Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cards

 Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
 I made these holiday card displays last year as well before I started this blog. I love to display the Christmas cards we receive and this is an easy CHEAP way to do it. Purchase a cross stitch hoop. I took mine apart so it makes two! Then using wood glue, glue on tiny clothespins to the hoop. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Candy Wreath

I made this wreath last year. SO fun! It took about 5 pounds of gum drops but it was well worth it. I hot glued each piece of candy on a Styrofoam wreath. To make is last I sprayed it with a spray acrylic sealer. It still looks great!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Homemade Oreos

Recipe: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
    For the filling:
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
    1/4 cup vegetable shortening
    2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

      Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
      In a bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
      Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
      To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
      To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

        Monday, December 5, 2011

        decorating sugar cookies

        I was asked (back in September) to bring cookies to a church function. I had been looking for an excuse to make cookies like these for some time. Basic sugar cookies (not the soft recipe from my blog) frosted with royal frosting. I went searching for some advice and knowledge on the subject and came across this website. This lady is amazing. I used her recipes and made these:)

        Sunday, December 4, 2011

        Zucchini Chips

        1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
        1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
        1/8 tsp black pepper
        1/2 cup flour
        1 cup cold milk
        1 tsp apple cider vinegar
        2-3 good sized zucchini, sliced

        Longer healthier version...
        Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
        In a medium bowl combine breadcrumbs, cheese and black pepper. In separate bowl add flour, milk and vinegar.  Gently stir until combined but do not over stir. Dip zucchini slices in flour mixture and then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated zucchini slices on a baking sheet (I line mine with non stick foil for easy clean up) and bake for 30 minutes, flipping the slices over once halfway through cooking, or until browned and crisp.

        Faster version...
        Follow steps above but instead of baking, fry in large saucepan with a little oil heated to med-high heat. Flip zucchini over after browned. It takes about 10 min this way.

        Thursday, December 1, 2011

        why it's been so long...

        We have a new addition to our family. He is the sweetest little baby. I am just now starting to have the energy to do other things so hopefully I will get all my Christmas decorations out of the basement and start posting on my blog again!

        Wednesday, October 5, 2011

        Shortbread Cookies with Dulce de Leche filling

        Shortbread Cookies:

        2 cups all-purpose flour
        1/4 teaspoon salt
        1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
        1/2 cup  confectioners sugar
        1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
        In a bowl whisk the flour with the salt. In a separate bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently beat in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour or until firm.  

        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

        On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a lightly floured 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Place on the baking sheets and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes. (This will firm the cookies so they maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for about 7 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. Shortbread cookies with keep in an airtight container for about a week.

        Put a spoonful of Dulce de Leche in between two shortbread cookies and then dip half in melted chocolate. Set on parchment paper to harden.
        Read more:

        Tuesday, September 27, 2011

        Dulce De Leche

        This delicious caramel tasting sauce can be used for SO many things. I used it this past weekend for a shortbread cookie recipe I will post soon. You can store it in the fridge for up to a month and drizzle it on ice cream YUM! Warning: it does take 1 hour to make this with your undivided attention. So plan ahead.

        Dulce de Leche

        4 cups whole milk
        3/4 cup granulated white sugar
        2 tablespoons light corn syrup
        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        1/8 teaspoon salt
        1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

        Put the milk, sugar, corn syrup, baking soda and salt in a large, heavy-duty 8 quart (8 liter) saucepan or Dutch oven. THIS IS IMPORTANT!! The milk will foam at least twice in size so you need a large pot so it doesn't boil over.  Place over medium to medium-high heat and bring just to a boil. Watch carefully, and as soon as the milk begins to foam up, stir with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, and reduce heat until the milk is just at a low rolling boil. (If the milk foams up too much, remove the saucepan from the heat until the foam starts to subside. Then return to heat.)

