Friday, March 30, 2012

Blueberries & Creme Baked Oatmeal {Yogurt Based}

Another! wonderful baked oatmeal recipe!

I THINK I AM THE QUEEN OF BAKED OATMEAL. *-*

It's so good for you...and I love the versatility in these baked oatmeal dishes.

I knew I would HAVE to make this when I saw it at Finding Joy in my Kitchen.

SnoWhite & Frog Prince love to cook together!!

I've tried several of their recipes before with great results.
I have another of their recipes in my drafts that I will share soon -
Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal - single servings!

I love being able to use what I have on hand...quick, 3-minute, or even a 7-grain oat mixture that I find at my local bulk food store.

You can add fruit, flax seed or protein powder. You can use egg substitute.

And I read in the comments at SnoWhite's page, that you can even substitute oat bran for the oatmeal.

It's great to wake up in the morning knowing you'll have this delicious and nutritious breakfast waiting and ready for you!

I also love that you can freeze some of it and heat it up for a quick and healthy breakfast.

It mixes up quickly - by hand!

This is the first one I've tried that has greek yogurt added. YUUUMM!

This is creamy and rich, but low in fat and calories.


BLUEBERRIES & CREME BAKED OATMEAL
*adapted from Joy in my Kitchen*

3 c. oats (quick, old fashioned or mixture of both)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. (heaping full) plain Greek Yogurt
(I will try peach next time)
1/3 c. honey (or brown sugar if desired)
(I used half agave nectar)
1 c. milk (2%, 1%, skim)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray 2-qt. casserole dish or 8" X 8" baking pan.

In large bowl, add dry ingredients - oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl, combine wet ingredients - yogurt, honey, milk, egg and vanilla.

Combine all ingredients, then stir in blueberries until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

Place dish in oven. Cover with cookie sheet (or foil) and bake for 20 minutes; remove cover and bake another 20 minutes or until center of baked oatmeal is set.

Serve warm with more yogurt or milk.





Thursday, March 29, 2012

Orange Dreamsicle Cake




I have a sweet friend who is always trying something new, and leaving a sample on my doorstep when I'm not home.
(Thank you Sandy!)

This was one of the latest sample I got to try and it was WONDERFUL!!!

I always loved dreamsicles as a kid and love my own Dreamsicle Salad - you can view that recipe here {Sugar Free Option}

What an easy and tasty dessert this is! LOVE the color too - perfect for spring & Easter too, don't you think?

You can make 2-9" layers - a bundt cake - or cupcakes!


Give it a try - If you have a hard time finding an orange cake mix, why not try a strawberry one? (with strawberry jello)

It's all yummy-licious!!!  VERY light. The light whipped frosting is a perfect topping for the cake too.

If you want to cut back on calories/sugar, use sugar free pudding and jello...no problem. (Just use less jello as there isn't the same amount as in a 'regular' pkg. of jello - s-f is 'stronger')


ORANGE DREAMSICLE CAKE

1 (20 ozs) box orange (Duncan Hines) cake mix
1 (3 ozs) box instant vanilla pudding (4-serving size)
3 Tbs. orange jello

TOPPING:

1 (8 ozs) pkg. cream cheese
3 Tb. orange jello
1 c. powdered sugar
(I use half splenda, half powdered sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (8 ozs) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

Mix cake according to directions on box, adding pudding and jello. Pour into prepared pans - 2-9" round cake pans, 1 bundt pan - Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes or until done.  Let cool completely.

For topping: Blend cream cheese with jello and powdered sugar; add vanilla then whipped topping. Beat until thoroughly combined. Spread on cake - keep refrigerated.



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gooey Caramel Coconut Brownies {Weight Watchers!}

WHO DOESN'T LOVE A GOOD BROWNIE!?

I sure do!

Especially when it's ooey gooey...and only FOUR Weight Watchers Points (Plus).

I'm thrilled to finally share this recipe with you.  It's been in my 'to try' pile for a while, and I am just beside myself to pass it onto you.

It's simple to make and surprisingly you can have it on your 'diet'!


I found this awesome recipe at Hungry Girl online in one of the 'tips & recipes' I get in my email daily.

It's like the best part of German Chocolate Cake landed on top of an ooey gooey brownie!

OH MY!!!

For the base you mix a cake mix (I used a lowfat brownie mix) with a can of pumpkin and use these simple ingredients for the topping.


