Sunday, April 23, 2017

Garlic Crescent Rolls

It's vacation week here in NH.  For my son, that means no school, sleepovers, day trips.  For me, it usually means catching up on all the things that need doing, plus cooking.   I try to balance all the new recipes I want to try alongside quick and easy meals on the days I have lots of non-cooking things to do.

Where I struggle the most with that is side dishes.   Steam in bag veggies are a go-to.  Texas toast from the freezer case.   Microwavable rice.   I made a quick dinner of store bought meatballs, jarred sauce and angel hair and realized that my family was not going to be satisfied with that.   Looking through the pantry and fridge, I found 1/2 a container of garlic butter spread and a tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls (the full sheet kind).

I've done the kind that are rolled the traditional way with some cheese in them before, and wanted something a little different.    I rolled the sheet out, spread the garlic butter spread on, and then rolled it up longways.    I cut it into 12 portions, and dropped them into muffin tins (thanks Sue, great idea!).  I baked them in a 375ยบ oven about 13 minutes, until they were golden brown.  I brushed the tops with a bit more of the spread.    I got a quick snap with my phone before they descended on them.  

There was no chance of pulling aside any for plated pictures- they disappeared too fast! I'll definitely keep the stuff on hand to make them again.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                    2 Ingredient Garlic Crescent Rolls

1/4c  Garlic butter spread (sold in tubs) -- plus more to brush tops
1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (used the single sheet -- but you can press seams together on regular)

Preheat oven to 375. Unroll crescent sheet on cutting board. Spread with approximately 1/4 cup of garlic butter spread. Roll up longways. Slice into 12 rolls. Place into muffin tins. Bake for 11- 13 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through middle. Brush tops with additional garlic butter spread, if desired.

Yield: serves 4

Submitted to Taste of Home

Shared on What's Cooking Wednesday #213

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Vanilla French Toast

French toast is one of those things that I've made so often, I don't usually look at a recipe.  I'm trying to teach my son some basic dishes, good kitchen habits and how to read a recipe, so I searched the Taste of Home site and found this one for Vanilla French Toast.   We did make one minor substitution, which was using whole milk instead of 2%, it's what we always have on hand.   We served it with some real NH maple syrup, and next time we'll probably add a bit of cinnamon to the egg mixture.    Thank you so much to Joe & Bobbi S for sharing the recipe!

*Exported from MasterCook*

Vanilla French Toast

  4              large  eggs -- lightly beaten
  1                cup  2% milk- used whole
  2        tablespoons  sugar
  2          teaspoons  vanilla extract
     1/8      teaspoon  salt
  12            slices  day-old sandwich bread
                        Maple syrup or cinnamon sugar

In a shallow bowl, whisk together first five ingredients. Preheat a greased griddle over medium heat. Dip bread in egg mixture, allowing to soak 30 seconds on each side. Cook on griddle until golden brown on both sides. Serve with syrup.    Yield: 6 servings.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Loaded Stuffed Potato Pancakes #EasterLeftovers

I have a problem-  whenever I make mashed potatoes, I make enough for an army. That would be ok, if anyone ate them in leftover form besides me.   To reel the guys back in, I do what I do with anything I want them to eat without complaint- bread it and fry it!

I searched the Taste of Home site and found this recipe.  I omitted the salt from the potato mixture, I'd rather sprinkle it on after frying.  I used a small cookie scoop for the cream cheese, then molded the potatoes around by hand and flattened them in the crumbs.   The only thing I'd do next time would be add some bacon to the potato mixture, because what isn't better with bacon?  I served them with some sour cream on the side, but it was totally unnecessary.   Crispy crunchy coating, delicious mashed potato and then that surprise cream cheese inside.   Thank you so much to Jane W for this awesome recipe!

Need to give those Easter leftovers another lease on life? Get some inspiration from all the leftover recipes being shared today:

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Loaded Stuffed Potato Pancakes

  2               cups  mashed potatoes (with added milk and butter)
     2/3           cup  shredded cheddar cheese
     1/3           cup  all-purpose flour
  1                     egg -- lightly beaten
  1         tablespoon  minced chives
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
     1/2      teaspoon  pepper
     2/3           cup  seasoned bread crumbs
  1           teaspoon  garlic powder
  1           teaspoon  onion powder
     1/2      teaspoon  cayenne pepper
     1/3           cup  cream cheese -- softened
                        Oil for deep-fat frying

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In a shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne.

Shape 2 teaspoons cream cheese into a ball. Wrap 1/4 cup of potato mixture around cream cheese to cover completely. Drop into crumb mixture. Gently coat and shape into a 1/2-in.-thick patty. Repeat with remaining cream cheese and potato mixture.

In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry stuffed pancakes, a few at a time, 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Yield: 8 potato pancakes.


