Saturday, October 26, 2013

Butter Pecan Cake

I was recently asked to bring 3 cakes to a meal that was being served at our church and completely forgot about it until after I was in bed the night before. After some brief panic I decided to keep it simple because it was also a school morning and the cakes all needed to be baked before I left for church at 9:30. 
Thankfully I had a back up Butter Pecan cake mix in the cupboard for one of them, and a recipe to go with it from my SIL Laura that turns it into something special. The caramel topping is fabulous! Luckily I also had the Glazed Pecans in the cupboard that were perfect for a garnish. :)

I Butter Pecan Cake Mix
(substitute butter for the oil)
 Otherwise mix as directed. Bake in a 10½ X 15½ bar pan for 20-25 minutes. Cool.
Middle Layer:
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Milk
1 Sm. box French Vanilla Instant Pudding
8 oz. Cool Whip
 Mix milk and instant pudding, set aside. Beat cream cheese till fluffy. Add the pudding mixture and beat till smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled cake. Refrigerate.
Meanwhile... the Topping:
½ cup Butter, browned
1½ cups brown sugar
1 cup Sour Cream
Place sugar and sour cream in a medium saucepan, set aside. In another saucepan brown the butter till it's golden. Immediately pour over the sugar and sour cream. Stir well and  heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool completely and spread over the pudding mixture. Garnish with Glazed Pecans.



I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Autumn day! Serena and I are enjoying our girl time with the guys at the cabin in the mountains for some hunting. We cleaned the house this morning and did some shopping for a winter coat for her to wear in the barn with her pony and when she tramps through the woods with her brothers. She is also into drawing. Her Dad bought her a book on how to draw horses so she's been practicing a lot. If it's about horses you can pretty much plan on her to love it!

I have some prep work to do yet for some cheesecakes I'm baking for a wedding next weekend and a few things to do outside so I think we will spend most of the rest of the afternoon outside in the sun and wind. :)

Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Honey Roasted Carrots

Whew! Today was a bit of a marathon! But I accomplished a bunch of things on the days to-do list and I got to sit down at the end of that marathon with my sweet family for a yummy supper that included these delicious carrots. That counts as successful in my opinion. :)
They are very simple and require just a few ingredients.
1/3 c. Honey
2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
2 teaspoons Olive oil
These measurements are approximates. I was in too much of a rush to pay close attention to definite measurements. The reason for that was because my 4 men were wanting to leave ASAP for hunting, and I knew they would enjoy supper to be on time.
But it's not rocket science, just mix ingredients till you achieve the flavor you like and glaze away! :)
I laid them in a Pampered Chef Bar Pan and sprayed them and the pan with Olive Oil spray and roasted them at 425° until they looked about half done then drizzled them with the glaze and continued roasting till they were tender.
And, yeah, I have no idea how long they roasted because I, um, had too many 'irons in the fire' at the time.
 But they WERE yummy!
♥Be Blessed!♥

Linked to:
Tatertots & Jello

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Showers Of Blessings"

This song has been playing itself over and over in my mind the last few days. More specifically the line -

"mercy drops 'round us are falling, but for the showers we plead".
All of God's 'mercy drops' = a 'shower' of blessing and grace. We plead for the showers but forget to notice the drops? We end up feeling trapped in a desert of our own making, empty and dry.
yep, a Promise right in my yard! :)
Mondays challenge:
 Take time to notice the 'drops' today, jot them down, review them over and over. Use all 5 of your senses for this, use 6 if you have them! These are testimonies of His goodness, His faithfulness, and His never ending Love. Testimonies are powerful and invite more of His blessings. You can.not lose with a perspective like this!!
Happy Monday!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Baked Pepper Popper Dip

~before baking~
A couple of weeks ago I made stuffed pepper poppers wrapped with bacon to toss on the grill.
They were yummy!
But I thought it would be fun to serve this in dip form with some extra smoked cheeses for added flavor.
I loved it! 
This way is easier, less time consuming and is delicious served with crackers or if you're avoiding foods with flour it's also yummy to use celery for dipping.
Hope you enjoy it!
6 oz. each smoked Cheddar,
Swiss, and Gouda cheese, grated
1½ lbs. cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup Bacon Bits
2 Tablespoons Dry Onion Flakes
2 Tablespoons Horseradish
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
7 Jalapenos, chopped
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
Smoked Paprika
Combine all ingredients in a mixer bowl and mix thoroughly. Spray a 9 inch (deep dish) pie pan or other baking dish and pour mixture in and spread evenly.Garnish as desired and bake @350° until heated through. Serve with crackers or veggies.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Buttermilk & Potato Cinnamon Rolls with Sour Cream Caramel Icing

This is what you should do when you have leftover mashed potatoes and buttermilk that really needs to be used in your fridge.
And it's chilly... and rainy... outside.
You should make cinnamon rolls!
Because at the end of the day your family will return home and your house will be cozy and comforting and smell wonderful and they will tell you that you for spending your free time... in the kitchen... thinking of them all day! :)

And the icing, my goodness! the icing with sour cream instead of regular milk is fantastic! My Mother put me up to this!

