Friday, December 30, 2011

Graham Cracker Peppermint Bark

Since this is my last post until next week, I am extending warmest wishes for a very

LOOKING FORWARD TO ALL THAT 2012 HOLDS FOR US!
BE SAFE!!!

I was so tickled to come across this adorable simple and delicious treat just a few days before Christmas.

I found this recipe at Mommy's Kitchen. I can ALWAYS trust Tina's recipes...and I often 'run' to her blog to find something quick and easy.  She never lets me down. 

What made me even more excited was that I had an open pkg. of graham crackers, only a few blocks of chocolate almond bark, and a few candy canes to crush for on top.
I LOVE USING UP LEFTOVERS!  Especially when you can make something so pretty and nice.

Maybe you have a few leftovers too, that you can make these for your New Year's get together.

This would make a beautiful addition to your NY tray of goodies.

And I had it done - from beginning to end - in just about 30 minutes.
I even put a picture of these babies on our digital Christmas newsletter.

Aren't they just prettiful???  *-*


GRAHAM CRACKER PEPPERMINT BARK

8 - 10 graham crackers (1 - sleeve)

2 - candy canes, crushed
12 oz - milk chocolate almond bark (half of a 24 oz block)

Add chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and melt according to package directions. Break graham cracker into fours. Using a fork dip each graham cracker into chocolate to coat, letting excess drip off.
Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with peppermint. Allow to set about 30 minutes. (I set mine in the cold garage and they set up quickly). Break into pieces or leave whole. Store in a airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to a week.

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sausage & Cream Cheese Dip

Oh how my family enjoyed this for our Christmas appetizers/desserts get together!

I was looking for a simple appetizer online and was thrilled when I found this at Carolina Heartstrings, though I adapted the proceedure just a tad to make it easier.

Being the cream cheese freak that I am, I didn't have to consider this recipe twice...I WAS ON IT!!


I first made it about 10 days before our get together, and hubby and I enjoyed a few meals out of this delicious dip, with tortilla chips.  

It was his idea to make it again for our family. But because our boys don't care for the 'zip' the rotel tomatoes add, I substituted salsa instead, and also used half as much cream cheese/the other half, Velveeta.  It was creamy and wonderful.

With only 3 (or 4?) simple ingredients, I love go-together-quickly recipes like this one.


It's simple to put together, very creamy, and can be kept warm in the crockpot.  Or made ahead, refrigerated, then rewarmed in the microwave, and then put in the crockpot.

Whatever works best for you!!

It would be great to have for your New Year's Eve party, or any time of the year.


HOT SAUSAGE DIP

1 lb. pork sausage, mild (use your favorite kind)
2 - 8 ozs. pkgs. cream cheese, room temperature
(or use half Velveeta)
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies, mild or hot
(or use 1 c. salsa if preferred)

Brown the sausage; drain fat. Place cream cheese in microwave safe bowl along with drained tomatoes (or salsa). Heat in microwave on medium power until melted. Stir until blended. 

Combine with sausage and place in crockpot to keep warm. Choose your favorite chips or veggies to serve with the dip.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Easy Turkey Pot Pie

I'm happy to share that my recipe for Hot Cinnamon Milk Mix was featured last week at Foodie Friday.  If you haven't checked out that simple 4-ingredient recipe yet, you don't want to miss this opportunity to do that. I gave many pkgs. away for Christmas gifts and have received raves and requests for the recipe.


Trust you all enjoyed (& survived!!) your Christmas weekend.
Here's a great idea to use up some leftover turkey, or chicken...


Oh how I love pot pie - it's such comfort food for me.

This is an easy and delicious meal that can be made with turkey OR chicken.

I think it's always comforting for me to eat because when I was a kid, my mama would purchase frozen pot pies on sale for 5/$1 and we always loved them.

(It was one of the rare things mom bought from the store pre-made!)  She made everything from scratch otherwise.

