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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Cream Cheese Cookies

I usually make cream cheese cookies using a cake mix. However, not this time.


 With some research on how to best use up some cream cheese on hand, I had created these cream cheese cookies.

 1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1/2 cup soften butter

6 ounce cream cheese (it is what I had on hand. Haven't tried it with the full 8 ounce block) 

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes. Form into 1 inch balls and coat in sugar. Place on baking sheet and press down slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes until set. Only the bottoms should be golden brown.





Sunday, December 27, 2020

Tasty Eats and Fruit Cake Recipe

I thought I would end the year with a Tasty Eats post and share all the yummy goodness from the past couple of weeks.

First up is a Cinnabon holiday rolled pancake mug set we got for Christmas. It not only includes mugs, but stuff to make rolled pancakes, the frosting/filling and hot cocoa mix (for 2) you will need an egg (which I initially forgot to add in), oil and milk for the pancakes and butter and cream cheese for the filling. Overall it was very tasty and don't be surprised to see a rolled pancake post in the future.





 



Next I have a bunch of candy. I make a bunch of candy just before Christmas to share with immediate family and my husband's co-workers. I have a blog post about it to include the recipe for the peanut clusters on my newest blog here.

toffee squares

peanut clusters

flourless peanut butter cookies

divinity

fudge


This is a cup of coffee with instant hot chocolate added, Cool Whip, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles. 


Next is fruit cake. I have never made fruit cake and a recipe had come the recipe from an email sent by our church. The original recipe had figs in it. we could not find figs at the time so figs was replaced by dates. I know fruit cake gets a bad rap, but this was really tasty.


So here is the fruit cake recipe:
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup chopped figs...or dates
2 cups flour
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Grease and flour 9 1/2 in round pan (Bundt pan)
Coat the chopped fruit and almonds in a little bit of flour. Set aside.
Blend in butter, sugar, spices, and salt.
Beat egg yolks and add to butter mixture.
Sift flour and baking powder, add to butter mixture along with water and honey.
add in the fruits and almonds
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.
Fold in the egg whites into the batter
Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Not sure how long the cake is suppose to set before you invert it out of a pan. I did it after a few minutes. It still stuck a little in the pan for me, even greasing and flouring the pan. But it wasn't too bad.
I also feel you can get creative with the dried fruit and maybe even add some coconut. I still have raisins and dates left, so I think I will be making it again soon.

Finally I have sour cream cookies. It was the last day at work before an extended holiday break and I received some candy canes. One of them broke so I found a sour cream cookie recipe and added broken candy candy. I was not the traditional peppermint flavor but I think it was strawberry. It was tasty if you like fake strawberry flavor candy cane.


This is likely the last post of the year, so Happy New Year and hopefully in 2021 we will start seeing things go back to normal. I still think we will be dealing with the pandemic for a while yet, so stay safe.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Poppy Seed Muffins

 The reasoning for making poppy seed muffins involves coming across two full containers of poppy seeds. How come I have so many poppy seeds? Likely that we have bought poppy seeds for a recipe, then needed poppy seed again in the future and forgot there was another container. So now the mission was to use up some of the poppy seeds. After searching Pinterest I had come across this recipe.


It is a Classic Poppy Seed Bread Recipe by Julie Blanner. I followed the recipe found on the blog post. The only addition I made is that I added some lemon zest from a lemon. I used the juice from the lemon to make the glaze. Instead of making it into a loaf pan, I made it into a large muffing tins that I recently bought from Michaels because he need large muffin tins to make..... 

.....these bacon, egg, sausage, and cheese cups.  The breakfast cups were tasty, however my husband was not satisfied because the bacon was to form a cup and it shrunk too much and it was just a disk on the bottom.  Everyone enjoyed both the poppy seed muffins and the breakfast cups.

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Birthday Cake Bars

 I mentioned in my last blog post that I was going to make Birthday Cake Bars with my grandson. Here is the result:


The recipe for the bar is found here at the Food Network site:

Look for the Birthday Cake bars, which will direct you to make the Sugar Cookie bars. I made the vanilla frosting by combining 1 1/2 tablespoons of soft butter, 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and just enough milk to get it to the frosting consistency, about 1-2 tablespoons. Of course he wanted blue frosting, so I added blue food coloring.


