Friday, May 31, 2013

Ultimate Creamed Corn (Crockpot) & Weekend Potluck #69

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 
We're always happy to have you stop by and share at our virtual table! 
AND...

This corn dish is an 'ultimate' favorite! Use fresh (partially cooked) or frozen corn
for an amazing and creamy side dish. 



Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Chicken Parmesan Casserole by Makin' It Mo' Betta

Recipes that caught our attention ~

BBQ Chicken Pizza
BBQ Chicken Pizza by The Unsophisticated Kitchen
3-Layer Chocolate Decadence
3-Layer Chocolate Decadence by Heaven Scent Creations

And, a personal favorite ~

Strawberry and Caramelised Onion Salad
Strawberry & Caramelized Onion Salad by Recipes from a Pantry 

Weekend Potluck Featured


Your hostesses ~
Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines: If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!
Weekend Potluck Linky


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Skinny Mozzarella Stix

OH YUM!!!  

These tasty bites were just perfect and I can't wait to make them again soon. 

As I have often told you....I LOVE Nancy's recipes at Skinny Kitchen. She has such a knack for making you think you're not eating a 'healthier choice'...and these cheese stix were no exception. 

Nancy shares shopping tips, nutritional values and even Weight Watchers points.
When you stop over there, please tell her I sent you. 

You can choose to use 'regular' or light string cheese.  I do love the WW smoked string cheese. So flavorful. 

Just 2 pieces (the string cheese is cut in half for this recipe) = only TWO
Weight Watchers points. 

There are no 'fancy' ingredients in this dish either...just things like panko crumbs, flour and garlic powder. And of course, they're baked not fried.

Here's my photo...head on over to Nancy's...for the full recipe click here 

You're welcome!  =D 


SKINNY MOZZARELLA STIX 



Linked to GBP Roundup - Lightened Up

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

3 Magnificent Muffin Recipes {Blast from the Past}

A lovely and perfect pumpkin muffin with a nutella 'frosting' baked right in.
YOU.WANT.SOME! 

Self-Frosting Pumpkin Nutella Muffins




These moist muffins truly are loaded....
with carrots, applesauce, pineapple, flax seed and more...
Healthy & Scrumptious!

Loaded Morning Glory Muffins




Only four simple ingredients - so moist, lowfat and tasty!
You won't be able to stop at one...or maybe not even at two! 
A *Healthier Choice* 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Muffins


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Glazed Coconut Bread (Lighter Choices)

I LOVE quick breads and was very excited when I came across this one at 
Caramel Potatoes.  It's a fairly new blog to me and I am anxious to try a number of their recipes.  Caramel Potatoes are this mother/daughter team's 'signature dish'....be sure to check out their blog. 

I made a few simple revisions to this lovely recipe.  It was a real hit! I love making quick breads for gift giving or for showers or potlucks.  It's a great dish any time of the year! And I ALWAYS love a glaze that soaks into the bread and keeps it moist.  



GLAZED COCONUT BREAD 



4 eggs

(could use 3 eggs + 2 egg whites)
2 c. sugar
(I used 1 c. xylitol &  2/3 c. sugar)
1 c. oil
(I used 1/2 c. oil & 1/2 c. applesauce)
2  tsp. coconut extract
2 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. flaked coconut
1 c. buttermilk**(see note below)

Coconut Glaze
1 c. sugar
(I used 3/4 c. xylitol)
1/2 c. water
(I used 1/3 c.)
2 Tb.  butter
1 tsp. coconut extract

Preheat oven to 325*.  Grease 2 large loaf pans.
In large mixing bowl beat eggs until fluffy.  Add the sugar, oil, applesauce and coconut extract and beat 3 more minutes.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder,  and salt and add to mixing bowl.  Mix until combined.  Add coconut and buttermilk.  Pour batter into loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes. (Be sure to check after 40 minutes). (If using Splenda, check at 30 minutes)
Remove pans from oven and set on wire rack.
Just a few minutes before the breads are finished baking, begin making the glaze by combining sugar, water and butter in small saucepan.  Allow mixture to boil for 1 minute and then add in coconut extract.  Slowly pour the glaze over the hot bread (while it's still in the pan).  The glaze will soak into the bread and down the sides of the pan. 
When cool enough to handle, remove the bread from the pan and allow to finish cooling on the wire rack.  Slice & serve or place in airtight container until ready to serve. 


** TIP: You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 Tb. vinegar to a

1 cup measuring cup; fill with milk; let stand 5 minutes before adding. 


Linked to Weekend Potluck

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cheesey Chicken Bacon Rollups

Oh what a fabulous recipe.  My 2nd favorite ingredient - cream cheese - wrapped up in my first favorite ingredient - crescent roll dough!

These make great appetizers or entrees.   