I'm not sure they're still making the bottom crust in most store purchased pot pies...it's one of those ways they've 'cut corners',
but I sure do remember enjoying that crust.


This recipe has a 'pour on' top crust that is wonderful.  We rarely add salt to our dishes, but we do use a lot of pepper, so I like peppering the crust before baking. 

You can change up the kind of soup or use your favorite vegetables.
You can even add some shredded cheese if you prefer.

I added leftover 'ultimate' creamed corn from Thanskgiving and it added a creamy touch to this already tasty dish.

Any way you fix it - it'll be tasty for sure.

If your family is larger, just make a double batch and bake it in a
9" X 13" pan.

EASY TURKEY POT PIE

1 (10-3/4 ozs.) can cream of chicken soup
(regular or 98% fat free)
2 Tb. milk
1 (9 ozs) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
(about a heaping cup)
1 c. cooked turkey or chicken, cubed
onion salt to taste
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1 c. all purpose baking mix
(like Bisquick)

Preheat oven to 400. Combine soup, 2 Tb. milk, veggies, turkey and onion salt; pour into greased 9" pie plate.  In small bowl, combine milk, egg and baking mix.  Pour over vegetable mixture and bake for 30 minutes; peppering crust if you'd like. May add any herbs to turkey mixture to spice it up to your liking.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cranberry Cutouts {Simple}

This is going to be my last post until after Christmas...please be sure to read the quick second post I have for today.


Here's a very simple idea I didn't get to share for Thanksgiving, but would be just as great for Christmas.

Cut out both ends of your jellied cranberry sauce can, use a knife to go around the jelled yum and slide it out of the can.

Slice it into about 8 pieces, then cut out with cookie cutters -
WA LA! 


Makes them a little more 'inviting' and is cute.


Use the leftovers in some red jello mixed with apples, celery & nuts.  YUM!

Linked to Foodie Friends Friday

Merry CHRISTmas to One & All!


LUKE 2:11 - FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN THIS DAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID A SAVIOR, WHICH IS CHRIST THE LORD.  

May you and yours enjoy a blessed CHRISTmas!





























M & M Christmas Story

(This is from my archives, but worth sharing again...)

I printed this one year and included it with my Christmas cards....print it and give it to anyone your little heart desires to
share the CHRISTmas story ....



As you hold these candies in your hand and turn them, You will see the M becomes a W, an E, and a 3.

They tell the Christmas Story; It's one I'm sure you'll know. It took place in a stable A long, long time ago.

The E is for the East Where the star shone so bright.

The M is for the manger Where Baby Jesus slept that night.

The 3 is for the Wise men bearing gifts; With haste they came.

W is for worship; Angels sang praise to His name.

So as you eat these candies or share them with a friend, Remember the true spirit of Christmas and never let it end!

 
\o/   \o/   \o/   \o/   \o/


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

White Christmas Mix

This is a MUST-HAVE at our house during the holidays.  And one I often use for gift-giving. 

It's easy enough to change this up to suit any holiday by using the holiday M & M's - pastels for spring, etc.

I have been asked for this recipe more times than I can count!


It isn't sugary sweet...just lightly sweet, and it has cereal and nuts, so it does have some of the 'lighter' options of this season of sweets.

And I love that you can add more cereal and 'extend' the chocolate if you desire.

Sometimes I sprinkle the coated cereal mixture (before it dries) with chopped candy canes, or have drizzled green and/or red candy melts (melted of course) over the top.


WHITE CHRISTMAS MIX

1 lb. white chocolate (or vanilla almond bark)
Melt in double boiler or microwave according to directions

Mix together:

3 cups Rice Chex
3 cups Corn Chex (or combined - 6 cups crispix cereal)
3 cups Cheerios
2 cups mini pretzels
2 cups peanuts
1 lg. bag of M & M's - plain or peanut (optional)
(We love using the holiday mix)

Pour white chocolate over everything and mix well. (I use a curved spatula scraper).  Let stand until dry and place into gift containers or pretty ziploc bags.