I do have to confess - I doubled the topping ingredients, just because I had them on hand..and I like lots of GOOEY!

AND...I cut the pieces bigger than 1/16th of the dessert.

(I wasn't counting points the day I made them=)

I know..I'm sooo bad!

This is still a real treat, even if you ARE counting WW Points!

Here ya go.  This would make a great dessert for Easter. Coconut always makes me think of Easter...does it you too?


GOOEY CARAMEL COCONUT BROWNIES

1 - (18 ozs) box moist-style devil's food cake mix
(or low-fat brownie mix)
1 - (15 ozs) can pumpkin puree
1 sugar-free caramel pudding snack (60 cals. each or less)
1/4 c. light or fat-free caramel dip
(I used caramel syrup cause it's what I had)
2 Tb. finely chopped pecans
2 Tb. shredded sweetened coconut, chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Spray 9" X 13" baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

In large bowl, combine cake mix with pumpkin. Stir until blended.
(I like to rinse the can with a little water and add that too)
(Batter will be thick). Spread into prepared baking pan and smooth out the top (using a spatula sprayed with cooking spray works nicely)

Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 - 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine pudding, caramel dip, pecans and coconut. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until brownies are ready to serve.

Evenly spread pudding mixture over brownies.  Slice & enjoy!

(Because it's just the two of us, I added the topping each time I served these luscious bites of WOW!)

Yield: 16 servings - 4 WW Points Plus each

Linked to Weekend Potluck
                   Fit & Fabulous Friday
           Scrumptious Sunday


Mixitup

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Amish Cheeseburger Soup

For some, soup season may be winding down, but we love soup all year around.

We eat hot meals during other months than winter, right?

Makes sense to me...that's why I'm excited to be sharing..

Another tasty 'nugget' I found at 4 little Fergusons and was SO happy I tried. That Tonya is always 'sucking me in' with the super duper recipes she shares.  Please stop by and pay her a visit.

This is a wonderful, and easy recipe that reminds me of a combination of two other soups that we love at our house.

Cheesey Chicken Chowder
(my recipe has been published in the national publication -
 The American Profile)

and

Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup - WW style
(which happens to be one of most visited posts I have)

Both soups are creamy and delicious and this Amish soup brings out the best in both recipes.

Give it a try - you won't be disappointed.

AMISH CHEESEBURGER SOUP

1 lb. ground beef
8 Tb. butter, divided
(I used Smart Balance)
1-1/2 c. carrots, roughly chopped
1-1/2 c. celery, sliced
1 sm. onion, chopped
fresh parsley, snipped, to taste
basil, to taste
6 c. chicken broth
8 c. peeled and cubed potatoes
1/2 c. flour
salt & pepper, to taste
3 c. milk
(I used 1%)
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
(I used a little less)
16 ozs. container sour cream

In skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef.  Drain; set aside.

In large stockpot over medium heat, melt 2 TB. butter.  Add carrots, celery, onion, parsley and basil and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add chicken broth and potatoes; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender.

While they are cooking, make the roux: In saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add flour, salt and pepper. Whisk until bubbly and smooth, about a minute.  Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until thickened.  Add velveeta and stir until smooth and melted through. Add to broth and veggies.

Turn heat to low and add beef. Stir in sour cream just before serving. 

When reheating, be sure to heat on low so sour cream will not curdle.  (I added our sour cream to each serving).

A marvelous family meal - yields 10 servings.


(NOTE: if you aren't a Velveeta fan, try using cheddar cheese instead) 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Leader Enterprise - March 21, 2012 - Quick Meals

Even if these sunshine-y days are just a tease, no doubt we have been enjoying them. Certainly has been some crazy weather this year. If we wait long enough, spring will come,and stay. Can’t complain that it’s been a hard winter, that much is for sure.

I’d like to share some ways to save time in the kitchen. Think about stocking the freezer with cooked meats, ready to be thawed for a quick meal. It’s a lot more frugal than stopping to pick up fast food at the end of your busy day.


Chicken can be seasoned with salt and pepper or any herbs you prefer, then oven-baked, boiled or roasted in the crockpot all day. Cool, chop then store in the freezer until ready to use. Write the amount and date on Ziploc freezer bags.
I like to purchase ground round or chuck when it’s on sale, but whatever ground beef you choose to purchase, you may brown it in a skillet along with onion and garlic. Drain and rinse under hot water to remove grease. Store in freezer in plastic Ziploc freezer bags. Don’t forget to label.


