Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Apple Streusel Muffins

I picked up some apples for another recipe and had a few left over, so I went in search of something to make on the Taste of Home site. I've been a fan of Taste of Home since the 90s, and I've made over 150 recipes from their publications.   I was so excited to be chosen as a Volunteer Field Editor in 2015.

These muffins caught my eye, I'm such a sucker for a streusel topping.  The only changes I made to the recipe was to use caramel extract in the glaze instead of vanilla, and whole milk instead of the 2%.  The texture reminds me more of poundcake than muffins, but I'm fine with that.   They made great lunch box treats and along side my morning coffee.  Thanks so much to Dulcy G for sharing the recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                          Apple Streusel Muffins

  2               cups  all-purpose flour
  1                cup  sugar
  1           teaspoon  baking powder
     1/2      teaspoon  baking soda
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
  2              large  eggs
     1/2           cup  butter -- melted
  1 1/4      teaspoons  vanilla extract
  1 1/2           cups  peeled chopped tart apples- used Granny Smiths
                        STREUSEL TOPPING:
     1/3           cup  packed brown sugar
  1         tablespoon  all-purpose flour
     1/8      teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  1         tablespoon  cold butter
     3/4           cup  confectioners' sugar
  2 to 3          teaspoons  2% milk -- used whole milk
  1           teaspoon  butter -- melted
     1/8      teaspoon  vanilla extract- used caramel extract
  1               Dash  salt

Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together first five ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be stiff). Fold in apples.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. For topping, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool. Mix glaze ingredients; drizzle over tops. Yield: 1 dozen.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

St. Patrick's day Twinkies

Flavor combination #2 from the mind of Jake- he wanted green cake, mint flavored filling and chocolate.    I offered to let him make the cake from the recipe booklet this time, but he decided to go with a yellow cake mix.    He went sparingly with the food coloring at first, but after the first batch baked he decided to add more.   We modified the filling recipe from the booklet to be a little less sweet and added the mint extract.  He chose semisweet chocolate chips for the glaze. There was extra filling leftover, so once the chocolate was set, we piped it on top.  I was concerned that the combo would be overly sweet, but it wasn't at all.  

He's still in love with the Twinkie Maker, I personally would rather bake them as cupcakes.  There's definitely a learning curve with how long to bake and how to get them out in one piece.  The filling bag/tip that came with the set clogs easily, this time I used my own piping bag/tip.   

St. Patrick's Day Twinkies

Yellow cake mix, plux ingredients to make cake
Green food coloring

Mint Marshmallow filling
1 stick butter, softened
1c Marshmallow Fluff
2t Mint extract (or to taste)
3/4- 1c powdered sugar

1c semisweet morsels
1t vegetable oil

Preheat Hostess Twinkie Maker.   Prepare cake mix according to package directions, adding food coloring to desired shade of green.   Spray the wells with cooking spray.    Fill 3/4 of the way with batter, I use a cookie scoop.   Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until done.    Remove to cooling rack and repeat with remaining batter.

Prepare filling.   Combine butter, fluff (heat in the microwave for easier pouring/measuring), and extract with a mixer.   Slowly add in powdered sugar to desired consistency.   Set up piping bag with a round tip, spoon in filling.   Fill cakes from the bottom in 3 places, being careful not to overfill. 

Melt chocolate with vegetable oil in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring after each interval, until smooth.    Dip tops or bottoms of cakes into chocolate, then return to cooling rack to set.   Pipe extra filling on top, if desired.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Coconut Macaroon Pie- Happy Pi{e} Day!

We're pretty boring when it comes to pie.  Looking at my 12 posts on the subject, they are mostly variations of our favorites- Apple, blueberry & chocolate.   For Pi{e} Day, I decided that I wanted to get out of the box a bit.    Still working my way through all my sticky notes making to-try recipes in Taste of Home's 100 Family Meals, and one of those recipes was Coconut Macaroon Pie.

Simple to make, starting with a store bought pie crust.   I am not a great crust maker, which is why I think my pie selection is so limited.    The only sub I made was vanilla for the almond extract, due to  allergies.   I have beautiful glass pie dishes which really allow you to see if your bottom crust is soggy or not.   The down side is that it does take the pie a bit longer to cook- I covered it with foil at the 35 minute mark because it was browning very quickly.   Mine took about 50 mins.

This is so good.   It tastes like the inside of a Mounds bar.  It would be great with a drizzle of dark chocolate.    It cuts beautifully with a serrated pie server.   This goes straight into the Family Favorites file, and maybe next time I'll even attempt a crust from scratch!

Thank you so much to The Redhead Baker for hosting, and be sure to check out all the other awesome pie recipes at the end of this post!