Shared at the Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party #243

Friday, April 14, 2017

Old Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting #EasterRecipes

When in doubt, go with the classics, right?   For the dessert portion of our Easter meal, I chose this gorgeous carrot cake.   Sadly, my food processor went to appliance heaven a while back, and the thought of hand grating carrots wasn't putting me in a festive mood.    Then I remembered that I had a Salad Shooter stashed away in the basement, anyone else remember those?   It made super short work of those carrots!

I made no changes to the cake recipe itself.  For the frosting, I used whole milk, omitted walnuts, and used 8oz of cream cheese.   Though I"m not the best decorator, I piped on the carrots and stems.

I loved this cake.  It had such great texture and flavor on its own, then that cream cheese frosting.   My son isn't a huge cream cheese fan, but he ate all the cake and most of the frosting and gave it a thumbs up.    My husband?  He said it was good, but he doesn't really think of carrot cake as dessert...  Vegetables and cream cheese make him think of breakfast.   We've been married over 15 years and I had no clue he didn't like carrot cake.  Oops!  Thanks so much to Kim O for her wonderful recipe!

This week, thirteen bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter. Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we're serving up!

* Exported from MasterCook *

           Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  4              large  eggs
  2               cups  sugar
  1                cup  canola oil
  2               cups  all-purpose flour
  2 to 3    teaspoons  ground cinnamon
     3/4      teaspoon  baking soda
     1/2      teaspoon  baking powder
     1/4      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  2               cups  grated carrots
     1/2           cup  butter -- softened
  1            package  cream cheese -- (3 ounces) softened- used 8 oz
  1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
  3 3/4           cups  confectioners' sugar
  2        tablespoons  2% milk -- (2 to 3)- used whole milk
  1                cup  chopped walnuts -- optional- omitted
                        Orange and green food coloring -- optional

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and oil. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; beat into egg mixture. Stir in carrots.

Pour into two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in another large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Add enough milk to achieve desired spreading consistency. Reserve 1/2 cup frosting for decorating if desired. If desired, stir walnuts into remaining frosting.

Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. If decorating the cake, tint 1/4 cup reserved frosting orange and 1/4 cup green. Cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag; insert #7 round pastry tip. Fill the bag with orange frosting. Pipe twelve carrots on top of cake, so each slice will have a carrot. Using #67 leaf pastry tip and the green frosting, pipe a leaf at the top of each carrot.

Store cake in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.

Source:   ""


In case you missed them, here’s all the #EasterRecipes to date:





Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Honey Butter Peas and Carrots #EasterRecipes

We always have the same old side dishes, usually corn or green beans.   I had sent my husband to the store for carrots and he came home with a gigantic bag, so I went in search of a recipe to use them.   This recipe looked so colorful and perfect for Easter! To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of peas except the first of the year straight from the farm, but I had some in the freezer to use up.   Though the recipe called for being made in the slow cooker, mine was otherwise occupied with ham.   It was simple enough to convert it to the stove top.  In a large saucepan of boiling water, I cooked the carrots until tender.   I drained them and set them aside, wiped the pan dry and then sauteed the onion and garlic in a teaspoon of butter.   I added the remaining butter, honey, salt, marjoram and pepper- I used cracked black, it was what I had on hand, as well as the peas.   I cooked it over medium heat until the peas were cooked through.

I loved the not-too-sweet glaze, and the marjoram- it's a spice I don't seem to use very often.   The whole dish came together pretty quickly, but next time I will try it in the slow cooker to compare textures/flavors.   Thanks so much to Theresa K for the recipe!

This week, thirteen bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter.  Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we're serving up!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                      Honey Butter Peas and Carrots

  1              pound  carrots -- sliced
  1              large  onion -- chopped
     1/4           cup  water (used enough to fill a large saucepan 2/3 full)
     1/4           cup  butter -- cubed
     1/4           cup  honey
  4                     garlic cloves -- minced
  1           teaspoon  salt
  1           teaspoon  dried marjoram
     1/8      teaspoon  white pepper- used fresh cracked black pepper
  1            package  frozen peas -- (16 ounces)

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first nine ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 5 hours. Stir in peas. Cook, covered, on high 15-25 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 12 servings (1/2 cup each).



In case you missed them, here’s Monday and Tuesday’s #EasterRecipes



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Pea and Radish Salad- Taste Of Home Tuesday!

I've mentioned it a few times, but in 2015, I was chosen to be a Volunteer Field Editor for Taste of Home magazine.   I've got binders full of the magazines, plus cookbooks, and I've tried over 150 recipes from their site and publications.   Part of my duties as a VFE is to submit original recipes, and I admit, I originally found this daunting.   I've pecked away at it, remaking some family favorites, recreating restaurant dishes, etc.   Some things I hesitate to submit..  are they too simple?  Too specific to our family?