Cook seasoned beef roasts in the slow cooker for 5-6 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Shred the meat and use for soups or casseroles. Cook enough for two meals;enjoy one for dinner and freeze the rest.


Bacon may be cooked ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Either bake on a large rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil, or chop and cook in a skillet. Drain and cool before storing.


If you purchase cheese by bulk, grate and store in freezer bags, being sure to label the amounts on the bag. It is not recommended that you freeze chunk cheese as it will crumble when thawed.


Here are a few entrees I saw in "Feast in 15 minutes" e-cookbook to help you put together a quick meal once the meat is thawed from the freezer.


Using a Foreman grill makes these quesadillas a snap. Please remember to spray with cooking spray for easier clean up. Use whole wheat or veggie flavored tortillas for added nutrition.


QUICK AND EASY QUESADILLAS
1(8 oz.) pkg.cream cheese, softened
3/4 - 1 c.salsa
3 c. cooked chicken,chopped
1 - 2 c. (Mexican) shredded cheese
1/2 med.onion, chopped, optional
Soft flour tortillas
Black beans,sliced black olives,optional
Sour cream

Mix cream cheese and salsa until blended. Stir in chicken by hand. To prepare quesadillas, spread chicken mixture over half of the tortilla, sprinkling with cheese, onion,beans or olives.Fold tortilla in half; heat until cheese is melted; serve with sour cream and enjoy.
These are quick and easy and can be customized for individual tastes.
PIZZA QUESADILLAS
Flour tortillas
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Pepperoni or cooked sausage
Your choice of veggies, chopped
1 jar pizza sauce, warmed in microwave

Spray griddle with cooking spray; heat. Top tortilla with cheese, meat and veggies of choice. Place another tortilla on top. Brown,then flip to cook the other side. Cut in triangles and serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.
BURGER AND BEAN QUESADILLAS
Flour tortillas
Refried beans
Cooked ground beef
Salsa,favorite kind
Cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
Spray the griddle or skillet with cooking spray. Spread a tortilla with beans,then beef ; top with salsa. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with another tortilla. Heat both sides until brown;cut into triangles and serve with more salsa and sour cream.


NIFTY NACHOS
1 lb. ground beef,cooked
1-15 ozs.can diced tomatoes, drained
1-15 ozs.can diced rotel tomatoes(with green chilies),drained
1-15 ozs.can whole kernel corn,drained
1-15 ozs.can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 packet taco seasoning (or less)
1 bag tortilla chips
1 to 1-1/2 c.cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream,guacamole, optional
Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in saucepan. Heat thoroughly. Spread chips on cookie sheet (lining with foil makes for easier cleanup). Use slotted spoon to cover chips with nacho topping. (You may not use all the chips or topping). Cover with cheese; broil to melt cheese and toast. Easy enough to make two pansfull if you have a lot of mouths to feed. Top with sour cream and guacamole to serve.
I'm very excited to share two fun dessert recipes-single servings even-to go along with this theme of quick fixing. These are kid-friendly also and perfect for a single person or couple.


3-2-1 MICROWAVE CAKE (click on link to go to blog)




Take a box of angel food (1 - step) cake mix, pour it into a ziploc bag, then add a favorite box (19 ozs) cake mix - your favorite flavor. (I used Funfetti). Blend both together -  measure 3 Tb. mix in mug or ramekin,add 2 Tb.water; stir until blended. Microwave for 1 minute. Enjoy a warm snack. Top with whipped cream or powdered sugar glaze, even fruit. Try it, you're sure to like it.
THIN MINT DIET COKE CAKE (click on link to go to blog)




2 heaping Tb. chocolate cake mix,dry
2 Tb. diet coke (or regular - or water)

1 thin mint Girl Scout style cookie(or alternative cookie)

vanilla ice cream,fudge sauce,optional

Grease oven safe mug or ramekin with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix cake mix and coke until smooth and blended. Press thin mint into batter until batter comes up a little over the edges of the cookie. Microwave for 1 minute or bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Top with ice cream and sauce.DON'T BURN YOUR MOUTH! (I have made two at a time and they are just right. Since microwaves are different temps as are ovens, you may want to check it after 50 seconds.)

Visit my blog for more easy and frugal recipes at www.thebetterbaker.blogspot.com

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cake Batter Pudding Cookies

Just have to share this good news....

