Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Recipe Round Up

Every year I set a goal of trying 1 new recipe a week (average). I've consistently beat that every year. This year, I tried 76 new recipes! Considering the chaos of the last few months, I'm very very happy with that.    Thanks to everyone who stops by, leaves comments, shares my posts on Pinterest.   Bring on 2016!

  1. Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts
  2. Meatball Sub Bubble Up Bake 
  3.  Peppermint White Russian
  4.  Irish Peppermint Pattie
  5.  Lasagna Panini
  6.  Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner
  7. Lawnmower Tacos
  8. Baked Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts
  9. Blizzards & Beverages- Girl Scout Cookie Shooter variation
  10. Bacon Cheddar Panini with Sweet Mustard
  11.  Grape Jelly Meatballs (Superbowl 2015)
  12. Hot Ham and Cheese Party Rolls (Superbowl 2015)
  13. Cheeseburger Pockets (Superbowl 2015)
  14. Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins
  15. Graham Cracker Fried Chicken
  16. Cupid Floats
  17. Honey Rosemary Chicken
  18. Rosemary Orange Roasted Turkey Breast
  19. Stuffing waffles
  20. Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole
  21. Slow Cooker Caribbean Beef Stew
  22. Hot Mint Cocoa Toddy
  23. Blueberry Muffin Waffles
  24. Barbecue Chicken Bread with Bacon, Red Onions and Cheddar
  25. Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme Copycat
  26. Chicken Picatta Pasta
  27. Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
  28. Crescent Cheeseburger Pie
  29. Baked Cheddar Dijon Chicken Tenders
  30. Maple Pepper Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich
  31. Lemon Herb Roasted Potatoes 
  32.  April Fool's Prank- Jello instead of Juice!
  33. Southern Bird dogs
  34. Chicken Strips
  35.  Creamy Balsamic and Herb Chicken
  36. Pineapple Upside Down Donuts
  37.  Banana Bread Waffles
  38. One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole
  39. Creamy Greek Yogurt Maple Dijon Salad Dressing
  40.  Savory Fried Chicken with hot sauce
  41. Cinco De Mayo "Sopapillas"
  42. Radish Cucumber Salad
  43. Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
  44. Chocolate Fudge Waffles
  45. Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
  46. BBQ Chicken Panini
  47. Boston Terriers
  48. BBQ Bacon Burgers
  49. Slow Cooked Corn on the Cob
  50. Chocolate Mousse Pie
  51. Basil Lemon Chicken
  52. Chocolate Cherry Blondies
  53. Cashew Crusted French Toast with Cherry Compote
  54. Zucchini Parmesan Waffles
  55. Chicken & Waffles
  56. Taco Stuffed Peppers
  57. Citrus Green Beans
  58. Fudgy Zucchini Brownies
  59. Rustic Vegetable Tart
  60. Cherry Tomato Corn Salad
  61. Bacon Topped Grilled Cheese
  62. Rich Mocha Poke Cake
  63. Peach Blueberry Muffins
  64. Apple Zucchini Bread
  65. Jalapeno Popper Quesadilla
  66. Caramel Apple Strudel
  67. Caramel Apple Cake Mix Donuts
  68. Sweet Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup 
  69.  Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cookies
  70. Cheeseburger Gnocchi 
  71. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
  72. Orange Spice Carrots
  73. Apple Cider Pulled Pork
  74. Lemon Basil Chicken Rotini
  75. Cranberry Orange Pancakes
  76. Grinch Cookies

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Grinch Cookies

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 coloring, oil and eggs.    Place dough in the fridge to chill, about 15 minutes.    Drop by tablespoons into powdered sugar ( I use this small scoop ), roll to coat.   Press 1 heart into the top of each cookie.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheets.   Bake for 8 minutes,  you want them just set.   Let cool on the pan for 2 minutes.   Move to a wire rack to cool completely.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cranberry Orange Pancakes

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
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1                cup  fresh or frozen cranberries- used fresh
     2/3           cup  orange juice
     1/2           cup  sugar
  3        tablespoons  maple syrup
  2               cups  biscuit/baking mix- used Bisquick Shake N Pour, 1 1/2c cold water minus 2T
  2        tablespoons  sugar- omitted
  2          teaspoons  baking powder- omitted
  2              large  eggs- omitted
  1              large  egg yolk- omitted
  1                cup  evaporated milk- omitted
  2        tablespoons  orange juice
  1           teaspoon  grated orange peel
     1/2           cup  chopped fresh or frozen cranberries- used fresh
                        Orange peel strips -- optional

In a small saucepan, bring the cranberries, orange juice and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cool slightly. With a slotted spoon, remove 1/4 cup cranberries; set aside.

