Saturday, November 12, 2022

Chocolate Caramel Apple Bark

 Good afternoon my dear friends.  I am so happy to see you back, and welcome to anyone who may be new here!  We are back with an easy dessert for fall, or anytime you need something sweet.  These are getting right up outta this house and going to work with my husband.  They aren't safe here.  And neither am I!

I have seen this "recipe" if you will, all over the place.  I mean, I have seen them done 10 different ways.  Make your own caramel, caramel sauce (still haven't figured out how that works), caramel bits, traditional caramels...you get my point.  I would have chosen to make my own caramel, it is so easy, but I had already bought these caramels, and can we get to the real questions??  Do you say CARMEL, or CARAMEL?  Inquiring minds....

I can't believe Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away.  Random I know.  I am not cooking this year!  Well, I am but just having the holiday at my sisters so I am bringing Pineapple Stuffing because my family can't have a holiday without it, green beans, because I accidentally bought 10 bags of frozen green beans while doing my Wal-Mart grocery delivery order, and stuffing, because I like mine best.  I will probably crank out a huge pan of baked mac and cheese as well for good measure.  I think I am subconsciously all ready for it to be here.  Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite meal of life, besides good seafood which is hard to come by in Nebraska!  The end.

I will have explained in this video why I did a few things differently than maybe some other recipes you have seen for this.  I did change up a major thing which was using freeze dried apples instead of fresh.  Ain't nobody got time to risk apples turning brown, including me!  I hope you enjoy and HAPPY FALL!!  Sending blessings to you all!

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups chocolate or white chocolate chips (I choose 1 cup of milk chocolate and 1 cup white chocolate
  • 2 cups of caramels (measure before melting)
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (shelled)
  • 1 cup freeze dried apples (smoosh them up a little so the bark is easier to break when done) OR use 1 apple of your choice, diced small.
  • pretzels, between 1/2 to 1 cup.  
Line your cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.  Melt your chocolates you can do it in the microwave or on the stove.  If you do them in the microwave, you need to heat them in 30 second increments, and stir between ever 30 seconds.  If you overheat/scorch them, it will be a clump of what appears to be half dried mud.  Not a good look or taste.  Now you canc use all chocolate chips, milk or semi-sweet, but I opted for 1 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of milk chocolate chips because I don't LOVE chocolate with the caramel apple flavor.  No don't come for me, a little is fine, but the entire base of the bark, no thanks.  It worked out more than perfect.  Make sure your chips are at room temp when you heat them.  Mine were out of the freezer and tried to seize up but I rule and caught them in the nick of time.  You will see this on the video.  When I spread the chocolate out, I then crushed up pretzels in my hand.  You can lay them out nice and tidy if you so choose, I didn't so choose.  I then sprinkled the pistachios on.  I saw some bare spots and panicked!  Hehe

Next, melt the caramel, SLOWLY heat it.  I did my caramel on the stove.  When it is completely melted, (keep stirring soldier) stir well and then pour on top of the chocolate/pretzels/pistachio layer and spread out evenly.  I left a small border so you could see the chocolate layer around the edges.  Work quickly so you can get your apples on top before it sets.  I just used my hands to crunch up my apples still in the bag.  I happened to get these apples at Dollar Tree because I was there, and we have tried them before, and I didn't want to use fresh apples. Problem solved.  Get them on, press them down a bit and let sit for at least 1 hour.  

Break it up and place in an airtight container.

The textures of this you guys....is awesome.  A slight chew from the freeze-dried fruit, crunch from the pistachios and pretzels, creamy chocolate, chewy caramel.......it all comes down to the fact you just need to make these.  It doesn't have to be more difficult than that!

ENJOY!



Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Cinnamon Caramel Crunch

Hello friends!

Hoping this finds you all happy and healthy!  It is November 1st.  WHAT?  How is this even possible?  NOVEMBER!  CHRISTMAS SEASON!  AACCKK!  Most unnerving is that there will be snow soon.  At the beginning of every winter, I ask myself why we are still here?!  Then the first snow happens, and I am thrilled, and then I am over it again.  I mean, it is what it is.  Right?  

This is an easy little snack, fun for your kids' lunchboxes, snack time or anytime.  I am using things up in my pantry and I challenge you to do the same, use things already in your cupboards or freezer, pantry, or wherever you may keep your food.  Don't let anything go to waste, go bad, or become unusable.  I don't think you can have too many of these quick snack recipes.  I feed people, it is what I do, so when someone is coming over.... forget about it!

Be ready to get addicted to this.  I always try to warn you but, I mean, it is the least I can do!


Let's get the show on the road.  
  • 5 cups oyster crackers
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Get your oven preheated to 350F.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and set it aside.  Place the oyster crackers in a large bowl and also, set them aside. 

