Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweetened Cream filled Crepes

My 8 yr old daughter got me a crepe maker for Christmas. This recipe it the first of many to come. Thanks Alex !!!

Recipe: Basic Crepes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
  • to turn these into Basic Sweet Crepes, add 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar to the flour & salt mixture when preparing (instructions below)
Yield: Approximately 2 dozen crepes when using a 7 & 1/2 inch crepe pan or skillet.
Combine flour and salt in a food processor and briefly process (if you’re making Basic Sweet Crepes, add the sugar at this time as well).
In a medium-sized bowl or large container with spout (makes for mess-free pouring), stir together milk, water and melted butter; add eggs and mix with a fork or whisk until well blended. With the food processor running, carefully add this mixture to the dry ingredients by pouring down the feed tube and processing until the batter becomes smooth.
Let the batter rest (covered and in the refrigerator) for at least 30 minutes, or pour into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
When you are ready to cook, heat a 7 to 8 inch crepe pan or non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. While some cooks prefer to grease their crepe pan or skillet with melted butter or non-stick cooking spray, I suggest skipping the extra butter by using a pan or skillet that’s already well-seasoned and/or made of high quality, non-stick material.
When your pan/skillet reaches optimum temperature (use approximately the same heat you would to make pancakes), lift the pan from the heat and pour in just enough (pre-stirred) batter (2-3 tablespoons) to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin, even layer when you rotate it in small, controlled circles. Experiment with this movement. While it may seem odd at first, you will quickly learn to spread the batter evenly and perfect this process. When the bottom of the pan is covered, stop circling and return the pan to heat.
As the batter begins to set, i.e. the underside cooks to a pale, golden brown and the topside begins to bubble and sweat about (30-45 seconds,) gently turn the crepe over using a spatula, the edge of a spatula and your fingers (taking care not to burn yourself), or gently flip the crepe using the pan handle and some fancy wrist action (although I don’t suggest this method unless you are an experienced flipper).
After turning the crepe, cook briefly on the opposite side, approximately 15 seconds or until just speckled with a pale, gold pattern. Finished crepes (the second side will always be lighter than the first) should exhibit a lightly colored, gold, lacy pattern.
Continue with this process, stirring the batter before pouring each crepe, until you have used all the batter.
As you finish cooking each crepe, stack them on a plate between sheets of parchment paper to prevent sticking. If necessary (and only if using an oven-safe plate), you can place the finished crepes in a low-temperature warming drawer for a short period of time. Finished crepes may be served immediately or allowed to cool, wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 1 month.

Sweet Cream Filling
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup sugar
fresh fruit or jam
Beat cream cheese with 1/2 pint of heavy cream and 1/2 C. sugar until smooth. 
In another bowl beat the rest of the heavy cream and sugar until stiff like heavy whip cream. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.
Take a prepared crepe and put  few spoonfuls of cream filling add fresh fruit or a drizzle of jam and roll up.
Top with more cream filling and fruit.  Enjoy !!!


Let's just say that we made lots of treats over Christmas and I realized I did not have a post for fudge ... so here it is. The Classic Fantasy Fudge recipe right off the jar of marshmallow creme . The recipe for the carmels pictured above can be found here.

  Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup  (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup) (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
1  12 oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1 cup  chopped PLANTERS Walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla
LINE 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan; set aside. Place sugar, butter and evaporated milk in large heavy saucepan. Bring to full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 4 min. or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
ADD chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until completely melted. Add walnuts and vanilla; mix well.
POUR immediately into prepared pan; spread to form even layer in pan. Let stand at room temperature 4 hours or until completely cooled; cut into 1-inch squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cinnamon Bear Popcorn

I made this great treat to take to some of  our neighbors . They loved it!!! It is great and easy to prepare.
I switched out the cinnamon bears for gum drops on a second batch and the results was EQUALLY yummy. Thanks Jaimie for sharing this recipe

Cinnamon Bear Popcorn as seen at 

Printable Version

24 C popped popcorn (1 C unpopped)
1  16 oz bag cinnamon bears
1 C butter
1/2 C corn syrup
1 1/2 C sugar
1 t vanilla
4 C mini marshmallows
red food coloring