        Continue to cook the milk, stirring the bottom and sides of the saucepan frequently, until the mixture becomes very thick and sticky and caramel colored (this will take about 40 - 60 minutes). It is important to frequently stir the milk so it does not burn. Adjust the heat as necessary, you want the milk to be at a low rolling boil.
        Note: There are several stages the milk goes through during the cooking process. When the milk first comes to a boil there is a lot of foam. Eventually the foam subsides and after about 15 minutes, you will notice that the milk turns a light beige color. As it continues to cook, the milk thickens and gets darker and darker in color. The more you cook the Dulce de Leche, the thicker and more caramel colored it will become. Once the Dulce de Leche has been reduced to about 1 1/4 cups it is ready. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool before covering and storing. The Dulce de Leche can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a month.

        Thursday, September 22, 2011

        Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

        I have to say, this dish is definitely delicious and my kids ate it so a winner in my book. I am planning on making this dish the week I have my baby. So simple to put together and keep in the fridge or freezer until ready to heat and eat.

        Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

        1 pound lean ground beef

        1/4 large onion, minced

        2 1/2 cups salsa (I used Pace, Mild)

        1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

        1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing

        2 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning

        1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

        4 flour tortillas (8 inches)

        1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 

        2 cups (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend

        1 cup shredded lettuce

        1 medium tomato, chopped 

        1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


        In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the salsa, beans, dressing, sour cream, taco seasoning and cumin. Spoon a generous layer of meat mixture on bottom of 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Place a flour or corn tortilla on top of meat mixture. Layer with half of the meat mixture, and cheese. Repeat as many layers as you like. The last & final layer should be a healthy dose of grated cheese. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with pam or other and bake at 400° for 25 minutes, or until hot & bubbly.  Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and cilantro. Yield: 8 servings.

        I got this recipe from here. I made a few little adjustments.

        Monday, September 19, 2011

        Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

        Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

        1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed into fine crumb
        1/4 cup sugar
        1/3 cup butter, melted

        Crush your graham crackers. As you can see from the picture above. I like putting them into a zip lock bag and rolling them with a rolling pin. Then add sugar and butter. Press into pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 min then cool before filling.

        2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
        1 tablespoon sugar
        1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
        2 cups cold milk, divided
        1 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
        for garnish, whipped cream and more sliced fresh strawberries

        Combine strawberries, sugar in bowl. Pour into cooled crust. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth; gradually add 1/2 cup milk. Add pudding mix and remaining milk. Beat for 1 minute or until well blended. Pour over strawberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Garnish as desired.

        Tuesday, September 13, 2011

        Jalapeno Poppers

         I have a confession. I hate football season. When my husband and I got married his thought about me was college athlete must = college sports fan. WRONG. Sorry BYU. I love you and it was a great 4 years but I really don't care to watch your games. I do care about their swimming but since I can't watch that on TV I am out of luck. The reason for the hostility towards these next few months is the monster my husband turns into. Some of you may know what I am talking about. Our life the next few months will revolve around sports. Not the new baby coming in 7 weeks but the Boise State football season. I try my best to be supportive. He works hard and loves this time of year so I won't take ruin that for him. To help get in the "spirit" of no date nights for the next few months I made these jalapeno poppers for my hubby. I mean, at least he needs some good food to eat during these games right?

        These little puppies aren't too much to look at I know (I should work on my styling) but they were better than any restaurant appetizer I have ever had. I have a fryer but I just did these on the stove top so anyone can do them!

        Jalapeno Poppers

        10 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded 
        8 ounces cream cheese, softened
        1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
        4 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
        1 cup milk
        1 cup all-purpose flour
        1 cup dry bread crumbs
        1.5 quarts oil for frying (may not need that much depending on your pan size)

        In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves. Put the milk the flour and the breadcrumbs into separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes. Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated. In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.

        Thursday, September 8, 2011

        Shepherds Pie

        While my husband and I first started dating he offered to make me dinner one night. My roommates were lucky enough to sit in on this meal. He made shepherds pie. I had NEVER had it before in my life. I was a little skeptical  because I used to be the type of person that liked all my foods to stay on their respective sides of the plate. Well this particular time he made this dish he used instant potatoes. Poor guy, they were so runny. My roommates and I forced this mushy, runny food down our throats and complimented him. Now that we are married I tease him about the time he made me shepherds pie. I loved his effort but now over the years I love this dish and have perfected it. It's a great throw together meal but so comforting.