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Once it is melted bring it to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes while you stir.  DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT forget you are dealing with hot sugar, and you WILL land in the ER if you try and taste this!  After 2 minutes, remove from the heat and add in 1.5 tsp cinnamon and the vanilla.  Stir until completely combined.  Pour over the oyster crackers and stir with a rubber spatula until the crackers are well coated.  Pour unto your cookie sheet and spread them out into as single of a layer as possible.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  WHILE that is happening, mix together your 2T sugar and 1tsp cinnamon, you will need to sprinkle your crackers when you remove them with this mixture and let sit until cooled.  Break up the crackers and store in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag!

ENJOY!


Saturday, October 22, 2022

Witches Brew Snack Mix

Happy Saturday Friends!  Who celebrates Halloween?  While I don't celebrate it anymore, I knew someone would love an easy snack mix for the little ghosties, superheroes, and princesses in your life.  We can just enjoy it as a fun fall treat as well!



Did your mom or grandmom ever give out homemade treats?  I remember a year or 2 that my mom gave out caramel apples I want to say.  Maybe it was something else, but boy are those days gone.  Those are the first things that hit the trash (well right after 3 musketeers bars)!  Sometimes I love for the days of old but am always blessed and excited for the time I have been given by waking up each day.  

I have been a clown, cheerleader, referee, ballerina, little bow peep, did I mention clown?  Some of the costumes I remember as a kid.  There were things we were not allowed to dress up as, and we probably shouldn't have been allowed to dress up as. HAHA!

So, where I got this recipe.  My sister's mother-in-law came to visit, and she had a little breakfast get together at her house.  Her mother-in-law, queen of entertainment and games had this "thing" we were going to make.  I thought it was a beverage, but no, snack mix. HOORAY!  As she read off one ingredient at a time, oh wait, she had given us a Ziploc bag first thing.  THEN she read each ingredient as it was passed around the table, and you could take how much you wanted, etc.  I think I took 2 raisins which I switched out for chocolate chips in my recipe.  They really do look like bugs, and at 48, I am still not adult enough to get that out of my brain!  So, we continued with each ingredient until our mix was done.  Then we played a game seeing who could name the 10 body parts with only 3 letters and the winner got to add whatever ingredient they wanted to their bag.  Btw, you think this is an easy task, naming 10 body parts that only have 3 letters.  Guys, the M&M's were staring at me, my favorite ingredient was on the line, and I biffed it!  BAD!

I am going to insert your ingredients and their "Halloween" names.  This would be fun to play with kids or to serve with the written recipe stuck in it!Either put this into individual bags, or into a large bowl with an airtight lid!

ENJOY and don't let the blood drops drip!  Chew your chicken toenails well and PLEASE don't choke on the bat bones!



Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The EASIEST Dill Dip

Goooood Evening!  It is me again, a new recipe, an easy versatile recipe that I thought you guys might like.  We got some fresh amazing dill at the farmer's market a few weeks ago and my husband had asked for pickles AND dill dip.  I couldn't think of two things I like better with dill so I got the pickles done and set off to make my own homemade dill dip.  Homemade is just best, don't you agree?  I like controlling what is in our food, real food.  Just reading the ingredients on any product in the store gives me anxiety.  What is that?  Is that a fancy name for bugs?  Is that sawdust?  Yeah, I just prefer homemade whenever possible.  I mean I am a food blogger and recipe developer.....kind of a requirement that I love cooking!  Honestly, like anyone else, sometimes I don't love cooking and baking.  Sometimes I want to take 3 days off from making dinner and I do.  Anyone else go through short periods of time like this?

Well, along with the dill, I found delicious tomatoes, and baby cucumbers for dipping in said dip and so I got started.  Pretty easy.  Kind of all of the usual suspects of dill dip but I just did the measuring for you!  As with any recipe of mine, always, ALWAYS adjust it to your tastes.  Not big on garlic, add less.  No salt?  Add zero.  And so forth.  Here we go folks!  

Side Note: If you eat salmon, make extra, you might enjoy this shmeared on top or thin out with some milk and use as salad dressing, you are welcome!

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 TBSP fresh dill
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 TBSP onion flakes
  • 1 tsp parsley (same amount dried or fresh)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a lid.  Make sure all spices and herbs are completely mixed in.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but up to 12 hours if you like!  The flavor will grow stronger the longer it chills!!



ENJOY!



Saturday, October 1, 2022

Loaded Baked Mashed Potatoes

 Good morning my friends, it is good to have you.  Welcome to my website!  Make sure before you leave to click the JOIN button!  No spam, no ads, and only an email update when I post if you wish!  I have over 600 recipes, here!  It kind of jars me to think about that number!

I pray this finds you all doing well and being happy!

