Wednesday, December 25, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 25

Merry Christmas! I hope you have all enjoyed my 25 days of sweet treats and good eats. I've enjoyed sharing some of my favorite holiday recipes with you. Today is the final day of sharing, so I'm ending with my family's favorite sweet treat of all time. If you know my family at all, you will not be surprised that today's recipe is for my Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies. These are the perfect chocolate chip cookie - not too cakey, not too crunchy, and perfectly chewy. I made a batch for my neighbors for Christmas, and for my boys. Bake up a batch for your family to share on this wonderful Christmas Day!

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies




Tuesday, December 24, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 24

It's Christmas Eve! I woke up this morning to freezing cold temperatures (it was only 10 degrees), and decided that today I needed to make a warm breakfast treat for me and Corey. Today's good eat is a yummy breakfast bread that you can quickly make for your family on a holiday morning. Serve it with a cup a hot cocoa and treat your loved ones to a tasty treat this Christmas Eve morning.

Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Bread





Sausage Cheese Breakfast Bread

This is a tasty loaf to make for breakfast or brunch.



Ingredients:
1/2 pound of turkey sausage
1/4 cup diced onion (can substitute 1/2 t onion powder if you don't like onion)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon hot sauce or 1/4 t ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 tsp all purpose seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash)
2 cups Bisquick Heart Smart
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup mayo (I used Miracle Whip Light because it's what I had on hand)

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute sausage and onions over a medium high heat until sausage is browned. Set side.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, milk, mayo cheeses, hot sauce, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash (or any all purpose seasoning) and onion powder if you didn't use real onion. Mix well (can use mixer).
  3. Next slowly mix in Bisquick. Mix well.
  4. Now add in sausage & onions. Mix until just blended.
  5. Coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 35-45  minutes until done.
  6. Let rest in pan for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Recipe modified from Family Fresh Meals

Monday, December 23, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 23

Day 23! How can that be? It's almost Christmas! Woo hoo! I'm getting down to the end of my 25 days of sweet treats and good eats. Today I'm sharing one of my very favorite sweet treats - Best Ever Blondies. These are so yummy and chewy and very easy to make. Whip up a batch this afternoon for your loved ones.They will definitely love you for it. ;)

Best Ever Blondies



Sunday, December 22, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 22

On this second official day of winter, it truly feels cold outside! It's 28 degrees and it even snowed again this morning. To help fight of the cold, today I'm sharing a "good eat" with you at the request of my son. This is his all-time favorite soup, and he's been asking me to make it since he got home from college for break. So, I guess I better get on that one! :) Make a batch of this hearty soup to share with your family this holiday weekend.

Sausage Potato Soup



Saturday, December 21, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 21

Today's sweet treat is a fun breakfast treat that you could make for Christmas morning. Any recipe with "monkey" in the title has to be fun, right? And even though we often associate pumpkin recipes with fall, I think it lends itself very well right into the Christmas holiday season. Make some for your little monkeys to enjoy on Christmas morning. :)

Pumpkin Monkey Bread



Friday, December 20, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 20

This morning when I got up, it was 61 degrees. When I left school this afternoon, it was 31 degrees. Welcome to December in Missouri! Because the temps have dropped back down into the winter range, I figured it was time for another "good eat" to share with you. It is definitely soup weather today, and this chicken pot pie soup is perfect on cold, wintery days. Top it with a tasty biscuit for hearty meal to share with your family this holiday season.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup



Thursday, December 19, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 19

Since I've already shared a holiday "tea" recipe that doesn't have tea in it, today I thought would share one that does. After having two weeks of super cold temps and lots of snow, this week has been incredibly warm with highs of about 60 each day. But tonight, the temps are dropping and it's feeling Christmasy again, so today's sweet treat is another hot beverage to warm you from the inside out. This spiced beverage is great to share at holiday gatherings. Enjoy!

Friendship Tea



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 18

Today's sweet treat comes to you via my next-door-neighbor, Joy! :) She and her boys made these fun holiday mints to share with us. Thanks for the goodies, neighbor! Whip up a batch of these for your next holiday party or to give as a gift to your neighbors.

