cook on high power 15 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until chocolate is melted and thoroughly combined with the paraffin. 

Dip each peanut butter melt away cookie halfway into chocolate, shake off excess chocolate, and place on trays lined with waxed paper or Silpats to set. If chocolate begins to get too thick, carefully re-warm. You can refrigerate for an hour to set chocolate, if you wish. 


P.S. Yes, I am talking about THIS

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Key Lime Cookies

I am not a fan of citrus flavors. I don't even drink Sprite!
Hubby dearest is a big key lime guy though. I made these with him in mind, and apparently they are awesome.
I brought some in to work and had a friend who didn't believe that I made them! She kept insisting they came from a bakery!


Key Lime Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon key lime juice
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
Additional confectioners' powdered sugar for coating (about 1 cup)

Preparation:

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking pad. 

In a small bowl, combine flour, corn starch, and confectioners' sugar. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, cream butter, key lime juice, and key zest until smooth. 

Add flour mixture to butter mixture and begin mixing on low speed. Once mixture begins to get thick, increase speed to thoroughly mix until combined, scraping down sides. The dough should eventually come together into almost a dough. Scrape batter from beaters. Mix in white chocolate chips and optional macadamia nuts with a large spoon. 

Refrigerate dough for 45 minutes to firm up. (It is important that the dough is very cold before going into the oven or they will spread.) When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until bottom edges just barely begin to turn brown. Do not over-bake. Let cool on baking sheets for at least 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool. 

Pour powdered sugar into a bowl. Roll key lime 
cookies in powdered sugar to cover. Store in an airtight container. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Snickerdoodles

These are my hubby's fave. Every year around Thanksgiving he starts panicking...asking if I am definiely making them for Christmas.
I keep telling him he needs to be a good boy if he wants them!


Snickerdoodles
Ingredients:
1 Cup shortening
1 ½ Cup sugar
2 Eggs
2 ¾ Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons cream of tartar
1 Teaspoon baking soda
¼ Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon sugar
2 Teaspoon cinnamon
Directions:
Mix shortening and 1 ½ cup sugar together
Add eggs and mix well
Mix dry ingredients and add to mixture
Roll the dough into balls the size of small walnuts
Roll in a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes


Friday, November 16, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

There is something SO satisfying and comforting about the old time favorites!
I make these sometimes just to smell them cooking. It brings me right back to happy childhood memories.

For a fun little twist, you can make these and push a Hershey kiss into the hot dough for a chocolate touch.



Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
½ Cup shortening
1 ¼ Cup light brown sugar
¾ Cup peanut butter
1 Egg
3 Tbsp milk
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ All purpose flour
¾ Teaspoon baking soda
¾ Teaspoon salt

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream shortening, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth
  3. Stir in egg, milk, and vanilla
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt
  5. Stir into the peanut butter mixture until blended
  6. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets
  7. Press a fork into the top to make little ridges
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Coffee Cake Muffins

I love these. So simple.
These are the type of muffins I want to be smelling first thing in the morning on Christmas.
These are also standard muffins I make to bring to others, everyone likes these flavors!


Coffee Cake Muffins
Ingredients:
1 ½ Cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar, divided
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ Teaspoon salt
¼ Teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
¼ Cup milk
1/3 Cup butter, softened
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan. Mix flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Beat egg and milk in a small bowl.
  2. Beat softened butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture and egg mixture alternately, mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition. Do not overmix.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or until muffins are golden brown. (About 15 minutes)
  4. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Remove muffins. Dip muffin tops in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar. Place right side up on a wire rack, serve warm.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Candy Cane Marshmallows

I have always thought about making marshmallows, but thought it would be incredibly hard. With a little help from Martha Stewart they are super easy!

My mint hating hubby even liked these. They are not STRONG peppermint, which we all decided was a plus.


Ingredients

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring

Directions

  1. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray, and set pan aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract; set aside.
  3. Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dark Chocolate Caramels

This recipe makes sooooo many caramels!
I have pawned them off on family and friends, and plan on bringing them to work as well.
Myself, hubby, and darling daughter can't stop eating them!!!

Make sure you use a really big pot, this mixture gets hot and bubbly.

I am in love with how easy this is, and I fully intend to make this many more times!


Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound plus 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Directions

  1. Spray an 11 3/4-by-16 1/4-inch baking pan with vegetable-oil spray. Set aside in a spot where it will not be moved. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, combine 2 cups cream, corn syrup, sugar, and salt. Clip on candy thermometer. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, 15 to 20 minutes. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, until temperature reaches 220 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes; watch so mixture doesn't boil over. Continue stirring, and add chocolate and butter; keep mixture boiling, and slowly add remaining 2 cups cream. Cook, still stirring, until temperature reaches 240 degrees (soft-ball stage), about 60 minutes, keeping mixture at a low boil.
  3. Without scraping pot, pour mixture into prepared pan. Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 24 hours without moving.
  4. To cut, spray a cutting board with vegetable-oil spray. Unmold caramel onto sprayed surface. Using a large knife, cut into 1-by-1 1/4-inch pieces or other shapes. Wrap each piece in cellophane or waxed paper.

Chili Cheese Dip

This is so incredibly bad for you, and yet it feel sooooo good!
In our (skinnier) high school days, my friends and I would make a batch of this and eat off it for hours. Tortilla chips, corm chips, it all tastes good with this dip!

Cheese and Chili Dip

Ingredients:
1 (16oz) box of pasteurized prepared cheese product (cubed)
1 (15oz) can chili


Directions:

1. In microwave safe bowl combine chili and cubed cheese
2. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir
3. Repeat until all cheese is melted and chili is stirred in



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Simple ingredients

Cubed the cheese...

Add the chili...

Heat and serve with tortilla chips or corn chips. YUM!