Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Wafer Cookies


I used bread flour in this helps keep cookies fresher/softer longer. 

I'd had a week of not-so-great recipe turnouts, so I was EXTRA! happy when these turned out to be delish.

They taste much like a store-purchased vanilla wafer, but these are just a bit softer.   A little crunchy on the outside..chewy center.  

And they really spread out. So be sure you place them about 2" apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. 

Very easy recipe...I enjoyed them right away topped with some nutella (one of my daughter's favorite ways to enjoy nutella)...yes, I had to take a photo and send it to her phone right away...she said she drooled all over the phone.

My plan worked perfectly!!! ;-} 

I always recommend using REAL vanilla extract, especially for recipes like this one. And don't be afraid to add the whole need it.


1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 Tb. vanilla extract
1- 1/3 c. all-purpose (or bread) flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350*. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
Roll into balls, using a heaping teaspoon per cookie. Place the balls 2" apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes or just until the edges are golden brown**(see tip below). Remove to wire racks to cool. 
Yield: about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

TIP:  I found they were still pretty soft when I removed them from the oven after about 12 minutes, but they get harder as they cool, so be careful not to overbake. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

You might also enjoy this recipe for
Mrs. Field's Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookies 

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Leader Enterprise - August 13, 2014 - School Studies & Lunch Ideas

With school starting and homework piling up, the structure and routine of the school year quickly replaces those relaxed summer days we've all enjoyed. I believe the school year can go smoother with a planned study space for students. Less stress..more success.

Any area where your child studies needs to be free of distractions: toys, phones, clutter, etc. It has always bothered me to see or know of a child who studies with their books in their lap. Everyone needs a cleared flat surface to lay books and to be able to write. A bulletin board nearby gives them a place for a calendar, school papers and lists. Have a sturdy place for the student to sit giving good support and with feet touching the floor.

Whether or not your child takes their own lunch every day or just occasionally, try not to fall into the'brown bag rut'. It's great to have more control over what your child is eating. Taking a lunch to school has taken plain ole peanut butter sandwiches to a whole new level. Now there are wraps, pitas and tortillas available to send. Be sure they are ''100% whole grain" and the first ingredient listed is 'whole grain'. For variety, cut sandwiches into 4 squares or 3 strips. Try new foods in lunches - whether for school or work. Watch for what's in season and vary between fruits and veggies.
There's a real variety of  'cool' ice packs to keep lunches cold. You can use hard ice packs (wrap in a paper towel to collect moisture )or the soft gel kind. If you include a juice box in the lunch, freeze it first and as it thaws it will keep the foodstuff chilled, and should be ready to drink by lunchtime. Gotta love those kinds of practical ideas huh?

You can pack healthier options, and most kids won't even know the difference. Replace chips with pretzels or goldfish. Place them in ziploc snack bags-a great way to have perfect single-serving sizes. Mix assorted snacks like dried cherries or apples, raisins, yogurt raisins, banana chips, goldfish, cheerios and raisins to make your own 'trail mix'. If your kids want chips, try a healthier baked version. Multigrain Pringles are great.

Purchase items like teddy grahams, granola or animal crackers to satisfy their sweet tooth. Instead of purchasing pre-sliced apples at the store, make your own! Toss apple slices in a mixture of lemon-lime soda for about 10 minutes, then drain. Store in snack size ziploc bags and be sure to squeeze all the air out. This will prevent the apple slices from browning.

No matter what the kids are taking in their lunch, a note from mom or dad can always brighten their day, so parents: don't forget to add a little love note to your child's lunch or backpack. Knowing you are thinking of them while they're gone helps boost their self-worth and aids them in their school progress in ways you may never know.

This is a healthy snack your family is sure to enjoy.

1 c. honey
1-1/4 c. natural creamy peanut butter 
1-1/2 c. dry powdered milk
3 c. quick or old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1-2 Tb. wheat germ, optional
1-2 Tb. flax seed, optional
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips, optional

Mix all the ingredients together with a electric mixer. Form into balls with hands and freeze on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper until firm. Remove from freezer and store in a large zip lock bag in the refrigerator. Yield: 
about 30 peanut butter balls.