In a blender, process cranberry mixture until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in maple syrup and reserved cranberries. Keep warm.

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, milk, orange juice and peel. Stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in chopped cranberries.

Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup. Garnish with orange peel strips if desired. Yield: 12 pancakes (1-1/4 cups syrup).


Shared on the Taste of Home Cook's Corner Challenge
and The Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lemon Basil Chicken Rotini

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't great.   I replated and took some today, and this is definitely a recipe that's better on day one, it's a challenge to reheat.  

* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Lemon-Basil Chicken Rotini

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  3               cups  uncooked white fiber rotini or whole wheat rotini (used regular)
  2          teaspoons  olive oil
  1              pound  boneless skinless chicken breasts -- cut into 3/4-inch strips
  1 1/2           cups  sliced fresh mushrooms (omitted)
  1 1/2           cups  shredded carrots
  4                     garlic cloves -- thinly sliced (used jarred minced, about 2t)
  1                cup  reduced-sodium chicken broth
  3             ounces  reduced-fat cream cheese (used full fat)
  1         tablespoon  lemon juice
  1 1/2  cups  frozen peas (about 6 ounces) -- thawed (used Steam in bag peas, added to my plate)
     1/3           cup  shredded Parmesan cheese
     1/4           cup  minced fresh basil- (used 1T dried)
  2          teaspoons  grated lemon peel
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  pepper
     1/4      teaspoon  crushed red pepper flakes (my plate only)

Cook rotini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until no longer pink. Remove from pan.

Add mushrooms and carrots to same skillet; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, cream cheese and lemon juice; stir until cheese is melted.

Drain rotini; add to vegetable mixture. Stir in chicken, peas, Parmesan cheese, basil, lemon peel, salt, pepper and pepper flakes; heat through. Yield: 6 servings.

adapted from ""

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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
  1           teaspoon  kosher salt
     1/2      teaspoon  cayenne pepper
     1/2      teaspoon  ground black pepper
                        For the meat:
  1         tablespoon  canola oil
  5             pounds  pork shoulder -- (butt)
  3T           minced dried onion
  2t         jarred minced garlic
  2             medium  granny smith apples -- peeled, cored, and sliced
  2               cups  apple cider
  2        tablespoons  apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce -I used Sweet Baby Rays
                      Bulkie Rolls

Combine brown sugar, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, cayenne and black pepper in a small bowl.   Rub on all sides of pork. 

Heat oil in a medium skillet.   Place pork in fat side down.   Brown well, and repeat on the other sides.    Place in slow cooker.   Add minced dried onion, garlic, apple slices, cider, cider vinegar and bbq sauce.    Cook on low for 8 hours.    Shred meat with two forks and serve on rolls.

Adapted from  ""

Linked to The Weekend Potluck #197

Orange Spice Carrots

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  packed brown sugar
     1/4           cup  orange juice
 1        tablespoons  butter
     1/2      teaspoon  ground cinnamon
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/8      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
 2         teaspoons  cornstarch
     1/8          cup  cold water

Cook carrots according to package directions.  Drain.  Add brown sugar, orange juice, butter, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.   Stir until well combined.   Whisk cornstarch into cold water, and pour into saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sauce thickens, making sure not to overcook the carrots.

Adapted from  ""

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

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  ground cinnamon
     3/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  baking soda
  1 dash  ground allspice
  1              large  egg
     3/4           cup  packed brown sugar
     3/4           cup  canned pumpkin
     2/3           cup  milk
  3        tablespoons  butter -- melted
  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
     1/2           cup  miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top. 

Heat the oven to 375º

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Combine the egg, brown sugar, pumpkin, milk, butter and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.   Sprinkle the tops with raw sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Yield: 1 dozen.


