Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Here's a great, quick bar recipe.  The  important thing about this one is don't use a mixer.  Just do everything by hand.  Here's this delicious recipe to try for the HOLIDAYS !!!


Makes 2 dozen  

2 sticks butter (plus more for greasing the pan)
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (if you use salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe)
1 teaspoon  vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour  
2 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch-by-12-inch baking pan well with butter. Set the pan aside.

Melt the two sticks of butter in a 2-quart microwave-safe bowl covered with a paper towel. Remove the bowl from the microwave, and add the brown sugar. Stir well. Add the baking powder, salt and vanilla extract, stirring until completely incorporated. Stir in the flour, again stirring until it is well mixed.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl, and beat them well with a fork or whisk. Add the eggs to the batter and stir with a spoon until they are completely incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips (and the nuts, if using).

Spread the batter in the greased pan. The batter will be stiff and sticky. 

Bake until the top begins to get golden brown and the blondies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 20 to 25 minutes. (Baking time will vary depending on your oven and the type of pan.) Do not overbake. Cool for at least 20 minutes, and cut into small squares. Store in an airtight container or cover well with plastic wrap. These bars freeze very well and improve in flavor after the first day. 

Per blondie: 216 calories (41 percent from fat), 10 g fat (6 g saturated), 38 mg cholesterol, 2 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 59 mg sodium.

This is an adapted recipe from Desperation Dinners.
 I am sharing with:
Sweets for Saturday
Recipe of the Week
Tea Party Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pecan Pie

For the edge, I used pie crust cutters from Williams-Sonoma
Mmmm, of all the pies in the world, I think I love pecan THE BEST !!  What is it about's richness, it's nuttiness, it's gooey-ness...I don't know??  However, I will be happy to share the recipe that I like to use.  It's actually adapted from Dear Abby's pecan pie recipe that was printed in her column.  Here's my adapted version:

9" unbaked pie crust
1 cup light corn syrup                                                
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 t. salt
2 t.vanilla

1 heaping cup pecan halves, chopped

In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt & vanilla.  Put the chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie crust.  Pour the filling on top of the nuts.

Bake the pie at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until set.  If the edges of the pie crust start to brown too quickly, cover with foil for the remaining cooking time.  I like to use one of those pie crust protector rings.

Cool the pie for several hours on a cooling rack before slicing.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Hot Chocolate on a Spoon

Recently I was perusing the aisles of a country store & saw this cute idea, which sold for $1.99.  I thought that it would make a really cute gift idea.  I had some chocolate Wilton candy melts already & decided to check out Dollar Tree for the rest of the items.   Sure enough, DT had the marshmallows, spoons & candy canes.   Here's what you need to make these cute spoons:

Aren't these cute?
plastic spoons
peppermint candy canes
mini marshmallows
chocolate for melting (Wilton candy melts, chocolate bark, even chocolate chips
wax paper
plastic wrap

Crush some peppermint candy canes & set aside.

Melt your candy melts or whatever chocolate you are using in a microwave-safe container.  I like to use a small, narrow juice glass.  Microwave your chocolate according to directions on package.  I usually microwave at one minute intervals, using 50% power until chocolate is melted.

Take your spoon & dip it into the chocolate, coating liberally.  Place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper.  Place 3 mini marshmallows down the center of the spoon & sprinkle with the crushed peppermint. You want to do this before the chocolate hardens.  Of course, if you don't like peppermint candy, leave it off.    Repeat for however many spoons you want to do. 
This is a fun project to do with kids!!!!

Place the spoons in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the chocolate.

Wrap spoon in the plastic wrap & tie with a bow.

Give the spoon with directions to: " Add the spoon to hot milk & stir  for a delicious hot chocolate drink."  I think it would be nice to have a little tag with the title & directions  attached to the spoon.

For a gift, add the spoon to a pretty mug
I am sharing with:

 Pink Saturday
Sweets for Saturday
Seasonal Sundays
On the Menu Monday
Metamorphosis Monday
Tea Party Tuesday
Tabletop Tuesday
Crazy Sweet Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Rock 'n Share Party
Bunny Hop Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Burrito Bowls

If you need a fun buffet for the holidays, I have a WINNER for you!!  I first saw this recipe while watching Ten Dollar Dinners on The Food Network.  The original recipe can be found here. 
You could prepare this meal ahead & put the rice, pork carnitas & black beans in one of those triple buffet heating elements.  The pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese & green onions could be on the side for garnishing.  Even vegetarians would be happy because they could fix their burrito bowl how they enjoy it.  I scaled this recipe down for my hubby & I, but I hope to fix this again for my whole family soon!