Choose your cheese mixture of choice. Use reduced fat crescent rolls if desired. 

There are many 'versions' of this recipe on the net and I combined my favorite flavors to make these awesome bites. 




CHEESEY CHICKEN BACON ROLLUPS 

1 - 13 ozs. can chicken breast, drained
(or 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded)
6 ozs. cream cheese, softened
(or use 3 ozs. lite cream cheese plus 3 wedges Laughing Cow 
vegetable cheese)
1 c. (reduced-fat) cheddar-jack cheese, shredded
1/4 c. diced onion, lightly sauteed, optional
3 - 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 - 1 ozs. pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
(more or less to taste)
1 pkg. seamless sheet of crescent roll dough
(or 1 - 8 count (reduced fat) crescent rolls)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet. 

In large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, bacon and ranch dressing. Stir in chicken and blend until well combined. 

Unroll crescent rolls into one large sheet, pressing seams together to seal. 
Spread chicken mixture evenly over the rolls. Begin rolling up from the long side, rolling tightly and being sure to seal edges along the end. 

Cut into 12 slices. (Begin by cutting roll in half, then into quarters, then each piece into 3 slices).  Place each piece on baking sheet, cut side down.

Bake 22 - 25 minutes or until golden brown on edges. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck
Gooseberry Patch: Happy New Year


Sunday, May 26, 2013

BE SURE TO THANK A VET!

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!! 

This is one of my most favorite holidays!


My dear husband (MSgt. Ronald E. Baker, Retired Air Force) served 20 years in the military.  We are still very stirred when someone takes time to shake his hand and thank him for his service.  Every now and then, someone will salute him, and it always brings me to tears. He has spoken at many patriotic services in our area, and tomorrow he will be sharing at our local Memorial Day ceremony in the cemetery outside of our little town.  

I.AM.SOOOO.PROUD.OF.THIS.MAN!! 

My handsome Marine served 4 years in the USMC - 3 tours in Vietnam...
2 years, 2 months and 22 days...when he came home (& married me!) then he went to Parris Island, SC to become a Drill Instructor. (He is  presently 100% disabled because of exposure to Agent Orange).  His strong Marine spirit keeps him going. 


OORAH!! 


He then served 16 years in the Air Force and did an outstanding job of running the base correctional custody facility at Fairchild AFB, WA.  Here he is holding drill competition and speech competition awards (2 of the 4 that were given to his class of 39 members) at the NCO Academy when we were stationed at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. 


Ron has been 100% disabled (service connected) for over 10 years now - exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. 

He would serve his country proudly all over again if he had the choice.
I SO admire that about him. 


This next photo was one that was published in our local newspaper after I had a tea party with 2 of our granddaughters and some of their friends a few years ago.

As a 'team' they 'built' a flag on our fence by pushing dixie cups through...our neighborhood enjoyed it for the whole summer. 

fence flag 0709

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE SERVED! 
BE SURE TO THANK A VET!! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Lightened" Strawberry Pizza & Weekend Potluck #68

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK
And a Happy Memorial Day to you too! 


AND....


Where I share something worth sharing again...

This awesome pizza pie has an option for a 'lighter' filling and sugar-free glaze on top of a nutty crunchy crust.  
Add some blueberries and you're ready to celebrate the upcoming patriotic holiday....this is what I'm making!! 



An awesome idea to do what we can to help our dear needy Oklahoma Friends...




Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Classic Jello SaladClassic Jello Salad by Yesterfood

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Rhubarb Steusel Shortbread BarsRhubarb Steusel Shortbread Bars by Grandma Loy’s Kitchen

And, a personal favorite ~



Skinnylightful Chicken Fried Rice by Skinny Kitchen 

Weekend Potluck Featured

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

Weekend Potluck Linky




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Oat-Bran Raisin Muffins (& Honey Cinnamon Butter)

Since I'm working to finish up my second cookbook (hoping to have in my hand by Sept. 1), I've been scouring older recipes. 

I found this one in an old file box and remember I liked it well, way back when, but somehow some recipes get 'shoved aside' so I can satisfy my drive to try something new. *-*

So I took this old recipe and dressed it up and added some healthier ingredients and I think it turned out great.  

Soaking the oatmeal in the sour milk overnight gives it a smoother texture than just adding the oatmeal right before baking. AND....you can also mix the dry ingredients the night before, then just put things together quicker in the morning.

Hope you'll give this a try soon.  Also, try using dates instead of raisins.  MM good!

Next time I will definitely be adding chopped pecans too. 



OAT-BRAN RAISIN MUFFINS

2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal
1-1/2 c. sour milk **(see note below)
2 lg. eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar 
(or sugar substitute, like xylitol)
2 Tb. coconut oil
1/4 c. oat bran
3/4 c. white whole wheat flour 
(or all purpose)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 - 3/4 c. raisins or chopped dates
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. chopped pecans, optional
cinnamon/sugar mixture, optional

Soak oatmeal in sour milk overnight. (I did this in my 4 cup measuring cup, and added the remaining ingredients in the same cup). 

