Friday, December 12, 2014

Gooey Salted Caramel Vanilla Butter Cookies

These were not my favorite cookie. The cookie part was not very sweet, and the caramel was too sweet. But, the people I shared them with seemed to enjoy them. I guess I just simply prefer chocolate chip. :)



Ingredients:
Cookies
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Salted Caramel
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Kosher salt

Directions:

1. Add 2/3 cup butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla to a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until light and fluffy. Add flour and beat on low speed until well combined. Shape dough into 1.5-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make an indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or end of wooden spoon handle. Refridgerate at least 1 hour until firm or up to 72 hours.


2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake cookies directly from refrigerator for 8-10 minutes. When the cookies come out of the oven, you may need to press them down again slightly in the center to make a good shallow pool for the sauce. Cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, make the salted caramel sauce. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking and stirring for one minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in whipping cream until smooth. Cool for about 15 minutes.

4. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of caramel sauce into center of each cookie. Let the caramel set about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, like kosher salt.

Makes 12-14 cookies.

Recipe Source - Kevin and Amanda

Jessika's Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were described as being the perfect combination of crunchy and chewy. The definitely are crunchy on the outside, and chewy on the inside, but they are still not as good as the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that I normally use. They came out of the oven very puffy, so I had to flatten them with a spatula.



Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon rum (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two to three baking sheets with parch- ment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Scrape down the sides and add the egg and rum (or vanilla extract). Blend well until incorporated.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and chips. Mix with the electric mixer until well blended.
  4. Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place about 2-inches apart on the prepared trays. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and crackled. Cool on a rack. Cookies will firm up as they cool.
  5. To freeze: store cooled cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for two to three months — if they last that long!
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

Recipe Source - Good Cheap Eats

Soft and Chewy Double Chip Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients:
Cookies:
1¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup butterscotch chips
¼ cup white chocolate chips

Cinnamon sugar topping:
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer ( with paddle attachment) or a large mixing bowl and handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy .
  3. Next mix in in egg and vanilla.
  4. Now add the flour mixture slowly, about ½ a cup at a time. Mix until well combined.
  5. Last but not least, stir in your chocolate and butterscotch chips. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill dough at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. ( if you are rushed on time, you can also put in the freezer for 10 minutes)
  6. Place the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
  7. Scoop heaping tablespoon-sized amounts of cookie dough and roll in to 1.5-2 inch balls. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture until well covered.
  8. Place cookies on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes for LARGE cookies and 9-11 for SMALL cookies.
  9. They may appear to be under cooked, but you DO NOT want to over cook these. After they cool, they will firm up, but maintain that desired soft and chewy texture.
Recipe Source - Family Fresh Meals

Lemon and Olive Oil Baked Cod

Ingredients

2-4 cod fillets, 1" thick
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
 
Directions
 
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the fish in a baking dish and drizzle lemon juice & olive oil over the top, then sprinkle with remaining ingredients and bake 15-20 minutes, until opaque.

Recipe Source - Sweet Beginnings

Parmesan-Crusted Cod

Ingredients
2 cod (or other white fish) fillets
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp miracle whip
1/3 cup parmesan bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
 
Preparation
Heat oven to 350 degrees and place fish into a glass baking dish.

Season the top of the fish with salt and pepper, and pour lemon juice into the baking dish.

Place the bread crumbs and cheese into a dish, coat the top of each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon of miracle whip, and then dredge the coated side of the fish into the bread crumb mixture.

Place the fish back into the baking dish and bake for 12 minutes in the oven. Switch the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes until the top of the fish is browned and crisp.

Recipe Source - Sweet Beginnings

Horseradish Crusted Salmon

Ingredients
1 Tbsp dried dill
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko or coarse breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
4 6 oz salmon fillets
Preparation
Preheat oven to 475 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray, and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the panko, horseradish, dill and oil. Make sure to mix it well. 

Season the salmon with salt and pepper, and place on a cookie sheet, skin side down, if yours has skin. 

Spoon the panko mixture on top of the fillets, and press down to secure in place. 

Bake until golden brown on top and opaque throughout, about 8-10 minutes.

Recipe Source - Sweet Beginnings

Baked Salmon with Honey Dijon & Garlic


Ingredients:
4 6 oz salmon fillets
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
A pinch of salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, line a baking sheet with foil, and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, parsley, honey, Dijon, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil, until well-combined.

Place the salmon pieces, skin-side down if the skin is still on them, onto the prepared baking sheet and generously brush the sauce on top of each piece, using a pastry brush if you have one.

Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Recipe Source - Sweet Beginnings

Monday, December 1, 2014

Slow Cooker Hashbrown Casserole

My friend, Val, brought this to school for a luncheon, and it was fabulous. This is a nice potluck dish that you can just mix together and throw in the slow cooker. 


Ingredients

1 - 26-32 ounce bag frozen hash browns
1 - 8 oz container sour cream
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
¼ - cup onion, chopped fine
1½ - cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ - cup butter, melted
salt and pepper, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each)


Directions

In a large bowl add the hash browns thawed or frozen, sour cream, soup, onion, shredded cheese and melted butter. Mix to combine.

Spoon hash brown mixture in a 4 quart slow cooker that has been sprayed with non stick spray. 

Sprinkle salt and pepper on top cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until done. The casserole should be crispy on the sides and bubbly throughout.
 
Makes 8-10 servings.
 
Recipe Source - Stockpiling Moms

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 - 26-32 ounce bag frozen hash browns
  • 1 - 8 oz container sour cream
  • 1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • ¼ - cup onion, chopped fine
  • 1½ - cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ - cup butter, melted
  • salt and pepper, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add the hash browns thawed or frozen, sour cream, soup, onion, shredded cheese and melted butter.
  2. Mix to combine.
  3. Spoon hash brown mixture in a 4 quart slow cooker that has been sprayed with non stick spray (I had put in a liner and sprayed the liner too).
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until done.
  5. The casserole should be crispy on the sides and bubbly throughout.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
- See more at: http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2013/10/crockpot-hashbrown-casserole/#sthash.ktToEJkk.dpuf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 - 26-32 ounce bag frozen hash browns
  • 1 - 8 oz container sour cream
  • 1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • ¼ - cup onion, chopped fine
  • 1½ - cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ - cup butter, melted
  • salt and pepper, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add the hash browns thawed or frozen, sour cream, soup, onion, shredded cheese and melted butter.
  2. Mix to combine.
  3. Spoon hash brown mixture in a 4 quart slow cooker that has been sprayed with non stick spray (I had put in a liner and sprayed the liner too).
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until done.
  5. The casserole should be crispy on the sides and bubbly throughout.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
- See more at: http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2013/10/crockpot-hashbrown-casserole/#sthash.ds1yDFP9.dpuf
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Ingredients
  • 1 - 26-32 ounce bag frozen hash browns
  • 1 - 8 oz container sour cream
  • 1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • ¼ - cup onion, chopped fine
  • 1½ - cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ - cup butter, melted
  • salt and pepper, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add the hash browns thawed or frozen, sour cream, soup, onion, shredded cheese and melted butter.
  2. Mix to combine.
  3. Spoon hash brown mixture in a 4 quart slow cooker that has been sprayed with non stick spray (I had put in a liner and sprayed the liner too).
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until done.
  5. The casserole should be crispy on the sides and bubbly throughout.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
- See more at: http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2013/10/crockpot-hashbrown-casserole/#sthash.ds1yDFP9.dpuf

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What's for Dinner Meal Plan

I know my posted menus have been sporadic lately, but I do actually still create them. I just don't always get them posted. Since I'm only cooking for two, I usually cook about three meals on Sundays, and then the hubby and I eat on that all week. We actually do a pretty regular date night now that we are empty nesters, and treat ourselves to dinner out once a week as well.

My best menu news is that my son has taken up my menu planning habits now that he is in an apartment at college, and believe it or not, he cooks! He has followed my Sunday cooking tradition, and cooks a few things for himself that he can eat all week. My favorite thing is that he texts me photos of his meals. I love that kid! Some girl is going to be very lucky some day to snag that boy. :) Can you tell I'm a proud mom?

Well, anyway, here are the meals I'm making for this week. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. 

-->
Red Beans & Rice, Salad, Peaches 



--> Maple Soy Glazed Salmon, Rice, Asparagus, Salad 


--> Taco Cornbread Casserole, Applesauce 


-->
Swedish Meatballs, Noodles, Green Beans, Salad

 

 For more menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Banana Streusel Muffins

A great way to use up those brown bananas sitting the counter. :)

Ingredients:

MUFFINS:
2 C flour
1 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1 C sour cream
2 bananas, ripe with brown spots on the peels
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C butter, melted

STREUSEL:
1/4 C sugar
3 Tb flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tb butter

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2. Into a large mixing bowl place 2 C flour, 1 C sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4

3. Into a medium-sized mixing bowl place 2 eggs, 1 C sour cream, 2 ripe bananas and 1 tsp vanilla. Blend them together with a hand-held mixer. (Or use your stand mixer, if you so choose). Make sure all the bananas get mashed up and well incorporated. You don't want any big banana chunks. :) 

4. Pour 1/4 C melted butter into the bowl. Mix it just until combined.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix it with a wooden spoon, just until incorporated. You want to be careful not to over mix here. You don't want dry muffins. 