{TIP: MAKE ONLY ONE BATCH AT A TIME SO THE CEREAL WON'T GET CRUSHED WHEN MIXING}

Linked to Sweets for a Saturday
             Ingredient Spotlight
            Mix it up Monday - Christmas in July


 



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Candy Cane Snowball Cookies

You'll this simple cookie.

Some call them russian tea cakes, others...mexican wedding cookies...they're all the same delicious little nibbles of YUM!

Do you have some leftover candy canes in the cupboard just waiting to be eaten? 

Well, this is a great way to use them up - and you can spread the cheer by sharing these tasty bites too.

These are a great little cookie.  They were my choice for a recent cookie exchange. Not only were they yummy, but pretty and simple to make also.

You should have all the ingredients on hand and that always makes a recipe an easy option for me.



I was very happy when I found the recipe at Arctic Garden Studio.
(Please pay her a visit...you'll especially want to see the gorgeous photos she has there).


That excited me since my family lived in Anchorage for 8 years while hubby was stationed there in the Air Force. LOOOOOVED it there and have been back a few times to visit. It's a booming growing town.



 
And the winters there are not all the horror stories many 'suppose'. There were many times we'd call back to our families in Ohio and Michigan to discover they had more snow than we did. Yes, it gets very cold, but it's a dry cold and oftentimes, after a snowfall, the snow swirls around your feet when you walk in it, because it's so dry.
So making 'snowball' cookies made me feel very happy, especially when the recipe came from someone in Alaska!


I love the idea of sifting the crushed peppermint candy canes and using the 'dust', mixed with powdered sugar, to sprinkle over the tops of the cookies.

Makes them more festive and inviting.

The original recipe doesn't call for them to be rolled in powdered sugar right from the oven, but because they're not a real sugary cookie to begin with, I prefer them that way, but it is an option.



I know this recipe works great for some because it has no eggs.


(this was my display at the cookie exchange)


CANDY CANE SNOWBALL COOKIES

10 candy canes
1 c. butter, room temperature (not melted)
1 c. powdered sugar, divided,  plus 1/2 c. for dusting
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400. Place candy canes in bowl of food processor and pulse to crush to a coarse texture. Place candy cane crumbles in a fine mesh strainer. Gently tap to remove candy cane powder. Reserve both powder and crumbled candy canes.

Cream together butter, 1/2 c. powdered sugar and vanilla. Sift flour, 1 tsp. candy cane powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture 1 cup at a time. Add 1/4 c. candy cane crumbles and mix well.

Roll 1 TB. into a ball and place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 13 - 14 minutes or just until barely browned. Let set a couple of minutes before rolling warm cookies in remaining 1/2 c. powdered sugar, then set on rack to cool & dry.
(This is a bit messy, but sooo worth it!)

While cookies are baking, make candy cane powdered sugar by adding 1/2 c. powdered sugar to remaining candy cane powder.

While cookies are warm, dust with candy cane powdered sugar.

If you have left over powder, sprinke it on whipped cream or other holiday treats.
 Yield: about 24 cookies

A great little addition to any cookie trays you'll be giving to the neighbors and friends!

Linked to Crazy Sweet Tuesday
                Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party
        Mix it up Monday - Christmas in July
Weekend Potluck
     Totally Tasty Tuesday


Monday, December 19, 2011

Ultimate Creamed Corn {Slow Cooker}

This is one honkin' awesome dish!  We enjoyed it for T'giving and I got lots of raves over it. 

My hubby - who loves everything and anything - even said this was his favorite dish of the day.  WOW!

I am an admitted addict to cream cheese and I can't imagine any way at all, that this dish could be improved on.

It was great to put it on a few hours before we ate, and then just stir a few times before enjoying.

It even keeps warm for an hour on low after it's ready to eat...if you have any left over, that is.

I remember the very first time I tried this recipe.  My reaction was...

OH.MY.WORD!!!

It's easy and makes a fine side dish for any meal.