2-1/2 c. quick or old fashioned oats
1/2 c. crisp rice cereal
2 Tb. flax seed, optional

1 Tb. wheat germ,optional

1/2 c. semi-sweet, white chocolate or butterscotch chips

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. coconut oil, melted (or butter)

1/3 c. honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 350. Spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips; stir with spoon until well blended. If mixture seems too dry, add more honey or coconut oil. Add a little at a time until mixture sticks together (but will not be like cookie dough). Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small cookie scoop, place granola mixture in mounds; press mixture firmly with your fingers or back of a spoon. Bake 12 - 13 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from pan with knife and enjoy. Store in airtight container or place in ziploc bags and freeze to be tossed into lunches later.

Whether or not you pack these are a fun little snacks in their lunch or give them as after school snacks, kids will have a blast making these themselves. 


1 package (9"X13"pan size) fudge brownie mix

48 striped chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for fudge-like brownies. Fill paper-lined miniature muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 18 - 21 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.Immediately top each with a chocolate kiss. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 4 dozen yummy little treats.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Payday Cookies & Weekend Potluck #133


Always happy to have you and can't wait to see what you're going to share with us this week! 


Where I share something worth sharing again...

These yummy Payday cookies have candy corn in them.  They're not only delicious - they're cute too! 

Before we get into the party, I'd like to ask you to keep our Tonya (4 little Fergusons) and family, close in thoughts and prayers. Her dad, Clay Bontrager, just finished chemo treatments for cancer, and is now hospitalized in Florida with blood clots throughout his body. It's an unsettling time and we know the family would appreciate any prayer coverage.
Thanks so much -  
Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Chicken and Dressing Casserole by South Your Mouth

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Mom’s Homemade Sloppy Joes by Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Crock Pot Apple Brown Betty by Served Up With Love

And, a personal favorite ~

Amazing Overnight Waffles by Prudent Living

Your hostesses ~

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


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 Please use 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!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dreamsicle Shiver {Weight Watchers Points}

With a name like that...SHIVER...
I should have shared this one sooner...when temps were really soaring...but I just came across it at the Hungry Girl website. 

It's so refreshing and I love anything with orange/vanilla flavor combo. 

I adapted it, but will share HG's version if you're counting WW points. 
Check the website for more nutritional values.

Yield: 1 large serving (16 ozs) = 4 Points Plus Points

Stick a straw in your glass and sip sip horray!!! *-* 


2 tsp. fat free nondairy powdered creamer (like Coffee-mate)
(I used more)
1 no-calorie sweetener packet like Truvia or Stevia
1 c. Trop50 No pulp orange juice beverage
1/2 c. fat free vanilla ice cream
(I used plain Greek yogurt and added another sweetener) 
1-1/2 c. crushed ice or 8 - 12 ice cubes

In tall glass, combine powdered creamer and sweetener along with 2 Tb. very hot water; stir to dissolve.  Add to blender along with orange juice, ice cream and ice. Blend on high speed until thoroughly mixed and foamy. 

1 tall serving fills you up!

1 serving = 164 calories & only 4 WW Points Plus 

You might also enjoy 

Pina Colada Oatmeal Smoothie

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

3 BESTEST Biscuits {Blast from the Past}

This is an awesome and very popular recipe.  The crunchy buttery crust will get you every.single.time! 

Please be sure to read the comments at this scone-like biscuit recipe post.  I usually make it fat free and the lemon/blueberry combo is irresistible. 

These are the ULTIMATE biscuit! Only 4 simple ingredients and no rolling required!  Light, fluffy & buttery - what's not to love??? 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chili Cheese Snacks

As many of you probably have too...I've LOVED Taste of Home recipes for many many years. 

And I love making anything/everything with crescent rolls. They're so flaky and light....I have many recipes on my blog using them in a number of ways. They're my #1 FAV ingredient.

My #2 FAV is cream cheese - combine the two and I am on it like a monkey eating peppers!!! *-*

So I knew when I saw this recipe at the site above, they'd be a hit...

We were NOT disappointed. 

Enjoy at your next gathering, just for an evening snack or light dinner. 
Or even for lunch!


1 (8 ozs.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. shredded cheddar or cojack cheese
1/4 c. chopped green chilies
1/4 c. chopped black olives, drained
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 (8 ozs.) tubes refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. 

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese.  Add cheese, chilies, olives, onion and hot pepper sauce.  Separate each tube of crescent dough into four rectangles, being sure to press seams to seal. 

Spread cream cheese mixture over dough. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with long end.  Cut each roll into 10 slices; place on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until snacks are golden brown. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck 
            Meal Plan Monday

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fresh Tomato Pie

I have wanted to make a tomato pie for a very long time, so I was thrilled when I had gathered all my ingredients and then invited friends over to dinner, so I was happy to be able to share this luscious dish. 

