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Saturday, December 27, 2014

No-Bake Strawberry Ice Box Cake

This is such an easy dessert. It looks a little fancy, doesn't it? Don't be put off. It only takes a few ingredients, and it doesn't even involve turning on the oven.


Serves: 8 to 12
2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry
3 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon rosewater, optional
4 sleeves (about 19 ounces, or 24 to 28 whole crackers) graham crackers
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped


Take out a few of the best-looking strawberries and set them aside for the garnish. Hull the remainder of the strawberries and cut each berry into thin slices.
With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 1/2 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and rosewater (if using) and whip to combine.
Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, or a similarly-sized platter. Lay down six graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries.
To make the ganache, heat the remaining 1/4 cup cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle this over the layered dessert with a spoon, or transfer to a squeeze bottle and use that to drizzle.
Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.

Recipe Notes

  • Building the cake on a platter instead of in a pan: You can build this cake in a 9x13-inch pan as I mention above, or you can build it up on a platter as shown here. Either way works nicely. The 9x13 pan makes it easier to transport the cake, but if you're staying at home, the platter makes it look a little fancier. You don't need to do anything differently when building it on a platter. I do, though, like to smear a bit of cream on the bottom of each cracker as I add it to the stack to keep it steady and in place.


Devils Food Cake Mix Cookies

Devils Food Cake Mix Cookies
If you're a cookie lover as well as love Duncan Hines® Devil's Food Cake Mix, here is a quick and easy recipe that you are sure to love!

Servings: Makes 2-3 dozen cookies. 

  • 1 box Dunkin Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • Variations: Add walnuts, pecans, coconut or chocolate chips.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, roll into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then move to wire rack.
  2. hese stay very moist and chewy for a couple of days (if they last that long!)

Fudge Cookies

Fudge Cookies Recipe
You've never had fudge cookies like the fudge cookies made using Duncan Hines® products! Give this recipe a try and share your experience! 
  • Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour
  • Servings: Makes 3 dozen cookies.
  • Difficulty: Super Simple
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheets.
  2. Combine cake mix, eggs and oil in large bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. (Mixture will be stiff.) Shape dough into 36 (1¼") balls. Place 2" apart on prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 11 minutes. (Cookies will look moist.) Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Simple Meatloaf

If you like sweet and sour you will love this Simple Meatloaf Recipe. It is one of the best. And not much prep time. This is not your ordinary meatloaf. The flavor is outstanding. The one person in our family that doesn’t like Meatloaf changed his mind after I made this recipe. Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Enjoy!


1 1/2 lbs ground beef (ground shoulder roast is good)
1 slice bread (broken or chopped finely)
1 egg
1 small onion , finely chopped
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed firm (to taste)
1/2 cup ketchup


1. Combine meat loaf ingredients and place into a loaf baking dish.
2. Smooth out top.
3. Sauce: Combine sauce ingredients and pour on top and sides of meatloaf.
4. Bake at 350°F about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until done. 170F with a meat thermometer.


Shoo Fly Pie
This Shoo Fly Pie recipe is easy to make and quite tasty. See what memories you can bake up with this recipe.


For the Syrup:
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in water
For the Crumbs:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
You will also need 2 pre-made refrigerated or frozen pie shells.
  1. Combine the flour, brown sugar, shortening and salt and cinnamon in a small bowl, and mix with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Mix the molasses, brown sugar, eggs hot water and baking soda in a large mixing bowl until a syrup forms.
  3. Put 1/2 the syrup in a pre-made refrigerated pie crust. Then add 1/2 the crumbs. Add the remaining syrup and the other half of the crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Standing Rib Roast
Standing Rib Roast is delicious and succulent dinner entree’ synonymous with special occasions and holiday entertaining. What is the difference between Prime Rib Roast and Standing Rib Roast? Well, not much. The term “Prime” used to refer to USDA “prime” beef. Prime Rib with the bones removed is still referred to as prime rib.

  • 1 (5-pound) standing rib roast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
  2. No measurement for the spices. Use as you feel necessary. Mix the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. After the roast has rested 1 hour at room temperature, rub the roast with the spices. Be sure to cover all surfaces with the seasonings.
  4. Put the Standing Rib Roast on a rack in the pan with the rib side down and the fatty side up. Roast for 1 hour. Turn off oven. Leave roast in oven but do not open oven door for 3 hours. About half an hour before time to serve, reheat the oven back to 375 degrees to warm the roast up.
  5. DO NOT remove the roast or re-open the oven door from time roast is put in until ready to serve.