You just can't go wrong using your slow cooker either, especially when you're fixing a big meal. 

Hope you'll give this one a try over the holidays.  You won't be sorry!!!

If you prefer, you can reduce the amount of cream cheese to 8 ozs. It would still be delicious I'm sure.

Just look at that would you....can you say....
CAAAAA-REEEEAAAM-M-M-M-M-Y!


ULTIMATE CREAMED CORN

2 (16 ozs) bags frozen whole kernel corn
12 ozs. cream cheese, cut into cubes
(I always use 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese)
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
(I used 6 Tb.)
2 tsp. sugar
(I used xylitol)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Spray bottom and sides of 3 - 4 qt. slow cooker with cooking spray.  Spread corn over bottom. Top with cream cheese cubes.  In small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients; pour over corn and cream cheese.  Cover; cook on high for 2 - 3 hours. Stir well before serving.  (I can't resist - I HAVE to stir it after about 1-1/2 hours!) Corn will hold on low heat up to 1 hour; stir occasionally.

(Hint: place cream cheese cubes in the middle of the corn so that it doesn't burn on the sides while cooking).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hot Cinnamon Milk Mix & Gift Giving Ideas and Tags

If you're looking for something quick to give as a gift this Christmas season, read on....

I LOOOOVE giving homemade mixes for Christmas.  I love receiving gifts that express that the giver put some thought and time into personalizing them.

And lest we forget...IT'S FRUGAL!!

It seems we are already eating soooo much from Thanksgiving through the New Year, so I really like giving something the recipient can enjoy in their own timing.

I was tickled to come across this mix via a blog hop...I found it at Craftaholics Anonymous.  You really should go to her site and check out the adorable cloth bow she made to tie around the jars of this fabulous mix too.

It is amazing and intriguing to me to think of how this mix sorta tastes like eggnog...minus the egg. It doesn't even have any rum extract or nutmeg in it??  HHMMMMM....

I was thrilled to be able to make this mix sugar free.  I will be giving it to the older folks in our Sunday School class at church.  (My hubs is the teacher).

I have enjoyed this many evenings, as it has NO caffeine, and I think the warm milk even helps me sleep sounder. 

I went to my Word program and typed up some labels to 'dress up' the gift a little more....


I love love love this site - Organized Christmas. There are soo many options for great gift-giving ideas and recipes too. 

I've made up about 20 simple Snowman Soup packets. 
Below is a printable bag topper with a cute little poem about being good this year. There is a choice of 3 different graphics.

You'll be very pleased if you take time to look at the Printable Gifts & Crafts you'll find at this site.  They have things like You've been Elfed, Christmas Blessing Mix, and Snowman and Reindeer Poop gag gifts...and much more!

OH - did I forget to mention??......IT'S ALL FREE!!!! (Another mix I'm gift-giving is Pumpkin Spice Mochaccino...De-LISH!
click here for that recipe)


Give the cinnamon milk a try...only 4 ingredients and you are ready to enjoy.

HOT CINNAMON MILK MIX

2 c. powdered milk
1 c. powdered french vanilla creamer
(I found sugar free)
1 c. sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2 TB. ground cinnamon

To enjoy the mix, warm 1/2 c. water with 1/2 c. milk.
Place 1/3 c. mix in a mug, add the liquid and stir well.
(May dissolve mix in all water, but the milk adds creaminess that is wonderful)

ENJOY!!!!!!

Linked to

Thursday, December 15, 2011

M & M Oatmeal Cookie Bars

THIS IS SOOO TRUE! 

I am most definitely a cookie Monster!  Grab 'n' Go yummies - no spoon or fork necessary...right up my alley!

This is another easy and quick recipe for some great bar cookies. 

I found the recipe at Mommy's Kitchen. Tina made them for Valentine's Day and used the holiday colored M & M's...you can also substitute Reese's peanut butter pieces instead if you'd like.

Enjoyable ANY way you try it!  

