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

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Satisfying Tomato Soup- perfect Winter warm up food!

We are stuck in a snowy, cold weather pattern this month.   Lots of shoveling and snowblowing to be done, and nothing helps to warm you back up like soup.  I can't recall ever eating tomato soup before, even as a kid (I liked Chicken & Stars).    I ran across this one on the Taste of Home site, and it seemed like a great recipe to start with. 

Only one minor change to this one- I used dried celery flakes because I have a ton on hand.  I made the soup and froze it in single servings.  I defrosted it and reheated it on the stove.   I liked the consistency and flavor, and you can't beat how fast it goes together. And you've got to have grilled cheese with tomato soup, right?   Thank you to Marian B for the recipe!

* Exported from MasterCook *

                          Satisfying Tomato Soup

  2          teaspoons  canola oil
     1/4           cup  finely chopped onion
     1/4           cup  finely chopped celery (used dried, about 1T)
  2               cans  diced tomatoes -- (14-1/2 ounces each) undrained
  1 1/2           cups  water
  2          teaspoons  brown sugar
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
     1/2      teaspoon  dried basil
     1/4      teaspoon  dried oregano
     1/4      teaspoon  coarsely ground pepper

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir 2-4 minutes or until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Puree soup using an immersion blender. Or, cool soup slightly and puree in batches in a blender; return to pan and heat through.

Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Yield: 4 servings.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Chocolate Cake with No bake Oreo Filling #ValentinesDayFood

We moved recently, and as I packed up my kitchen, my husband was amazed at the number of cake pans I own.   He tried to get me to purge at least half of them, and I naturally resisted!   This Baker's Advantage Fillables pan was one of my newer acquisitions, and I had lots of ideas of how I wanted to use it.

With Valentine's Day coming up, I gravitated towards chocolate. I had 2 chocolate fudge cake mixes and a can of milk chocolate frosting in the pantry.  If you aren't a fan, you can definitely make both from scratch.   I was a little worried about stickage, so I used a light coating of cooking spray on the pans.  The cakes popped right out.

That left those fantastic pockets to fill.   My son loves Oreos, and my husband loves cheesecake, so I combined a few recipes and ended up with a no bake filling that was easy to pipe through a pastry bag.      .

Very happy with the end result, and I'm looking forward to trying many more combinations.  My son also wondered how it would turn out if you made 2 of the pocket layers.   Twice as much filling!

There are lots of ways to your Valentine's heart- breakfast, dinner, cocktails or dessert.   Be sure to check out the collection of recipes from some amazing bloggers at the end of this post, thank you to Family Around the Table for hosting!

Chocolate Cake with No Bake Oreo Filling

2 boxes chocolate cake mix ( I used Chocolate fudge)- or your favorite from scratch chocolate cake
6 eggs
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
2t vanilla

For No Bake Filling
 3/4c heavy cream
4oz cream cheese (softened)
Heaping 1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 crushed Oreos

1 can Milk Chocolate frosting
Crushed Oreos for garnish

Prepare cake according to package directions.    Spray pans with nonstick cooking spray, and divide batter between the pans.   Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.   Cool in pans 10 minutes, invert onto racks to cool completely.

Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.  Freezing your mixing bowl and beater will help this happen faster.   In another bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar until there are no lumps.    Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.   Stir in oreos.  Refrigerate until needed.

To assemble cake- place layer with pockets on your serving dish.  Use a pastry bag to pipe Oreo filling into pockets.   Heat icing in microwave in 30 second intervals until pourable.   Pour 1/3 over layer, spreading to the edges but not flowing over.

Add top layer.  Pour remaining frosting over the top, using a spatula to spread it to flow over the sides.   Sprinkle with additional crushed oreos, if desired.   Slice and enjoy.   Store in refrigerator.

Bacon Lobster Omelette  by Caroline’s Cooking
Boozy Bailey’s Milkshakes  by I Say Nomato
Chocolate Cake with No Bake Oreo Filling by Jolene's Recipe Journal
Chocolate Chip Brownies  by Family Around the Table
Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes by Grumpy's Honeybunch
Pan Seared Steaks with Homemade Steak Sauce by A Palatable Pastime
Red Velvet Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting by The Chef Next Door
Sour Cherry Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Strawberry Jell-O Parfaits by Amy's Cooking Adventures
 Surprise Inside Baked Chocolate Pudding by Cooking With Carlee
Sweetheart Strawberry Galette by Red Cottage Chronicles

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Turkey Gnocchi Soup #NationalHomemadeSoupDay

Today is National Homemade Soup Day!  I've been in a bit of a cooking slump lately,  so I turned to the Food Holiday Calendar to help get some new ideas going.   Looking through my T&T recipes, I realized that I don't make much soup.   I did some searching, and I found this recipe on the Taste of Home site.   I had turkey stashed in the freezer from Christmas, and all the other ingredients except the gnocchi on hand.   The gnocchi took me a few weeks and couple stores to find, I'd almost given up on it.  I considered making it from scratch.  If you aren't a fan or can't find it or don't want to make it yourself, I would recommend tortellini as a substitute.    The only change I made to this recipe was to use 6 cups of broth instead of the water/chicken base, because it's what I keep in the pantry.  Thank you to Amy B for sharing her recipe!

(Here's the deal, I'm a real person with a real family who wants to eat dinner, not wait around while I finish a photo session.    This picture was taken at the table, at 5pm on a cloudy day, with a smartphone.    I'd planned to take more pics with better lighting the next day, but there was no soup left.   None.    Even my son had 2 bowls.     For a picture that does it much more justice, go check out the one on the Taste of Home website )

* Exported from MasterCook *

                           Turkey Gnocchi Soup

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1         tablespoon  butter
  3             medium  carrots -- chopped
  4                     garlic cloves -- minced
  6               cups  water (used chicken broth)
  3          teaspoons  reduced-sodium chicken base (omitted)
     3/4      teaspoon  Italian seasoning
  1            package  potato gnocchi -- (16 ounces)
  2               cups  cubed cooked turkey breast
  1                cup  frozen peas
     1/2      teaspoon  pepper
     1/2           cup  shredded Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add carrots; cook and stir 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in water, chicken base and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Add gnocchi. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 3-4 minutes or until gnocchi float. Stir in turkey, peas and pepper; heat through. Top servings with cheese.

Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if necessary. Yield: 6 servings (2 quarts).