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Showing posts from 2015

2015 Recipe Round Up

Grinch Cookies

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My heart had definitely been feeling two sizes too small this December.   I ran across these Grinch Cookies, and thought they perfectly summed up my mood.  The recipe is super simple and fast to come together.  Did my heart grow three sizes?  No, but I did find myself smiling and having fun.   Thanks so much to Sue for sending me the little red candy hearts and to Katrina for the recipe  :)  Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!





* Exported from MasterCook *

                              Grinch Cookies


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1                box  french vanilla cake mix (I used 15.25oz box)
     1/2           cup  vegetable oil
  2                     eggs
                        green food coloring -- 4 drops
                        Confectioners (powdered) sugar for dusting
                        Sprinkles or candies -- large heart-shaped

Heat oven to 350°.  

Mix together cake mix, food …

Cranberry Orange Pancakes

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Hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!   For our last day of break, I thought that these Cranberry Orange Pancakes would make a great breakfast.    I can't make pancakes from scratch due to egg issues, so I used the Bisquick Shake N pour.    I added 2T of orange juice to a measuring cup and then filled the rest to the required 1 1/2c line.   I added orange zest to the batter, but held back the chopped cranberries to add on the griddle.  The syrup comes together easily and quickly, keep an eye on it or it will boil over in a flash.

Thank you so much to Nancy Z for this delicious recipe!




* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Cranberry Orange Pancakes


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
                        SYRUP:
  1                cup  fresh or frozen cranberries- used fresh
     2/3           cup  orange juice
     1/2           cup  sugar
  3        tablespoons  maple syrup
 …

Lemon Basil Chicken Rotini

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Full disclosure- I do not like peas.  Normally they are only bought frozen to serve as impromptu ice packs.  The exception to this is the first peas of spring, fresh from the farm, I'll eat those raw.   I know, weird.   When the ingredient for the Cook's Corner Challenge was announced I thought, yep, that's a challenge.   Neither of the guys will eat peas, so I had to make something that they could be added to a portion of.   I chose this recipe from the November 2015 issue of Taste of Home.   The guys love cheesy sauces, lemon and chicken.  My changes are in the parentheses.   

I gave it an 8, Jake gave it an 8 (a 10 if next time I left out the carrots), Tim declined to give a number value, but ate 2 platefuls.    I definitely will make it again, maybe in spring, when I can get peas fresh from the farm    :)    Thanks to Anna-Marie W for sharing your recipe!  

I know I keep harping on it, but it's a tough time of year for pics.   I took some last night, they weren&#…

Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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Gotta admit, pulled pork usually isn't my thing.    Tim is a huge fan of it.   I usually save making it for times when my son isn't home and I can toss something else together for myself.  I saw this recipe from I Thee Cook on Pinterest and thought that he'd enjoy it.  I did take some liberties- minced dried onions and jarred garlic.    I started the roast on the stove, and then moved it to the slowcooker.   When I got home from running errands and got a whiff of how amazing the house smelled, my alternate lunch got scrapped! 

Leftovers were even better the next day.   Thank you so much Rina for making a pulled pork convert out of me!   :) 




* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Apple Cider Pulled Pork


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
     1/2           cup  brown sugar
  1           teaspoon  onion powder
  1         tablespoon  paprika
  1           teaspoon  garlic powder
 …

Orange Spice Carrots

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Veggies are a tough sell at my house.  My son has limited favorites, and my husband is even pickier.   The December 2015 issue of Taste of Home featured this Orange Spice Carrot recipe, and I thought it would be a nice change from our usual sides.    It also happened to coincide with the ingredient for this week's Cook's Corner Challenge on the Taste of Home Community, Citrus.   I'm on my 3rd crockpot, and this one runs hot.   I wasn't going to be home most of the day to keep an eye on them, so I decided to go with a stovetop version instead.    

Even my husband enjoyed these, he had two servings. They'll definitely be going into the regular rotation.   Thank you to Christina A for sharing her recipe!



* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Orange Spice Carrots


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
1            pound frozen carrots, cut in coins
     1/4           cup  pac…

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

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I missed out on last week's Cook's Corner challenge because I was down with a cold, but I'd bought my pumpkin and didn't want to miss this week's too!   Found a little time today to throw together this easy muffin recipe.   Zero changes to this one, except to sprinkle the tops with raw sugar before baking.  