Here is the cake before it was frosted. My grandson is 7 and enjoyed to process of making these bars to include reading the recipe for these bars. There are still going to be more bars coming. He wants to make the M&M version next.


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Friday, December 11, 2020

Triple Decker Brownie

One day I was in the mood to make brownies. I usually have grandchildren over every Sunday and one of the activities we do is make cookies. My grandson was on board with brownies. So off to find a brownie recipe. I have a Food Network magazine from September 2015 that has a 50 bar recipes in it and I knew there would be a brownie recipe. At this point my grandson is looking over the 50 different recipes and we decide on the triple decker bars. I had all the ingredients to make them. Triple Decker Bars



What it is is a bottom layer of brownie dough, a layer of chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos) , topped with a blondie recipe. What I did was follow the recipe in the magazine and cut the brownie and blondie recipe in half. I wanted to make it in the oblong pan shown below. In the long run it turned out a little thick.


Eventually my grandson got overzealous and really shoved the cookies into the brownie mixture.  I wished I had used a different pan, because I thought it was too thick. I ended up failing in baking it. I ended up overcooking the outside just so that the inside was raw. If I make this again I would still cut the recipe in half and use 9 inch square pan.


So to make these bars you can find the recipe along with 49 other bar recipes here. I know next time was are going to make the birthday cake bar because my grandson has a birthday next week.  I might also the gluten free peanut butter chocolate bars. My husband's boss can't eat gluten and I thought it would be a nice thought to make these bars.

Or you can make your favorite brownie recipe and blondie recipe and have a layer of Oreo's in the middle. 

 

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Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Mexican Mac and Cheese

I was looking through my older blog posts, and I came across  Mexican Mac Bake from June2011. What it is an amped up blue box  mac and cheese. I has ground beef, salsa, sour cream, onion, and cheese. 



I am always a fan of macaroni and cheese and knew I had to make this again. My husband had originally made this and this time I made it. Here is the original recipe as it appeared in 2011:

1 pound ground beef
6 ounce jar of salsa
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Boxes macaroni and cheese (1/2 cup milk and butter to prepare the macaroni and cheese)
8 ounces of taco cheese
1 yellow onion
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef and onion, drain well. Prepare the macaroni and cheese as instructed on the box. Mix beef with sour cream and salsa. Mix the macaroni and cheese with the beef mixture. Place into large (9 x 13) casserole dish, spreading out evenly. Top with taco cheese and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes is until cheese is melted.


I pretty much followed the same recipe, except I had regular cheddar cheese instead of taco flavored cheese. I added about 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning to the ground beef.  

After making this recipe up again, it turned out to be a hit. Will it be 9 years before I make this again? I might make it again without the blue boxes of mac and cheese and use elbow noodles and the melty cheese in the yellow box.


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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Apple Muffins and Other Tasty Eats

Phoning in this blog post? Why yes I am.
First is the Apple Muffins. I followed the Carrot-Apricot muffin recipe from Hy-Vee (grocery store chain in my area), but did diced apples instead of carrot and left out the apricot. It was tasty, but I liked the carrot version better.
For my son's birthday, I made this Butterfinger cake. I originally did a blog post back in 2012. This time around I amped up the box cake recipe by adding an extra egg, used butter instead of oil, and used milk instead of water. I can tell that making these changed made the cake more like a light pound cake. Really tasty. I might of added extra vanilla, but I don't remember. This time around I folded in some Cool Whip in with the pudding. So to recap on how I made this cake. Made a yellow cake (with the amped up changes),  made a small box of instant vanilla pudding and folded in a small tub of Cool Whip. Once the cake was cool,  I topped with the pudding mixture. Topped with crushed Butterfinger.


I have seen Chicken-a-la-King being made on T.V. and I decided I needed to make it. Despite the title, it is a humble chicken dish that is that all that fancy. I had searched Pinterest for a recipe and decided on this one.  I served this with homemade noodles.


Here is the recipe from the site:

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)
  • 4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup Half and Half
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

To Serve: Biscuits, Rice, Texas Toasts or Baked Puff Pastry Shells (optional)

    Instructions

    Poaching the Chicken

    • In a pot over medium heat, bring the broth, bay leaf and peppercorn to a boil. Add the chicken breast (they should be in a single layer for even cooking), cover the pot and lower the heat. Poach them in the simmering liquid for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.
    • Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool until you can handle it. Shred the chicken. Discard the bay leaf and peppercorns and reserve the poaching liquid. 