I went to a Taste of Home Cooking School last night.  I took 3 girlfriends along and we had a great time.  I won one of the door prizes - 5 Ortega Mexican products (Mexican is my favorite cuisine!) and my girlfriend right next to me won a bag of food stuff from Emeril....AND...she won the grand prize too - a $200 grocery card.

See!  I TOLD YOU WE HAD A GREAT TIME!  =)

We both had our pictures taken for the newspaper - exciting stuff!

*****************************

This is another fun recipe I baked to be used for a prison ministry.
I found this to be an interesting recipe and very tasty!


Not to mention pretty! (& Easter-y?)

Happy to have found it at Chef in Training.  I'm intrigued with all ideas she shares for adding cake mix to yummy recipes.

So if you're wondering what to do with the rest of your cake mix, after adding 3/4 c. to this recipe, she'll give you plenty more ideas...like....

No Bake Cake Batter Truffles...Cake Batter Pancakes...Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats...Cake Batter Blondies. Please stop by and check out her wonderful recipes.

Amazing!

You could probably use Funfetti cake mix instead of yellow and already have the sprinkles added?

These were fun to make and attractive too.

Hope you'll give them a try...you'll be glad you did!


CAKE BATTER PUDDING COOKIES

1-1/2 sticks butter (3/4 c.)
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1 (3 ozs) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
(I used coconut cream)
3/4 c. yellow cake mix, dry
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/4 c. flour
(I didn't add quite all of it)
1/2 tsp. salt
colored sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease cookie sheet.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Mix flour, salt and baking soda then add to butter mixture.

Add pudding and (3/4 c.) cake mix; beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until smooth.  Add flour mixture slowly until well blended.

(I stirred in the last cupful by hand - I use a hand mixer).
Mix in sprinkles.  Roll into 1" balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 10 - 12 minutes.

Yield: about 3 dozen

They don't spread a lot so I put about 15 per cookie sheet.

YA'LL ENJOY A FABULOUS WEEKEND!!

Linked to Weekend Potluck
              Sweets for Saturday



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Blog Tag....I'm it!

Blog Tag ... I'm It!

Dear Mary Ann from Handcrafted by Mary Ann tagged me this week, AND....

Shari from Rain into Rainbows tagged me a while back...and 
Marilyn from 4 You with Love tagged me earlier this month too.

Bless their sweet hearts!  I'm honored to be chosen, but haven't kept up 'my end' of the game very well. =(

I am pleased I kept record of the tags, but shamefully admit I just haven't stopped long enough to 'play the game' and pass them on.

Soooo...IT'S CATCH UP TIME!

I truly loved reading everyone's answers.

I'm DEFINITELY a People Person and love knowing details!

Because I've got several lists of questions and answers, I'm just going to mix them up a little so I can get this posted.  I hope that 'works' for all involved.

Here are the latest "Revised Rules" of the game...

1. Post a photo and eleven things about yourself in a blog post.


2. Answer the questions the person who tagged you, asked.


3. Create eleven new questions for the people you tag.


4. Contact them and let them know they have been tagged.


This photo was taken of the Love of my Life and me on our recent 44th anniversary.

Eleven Random Things about Me...

1. I'm 62 years old - the 'magic' number as I began drawing Social Security this year! =)
2. My hair began greying in my late 20's and by the time I was 35, folks thought I frosted it. (I would tell them "God did this for me for free!")
3. I'm a very outgoing, bubbly people person.
4. I had leads in several plays while in grade school and high school.
5. I sing alto.
6. My spiritual gift is encouragement.
7. I had a (benign) brain tumor removed in Sept. 1987, and am totally deaf in one ear and only one eye tears when I cry.
(Now I cry exactly half as much as I use to=)
8. Since I am the only girl born into my family, my Girlfriends are very special to me.
9. I've lived in SC, CA, TX(2X), WA and Alaska(2X).
(Hubby is retired military). AND I LOVED IT!!
10. I am a born again Christian and have a strong faith.
11. I believe the little things in life really are the big things.


Questions I was asked to answer....


1. What are a few of your special joys in life?
Having a sweet husband for 44 years - 3 wonderful adult children and the 8 cutest grandkids on the planet.  ;-}


2. Do you prefer bold or soft colors?
I love bold ones - dark purple is my most favorite,
but I love turquoise, hot pink and lime green too.