For the pork, I used what I had  from this recipe.  I had a quart-size bag frozen & thawed that.


3 cups cooked white rice
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. orange zest
1 can black beans, heated & drained
Pico de Gallo, recipe follows
2 cups pork carnitas, recipe follows
1 cup shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 green onions, chopped

Pico de Gallo

1 t. salt
2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed & chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, ribs & seeds removed, finely chopped
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled & cut into small cubes
1 lime, juiced
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Toss the tomatoes with the salt.  Add the onion & jalapeno & combine.  Place the avocado on top & cover with the lime juice to coat the avocado.  Sprinkle on the cilantro & stir.

Pork Carnitas

2 cups cooked pork
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
vegetable oil

Mix all the ingredients together.  In a large saute pan, heat 2 T. vegetable oil over high heat.  Press the meat into the oil & fry until crusty on one side.

Directions for assembling

In a medium bowl, toss the rice with the cilantro & orange zest.  Divide the rice evenly among 4 serving bowl.  Top with the black beans & half the pico de gallo.  Add warm carnitas & top with the rest of the pico de gallo.  Sprinkle on the cheese, add a dollop of sour cream & garnish with green onions.

Enjoy this fun, party food!  Serves 4.

I am sharing this with:
On the Menu Monday
Wow Us Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baked Eggs

 Eggs are my most essential ingredient. I eat one every morning & they are so versatile!!   You could eat one for breakfast, lunch or dinner & they're such a good source of protein.  Of course, we also need them for baking, cooking. etc.    I am never without them in my fridge.  Here's a recipe that you could use for any meal:
Baked eggs served with  toast & cup of tea, what could be better?

This is for each serving:

1 egg
salt & pepper
1 t. cream or butter

Butter a small ramekin & then crack an egg carefully into it.  Season & then sprinkle the cream or butter on top. 

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15-18 minutes.  You may want to add some grated cheese the last 5 minutes.  Check for desired doneness as the white should be set & the yolk soft.  Serve in baking dish.

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Foodie Friday

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes with Pork Chops

I have been making this recipe, which is  from Farm Journal's Great Home Cooking in America, for years.  It is not a cheesy scalloped potato, but rather one with a gravy.  It is one of those good, homey meals that's perfect for Fall & Winter.  I only make half the recipe now, since it's just the two of us.  Here's the full recipe:

6  pork chops, cut 1/2" thick
2 T. cooking oil
salt & pepper
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 c. chicken broth
6 c. sliced potatoes
1 medium onion, sliced & separated into rings

Brown pork chops on both sides in hot oil in a 12" skillet.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.  Remove chops to a plate.

Melt butter in the same skillet.  Stir in flour, 1 1/2 t. salt & 1/4 t. pepper.  Add chicken broth & cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. 

Place potatoes in bottom of 11 x 7 x 1 1/2" baking dish.  Top with onion rings.  Pour chicken broth mixture evenly over top.  Top with pork chops.  Cover with foil.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Remove cover & continue baking 30 minutes or until meat is tender.  (It may take much less than 30 minutes.)

Makes 6 servings.

NOTE:  Since I only make 3 pork chops, I use the same skillet for baking.  This saves on clean-up!!!

I am sharing with:
On the Menu Monday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eggs a la Goldenrod

This is a favorite of ours!  How it got the name, I don't know.  The recipe comes from my freshmen year at St. Mary of the Springs College, later re-named Ohio Dominican College.  I went there for one year before transferring to Ohio State.  The course that I took was called Food for the Family, and this recipe was in the manual.  It's probably my all-time favorite way to eat eggs.
Here's the recipe, but first I will tell you how to cook the perfect hard-cooked  egg.

Cook's Illustrated  has the best method for hard cooking eggs to perfection.  You will have bright, yellow yolks without any unsightly  green around  the edges.

Hard Cooked Eggs

Place eggs in medium saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. 
Remove  pan from heat, cover & let sit for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 1 qt. water a & tray of ice cubes.  Transfer eggs to ice bath.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Tap eggs all over against the counter to crack surface & gently roll back & forth.  Peel from the air pocket end.
I like to use a pastry blender to chop the eggs.