    The Rest

    • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onions, mushrooms and bell peppers and saute stirring often until the vegetables are tender, about 5 - 6 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
    • Add the rest of the butter to the skillet and when it melts, whisk in the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly. 
    • With a ladle, slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid. The mixture will get thick immediately. Slowly, pour in 1 additional cup of the poaching liquid whisking constantly. A sauce will start to form. Slowly, whisk in the Half and Half.
    • Cook the sauce on low heat for about 5 - 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the ground mustard and season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
    • Add the cooked vegetables, shredded chicken and frozen peas to the sauce and mix to combine. If the mixture is too thick, add more of the poaching liquid until desired consistency. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

    To Serve

    • You can serve over rice, cooked pasta, egg noodles, or with biscuits. You can also fill baked pastry shells with the chicken mixture.

    Finally I have eggless Nutella Cookies. The recipe for this is found here. Even without the eggs, it turned out tasty. After all, it is Nutella. 

    O.K. I lied, the final tasty eat is leftover Thanksgiving croquette. It has leftover turkey, Stove Top stuffing, some cheese (because I felt like adding cheese) held together with a rue. Surprisingly no potato, which is traditionally found in most croquette. We just did stuffing instead of potato. I also had leftover green been casserole, but I thought it would just get to weird.  I fried them in the air fryer. This is the first thing I made in the air fryer that actually got crispy. It took a long time to air fry in comparison to frying them in oil. I guess that time is the compromise with healthy frying.



    Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    Chocolate Tropical Trail Mix Cookies

     Hello,

    I have come across a cookie recipe I did back in 2013, Tropical Mix Cookies. I noticed a major flaw in the recipe. I forgot to add sugar in the recipe. Epic Fail.

    In order to redeem this problem, I decided to redo this recipe. I did not intend to make it a chocolate cookie, however I had come across a chocolate coconut macadamia nut cookie recipe in a cookie book I own and decided to mess with this recipe. 

    To keep with the tropical theme with this cookie, I got coconut sugar. You don't need to use coconut sugar as I know it is more expensive than regular sugar. The good news I believe it is a low sugar replacement. I also had bananas on hand and I replaced half the butter. So I had made a cookie that not only is low in sugar, but lower in fat. Win!

    The tropical trail mix I had bought in my local grocery store had large banana chips in it. So I wanted to make the banana chips smaller so I ran it through my food processor just long enough to break down the banana chips. I also decided to to toast my coconut, but you don't have too.

    I loved how cookie turned out, moist and chewy with chocolate banana and the flavors from the trail mix and coconut.

    To make this you will need:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

    1/2 cup soft butter

    1 1/2 cup sugar ( I used coconut sugar )

    1/2 cup mashed banana - I used 1 banana

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    2 cups flour

    2/3 cup cocoa powder

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 cup tropical trail mix, break up the larger banana chips if needed

    3/4 cup shredded coconut

    Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. Add banana and vanilla. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture. Stir in the trail mix and coconut. Drop by teaspoonful onto baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

    Of course, you could use any trail mix, or use nuts and/or chocolate chips.

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    Wednesday, November 18, 2020

    Pumpkin Bread

     Is it still pumpkin season? Then lets have some pumpkin bread. I followed a recipe from a You Tube video and made a tasty and moist pumpkin bread.



    2 cups flour
    1teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon cloves (original recipe has a whole teaspoon, if you like clove go ahead and add a 1 teaspoon)
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups sugar
    1 can pumpkin (14-15 ounce?)
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 sticks soft butter

    Mix the dry ingredients, add in the remaining ingredients. put is a greased loaf pan. Bake in a loaf pan at 325 degrees (F) for 70 minutes or until done.

    Here is the video I followed.

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    Saturday, November 14, 2020

    Meat Loaf and Creamed Peas Recipe

     I am not sure if I mentioned this in the past, but my motto for meet loaf has always been "Never made the same way twice". Unfortunately this has led to bad meat loaf. This latest meat loaf creation came about by following a recipe from my grandmother's vintage Betty Crocker cookbook. I have to say it turned out rather tasty and I thought I would share it with all of you. It is a solid meatloaf recipe.