A Standing Rib Roast with the ribs removed is often referred to as a rolled rib roast. I gets much more detailed than that but the bottom line is; they are about the same. As with the prime rib, the Standing Rib Roast requires little preparation or seasonings. This is a different recipe than the prime rib recipe but either recipe could be used for the cuts of beef.

Allow Standing Rib Roast to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.


Roast Prime Rib Of Beef
Roast Prime Rib of Beef tends to be an expensive roast and here we have a nearly foolproof and easy recipe for serving up a smashing Roast Prime Rib of Beef for your special holiday dinner.

  • 1 5.75 pound prime rib roast of beef (2 bones) 
There are no measurements here.  Just generous amounts of the following: 
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (this MUST be an accurate temp)
  2. Put roast, rib side down in roasting pan
  3. Mix the pepper and herbs in the butter until well combined.
  4. Spread the butter mixture over the entire surface of the prime rib. The more the better.
  5. Put the kosher salt over the entire surface of the butter. Be very GENEROUS. Use more than you think you should here. Most of the salt will run off and very little will remain on the meat. I can’t stress the “generous” enough.
  6. Put the roast in the 500 degree oven for 30 minutes as outlined in step 1. The time will be according to the size of your roast. After the 30 minutes, simply turn the oven off and walk away from it for 2 hours. Yup, just walk away. Do NOT open the door, fiddle with it or anything else. Pretend the roast does not exist.
  7. After 2 hours, remove the roast and LET SIT at least 15 min to allow it to rest before carving!
  8. Slice and serve. You can remove the rib bones for easier slicing and it also makes it easier to get 4 generous servings from the roast. Save the bones! Serve with au jus or Chef Ron Lock’s Spicy Horseradish Sauce etc. Whatever you like. You will surely love this method. You will get a succulent, moist roast between rare and medium rare. Perfect!

I love using this method for Roast  Prime Rib of Beef. It is nearly foolproof but several factors must be kept in mind for you to make the perfect rib roast. First, the roast MUST be at room temperature for several hours before roasting. 6 or more hours is preferred. You have to have accurate oven temp here. If you are not sure if your oven is accurate, try to get an oven thermometer and test it before attempting to roast this beautiful piece of meat. Next, you will need a calculator. Nothing serious here but you will need to calculate the poundage of your roast by 5 minutes. Using the example above, we are going to do this recipe using a 5.75 pound rib roast with 2 ribs. This will feed approximately 4 adults.

If you follow the simple steps, you will have a perfect Roast Prime Rib of Beef for that special dinner. This recipe will net you rare to medium rare Roast Prime Rib of Beef roast to serve. If you want a more well done roast simply calculate extra minutes in the initial cooking stage and use a meat thermometer.

Step 1:

So, my roast is 5.75 lbs. x 5 minutes = 28.75 minutes. I will round up to 29 minutes and add 1 minute for the heat lost when opening the oven door. Keep this in the back of your mind for future reference.


Flatbread (Norwegian Potato Lefse)


Makes 16 small flatbreads or 8 large flatbreads

You can substitute two cups of leftover mashed potatoes for the mashed potatoes in this recipe.


1 pound starchy or all-purpose potatoes
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
1 - 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For serving: butter, cinnamon-sugar, jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, cold cuts, cheese slices, gravlax, or any other topping your inner Norwegian desires