I couldn't even wait for them to cool completely to try the first one.    The kid is going to love them, the husband is stubborn and probably won't even try them.    Next time I'll double the batch and make half as mini muffins, they'd be great lunch box additions.

Thank you to Jennifer J for sharing your recipe!




* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2               cups  all-purpose flour
  2 1/2      teaspoons  baking powder
  1           teaspoon  ground ginger
  1           teaspoon…

Cheeseburger Gnocchi

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I'd slid into a little bit of a cooking slump the last few weeks, relying heavily on T&T recipes.    I planned the menu on Sunday for this week, and penciled in ground beef for Tuesday night.   The go-to recipes for that would be either tacos or Beef Stroganoff Sandwiches and neither sounded good to me.    Clicking through my Beef Pinterest board brought up this recipe from Kevin & Amanda. 

I had to make a few adjustments due to my family's food quirks- minced dried onion instead of fresh, jarred garlic.  I omitted the cumin.   Tomatoes are a no go, I went with tomato paste.   Mexican blend cheese because I had it on hand.  Doubled the meat, and also added crumbled bacon to half at the end.   Parsley for garnish. 

My husband had 2 helpings and I thought it was great.  I knew it would be a tough sell for my son, he ate his portion but said he'd rather not have it again.   That's ok, it's a perfect date day meal. 

The last thing- it's November, and we&…

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cookies

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I've spoken of my cake mix/pudding mix addiction before.  I just can't resist when I see fun new seasonal flavors.   I've amassed quite a collection, and it's time to start working my way through them.

Carol posted this recipe for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cookies, and I knew that the guys would love them.    I did omit the cheesecake emulsion, and I used King Arthur Flour mini cinnamon chips instead of the full size.    The first tray I forgot to flatten, the second tray I flattened too much, and the third was just right.    I was slightly worried because I've been overloading the guys with apple stuff lately, but they were a huge hit.  Thank you Carol!



* Exported from MasterCook *

                     Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cookies


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1               pkg.  caramel apple cake mix -- (15.25 oz.)
  1               pkg.  cheesecake instant pudding mix -- …

Sweet Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

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Back when my husband worked nights, breakfast for dinner used to be a fast, easy meal for Jake and myself.  Now we are day shift people, and I've got a stockpile of Shake N Pour Pancake mixes that need to be used up.    I went looking for a recipe to participate in this week's Cook's Corner Challenge  and this one stood right out for me.   

No changes to this one, other than to reduce the amount of water slightly- my apples were incredibly juicy.    I was worried that the batter still seemed runny, but they cooked up perfectly and I got exactly 12.    I treated myself to a nice late breakfast, and the rest I'll freeze on cookie sheets and then move to ziplocs for Jake to reheat.   Thank you so much to Janet V for sharing her recipe!





* Exported from MasterCook *

                  Sweet Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2               cups  complete pancake…

Caramel Apple Cake Mix Donuts

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I am addicted to cake mixes (and pudding, but that's another post)...  I can't seem to go to the grocery store without one ending up in my cart.   I love the seasonal flavors, and last week's find was Caramel Apple Cake mix.   I had originally planned on mini cupcakes with them, but then I ran across this recipe for donuts.

I considered replacing half the water called for in the cake mix with cider, and didn't.   Next time I might.  I didn't find the plain donuts overly flavorful.  She also says to bake them to golden brown, and the one pan I cooked that way would have been inedible.  Mine are pale, but taste good.   I nixed the store bought frosting/crushed candy for a homemade apple cider glaze.  

They don't really remind me of baked donuts, but they are fast, fun and a nice treat.  You definitely could make them as cupcakes or mini muffins instead.


* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Caramel Apple Baked Donuts



  Amount  Measure       Ingred…

Caramel Apple Strudel

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I know people go bonkers over pumpkin everything, but to me, Fall= apples.  We are situated near several amazing orchards, and I try to get around to all of them at least once during the season.    I get into a frenzy of baking, some to eat now, some to stock the freezer.  

