Friday, September 30, 2011

Teddy Bear Cookies


I teach a Sunday School class at church that is all little girls and it's fun to bring them treats now and then and they love it! I thought that this Sunday instead of getting tiny packages of candy I would get Serena to help me bake some treats for them. She is in the class too. She was delighted to help and we had fun making these cute little teddy bears on a stick.

I used a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe and two different sized cookie scoops. The head was a size 30 and the ears a size 100. Arrange the head and the ears so they touch on the baking sheet.

Insert the stick towards the bottom of the ball (head). Bake for 12 minutes @350°. Remove from the oven and gently but firmly press the M&M's for eyes and a mini Kiss for a nose into the cookie. Allow to cool on the baking sheet and then carefully remove with a spatula.

She is beginning to really feel the 5 years that is between her and the boys especially since her puppy died a few weeks ago (the second one lost in less than 6 months, the other one ran away :(  so this was right down her alley. I have two that love helping in the kitchen but find it works best if they help me one at a time. Anthony would have liked to do these too but I told him I promised her she could. After he left she said,"This is so cool, it's just girls." She makes me chuckle. She really enjoyed helping.

                                                And she was happy to sample one as well!

                                                                           Be Blessed!!

Linked to: Weekend Wrap Up, Sweets For a Saturday, Friday Food, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Show and Tell, Weekend Craft Soiree, Sunday Showcase,
Sundae Scoop, Tuesday Talent Show, Recipe Spotlight, Cupcake Apothecary

Prize Winning Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe years ago and played around with the ingredients till I had them the way I liked them and named them Prize Winning Peanut Butter Cookies because I was entering them into a contest. Haha! No, I didn't win. But that's okay, from the way they disappear it's a win here in this household. And that's good enough for me. I added small chocolate and peanut butter chips in tonight's batch but I usually like to add the little round Reese's ice cream topping thingys but since I didn't have any on hand I just used what was in the cupboard. They are so good! Unfortunately we were out of milk but that would have been perfect with a warm peanut butter cookie!!

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3½ cups flour
12 oz. mini chocolate chips
6 oz. Reese's peanut
butter sprinkles

Additional sugar

                          Cream sugars and butters together until creamy.

Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla.

Stir in baking soda and salt.

Then add flour and mix well.

Add the goodies.

Mix; then using a size 40 cookie scoop drop them into the additional sugar and roll to cover.

 Place onto a baking sheet and bake @ 350° for 12 minutes.

mmm, delicious!!

Be Blessed!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Praline Cheesecake

                                                                     Cheesecake love

Every now and then I get to the point where thinking about baking cheesecakes occupies a lot of my time. That's how I know it's time to do something about it. This past weekend we were host family at church and I decided to take advantage of such a time and bake this super easy, super delicious cheesecake to serve for our dessert. Okay for one of the desserts. You see I had been thinking about pies too. Heaven help me with the sugar craving!

I didn't manage to get a picture of it when it was uncut because, well, it's just not the thing to do when your table is full of guests, so I took one later after they were gone. It looked so yummy with it's pool of caramel on the top with the roasted pecans. But, no matter, this pic will have to do and I can tell you that the Nilla crust was lovely, both to look at and to taste. Maybe I'll have some for breakfast in the morning. Or not.

I found the recipe on Taste of Homes site and made it exactly as they had it there except for the temperature and oven time.. It turned out delicious and creamy.

1½ cups crushed vanilla wafers,
 (about 45 wafers)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
16 whole vanilla wafers

24 oz. (3 pkgs.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
 3 eggs, lightly beaten

25 caramels
2 Tablespoons milk
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Stand whole wafers around edge of pan, pressing lightly into crumbs; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

Place pan onto a baking sheet. Bake at 300° for 60 minutes. Turn oven off and prop door open with a wooden spoon handle and leave cake in the oven for an additional 30-40 minutes. Original recipe says- to bake at 325° for 55-60 minutes or till center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes then carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Place Caramels and milk into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave uncovered, on high for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Drizzle/pour/spread - whatever - the caramel mixture over the cheesecake and sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 12.

Heres the good news, there are 5 whole grams of protien per serving and 1 whole gram of fiber. It's 11:14 p.m. It's too late in the day for bad news so we will skip the rest. Pretty sure I won't be having any for breakfast.