Peel the potatoes and cut them into large, uniformly-shaped chunks. Place in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Over medium-high heat, bring the water and the potatoes to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are very soft and easily pierced with a fork, 10-12 minutes from the start of the boil. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Using a potato masher, potato ricer, or a dinner fork, mash the potatoes as thoroughly as possible; you don't want any lumps. Cut the butter into small chunks and mix it with the potatoes. Add the cream and salt. Keep mixing until the butter and cream are completely absorbed. Taste and add more salt if desired.
Transfer the potatoes to a storage container and refrigerate overnight or up to three days.
When ready to make the lefse, clear a large workspace for dividing and rolling out the flatbreads. Lefse are traditionally made with grooved wooden rolling pins, but a standard rolling pin will do the job just fine. A pastry scraper or sturdy spatula for lifting and transferring the rolled-out flatbreads is also handy.
Mix the mashed potatoes with 1 cup of the flour. At first this will be very crumbly and floury, but the mixture will gradually start coming together. Turn the dough out on the counter and knead once or twice to bring it together into a smooth ball. Roll it into a thick log and then divide it into 16 equal portions for small 6-8" lefse or 8 equal portions for large 10-12" lefse.
Roll each portion of dough between your palms to form a small ball. Cover all the balls with a clean dishtowel off to one side of your workspace.
Set a cast iron skillet or flat grill pan over medium-high heat. When a bead of water sizzles when flicked on the pan, it's ready.
Dust your workspace and rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll one of the rounds of dough in the flour and then press it into a thick disk with the heel of your hand. Working from the center out, roll the dough into as thin a circle as you can manage. Lift, move, and flip the dough frequently as you work to make sure it's not sticking. Use more flour as needed.
Roll the lefse gently onto the rolling pin, as if you were transferring pie dough, and lay it in the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until speckled with golden-brown spots. Transfer the cooked lefse to a plate and cover with another clean dish towel.
While one lefse is cooking, roll out the next one. Keep all the cooked lefse under the towel to keep them warm and prevent them from drying out. If the lefse start to stick to the pan, melt a small pat of butter in the pan and wipe it away with a paper towel to leave only a very thin coating of fat on the pan.
Spread the lefse with your topping of choice and roll it up to eat. Leftover lefse can stacked with wax paper between the layers to prevent sticking and kept refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for three months. They can be eaten cold from the fridge or warmed for a few seconds in the microwave.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

3-Ingredient Banana Bread Cookies

3-Ingredient Banana Bread Cookies
Craving banana bread, but looking for a quicker, easier way to gobble up the goodness that is this sweet treat? These 3-Ingredient Banana Bread cookies are tres yummy and quickaroo!


1        box Betty Crocker Cake Mix (Spice Cake or Yellow Cake)
2        very ripe bananas
1        can Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Vanilla Frosting
dried bananas for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat together the cake mix, bananas, and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla frosting until well mixed.
  • Spoon batter by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, or just until the cookies set. Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet and transferring to cooling rack.
  • Spoon frosting into a plastic zip-top bag. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, just enough to soften the frosting, then snip a small corner from the frosting bag and drizzle over cooled cookies.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Servings: 24

Slow-Cooker Turtle Pudding

Slow-Cooker Turtle Pudding
Ooey gooey chocolate pudding, caramel and pecans make this slow cooker dessert extra delicious.

1 1/2  cups Original Bisquick™ mix
1        cup sugar
1/2     cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2     cup milk
3/4     cup caramel topping
1 2/3  cups hot water
1/2     cup chopped pecans, if desired
  • Spray 3-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix Bisquick mix, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cocoa. Stir in milk and 1/2 cup of the caramel until well blended. Put in slow cooker. Pour hot water over top (do not stir). Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
  • Cover; cook on Low heat setting 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until top springs back when touched lightly (center will still be soft). Turn off slow cooker; let stand uncovered 20 minutes to cool slightly. Serve warm pudding with remaining 1/4 cup caramel topping and chopped pecans.
 1 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 4 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
5 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Roly-Poly Santa Cookies

Roly-Poly Santa Cookies
These little Santa cookies are so adorable it's hard to eat their arms and legs, but once you bite into one, the sweet, buttery flavor will have you wanting more!


1        cup butter
1/2     cup sugar
1        tablespoon milk
1        teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4  cups flour
10     drops red food coloring
1       bag mini chocolate chips for eyes and buttons
1       bag of small cinnamon hard candies for Santa's nose
1/2    cup shortening
1/2    teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup powder sugar
1       teaspoon milk
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Beat the butter at room temperature on high for about 30 seconds or until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the sugar and beat until combined. Then add in the milk and vanilla while the blender is still going.
  • Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour.
  • Remove one cup of the dough and set aside. With the remaining dough, add in the red food coloring.
  • To create a Santa, make one 1-inch ball and five 1/2-inch balls from the red dough. From the plain dough, make a 3/4-inch ball and five 1/4 inch balls. You will have a body, head, hat, four red arms and four hands and a white ball for the top of the hat
  • On a non-stick cookie sheet, attach the Santas by pushing the dough parts together. Add the chocolate chips for eyes and three buttons.
  • Bake the Santas for 12-15 minutes and then let them cool for about 2 minutes. Add the cinnamon candy nose to Santa's face.
  • To make the frosting for Santa's beard, beat the shortening and vanilla for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the powder sugar and enough milk to make the frosting piping consistency.
  • Spoon the frosting into a decorating pastry bag with a fun tip to create Santa's beard. Use the pastry bag to go around Santa's face, arms and legs. 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Servings: 15

Double Chocolate Pecan Pie

Rich, chocolate pecan pie with a chocolate pie crust. Full of flavor from the browned butter, brown sugar, chocolate and toasted pecans.