Today's baking coincided with apple being the ingredient on the Taste of Home Cook's Corner Challenge.   Perfect!   I made pies and apple zucchini bread last week, and this week I wanted something different.   Something that used puff pastry.  I went back and forth between strudel and turnovers, and in the end, this recipe won out.

I read through the reviews carefully, and it gave me a few things to look out for.  My apples were not overly sweet and neither was my cider, so I went with slightly less than 1/4c sugar.  I started with 1/2 a cup of cider and kept an eye on it in case it needed more.   It didn't.    Be sure to cool the mixture completely- it says it in the directions, don't be tempted t…

Jalapeno Popper Quesadilla

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Felt like treating myself a little bit today.  I'm all alone for lunch and usually I'll just grab some leftovers or a quick sandwich.   I had some nice jalapenos from the farm, and this recipe seemed like the perfect way to use them.  

Just small changes to this one- I used Mexican blend shredded cheese and real bacon bits.  I scaled it down to just one serving.  Next time,  I'll make them on my Cuisinart Griddler for more even browning and crispiness.   Thank you so much to Rebecca N for sharing her recipe!




* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Jalapeno Popper Quesadillas

2                    flour tortillas- burrito size
2oz cream cheese -- room temperature
  1T        Real bacon bits
1 jalapeno pepper -- seeded and finely chopped (used a mix of green and red)
 1/2               cup  shredded mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.  Place tortilla on greased baking sheet. . Spread with cream cheese; sprinkle with bacon, jalapeno and cheese. Top with r…

Apple Zucchini Bread- yay for Fall!

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I've been waiting patiently for fall, it's my favorite season.   Apples, hoodies, the beautiful New England foliage, cooler weather for baking.   Finally, it has arrived.   I stopped by the orchard and picked up a gorgeous bag of assorted apples (Gala, Jonamac and Paula Red), and 4 zucchini with the intention of making up some quick bread and tossing a few loaves in the freezer.   I came up with this recipe from Taste of Home.

First off, I had to 86 the nuts.   Both guys are allergic.   A lot of times you can leave them out with no damage, but this was a large amount.  Sometimes I add crushed Rice Krispies to make up the difference.   This time, I decided to add 1 cup of cinnamon chips.  

I always peel my zucchini for baking.   My husband and son used to insist they don't like it.   I've since let Jake in on the secret and he loves watching Dad reach for that 2nd and 3rd piece.   I also let the peeled zucchini sit in a colander for a while to lose any of the excess l…

Peach blueberry muffins

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Peach season is coming to a close here in New Hampshire, but I still managed to score 4 large, sweet, juicy peaches.   I knew I wanted to make muffins, and a search through the Taste of Home database turned up this recipe.    It called for pecans, but I substituted blueberries because both my guys are allergic to tree nuts and I have a ton of blueberries.   I liked the use of the sour cream, though I'm betting they would be great with greek yogurt or peach flavored yogurt.    I sprinkled the tops with raw sugar before baking, I like the crunch and sparkle it gives them.

The recipe makes 12.   5 disappeared very quickly last night.   My son asked me to send one for his school snack today.    I'm enjoying one with coffee this morning.   This is one of those recipes that as soon as I mix the batter, I know I should have doubled it!    Thanks to Mrs. Michelson for sharing her recipe  :)




* Exported from MasterCook *

                              Peach Blueberry Muffins

     1/2  …

Rich Mocha Poke Cake

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This week's ingredient for the Cook's Corner challenge is coffee.   I am the only person who likes coffee here, so my challenge was to find something that used the ingredient that didn't taste like the ingredient.    I had planned on making a chocolate poke cake before the ingredient was announced, so I went looking on Taste of Home to find a cake I could adapt.  I chose Joylyn T's Rich Mocha Cake

I almost never have buttermilk on hand, so I had to rely on the regular milk/vinegar trick.    I mixed and baked the cake, then let it cool while I made the boxed instant pudding according to the package directions.   I used a wooden spoon handle to poke holes all over the cake, and then poured the pudding over.   I spread it evenly with an offset spatula and put it into the refrigerator.    I did make a rookie mistake with the frosting-  I somehow missed that the chips were to be melted and cooled.   I tossed mine directly into the sugar mixture.   The texture was not spr…

