Friday, December 23, 2022

The Best Sugar Cookies

 YOU GUYS!  It is Christmas Eve, EVE! ACKK!  I had to do it, I had to go pick up a couple of stocking stuffers today.  I swore it wasn't going to happen this year, but I don't mind so much.  The hustle and bustle are exciting to me and celebrating the birth of Jesus is the MOST exciting.  I don't care if he was born in March, this is when we celebrate, and I am here for it!

I tried ad am going to succeed in getting 3 cookie recipes up this week.  One more will follow Christmas Eve morning or late, late tonight!  In the wee hours of the morning!  It is only 3 ingredients, so buckle in.

There are so many sugar cookie recipes out there, but in my humble opinion this is the best.  If you cake it at just the right middle time, you get soft amazing sugar cookies, bake it for 1 maybe 1.5 minutes longer and you have a crunchy crispy cookie on your hands!  Roll them out thicker for soft as well, and thinner for crispy.  There are so many ways to control this one and make it like you want it!  I would love to chat more, but time is moving on faster than I want, and I have to get this last recipe filmed for you so let's get to it friends!

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 3/4 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 350F,  In a bowl with a hand mixer or standing mixer, add in shortening and butter.  Mix until fluffy and combined.  Add in sugar and mix until combined.  Next crack in your eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix until completely combined and smooth.  Add in flour in 2 additions.  Mix until JUST combined and then stop!  If you over mix your dough, you will be eating Christmas hockey pucks, and nobody has time or teeth for that.  Now here is where the choices come in.  For cut out cookies, refrigerate for 1, or up to 2 hours before rolling out and using cookie cutters.  If you are just rolling them into balls, and rolling in sugar, go for it.  The sooner the better because well, it is obvious the sooner you taste test!  

Cut Out Cookies For a softer, thicker cookie, roll out thick and bake for about 12-13 minutes.  For a thin crispy cookie, roller thinner and bake about 12-13 minutes.  

REMEMBER: your oven may run hotter or cooler than mine, so you keep checking that first pan and go from there!


ENJOY and MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Ganache Thumbprint Cookies

 There is so much merriment going around these days that just typing this recipe makes me excited and happy for Christmas!  I am so happy to see you all again.  It has been a bit of a personal struggle the last few weeks in my life but, I am going to try and get some last minute cookie recipes up!  Get to baking friends!  Have you done all your baking and it is tucked safely in the freezer until cookie plate or tin making comes for friends and family?

This is a super easy recipe, I just wanted to make thumbprint cookies but change up the jam, because to know me is to know I am not a huge lover of fruit.  I know...

But, thanks to my dislike of jam, this little butter-ish, only slightly sweet cookie is EASY and quick.  I even did a video for you and that will be down the page a bit. You take a bit and then you get this little pop of rich and deep chocolate flavor, and it is the perfect match!  Not overly sweet but still sweet enough.  Does that even make sense?  Guess you will have to try it to find out.  I am in a time crunch here, I have Peanut Butter Balls, in the freezer, and just edited some family baby photos I took.  Let's get to the recipe!

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • ganache (sm. recipe below)
Preheat your oven to 350F.  I use a silicone mat, but you could lay your cookie sheet with parchment paper or use a nonstick spray.  In a bowl with hand mixer or in a stand mixer, combine all ingredients, with flour last.  (we will make the ganache later) Mix until just combined.  You may think this dough won't hold together but I promise it will!  The heat of your hands as you roll them into balls will keep them together.  Roll all dough into balls and bake for 15 minutes.  When you take them out, let them sit and cool for about 3 minutes, using your thumb or the end of a spoon, make your "thumbprint".  I did mine before I baked them and ended up having to redo them anyway.  Don't burn yourself!  Set aside to cook the rest of the way.

In a small glass bowl or glass measuring cup, heat up 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream.  Heat until it bubbles around the outside.  Add in 1/2 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Let sit for 5 minutes and then stir until it is dark in color and rich!  Now using a way smaller spoon than I did, fill up the thumb print with your ganache and refrigerate for about 10 minutes to give it a headstart or let sit at room temp until the chocolate has set.  Oh so good!

Store in an airtight container or freeze in a storage bag, ot just eat them.  I mean isn't that the end goal anyway?

ENJOY holiday baking and holiday eating!





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!