        Shepherds Pie

        Mashed Potato topping:
        5 good sized russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
        1/3 stick butter
        2.5 oz. cream cheese
        milk, just enough to soften the mash
        salt and pepper to taste

        boil chopped potatoes in pot of water until potatoes are soft. Drain. Add butter, cream cheese and a little milk (like 1/4 cup). Hand mash them with a tool or use a hand mixer to blend until smooth. If you need more milk add it. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

        1 pound ground beef
        1/2 onion, diced
        2 cloves garlic, diced
        1 can green beans, no salt added
        1 can diced tomatoes
        1 can corn, no salt added
        Cheddar cheese as a topping

        Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute your onion in pan over med-high heat for 3-4 min. Add garlic. Cook one more minute and then add beef. Brown the beef. Once it's ready, drain the fat from the beef and pour in an 8X8 baking dish. Season the beef mixture with salt and pepper. Next,  drain REALLY WELL the beans, tomatoes and corn. I just throw them all in the strainer together to mix them up. Pour the veggies on top of the beef mixture. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Scoop the mashed potatoes on top of the veggies. Top with large cut pieces of cheddar cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the over or until heated through. The last 2-3 minutes I turn the oven on broil to really brown the cheese. That's how we like it:)

        Wednesday, September 7, 2011

        German Pancakes with homemade syrup

        This dish is obviously great for breakfast but I also love it as a last minute dinner. You can make the syrup ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for a few days. Just heat it up when you are ready to serve. YUMMY!!

        German Pancakes

        6 eggs
        1 cup milk
        1 cup all-purpose flour
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

        confectioners' sugar for garnish

        Place the eggs, milk, flour and salt in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour the butter into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish; add the batter. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Dust pancake with confectioners' sugar; serve immediately with the syrup.

        Buttermilk Syrup

        1 1/2 cups sugar
        3/4 cup buttermilk
        1/2 cup butter
        2 tablespoons corn syrup
        1 teaspoon baking soda

        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

        In a saucepan, combine the first five syrup ingredients; bring to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. 

        Tuesday, September 6, 2011

        chicken lime soup

        I tried a similar recipe a little while back from Rachael Ray. It was a little too spicy for me and especially for my kids. I love all the ingredients so I made some changes. Here it is.

        See what you think.

        • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
        • 1 onion, finely chopped
        • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
        • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
        • 6 cups chicken broth
        • 1 can diced tomatoes
        • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
        • Juice of 2 limes
        • Salt and pepper
        • 1 hass avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise
        • Crushed tortilla chips

        1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Increase the heat to high, push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the chicken and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and tomatoes. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming any foam. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.
        2. Place 2 avocado slices in each soup bowl and pour in the soup. Top with the tortilla chips and a little more cilantro.

        Friday, September 2, 2011

        Bathroom solutions

        I don't know about you but I have been having a major towel problem in my master bath. There isn't a linen closet very close and not enough cupboard space under the sinks for towels. My solution, a $15 dresser from Goodwill. This baby can hold all my towels. Gave it some cute yellow paint and now my towels are hidden in the drawers and it's close to the the bath and shower. I love it.

        Wednesday, August 31, 2011

        Frozen Hot Chocolate

        After picking up my first grader from school yesterday she begged me for some ice cream because she was so hot. Now I know that I don't live in a really "hot" place but for us it was hot and we were thirsty. We made this drink instead of having ice cream and it hit the spot. We were all chilling in the August heat. What a great after-school treat. I need to tell my mom to make this for my little sister. She has a thing for hot chocolate.

        Frozen Hot Chocolate

        1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
        3 tsp hot chocolate mix
        1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
        1 1/2 cups milk
        3 cups ice
        whipping cream (optional)

        Use the double boiler method or the microwave to melt the chocolate. Once melted , add the cocoa and sugar, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.*This is important*

        In a blender place the remaining cup of milk, the room temperature chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and desired consistency.  Pour into a cups and top with whipped cream if desired. Makes about 5 cups.

        Monday, August 29, 2011

        Lemon Cookies

        I must share this recipe I just tried this weekend. Here is the link to where I got it from. They are just what I mentioned earlier about what I love in a great cookie. Crunchy but chewy at the same time. Plus I love that they are lemon. They are light and refreshing. This recipe made only 2 dozen for me. I like to make them a little bigger than what she suggested though:)

        Try this recipe. It's a keeper.