* Exported from MasterCook *
               Coconut Macaroon Pie

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1              sheet  refrigerated pie pastry
  2              large  eggs
  1                can  sweetened condensed milk -- (14 ounces)
     1/4           cup  butter -- melted
  1           teaspoon  almond extract (used vanilla)
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/4           cup  all-purpose flour
  1            package  flaked coconut -- (14 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350°. Unroll pastry sheet into a 9-in. pie plate; flute edge. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, melted butter, extract and salt until blended. Stir in flour. Reserve 1/2 cup coconut; stir remaining coconut into egg mixture. Transfer to pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle with reserved coconut.

Bake on a lower oven rack 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and filling is set. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 10 servings.

Source: Taste of Home's 100 Family Meals

  • Cherry Cream Cheese Pie by Frugal Pantry
  • Chicken Pot Pie with Puff Pastry by Family Around the Table
  • Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie by Moore or Less Cooking
  • Coconut Cream Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust by I Say Nomato
  • Coconut Macaroon Pie by Jolene's Recipe Journal
  • Drunken Vanilla Cherry Pie by The Redhead Baker
  • Gluten-Free Matcha-Chocolate Pie by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
  • Individual No Bake Mango Pie by Caroline's Cooking
  • Matcha Buttermilk Pie by All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
  • Pi Pie by Amy's Cooking Adventures
  • Savory Spinach and Cheese Pie by Cooking With Carlee
  • Taco Pie by Tip Garden
  • Tomato Cheddar Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017

    Cinnamon Apple Twinkies

    My son is a teenager now, big into video games and snapchatting his friends.  When he shows any interest in cooking, I jump at the chance to spend some quality time with him.   He's been earning tickets at the arcade, with his eye on a Hostess Twinkie Maker. Over the weekend he came home with his prize, and was so excited to try it out.

    I had other things going on in the kitchen, so we decided to start simple with a Pillsbury Cinnamon Bun cake mix.   He mixed it as the package directed while the Twinkie maker preheated.   He gave it a quick mist of cooking spray, and filled the wells 3/4 full using a cookie scoop.   They baked in about 6 1/2 minutes, and we got about 24.

    I let him hunt through the cabinets for what to put inside, and he came up with a can of apple pie filling.    We pureed it in the food processor and used the tube filler that's included with the kit.  He flipped them so the bottom was up and filled them in 3 spots just like "real" Twinkies. They looked a little "plain", so I suggested drizzling them with some caramel ice cream topping.

    The result?  Taste great, fun to make, the appliance itself is easy to clean up.  You could use a muffin tin, or the super mini loaf pans and bake them in the oven.   He's been jotting more ideas for flavors in a notebook, and can't wait to get back into the kitchen and make them.

    Shared with The Weekend Potluck #264

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017

    Herbed Cheese Sticks- Taste of Home Tuesday

    Another winner from the Taste of Home 100 Family Meals cookbook!  I'm yeast phobic, but we are a carb loving family.   These delicious cheese sticks start with a boxed pizza crust mix, but you could use ready made pizza dough.   We like the crispy golden edges of the restaurant chain versions, so I baked these in a 9x9 for about 13 minutes.    They made a great side for some ravioli.  Thank you to Heather B for sharing the recipe!

     I can't believe another week has gone by and it's Taste of Home Tuesday again!  Go check out what the other amazing Volunteer Field Editors have made this week by clicking the links below the recipe  :)

    * Exported from MasterCook *

                               Herbed Cheese Sticks

      1            package  pizza crust mix -- (6-1/2 ounces)
      1 1/2      teaspoons  garlic powder
      1         tablespoon  olive oil
      1                cup  shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese -- (4 ounces)
         1/4           cup  shredded Parmesan cheese
      1           teaspoon  Italian seasoning
                            Pizza sauce

    Preheat oven to 450°. Mix pizza dough according to package directions, adding garlic powder to dry mix. Cover; let rest 5 minutes.

    Knead dough 4-5 times or until easy to handle. On a greased baking sheet, press dough into an 8-in. square. Brush top with oil; sprinkle with cheeses and Italian seasoning.

    Bake 6-8 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Cut in half; cut each half crosswise into eight strips. Serve with pizza sauce. Yield: 16 cheese sticks.

    Source: Taste of Home 100 Family Meals

    Family Around the Table Hot Dog Breadsticks 
    Making the Most of Naptime Crusty Homemade Bread 
    Jolene's Recipe Journal Herbed Cheese Sticks 

    Friday, March 3, 2017

    Melt in Your Mouth Pot Roast

    We've enjoyed some above average temperatures here in New England over the last few weeks.  Now winter has returned, and with it, my craving for comfort food.   This Melt in Your Mouth Pot roast is perfect for that.   Best of all, it's made in the slow cooker, so I can cozy up and read or knit and still put a great meal on the table.    