{Be sure to check out Tina's recipe and hints.}

I've made these for a bake sale - the colorful candies always create a strong 'Buy Me!' visual appeal.

They'd be great for the holidays, using those famous red and green candies.

These can't be all bad for you - they have oatmeal in them!


M & M OATMEAL BARS

1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. brown sugar, packed
(light or dark)
2 c. Bisquick Baking Mix
(any biscuit baking mix is fine)
1 egg
1 stick margarine, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. M & M candies

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8" X 8" sq. pan. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except candies.  Mix until well blended.  Stir in candies, reserving a few to put on top.  Pat into prepared pan.  Press a few M & M's on top and bake about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool and cut into bars.

Yepper....Quick & easy....MY kind of cookie!

Linked to Mrs. Fox's Sweet Party
           Totally Tasty Tuesday
        Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Date Balls

Date balls always make me think of my precious mama. 

They are deliciously sweet just like she was too.


The last time I made them, it was for a bake sale.

They are quick & easy to make.  I think they have a 'caramel-y' flavor to them, and I LOVE caramel. 

Love dates too!


The photo above is of the cooked mixture, then the balls being rolled in powdered sugar..


DATE BALLS

1/2 c. margarine or butter
(I use 6 Tb.)
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. dates, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. pecans, finely chopped
2-1/2 c. rice krispies cereal, slightly crushed
flaked coconut or powdered sugar

In a skillet, melt butter; cool a few minutes. Add sugar, then egg, salt and dates. Cook 6 - 8 minutes over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; add vanilla, nuts and rice krispies; stir quickly.  Cool a few minutes; form into balls (I make them a little bigger than the size of a walnut) and roll in coconut or powdered sugar.  Store in refrigerator.  These freeze well.  Can be made ahead a few days also.

Yield: about 2 dozen

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pretty Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

These delicious rolls would make a great start to your Christmas morning!

ANY morning really....


That gorgeous bun just seems to be saying...TA DA! 

Oh wouldn't you like a warm bite right now???

I sure would!

These are amazingly wonderful rolls.  They take a bit of time to make, but trust me, they are just so worth it.

You could make them ahead, freeze them and thaw the night before.  Warm them in the microwave the next day and everyone will LOVE YOU!

I had printed this recipe from Taste of Home, but before making them, saw the recipe again at Cooking with Libby and was inspired to 'make them happen' in my kitchen.  Libby tweaked the recipe a tad - adding pumpkin pie spice, which I love. 

Lands Sakes - these are amazing!  They would be awesome to enjoy for a holiday brunch! 

And oh hooooowww incredible they make the kitchen smell while they're baking!!!!  Cinnamon is one of my all-time fragrances anyway, and this one just put me over the top.

I feel sooo pampered and spoiled enjoying my morning coffee with one of these babies, warmed in the microwave.

FOR.EVER.MORE!!

The recipe calls for a buttercream glaze, but wouldn't a cream cheese one 'take the cake' too???  Or even caramel?

How could they possibly get any better!!!!!

The recipe makes 2 pans full, so feel free to freeze one for later.

You'll be sooo glad you did!


PRETTY PUMPKIN CINNAMON BUNS

2 Tb. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water (110* to 115*)
4 eggs
1 c. shortening
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. warm milk (110* - 115*)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. instant vanilla pudding mix
1/3 c. instant butterscotch pudding mix
(I did use sugar free)
1 tsp. salt
7 - 8 c. all purpose flour
(I used even more)

FILLING:
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

ICING:
3 Tb. water
2 Tb. butter, softened
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add the eggs, shortening, pumpkin, milk, sugars, pudding mixes, salt and 6 c. flour.  Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 - 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.  Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about an hour or longer.

Punch dough down; divide in half.  Roll each portion into 12" X 8" rectangle; brush with butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2" of edges.

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with long side; pinch seams to seal.  Cut each into 12 slices. Place cut side down in two greased 9" X 13" baking pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.

Bake at 350 for 22 - 28 minutes or until golden brown.  In a small bowl, combine water, butter, and spices.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over buns.  Serve warm.