 

3. What made you decide to start a blog? My daughter thought I should and she was the wind beneath my wings.


4. Where were you born? Toledo, Ohio



5. What's your favorite food? Mexican and cookies


6. Are you a morning or night person? Definitely a morning person.


7. What is your all time favorite meal?
Beef roast cooked with taters, carrots, onions and cabbage -
gotta have ranch dressing on it all and biscuits on the side! 

8. How did you meet your spouse (or special someone)?
My best friend (high school) was his girlfriend.  When she broke up with him, he would call me often to see if she was talking about him...the rest is history.  =)  My very first date was a double date with my (future) hubby and his girlfriend at the time!

9. How many siblings do you have and what is your birthorder? (are you the oldest, baby, etc? I'm the oldest and only girl with 3 younger brothers


10. How long have you been blogging? Nearly 3 years, but it took a long time to build up any kind of momentum...=)


11. How many blogs do you write? My own and I also co-blog with
2 others at Country Cooks Across America


This is all just for fun so if I tagged you and you'd rather not participate, no problem. (Or if you want to wait weeks, as I did, to 'play', that's fine too.) Also, there are so many lovely blogs out there. If I didn't tag you, and you'd like to get others to know you better, write your answers in the comments along with your blog address so we can find you.

My questions for you to answer:

1. Name a kitchen tool you wouldn't want to live without.

2. Do you have children/grandchildren? If so, how many?

3. Do you consider yourself to be organized?

4. What's your favorite household cleaner?

5. Are you a city gal or a country gal?

6. Have you accomplished something in particular that you're proud of?

7. What's your favorite board game?

8. How long have you been a blogger?

9. What is your favorite dessert recipe?  

10. Do you have a special talent?

11. Have you ever won anything?  If so, what?


Blogs I'm 'tagging' are...



Wit, wok and wisdom
Flour Me with Love
Amee's Savory Dish
Joelle
Kitty's Kozy Kitchen
Making Memories with your Kids...




























Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Simple Mexicorn Dip

Yep...believe it! 

Another recipe from Tonya at 4 Little Fergusons.

I LOVE her recipes and have learned that I can 'trust' them to be wonderfully yummy....as is this simple dip.

The 'original' name for this dip is Mexican Corn Dip...but because it uses Mexicorn, I decided to rename it myself.  (If that's illegal...I'm really sorry Tonya my Friend!=)

How can you possibly go wrong by making a dish this tasty with only three...THREE....ingredients? 

It whips up in just a minute too!

I made this for Super Bowl Sunday...and actually, made it for ME.
I didn't watch the game, but have seen other recipes for corn dip and have thought about making it more times than I can say.

I love corn chips (hubby doesn't) so this was to be mine....

ALLL MINE!

I ate some of this luscious dip by the spoonfuls.

It didn't disappont...give it a try and it'll make you happy too!


Mexicorn Dip

2 (11 ozs each) cans mexicorn
1 (10 ozs) rotel tomatoes and green chilies
(may use half hot and half original)
1 (16 ozs) refrigerated french onion dip
Fritos Corn Scoops

Drain mexicorn and rotel well. In medium bowl, mix all ingredients
(except corn chips) together.  Refrigerate until cold to allow flavors to blend.  Serve with corn chips.

Linked to Weekend Potluck
                   Scrumptious Sunday

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

(A special and fabulous recipe from my archives...a wonderful way to use up any leftover Easter ham=)

I found this fabulous recipe at Mennonite Girls Can Cook.

I have already shared this recipe in the monthly food column I write for locally.

It would be a great recipe to use up your leftover Easter ham, so I thought I'd share it with you now so you have time to plan ahead.  *-*



I think chicken/ham/cheese are a hard combination to beat. And the crunchy topping on this dish makes it taste very similar to the real thing...the more
time consuming way to make it.

(I made half the recipe and it worked very well)

I served it with Crockpot Sweet Potatoes and my taste buds thought that was a marriage made in heaven too.  Just like the casserole... 

I'm sure I'll be making this again after Easter!! And I can hardly wait!


CHICKEN CORDON BLEU CASSEROLE

4 cups chicken, cooked and cut into chunks
2 cups ham, cooked and cut into chunks
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
2-1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (I used a little more)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Layer chicken, ham and cheese in a greased 9" X 13" pan. Saute onions in butter.  Stir in flour and blend in milk; add dry mustard and seasonings. Cook and stir until thickened.  Pour over ham and sprinkle with topping.