Revised -
 Original Recipe from Tasty Kitchen
3 sticks butter, soft
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup Buttermilk
2 cups regular milk
1½ cups mashed potatoes
(leftovers work great!)
3 Tablespoons Instant Yeast
1/3 cup lukewarm water
3 eggs, beaten
10-11 cups all purpose flour

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Cinnamon, too taste

In a mixer beat the soft butter, sugar and salt.
In a saucepan scald the milks. Don't boil them. Pour over sugar mixture in the mixer bowl and add the mashed potatoes. Mix and allow to cool till lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to the mixer bowl. Beat the eggs and add them too. Next add the flour and knead till smooth and not too sticky but not stiff.

In a greased bowl, let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out in a rectangle on a floured surface. Spread a small amount of butter (not much!) over the dough and spread with a third of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up and cut into 1-1½ inch pieces. (Heavy thread or dental floss works great!)

Place into greased pans, cover and let rise again for about 45 minutes.

Bake @ 350° for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Drizzle with Cream Cheese Icing or (my favorite) Sour Cream Caramel Frosting. Amazing !

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan melt butter and sugar over low heat. Once melted increase the heat to bring to a gentle boil. Add the salt and sour cream and stir. Boil rapidly for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir, then add powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Drizzle immediately over warm rolls. Enjoy!!

Day two of rain, but I kind of like it! There are unnatural rivers in the yard and the meadow but it's all good. No one needs to go out there if they don't want to. :)
The men are heading to the hills tonight to slay a deer or two. Serena and I have a fun day planned tomorrow but it will need to quit raining in order for those plans to be possible. But if not, there's always shopping I suppose. For now I should clean, run errands, and do laundry. Sounds like a Friday to me!
Hope y'all have a great day wherever you're at and that you will take time to listen, really listen, and notice, the important things in life!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Harvest Grape Pie

Makes me Happy! :)
Concord Grape Pie is one of my favorites so last weekend when I was canning grape juice I decided to keep some grapes out for this purpose and possibly some bars of some kind?
I knew I had these 10 boxes of grapes coming but was not expecting them to be ready on Friday. 5 bushels sounds like a lot, and it kind of is, but it's really not that bad if you have no other plans, haha! 
Friday morning my husband was scheduled for eye surgery (Lasik) and we had planned to have a birthday party on Saturday night for our son, inviting the youth group from church and his senior class.
I picked up the grapes after school Friday and got busy!! It all worked out and we were not late for anything :) but it was a reminder that those 400 miles between me and my sisters and Mom are sometimes very unhandy!! Especially when I'm in a pinch, oh and a host of other times when it would just be nice to have them stop in or if I could do the same. But alas it is not to be so I don't usually spend a lot of time with the pity parties. It's pointless! :) But sometimes...
Who says you need fancy tools for everything? haha
These were my artsy tools I used to create the design on top.
All you need is imagination :)
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
7 cups Concord Grapes, remove stems
8 cups water
½ cup sugar
Stevia, to taste
Pinch of Salt
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Clear Jel
(approximately 6 heaping serving spoons)
Place the grapes and water into a large kettle and bring to a boil. Boil gently till grapes are very soft and thoroughly cooked. Press through a medium sieve to remove the seeds. You want as much pulp as possible. Return to kettle and add the next four ingredients. Bring to a boil and thicken with clear jel. It should be pretty thick so it doesn't run all over the place when you cut and serve it but not so thick that it seems like the Great Wall of China!
Allow to cool completely, or at least mostly before baking in a pie. This prevents the filling from bubbling out through the holes and over the sides making an unsightly mess in your oven. :) I don't know about you but I don't have time for those kinds of messes!
Fit the bottom crust into a deep 9 inch glass Pyrex Pie Pan, allowing the extra to hang down over the edge. Fill approximately ¾ full. Brush the edge slightly with water to help the top crust to seal better. Fit the top crust over the filling. Press gently to seal, trim the extra dough and flute the edges.
Bake @ 400° for 30 minutes. I like to set it on the center rack for the first 15-20 minutes and then lower the rack one notch. This helps the bottom crust to bake better while baking the top a nice golden color without over baking it.
This makes enough for approximately 2 pies.