There's nothing like fresh tomatoes!  We've been given so many lately, but I think adding cheese to them makes them even better. 

So when I recently saw that Stacey from Southern Bite shared his recipe, it gave me the motivation to finally getter done!

If you take a peek at Stacey's pie, his tomato layer looks thicker than mine...I wish I would have added another tomato...will do that next time. I think there should be at least 2 full layers inside your pie crust. 

I used white whole wheat to make an oil pastry crust for our pie. 
I also added a little Frank's hot sauce (my hubby loves the stuff!) to give it a little kick, and also added fresh chopped onions. So all those things are optional. 

(hover over image to pin) 


4 medium tomatoes
1 prebaked pie crust, cooled
chopped onions to taste, optional
1 tsp. dried basil 
(or 8 - 10 fresh leaves, chopped)
3/4 c. mayonnaise
2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 - 1 tsp. Frank's hot sauce, optional
fresh ground pepper 

Thinly slice tomatoes then salt them. Place in a strainer or on a cooling rack (I put mine over my sink) to draw out moisture. 

Preheat oven to 350. 

In large bowl, combine mayo, mozzarella, parmesan, minced garlic & hot sauce. Stir until well combined. 

Use paper towels to blot tomatoes to remove the excess moisture. Layer the tomatoes, onions and basil in the pie crust. Spoon the cheese mixture over the top. Top with fresh ground pepper before baking. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. 

Stacey recommends placing the pie on a rimmed baking pan (jelly roll pan) in case the pie spills over.

You might also enjoy 

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Zippy Zucchini Pineapple Bread

If you're like me, you still have some fresh zucchini on hand. 
We are so blessed to have caring friends who are willing to share their produce with us. 

This is another tasty zucchini recipe from my good friend, Kate. 

She made a number of loaves of this flavorful, moist bread for a benefit for my grandson, Caden, when he was battling leukemia a few years ago (he's doing well now - thank you Jesus!).  I had several folks ask me if I had that recipe after they'd purchased one of Kate's loaves at our sale, and I sent them to her, but never got the recipe myself.  DUH!  

Sooo...I was thrilled when she shared it with me recently.  She's also the one who gave me the German Chocolate Zucchini Bread that we went wild over!

It's so moist and very scrumptious. It's wonderful for breakfast or a snack any time of day. 

I added some pineapple juice to a little powdered sugar and drizzled a glaze over the top, but that's optional. 

I made 1 loaf and a dozen muffins with 1 batch...


3 eggs
2 c. sugar
(I used heaping 1-1/2 c.)
1 c. oil
(I used 1/2 c. oil, 1/2 c. applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. (or 8 ozs. can) pineapple, drained
3 c. (white wheat) flour
1 -1/2 tsp. cinnamon
 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. grated zucchini
3/4 - 1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 large bread pans, OR a 9" X 13" baking pan, OR a bundt cake pan.  

In large bowl, beat eggs lightly; add sugar and oil. Then add vanilla and pineapple; mix well. In small bowl, combine dry ingredients; stir with whisk to mix. Add dry ingredients into egg mixture a little at a time and mix well. Stir in zucchini and nuts.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on pan size. Insert a toothpick into the center and when it comes out clean it is done. Let stand 5-10 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely on rack. 

This bread will keep for several months in the freezer if you wrap a cooled loaf in saran wrap, then place it in a ziploc bag, pushing all the air out to preserve the bread.  Perfect to serve to unexpected company. 

Linked to Weekend Potluck
             Meal Plan Monday

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits & Weekend Potluck #132


Always happy to have you stop by and share with us...hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend. 


When I share something worth sharing...again...

Using canned biscuits for the base of this luscious dish makes this so easy.
Only 4 more ingredients and your family will be raving! 
A perfect weekend breakfast...and for serving to guests! 

REMINDER: Please go to the source of the recipe before pinning..
you'll be glad you did. 

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

The recipe with the most clicks that linked back was ~

Chicken Enchilada Bake by Sweet Little Bluebird

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Crock-Pot Boneless BBQ Chicken Wings by Snail Pace Transformations

And, a personal favorite ~

Whole Wheat Pancake Bites, AKA Pancake Mini Muffins ~ a fun-to-eat breakfast that can be topped with chocolate chips, berries, diced bananas, nuts, etc. |
Whole Wheat Pancake Bites by Five Heart Home 

Your hostesses ~

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


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 Please use 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!