    A few small changes to this one- minced dried onion for the fresh, low sodium broth and I had a bottom round roast on hand.     The smell of this cooking filled the house and put a huge smile on my "meat and potatoes" loving husband's face when he came through the door.    I loved the use of mustard, and thyme.   Leftovers were great the next day too.    Thank you so much to Jeannie K for sharing her recipe!

    * Exported from MasterCook *

                           Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pot Roast

      1              pound  medium red potatoes -- quartered
      1                cup  fresh baby carrots
    3 to 4lb boneless beef chuck roast- used bottom round roast
         1/4           cup  Dijon mustard
      2          teaspoons  dried rosemary -- crushed
      1           teaspoon  garlic salt- used garlic powder
         1/2      teaspoon  dried thyme
         1/2      teaspoon  pepper
         1/3           cup  chopped onion- used minced dried, about 2T
      1 1/2           cups  beef broth- used low sodium

    Place potatoes and carrots in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Cut roast in half. Combine the mustard, rosemary, garlic salt, thyme and pepper; rub over roast.

    Place in slow cooker; top with onion and broth. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

    Freeze option: Place sliced pot roast and vegetables in freezer containers; top with cooking juices. Cool and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered saucepan, gently stirring and adding a little water if necessary. Yield: 6-8 servings.


    Tuesday, February 28, 2017

    This one is well named- Can't Leave Alone Bars #TasteofHomeTuesday

    I've really worked to get my cake mix collection down to reasonable levels, but now I've found this recipe for Can't Leave Alone Bars.    It goes together so quickly, is easily customized with different flavors of cake mix or types of chips.       For this pan, I used white cake mix (15.25oz) and semisweet chips.   I wanted thicker bars, so I used a 9x9 pan, and they baked in about 25 minutes.   We all loved them, and I'll be making them again soon (chocolate cake mix and sea salt caramel chips).    Thanks to Kimberly B for sharing her recipe!

    Want to see what other great recipes from Taste of Home my fellow Volunteer Field Editors are making?   Check out the links below the recipe!

    * Exported from MasterCook *

                              Can't Leave Alone Bars

      1            package  white cake mix (regular size)- used 15.25 oz Pillsbury
      2              large  eggs
         1/3           cup  canola oil
      1                can  sweetened condensed milk -- (14 ounces)
      1                cup  semisweet chocolate chips -- (6 ounces)-
         1/4           cup  butter -- cubed

    Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs and oil. Press two-thirds of the mixture into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Set remaining cake mixture aside.

    In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, chocolate chips and butter. Microwave, uncovered, until chips and butter are melted; stir until smooth. Pour over crust.

    Drop teaspoonfuls of remaining cake mixture over top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting. Yield: 3 dozen.

    Source:  "http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/can-t-leave-alone-bars"

    Family Around The Table Mardi Gras Cupcakes
    Amy's Cooking Adventures Bananas Foster Bread
    Jolene's Recipe Journal Can't Leave Alone Bars
    TammyCookBlogsBooks Cheddar Corn Dog Muffins

    Thursday, February 23, 2017

    Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake- don't halve the recipe!

    I'd intended on making this recipe during football season, but kept forgetting to buy the mini rolls.   Burnt out on all our other ground beef favorites, I made a trip specifically to the store for them.  A few substitutions- I used minced dried onion in place of the fresh, thin sliced cheddar instead of the shredded.    I also pureed my tomatoes because my husband isn't a fan of them in chunks.

    I only made one pan, and that was a mistake- we both loved them, and it would have been great to have another one stashed in the freezer for a quick dinner.    Next time I will definitely make both pans.   Thanks for sharing your recipe Nick!

    * Exported from MasterCook *

                          Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake

      2           packages  Hawaiian sweet rolls -- (18 ounces each)
      4               cups  shredded cheddar cheese, divided- I used thin cheddar slices
      2             pounds  ground beef
      1                cup  chopped onion- used 2 T minced dried onion
    14 1/2oz  can  diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, drained- I ran mine through the blender
      1         tablespoon  Dijon mustard
      1         tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
         3/4      teaspoon  salt
         3/4      teaspoon  pepper
      24                    bacon strips -- cooked and crumbled
      1                cup  butter -- cubed
         1/4           cup  packed brown sugar
      4          teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
      2        tablespoons  Dijon mustard
      2        tablespoons  sesame seeds

    Preheat oven to 350°. Without separating rolls, cut each package of rolls horizontally in half; arrange bottom halves in two greased 13x9-in. baking pans. Sprinkle each pan of rolls with 1 cup cheese. Bake 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

    In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until combined.

