Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Blondie Bars

Today's tea in the garden is with spicy blondie bars and pumpkin chai tea.  

I found this pretty Fall teapot in a thrift store for $3.75.  Isn't it perfect for this time of year.  I'll show you the other side in another post. 

I'm using my Paprika colored Fiesta Ware mug, as it's a pretty, warm color for Fall, and it blends with the colors in my teapot.

 I crocheted this pumpkin from directions that I found at Priscilla's.  The instructions can be found  here.   The only thing that I did differently was to chain varying lengths for the leaves.  I taught my sister and a niece how to make these adorable pumpkins.  It's a great project for learning how to chain and single crochet. 

It seems like Target is so good about stocking seasonal food items, like these Pumpkin Spice Morsels.  If you can't find them, the blondie bars would be
good with cinnamon, chocolate or butterscotch chips, too.   Here's the recipe that was on the back of the bag in case you need to substitute one of the other flavors of chips.

2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 10 ounce package Pumpkin Spice Morsels, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in 1 1/3 cups morsels. Spread into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup morsels. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.  Store tightly covered.

Makes 40 bars

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza Cheese Ball

This fun cheese ball comes from my Great Balls of Cheese cookbook by Michelle Buffardi.  This makes for a great appetizer for football season, or any time!  It looks like a long list of ingredients, but it goes together quickly.  I hope you try it for your next party.  Doesn't it look like real pizza??

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped pepperoni
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 T. chopped bell pepper, any color
1 T. finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
3/4 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, for decorating
Pepperoni slices and black olives, for decorating

Crackers or baguette slices, for serving

Using a stand mixer or a bowl and spatula, mix together the cream cheese, 2 cups mozzarella (reserve the 1/2 cup for decorating), Parmesan, chopped pepperoni, tomatoes, 2 T. of bell pepper (reserve the 1/2 T. for decorating), onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning.  Form the mixture into a ball and loosely cover with plastic wrap.  Gently flatten the ball into a disk; refrigerate for at least 2  hours or overnight.  I actually made two disks.

Before serving, unwrap the disk and roll the edges in the breadcrumbs, pressing the middle in a bit as you roll.  Set the disk on a plate and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella, pepperoni slices, the remaining bell pepper and olives.  I sprinkled a little oregano on top, too.

Serve with crackers or baguette slices.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grilled Wings

These wings went rather quickly and I had to get a quick shot of these two!  We did a taste test to see what we liked with some of the hot sauce set that was gifted to me.  The recipe was based on one that I found on, but instead of baking them in the oven, I tried grilling them.  The results were wonderful!


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 20 chicken wings


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup Frank's hot sauce (or your choice of other flavors)
  • 2 dashes ground pepper
  • 2 dashes garlic powder


  1. In a food safe food bag, mix together flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.

  2. Place chicken wings in the bag and shake until they are evenly coated.

  3. Close the bag and refrigerate for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. ( I actually did mine for several hours.)

  4. Preheat grill to around 400 degrees.  Turn off the back burner, as you will be using the indirect heat method.

  5. Spray or coat the grill with oil and then place the wings on the back burner and cook with the indirect heat.

  6. Grill at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, turning once.

  7. If desired, place wings on the front (direct heat) for two minutes. 

  8. Take the wings off the grill and toss with Sauce.

  9. Sauce: Combine butter, hot sauce, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl and microwave until melted.

  10. Stir for a couple of minutes to blend evenly.

     These were the ones that we tried.  The Habanero one was too hot!!!!

    These were our favorites!
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Fudge Icing

 It's still warm enough for tea outside in Texas today.  How about joining me for some Apple Cake and tea?  

I'm using my vintage Harvest Time teacup, by Johnson Brothers. 

I love to cook/bake seasonal flavors and saw this recipe at Southern Plate and decided to make it.  Oh my, is it ever good,  and perfect for a Fall dessert.  I'm being wishful for cooler temperatures!