1. Pop up your popcorn. Sprinkle it with just a bit of salt and set it aside.

2. Snip your cinnamon bears up with a pair of kitchen scissors. 

3. In a medium sized sauce pan combine the butter, corn syrup and sugar. Heat it over medium to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. 
4. Remove it from the heat and add your vanilla, marshmallows and red food coloring.
5. Isn't that a fun pretty color! You could of course add more food coloring for a darker pink.  Mix it all around to get everything  melted in and combined.
6. Stir in the bears.
7. Add the mixture to your popped popcorn. Stir it all around until well combined.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chicken Chow Mein

Like many of you  we have been cooking lots of treats this Holiday Season. I was searching for a good recipe that would be healthy and liked by all members of my family. I was browsing some of my favorite recipe sites and found this recipe. It tastes fresh and is not at all greasy like some Chinese food can be. It could be very weight watcher friendly if you left our the rice and Chow Mein noodles. Try this recipe when you are feeling overloaded with sugar. You'll be glad you did.

Chicken Chow Mien
As seen at Jaimie Cooks it up
(Printable Version)
2 T olive oil
2 onions
2-3 C celery
2-3 C bean sprouts
1 8 oz package mushrooms
4 chicken breasts
salt and pepper

3 C water
3  Chicken bullion cubes
2 T soy sauce
1/2 t sugar
3 T cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 C water

Hot rice
Chinese Noodles
1. In a large skillet heat 1 T olive oil. Cut up the chicken breasts with a pair of cooking scissors. Add them to the pan and sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper. Cook over medium heat until the pieces are golden brown.  This  golden brown color is going to add some delicious flavor to your chow mien.

2. While the chicken is getting itself beautifully browned you are going to be chopping up your veggies. The long noodle like things pictured at the far left are bean sprouts. You can find them at any grocery store, though (Jaimie didn't  recommend buying them at Walmart. They sale them in a prepackaged bag, and are very rarely fresh) Albertsons has the best quality I have found. I always make this the same day I purchase the bean sprouts....they do not keep very well.
3. When your chicken is browned, set it aside. Add 1 T olive oil to the same skillet you cooked the chicken in. Add your veggies and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the veggies are crisp tender.
4. While your veggies are cooking put the water, bullion, soy sauce, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Heat until boiling, and add the cornstarch/water mixture. Stir it in thoroughly. The sauce should thicken quickly. Set aside.
5. When your veggies are done, add the chicken and the sauce back into the skillet with the veggies. Heat through and serve with rice and Chinese noodles

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

We made this great recipe. I will decrease the amount of chili powder and use a colby jack cheddar instead of the pepperjack the next I make them. my kids thought they were a little too spicy.
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Recipe by
(Printable Version)

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder (Cut this in half for a milder flavor)
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions

2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated pepperjack cheese (use colby jack or cheddar if you want a milder dish)

small corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.
You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Dip 'em in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or this dressing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

French Toast Cups

My Sister Haven and I were talking the other day and she asked me if I had ever made these "French Toast Cups". I had not tried them and decided that it would be a perfect pre-sledding breakfast. I did not have any sausage on hand so I opted for bacon and the results we delicious . This is a great Brunch item.

Maple and Sausage-Stuffed French Toast Cups (as seen on Rachel Ray)

(Printable Version) 


  • Butter, for the muffin tins
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon (a splash) milk, (eyeball it)
  • 2 teaspoons (about half a palmful) cinnamon
  • A dash of vanilla extract
  • A few grates fresh nutmeg
  • 6 slices white or wheat sandwich bread 
  • Topping: (I just diced up some bacon and tossed it with maple syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pound country breakfast sausage, casings removed if links
  • 3 McIntosh apples, skins left on, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh apple cider
Yields: 6 servings, as a brunch item


Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Rub the inside of each cup of a 6-cup muffin tin with butter and set aside.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg.
Cut a slit in the corner of each slice of bread from the middle of the slice to the edge. Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture then lightly press it into a cup of the muffin tin, overlapping the pieces where you cut the slit to make it fit into the cup without tearing.
Bake the French toast cups for 12-14 minutes, until they're light golden brown.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pecan Pie Bars

I made these great Pecan Pie Bars for our Thanksgiving Feast . I initially went searching for a bar option because I ran out of "Pie Pans" due to  making 6 Pumpkin Pies. This version was fabulous. I don't think I will make it in pie form again. It serves up nicely and will leave you wanting more.