CRUNCHY TOPPING

2-1/2 c. coarse bread crumbs (I replaced 1 cup crumbs with panko crumbs)
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c. melted butter

Mix together until combined before sprinkling over ham mixture. Bake 30 minutes uncovered 
 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

And...the link (at the bottom of this post) will take you to a page where my newest blogging friend, Lark, of Lark's Country Heart has posted a similar recipe for a community "Recipe of the Week" online. 

Her recipe uses raw chicken and a soup based sauce.

She recommends making and freezing it ahead too.  I love that option anytime! 

Check it out at Lark's Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole - MMMMM Good!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Church Window Candy

Here's a fun and kid-friendly recipe I thought would be great for Easter.  (Though I did make it for Christmas and saved the recipe for now=).

This was one of my mama's favorite recipes and my kids always think of her when I make it.

It's also in my cookbook.  (Page 141=)

It's just sooo colorful isn't it??

YUUUMMMMMM-YYYYYYY too!

I like that it can be made days ahead and refrigerated until ready to slice and serve.

Only 5 simple ingredients! And only a few minutes to put together too!

Have fun with it and enjoy every marshmallow-y bite!!


CHURCH WINDOW CANDY

1/3 c. margarine
1 - (12 ozs) pkg. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 - (16 ozs) bag colored mini marshmallows
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. shredded coconut

Melt margarine and chocolate chips together. (I do it on medium power in the microwave, being careful to stir often).  Cool slightly. Stir in marshmallows and nuts.  On two long pieces of waxed paper, sprinkle coconut in a line on each. Drop mixture into a roll on top of the coconut; sprinkle with more coconut on top before wrapping up tightly in the waxed paper; refrigerate. 

When chilled, remove paper and slice into pretty slices.

            Crazy Sweet Tuesday
       Mop it up Monday


Mixitup

Monday, March 19, 2012

Leader Enterprise - March 7, 2012 - Crockpot Cooking

I recently came across some wonderful recipes at www.eatathome.com using a crockpot and I just had to share them with you. I am also amazed by another blog-www.365daysofcrockpot.com. She has prepared a crockpot dish every day of the year! There is no difference between a crockpot and a slow cooker. Unless you are talking with the manufacturers, who prefer to call their own product one name or the other, they work on the same principle. Slow cookers may have a range of number settings instead of simply 'low' or 'high'. They are so handy to use during the summertime when you don't want to heat up your kitchen, but they're also great to use any time you are busy and want to have dinner ready when you get home from work or running errands. Who could argue that idea?

Crock pots are a good way to cook food without having to devote constant attention to a cooking appliance. People use crock pots to cook meals as pot roasts, chicken dishes, stews AND desserts! When your busy day allows you more time for preparation in the morning than in the afternoon, that's a good time to throw together a crockpot meal to enjoy later in the day with no fuss.
These recipes are made in using a 5-6-qt. crockpot. If using a smaller size, then I suggest cutting back on ingredient amounts & cooking times. As oven temperatures vary, so do crockpot temps,so be sure to check before alloted time is up.
Comfort food at its best!

SUNDAY CHICKEN DINNER
2-3 lbs. chicken (boneless or bone-in)

2 c. potatoes, chunked

4-5 carrots, chopped

1 onion, sliced

2 c. (1 can) chicken broth

1/2 c. water

1 (10-3/4 ozs) can cream of chicken soup

salt and pepper

Place chicken in bottom of the crockpot. Place the veggies on top.Stir the broth, water and soup together with salt and pepper. Pour over the veggies and chicken. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8. If you want to make gravy before serving,remove chicken and veggies. Turn the heat to high. In small bowl mix 2-3 Tb.flour with a little water and stir to make a thick paste. Slowly whisk flour mixture into broth. Cook several more minutes until thick. Serve with cornbread or biscuits and enjoy a delicious meal.

This is a yummy dish your family will think is 'take out' food. Add a box of fortune cookies and make it a fun meal.

