Wednesday, October 29, 2008

i am totally in love with this...

i love these so much i can't even express it to you.  i found them HERE & they are so much fun!  i just used my regular sugar cookie recipe- found HERE, added the edible wafer paper prints & embellished them with sanding sugars & decorative crystals.  i can promise you that i will be making these again for Christmas...  & maybe even Thanksgiving.  we'll see!?!
{love them in cello with a little black sparkle tulle}

{they come with 20 different images}

{CuTe & SpOoKY}

Saturday, October 25, 2008

markae's halloween caramels...

another favorite from my amazing sister-in-law!  i make this recipe every halloween & it is always a hit!!!!  i won't lie to you & tell you that they are not a lot of  work, but i can promise you that they are soooo worth it.  i also modify the  recipe (change the oil flavor) for other holidays & use it to make other great recipes... caramel covered marshmallows.  I will put those instructions at the bottom of this post.  

{Markae's Halloween Caramels}

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. anise oil

3/4 tsp. black food coloring

In a heavy sauce pan mix milk, sugar, butter, corn syrup & salt.  Stir continually over medium heat until reaches bottom of firm ball stage- 240 degrees on candy thermometer.  This will take a little while.  Be patient!!!  

Remove from heat & add anise oil & food coloring. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish & let cool at least 2 hours.  Cut into small squares with a sharp knife & wrap in caramel wrappers or waxed paper.

{Black & White Sparklies}

to make these little beauties- i just make the caramels recipe, and while the caramel is still warm i dip the marshmallows, with skewers in them, into the caramel.  i then roll them in black or any color you like sanding sugars.  place onto waxed paper & let cool completely.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nakole's mexican chicken chowder...

{Nakole's Mexican Chicken Chowder}

3 pounds Chicken
1 cup chopped Onion
2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
4 T. Butter
4 Chicken bullion cubes
2 cup liquid (reserved from chicken)
2 tsp. Cumin seed
4 cups Half and Half
4 cups grated Jack Cheese
2- 14oz. can Cream of Corn
2- 4oz can Green Chiles
a few shaked of Tabasco

Boil chicken with 1 onion quarted & 1 TBSP salt. Reseve 2 cups of the chicken stock for soup. Cool chicken & shred.

Saute onions & garlic in butter in pot until soft. Then add rest of ingredients except for half and half and jack. Bring to Boil. Then add half and half and jack. Make sure to turn your heat to low. Stir constantly until combined.

Top with pico de gallo & Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shrimp Krispies- Irresistibly Delicious!!

{Shrimp Krispies}

12 ounce cooked shrimp, thawed and chopped
8 ounce soften cream cheese
2 shallots-finely diced
1 teaspoon ginger-minced
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
wonton wrappers
Sesame seeds
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon cold water
Steps:Preheat oven- 425’ mix together first 2 ingredients until well blended- place 1 tablespoon of mixture in wonton wrapper- twist and put on baking sheet- bake 10-12 minutes- drain on paper towels- serve with dipping sauce! DELICIOUS!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kristine's "to die for" Brownies...

these brownies are seriously so delicious! i am so glad that Kris shared it with me. the best part is for sure the frosting. she also gave me some variations for caramel filled or peanut butter cup... go CrAzY!!!  

{Kristine's Fabulous Brownies}

1 cup butter, softened 
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup flour 
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2-3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl beat together butter, sugar, eggs & vanilla.  Beat until light & fluffy.  Sift together- flour, cocoa, baking powder & salt.  Beat into butter mixture.  Mix in chopped nuts.  Pour into a greased & floured 7x11 in. pan.  bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 degree 45-60 minutes.  Cool completely, frost with chocolate buttercream frosting.

{chocolate buttercream frosting}
1 cup butter, softened
2 TBSP cocoa powder
3 cups powder sugar
3 TBSP heavy cream or milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Whip together all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Beat until light & fluffy.  

***to make filled brownies, make according to recipe, pour 1/2 of batter into a greased 9x13 in. pan.  Layer in caramel filled chocolate bars, peanut butter cups or any other candy of your liking, then top with the other 1/2 of batter.  Bake for 40-55 minutes.  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

robyn's ham & cheese crepes...

i know that these might sound a little "girlie", but they are super delicious & my whole family loves them.  if you don't want to go to the work of making the crepes, you can by them pre-made at the grocery store.  

{mom's homemade crepes}

3 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup water
1 tsp. oil

In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs.  Add salt & milk.  While beating on low, add flour a little at a time.  Add oil & water.  
Pour small amount (about 1/4 cup) batter into greased crepe pan.  Cook over medium-high heat until dry on top.  Carefully flip over.  Cook for a few seconds on the other side.  
Stack & serve.

{Robyn's Ham & Cheese Crepes}

12 cooked crepes- recipe above
24 thin slices deli ham
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 TBSP chopped green onions
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/3 cup bread crumbs
3 TBSP butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle each crepe with 2 TBSP cheese.  Top with 2 slices ham.
In a small bowl, combine onion, salt, pepper, sour cream & mustard.  Mix well.
Spread 1 TBSP sour cream mix on ham.  Roll up & arrange in an ungreased 9x13 pan.  In a small bowl mix together melted butter & bread crumbs.  Sprinkle over crepes.  Cover loosely with foil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

fun fall treats to have on hand...

here are a couple of my favorite fall treats to have on hand.  they are quick, easy & don't really require any cooking.  both would make great after school snacks & fall party "set around" treats.  