Be Blessed!
Linked to: Show and Share, What I Made Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Idea Sharing Wednesday, Whatever Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday,
Passionately Artistic, Wow Us Wednesday, Fall Into Fall, Cast Party, Two Maids a Baking, Time Travel Thursday, Home Sweet Home, Potpourri Friday
Sweet Tooth Friday, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Friday Potluck, Hungry Hypo, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Show and Tell

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chocolate Chip Bars


I'm sure there's a million and 1 chocolate chip bars recipes floating around out there but this is what I make when I'm short on time and want something easy that I know will turn out right without a lot of fuss. Saturday was one of those days that most definitely fit into that category! We had a very busy weekend partly due to some miscommunication between my hubby and me (can anyone identify?!) and the day stretched out loooong and... well I'll spare you the details!☺

Our son who loves to work in the kitchen asked if he could help in any way by baking something for me and with the youth group coming here for volleyball on Sunday night the answer was YES!! Bless his sweet heart!! Here he is with his finished product.

He was so pleased when those things disappeared in a heartbeat and everyone enjoyed them! Especially when a few people commented how good they were before knowing that he baked them. It's always fun to see him basking in the glow of his accomplishment! Makes me happy too!

1-1/3 cups butter, softened
3 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix together butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients; mix. Add pecans and chocolate chips. Spray a 12 x 16½ baking pan with non stick spray. Spread dough evenly and bake @ 350° for 25 minutes or until done. They are delicious and chewey and are always a hit! Enjoy!!

Be Blessed!
Linked To: Make You Crave Monday, Home Sweet Home, Friday Favorites

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Candied Pecans

In preparation for a dessert I hope to make in the near future I made these today for a garnish. Can you spell I.R.R.E.S.I.S.T.I.B.L.E?! They are super delicious! and easy to make.

I tried to remember where I got the recipe but neglected to write it down when I found it. So if this is like a recipe you have on your blog let me know, I'll be happy to link to your blog and give you the credit.

1 egg white
1 Tablespoon water

Beat with a hand mixer until frothy.

Add: 1 lb. Pecan Halves and stir.

Pour in an avalanche of sugar
 (1 cup)

1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

( I omitted the cinnamon because of what I want to use them for but it would be delicious in there otherwise!) Toss until well coated. Then spread onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake @275° for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool before storing.

Be Blessed!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cutout Cookies

When I was growing up these cookies were always a part of Autumn at our house. I don't remember my Mom ever using real pumpkin for these or anything for that matter. She always substituted Butternut Squash. I did use real pumpkin (canned) for these though. They are super soft and very fragile. I mixed the dough on Saturday and didn't get around to baking them so I decided to bake some on Sunday for our supper treat after a refreshing walk through the woods. It was a gorgeous Fall day and far to beautiful to spend inside so we turned all the techy stuff OFF and spent some time enjoying the beauty of Nature.The cookies are almost easier to eat with a fork than holding them, but regardless of how you eat them they are scrumptious with the caramel icing!

1 cup shortening, I used Lard because I had some I wanted to use up but other forms of shortening work too
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour

Cream together shortening, sugar, and egg. Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture alternately with pumpkin and vanilla. Refrigerate until chilled through. On a floured ( it takes a fair amount of flour for this, they are sticky!) surface roll dough flat to a ¼-½ inch even thickness.

Using a cookie cutter (I don't posess seasonally shaped ones for Fall so I just used a round one) cut into desired shapes. Small is better because they spread a bit during baking. Also I try to avoid the sharp corners because they are fragile and it makes them easier to work with. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake @ 350° for approximately 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool before icing them.

Caramel Icing:
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
Combine in a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt slowly over medium/low heat. Then add
1/3 cup milk, I used half and half because I had some that needed to be used. Let it come to a boil stirring often. Boil for about a minute. Cool. Then stir in
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar, approximate  If you want it stiffer you'll need more but don't add too much. It gets firmer as it cools completely.

Ice the cookies with a generous drizzle and sprinkles.

Enjoy with a cup of hot tea and popcorn


Be Blessed!!