Yield: 2 dozen
(somehow I always get more?)


Linked to Foodie Friday
Totally Tasty Tuesday
Weekend Potluck

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fabulous BEST EVER Caramel Candies


These are the B.E.S.T. caramels I've ever made...or eaten! These have definitely become my new-found Christmas favorite!

I just recently learned how to make them.  And I'm thrilled to say...
AN 80-YR.YOUNG-AT-HEART GAL TAUGHT ME!

Grace Ostoich is new to our church family in this last year, and we've all fallen head over heels in love with her. She moved to our area from Branson, MO.

She is a widow and loves to stay busy making candy to give away.  She comes to church passing out bagsfull nearly every Sunday.  She's even had a request from church folks who moved to another state, for some of her candy because they're hearing so much about it.

Another friend and I put our heads together and planned a "Candy Making Night with Miz Grace" recently so she could teach us her recipes  - we had almost 30 gals attend! She also made mint patties, and there were requests for her coconut balls and peanut butter brittle recipes that we didn't have time for that evening.

Grace is sorta like George Burns's Gracie....soooo funny without trying to be.  She was a 'scream' that night entertaining us, just by being herself.  We just laughed ourselves silly!

I often hear one of our male friends at church call her "Amazing Grace". 

She really is!  And I want to be just like her when I grow up.  She is stylish and wears a lot of jewelry & her hair always looks so nice, but is even more beautiful on the inside. 

(That's cause she's full of Jesus!=)

I hafta tell you...one morning she meandered into our Sunday School class late (my hubby teaches the older folks). I noticed she had a hospital band around her wrist, so after class was over, I asked if she'd been in the hospital. 

She told me she'd had a test...an MRI...early that morning, and wouldn't get the results for a few days, but ATLEAST, she said... she was thankful to find out she's NOT PREGNANT!

What a hoot!  Everyone needs a Grace like her in their lives to brighten their days. 

Anyway - since I learned how to make this wonderful candy, I am tickled to share this recipe with you.


I have NEVER 'gotten along' very well with candy thermometers, so I'm very pleased to say that I have been making this candy doing the 'soft ball' test in cold water.

(I put some COLD water in a little bowl...drop a little of the 'sauce' into it, and when it makes a SOFT ball between my fingers, it's done...
I begin testing it after about 15 minutes of boiling, and try again every few minutes, using fresh water each time, until it's 'right on'.)

Whatever works for you is great. 

I LOVE these melt-in-your-mouth goodies, and know I can 'blame' these caramels for atleast a couple of the lbs. I've gained in the last few weeks!

I've been using my own homemade sweetened condensed milk to make these sweet treats and they're turning out perfectly! If you haven't seen that recipe, click here. It will then lead you to Loy's recipe, where I originally became acquainted with this interesting and amazing recipe, but I want to be sure you read my notes too. 

Anyway...on with the show....hope you find time to make these for the holidays.  Of course, I'm giving many away, but enjoying many (too many!) myself. 

Here ya go...I'm going to type it just like Grace wrote it out for me to type up to give to the ladies at Candy Making Night. 

(And if you don't want to dip them in chocolate, you can just sprinkle some sea salt over the top before they set up. These are AWESOME!)
(Eating them plain works too!)

BEST EVER CARAMELS

*1 c. sugar (white)
*1 c. dark corn syrup
(I use light corn syrup and add 2 tsp. molasses)
*1 c. butter (2 sticks)
1 can (14 ozs) sweet condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla

(Throughout the whole demonstration, she would say..."Just buy what's cheapest Honey"...)

Line 8" pan with no stick foil (Or line pan with foil and spray with cooking spray)

Combine * ingredients; bring to boil over medium heat. Boil 4 minutes w/out stirring. Remove from heat; add milk; stir. Lower heat to medium or low. Cook to soft ball (245* or thereabouts),
stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; add vanilla.  Pour into pan.