Cream Cheese Mints



Cream Cheese Mints

Great for showers, holidays, etc.



Ingredients:
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
exactly 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:
Bea the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth, add the extract and some of the powdered sugar and mix until combined well. Add the remaining sugar and mix until well combined. Tint with food coloring if desired.

Shape into 1/2" balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press flat with a fork and then chill until ready to serve. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for two weeks or freeze up to two months.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 17

Often during the holidays we find ourselves in need of appetizer recipes for holiday parties and celebrations. Today's good eat falls into that category. These tasty appetizers have a great Tex-Mex flavor, and even though they are a bit messy to make, they are yummy to eat. Make a batch for your next holiday party and your guests will thank you.

Mini Taco Pockets


Mini Taco Pockets

These are tasty little appetizers, but are a bit messy to put together. :)



Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, minced
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 cup water

8 slices PepperJack cheese
2 cans (8 oz. each) 8 count crescent rolls
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink, crumbling while cooking.
Drain the fat and return to pan. Add onion and cook until soft. Add taco seasoning and water, and stir thoroughly to combine. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer while preparing crescents.
 
On a piece of parchment paper, unroll one package of crescents. Cut each triangle in half, so that you have two smaller ones. Gently separate them and arrange on parchment so that they are easy to access.
 
Stack the slices of cheese and cut them diagonally so that they form four stacks of smaller triangles. Onto each crescent triangle, place one piece of cheese. Place 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons of ground beef mixture on top of the cheese. Top each with a few pieces of chopped tomato. Sprinkle each with some cilantro.
 
Fold the points of the dough over, so that it comes together like a diaper, pinching the dough as the pieces come together to secure. Because the triangles are not the same size, some will be easier to put together than others.

Repeat with remaining ingredients and second package of crescents.
 
Place onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown.
 
Recipe Source - 365 Days of Baking

 

Monday, December 16, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 16

Many people like to make special breakfast treats at Christmas time, so here's a yummy coffee cake for today's sweet treat. This is not a recipe for those counting calories, but it is definitely a yummy treat when you want to splurge a little. It is especially yummy when it warm and served with hot chocolate. :)

Buttery Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


Sunday, December 15, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 15

Here's a great holiday cookie for the chocolate lover out there. They are rich and chewy and definitely will take care of any chocolate cravings you might have. And, they're made from a cake mix! How fun is that? Enjoy these cookies with your family tonight!

Double Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies





Saturday, December 14, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 14

Cookie baking is a standard for many people at holiday time, and I know several people who place Snickerdoodles at the top of their cookie favorites list. I would NOT be one of those people. There's just something about that cookie that I don't like. BUT, these Snickerdoodle Blondies are at the top of my favorite bar cookie list. They are yummy and chewy, and definitely best when just out of the oven. Give them a try this holiday season, even if you are a Snickerdoodle hater like me. ;)

Snickerdoodle Blondies



Friday, December 13, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 13

Today is National Hot Chocolate Day! What a perfect day for my fifth, yes, fifth snow day of the year. Unfortunately, this was more of a freezing rain day. Yuck! But, I got to spend the day with Corey since he's back from MU, and that's awesome! So, in honor of National Hot Chocolate Day, today's sweet treat is Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies! These tasty cookies do have cocoa mix in them, and the white chocolate chips are reminiscent of adding marshmallows to your beverage. Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies


Thursday, December 12, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 12

Today's recipe comes to you via my friend Juli. She made this bread on one of our snow days and posted a picture of the finished product on Facebook, and I knew I just had to have the recipe. This is the best banana bread you will ever eat. How can it not be when it has a whole package of cream cheese in it, and it's topped with brown sugar! Yum. This is definately a sweet treat that you should make for your family for the holiday. It would also make a great gift!

Cream Cheese Banana Bread



Cream Cheese Banana Bread

I got this recipe from one of my friends at school. This is the most incredible banana bread I've ever eaten. The fact that it is moist is enough to make you try this recipe, but the streusel topping puts it over the top. Yum!



Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium very ripe bananas)
1/2 t vanilla

For the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 Tbsp flour
1 T melted butter
(Mix all together to put on bread right before baking)

Directions:

Beat butter and cream cheese and medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, betaing until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until just blended. Stir in bananas and vanilla.

Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8" x 4" loaf pans. Sprinkle each loaf the with topping mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool 30 minutes on wire rack before slicing.

Recipe source - Juli Stutesman

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 11

It's time for another sweet treat. These are a super simple way to get the flavor of chocolate/white chocolate covered pretzels with the hassle of the dipping. They are one of my favorite holiday treats. Make a batch for your family and friends this holiday season.

Pretzel Hugs



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Sometimes when I make this, I use a bag of broccoli and a bag of cauliflower instead of two bags of broccoli. I have to admit, it's not the best broccoli cheddar soup recipe. It has too many carrots for my taste, and the texture is pretty grainy. It would probably be less grainy if you used full-fat versions of all of the dairy products.



Ingredients:

1 T butter
1 small onion, diced
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (10 oz.) bags frozen broccoli (mine are usually 12 oz. +)
1 cup shredded carrots
32 oz. fat free no sodium chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 tsp pepper
 1 tsp salt
1 (12 oz) can fat free evaporated milk
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
4 cups reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
  1. On a medium/high heat, saute the butter, diced onion and garlic until onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Place in slow cooker.
  2. Next add frozen broccoli, carrots, broth, water, salt and pepper into slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 6 hours. After cooking time is up, add in evaporated milk, cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Stir, recover and cook for 30 more minutes.
  3. Using an emulsion blender, blend the soup to get the texture you desire. I like to have some broccoli chunks, so I don't blend it very much. 
Recipe modified from Family Fresh Meals

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 10

We ended up getting two more inches of snow last night, so I am home again for snow day number 4. It was a perfect day to make some soup, so today you get a good eat. This shrimp and corn chowder is quick and easy to make, and it is very hearty and tasty. Make a batch for the seafood lovers in your family this holiday season!

Shrimp and Corn Chowder



Shrimp and Corn Chowder

A simple, hearty soup that's great on a cold, winter day.



Ingredients

2 teaspoons unsalted butter
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 bunches scallions, chopped
3 cups frozen diced potatoes
3 cups frozen corn
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart low-fat milk
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Paprika, for sprinkling

Directions

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the celery, scallions, potatoes and corn. Add the thyme, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the milk, then cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

Transfer one-third of the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, then return to the pot. Return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. If the soup is too thick, stir in up to 1 cup water. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with paprika.


Recipe Source: Food Network

Monday, December 9, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 9

I took advantage of my snow day today and tried a new cookie recipe, so today you get a sweet treat. These Andes Mint cookies are easy to make and are very tasty. The chewy chocolate cookie topped with tasty mint chocolate is a great combination. Be sure to try these with your family this holiday season.

Andes Mint Cookies


Andes Mint Cookies

These are a very nice chocolate mint cookie, perfect for holiday time.


Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 (4.5 oz) pkgs Andes Mints Chocolates (unwrapped)

Directions:
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the brown sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large mixer bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, and stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place parchment paper on cookie sheets. Scoop dough by rounded tablespoons, and roll dough into balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 7-9 minutes in the preheated oven; be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, let them cool for one minute. Press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1to 2 minutes more. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half.
  5. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow chocolate to set. 
Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Recipe source - Cooking Classy
 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 8

Looks like tomorrow is going to be snow day number 3, so I'll have some time to do some more cooking. My son comes from college on Tuesday, and he requested that I make ham and beans while he was home for Christmas. So, today's good eat is my favorite ham and beans recipe. It's super simple to make and feeds a ton of people. If you have a small family like me, you can freeze the leftovers and enjoy another meal later. I like to serve this with my Sinfully Sweet Cornbread.