Basic Medium White Sauce

2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
1 c. milk

Melt butter in saucepan.  Add the flour & salt & stir until smooth.

Add milk gradually, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil, stirring.  Continue cooking for 5 minutes over low heat.

Eggs a la Goldenrod

Make the white sauce.
Chop 3 hard-cooked  coarsely, saving out the yolk of one egg.
Combine the chopped hard-cooked egg with the cooked white sauce.  (I like to add some grated cheese).
Serve over toast.  Grate or force the saved-out yolk through a sieve over the  white sauce/egg mixture.

I am sharing with:
On the Menu Monday
Tea Party Tuesday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Guilt-Free Pumpkin Whip

This recipe is from  & oh my, is it ever GOOD!!!!  I served it in sherbet/champagne goblets, but it would be wonderful in a gingersnap  or graham cracker crust or even as a filling in cream puffs!!  I hope you try this super easy & yummy dessert!!!!  Here's the recipe:
Enjoy a bite of low-cal yumminess!!!

1 (3.4-oz.) package instant sugar-free, fat-free cheesecake-flavor pudding (I used white chocolate sugar-free, fat-free)
1 cup fat-free milk (I used 2%)
1/2 of a 15-oz. can solid pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
1/2 of an 8-oz. container sugar-free whipped topping

Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl; whisk until well blended.  Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon & nutmeg.  Add whipped topping and mix thoroughly.

Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days.

Serves 6

This dessert would be wonderful for those who are diabetic or watching their sugar intake.

I am sharing with:
On the Menu Monday
Tea Party Tuesday
Tabletop Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Rock 'n Share
Full Plate Thursday                                                     
Foodie Friday
Seasonal Sundays
Newbie Party

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole

This is a wonderful dish to take to someone when you need to bring a comforting meal.  All that's  needed is a salad & a dessert to complete the meal.  Here's the recipe for this fabulous chicken:

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 jar marinated artichokes, drained
1 jar mushrooms, drained                                                                  
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can Golden Mushroom soup
1 cup chicken  broth
1/2 of a 12- ounce package of Pepperidge Farm Country Style Stuffing
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Arrange chicken in pan.  Top with artichokes & mushrooms.  Layer with cheese.

Combine the soup & broth.  Pour over the chicken.  Top with stuffing mix.  Drizzle with the butter.

Cover pan with foil & bake for 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Uncover pan for last 5 minutes.
Serves 6 generously!

recipe adapted from

NOTE:  Cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup would work in place of the Golden Mushroom soup. 

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall-Apart Tender Slow Roast Pork

This recipe was originally found in the Dallas Morning News & is from Shirley Corriher, who is a food writer & food sleuth.  I had a pork butt roast in the freezer & decided to try the recipe. I figured that if it's good enough for Shirley Corriher, it must be good.  Here's the recipe:
After cooking, I added barbecue sauce  to part of the pork

1 (4-pound) pork butt roast
1/4-1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce                     
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange shelf slightly below center.

Place pork roast in a dutch oven.  Sprinkle pork on all sides with the Worcestershire sauce.  Press brown sugar on top & sides of the pork.  Pour apple juice down the side to the bottom of the dutch oven and not over the meat.  Cover tightly.

Place in the oven & immediately reduce heat to 200 degrees.  Roast for 5 hours without opening the oven.  Remove.  If meat does not pull apart easily, cover & return to the oven & roast 30 more minutes.

Check again, & if meat is still not at the pull apart stage, roast an additional 30 minutes more as needed.

Depending on your oven, the roast may take as long as 7 hours to reach the pull apart stage.  (I personally feel like it's a good idea to just leave it for that long.)

Pull meat apart & remove bone.  Stir in salt, which is essential for the dish.

Makes 6 servings.

NOTE:  This can also be done in a slow cooker & set on HIGH for 30 minutes, then reduced to LOW for the day or overnight.

After I pulled it apart, I separated it into freezer bags to use for several meals.  I also strained the juice & put it in the fridge.  After it was cold, I took off the top layer of fat.  I will be posting about  the meals that I make with this.

For the first meal, I added some barbecue sauce & a little of the juice from the pork roast to make pulled  pork barbecue.