    So for the meatloaf recipe calls for:

    1 pound ground beef
    1/2 pound ground pork
    2 cups of bread crumbs
    1 beaten egg
    1 1/2 cups milk
    4 tablespoons minced onion
    2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    1/8 teaspoon sage

    Mix everything thoroughly and put in a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. If you want ketchup on top, add 3 tablespoon of ketchup on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until done. You can serve this hot .... or cold.  I have never had it cold, but the recipe says you can eat it cold. I guess it would be best cold on sandwiches.

    I was also contemplating about the bread crumbs. It did not specify if it was dried or fresh. I used dried bread crumbs.

    As you can see from the picture, I have served this with mashed potatoes and creamed peas. I made the creamed peas using canned peas. I made the peas by melting 1 tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of flour and whisking the juice from the can of peas. Once the sauce is thicken add in the peas. Season to taste.  I also had caramelized onion cheese from Trader Joes and I topped off my potatoes and meat loaf. 

    I will likely go to this recipe for now on to make meatloaf.

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    Sunday, November 08, 2020

    Meal Planning a Success

     



    In order to combat the dilemma of figure out what to make for dinner, my son and I (because it is just the two of us) made plans for the week for dinner. I have to say it was a success because we did not have to try to figure out what to make, which seems like that is all I did for the majority of my life. With that said, it has to become a habit. Another challenge is making meals for two people. My son made curry on Monday and he ended up making a HUGE pot. The advantage is that we are going to have curry as a nightly meal for the next few weeks. It doesn't have to be elaborate. I bought pre-made southwest salad one night (it was buy one get one free) and a few avocadoes to add onto the salad. Another night was sandwiches and fried pickles made in our air fryer.
    So I am looking forward to planning out the next week.
    I made pumpkin bread and we are going to do French toast on Monday. Yes, I will totally do breakfast for dinner.

    Sunday, November 01, 2020

    Tasty Eats and Meal Planning

     One of things I am excited about in the coming week is that my son and I did some meal planning. My son is not working now (by choice) so he is going to cook some meals in the coming days. We are going to have curry, cheese ravioli, Mexican salad, sandwiches with fried pickles in the air fryer, and whatever my husband is going to cook on his day off.

    I am utilizing my grandmother's vintage cook book more (hope I don't ruin the book like the well used Better Homes and Gardens cookbook). I made coffee cake and meatloaf out of the book. Both turned out really well. Along with the meatloaf, I made garlic mashed potatoes and creamed peas. 


    Speaking of my well used Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I followed the cake doughnut recipe from the book and made these in the air fryer. These just turned out o.k. I dipped them in butter and sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar. I feel like we are still trying to figure out our new kitchen toy. I am beginning to feel underwhelmed by the results. So far the best thing to come out is the rotisserie chicken. At least our air fryer has many functions.

    So keep an eye out next week for the results of actually planning our meals.


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    Sunday, October 25, 2020

    We Got An Air Fryer

     I have to be careful what I say in front of my husband. I said I would like an air fryer. I heard co-workers talk about it and my daughter loves hers. My husband promptly orders on on line and a few days later I have an air fryer.


    The first thing I actually baked are the Sunflower Seed Peanut Bars. I made them in the baking tray that cam with the unit. I might of over cooked them slightly, but still tasty overall.


    Potato chips was the very first thing I tried. It was o.k. I blame our mandolin. It does not slice properly resulting in uneven cooking. The recipe I followed can be found here.


    I then tried to make grilled cheese. To be honest, this one best in the frying pan. Yes, the bread did get brown and the cheese did melt. The bread was dry, like toast. So I guess if you like toasty bread with melted cheese without the mess of trying to make grilled cheese in the toaster (never done that and I don't know how well that would work). Then go for it.

    We have had other success in the air fryer. Successfully made pigs in a blanket in the air fryer and my husband had done rotisserie chicken (our unit has that function). Had some failures, we roasted some veggies in it and it did not fully cook. Probably needed to be in longer.

    We still have a lot to learn about our new unit and have already collected recipes on Pinterest to try.


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