          For Cake
  • 2 cups self rising flour (I used 1 T. baking powder + 2 t. salt + 2 cups all-purpose flour instead)
  • 1+1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • a few grates of fresh nutmeg (my addition)
  • 2-3 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

  • For Icing
  • 4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 8 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine all  dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the apples, eggs, oil, water and vanilla and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended and smooth. Spread into a greased 9x13 cake pan.
  2. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let cool before icing. 
    For icing 
  1. Stir together butter, cream, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Turn heat up to medium high and stir constantly until it comes to a rolling boil. Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes and then remove from heat. Stir in confectioners sugar and vanilla until smooth. Work quickly and use a wire whisk or electric mixer if you prefer. You can add up to 1/2 cup more confectioner's sugar if needed to thicken.
  2. Ice cooled cake as soon as possible. 
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Club Sandwich Roll

When bloggy buddy, Jenna, from The Painted Apron shared this recipe recently, I knew that I had to try it out.  You can check Jenna's pictures and recipe out here.  I asked her if she minded if I shared it and she quickly obliged.  Thanks for the awesome recipe, Jenna!  It's perfect for football season, or any time.  Jenna used a can of breadstick dough, but I couldn't find any, and my substitution is below.  Jenna gave exact amounts, but I just winged it.

1 can seamless crescent roll dough
2-3 T mayonnaise
2 T mustard
thinly sliced ham
thinly sliced turkey
sliced cheese (I used Muenster)
5-6 slices crispy bacon

Unroll dough into a rectangle on a cutting board.  Spread with mayonnaise and mustard.  Lay meats and cheese on in even layers.   Top crosswise with bacon slices.

  Carefully roll dough up into a log as tightly as possible.  Cut roll in half and then cut each half in half again,  and then each piece in half, until you have 8 slices. 

Lay sandwich slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until bread is cooked and golden. 
Makes 8 slices

A son and a grandson of mine decided to dip their slices in ranch dressing that was mixed with some Sriracha!  I may spread it with that next time.  

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Overnight Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

Yes, it's still quite warm here in Texas and tea is outside.  How about joining me for some stuffed french toast?  I love sandwiching a pretty doily in between two clear glass plates for a pretty effect.

I'm using my Royal Vale cottage teacup.  I'm not ready to head into Fall quite yet.  It's hard with the temperatures still so hot here in Texas.

 This recipe was recently in The Dallas Morning News.  One of my grandsons, who loves to cook, helped me make this.  We put it together the night before and enjoyed it the next morning.  

1 8-ounce pkg. reduced- fat cream cheese
3 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla (my addition)
8 slices cinnamon-swirl bread (I used Pepperidge Farm)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Assorted fresh berries ( The Dallas Morning News suggested sauteed apples slices or fresh peaches)

MIX reduced-fat cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until blended; spread onto bread. Place 4 bread slices, cream cheese-sides up, in 8-inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Cover with remaining bread slices, cream cheese-sides down.
WHISK eggs and milk until blended; pour over bread. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
HEAT oven to 350 degrees.   Bake, uncovered, 30 to 35 min. or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Serve topped with berries and syrup, if desired.

Serves 4-8, depending on portion size.  

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs

 Today I'm having tea with my Rosina teacup that I received awhile back for Stephanie's teacup exchange at The Enchanting Rose.  I cut some bougainvillea vine because it matches the flowers  on my cup perfectly.

When I went to my nephew's wedding in Arizona back in March, bougainvillea vines were blooming everywhere.  I bought one this Spring and have it in a pot on my patio.  I'm hoping that I can keep it.   I love their papery blossoms with the tiny flowers that burst forth inside of them.

 Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs

This recipe was a winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off back in 1969.  I started teaching Home Ec in 1970 and included this recipe for the students to make.  I used to make it for my own kids and now the grandkids enjoy them.  They are magical because the marshmallow melts and forms a gooey center.  Nuts are good sprinkled on top, but kids seem to like cinnamon chips or chocolate  chips.  I hope you try this winner of a recipe.


1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cans (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
16 large marshmallows
1/4 cup  butter or margarine, melted


1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons milk


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.. Spray 16 medium muffin cups with  No-Stick Cooking Spray. In small bowl, mix granulated sugar, flour and cinnamon.
  • Separate dough into 16 triangles. For each roll, dip 1 marshmallow into melted butter; roll in sugar mixture. Place marshmallow on shortest side of triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side and rolling to opposite point. Completely cover marshmallow with dough; firmly pinch edges to seal. Dip 1 end in remaining butter; place butter side down in muffin cup.
  • Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. (Place foil or cookie sheet on rack below muffin cups to guard against spills.) Cool in pan 1 minute. Remove rolls from muffin cups; place on cooling racks set over waxed paper.
  • In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls.  Serve warm.

Can you spot my play duck in my waterfall?

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