In the morning:
Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 14 muffin cups. 

Stir in all the remaining ingredients - by hand - (except for cinnamon/sugar mixture).   Spray 14 muffin cups and fill about 3/4 full with mixture. (Dough doesn't rise much while baking, so they can be pretty full).  Sprinkle tops with cinnamon/sugar if desired. Bake 20 - 25 minutes. 

Remove from pan onto cooling rack. 

Enjoy with butter or Honey Cinnamon Butter


HONEY CINNAMON BUTTER

1 stick butter, room temperature
1/4 c. honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 c. powdered sugar, optional
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together in bowl until smooth. Store in refrigerator.

**To make sour milk: Add 1 Tb. + 1 tsp. vinegar to 2 cup measuring cup. 
Add milk to equal 1-1/2 c. Let stand 5 minutes to sour. Then use as directed. 











Wednesday, May 22, 2013

3 Bammin' Recipes using Bacon {Blast from the Past}

Soo.....if you need bacon for a group or even to cook ahead and freeze, this is the recipe you want.  No more splatters all over the top of the stove!





These are simple to make and oh so fun to surprise anyone with! 
Great for birthdays or anniversaries...especially for guys. 







Such a YUMMY way to dress up brussel sprouts! 









Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cheesey Ham & Quinoa Bites


I'll admit it...this was my first cooking 'experience' with quinoa. And we really liked it! These are great little bites to enjoy for breakfast...starting your day on a healthy note.  (Or ending it as an evening snack). 

Here is a list of some of the health benefits of this new 'Super Grain' I found when I googled the info..


 High quality protein with the nine essential amino acids, the protein balance is similar to milk. At 16.2 to 20 percent protein, it has is more protein than rice (7.5 percent), millet (9.9 percent) or wheat (14 percent).
 Great source of riboflavin. Riboflavin has been shown to help reduce the frequency of attacks in migraine sufferers by improving the energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells.
 Not fattening! Only 172 calories per 1/4 cup dry (24 of the calories from protein and only 12 from sugars, the rest are complex carbohydrates, fiber and healthy fats).
Gluten-free. Since it is not not related to wheat, or even a grain, it is gluten-free.
Smart Carb: It is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-health-benefits-of-quinoa.html#ixzz2TgjrnWJQ

This was a great breakfast (Healthy to boot!) to make and then reheat in the mornings. 

Another one of sweet friend Tonya's recipes at 4 little Fergusons



CHEESEY HAM & QUINOA BITES 

2 c. cooked quinoa
2 lg. eggs
1 c. shredded carrot or zucchini
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb. fresh cilantro or parsley, snipped
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 Tb. flour (I prefer white whole wheat)
generous amounts salt and pepper
1/2 c. finely diced ham
1/2 c. grated cheddar (or mozzarella) cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix together everything, using only 1/4 c. grated cheese to the mixture.  Divide between mini muffin tins, filling to the top. (about 1 heaping Tb. each), pressing firmly to fill. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tops. (As you can tell from the photo, I only 'cheesed up' half of them.) Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve warm with salsa or ranch dressing. A great healthy way to begin the day. We really liked dipping them in Peppercorn Ranch. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck
        GBP Roundup - Breakfasts




Monday, May 20, 2013

It's so fun to be a winner!

I was recently blessed to win a giveaway at Cooking with Libby from
Tate's Bake Shop!

WOOOHOOO!! The best of the best! 

The gift basket came in a cooled packaged box and it included....

 A lemon pound cake loaf, yummy crumb cake, shortbread cookies, a box of Tate's famous chocolate chip cookies and a beautiful "Baking for Friends" cookbook!  


Thanks soooo very much Libby! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Extreme Brownies Supreme (with Lighter Options)

I first tasted these awesome 'dolled up' brownies at a friend's baby shower. 

A layer of cream cheese/powdered sugar, then instant pudding and whipped topping, topped with candy bars over a brownie base.  

WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE???

I've always used a low fat brownie mix, light cream cheese, sugar free pudding and lite whipped topping. The sugar free peanut butter cups are great too. 

This recipe is in my cookbook.  The comments I added were...
"This recipe is sure to bring OOOOOHHH's and AAAHHH's". 

A great dessert anytime, especially if you want folks begging for your recipe. 