Linked to: Make Yourself Monday, Met Monday, On The Menu Monday, These Chicks Cooked, Show and Share, Sweet Treats Thursday, Time Travel Thursday
Cast Party, Turning the Table, Delightfully Inspiring, Its a Keeper, Sweet Treat Tuesday, Foodie Friday, Sweet Indulgence Sunday, Make You Crave Monday
Potpourri Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sharing Sundays

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Honey BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ Caramelized Onions and Smoky Mozzarella

say yes to yum

Today is sort of a low key day around here. The men of the house are off to the mountains to do some work at the cabin and it didn't work for any of my daughters friends to spend the day, so we went to bed later than usual (for her) last night and got up when we felt like it and haven't done much of anything today, unless it counts that we made some minus flash cards for her to practice and baked a cheesecake and mixed some pumpkin cutout cookies that are in the fridge waiting for the right mood. They may or may not get baked today yet. And we took a nap. It's cool and rainy and we're meeting my MIL for supper in town so I think other than picking up a bit around here we will just keep it low key.

helping to make the cheesecake

Yesterday when I was out and about rounding up our groceries I found some Smoked Mozzarella Cheese and was intrigued. So I purchased a small amount to try in this pizza with some rotisserie chicken that was hanging out in my fridge. I also had some small pre-baked pizza crusts that I had made and put into the freezer for convenience that came in handy for a quick lunch.

I decided that the onions (Candy Onions for one pizza and Red Onions for the other) should be caramelized to add extra flavor and sweetness and was not disappointed! They did their job wonderfully!

here they are in the process but not done yet, yum!

Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ Sauce is what I used and the flavor was perfect! Spread a thin layer on the crust and top it with the onions, thin sliced peppers, thin sliced mushrooms, and some chicken breast pieces.

Top with Smoked Mossarella Cheese slices and hot peppers.

 I baked mine on a baking stone for 15 minutes @ 400°. The crust was crispy and the whole thing was delicious! Can't wait to make one for my husband, I think he will love it! minus the peppers and mushrooms, that is.

Here's an update on this one-I started adding fresh pineapple and it's out of this world good! Try it sometime!! Hubby says it is now his fav over the Hawaiian one with ham and pineapple.
Be Blessed!
Linked to: Make Yourself Monday, Met Monday, On The Menu Monday, Foodie Friday

Friday, September 16, 2011

Taco Soup

With the weather turning cooler I now have an excuse to make soup. I like soup a lot if it has lots of good flavor.

So today because it's cooler, and because I missed my pretty red Dutch Oven I decided it's time for my favorite soup.


Several years ago I was at my neighbors house for lunch and when I walked into her house I smelled two delicious smells and this was one of them. Yum! The other smell was mulled cider, another yum that I always love to smell but am not all that crazy to actually drink it.

Anyway, this soup is scrumptious on it's own or with some added ingredients like cheese, chips, sour cream, avocados, etc. Sometimes I like to make it without the meat and eat it with long grain brown rice. I suppose black beans would be good in there too, although I've never tried that.

Here goes:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb. lean ground sirloin
1 red pepper*, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
½ cup salsa
2-3 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
2 large cans chopped tomatoes
¼ cup sugar* I omit this and add extra red peppers
Cilantro, salt, and pepper, to taste

Put oil in a dutch oven,

add the chopped/diced veggies,

and the meat,

cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Then add the rest of the ingredients.

These were the tomatoes I had in the cupboard and it was fine except I would cut the stewed ones into smaller pieces next time.

chopped cilantro

 Simmer for about ½ - 1 hour. If you would like to have more liquid you can add more tomato sauce. Simple, quick, and delicious! Thank You Myma for sharing the recipe with me!


Enjoy and Be Blessed!

Linked to: Make Yourself Monday, Met Monday, On The Menu Monday,Turning the Table, Delightfully Inspiring, Its a Keeper, Foodie Friday,
Sweet Indulgence Sunday

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hidden Pear Salad

Last week was a long one that was filled with the peeling of many pears, so naturally my mind went to things that can be made with pears. I tried a Spiced Pear Cake with Praline Topping but decided it was too spicy although the Praline topping was scrumptious! Then I thought of this molded jello that I have made before. It's simple, looks pretty, and tastes yummy! That's good enough for me!☺


1-16 oz. can pears, liquid
drained and reserved
1-3 oz. pkg. lime jello
1-3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
¼ teaspoon lemon juice,
I used lime
1-8 oz. Cool Whip

Bring pear liquid to a boil.

Stir in gelatin until dissolved.

Cool until syrupy.

Puree pears in a blender.

Beat cream cheese and lemon juice until fluffy and smooth.

Add pureed pears and mix well.

Fold Cool Whip into pear mixture then fold in cooled jello.

Spoon or pour into 4½ cup mold* that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

*I used a double recipe for the Tupperware mold. It didn't quite all fit in. I had about 1 cup left that didn't fit.

Refrigerate overnight.

Unmold by dipping the green part of the mold into warm/hot water for 1 or 2 minutes. Invert onto serving plate and slowly remove the center part of the mold.

Garnish and serve.

Be Blessed!