        Lemon Cookies

        ½ cups butter, softened
        1 cup granulated sugar
        ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
        1 whole egg
        1 teaspoon lemon zest
        1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
        ¼ teaspoons salt
        ¼ teaspoons baking powder
        ⅛ teaspoons baking soda
        1-½ cup all-purpose flour
        ½ cups powdered sugar

        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

        In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

        Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

        *If using a non-stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes. **I had a light pan and mine took 10 minutes to cook.**

        Friday, August 26, 2011

        Balloon Wreath

        This is my lame attempt to convince my daughter that she wants a costume birthday party instead of my little pony. Her birthday is close to Halloween and I want to have an excuse to decorate a lot this year.  Either way, this is a fun decor craft you can do for any holiday or celebration. I got a plain foam wreath from Hobby Lobby and then bought 220 balloons. Half black and half orange. Then some size 20 super-fine sharp pins from the sewing section of Hobby Lobby to attach the balloons to the foam. It didn't take too long. I just folded the balloon in half short wise and pinned it to the wreath. I hope to post a LOT more Halloween crafts soon!

        Wednesday, August 24, 2011

        Chile Lime Chicken Soft Tacos with Homemade Tortillas

        Any meal these days that I can make in a slow cooker is a life saver. This was super easy so fresh and delicious. It's not too spicy. I made them as bean and chicken burritos for the kids they gobbled them up. So nice not to have to make two different meals tonight. BECAUSE this meal was so easy I decided to make my own tortillas. They were WAY easier than I thought they would be to make and cheaper than store bought so win win! Try it.. I dare you:)

        After I shredded the chicken

        Homemade tortillas
        Before I folded it into a soft taco. With some lime juice it was so yummy!

        Chile lime chicken soft tacos

        1 medium onion, diced
        1 4oz can diced green chilies
        3 cloves of garlic, minced
        1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder

        lime juice from 2-3 limes depending on how juicy they are. Mine weren't too juicy so I used 3
        4 boneless chicken breasts, thawed if frozen
        1 can fat free refried beans, warmed

        one batch of homemade tortillas 

        Toppings such as: shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, sliced olives, guacamole, cilantro, lime wedges

        Add chicken and onion to a slow cooker. In a bowl combine green chilies, garlic, chili powder, and lime juice.  Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred.

        Top with hot chicken mixture beans and any other desired toppings.

        Homemade Flour Tortillas 

        2 1/2 cups flour 
        3/4 tsp. Salt
        1/4 cup PLUS  2 tablespoons shortnening
        3/4 - 1 cup hot water

        In a mixer like a kitchenaid fitted with the dough hook, combine flour and salt. Add shortening and combine until crumbly. With the mixer running, slowly add the hot water. Mix until the dough starts to come together from the sides of the bowl. You want the dough to be soft but not too sticky. Heat a large skillet on med-high heat. Take a portion of the dough that will be a small ball in the palm of your hand. Roll the dough ball into a thin circle. Place raw tortilla onto the hot skillet and cook about 1 min on the first side and about 30 seconds on the other side. If they burn too quickly turn your heat down. Place the cooked tortillas on a plate between two paper towels to keep them warm until you serve them. This will make 8-10 tortillas. 

        Tuesday, August 23, 2011


        My poor son has been in need of a dresser for a while now. He has had this worn out one with a broken drawer his whole life. Now that I am much more pregnant (30 weeks!!) I got fed up with fixing his drawer day after day. It's time for a new one!! I looked at stores for a new one but didn't find a good kids one.I found this one at a thrift store for $14.99. A little paint and new knobs and it looks good in his room I would say. I just need a lamp now and he will be set.

        I sanded it a little and primed it with Kilz primer.

        Saturday, August 20, 2011

        Ziti with eggplant sauce

        Sorry about this blue plate. It is so bright in this picture. This recipe is a great one for kids because they don't know there is eggplant in the sauce. You get an amazing flavor from roasting the eggplant before pureeing it. Plus it doesn't take too long so try it out!