EXTREME BROWNIES SUPREME 

1 (18 ozs) box (lowfat) brownies - 9" X 13" size
1 (8 ozs) pkg. (lite) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 (3 ozs) box (sugar free) instant chocolate pudding mix 
1 c. (1%) milk
1 c. frozen (light) whipped topping, thawed
2 Snickers candy bars, chopped 
(or sugar free peanut butter cups)
chopped peanuts, optional 

Mix and bake brownies according to directions on box.  Cool completely.  In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Spread over brownies.  Combine pudding mix with milk; stir in whipped topping and spread over cream cheese mixture.  Sprinkle candy bars and nuts over top and refrigerate until ready to serve.  May drizzle caramel ice cream topping over top when serving. 

Yield: 12 - 15 servings

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Leader Enterprise - May 15, 2013 - Mother's Day and an Anniversary Celebration




We have certainly welcomed this improved May weather with open arms, haven't we? The sunshine has been glorious. May your flowers and gardens bloom and grow bountifully.

To commemorate my 4th anniversary writing this column for the Leader, I thought I would share a little bit of what I wrote in my first column, published May 20, 2009. And just in case you have missed the story of why I call myself the "Better" Baker-read on.

But first of all, I want to thank all of you for your support and encouragement over the last 4 years. It is always a joy to see you somewhere in public, and hear that you've tried one of my recipes or that you are a faithful reader. I was very excited recently to meet a self-proclaimed "Biggest Fan of All" of my column. Hello Darlene! You are all my inspiration and I do appreciate your support more than words can express. 

"We've decided to name this column as such, because whenever folks have told me that I'm a good cook, I love to reply with "But I'm a better Baker" and I love opportunities to live up to my name. (I love teasing my husband that I had to humble myself to get married. I went from being a "King" to a "Baker".)

Since this is Mother's Day month, I want to share a few things about my own dear mother, Marie King, from Kunkle. I recently saw a friend of hers, whom I hadn't seen for nearly 40 years. When she realized who I was, she proclaimed to me "I ADORED your mother!" I hear that often and couldn't be more pleased when anyone tells me I'm like my mom.

Without reservation, her grandchildren have declared her to be a saint. And probably just about anyone else who ever knew her would agree. My mom passed away when she was only 64 years old. I have kept a jar of macaroni that I recovered from her kitchen cupboard soon after she died to remind me of the brevity of life.

Oftentimes, I love to share a quote by author Barbara Johnson. "If being a mother was going to be an easy job, it wouldn't begin with something called labor". Isn't that the truth?

So Happy Belated Mother's Day to all you Moms!
"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his."—Oscar Wilde
I decided to share two recipes from my mom's recipe box. This was her favorite cake. I love the simplicity of mixing it by hand in one bowl. It's delicious and moist.
GRANNY CAKE
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 (20ozs) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9" X 13"baking dish. Mix sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and eggs together. Add pineapple and blend well.  Pour into prepared pan. Combine brown sugar and nuts; sprinkle over top before baking. Bake about 30-40 minutes.

TOPPING:
1/4 c. sugar
1 stick margarine (1/2 c.)
1 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk; bring to a boil, then add vanilla. Pour over hot cake and let stand. Serve warm or cold.

I remember very well enjoying this special jello treat as a kid. It was one of the dishes I made to impress folks when I first got married. It makes a big batch too. Recipe can easily be halved for smaller families.

JELLO DESSERT
16 large marshmallows
1 c. milk
1 (6 ozs) box dry red jello
1 (8 ozs) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (20 ozs) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 pt. whipping cream, whipped
(or use 8 ozs.Cool Whip)
1/2 c. mayonnaise
Place marshmallows and milk in double boiler (or microwave) and melt. In large bowl, pour mixture over dry jello and stir until blended. Beat in cream cheese until smooth. Add pineapple; cool. Add whipping cream and mayonnaise. Let stand until firm.
I don't believe it's ever too early to think about Memorial Day. I appreciate this quote from Ronald Reagan: 'If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth". My husband, Ron, will be speaking for the Pioneer Memorial Day ceremony at Floral Grove cemetery. Please support those who have, or who are currently serving, and remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

Friday, May 17, 2013

White Trash Dip & Weekend Potluck #67

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 

AND...

Where I share something worth sharing...again..


Combine cream cheese, chili, bacon, cheese and onions - heat it up - gotta love it!! Everyone else will too. 



Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was from our very own, Kim from Sunflower Supper Club! ~


Meat Lovers Pizza Dip by Sunflower Supper Club

We all must be in the mood for some dips, because here are the recipes that caught our attention this week ~

Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Dip
Hot Chocolate Cheesecake Dip by Will Cook For Smiles
Coconut Cream Pie Dip
Coconut Cream Pie Dip by South Your Mouth

And, a personal favorite ~

Black Raspberry Swirl White Chocolate Cheesecake by Turnips 2 Tangerines

If you were featured today, please don't forget to snag the Featured button below..

Weekend Potluck Featured

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!


Weekend Potluck Linky