Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pigskin Cheese Ball

This fun recipe comes from a  cookbook that one of my son's gave me for Christmas, called Great Balls of Cheese. If you need a cheese ball to take to a Super Bowl party, this would be a great one.  I think my bloggy buddy, Lynn, at Happier Than A Pig In Mud  will love this one!

1 1/2 pounds of sliced bacon
1 medium jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, plus some for decorating
1 T. chopped scallions

Crackers for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay the bacon slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets that have sides. Bake until crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels and let cool. Reserve 2 T.  of the bacon grease and save or discard the rest.  Coarsely chop the bacon, when cool and set aside.

Cook the jalapeño in the reserved bacon grease in a small skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Using a mixer, mix together 1 cup of the chopped bacon, the sautéed jalapeño, cream cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar, and the scallions until combined.

Form the mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Before serving, form the mixture into an oblong football shape and roll in the remaining chopped bacon to coat. Decorate the top of the football cheese ball with some pieces of cheese to resemble laces.  ( I actually used some string cheese for this part).

Serves 15-20

NOTE:  I made half of the recipe and it was plenty for a crowd!

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Make It Pretty Monday
Share Your Cup
Foodie Friday
Full Plate
Seasonal Sundays
Weekend Potluck

Monday, January 27, 2014

Creme Brûlée Cheesecake Bars

How about joining me and my teddy bears for some  Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars and tea?  My sister gave me the teddy bear dressed in pink almost 25 years ago.  My dear friend, Kathryn, made the darling teacup teddy bear. 

My Mom gave me the pretty teacup when I visited her last time.  I love the pretty flowers painted inside the cup.
Here's a picture of the saucer.  Isn't it so pretty?
These bars are from Betty Crocker and oh, are they ever good!  The "brulee" part is actually toffee bits that melt on top and resemble the burnt sugar on creme brulee.  I used chocolate toffee bits, because that's what I had, but the plain would be better.  If you're in need of a decadent dessert, I'd try these. 


1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz)  sugar cookie mix
1 box (4-serving size) French vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup toffee bits, finely crushed


  •  Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking   spray. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and 1 whole egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.
  •  In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining whole egg, 3 egg yolks and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over crust in pan.
  •  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until set in center. Immediately sprinkle top with crushed toffee bits. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

            Thank you for your visit!  xo

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

20-Minute Chipotle Chicken Pozole

How about a quick soup for a Super Bowl party?  This soup sure fits the bill and has just the right amount of spicy heat. I LOVE soups and have been making one or two per week. I think your family and guests would love this one.  I found the recipe in and it's a keeper.

For Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, diced
Kosher salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (see Note)
4 (15-oz.) cans hominy, drained and rinsed
2 (32-oz) containers low-sodium chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded

For Toppings
Sliced scallions,
Grated cheese
Sliced avocado
Lime wedges
Cilantro leaves, minced
Crushed tortilla chips
Sour cream

Warm oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, season with salt and cook, stirring until softened, about five minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add chipotles and cook 30 seconds. Stir in hominy and cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, season with salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in chicken, and cover pot to heat through. Serve with assorted toppings.

Serves 10-12

NOTE:  The extra chipotles can be frozen individually with some adobo sauce on wax paper and then put in a freezer proof bag.

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Make It Pretty Monday
Share Your Cup
Foodie Friday
Full Plate
Seasonal Sundays
Weekend Potluck
Super Bowl Linky Party

           Thank you for your visit!  xo 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Raspberry Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

For Sandi's Tea of Roses party,  won't you join me for some raspberry cake and either raspberry zinger or strawberry tea?  I'd love to share some with you.   I'm using my beautiful roses teapot and matching cup that was given to me from some dear friends. 

When I saw Miz Helen's recipe for this cake, being the raspberry lover that I am, I knew I had to make it.  Miz Helen's recipe is for a sheet cake and you can find her original recipe here.
I cut her recipe in half and baked it into 8" square pan.  Here's the smaller version of Miz Helen's delicious cake.


1 cups all- purpose flour
1 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoons Raspberry Extract
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh raspberries

In a medium mixing bowl mix together the egg and sour cream until smooth
In a large mixing bowl mix together, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Add the egg and sour cream mixture and beat the mixture into the flour mixture.
In a small saucepan add the butter and water and bring to a boil
Add the hot butter and water to the flour and egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
Add the Raspberry Extract and mix well until completely blended
Stir in the raspberries breaking some of them so you have little bits all over the cake. (A potato masher works well for this part).
The batter will be very thin.
Pour into a greased and floured 8" square baking pan.  You could also make pretty pink cupcakes with this batter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool before frosting.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 T. Raspberry Preserves
1/2 teaspoon Raspberry Extract
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

In a medium size bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add the preserves and extract.
Slowly add the powdered sugar until you get the consistency needed for the frosting.
I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

            Thank you for your visit!  xo

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mexican Chicken Soup

This wonderful recipe is adapted from one found on the Kraft website, and their title for it is Hearty Mexican Soup.   It tastes like a fabulous tortilla soup and one that I'll be making again soon.  I substituted black beans in place of their cannellini  beans and  used Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn, which was wonderful.  I hope you can give this quick, flavorful soup a try! 