6. To mix the streusel topping, place 1/4 C sugar, 3 Tb flour and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Toss it together with a fork to combine. 

7. Add 2 Tb cold butter and cut it in to the mixture. It should be a bit clumpy.

8. Scoop the banana batter into muffin tins. Fill them about 2/3 full.

9. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter. 10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

11. Take the pan out of the oven and let it sit on your counter for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and let the cool on a wire rack.

Time: 15 min. prep + 20-25 min. baking
Yield: 18 muffins

Recipe Source - Jamie Cooks It Up

Cider Shallot Gravy

Ingredients

Directions

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, thyme and garlic to the pan and sauté until the shallots are beginning to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add the flour to the pan and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.

Measure the pan juices from the turkey and add enough stock to total 5 cups. Gradually add the stock mixture into the pan with the butter mixture, whisking in each small addition before adding more. Once all of the liquid is incorporated, bring the mixture to a boil. Add in the cider and continue to boil until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Recipe Source - Annie's Eats

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Maple Soy Glazed Salmon


Ingredients:
4 (6 - 7 oz) skinless salmon fillets
1/3 cup real maple syrup
3 Tbsp soy sauce (not low-sodium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper and chopped green onions (optional)

Directions:
In a mixing bowl whisk together maple syrup, soy sauce and garlic. Place salmon into a baking dish then pour maple syrup mixture evenly over salmon. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, carefully rotating salmon once halfway through.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees during last 10 minutes of marinating salmon.

Spray a 13 by 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray then transfer marinated salmon into greased dish (don't discard marinade). Bake in preheated oven until salmon is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat slightly and allow to cook several minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced to 1/4 cup.

Serve salmon warm with 1 Tbsp of the maple soy glaze drizzled over top and black pepper and green onions if desire.

Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Panko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon

Ingredients

4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 clove garlic minced
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper



Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey and garlic. In a shallow dish toss together Panko bread crumbs, parsley and lemon zest. Drizzle olive oil over mixture then toss to evenly coat.
  • Working with one piece of salmon at a time, brush top with honey mustard mixture season with salt and pepper (don't overdue it, you'll be seasoning both sides), then rotate and transfer to bread crumb mixture (the honey mustard should be facing down to get the bread crumb mixture to stick to salmon), then brush top of salmon with honey mustard mixture and season lightly with salt and pepper and rotate to coat with crumb mixture. Transfer to baking dish and repeat with remaining salmon fillets.
  • Bake in preheated oven 13 - 15 minutes until salmon has cooked through. Serve warm with lemon wedges (from zested lemon) if desired. 
Recipe Source - Cooking Classy

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Potato Cheese Herb Bread


Ingredients:
(Makes approximately 3 loaves)
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 (4oz) package Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
5-6 cups flour
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese or your choice)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the water, yeast and sugar to the bowl.  Mix and allow to "proof" for about five minutes.  Start mixer and add potatoes, olive oil, salt, and spices.  Mix and then add 3 cups flour.  Continue mixing and adding flour until the dough is formed and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. (I used 5 cups).  Then add the cheese.  Mix until combined. Dough will be dense.
Cover and let rise in a greased bowl for about 30-45 minutes or until double in size.
Form in to loaves and place in greased pans.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and when you tap on the top it sounds hollow.
When it comes out of the oven rub the top with butter.

Recipe Source - One Crazy Cookie

Patty Melts


Ingredients:
1 pound hamburger
1 medium onion, sliced
3-4 fresh mushrooms sliced (Optional)
2 Tablespoon butter
12 slices of bread
softened butter or butter spread
6 slices of cheese

Directions:
In a skillet over medium heat melt butter and add the onions, mushrooms and a pinch of sugar. Saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally  It takes about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.

While onions are cooking, form your hamburger in to patties to fit the size of your bread.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook patties in a separate skillet until they are cooked through.

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  On medium heat use a clean skillet.  Place the butter side of the bread facing the pan, add the slice of cheese, a bit of the onion mixture, the hamburger patty and the other slice of bread with the butter side facing out.  Grill until golden brown and then flip and toast the other side.  Cook until the cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Made 6 medium size sandwiches

Recipe Source - Once Crazy Cookie

Symphony Brownies

My friend Miranda used to make something similar to these with boxed brownie mix. This is definitely a decadent treat.



