Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quick and Easy Christmas Candies

Here are three recipes for Christmas Candies that take no time to make and are so yummy!

Christmas Fudge

Combine in a glass bowl
1/2 of a cube of butter
1/2 of a cube of margarine
3 cups of milk chocolate chips
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
Microwave for 5 minutes and stir until smooth. Pour into an 8x8 pan and let set about 3 hours.

I have done lots of different variations of this and I have never had it fail. Using all white chocolate chips is tasty but very soft-using semi sweet is not as smooth and of course tastes like dark chocolate but is still really good. Or, Try combining milk and mint chips together for a chocolate mint heavenly combination (I've heard of others using Andie's candies instead of the chips for this one). I also have used all butter or all margarine and still had it be successful but perfect calls for the above mix. I also line a 9x13 pan with foil and pour my fudge into that-bringing up the sides to make a nice brick then I can lift it out of the pan after its set and put it on a nice tray for serving if I'm taking it to a party or something. Enjoy!

Peanut Brittle

Combine in a Glass Bowl

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup

Mix and cook on High in microwave for 5 min

Then Add
1 cup peanuts

Mix and cook for 2 min on high

Then quickly Add

1 TB butter
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon vanilla.

Mix quickly and pour onto a butter cookie sheet. Spread it around, but don't spread it so thin that their are holes in the mix. Let it cool for several min. When hard, break into pieces. Enjoy!

Christmas Clusters

In a double boiler on the stove or a glass bowl in the microwave combine one package of chocolate chips and one package of butterscotch chips. Melt together until smooth.

Then add 1 cup of peanuts and two cups of Chinese noodles (the crunchy kind) and mix together.

Using a small cookie scoop, place scoops of clusters onto cookie sheets. Let harden in a cool place. Remove from cookie sheet and try not to eat them all at once. :) Place uneaten clusters into a ziplock and store in the fridge until later.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Hassel Pizza Dough and Sauce

1 1/2 cup warm water
3 tsp. Yeast
1 tsp. sugar

Combine and allow 5-7 min of fermentation time.

Then Combine with:

3 3/8 cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
1tsp red pepper flakes
1tsp Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp thyme

Roll out. Put sauce and toppings on. Cook at 450 for 10-15 min (ovens vary so check after about 10 min)


8 oz tomato sauce
6 oz Tomato Paste
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

Combine all ingredients really well and use on your pizza.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

I got this recipe from my s-i-l Cody and made some last night- delicious!

4 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 1/2 - 2 c. pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix together. Spread batter in ungreased 15x10x1 in. baking pan. (*I think the cookie sheet I used was bigger than that, but it worked.) Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. (*Since my pan was bigger, I only needed to bake it for 22 min.) Cool completely and frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. softened butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Mix cream cheese and butter with beaters first. Add vanilla and powdered sugar.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

THE BEST pancakes you'll ever eat in your life.

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

3 Tbs. unsalted butter; more for serving
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for the griddle
Pure maple syrup for serving

Heat the oven to 200°F. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove and set aside to cool briefly.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.

Heat a griddle or a large skillet over medium heat (or set an electric griddle to 375°F) until drops of water briefly dance on the surface before evaporating. Lightly oil the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.

Excellent Pumpkin Soup

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
3 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
3 cups chicken broth
16-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (or squash)
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
Melt butter in a large saucepan, and sauté garlic and onions till golden brown. Add curry powder, salt, coriander, and cayenne pepper; simmer gently for 2 minutes. Stir in broth and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

Add pumpkin, stirring till smooth. Add evaporated milk. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes; don't allow soup to boil (but a simmer is OK).

In batches, transfer soup to blender or food processor. Process till very smooth. Serve hot. Yield: about 8 servings.

NOTES: I love to use shallots instead of onion in cream of vegetable soups. You can try both and decide which you like better.
If you don’t have evaporated milk, use 8 or 9 oz of milk and 3 of 4 oz of cream.
I like this better with roasted squash instead of canned pumpkin. I roasted an Uchiki squash the night before and used the cooled squash in the soup the next day. Everybody loved it. Look for Uchiki; it’s very smooth and quite flavorful.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Garlic & Mushroom Mashed Potatoes

6-8 potatoes (I can't remember how many I used. It was whatever was leftover from the prior night's dinner of baked potatoes)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
Butter (can't remember)
Light sour cream (however much I had left in the fridge. Maybe 1/2 cup? But I would've used more if I had it)
Milk (no idea how much)
White wine (maybe 1/2 cup?)
2 cloves garlic, minced (again, all I had. I totally would have at least doubled this. But I LOVE garlic.)
Rosemary (no idea how much)

Cook the potatoes, leaving the skins on. Mine were already baked, but you can boil them or microwave them as well.
Saute the mushrooms and garlic in some butter (I think I used 1 or 2 T.) in a skillet. After they're mostly ready, add in white wine and turn the heat way down. Let it simmer so you cook out all the alcohol. While that is simmering and smelling yummy...
Mash the potatoes (I use my hand mixer), add sour cream, butter, milk, whatever you like to make your mashed potatoes creamy. Just remember, they will be getting a little more liquid from the wine. Oh, and salt and pepper to taste.
Then add the mushroom mixture and a goodly amount of rosemary. Stir it all together. DO NOT prepare gravy. That would ruin it.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these. Sorry about the lack of amounts. That's just sort of the way I cook. But you can do it too!