1 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp.  oil 
1 clove  garlic, minced
1/2 tsp.  ground cumin 
4 cups  fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth 
1 can  (15.5 oz.) black beans,  drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa (I used a chipotle salsa and it was great!)
2 cups  shredded rotisserie chicken
1 cup  frozen corn, thawed 
2 green onions, chopped         
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese

COOK chopped onions in hot oil in dutch oven on medium heat 6 to 7 min. or until tender. Add garlic and cumin; cook and stir 1 min. 

ADD broth, beans and salsa; stir. Bring to boil. Stir in chicken and corn. Return to boil; simmer 5 min., stirring occasionally. Stir in green onions and cilantro.

SERVE topped with cheese.  Sliced avocados and sour cream, along with crushed tortilla chips are wonderful additions.            
I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Make It Pretty Monday
Share Your Cup
Foodie Friday
Full Plate
Seasonal Sundays
Weekend Potluck
Super Bowl Linky Party

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January Note Cards

 For Vee's  January Note Card Party, I've cooked some Pasta Fagioli Soup for you, to warm your heart and soul. 

 For dessert, you have several choices....would you like a  Melting Snowman Cupcake?

Perhaps you'd like to sit by the fire and have  a Soft Frosted Sugar Cookie?

Maybe you'd like to try an old-fashioned Date Bar, while we visit and warm up?  Come on over and stay awhile and I'll fix us a warm cup of hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. 

I'm sharing this with: 


           Thank you for your visit!  xo

Monday, January 13, 2014

Date Bars

Tea today is on my wooden slab that is used for a tray.  I have my snowball candle lit and my snowflake dishes.  I'm using my Goebel sledding kids for some wintry décor.    How about  sharing a date bar and some Constant Comment tea with me?

This is one of those desserts that takes me back to my childhood. I love these bars and remember my Mom buying a date bar mix for me to make,  because I always made desserts for our dinners.  This mix can't be found any more,  and I think it was made by Betty Crocker.  Here's a wonderful recipe for them,  if you're a date lover like me.  This recipe makes an 8" square pan and can easily be doubled for a 9" x 13" pan.

Date Filling

Mix 8 ounces of cut up dates, 2 T. sugar and 3/4 cup of water in a saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, until thick. Using a potato masher really helps break the mixture down. Let cool.

Crumb Base and Topping

1/4 cup + 2 T. butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
3/4 cup flour
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 cup rolled oats

Cream together the butter and brown sugar. Mix in remaining ingredients until crumbly. If needed, add about 1-2 t. water. Press half the mixture into a greased 8" square pan. Spread with the filling. Top with the remaining crumb mixture and press lightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Cinnamon Icing (optional)

Mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/8 t. cinnamon. Add enough milk to drizzle.  Drizzle over top of bars.

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

            Thank you for your visit!  xo

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Brrrrr... Soup is on the menu for tonight, since we all seem to be in a deep freeze! 

 My centerpiece is a basket that belonged to my grandmother and is probably 100 years old.  It's filled with pine cones that my beloved hubby and I always collected on hikes.  Oh, how I love the beauty of pine cones. The darling Goebel sledders were a gift from my Dad, years ago.  The birch-look candle was on clearance from World Market.  The table runner is from a garage sale that I bought close to 40 years ago.  It's supposed to be the "snow" on my table. 

 The pine cone quilted placemats from Kohls, were found on clearance last year, for about $1.00.  The napkin rings are a snowflake design from World Market, found on clearance.  The soup bowls were another garage sale find for 25 cents. 

 I'm using my favorite vintage 25 cent plates again!

This Pasta Fagioli soup is one of my all-time favorites.   Sometimes I use pork or chicken sausage in place of the ground beef.  Also, adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes.  I hope you can try this soup to warm your heart and soul.  

1 can Great Northern beans, drained
1 lb. ground beef, browned & drained
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans beef broth (I use chicken broth)
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon, pepper
1/4 teaspoon, marjoram
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional
1 teaspoon, dried basil
1 teaspoon, dried oregano
3 cups of cooked small pasta, like ditalini

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT pasta, and put in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Add the cooked pasta before serving & stir to combine, or add some pasta to each bowl and then add the soup. To garnish, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Make It Pretty Monday
The Scoop
Inspire Me
Centerpiece Wednesday
Share Your Cup
Foodie Friday
Full Plate
Seasonal Sundays
Weekend Potluck

Monday, January 6, 2014

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

 My fireside tea is with my favorite winter teapot that my sister found for $1.49 at a thrift store.  I'm sipping some eggnogg'n tea, by Bigelow in my Walgreen's pine cone mug.  Even though nothing matches, I love  how everything blends. 

 The plate is aptly named Pine Cone, by French Saxon China, and dates back to the 1950's.  I found four of these for 25 cents each at our Trade Days.  I have to say that they are one of my all-time favorite plates, and love that they are so vintage.   I looked the pattern up on the internet and they go for a lot more.  I think I got a great deal!

These soft frosted sugar cookies are a favorite of my grandchildren and  I have to admit that I love them, too.  If you love the grocery store ones, I hope you give these a try.  They can be decorated for any season and the recipe can be found on my blog, here.

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

            Thank you for your visit!  xo

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