Ingredients
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 extra large (8 oz.) Symphony chocolate bars with toffee and almonds (you may not use all the chocolate, but you'll get to eat the extra!)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and salt.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Quickly whisk in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add butter mixture to flour mixture and stir until well blended.
  5. Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Top the batter with a layer of the Symphony bars, breaking them apart as needed for even coverage.
  6. Spread the remaining batter over the chocolate bars. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until brownies are set.
  7. Cool completely before slices into squares to serve.
Recipe Source - Let's Dish

Stuffing Meatloaf

Simple comfort food.



Ingredients:
1 package Stove Top Stuffing mix, dry
1 c. warm water
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 package onion soup mix


Directions:
Preheat oven 350°. Coat inside of bundt pan with cooking spray.

Place warm water, onion soup mix and dry stuffing mix in a bowl. Mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow bread time to absorb water.

Add eggs and ground beef. Mix well. Best to get it blended by using your hands and incorporating it all together.

Place evenly into bundt pan.

Bake 1 hour or until no longer pink inside.

Remove and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

A little different twist on the traditional Snickerdoodle

Ingredients:
COOKIES:
1 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
3 C flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 C white chocolate chips

COATING:
4 Tb sugar
1 Tb cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Into your stand mixer place 1 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Cream the two together for about 2 minutes.
3. Add 2 eggs and cream for another 2 minutes.
4. Into a medium-sized mixing bowl place 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Toss them around a bit with a fork to be sure they are well combined. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix for about 1 minute to combine.5. Add 1 1/2 cups white chocolate and mix just until combined.6. Into a small bowl place 4 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Stir to combine.
7. Roll the dough into 1 or 2 inch balls (depending on how large a cookie you like) and roll them in the sugar and spice mixture.
8. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and place the covered dough balls out evenly onto it.
9. Bake for 7-8 minutes, or just until the top of the cookies start to crack. Take them out of the oven and allow them to keep cooking while they sit on the sheet for about 2 minutes.
Makes 48 cookies
Recipe Source - Jamie Cooks It Up

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Nice fall recipe to share with friends

Ingredients:
CAKE:
2 C sugar
4 eggs
2 C pumpkin (a small, 15 ounce can works great)
1 C oil
2 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

FROSTING:
3/4 C butter, softened
3 ounce cream cheese, softened
1 Tb milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
dash of salt

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Into your stand mixer place 2 cups sugar and 4 eggs.
3. Add a small 15 ounce can of pumpkin and 1 cup canola or vegetable oil.
4. Mix for 2 minutes.
5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss them all together to combine and add them to the pumpkin/oil mixture. 6. Mix for 2 minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so everything gets well incorporated.
7. Spray a large jelly roll pan (12x16) with cooking spray and pour the batter into it.
8. Spread the batter out evenly with a knife.
9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely. 
10. To make the frosting place 3/4 cup softened butter and 3 ounces softened cream cheese into a small mixing bowl.
11. Add 1 tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar and a dash of salt. Beat until nice and smooth. Add a bit more milk if the frosting is too stiff.
12. When the cake has cooled completely, spoon the frosting onto the top and spread it out evenly with a knife. 
Serve and enjoy! 
 
Recipe Source - Jamie Cooks It Up

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lazy Cake Cookies

Super simple treat to make on a rainy evening! These were fine right out of the oven, but not so great the next day.



Ingredients:
1 box yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs beaten
5 T melted butter
2 C M & M’s or mini chocolate chips (I use regular chocolate chips)

Mix together, put in a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 min!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What's for Dinner Menu Plan

Fall is definitely in the air. After a very hot start to the school year, temperatures are finally hinting at the change of season. Eric and I took advantage of a free weekend with cooler temps to do our first try at camping with our motorcycle! The man we bought our original bike from let us borrow his motorcycle camper, and it was fabulous. It was so much better than camping in our tent, and we really enjoyed traveling to the campground on our motorcycle.


Now, on to the menu. Remember, now that it is just the two of us, my menus are much less detailed. We eat a lot of leftovers so that we don't waste food, plus it saves us time on busy nights. Usually one meal will last a couple of days. So, instead of listing my meals by day like I've done in the past, I'm just sharing what I will be cooking during the week and labeling it by the type of entree. Hopefully it is still helpful in providing you ideas for meals to make for your family.