Green Smoothie

1 ripe pear, quartered but leave skin on
1 banana, cut in thirds
1/2 can pineapple chunks + juice
6-8 oz. vanilla or lemon yogurt (we tried it both ways)
Ground flax seeds (probably about 2-3 T.)
Chopped spinach, as much as would fit in my blender
Ice cubes

I actually used more than the 1/2 can of the pineapples the first time, so it was less than 1/2 the second time and it seemed really thick (well, it was really thick both times, but it seemed too thick the second time), so I added some milk too. I have no idea how much.

I blended the fruit, yogurt, and flax seeds first and then added the spinach a little at a time. I don't know if it was just my blender, but I had to kind of push it down with a spoon to get it to chop in.

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

18 oz. white chocolate
1/4 C. milk
1 C. shortening
1 C. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
8 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. milk

Microwave chocolate and 1/4 C. milk on medium high for 1-2 min. Stir halfway through cooking time.Cream butter and shortening.  Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, beating well on medium after each addition. The frosting will seem really dry at this point.  Add 1/4 C. milk, beating at medium until light and fluffy.  Beat in chocolate.

I cut this recipe in half and I'd say it still made about 3 or 4 cups of frosting.

Chicken And Gnocchi Soup

First off, this is a recipe that is a composite of several others I found on-line.  Like all of my recipes, it's kind of shady when it comes to amounts and whatnot.  I'll do my best.

1/3 C. butter (margarine or olive oil, if you're going dairy-free)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 lbs. chicken, cubed (sometimes I cook it in the soup first and then cube it before serving.  No real reason, just whatever I'm in the mood for)
1 carrot, diced
1/2 or 1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 C. Spinach (this amount varies greatly depending on my mood and how much I have, and you can use fresh or frozen, I haven't noticed a difference)
1 tsp. thyme
Salt & Pepper (I actually don't add extra salt because I think there is enough from the chicken stock)
4 C. chicken stock
2 C. milk or half n' half (rice or almond milk work just fine)
16 oz. Gnocchi (I actually double this because my family love these little dumplings)
1-2 heaping T. flour
1/3 C. cold water

Melt butter and cook the chicken in it.  Add and saute onion, celery, garlic, and carrot until onion is clear.  Add chicken stock, milk, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Heat to boiling, then add gnocchi.  Gently boil 4 minutes, then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.

Whisk flour into cold water then stir into the pot to thicken the soup.  Add spinach.  Heat to boiling.  Once it has reached desired thickness, serve.

Sometimes this thickens up so much in the fridge overnight, I add more water to it before serving it the next day.  It's so flavorful it handles this just fine and still tastes just as delicious.  ENJOY!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Best Pumpkin Bread (Without Chocolate Chips Even!)

Wes and I made this today for some friends of ours. We found this recipe on the internet. We chose to use it for two reasons: First, because it had no less than 3,820 reviews and 5 stars. And second, because 96,450 people have saved it.... that's a lot of people, guys.

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Pear Salad

By far my FAVORITE salad out there. The cheese, the tart, the YUM!
Note: I am horrible at measurements :-( but this recipe is easy to follow even, without the measurements.

About 4 cups of Spring mix (you can use any greens really, but these are my favs)
1/4 cup of chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup of dried cherries
1/2 of  crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 firm/ripe pear (fresh, do not use canned or dried)
and some good Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Add items to salad bowl in order, and serve immediately.

Serve, next to a nice piece of Stake and call it at night, it's that good :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bow Tie Luau Salad

1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 package bow tie pasta, cooked according to directions
3-6 chicken tenders, cooked and shredded
1 small package spinach, washed
1 c. sugared almonds

Combine peppers, cooked bow tie pasta, shredded chicken, spinach, and sugared almonds in large bowl. Chill in refrigerator or serve warm.

Sugared Almonds:
Melt 3 T butter in pan on med-low heat. Add 1/4 c. sugar and toss until bubbly; add 1 cup almonds and toss until toasted 3-5 minutes. Spread out to cool.

Luau Dressing:
2 T sesame seeds
2 T dried parsley
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/2 t. pepper or lemon pepper

Combine ingredients, whisk thoroughly. Chill. Toss with salad just before serving.

Cathy's Sugar Cookies

I got this from Cathy Twitchell's blog. They really are the best home made sugar cookies I've ever had.

1 c. butter
1 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c. sifted flour

Cream butter and sugar. Blend in all other ingredients. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Roll to 1/3" thick on well floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Grease cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 7-10 min. Don't let them get brown.

About this Blog

Rule #1: You can only post AMAZING recipes. Nothing "so-so" allowed.

I think that's all the rules.

Before you post a recipe, please be sure to add the "labels for this post" in the little box on the bottom right of the "compose" post box. Labels can be anything from "chicken" to "breakfast" to "under 30 minutes" to "crockpot" and you can definitely do more than one label per recipe. That way we'll have an easy to access index of sorts.

I'm excited to see what this will become!