Pecan Pie Bars (printable version)
  • 2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4  cup  butter or margarine, cut up
  • 1  cup  firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1  cup  light corn syrup
  • 1/2  cup  butter or margarine
  • 4  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2  cups  finely chopped pecans
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl; cut in 3/4 cup butter thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Press mixture evenly into a greased 13" x 9" pan, using a piece of plastic wrap to press crumb mixture firmly in pan. Bake at 350° for 17 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently. Remove from heat. Stir one-fourth of hot mixture into beaten eggs; add to remaining hot mixture. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Pour filling over crust. Bake at 350° for 34 to 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Christmas with Southern Living 2000, Oxmoor House, JANUARY 2000

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Squares

If you are looking for a twist on the traditional pumpkin pie but are not quite in the mood for a cobbler this is the perfect recipe for you. The addition of eggs to the pumpkin gives this dessert a lighter,fluffier texture. My husband really enjoyed this version. 

Pumpkin Pie Squares from Sisters Cafe

1 box yellow or spice cake mix, reserve 1 cup for topping
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg

1 29oz can pumpkin (I used Libby's-make sure it is pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix)
1.5 cups evaporated milk
1.5 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
1 t. ginger
1/4 t. cloves

Reserved 1 cup dry cake mis
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, mix together cake mix (reserving one cup for the topping), melted butter and egg. Spread into greased pan. For the filling, mix all ingredients well and pour over crust mixture in pan. For the topping, mix together reserved cake mix, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Mix until crumbly and sprinkle on the pumpkin filling mixture. Bake 1 hour or until a nice inserted in the middle comes out clean. (I just poke it with a knife and make sure it comes out clean).  Chill and serve with real whipped cream.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cowboy Spaghetti

I wanted to try a new recipe that my family would be sure to enjoy. I came across this great spaghetti recipe. It is a great alternative to traditional spaghetti. It has a nice smoky flavor with a touch of spiciness. This a great hearty "CowBoy" meal.

Cowboy Spaghetti as seen on BlogChef
(printable version)
1 lb spaghetti noodles ( I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices smoky bacon (chopped)
1lb ground beef
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves (minced)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup beer ( I used apple juice in stead of the beer with great results)
1 (14 ounce) can fired roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions (chopped) (i didn't have these so I sprinkled a few dried chives)

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. This can be done while you’re making the sauce. Heat a large deep skillet to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and add bacon. Fry bacon until crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Step 2: In the same skillet add ground beef and chop up with a spatula or metal spoon while cooking. Cook until the beef is browned. Add onions and garlic, stir into the meat. Season with salt, pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add the beer to the pan and stir in. Cook for 5-6 minutes and stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Step 3: Add spaghetti noodles to the meat and sauce and combine. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and green onions.
(Makes 4 Servings)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bakery Style Peanut Butter Cookies

Today I was surfing the net looking for a new cookie recipe to try for an after school treat for the kids and I came across this yummy cookie. I had all the ingredients and decided to go for it. I am glad I did. This is definitely going to be kept on our favorite cookie list.

Peanut Butter Cookies as seen on Smitten Kitchen
(Printable Version)
The brilliance of these cookies is that they have include two different formats for peanuts–three if you use chunky peanut butter. They’re crisp on the outside, and almost cakey on the inside. Bake a batch and then hide the results in the furthest and most forgettable reaches of your kitchen. You’ll thank me later.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips
For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine( for the record I used more than a Tablespoon)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern (I used the back of a small offset spatula to keep it smooth on top), but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.
Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I found this great pancake recipe at the Idea Room. They are fantastic your family will love them. Make sure to double the recipe because they disappear quickly. We enjoyed ours topped with buttermilk syrup. They would be great drizzled with icing. Try these today !!!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon honey

Cinnamon swirl:

2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour

1. Mix all the ingredients together to make the pancakes and set aside. Preheat your pan or skillet and lightly grease it.