I am sharing this with:
Seasonal Sundays
On the Menu Monday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Monday, November 7, 2011

Triple Cute Award

I was privileged to receive the Triple Cute Award from two very dear bloggers, Sudha and Pat .  I do very much appreciate their thoughtfulness in presenting this award to me.

I will be sending this along to seven blogs that I feel have super cute blogs.  I hope that they in turn will post about it and pass the award along to seven  blogs that they feel are deserving.  If you have already received this award, please forgive me!

Here are the seven blogs that I feel deserve this award:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sweet Cinnamon Quick Bread

This is an old recipe that I have in my file.  If you need a quick gift to bring, maybe you could try this delicious bread.  It's really perfect for any season.  Those of you that love cinnamon, should really like this.  I hope you try it!

Makes 4 small loaves
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup buttermilk **
1/3 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs


2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease & flour bottom only of 9 x 5- inch loaf pan.  Lightly spoon flour into cup; level off.  In large bowl , combine all bread ingredients & beat for 3 minutes on medium speed of mixer.  Pour batter into prepared pan. 

In small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients until crumbly; sprinkle over batter & swirl lightly to marble.   Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from pan immediately.  Cool completely before slicing.  Wrap & refrigerate leftover bread.

Tips: ** To substitute for buttermilk, use 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to measure 1 cup.  I also always have on hand powdered buttermilk & you use 4 T. of it with 1 Cup of water.

NOTE:  I made 4 small loaves to give as gifts (this way, I can keep one, too!!).  I baked the small loaves for 30 minutes, but still did the toothpick test.
Ready for gifting
People always appreciate food as a gift

I am sharing with:
On the Menu Monday
Tea Party Tuesday
Tabletop Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Rock 'n Share Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Favorite Pot Roast

Isn't this the perfect time of year for cooking comfort food?  I love a good pot roast.  It's so great to come home to that fabulous aroma at the end of a day.  Here's an easy recipe for one.  I like to brown mine in a dutch oven & then use my oven as a "slow cooker". This way I can brown  the meat & use the same pot.  I'm lazy that way!!!   If you prefer, you can brown the meat in a skillet & then transfer it to a slow cooker.  Here's the recipe:

1-2 T. vegetable oil
3-4 lbs. chuck roast
pepper (I don't use salt because of the sodium in the soups)
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 cup of water or beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3-4 carrots, peeled & cut in chunks
3-4 potatoes, peeled & cut up

Heat the oil in a dutch oven (or skillet).  Season the meat with pepper.  Brown the meat on all sides.

If using a slow cooker, transfer the meat to that & continue on.

Mix the dry onion soup mix, the water or broth & the cream of mushroom soup in a small bowl.  Pour over the meat.  Add the carrots & potatoes.

Cover & cook in a 220 degree oven for 8-10 hours.  If using a slow cooker, cook on low for the same amount of time.  When finished,  we like to serve this in a bowl because of all the yummy gravy

NOTE:  Sometimes I leave out the potatoes & make mashed potatoes or  noodles & serve the pot roast over those.

I am sharing with:
On the Menu Monday
Rock 'n Share Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Butterscotch Streusel Muffins

A friend told me about this recipe for Mini Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins.  I wanted to try it, but adapted it slightly.  I LOVE streusel-topped muffins (isn't that the best part?) and decided to use my favorite streusel recipe from here, only using half the amount.  I also thought cinnamon chips would be delicious, so I did half the batter in those & half in the butterscotch to see which I liked better.  I also made regular-size muffins.  Here's the adapted version!

Ingredients for the MUFFINS:

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar                          
1/2 cup white sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch or cinnamon chips that have been tossed with a small amount of flour (to prevent sinking)

Ingredients & directions for  the STREUSEL TOPPING:

1/2 c. flour
heaping 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 T. melted butter
Mix the flour & brown sugar in a small bowl.  Add the melted butter & stir.  Set this aside for 5 minutes.  Using your fingers, break the crumbs into 1/4"-1/2" pieces. 

Directions for the Muffins:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups.
Stir together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Whisk the eggs, oil & pumpkin in a separate bowl.  Mix the flour mixture with the egg mixture.  Stir in the butterscotch or cinnamon chips; pour into each of the muffin cups, about 3/4 full.  Top with the streusel topping, slightly pressing down. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Mine were done in 18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove from muffin pan & cool completely on wire rack. If you wait longer than 5 minutes, the muffins tend to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Makes 18 muffins

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