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN
2 lbs. chicken(may still be frozen), cut into large chunks

small onion, sliced

red and green pepper, sliced,optional

1-20 ozs. can pineapple chunks

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

2 Tb. cornstarch

1/4 c. cider vinegar

1/4 c. water

1 Tb. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. salt
Place chicken, onion and peppers in crockpot. Drain pineapple. Set aside for later. Mix pineapple juice with remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or high for about 4-5. Just before serving,add pineapple chunks; heat. Serve over rice.
CROCKPOT ALL DAY BEEF STEW

2 lb. stew beef
3 c. chopped potatoes
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 c. tomato juice
1 Tb. sugar
1/4 c. instant tapioca
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low 8-10 hours. If you want it to be ready sooner, use frozen stew veggies instead of fresh. Feel free to adapt it to your family's taste by adding mushrooms or tomatoes or maybe frozen green beans.
This is an OH-MY kind of dessert! It can be cooked in a smaller sized crockpot.
CROCKPOT APPLE CRISP

1 c. (dark)brown sugar

1 c. quick oats

1/2 c. flour

1/4 c. butter

3-4 c. peeled and sliced apples

1/4 c. dried cranberries

1/4 c. chopped pecans

3/4 c. water

1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Stir first 3 ingredients together. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork to make soft crumbs. In separate bowl, combine apples,  cranberries and pecans.Stir in half the crumbs, mixing to coat all the apples. Pour into greased crock. Stir water, sugar and cinnamon together. Pour over apples. Top with remaining crumbs. Before placing lid on crock, cover top with a couple of paper towels. (This will collect the moisture from the lid so you don't have a soggy dessert top.)  Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Simple pantry staples come together to make this delicious dessert.

PEACH CRISP

1 c. brown sugar
1 c. quick oats
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c.butter, softened
2 (20 ozs.each) cans peaches, drained well
Grease inside of crock with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with pastry blender until crumbly. Place the drained peaches in crock and stir 1/2 the crumbs into the fruit. Top with remaining crumbs. Cook on low 3-4 hours.
This is a favorite that I included in my cookbook. May use reduced sugar ingredients if desired.

CROCKPOT CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE

1 (18 ozs) box chocolate cake mix

1 (3 ozs) box instant chocolate pudding

2 c. sour cream

4 eggs

1 c. water

3/4 c. canola oil (or part applesauce)

1/2 c. toffee bits, optional

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

whipped cream or vanilla ice cream


In large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in toffee and chocolate chips. Pour into 5-qt.crockpot that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover(lay paper towels over top first) and cook on low for 4-5 hours.Center will be soft. Yield: 8 servings
This dish would make a great addition for any big family dinner.

 CROCKPOT SWEET POTATOES AND APPLES

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked

4 small apples, peeled and quartered

1/4 c.apple juice, plus 1-2 Tb.

2 Tb. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

dash nutmeg

1 tsp. cornstarch

Place sweet potatoes and apples in the slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray. Stir the 1/4 c. apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Pour over the apples and sweet potatoes, stirring to coat. Cook on high for about 3 hours. Stir 1-2 Tbs. apple juice with 1 tsp. cornstarch. Stir into the sweet potatoes and apples in the slow cooker. Let cook for a couple more minutes; then serve.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Andes Creme de Menthe Chunk Cookies

Top O'the Mornin' to ya! 

Enjoy a happy St. Patty's weekend!

I recently became involved in baking lots of cookies that were being used in a prison ministry, so I will have MANY cookie recipes to share in the weeks ahead.

This is a deliciously wonderful cookie that tastes like 'MORE'...=)

Being the cookie monster that I am...I loved baking several recipes I've been wanting to try.  MMMM!
I had a bag of the Andes mint chunks in the freezer, so it was just a 'given' that I bake these up. The recipe is on the back of the bag.

They were wonderful!

Here's a link to another post I had last year that is a chocolate cookie with chopped Andes mints in them...and I chopped my own. 
Mint Chocolate Cookies


I present to you this Andes Chunk Cookies...


ANDES CREME DE MENTHE CHUNK COOKIES

1/2 c. salted butter, softened
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 pkg. (10 ozs) Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips
2-2/3 c. all purpose flour

Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until smooth and well blended. Stir in Andes baking chips and then flour.  Chill approximately for one hour. Measure out approximately 1 ozs. of dough (I made mine the size of large walnuts). Form ball and slightly flatten.  Raise oven rack one level above middle and bake on non-stick (or greased) baking pans at 350 for about 8 - 10 minutes. Cool on pans for 2 minutes before removing.

Yield: 3 - 4 dozen cookies

They don't spread out a lot so I was able to put 15 on a medium cookie sheet.

Linked to Weekend Potluck