Because these are soft caramels, it will take about a day for them to set up enough for you to be able to cut them into squares.

(Trust me when I say...IT'S WORTH THE WAIT!)

Grace doesn't give specific instructions for the chocolate, but
I can tell you she uses a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips melted in a double boiler and adds about 1/3 of a bar of paraffin, shaved.
(Or you can add a TB. of Crisco) A double boiler works well so the chocolate stays warm.

Cut into squares or rectangles, dip in chocolate, setting them on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet to dry. 

I keep mine in the fridge, but remove them before serving or giving away, so they can soften a little.

And by all means, if you prefer not to dip the caramels in chocolate, they are great just by themselves.  Little bites of creamy, dreamy sweetness....MMM! I've made a few batches recently, and one batch I just wrapped in waxed paper.
 

If only I could share Grace with you in person, I can guarantee these wonderful caramels would taste even better with the gift of her presence.  *-*

ENJOY! ENJOY! ENJOY!

Linked to 12 Days of Christmas Goodies
 Sweets for a Saturday
         Ingredient Spotlight - SCMilk
      Totally Talented Tuesday

4littlefergusons

Friday, December 9, 2011

One-Dish Pork Chop Potato Casserole

Thought I'd 'throw' a healthy dish in among all these sweet ones this month...

I was so happy to see this recipe at 4littlefergusons.

See?  That Tonya is always inviting me into her kitchen to share in some of the fantastic dishes she makes.

I LOVE IT!  I LOVE IT!!

I already had pork chops in the freezer, and whipped this dish up for dinner the same day she posted this great combination.

One dish meals are always great - it means fewer dishes and quicker clean up right? 

Can't go wrong going in that direction!

Just heat up some veggies and your meal is ready to scarf.
MMMMMM!


ONE-DISH PORK CHOP POTATO CASSEROLE

8 whole boneless pork chops, seasoned as you like
1 - 2 Tb. oil
1 c. sour cream
1 (10 ozs) can cream of celery soup
1/2 c. milk
32 ozs. frozen hash browns, thawed
salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
1 can french fried onions
1 c. shredded cheese, your choice

Preheat oven to 375. Season both sides of pork chops.  In a large skillet, brown chops on both sides in hot oil. Set aside. (don't want them cooked, just browned). In large bowl, combine sour cream, soup and milk. Stir in hash browns and spices, then half the french fried onions.  Spread hash brown mixture in ungreased 9" X 13" baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Top with seared pork chops, arranging so that none are on top of the other. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Add remaining f.f. onions and bake 5 minutes longer.

(You want thicker pork chops as thin ones will dry out.  Bone in is always a good option too)

Linked to Melt in Your Mouth Monday
GBP Roundup - Favorite Casseroles

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baking Contest with Eggland Eggs

Sharing something fun....
You have one week to enter -

Happy Holidays from Eggland's Best!


Holiday Dessert Recipe Contest

Enter your best dessert recipe in our Holiday Dessert Recipe Eggs-change contest! Whether it’s your blue-ribbon pies or delicious sugar cookies, click here to share your recipe with us for a chance to win exciting prizes!

Entries are being accepted through Thursday December 15, 2011 in the following categories:

 •Cookies
 •Brownies/Bars
 •Cakes
 •Pies
 Each category will have 3 big winners!!! Prizes include:

1st Place Prize:

 3 month supply of Eggland’s Best Eggs
$25 gift card for Bed, Bath & Beyond
 EB eco bag, spatula and plush egg

 2nd Place Prize:

1 month supply of Eggland’s Best eggs
EB eco bag, spatula and plush egg

3rd Place Prize:

1 free dozen Eggland’s Best eggs
 EB eco bag, spatula and plush egg.

 For full rules and entry details, click here.

By entering this contest, you are authorizing Eggland’s Best to use your recipe without restrictions. All entrants must be legal residents of the United States, 18 years of age or older. Prizes will only be sent to residential addresses within the United States (no P.O. Boxes).