Shared to Throwback Thursday #55

Cheeseburger Gnocchi

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've "fallen back".  That means it's dark by time dinner is on the table, and even with my new fantastic camera- energy efficient bulbs continue to be my nemesis.   Please go to the blog and check out their pics  :)  Thank you so much to Kevin and Amanda for sharing the recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Cheeseburger Gnocchi

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1         tablespoon  butter
  1            package  potato gnocchi -- (16 oz)- I used frozen, which I defrosted
     1           lb  lean ground beef
  1           teaspoon  salt
  1           teaspoon  pepper
     1/2      teaspoon  smoked paprika
  1           teaspoon  mustard powder
3T minced dried onion
  1t minced jarred garlic
3T tomato paste
  1                cup  beef broth
     1/4           cup  heavy cream
  1                cup  shredded Mexican blend cheese
Real Bacon crumbles
Dried parsley for garnish

Over medium high heat, melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet.   Brown the defrosted gnocchi in the butter until nice and golden.   Set gnocchi aside on a plate.

Brown ground beef and minced dried onion over medium high heat, breaking it up to small crumbles.   Drain if necessary.    Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and mustard powder.   Add in garlic, tomato paste, broth and gnocchi and stir well.     Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover and then simmer on medium low.   Remove from heat when the gnocchi is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the cream and half the cheese.   Add the remaining cheese to the top.   Pop the skillet under the broiler for about 3 or 4 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown.    Sprinkle with bacon crumbles and parsley.

Adapted from-

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cookies

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 -- (4 serving size)
     1/2             c  KA Flour mini cinnamon chips -- plus a T or so for the tops
  2              large  eggs
     1/2            c.  vegetable oil
  1               tsp.  pure vanilla extract
  1               tsp.  caramel extract
  1               tsp.  cream cheese bakery emulsion (optional) -- Omitted

Heat oven to 350º. 

Combine cake mix, pudding mix and 1/2 cup of mini cinnamon chips.   In another bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, extracts and cream cheese emulsion (if using).     Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined.

Scoop dough with 1 1/2" cookie scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets.   You can easily fit 8 per sheet.    Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.   Add a few more cinnamon chips to the top of each cookie, pressing slightly.  

Bake 8-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and center is set. Cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then move to wire racks to cool completely.   Yield: approx 2 dozen

Source: Carol1229

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sweet Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

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 mix -- used Shake N Pour
  1 1/2           cups  water -- used about 1 1/4c
     3/4           cup  grated apple -- used Honeycrisp
     1/2      teaspoon  ground cinnamon
Butter or cooking spray for griddle
                        CIDER SYRUP:
     1/2           cup  sugar
  1         tablespoon  cornstarch
     1/8      teaspoon  ground cinnamon
     1/8      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  1                cup  apple cider
  2        tablespoons  butter -- cubed
  1         tablespoon  lemon juice

In a small bowl, stir the pancake mix, water, apple and cinnamon just until moistened.

Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until second side is golden brown.

Meanwhile, for syrup, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in cider until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Stir in butter and lemon juice. Serve with pancakes. Yield: 12 pancakes (1-1/4 cups syrup).


Linked to The Weekend Potluck #193
and the Taste of Home Cook's Corner Ingredient Challenge- Cider

Monday, October 12, 2015

Caramel Apple Cake Mix Donuts

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       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
                        Pillsbury® Caramel Apple Cake Mix
  1                     Egg
     1/4           Cup  Vegetable Oil
  1                Cup  Water
 1T melted butter
1T apple cider
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350.

Beat the cake mix, egg, oil and water together until smooth. Spray donut pans with cooking spray.  Place batter in a piping bag and pipe into pans.

Bake for  6 to 7 minutes for mini donuts, 10-12 minutes for large.  Let donuts cool completely and then remove from pan.

Combine melted butter, apple cider and powdered sugar.    Dip the top of the donuts into the glaze, then set on a cooling rack above a baking sheet to set.   (I line my baking sheet with foil for easier clean up)

Adapted from  ""

Linked to Taste of Home Cook's Corner Ingredient Challenge- Cake Mixes

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Caramel Apple Strudel

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 to save time there.   It will make the pastry unworkable.   I also couldn't get my storebought pasty to roll to the dimensions stated.  I rolled it out on parchment, then moved it, parchment and all, to the baking sheet to assemble.  The slotted spoon is vital so that you only add the apples and not the cooking liquid.    I didn't measure how much caramel I used- just a drizzle zigzagging from end to end.  I started at the lowest baking time and then kept an eye on it.  It's a very quick transition between golden brown and burnt, especially with the turbinado sugar on top.   