This recipe is brought to you courtesy of my hubby.  He asked me if I could make mashed potatoes in the oven with bacon and cheese and something on top.... here it is.  These are AMAZING, and I am grateful he is so supportive and technically, my most viewed and popular recipe here on my website is HIS recipe for Baked Spaghetti and Stuffed Meatballs!  He knows his food let me tell you and I am never amazed at what he comes up with next!

Let's get to the recipe, shall we?

MASHED POTATOES

  • 4 med-large russet potatoes
  • 3 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/4-1/3 cup milk (depends on the consistency you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon pieces
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (reserve approx 1/4 cup for topping)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 green onion
For the TOPPING:

  • shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 reserved from your 1 cup of cheese)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs of your choice
  • 4 TBSP melted butter
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Get a pot of cold water, WELL salted, ready for you.  Peel your potatoes, and cut into about 1-inch pieces, they will cook much faster.  Keep them a pretty uniform size.  Bring your water to a boil and boil for about 10-15 minutes.  Check with a fork to see if they are done.  Drain and place potatoes into a mixing bowl.  Using a hand mixer, mash potatoes, adding in all of your ingredients, sour cream, milk, cheese, bacon, and pepper.  Mix until well combined.  Place into a buttered or sprayed (nonstick cooking spray) dish.  I used about a 9-inch round baking dish, use what you like.  Spread potatoes to cover.  Now, sprinkle your cheese on top evenly, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top, and drizzle it all with your melted butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown!!!  When you remove from the oven, top with green onions and dig in!

Hope to hear from you if you try this recipe.  It is perfect next to a steak, a thick pork chop, a grilled chicken breast, and a salad!!

ENJOY!











Sunday, September 25, 2022

CheeseCake Fluff Dessert

YOU GUYS!  I uploaded this video and forgot to post the recipe!  There will be no awesome blog post, just that I can get this kind of "dessert" at a local grocery store and decided I had to try and make it at home!  I did!  I did!  I did!  Try it if you love cheesecake, especially light, creamy cheesecake!

FILLING:

  •  2 sm. boxes CHEESECAKE flavored pudding
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1, 8oz container of whipped topping
CRUST:
  • 1 sleeve (10-12 crackers) graham crackers
  • 2 TBSP white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
   Make crust in your food processor, or by hand.  Add all ingredients into processor or bowl and process or stir until mixture is the texture of wet sand.  Press into the bottom of a 9x9 or round baking dish.  Put about 1/4 cup of crumbs aside for garnish.

For the filling, add in pudding and heavy cream.  Beat for 3-4 minutes, incorporating as much air as possible into the mixture to make it light and fluffy.  Add in 1/2 of your whipped topping and beat it in to lighten the mixture.  Next, take a spatula and FOLD in the rest of the mixture.  When it is completely mixed, add the filling into the crust using a pipping bag or a spoon.  If piping it in, you don't need a tip, or you can use a Ziploc bag, but this step will make it extra light and fluffy, I promise!  When done, sprinkle with the extra graham cracker crumbs and chill for 1 hour.  Oh, NELLY this is awesome!

ENJOY!



Friday, August 12, 2022

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Sticks

 Happy Friday!  Finally, the end of the week!  Ready for a great weekend treat?  I figured out a way I could keep cooking hygienically without my bandages freaking me out!  A glove!  NOTE: In the video of this recipe, the blue glove made my camera go orange, I apologize and know that for next time.  


These are in an entirely different zip code of goodness.  My mother-in-law made these years ago when they were super popular, don't know if they still are but I have never made them, so I wanted to try it.  Super easy and oh so delicious.  You can't NOT love these, I am convinced!  Not only are these a perfect dessert or treat but perfect for a brunch or big breakfast as well!

I believe they are also known as "crack sticks or rolls", I don't care for that name, so I call them cinnamon cream cheese sticks.  Just as a side note!  Let's get this party started...


You will need:

  • 1, 8oz block of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar, icing sugar)
  • 1 loaf of white sandwich bread
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Flatten bread with a rolling pin.  You can cut off the crusts or not, I have never and will never cut off a crust!  Ok, I might but...  In a bowl using a hand mixer combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until a smooth consistency is achieved.  In a second bowl combine white granulated sugar and cinnamon, make sure it is also well mixed.  In a third bowl, simply melt your butter.

Now spread some cream cheese on your piece of bread, roll it up like you would a jelly roll, the cream cheese will hold it together, dip in the butter, then cover in cinnamon sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.  Do this until you are out of cream cheese, I would say anywhere from 10-14 rolls.  Just depends on how generous you are with the cream cheese.  

Bake for 20 minutes and prepare yourself for a little bit of heaven!  Store in airtight container!

ENJOY!