Chocolate Crust: 
1½ cups All Purpose Flour
¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
¼ tsp Salt
8 Tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces
4 Tbsp Ice Water

2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
3 Large Eggs
1 cup Dark Corn Syrup
½ cup Brown Sugar
4 oz Semi-sweet Chocolate Baking Bar, melted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
⅛ tsp Salt
1½ cups Pecan Halves, toasted (i toast mine in a 325 degree oven about 12 minutes


In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Knead in butter, using fingertips, until well incorporated and mealy. Toss in the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until dough is moist. Use your hands to gather the dough into a ball; shape into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll dough out thinly, on a lightly floured surface, into a round that fits the size of the pie dish; transfer dough to pie dish and crimp edges. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook and whisk until butter starts to foam and turn golden brown. Transfer browned butter to a large mixing bowl; whisk in eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, melted chocolate, vanilla and salt until well combined. Stir in pecans. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.

Bake 50-55 minutes, or until pie filling just barely jiggles. Cool on a wire rack.

Tis The Season, Merry Christmas

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Source: Fordmoco/ youtube

Mini Ginger Pumpkin Pudding Pies

NEW Mini Ginger Pumpkin Pudding Pies
How does one become the most popular person at the party? Answer: Make this cute and easy dessert.
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 55 minutes
  • Servings 24

1        package Betty Crocker™ molasses cookie mix
1/2     cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1        large egg, at room temperature
1        tablespoon water
1        (3.4 ounce package) Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix
2        cups cold milk
Whipped cream, for serving
Crushed gingersnap cookies, for serving
  • Prepare the crust: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin. Prepare the cookie dough according to package directions, then divide it into 24 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place dough in prepared muffin tin cups.
  • Bake dough until deep golden brown and set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and use the bottom of a shot glass to make an impression in each cup. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. With a butter knife, gently remove each cookie cup from the tin and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin spice pudding according to the package directions. Place in the refrigerator to set.
  • Fill the cups and serve: Scoop the pudding into the cooled cookie cups and top with whipped cream and crushed gingersnap cookies. Serve and enjoy.

Charleston Cheese Dip

Trisha's Charleston Cheese Dip


  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 8 butter crackers, crushed
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Corn chips, crackers or bagel chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer mixture to a shallow baking dish, such as a 9-inch pie plate. Top the mixture with the cracker crumbs.
  3. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with bacon. Serve with corn chips, crackers or bagel chips.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Cranberry Shortbread Drops

These cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. No, honestly, pop one of these Cranberry Shortbread Drops into your mouth and experience everything a buttery shortbread cookie should be, with the added bonus of creamy white chocolate pieces and flavorful dried cranberries. Yum!

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. Add flour; mix well. Stir in dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and walnuts. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets.
  • Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on bottom.

    No Bake Coconut Pecan Praline Cookies


    2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup evaporated milk
    1/2 cup corn syrup
    1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
    2 cups sweetened shredded coconut


    In a medium sized bowl, combine coconut and pecans; set aside.
    In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, stir sugar, evaporated milk, corn syrup and butter. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a full rolling boil -- let boil and stir for 3 minutes.
    Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut and pecan mixture. Stir off the heat for about 4 minutes, until mixture starts to cool and thicken.
    Drop by large spoonfuls on wax paper. Let harden completely -- about an hour to an hour and a half -- before serving.


    Makes about 20 large cookies.


    Island Pecan Pie


    2 cups sugar
    1 tablespoon corn meal
    1 tablespoon flour
    5 eggs
    pinch of salt
    1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
    1 cup drained crushed pineapple
    1 cup flaked coconut
    1 stick butter, melted
    1 unbaked pie shell


    Beat the sugar, corn meal, flour, eggs and salt together. Gently stir in the pecans, pineapple and coconut (don't beat it). Stir in the melted butter and mix well.
    Bake at 300 degrees in an unbaked pie shell approximately 50 to 60 minutes.
    Here I covered the crust edge with some aluminum foil to keep it from burning. Cook 15 to 30 more minutes, or until the pie is set.
    For the topping I did whipped topping and mixed in a little almond extract. Then sprinkled on toasted coconut.