I waited until it was mostly cool to try slicing, and was very happy with the results.  My guys ate two slices each.    Thank you so much to Sarah H for sharing her recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                          Caramel Apple Strudel

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  5 cups apples -- peeled and chopped- I used Jonamacs
  1/2- 3/4           cup  apple cider or juice- used cider
  scant   1/4           cup  sugar
     1/2      teaspoon  ground cinnamon
     1/4      teaspoon  ground allspice
     1/4      teaspoon  ground cloves
  1                     frozen puff pastry sheet -- thawed
     1/4           cup  fat-free caramel ice cream topping
  1                     egg
  1         tablespoon  water
  1         tablespoon  turbinado sugar
                        Sweetened whipped cream and additional caramel ice cream topping -- optional

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Cool completely.

Unfold puff pastry onto a large sheet of parchment paper; roll into a 16x12-in. rectangle. Transfer paper and pastry to a baking sheet, placing a short side of the rectangle facing you. Using a slotted spoon, arrange apples on bottom half of pastry to within 1 in. of edges. Drizzle apples with caramel topping. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the bottom side. Pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under.

In a small bowl, whisk egg with water; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut slits in top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, serve with whipped cream and additional caramel topping. Yield: 8 servings.

Source ""

Linked to The Weekend Potluck #191
and Taste of Home's Cook's Corner Ingredient Challenge- Apples
and Flour Me With Love: Mix it up Monday 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jalapeno Popper Quesadilla

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 remaining tortilla.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Source  ""

Linked to The Weekend Potluck #190
and Taste of Home's Cook's Corner Ingredient Challenge- Pantry Clean Out

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apple Zucchini Bread- yay for Fall!

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 liquid, then I give it a good press with the back of the spatula before I use it.

This recipe has over 50 reviews, a lot of which said they cut the sugar.  I didn't read the reviews until after I'd put the bread in the oven, which is a rookie mistake.   I don't find the bread to be super overly sweet, but my batter seemed very thin and filled the pans way higher than I usually would.    At 55 minutes, they didn't test done.  or at 65 minutes.  I dropped the temp to 325 for another 5 minutes, and finally, done.

The zucchini disappeared into loaves, which I wanted, but the apple did too.   I'm guessing it was due to variety.    The taste is great, and the guys went through almost a full loaf very quickly.  I'd planned on wrapping and freezing the other two, maybe one will make it.    Thank you so much to Patti D for sharing her recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Apple Zucchini Bread

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4               cups  all-purpose flour
  1         tablespoon  baking soda
  1                tsp  ground cinnamon
     1/2      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
  5                     eggs
  1 1/2           cups  vegetable oil
  2               cups  sugar
  1                cup  packed brown sugar
  1         tablespoon  vanilla extract
  2               cups  shredded peeled zucchini
  1                cup  shredded peeled apples
  1                  c  cinnamon chips
Raw sugar, for sprinkling over the top

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, sugars and vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in zucchini, apples and cinnamon chips (batter will be stiff). Spoon into three greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans.  Sprinkle top of loaves with raw sugar.  Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 3 loaves.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Peach blueberry muffins

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           cup  butter -- softened
     3/4           cup  sugar
  1                     egg
     1/2           cup  sour cream
  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
  1 1/2           cups  all-purpose flour
  1 1/2      teaspoons  baking powder
  1  cup  diced peaches- used a large, picked fresh today NH peach  :)
  1 cup  blueberries (I used frozen, tossed with some flour from the above amount)
Turbinado (raw sugar) for sprinkling on top

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour and baking powder; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in peaches and blueberries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.   Bake at 400' for 20-25 mintues or until muffins test done. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.

Adapted from  ""
and Taste Of Home Cook's Corner challenge 

Linked to The Weekend Potluck #188

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rich Mocha Poke Cake

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 spreadable, so I added about 1T of milk and whipped it with my handheld mixer.    I definitely would melt and cool them next time.