Here's this week's menu. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog.

Beef - Steak, Sauteed Zucchini, Salad

Fish - Honey Dijon Salmon, Green Beans, Salad, Peaches


Chicken - Apple Butter Glazed Chicken, Broccoli, Salad, Applesauce


Beef - Taco Salad (reminder to myself to cook the shells at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes), Apple slices

Meatless - Veggie Pizza (use this pizza crust recipe), Salad

For more menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

What's for Dinner Menu Plan (I know, shocking!)

Those of you who regularly read my blog are probably thinking I've fallen of the face of the earth. Not so! I still plan my meals for the week and cook for my family (now just me and my hubby). But, since my son went to college, my schedule and meal planning have changed a little. Just over a year ago, my husband and I got a motorcycle, and it has kind of changed our world. We are just slightly obsessed with riding, and go out every chance we get. We still love to hike and such, but we just take the motorcycle now as our way of travel. So, my weekends haven't left me with as much time to blog.

But, I couldn't sleep tonight, so I thought I'd post my menu for this week. Most things are new recipes, so I'll post photos later once I've made the recipe. I'm not going to specify days, as we eat leftovers a lot since there are just two of us at home now, but here are my meals for the week. Enjoy and have a great week! Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get fast updates from the blog. 

Beef - Chili Spaghetti, Salad, Strawberries
   
Fish - Lemon Parmesan Tilapia, Asparagus, Salad, Strawberries

Meatless - Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Tacos, Salad, Peaches

Beef - Steak, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli, Salad

Chicken - Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells and Cheese, Salad, Applesauce

Lunch Soup - Potato Ham Chowder

For more menu ideas, visit orgjunkie.com.



 

Pumpkin Doughnuts

A yummy fall treat

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (measure 2 cups remove 2 Tbsp)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract

Coating:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 18 doughnut wells (3 6-hole pans).

In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined (break up clumps of brown sugar with fingertips as necessary. You don't want any clumps). Add canola oil, eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and using an electric hand mixer, blend until mixture is well blended. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and mix with electric mixer until well combined. Spoon or pipe batter into doughnut wells, filling each about 3/4 full (a scant 1/4 cup in each).

Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 13 - 16 minutes. Cool doughnuts slightly. Meanwhile in a large resealable bag shake together 1/3 cup sugar and 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon until well combined. Add one warm doughnut to bag at a time, seal and shake with sugar mixture to coat. Place on wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Source - Cooking Classy

Potato Ham Chowder

Nice hearty soup for fall or winter



Ingredients:

2 cups cooked ham, diced into small cubes (I often use turkey ham)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
5 Tbsp butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
5 medium red potatoes (1 3/4 lb), diced into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Chives for topping
 
Directions:

In a large pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add chicken broth, potatoes, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste (slightly under-season with salt as the ham and bacon will add more saltiness to soup). Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and allow to cook until potatoes are very tender, about 17 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce to warm heat, stir in ham and corn. 

In a medium saucepan, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook mixture, stirring constantly, 1 1/2 minutes. While whisking, slowly add in milk, and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to thicken, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream. Pour and stir milk mixture into soup mixture. Serve warm topped with bacon and chives.

Modified from Cooking Classy

Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Tacos

A great meatless taco.




Ingredients:

3 medium tomatoes, cored and seeded, diced* (1 1/2 cups)
2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, diced (1 1/2 heaping cups)
1 medium yellow squash, diced (1 1/2 heaping cups)
3/4 small yellow onion, chopped (scant 1 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned black beans, drained, rinsed and warmed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Corn or flour tortillas for serving
Queso fresco, for serving
Sour cream and Mexican hot sauce for serving (optional)
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place first 5 ingredients in a mound on a large baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, canola oil, cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder and salt and pepper (I used 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, but you can adjust to your taste). Drizzle oil mixture over veggies on baking dish, then toss to evenly coat and spread veggies into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, then remove from oven and toss (then spread into an even layer again) and return to oven to roast 10 minutes longer (or until they've reached desired doneness).

Near the end of veggies roasting, toss warmed black beans with salt and remaining 1/2 tsp chili powder. Once veggies are done roasting, add black beans along with chopped cilantro and drizzle lime juice over top and toss. Serve warm over tortillas. Top with Queso Fresco, sour cream and hot sauce if desired.

*Dice all the veggies about the same size so they all cook evenly, except for the tomatoes (and corn obviously). Dice the tomatoes bigger because they shrink the most since they have a higher water content than the others.