    Spoon beef mixture evenly over rolls; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Top with bacon. Replace tops. For glaze, in a microwave-safe bowl combine butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Microwave, covered, on high until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Pour over rolls; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.

    Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked sandwiches; prepare and freeze glaze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Pour glaze over buns and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake sandwiches as directed, increasing time by 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°. Yield: 2 dozen.


    Shared at The Weekend Potluck #262

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017

    Waffle Monte Cristos- Taste of Home Tuesday

    I'm still working to get my family back to the table, and Mother Nature decided to help me out in the form of a snow day.   Who says a family meal has to be dinner, why not breakfast or brunch instead?  We were all starving after getting ourselves dug out of the storm, so I put together these Waffle Monte Cristos.  

    I used apple jelly instead of the apricot preserves, and provolone instead of the Havarti.   I've had Monte Cristos before, but the guys hadn't, and they were a little hesitant about the combination.
    We enjoyed them so much, I made them again the following morning.  This is the second family favorite from the Taste of Home 100 Family Meals cookbook, and I'm sure there will be more.   Thank you to Kelly R for sharing your recipe!

    It's Taste of Home Tuesday!  Be sure to go and see what my fellow Volunteer Field Editors are making this week through the links at the bottom of this post.  

    * Exported from MasterCook *

                               Waffle Monte Cristos

         1/2           cup  apricot preserves- used apple jelly
      8                     frozen waffles
      4             slices  deli turkey
      4             slices  deli ham
      4             slices  Havarti cheese (about 3 ounces)- used Provolone
      4                     bacon strips -- cooked
      2        tablespoons  butter -- softened
                            Maple syrup

    Preheat griddle over medium heat. Spread preserves over four waffles. Layer with turkey, ham, cheese and bacon; top with remaining waffles. Lightly spread outsides of waffles with butter.

    Place on griddle; cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and heated through. Serve with syrup for dipping. Yield: 4 servings.

    Source: Taste of Home 100 Family Meals

    Mom Can You Make Thai Chicken Tacos
    Family Around the Table Ultimate Fudgy Brownies
    Jolene's Recipe Journal Waffle Monte Cristos
    Red Cottage Chronicles  Apple Pie Oatmeal Dessert

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    Speedy Shepherd's Pie- Taste of Home 100 Family Meals cookbook

    How often does your family eat meals together?  My husband worked second shift for over a decade, and it was a rare occasion for us all to sit down at the same time and eat.    Once he went to a better schedule, mealtime moved back to the table.   This past fall, we bought a house, and in the chaos of moving, we drifted away again.    Son likes to eat in front of the computer or phone, husband in front of the tv.   I'm guilty too, sometimes the jigsaw puzzle I'm working on can render the dining room table unusable for days.

    Looking for inspiration, I turned to Taste of Home's 100 Family Meals.  As you can see by the number of pages I marked, there's lots to be found! There are suggestions for entire meals, complete with a list of groceries you need.    It's well categorized for easy mixing and matching too.  

    The first recipe I chose was Speedy Shepherd's Pie.    It's a fun twist on the traditional version, using taco seasoned meat as the base.    I use mild seasoning because that's what my family prefers.   If you aren't a fan of the prepackaged stuff, Taste of Home has a recipe for homemade that is fantastic.   I also used 2 tablespoons of minced dried onion instead of fresh.   This was a risky one where my son is concerned, he's flipflopped on whether or not he likes mashed potatoes several times over the years.   Once I told him there was cheese in them, he was in.   He gave this a two thumbs up, my husband went back for seconds.   Leftovers reheated well the next day.   It would be easy to make up the meat mixture and freeze it for a future meal as well.    Thank you Sharon T, for sharing your recipe!

    * Exported from MasterCook *

                              Speedy Shepherd's Pie

      Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    --------  ------------  --------------------------------
      1 1/2         pounds  ground beef
      1             medium  onion -- chopped- 2T minced dried onion
      2                     garlic cloves -- minced
         1/2           cup  water
      1           envelope  taco seasoning- used mild
      2 cups  shredded cheddar cheese -- (8 ounces) divided
      3 cups  leftover or refrigerated mashed potatoes -- warmed, used sour cream and chive flavor

    Preheat broiler. In a large ovenproof skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until beef is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain. Stir in water and taco seasoning; heat through. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Remove from heat.  (I moved the meat mixture to a casserole dish at this point so it would be easier to store the leftovers)

    In a bowl, mix mashed potatoes and remaining cheese; spread over beef mixture. Broil 4-6 in. from heat 5-6 minutes or until top is golden brown. Yield: 4 servings.

    Source: Taste of Home 100 Family Meals

    Shared at The Weekend Potluck #261