2. Make the Cinnamon Swirl mixture and place it into a a small bottle with a squirt nozzle or a small baggie with a snip in the corner.

3. Spread your batter into small pancakes on the griddle. Immediately add the cinnamon swirls.

4. Cook the pancakes until small bubbles form on the topside of the pancake and do not fill back in with batter.

5. Flip over the pancakes with a turner and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.

My kiddos enjoyed these with buttermilk syrup. My husband thought they were great plain.

If you would like to drizzle icing instead of syrup try this one:

For the Cream Cheese Icing...
In the same bowl that you used for the cinnamon filling, mix together, using the hand mixer again:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
4 T. milk

Mix until smooth and pour into a second pastry bag just like you did with the cinnamon mixture above.

For the Buttermilk Syrup try this:

 Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 Cup butter
1 Cup Sugar
2/3 C. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla

1/2 t. baking soda.
Mix Butter, sugar and buttermilk together and boil 2 full minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and baking soda.
Serve over pancakes.   Makes 2 cups of syrup.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Best Lemon Bars from All Recipes

  We tried this version of the classic lemon bars today and were glad we did. The lemon flavor was enhanced by the lemon zest. Make Sure to use Large lemons to get a Tart lemony flavor.....Enjoy.
The  Best Lemon Bars from All Recipes
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, juiced ( I used to large lemons and added the zest of 1 of them )
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/12 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice and zest. Pour over the baked crust.
  4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Orange Rolls

When I saw this post from Melanie I knew I would be making them ... Fabulous is all I can say. They will definitely be a keeper in our home. ENJOY!!

Orange Sweet Rolls from My Kitchen Cafe
makes 12-14 rolls/twists
¾ cup buttermilk, warm (pour the buttermilk in a glass liquid measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute on 50% power)
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
4 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
 Orange Filling:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated orange rind/zest from two large oranges (reserving 1/2 teaspoon grated rind for the glaze below)
 Orange Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from about 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above

For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand). If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips.
Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
For the filling, combine all the filling ingredients (reserving 1/2 teaspoon orange zest for the glaze) in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter  and press it into about a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time). Gently brush the filling mixture over the rectangle, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula.
 Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls,more or less. You can slice them thinner or thicker as you like. For a traditional cinnamon-roll-look, arrange the rolls cut side down on a lined or lightly greased baking pan.  Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
 Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through. While the rolls are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies .... Oh My !!

 If you are feeling like baking something with PUMPKIN then you must try this fabulous cookie/cake.
It was a big hit with everyone it tastes great even without the creamcheese filling. Enjoy
Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies as seen on Our Best Bites
Original recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 c. oil
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
Cream Cheese Filling
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1 8-oz. package cream cheese (you could use light)
3 c. powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup of 1/2-1 tsp. maple extract
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level with a knife. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, white sugar, and oil. Add the pumpkin puree and mix well. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until combined.
Using a 1 tablespoon scoop or a 1/2 tablespoon measure, drop the batter onto a baking sheet (lined, if possible, but not necessary), leaving about 1" between the batter. Try to keep the batter as circular as possible. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until the tops are done and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
To prepare the filling, beat the butter on high for 1-2 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, maple, and vanilla and beat until combined. Transfer to a large Ziploc bag and cut 1/2"-1" off the corner.
Flip the cakes over on a flat surface. Squeeze about 2-3 tablespoons of filling per large whoopie pie (less if you used a 1/2 tablespoon measure) onto every other cake. Top each pie with the remaining cakes. Serve immediately if possible; otherwise, these can be refrigerated in an airtight container. Makes about 30 large whoopie pies.

P.S. Thank you guys SO MUCH for all the votes we've gotten so far in the Better Homes and Gardens Cook-Off!!! You have no idea how much we love you guys and how much we appreciate it! If you haven't voted today, please click here to vote for us! Remember, you can vote every day throughout the month of October.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sweet And Sour Sauce for Canning

Okay so if you have an over abundance of tomatoes and you are not in the mood for salsa try this fabulous recipe out. Thanks to a friend "JEAN" for sharing this recipe. I used my food processor to chop the onions and tomatoes I left the green peppers in bigger chunks for all the great flavor but the ability for picky eaters to remove them .