    Sweet And Spice Pecans


    1/3 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons Cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon Allspice
    1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
    1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
    1 egg white
    3 cups Pecans


    Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix sugar, cinnamon, allspice, seasoned salt, pepper and nutmeg in small bowl until well blended. Beat egg white in large bowl until foamy. Add nuts; toss to coat well. Add spice mixture; toss to coat nuts evenly.
    Spread nuts in a single layer on lightly greased baking sheet.
    Bake 1 hour, stirring once. Cool slightly and break apart. Cool completely. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks


    Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice Pecans

    Easy Cinnamon Sugar Pecans ~ perfect for the Holidays ~ perfect as a homemade gift ~ perfectly delicious!


    1 egg white
    2 teaspoons water
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1lb pecan halves
    1 cup sugar
    ½ - 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (your preference)
    ½ teaspoon salt


    Preheat oven to 250 degrees
    Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
    Mix sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large ziploc bag
    Whisk egg white, water and vanilla in a large bowl until frothy (you can use a fork or electric mixer, either works just fine)
    Add pecans to large bowl and stir to combine, coating each pecan in egg white mixture
    Pour coated pecans into ziploc bag, seal and shake to fully coat in cinnamon/sugar mixture
    Spread out in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet
    Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

    Prep Time:10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

     Serves: 8-10 snack sized

    Turtle Fudge

    This fudge is packed with chocolate, caramel and pecans! It is smooth and creamy, ooey gooey with just the right amount of crunch from the nuts!

    • 14 oz caramel, I used Peter's caramel block but you can use Kraft caramels and prepare it with evaporated milk as directed on package.
    • 1 Tablespoon evaporated milk
    • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
    • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1½ cups chopped pecans
    1. Grease a 8x8 baking dish.
    2. Melt caramel and evaporated milk together in a microwave safe bowl, or according to package directions. Set aside.
    3. On stove top over medium heat, combine chocolate chips, sweetened conduced milk and salt. Heat until chocolate is melted stirring consistently.
    4. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
    5. Pour half of the fudge mixture in the pan.
    6. Pour the caramel over the fudge.
    7. Pour remaining half of fudge over the caramel, swirl gently with a knife.
    8. Cover and refrigerate until set.

    Cranberry Baked Brie

    This Cranberry Baked Brie is my favorite holiday appetizer! If you haven't tried warm gooey brie cheese with a brown sugar topping like this, you are missing out!

    • 1 (16 oz) circle shaped Brie Cheese
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup chopped pecans
    • ½ cup craisins
    • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
    • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
    2. Place chopped pecans on a clean baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant.  About 7-10 minutes.
    3. Place cheese on an oven safe dish with sides.  Sprinkle and lightly pat ½ cup brown sugar over it and on the sides.
    4. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is soft.
    5. While cheese is baking, In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring 3 Tbsp brown sugar and 3 Tbsp maple syrup to a boil.  Simmer until foamy, about 1-2 minutes.
    6. After cheese has baked, sprinkle chopped pecans and craisins over the cheese.  Then drizzle sauce over.
    7. Serve with baguette or crackers.

    Honey Dijon Roasted Red Potatoes

    Honey Dijon Roasted Red Potatoes... these potatoes are packed with flavor and make the perfect side for almost any meal!

    • 2 lbs. red potatoes, washed and cut into bite sized pieces
    • ¼ cup butter, melted
    • ½ cup honey
    • 4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon mustard
    • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne, Depending on your taste for heat
    • ½ cup cooked and chopped bacon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    1. Preheat oven to 425
    2. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray and place chopped potatoes inside.
    3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix together.
    4. Pour over potatoes and toss to evenly coat.
    5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until they are tender.

    Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball

    This Jalapeño Popper Cheese Ball is a crowd favorite, especially during the holidays! It packs the right amount of heat with the perfect touch of cool... It truly is amazing!

    • 2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese
    • 1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapenos, drained
    • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies, drained
    • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
    • ⅓ cup cooked and finely chopped bacon
    • ¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
    • 1 Tbsp. butter
    • 1 Tbsp. parsley flakes 
    1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, diced jalapeños, diced green chilies, garlic salt, bacon, Parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese.
    2. Form into a ball shape and chill for about 15 minutes in the fridge.
    3. While cheese ball is chilling, melt butter in a saucepan. Once butter is melted add panko bread crumbs and parsley flakes. Toast, stirring constantly, until golden in color. Take off heat and let cool completely.
    4. Once bread crumbs have cooled and cheese ball has chilled, roll and cover the entire outside of cheese ball with toasted panko crumbs. Cover and keep chilled in fridge until ready to serve. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serve with crackers.