Recipe modified from Cooking Classy

Caramel Apple Cookies

Might make a nice fall treat.

Ingredients:


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup peeled and shredded Granny Smith apple (from about 2 small)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (scant - just remove 1 Tbsp) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed but still cold
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 Tbsp apple juice concentrate
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Maldon salt for sprinkling (optional)

Directions:

For the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate bowl, toss shredded apple with lemon juice, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and brown sugar until creamy (if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl, then occasionally stop mixer throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Mix in half of the flour mixture, then with mixer running on low speed, slowly add in apple juice concentrate, then mix in remaining half of the flour mixture. Fold in shredded apples (and the juices with apples). Scoop dough out with a medium 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 11 - 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, apple juice concentrate and salt. Heat mixture over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over cookies (I recommend a fairly thin layer as this frosting is very sweet), and immediately sprinkle with pecans and Maldon (if using. The frosting will set quickly so don't wait to add toppings). As frosting cools it will thicken, so add 1/2 tsp warm water at a time to thin as needed for a more spreadable consistency. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe Source - Cooking Classy

Creamy Broccoli Chicken Shells and Cheese

This could be an easy throw-together dinner if you already have some cooked chicken on hand and a package of frozen broccoli.



Ingredients:
9 oz large shell pasta, dry (3 1/4 cups)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded into small bites size pieces (or get a rotisserie chicken, remove meat from bones, and dice)
12 oz broccoli florets, diced into small bite size pieces (4 1/2 cups once diced)
2 1/2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups skim milk
6 oz 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1 oz Parmesan cheese, finely shredded (1/3 cup)

Directions:
Boil pasta according to directions listed on package adding broccoli during last 3 - 4 minutes of boiling, drain well (reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, just in case you want to thin pasta sauce).

Meanwhile, in a pot melt butter over medium heat then stir in flour. Cook mixture stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking vigorously, slowly add in milk, then season with onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high, cook mixture, stirring constantly until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 1 minute then add in cheddar and Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add drained pasta and broccoli and chicken and toss to evenly coat. As it sits it will thicken, you can thin it with a few tbsp pasta water if desired.

Recipe Source - Cooking Classy

Lemon Tilapia Parmesan

This recipe was originally a chicken recipe that someone modified to use with fish. I will put the chicken modifications in here as well, as I think it would be good both ways.



Ingredients:

Pasta:
8 oz angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste


Fish (or chicken):
4 tilapia filets (4 thin sliced chicken breasts -2 chicken breasts cut in half cross-wise)
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup flour (original chicken recipe does not have the flour)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the butter, lemon zest, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg and water in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish combine the Panko, Parmesan, dried basil, salt and pepper.

Place the flour in a plastic food storage bag. Add the fish (or chicken) filets, seal the bag, and toss to coat the filets in the flour. (The original chicken recipe does not call for the flouring step, though I think it would help with the coating.) Working with one piece at a time, dip a filet into the egg, then into the bread crumb mixture, pressing to adhere the crumbs. Repeat with all the filets.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice and garlic. Add the fish filets and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Distribute the mozzarella between the 4 filets and cover the pan briefly so the cheese melts. Remove to filets to a plate.

Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat, thinning the sauce with some of the pasta cooking water. Serve some pasta in a shallow bowl topped with a piece of fish per person.
 


Note: When making the chicken version, after browning the chicken on both sides for 3-4 minutes, you are supposed to remove them to a plate. Then, spoon the mixed pasta into the skillet. Place the cooked chicken breasts on top. Place lemon slices on top, if using, Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle top with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken on top of the lemon noodles. 

I think if you are using thin chicken breasts, you can probably skip the baking step. I'm afraid baking would dry out the pasta.  

Recipe Source: A Taste of Home Cooking and Recipe Girl

Friday, August 22, 2014

Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream and Salted Caramel Sauce

Ingredients
  • 4 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1/8 cup Mazola Corn Oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup prepared salted caramel sauce
  • Your favorite vanilla ice cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combined brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside
  3. Brush cut halves of peaches with Mazola Corn Oil and place face down on the grill. Brush the outside (skin side) of the peaches with corn oil while the other side cooks. Grill for about 3 minutes, or until peaches are just beginning to develop grill marks.
  4. Using tongs, carefully flip the peaches. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the cut side of the peaches and grill for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove peaches from grill and cool slightly.
  6. Place one or two peaches in an individual serving dish. Top with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel sauce and toasted pecans. Enjoy!
Recipe Source - Let's Dish

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