Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brown Sugar Cookies

I found this in my Food Network magazine.  It is a Crisco recipe and it was easy and turned out really yummy.  You can dip them in chocolate or just eat them plain.  If you dip, some ideas were to sprinkle crushed candy canes, chopped nuts, sprinkles or whatever you think is fun!
Brown Sugar Cookies
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together shortening, butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in medium bowl until light and fluffy.  I mixed the butter and shortening first and then added the remaining ingredients.  Next time I might used butter and margarine instead!

Mix in flour, baking soda and salt.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls or use a small cookie scoop.  Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to cooling rack and when cooled dip or spread melted chocolate on half and sprinkle on anything you might like!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites

This is an appetizer found on the tasty kitchen site.  I was looking for a simple but yet yummy appetizer that was bite size too!  This one also had only 3 ingredients and ones that I have on hand!
This one had rave reviews and one comment made was who couldn't like something wrapped in bacon or everything is better with bacon!
I guess that is somewhat true because these were very good and a nice simple appetizer that wasn't too big but gave you a good taste!  I brought it to a Christmas party and only came home with one!
Bacon Wrapper Pineapple Bites
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 can chunked pineapple~the large chunks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan by lining it with tin foil.  Then place a cooling rack on top of it.

Cut your bacon strips in half.  Put your brown sugar in a shallow bowl.  Take a 1/2 slice of bacon and dredge it in the brown sugar.  Basically, coat your bacon with sugar.  Put a chunk of pineapple on your bacon and roll it up.  Secure it with a toothpick and place on your cooling rack.  Continue doing this until you either run out of bacon or pineapple.  The nice thing about this is that you can do as many as you want.  I had less than a pound of bacon, so I just made as many of them as I had bacon.

Bake for at least 25 minutes, or until bacon looks brown and crispy.  Your bacon bundles will drip and the foil makes sure easy clean up.  Also the drippings may smoke some, so be prepared when you open your oven.  It was recommended to turn your broiler on to crisp the bacon a little too at the end.  Just watch very carefully because the sugar will burn.

Let cool slightly and place on a serving plate and enjoy!  I let my drippings on the foil kind of solidify and then was able to just pick up the foil and throw it all away!  My pan was pretty clean underneath!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is another great recipe found on pinterest.  It is originally from food.com.
Todd and I found a Panera in North Carolina and have loved that place ever since.  They have great sandwiches, bagels, bread, and soup too!
This soup was really really good!  In fact I had a kid ask for seconds!
Yummy and warm and perfect for a winter night!
Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup
serves 4
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 lb fresh broccoli (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) grated sharp cheddar cheese (used medium)
  • salt and pepper
Saute onion in 1 tbsp butter.  When softened and cooked set aside.

Using a whisk, combine 1/4 cup melted butter and flour.  Whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Next, add the half-and-half stirring constantly.

Add the chicken stock (I did water and bouillon).  Simmer for 20 minutes.

While the stock and cream are simmering, chop up your broccoli and julienne your carrots.  I looked up julienne and it looked like you cut the carrots into small sticks.  I did mine bite size sticks.

Once you have simmered for 20 minutes, add broccoli, carrots and onions.  Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper and cheese.  Stir in nutmeg and enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  Did I tell you how much I like that site??
This recipe was adapted from Nestle's Very Best Baking.  The recipe originally has you make them in regular muffin cups.  The recipe was changed for mini muffin cups!  They are perfect mini size!
Anyone who loves chocolate and peanut butter will love these! 
Isn't anything mini that much better too???
Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
(found on pinterest, adapted from Nestle's Very Best Baking)

  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix or mix up a batch of your favorite homemade version
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your brownies as directed.  The original recipe doesn't use paper liners, but I used them and think they make using the mini muffin cups so much easier to get out.  So either spray really good or line with paper liners.

Spoon batter evenly into your mini muffin cups (about 1 heaping tsp.)  Bake for 13-15 minutes.  I must have filled mine more than she did because my cooking time was about 3-5 minutes more.  Either way, cook until a toothpick inserted comes out slightly wet, but done.

After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall.  This will happen while cooling, or you can tap the centers with a tsp. to help make a well shape in your brownie.

Place peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30-45 seconds.  While brownies are still warm, spoon about 1/2 tsp of peanut butter into the center of each brownie.  Top with semi-sweet and peanut butter chips.  Cool and gobble up!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pork Carnitas

I found this recipe in my All You magazine.  It is a crock pot recipe and I definitely need the crock pot on busy after school days!
The pork turned out tender and had lots of great flavor.  Definitely a great easy recipe that produced great leftovers for lunches too!
Pork Carnitas
(All You magazine October 2011)
  • 1 3 lb. boneless pork roast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut up
I always start with spraying my crock pot with non-stick spray.  When I remember this I am always happier when it comes to clean up!

Place your pork roast into the crock pot.  The recipe says to chunk your roast into 2 inch pieces with fat trimmed.  My roast was frozen, so I kept it whole which may help prevent it from drying out too!

Sprinkle pork with salt, chili powder, cumin and oregano.  Place onion and garlic over the top and around your roast.  Cover and cook on low until meat is tender and falling apart~about 6 hours.  Shred pork and serve hot!

Serve in tortillas with shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, spanish rice, beans, salsa or whatever you love!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chocolate Candy Pie

Oh my goodness Oh my goodness!
I can't believe in all the recipes I have posted that this one has been neglected!  It is the best and it was my dad's favorite until he became allergic to milk!  I still think it tortures him when we make it!  Sorry dad!
It is sooo good and sooo easy and loved, loved, loved by everyone!  In fact this year my family said they made 2 so everyone would be able to get another piece when Thanksgiving 2 happened!
Delicious chocolate goodness is all I can say!
Chocolate Candy Pie
(from my mom ~ circa 1968)
  • 1 pie crust or graham cracker crust
  • 20 regular sized marshmallows (fresh ones)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 bars (3 3/4 oz) milk chocolate with almonds candy bars
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whip cream
Prepare your crust first.  If doing a regular pie crust, make it and cook it in your pie tin and have cooled before you make the pie.

In a medium saucepan, combine the marshmallows and milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until marshmallows are melted.

Add the candy bars.  Break them into small pieces so easier to melt.  Continue cooking on low heat until chocolate is melted stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and pour into another pan to cool.  Place in freezer to cool quickly for about 10 minutes.

While its cooling, whip 1 cup of the heavy whipping cream.  Fold into cooled chocolate mixture and pour into your pie shell.

Place in your refrigerator to set up for at least 3 hours.  If you need it to be done quickly, place in freezer for about 40 minutes to speed it up!

Whip the rest of your cream (with added sugar and vanilla) and decorate the top of your pie or serve with it on top.

Enjoy a yummy yummy pie!