Bacon Topped Grilled Cheese

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Everything is better with bacon, so why not grilled cheese?   Bacon is the ingredient for the challenge this week on Taste of Home's Cook's Corner community.   I had thick sliced bacon, tomatoes from my Uncle's garden, and when I was searching for new recipes to try, this one really stood out to me.    I changed very little from the original recipe-  I used shredded part skim mozzarella since I had it on hand. The measurement is estimated- life is too short to measure shredded cheese.   I added some basil along with the oregano, mixing them into the sour cream and then stirring in the diced onion.   It made it very easy to divide between the sandwiches.

So good!   I'm not winning any photography contests with this one.   It looked delicious, smelled amazing, and I wanted to eat.     Thank you so much to Nita C for sharing the recipe!




* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Bacon Topped Grilled Cheese


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method

Cherry Tomato Corn Salad

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Where did August go?   School started today and I find myself trying to hold on to summer for as long as I can.     This dish definitely helped with that.   Tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, all in a light dressing, served chilled.  This was the perfect side to some baked marinated bone-in chicken. I halved the recipe, since it's just for myself, dried basil instead of fresh and fresh corn instead of frozen  :)    


* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Cherry Tomato Corn Salad


  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
     1           teaspooon  dried basil
 1 1/2        tablespoons  olive oil
 1         teaspoon  lime juice
  1/2           teaspoon  sugar
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/8     teaspoon  pepper
  1               cup  fresh corn *
  1               cup  cherry tomatoes -- halved
  1/2                cup  chopped seeded peeled cucumber

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the …

Rustic Vegetable Tart

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In 2006, I'd never even tried eggplant, but I wanted to.  I put a call out on the Taste of Home community asking for suggestions.  I got some great ones.   Over the years, I've made a lot of eggplant dishes, but a lot of them were based off breaded and fried disks.     This time I wanted something different.   I also had some zucchini and tomatoes from the farm, and a nice yellow pepper.    I did a search and found this recipe.  

It was too hot to run the oven for very long, so I sliced the eggplant instead of cutting it into chunks.  I also sliced the tomatoes and used half what the recipe called for.    The pepper I cut into long strips.   I laid out all the veggies one type at a time on the pastry with a little drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt & pepper.   Over the top tomato layer, I scattered the yellow bell pepper, some minced jarred garlic, more salt & pepper, drizzle of oil and the shredded parmesan cheese.

I baked this on Wednesday to have for Thursday n…

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

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No long story with this one.  I had zucchini, I was craving chocolate  :)   I find this more like cake than brownies, but who cares?  They are delicious no matter what you call them.

No changes to this one except I peeled the zucchini and omitted the nuts.    Thanks to Ruth B for sharing the recipe!




* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

  2               cups  all-purpose flour
     1/3           cup  baking cocoa
  1 1/2      teaspoons  baking soda
  1           teaspoon  salt
  2               cups peeled, shredded zucchini
  1 1/2           cups  sugar
     3/4           cup  vegetable oil
  2          teaspoons  vanilla extract
                        FROSTING:
     1/4           cup  butter -- cubed
  1                cup  sugar
     1/4           cup  milk
     1/2           cup  semisweet chocolate chips
     1/2           cup  miniature marshmallows
  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking …

Citrus Green Beans

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Simple is best when it comes to fresh-from-the-farm green beans, and I gave this recipe a try today.  Still hot and muggy here, and I didn't want to boil water to steam them, so I made them in a packet to grill alongside some chicken.   I laid out the trimmed green beans, poured over the olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and then zested the orange over top.   I squeezed the juice from half the orange into the packet, and then sealed it up tight.

I put it on the grill while it was preheating, and left it on while the chicken cooked.   They were the tiniest bit squeaky, probably could have used a few more minutes or maybe a headstart in the microwave.     Nice hint of orange, but not enough to overpower the flavor of the beans.   Jake added a tiny drizzle of honey over his.     :)



Citrus Green Beans
1lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed zest from 1 orange juice from 1/2 an orange 2t olive oil salt and pepper to taste
Lay out a piece of foil and begin to assemble packet.   Sprea…