        Ziti with eggplant sauce

        1 med to large eggplant, peeled and chopped
        about 1/4 cup olive oil to use at different steps in directions
        salt and pepper to taste
        1 box ziti noodles
        2 tablespoons dried rosemary
        2 cloves garlic, minced
        1 tsp. red pepper flakes
        1 tsp dried parsley
        1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
        shredded provolone OR parmigiano cheese for garnish 

        Heat oven to 500 degrees. Get water boiling for pasta. Cook as directed on box to al dente. Spread the chopped eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil all over the eggplant. Generously salt and pepper. Roast eggplant in oven for about 20 min. The last few minutes in the oven, switch oven to broil to get some color on the eggplant. Watch it so it doesn't burn. While that is in the oven, place a large skillet over med heat on the stove. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, rosemary, red pepper flakes,  parsley and some salt. Stir to combine. When eggplant is done, scrape off pieces into a blender or food processor. Add a little water so it's moist and puree until it's thick and smooth. Add the puree to the tomato sauce. Stir to combine. To serve, combine cooked and drained noodles with the tomato eggplant sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top.

        Wednesday, August 17, 2011

        Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie

        I was on a pie making mission yesterday. I love to make pies. There is something about the whole process that is very stress relieving for me. This one is different from your typical pie but very tasty. It has just enough chocolate to not make it too rich which I appreciate. Out of the pies I made yesterday it was the family favorite. You can serve it with some vanilla ice cream. YUM!

        Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie

        1 unbaked pastry shell (recipe below) see my tutorial for pie crust here
        1-1/4 cups flour 
        1/2 tsp salt
        1/3 cup shortening
        4-5 tablespoons ice water

        Chocolate Filling
        1/2 cup water
        1-1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
        1/4 cup butter
        2/3 cup sugar
        1-1/2 tsp. vanilla

        In a saucepan, bring water, chocolate and butter to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat add sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

        1/4 cup shortening
        3/4 cup sugar
        1 egg
        1 cup flour
        1 tsp baking powder
        1/2 tsp salt
        1/2 cup milk

        In a mixing bowl, cream shortening with sugar until fluffy. Add egg; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder ans salt. add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Pour into unbaked pastry shell already formed in dish. Carefully pour chocolate mixture over filling. Cover pie crust edges with foil so they don't burn. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Cool on wire rack and store in fridge.

        Friday, August 12, 2011

        Mac n Cheese

        This recipe is a twist on the Deceptively Delicious mac n cheese recipe. I love the idea of hiding the cauliflower in the cheese sauce plus I think it tastes better with it! I have added a few spices to give it more flavor.

        Mac N Cheese **you can use reduced fat dairy products to cut back on fat content**

        2 tablespoons olive oil
        2 tablespoons flour
        1 1/2 cup milk
        1 cup cauliflower puree
        2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
        4 oz. cream cheese
        16 oz. elbow macaroni
        1/4 tsp paprika
        1/2 tsp mustard powder
        dash cayenne pepper
        salt and pepper to taste

        Cook your pasta in salted water according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside if cheese sauce isn't ready yet.

        Spray large saucepan with cooking spray bring to medium heat. Add oil, then flour and cook, stirring until mixture is a thick paste but not really brown. About 1-2 min. Add the milk and stir with whisk for about 3-4 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Add puree, cheese, cream cheese and seasonings and stir until thick bubbly and smooth. Pour over noodles when ready to serve.

        Wednesday, August 10, 2011

        Overnight baked french toast

        This is a dish I usually make on Christmas eve for Christmas morning breakfast. There is so much commotion going on with gifts that making breakfast that morning needs to be easy and delicious.  Mine is a little burnt on the top in these pics. I like it like that so haters back off;) You also don't have to use nuts on yours either (Jazmine).

        Baked French Toast

        1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
        8 large eggs
        2 cups half-and-half
        1 cup milk
        2 tablespoons granulated sugar
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
        Dash salt
        Praline Topping, recipe below
        Maple syrup

        Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

        Praline Topping:

        1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
        1 cup packed light brown sugar
        1 cup chopped pecans
        2 tablespoons light corn syrup
        1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
        1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

        Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well. 

        recipe from paula deen