The end result was amazing.  I actually had to hide a piece so I could get my photos, the guys have been tearing through it so fast.  You don't taste coffee, just rich, moist chocolate cake.    Thank you Joylyn for sharing your recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                             Rich Mocha Cake

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2               cups  flour
  1 3/4           cups  sugar
     1/2           cup  baking cocoa
  2          teaspoons  baking soda
  1           teaspoon  salt
  1                     egg
     2/3           cup  vegetable oil
  1                cup  buttermilk (used regular milk and 1T vinegar)
  1                cup  strong brewed coffee
1 package Instant Chocolate Fudge pudding
2  cups cold milk
  5        tablespoons  butter
  1                cup  sugar
     1/3           cup  milk
  1 1/2           cups  semisweet chocolate chips -- melted and cooled

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, whisk egg, oil and buttermilk. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well. Slowly add the coffee until combined (batter will be thin).

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool about 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Poke holes in the cake using the handle of a wooden spoon.    Combine the pudding mix with cold milk.    Pour over the top of the cake, using an offset spatula to move it into the holes and cover evenly.  

For frosting, melt butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the melted chips and stir until blended. Pour over cake, spreading evenly.   Refrigerate cake. 

Adapted from  ""

Shared on the Weekend Potluck #187

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bacon Topped Grilled Cheese

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
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  4              slice  wheat bread
     1/2             c  mozzarella cheese -- shredded part skim
  1                 lg  tomato -- thinly sliced
  6                     bacon strips, thick cut -- cooked
  2              tbsps  sour cream
  2              tbsps  finely diced onion
     1/4      teaspoon  dried oregano
     1/4           tsp  dried basil
  4             slices  cheddar cheese -- used Sargento Ultra Thin
  1               tbsp  butter -- softened

Preheat panini press to medium heat (I love my Cuisinart Griddler).   Lay out 2 slices of bread.    Top each with 1/4c mozzarella, half of the tomato, 3 strips of bacon.   Combine sour cream, diced onion, oregano and basil.   Divide between sandwiches.   Place 2 slices of cheddar cheese on each one.    Top with bread.    Butter the bread, and place the sandwich on the press, buttered side down.   Butter the now top slice of bread.     Close press and cook the sandwich until golden brown and the cheese is melted.


Shared on TOH Cook's Corner Ingredient Challenge
The Weekend Potluck #186

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cherry Tomato Corn Salad

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 basil, oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper; shake well.

In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 6 servings.

* If you use want to use sweet corn off the cob, saute the corn for 5 minutes in a skillet before adding to the salad. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen


Linked to The Weekend Potluck #185

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rustic Vegetable Tart

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 night's dinner.   We had a family emergency so we weren't home last night.  Unable to wait any longer, I had a slice this morning for breakfast.    It held up great in the fridge, reheated fantastic.    I'm tempted to try freezing a slice or two so that I can have that taste of summer in February when there's 3 feet of snow on the ground.   Thank you to Marie R for your wonderful recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Rustic Vegetable Tart

  1              sheet  refrigerated pie pastry
  1         tablespoon  cornmeal
  1              small  eggplant -- cut into 1/4 inch slices
  1              large  zucchini -- cut into 1/4 inch slices
2             plum tomatoes, sliced
  1             medium  sweet yellow pepper -- cut in thin strips
  4        tablespoons  olive oil -- divided
  2                     teaspoons minced jarred garlic
  salt and & pepper
  2        tablespoons  shredded parmesan cheese
                     Dried basil

 Use parchment to line a cookie sheet, or sprinkle it with cornmeal.  Roll pastry out to a 13" circle on a lightly floured surface.    Move to prepared sheet.  Lay out a layer of eggplant on the pastry, drizzle with olive oil, a bit of salt & pepper, leaving about 1 1/2" border.  Repeat with zucchini, and tomato.  Top with yellow pepper.  Scatter garlic over the top of the vegetables.  Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered.  Add parmesan cheese to center.   Brush pastry with oil.

Bake at 450' for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.. Cut into wedges. Garnish with dried basil if desired.


Linked to the Weekend Potluck #183

Fudgy Zucchini Brownies

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
     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 soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, sugar and oil; stir into dry ingredients until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in sugar and milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook and stir 1 minute or until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in chips and marshmallows until melted and smooth; add vanilla. Spread over brownies. Yield: 2 dozen.


Linked to The Weekend Potluck #182  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Citrus Green Beans

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.   Spread green beans in an even layer, drizzle with olive oil and orange juice.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and orange zest     Seal up tightly.  Place on the grill, and heat to high.    Grill for about 20 minutes or until green beans are crisp-tender. 

Adapted from