    Southwest Hummus Wraps

    An easy, filling and delicious meal that you don't have to feel guilty about eating!

    • 1 (10 inch) Tortilla wrap
    • 3-4 Tablespoons of Southwestern Hummus Recipe, (click that link for recipe)
    • 2 Tablespoons corn
    • 2 Tablespoons black beans
    • 1 Tablespoon diced tomato
    • 2 Tablespoons diced avocado
    • 1 cup shredded lettuce

    Spread hummus over wrap. Layer the rest of ingredients on top of hummus. Wrap it up and enjoy!


    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Muffin Tin Shepherds Pies

    Mini Shepherds Pie

    These Muffin Tin Shepherds Pies will be a hit with the whole family and they are quick and easy.  They’re packed with veg and you can use frozen for convenience. Whip some up today! 

    • 1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
    • 1 1/2 cups Green Giant™ Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 1/2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
    • 1/3 cup beef broth
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 bag (24 oz) refrigerated mashed potatoes, heated as directed on bag (about 3 cups)
    • 1 Heat oven to 400°F.
    • 2 Unroll pie crusts. Roll each crust to 12 inches in diameter. Using 4-inch round cutter, cut 6 rounds from each crust. Firmly press each round in bottom and up side of each of 12 ungreased regular-size muffin cups. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350°F.
    • 3 In small microwavable bowl, microwave frozen vegetables and 2 teaspoons water tightly covered with plastic wrap on High 3 minutes; set aside.
    • 4 In 8-inch nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium heat until melted and hot. Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beef to skillet; cook 5 to 7 minutes longer, stirring to break up any large pieces; drain. Add broth, salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes longer or until mixture is hot and liquid is absorbed. Stir in vegetables.
    • 5 Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup beef mixture. Top each pie with about 1/4 cup of the warm mashed potatoes. Bake at 350°F 25 to 30 minutes or until crusts are golden brown and mashed potatoes are lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes in pan before serving. Run knife around outside of each pie to loosen before removing.

    Cookies And Cream Rice Krispies

    Cookies and Cream Rice Krispies
    This gooey chocolate and marshmallow Cookies and Cream Rice Krispies is a sure fire hit.  If you are an Oreos fan, this is one recipe that you will not want to miss!

    • ¼ cup butter
    • 1 (10.5oz) bag mini marshmallows
    • 6 cups rice cereal
    • 16 oreos, chopped, & divided
    • 1 (12oz) bag white chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
    1. Chop or break up oreos in a ziplock bag before you begin.
    2. Melt butter in a large non-stick pan. Add marshmallows & stir until everything is melted.
    3. Remove from heat & add rice cereal. Add ¾ of the cookie crumb mixture. Stir well & spread into a greased 9x13" pan. Pat down with hands or spatula.
    4. Put chocolate chips in a glass dish & heat in the microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds at a time, stirring before each additional 30 seconds. Continue until melted. Spread over the top of the rice krispy treats & immediately press the remaining chopped oreos over the top.
    5. Allow to cool. Cut & serve!

    Old Barns And Old People

    Chocolate-Dipped Pineapple-Coconut Macaroons

    Chocolate-Dipped Pineapple-Coconut Macaroons
    Food Network Kitchen made these cookies based on your most-requested cookie ingredients for the holidays. The combination of homemade pineapple jam and bittersweet chocolate means these gluten-free macaroon thumbprints will be winners at your next party.


    Pineapple Filling:

    2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (about 12 ounces)
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)


    Nonstick cooking spray
    3 large egg whites
    One 14-ounce bag sweetened and shredded coconut
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Fine salt
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter


    For the pineapple filling
    Puree the pineapple in a food processor and transfer to a medium skillet along with the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Heat over medium-low and bring to a low simmer. Use a rubber spatula to stir and move the mixture around as it reduces and thickens to the consistency of very thick jam, 18 to 20 minutes (you should have about a heaping 1/2 cup). Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let cool completely in the skillet. The pineapple filling can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.

    Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and coat lightly with nonstick spray.

    For the macaroons
    Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy. Toss the coconut, sugar, vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt together with your hands in another large bowl. Add the coconut mixture to the egg whites and combine with your hands; the mixture should pack together tightly when squeezed. Divide the mixture into 24 slightly heaping tablespoons and roll each into a smooth ball (slightly wet hands can help with rolling). Hold a ball in the palm of your hand and use your thumb to make a slight indentation in the middle. Reshape the edges of the macaroon back into a round if it cracks. Arrange about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, rotating the tray as needed for even browning, 20 to 24 minutes. Let cool completely on the tray.