Homestyle Ham and Beans


Saturday, December 7, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 7

I always love the wonderful treats that people make at Christmas time, but some of them stress me out when I try to make them myself. One of these items is Turtles. You know, those tasty candies made of pecans, caramel, and covered in chocolate? No matter how hard I try, mine always stick to the parchment paper or don't set up right. This recipe is my saving grace! They are so much easier, and I haven't had any sticking issues with them. My husband and son fight over these at holiday time, so I know they won't last long in my household. :) I always make a few that I top with a second pretzel instead of a pecan since nuts in candy are not my favorite thing.

Faux Pretzel Turtles



Friday, December 6, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 6

It's snow day number 2! We probably have 6 or 7 inches of snow on the ground now, and it's still coming down! It is definitely a winter wonderland at my house.



I decided to treat myself with a warm coffee cake for breakfast this morning, and thought it would make a great sweet treat for day 6. :) Whip up this tasty treat for your family, add some hot chocolate (coffee is yucky!) and enjoy the beautiful snow!

Pecan Coffee Cake




Pecan Coffee Cake

This is one of those "doctored cake mix" recipes that turns out fantastic. This cake is delicious served warm and goes great with a cup of hot chocolate. I guess I should call it a "hot chocolate cake" since I don't drink coffee. ;)



Ingredients:
1 yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon




 For Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons of orange juice (can use lemon)

Directions:

Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium for 2 minutes.  Pour into a greased 13x9 baking pan.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of batter.  Cut through with a knife to swirl (gently).

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, test center with toothpick.

To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Whip until smooth and drizzle on warm cake.

Recipe Source - Mary Mael

Thursday, December 5, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 5

Winter weather has arrived in southwest Missouri! We had our first snow day of the year. It started off with some sleet, but then changed over to beautiful snowflakes. We probably have about 3 inches on the ground now, and it's still snowing. I have to admit, I'm kind of hoping for snow day number two tomorrow.

Because of the cold temps, I'm sharing a "good eat" with you today. I wanted to make a warm, hearty dinner for me and my husband, so I whipped up a batch of Swedish Meatballs. This is a quick dinner that is super tasty and great to serve to friends and family for a holiday meal.

Swedish Meatballs


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 4

We are predicted to get some nasty ice and snow in southwest Missouri starting tomorrow. Winter weather in our area can be very diverse. For example, today's high was 68 degrees and the low tonight is supposed to be 22! As the temperatures drop and my hopes for a snow day increase, I felt the need to make a nice hot beverage to warm my insides and make my house smell festive. This recipe is definitely sweet treat category. It's great to make for holiday get-togethers, and really does make your house smell incredible. And don't let the name fool you - there's not an ounce of tea in the recipe! :)

Hot Spiced Tea

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 3

With extremely cold temperatures and frozen precipitation predicted for later in the week, I thought I would share a "good eat" today. Cold days always make me crave soups and stews. My Cowboy Stew recipe is a wonderful, hearty meal that warms you up and fills you up on blustery days. Make a batch for your family this week!

Crock Pot Cowboy Stew


Monday, December 2, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 2

Today is one of those days that I just need chocolate, and lots of it! So, I'm going to share another sweet treat with you. My family's favorite cake is chocolate chip pound cake. It's so yummy and moist that it has no need for frosting (which is good for me, because I'm not a big frosting fan)! This cake is quick and easy to whip up, and it is definitely worth waiting for the bake time. It is super yummy when you eat it warm. :) Enjoy!


 Chocolate Chip Pound Cake





Sunday, December 1, 2013

25 Days of Sweet Treats and Good Eats - Day 1

Since I haven't been great about posting my menus lately (truthfully, they just aren't that exciting since there are just two of us at home), I thought I would post some of my favorite holiday time recipes. My goal will be to highlight one recipe each day in December until Christmas.

Today, I'm going to start with a sweet treat. These are probably my favorite cookie to make during the holidays. And believe it or not, it's not chocolate chip cookies! These molasses spice cookies are my definition of the perfect cookie texture. They are a little crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and not one bit cakey! Give these a try with your family this holiday season. And you might as well plan on doubling the batch, as they disappear quickly!

Chewey Molasses Spice Cookies


















For menu ideas, see orgjunkie.com.

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