(printable Version)

MANDARIN SAUCE for canning  (A great sweet & sour sauce)
8C. blended tomatoes (wash blanch and peel them, throw in the blender
3 C. chopped tomatoes (peeled and chopped, added mostly for texture)
4 C. chopped onions 
4 C. green peppers 
2-20oz. cans pineapple tidbits (save the juice to mix with the thickener)
5 C. sugar
8 TB. soy sauce
3 C. vinegar
1 C. Clear jell or ultra-jell 
1 C. cold water (to mix with thickener)
Put all ingredients together except pineapple juice and water and 
cornstarch.  Heat in large pan to boiling, stirring frequently.  
Gradually add the juice, water and clear jell/ultra jell that you have mixed 
together in a separate bowl.  Cook until thickened, stirring 
continually.  Fill your sterile canning jars, leaving 1/2" headspace.  
Put on lids tightly.  Process 35 minutes in water-bath canner. 
For a quick meal heat up with some cut-up leftover meat and heat until nice and 
hot, serve over rice, and add some crunchy Chinese noodles if you want. It works well
with any sweet and sour dish. 

Creamed Potatoes and Peas

If your looking for a different potato dish to serve as a side this one is a good option. My oldest daughter shared this recipe on her blog. The good news is that it is also a very frugal recipe with no fancy ingredients.

Creamed Peas and New Potatoes   ( courtesy of Budget Bites)

1-1/2 pounds (about 15) tiny new potatoes (we used yukon gold, just peel and dice them any potato would work)

1 to 1-1/2 cups fresh peas (we used frozen peas; this would also equate to about 1 or 1-1/2 pounds shelled peas)

3 Tbl sliced green onion

4 tsp butter or margarine (we prefer butter)

4 tsp flour

1 cup milk

(salt and pepper to taste)

Scrub potatoes; pare off narrow strip of peel around center of each. Cook in boiling salted water 15 to 20 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, cook peas and onion (I Preferred to saute my onion and add in with the peas after they were cooked )in small amount of boiling salted water 8 to 15 minutes; drain. Make a white sauce of butter, flour, dash salt, and milk.(Simply melt the butter and stir in the flour and cook for a minute or 2. Slowly stir in the milk wisk as you go and heat until thickened). Combine vegtetabes and sauce (and season with salt and pepper to taste). Serves 4 to 6.

Friday, September 10, 2010

German Pancakes

 This is a great version of German Pancakes. Enjoy we sure did!!

German Pancakes
(printable version)

Yield 2  9-inch pancakes.
4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour, sifted
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons soft butter
Heat oven to 400°F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans well. Put eggs in blender container, cover and process at “stir” until light yellow in color. Push “mix” button, remove cover and add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake 20 minutes; then reduce heat to 350°F and bake 10 minutes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken

Looking for a great chicken dish and short on time. This dish is for you!!! Pair it with rice, pasta or fresh garden veggies and your family will love it. Check out the Food Nanny on Byu TV. She has some great recipes and ideas. Thanks to my friend Mary for sharing this with me.

2/3 Cup Buttermilk or Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
2 Cups Plain Panko Crumbs
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Teaspoons garlic Salt
2 Pounds of boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders
1/3 Cup butter

1. Preheat Oven to 400* Grease an oblong baking pan (I used a Pampered Chef stoneware Bar Pan)
2. Pour the buttermilk or ranch dressing into a wide, shallow dish or pie plate. Mix the Panko, parmesan cheese, and garlic salt in another shallow dish. Roll each piece of chicken in the buttermilk and then the panko mixture to coat.
3. Arrange the chicken pieces in the prepared pan. Melt the butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave and drizzle over all the chicken pieces. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper to taste

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Amish White Bread

 I went  looking for a great 2 loaf white bread recipe and found this one . It was great addition to our Sunday meal.  It is easy to make and has a slightly sweet taste.

Amish White Bread  (printable version)

  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour ( I used 5 )
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time.( This is important as the recipe called for 6 cups but I only ended up using 5 ). Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.