    Set up a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Combine the chocolate and butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds; stir. Repeat until all of the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the bottom of each macaroon into the chocolate and press into the chocolate about halfway up the macaroon. Use a fork to help lift it out of the chocolate. Transfer to the cooling rack and allow to sit at room temperature until the chocolate hardens and sets up, about 20 minutes.

    Fill each macaroon with about 1 teaspoon of the pineapple filling. Store and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

    Salted Caramel-Chocolate Dump Cake

    Salted Caramel-Chocolate Dump Cake
    The most magical ingredients in all the land mixed together in one uber easy, uber tasty cake.

    1         small (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding
    1 1/2   cups cold milk
    1         box Betty Crocker SuperMoist Devil's Food cake mix
    1 1/2   cups chopped caramels
               coarse sea salt for sprinkling
    1         cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
               whipped cream, for serving (optional)
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch pan and set aside.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together chocolate pudding and milk for one minute to combine.
    • Add cake mix ONLY and stir until thoroughly combined.
    • Spread batter evenly into bottom of prepared pan (batter will be thick). Sprinkle with chopped caramels. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste (remember: A little bit goes a long way).
    • Bake cake 30-40 minutes or until edges pull away from sides and a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out clean.
    • Remove cake from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
    • Pour chocolate chips into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate is fully melted. Using a spoon, drizzle chocolate over cooled cake.
    • Serve cake with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

    Taco Cupcakes

    Yummy layers of your favorite taco fillings baked in wonton wrappers in cupcake form. 18 cupcakes

    1        pound ground beef
    1        (1.25 ounce) package of Old El Paso taco seasoning mix
    36      wonton wrappers
    1        (16 ounce) can Old El Paso refried beans
    36      tortilla chips
    2        cups shredded cheddar cheese
     optional toppings: sour cream, diced tomatoes, cilantro, onion
    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray 18 muffin cups with cooking spray.
    • Brown beef in a skillet and drain the fat. Add the taco seasoning mix and water called for on the package and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
    • Place one wonton wrapper in the bottom of each muffin cup. Layer about 1 Tbsp of refried beans on top of each wonton. Crush one tortilla chip on top of the beans. Top with 1 Tbsp of taco meat and 1 Tbsp of shredded cheese. Repeat the layers again with a wonton wrapper, refried beans, tortilla chips, taco meat, and cheese.
    • Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Remove cupcakes from tin and top with your favorite taco toppings (i.e. sour cream, diced tomatoes, onion, or cilantro)

    Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

    This NO BAKE Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake is a total show stopper and you won’t be able to wait to make it! This dessert will be flying off the plate.


    1. Step 1
      Process biscuits and butter in a food processor until well combined. Press over the base and sides of a 2.5cm-deep, 13 x 36cm rectangular fluted tart tin with removable base. Freeze for 15 minutes or until firm.
    2. Step 2
      Use electric beaters to beat cream cheese, cream, sugar and lemon rind until well combined and sugar has dissolved. In a small jug, sprinkle gelatine over boiling water and whisk until dissolved. Add to cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
    3. Step 3
      Fold through 200g raspberries. Spoon into tin. Chill in fridge for 4 hours or until set.
    4. Step 4
      Meanwhile, line a tray with baking paper. Dip the tips of remaining raspberries into chocolate and place on tray to set.
    5. Step 5
      Top the cheesecake with chocolate raspberries and mint. Dust with icing sugar.

    Swedish Sandwich Cake


    Bread layers:

    50g (1 3/4 oz.) fresh yeast
    (approximately 12 g / 1 1/2 tbsp. dried)
    500 ml (2 cups) water, 37C/99F
    2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. dark syrup
    2 tsp. cooking oil
    165 g (1 1/4 cup) whole wheat flour
    380-450 g (4 1/2 – 5 cups) all-purpose flour

    Böckling mousse:

    400 g (14.1 oz) smoked Baltic herring or kippers, deboned
    100 ml (scant 1/2 cup mayonnaise)
    100 ml (scant 1/2 cup) heavy cream

    Cream cheese mixture:

    300 g (10 1/2 oz.) cream cheese
    300 ml (1 1/4 cup) sour cream
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

    Mustard sauce:

    1 1/2 tbsp. caster sugar
    1 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
    1 1/2 tbsp. mild mustard
    100 ml (scant 1/2 cup) cooking oil


    400 g (14.1 oz.) cold-smoked salmon
    1 egg, hard-boiled
    10 cm (4-inch) cucumber
    A few radishes
    Romaine lettuce
    Mineral water


    1. To make the bread layers: Dissolve the yeast in water. Add salt, syrup, oil, and whole wheat flour. Mix in white flour. Knead and put back into a bowl, cover and let rise 45 minutes. Remove dough from bowl, knead, and make a round cake. Let it rise in a greased, round dish, ideally a springform pan. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/GM6. Bake the bread for about 35 minutes. Cool under a cloth.

    2. In a blender, mix herring, mayonnaise, and cream until smooth. Set aside.

    3. Mix the cream cheese and sour cream. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

    4. Make sure that the ingredients for the mustard sauce are at room temperature, otherwise it will split. Mix sugar and mustard and drizzle in oil. Season with salt. Store in the fridge.

    5. Cut the crusts off the loaf and slice into three layers. Put the first layer on a dish. Moisten with a little mineral water. Spread with mousse and cover with sliced cucumber. Press the next layer down. Moisten with mineral water. Spread a little butter, then cover with the salmon, saving a few slices for garnish. Drizzle the mustard sauce over the salmon. Add some shredded lettuce. Press the top layer down. Moisten with mineral water. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the tops and sides of the cake. Garnish with salmon, peeled shrimp, egg, and sliced radish. Pat shredded lettuce and chopped parsley onto the sides. Sandwich cake benefits from a couple of hours in the fridge before serving.

    SERVES 8–10


    Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie

    Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie {No Machine Required}
    The best part about this Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie is that you don't need an ice cream machine to make it! Woo Hoo! Plan on making this the day before you want to serve it so the ice cream can really harden up before serving. 

    • 1 (6-oz) pre-made Oreo cookie crust
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 1 (6-oz) box peppermint candy canes
    • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
    • 1 tsp peppermint extract

    Unwrap candy canes and finely crush. I crushed them into a candy cane dust in my food processor. That is what gave the pie the pink color.

    Coarsely chop the chocolate chips. (This is optional, but I preferred the chocolate bits to the big chunks of the chips.)

    Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks. Fold in sweetened condensed milk, candy cane dust, chocolate chips and peppermint extract.

    Spread ice cream into Oreo cracker crust. Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer. Freeze for 6 hours, or until set.


    Sweet-And-Spicy Brisket

    Sweet-and-Spicy Brisket


    1 brisket, about 3 1/2 pounds 
    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper  
    1 bunch carrots (about 7), peeled and cut on the bias into 2-inch pieces 
    1 onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into 
    8 wedges¾ cup dried figs, preferably Mission or Turkish (about 9 ounces), halved lengthwise 
    ½ cup dried apricots, preferably Turkish (about 3 ounces)
     5 sprigs thyme
     2 Tbsp harissa paste 
    Rustic bread, for serving (optional) 
    1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

    1. Season brisket generously with salt and pepper; place in a slow cooker. Scatter carrots, onion, figs, apricots, and thyme evenly over and around brisket. Stir harissa into broth; pour mixture over brisket. Cover and cook on high until brisket is tender, 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
    2. Remove thyme. Transfer brisket to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes, then slice thinly against grain. Arrange slices on a platter, spoon vegetables and fruits evenly around them, and drizzle with some of pan juices. Serve with bread and remaining juices on the side.

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Lemon Blueberry Bliss

    What do you do with two boxes of lemon cake mix?


    2 boxes of lemon cake mix
    5 eggs
    1 1/2 cups of milk
    1/2 cup canola oil
    1 tsp of lemon extract
    22 oz can of blueberry pie filling
    22 oz can of lemon pie filling
    1 Container of white cake icing     


    Mix the two mixes together, add 5 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup canola oil and 1 tsp of lemon extract. I poured in a greased 11 x 15 dish. I mixed together a 22 oz can of blueberry pie filling, and a 22 oz can of lemon pie filling and spooned globs on top of the cake mix. Then, I took a knife and swirled up and down and side to side swirling the filling into the cake mix. I baked on 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Bake until cake is set. Lastly, I put some lemon extract in a container of white cake icing I had and drizzled it on top of the cake! The pudding sinks throughout the cake. So, you have cake with pockets of pudding. Yummy!

    Source:  Marvin Williams' Cooking Adventures