Then I got the "Congratulations" email- one of my recipes had been chosen for publication!   I was so excited, even more so after my issue arrived.   The Test Kitchen and photography team took that simple salad and made it so elegant and beautiful.

You can get the April/May issue of Taste of Home in stores now, or you can visit for subscription deals.

Would you like to become a Volunteer Field Editor?  Do you have amazing original recipes to share?  Submit a recipe here

On Tuesdays, I like to share what other Volunteer Field Editors are making, and this week it's Family Around the Table's Parmesan Roasted Asparagus.  I can't wait to give that a try!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easy Citrus Ham #EasterRecipes

Easter was a HUGE holiday growing up in my Italian family.   As years went on, we got away from the big gathering and spent it more casually, like taking a ride to the beach and having a picnic.   We do enjoy Easter dishes though, so at some point in April I'll make a ham and sides.   

I got a great deal on a bone-in spiral ham, and ran across this recipe on the Taste of Home site.  Using the slow cooker was great, freed up the oven.   We like a sweet glaze on our ham, and this was sweet without being overly so.    The crystallized ginger is what really puts it over the top, gives it a little 'warmth" without being spicy.   Thanks so much to Sheila C for sharing her recipe!

This week, thirteen bloggers are sharing 46 recipes and tips to help you serve up deliciousness this Easter.  Follow #EasterRecipes on social media to see what we're serving up!  Scroll to the bottom of the post to see what other amazing dishes are being shared today!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                             Easy Citrus Ham

  1                     boneless fully cooked ham (3 to 4 pounds)- used bone in spiral
     1/2           cup  packed dark brown sugar
  1                can  lemon-lime soda -- (12 ounces) divided- used Sprite
  1             medium  navel orange -- thinly sliced
  1             medium  lemon -- thinly sliced
  1             medium  lime -- thinly sliced
  1         tablespoon  chopped crystallized ginger

 Cut ham in half; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and 1/4 cup soda; rub over ham. Top with orange, lemon and lime slices. Add candied ginger and remaining soda to the slow cooker.

    Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 140°, basting occasionally with cooking juices. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Originally published as Easy Citrus Ham in Taste of Home Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes Annual 2011, p48



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars #Fill the Cookie Jar!

So excited to be able to participate in April's Fill the Cookie Jar event!  The theme is "spring", and I chose this recipe from the Taste of Home 100 Family Meals cookbook.   I hit the store, but the shopping gods were not with me.    I wanted the Spring or Peeps Oreos, no luck.   I looked the other choices over and went with Golden Oreos instead.  The seasonal candy aisle was loaded with M&Ms- dark chocolate, milk, chocolate, white chocolate, minis!  I grabbed a bag of the minis, because I like those best in baked goods.  I knew I'd have to empty all the little bags, but no big deal.

Fast forward to the weekend.  I get out all the ingredients and set about dumping all the little bags into a bowl.    Hmmm.   Despite the Easter packaging, the M&Ms were regular colored.    Mother Nature had decided to drop an April Fool's joke of plowable snow on us, so the store was out of the question.  I did what any other person under a spring cookie challenge would do- I sat and sorted out the most "spring-like" colors into one bowl, and everything else into another  LOL

The rest of the recipe went without a hitch.  I did decrease the vanilla to 1 teaspoon.  I used the baking soda and salt.   I love recipes that call for melted butter, because I never remember to pull it out to "soften".    Next time I'd double the recipe, 8x8 goes way too fast around here.     Thanks so much to Averie S for sharing her recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                       Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars

  1              large  egg
  1                cup  packed light brown sugar
     1/2           cup  unsalted butter -- melted
  1         tablespoon  vanilla extract (used 1 teaspoon)
  1                cup  all-purpose flour
     1/4      teaspoon  baking soda -- optional (I used it)
     1/4      teaspoon  salt -- optional (I used it)
  18                    Oreo cookies -- coarsely chopped (used Golden Oreos)
     1/2           cup  milk chocolate M&M's - used minis

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-in.-square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend up sides of pan; grease foil.

In a large bowl, whisk egg, brown sugar, butter and vanilla until blended. If desired, mix flour with baking soda and salt; add to brown sugar mixture. Stir in cookies.

Spread into prepared pan; sprinkle with M&M's. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Lifting with foil, remove from pan. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 9 servings.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sage Chicken Cordon Bleu- Taste of Home Tuesday!

I've mentioned before that when I'm meal planning and needing inspiration, I turn to the Food Holidays calendar.   Chicken is the thing we eat most and the thing I get bored with most easily, but seeing that today is National Chicken Cordon Bleu day got the wheels turning.   It's one of my husband's favorite dishes.   I searched the Taste of Home website and found this Sage Chicken Cordon Bleu.   Sage is one of my more underused spices in my collection, and I had all the other ingredients on hand.