{apples & caramel cream cheese dip}

1- 16 oz. container Litehouse Caramel dip
1- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
6-8 tart apples, granny smith or Johnathan- sliced

in a medium bowl whip cream cheese until soft & fluffy with an electric mixer.  add caramel sauce & whip until combined & creamy.   

{peanuts & candy corn}

2 cans salted cocktail peanuts
1 bag Brach's candy corn

mix together in a medium bowl.  store in a air tight container.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

HaLloWeen SwEeT ChiLi

You know it is Fall when you start thinking of Chili. This recipe has been in our family forever! And I must say it is the BEST chili I have ever tasted and if you haven't figured out yet... most of everything I make has brown sugar in it. I like things SWEET- I really am not a savory kinda of girl. So with that in mind this chili is on the sweet side- and it is very Delicious. YOU MUST TRY IT!! And this recipe makes a lot so have friends and family over to enjoy it. HAPPY OCTOBER!

2lb. Hamburger
2lb. Jimmy Dean mild sausage ( or maple sausage)
2- 15oz cans dark red kidney beans
2- 15 oz cans chili beans
2 cups spicy V8 juice
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c water
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar ( I use more)
3 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
*Brown hamburger and sausage in butter- drain off excess fat...put into a large pot or crockpot- add rest of the ingredients- make sure to drain the beans and let simmer for at least an hour. Best served with sour cream and cheese. And I love to put into bread bowls. Yummy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

kathy's lasagna swirls...

i got this recipe from one of my friends mother.  they are so yummy & in perfect, pretty, individual servings.  they just give lasagna a little something different!

{kathy's lasagna swirls}

1 box lasagna noodles

2-10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed & well drained

1 pound ricotta cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

1 tsp. salt

pepper to taste

Light tomato sauce

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2-12 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes

16 oz. tomato sauce

2 TBSP sugar

2 TBSP olive oil

2 tsp. sweet basil

1/2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare pasta according to box directions.  Set aside.  Beat together ricotta, 1/2 cup parmesan, cream cheese, mozzarella, salt & pepper.  Set aside.

To prepare sauce, saute` onion & garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Careful not to burn the garlic.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Lay out each noodle & spread about 2 TBSP filling on each.  Roll up like a jelly roll.  Place into a 11x14 pan, coiled side up.  Pour sauce over rolls & sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.  Loosely cover with foil & bake for 30-40 minutes.  

Saturday, October 4, 2008

ham & cheese hashbrown casserole...

this is a great option for something more savory.  or as a side dish for one of the sweeter recipes.  also great for a make ahead dish-  just put it together the night before then pop it into the oven that morning!

{ham & cheese hashbrown casserole}

6 cups frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 cup cooked diced ham
2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk
salt & pepper to taste

Press hashbrowns between 2 paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Place hashbrowns in the bottom of an ungreased 11x14 inch baking dish.  Evenly drizzle melted butter over hashbrowns.  Next layer evenly spread the ham into a layer, then the cheese.  Place chopped onions in a ziploc bag.  Add one tablespoon of butter & cook in microwave for 2 minutes.  In a small bowl beat together milk & eggs.  Add cooked onions, salt & pepper.  Pour egg mix over cheese layer.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Friday, October 3, 2008

i told you i had more...

this is a favorite for the richer palette.  it's fast, easy & oh so delicious! 

{Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast}

4 large croissants, cut in half horizontally
1/4 cream cheese, softened
1/4 strawberry jam-homemade if you have it
3 eggs
1/4 milk

in a medium shallow bowl beat together eggs & milk.  set aside.
take the bottom half of each croissant & spread with 1 TBSP cream cheese & then 1 TBSP jam.  put top back on & gently flatten.  try not to squish out filling.  
dredge filled croissant in egg mixture.  place into a pre-heated skillet sprayed with cooking spray or melted butter.  cook on medium until lightly crispy on each side, only flipping once.
top with whipped cream, syrup, fresh strawberries or vanilla cream syrup. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

conference weekend... Sunday brunch-

Sunday is not only conference, it is also my amazing mother's birthday. Nothing better than a house full of family eating great food, giving you gifts & showering you with love. Or at least that is the plan. Here is what we are thinking food wise. I'll post a recipe a day until Sunday. Try a few of these this weekend. I promise you won't be disappointed!

{dani's sourdough pancakes}

in a large bowl mix...

1 cup warm milk (not hot)
1 package yeast
1 TBSP sugar
add flour to the consistency of pancake batter

mix well & let rest 10-15 minutes.

-if you are going to double the recipe you would start that at this point-

2 cups water
2 cups flour

mix well & loosely cover.  do not refrigerate!  let sit out at room temperature overnight.
the next day add...

1/4 cup oil
2 beaten eggs

*mix well*

sift together-
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
add to the rest of the mix & stir just until combined.  DO NOT OVER MIX!
pour onto a hot griddle & cook just like any other  pancakes.  enjoy with kalleen's Vanilla Cream Syrup.

{kalleen's vanilla cream syrup}

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

in a medium sauce pan stir all ingredients until sugar is dissolved.  let cool slightly & transfer to the blender.  blend on high power with lid on loosely.  cool completely as the syrup will thicken as it cools.