I did make minor changes- used Panko and dried parsley and omitted the tomato.   The biggest difference is that I didn't pound out the chicken.   Using a knife, I cut a nice deep pocket in one side of the chicken, then rubbed the inside with the sage.  I layered the ham and cheese inside, then proceeded with the dipping and breading.    I did not use toothpicks.  Some cheese oozed out, but that was just fine with me!   My husband and I enjoyed it very much, and I'll definitely be making it again.   Thank you Martha S for the recipe!

On Tuesdays, I like to share what other Taste of Home Volunteer Field Editors have been making.   Be sure to go and check out TammyCookBlogsBooks' Apple Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette! 
Maple season just wrapped up here in NH and I can't wait to give it a try. 

* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Sage Chicken Cordon Bleu

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  6                     boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
     1/2      teaspoon  rubbed sage -- (1/2 to 3/4)
  6             slices  thinly sliced deli ham
  6             slices  part-skim mozzarella cheese -- halved
  1             medium  tomato -- seeded and chopped (omitted)
     1/3           cup  dry bread crumbs (panko)
  2        tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese
  2        tablespoons  minced fresh parsley (dried)
  4        tablespoons  butter -- divided

Preheat oven to 350°. Pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet to 1/8-in. thickness; sprinkle with sage. Place ham, mozzarella cheese and tomato down the center of each; roll up chicken from a long side, tucking in ends. Secure with toothpicks.

In a shallow bowl, toss bread crumbs with Parmesan cheese and parsley. In a shallow microwave-safe dish, microwave 3 tablespoons butter until melted. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in crumb mixture. Place in a greased 11x7-in. baking dish, seam side down. Melt remaining butter; drizzle over top.

Bake, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink, 40-45 minutes. Discard toothpicks before serving. Yield: 6 servings.


Shared with the Weekend Potluck #268

Monday, April 3, 2017

Apple Bacon Cheddar Grilled Cheese #GrilledCheese

It's Grilled Cheese month!  Grilled cheese growing up was Wonder bread and cheese that you had to peel out of it's single wrapper.   I was not a fan. Thankfully, the different varieties of cheese sold by the slice is fantastic now.   One of my current favorites is a thin sliced sharp cheddar.

When I told my husband that I was looking to add something to a grilled cheese to make it "different", he asked "Didn't I see a bunch of apples in the kitchen?"  I've never jumped at the apple and cheese combo in pies, but keeping it savory, and adding bacon started sounding reallly good to me.
Crisp bacon, crunchy tart apple, gooey melty cheddar cheese, perfectly golden sourdough bread.   It was still missing something though.   Spinning my spice rack around, I rejected bottle after bottle.   And at the end, Tarragon.    Turned out to be that one final touch it needed.   

Looking to up your grilled cheese game?   Go check out the other amazing ideas at the bottom of the post.   Thank you so much to Caroline for hosting!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                         Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Grilled Cheese

  4              slice  sourdough bread
  8              slice  thin cheddar cheese
  1                tsp  tarragon -- dried
  1                 sm  thinly sliced tart apple -- used Granny Smith
  8              slice  cooked bacon
  2              tbsps  softened butter

Heat skillet to medium high.  Sprinkle 2 slices of bread with half of the tarragon.    Top each with 2 slices of cheese.   Add a layer of apple, overlapping slightly.   Put 4 slices of bacon on each.   Add another 2 slices of cheese to each, top with remaining tarragon.   Place remaining bread on top.   

Reduce heat of pan to medium.   Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in pan.   Butter top slices of sandwiches with remaining tablespoon, getting it all the way to the edges.    Cook until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is golden brown. 

*Can also be done quicker in a Panini Press, but will result in a flatter sandwich

It's the start of Grilled Cheese Month, so we thought we'd give you lots of inspiration! Hosted by Caroline of Caroline's Cooking - see all the delicious grilled cheese ideas being shared today:

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April Fool's 2017- "Grilled cheese & onion rings"

Mother nature pulled it's own joke on us here in New England yesterday- plowable snow, so I'm posting this a day late. 

First up, the "grilled cheese".  I used a boxed angel food cake mix, baked in 2 loaf pans.  I carefully sliced it after it was completely cooled, and then browned it in the skillet in a little butter.  For the cheese, I warmed a little marshmallow fluff and mixed in orange food coloring.  I made the apple rings using this recipe from Donna via Tasty Kitchen.   I only had veg oil on hand.   I didn't make the Cinnamon cream.  

Laid out on the plate-

I was photographing some other recipes I'd made, so I invited him to sit with me and have lunch while I took them.  I've had some great success with pranks on Jake in the past, but this time he caught on to me pretty quickly.  He hesitated at the "onion rings", but didn't say anything. 

 The sandwich "cheese" color was a little off, and of course, it wasn't hot.

I told him next year, we'll have to team up and prank dad instead  :)