Saturday, April 30, 2011

Granola Bars

I realize that I have been making a TON of desserts lately. I promise I make other things besides desserts. I will admit though that I do enjoy making desserts the most! Actually I will say that I enjoy making anything I really enjoy eating. Lets just get this out in the open......the main reason I enjoy baking is because I enjoy eating yummy food! This is why I am not a chef. I have very little desire to make food that I don't personally get to enjoy. I love cooking for groups where I get to enjoy food with others, that is great, but just cooking for others seems like a task. I am very grateful that there are those out there that cook selflessly, very grateful. I am just not one of those people. In case you haven't noticed I seem to get on tangents in my posts, sorry about that. Now back to the real topic of discussion. I have been making way too many sweet treats lately and decided that this post needs to be about something more healthy. Of course healthy to me still has to taste good or else I won't eat it. These bars turned out to be just what I needed. They are hearty and filling yet sweet and tasty. My husband and I have been taking them with us to work and eating them for breakfast. For all the healthy stuff that is in them, I still enjoy eating them and occasionally choose them over a dessert.

Homemade Granola Bars

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons whole raw flax seed
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 banana mashed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat bran, flour, chocolate chips and salt. In a separate bowl mix together honey, egg, peanut butter, vanilla, and mashed banana. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Mix well using your hands or in a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. I didn't spread it to the edges. I left about 1 inch of space on one side because I wanted the bars to be a little thicker.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut. Do not over bake, if you want chewy granola bars just bake until the edges barely start turning a golden color. Store in zip lock bags.

Recipe adapted from here

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oreo Custard

I happened to have a lot of extra egg yolks from making some angel food cake and I decided what better thing to do with egg yolks than make custard! My absolute favorite ice cream is cookies and cream followed closely by peanut butter panic. I reasoned that since cookies and cream is my favorite ice cream, then why not try it in a custard? I can truly say that I'm glad I did! Custard has such an amazing creaminess to it, add the fantastic flavor of Oreos and instantly I'm in a sugar coma/heaven!

Oreo Custard

1 cup heavy cream
3 cups half-and-half cream
8 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
15-20 Oreo cookies 

Pour the heavy cream and half-and-half cream into a heavy saucepan, place over medium-low heat, and heat until barely simmering, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low. 

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. 

Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat three times more, whisking thoroughly before adding each additional 1/2 cup of hot cream to the egg yolk mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot cream, and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes. Do not let mixture boil. 

Pour the ice cream base into a bowl add whole Oreo cookies and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. If you like more solid chunks of cookie add them during the freezing stage.  Place in refrigerator and chill for several hours or overnight. The next day, pour into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove the ice cream, pack into a covered container, and freeze for 2 hours or overnight before serving.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blog Awards!!!

Ok I'm Kinda new to this whole blogging thing. The last few months have been so much fun! I have been introduced to so many new food blogs with amazing recipes and pictures that make you want to take a bite out of your monitor. I am constantly amazed at how many amazing food blogs there are out there. You can imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when Dee over at Deelicious Sweets gave Me a blog award! I was so excited! First off I hadn't really even heard of blog awards. Second I love Dee's blog so this was a huge compliment! This is such a fun little thing to do and a great way to get to know knew blogs. Thanks again Dee!

Ok so this is how it works, as an acceptor of this award I must tell 7 things about myself. Here you go:

  1. I am a newlywed (8 months baby!!)
  2. I love small things, you know like the little travel size things you get at grocery stores and in hotels. I have little tiny bottles of ketchup, mayonnaise, syrup, and honey and I love them!
  3. I love fire!!!! I like being in charge of starting the campfire and using lots of lighter fluid. I think this scares my husband :).
  4. I am new to having nieces and nephews and my 2 year old nephew has recently learned my name and I think it is THE CUTEST thing to hear him come up to me and call me by name. I just love it!
  5. I am very ticklish.
  6. I am a sucker for good chick flicks.
  7. I like cats, I know so many people either love them or hate them, but I like them. We don't actually own any, but maybe one day just might have one.
Now I get to pass this award onto 15 other bloggers.

  1. L-Mo cooks and reads
  2. Everyday Kitchen Aid
  3. Wilde in the kitchen
  4. The Caffeinated Globe
  5. All that's left are crumbs
  6. Fragrant Vanilla Cake
  7. Frieda Loves Bread
  8. Forever Now and Then
  9. Gingerbread Bagels
  10. Runs with Spatulas
  11. A Spicy Perspective
  12. The Sister's Cafe
  13. Our Best Bites
  14. Desserts For Two
  15. I Wash You Dry
This is just a small group of blogs that I frequent, there are so many more that I also love. Thanks for all the great recipes!

Heath Bar Angel Roll

I think my affinity to sweets is no secret to most of you. It is a serious problem I have. I am always thinking of yummy treats that I want to make. The problem with this is I usually already have 2 or 3 desserts hanging around my house. I don't know if my taste buds call it a problem, but the scales sees it as a problem. Luckily we have lots of friends, family, and coworkers near by that we can share the treats with. Well a few weeks ago my sister made a delicious angel food cake made the traditional way with whipping cream and strawberries. This sparked my memory of a dessert I would make years ago. I got the idea from one of my old roommates. The first time she made it for us I knew it was love. One of my other roommates and I made it several times after that. I knew I had to make it again. I held off for a few weeks, but today it was time!

Heath Bar Angel Roll

1 cup sifted flour
1 1/2 cup sifted sugar
1 1/4 cups egg whites (about 10 eggs) at room temperature
1 1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
6 tbs sugar
Heath or Skor candy bars crushed up (you can find bags of Heath toffee bits near the chocolate chips at the grocery store)

Sift flour and 1/2 cup sugar together in a small bowl. In a large separate bowl combine egg whites, salt, cream of tarter, almond extract and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1 cup sugar gradually, 1/4 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition. Fold in flour mixture by hand. Fold mixture gently to not deflate egg mixture.

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Pour angel food cake batter into prepared pan. spread evenly to fill the whole pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and loosen edges with a knife. Turn warm cake onto an extra piece of parchment paper or a towel dusted with powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely on wire wrack.

While cake is cooling prepare whipping cream. In a cooled bowl with cooled beaters combine whipping cream and sugar. Beat at med high speed until soft peaks form.

After cake is cooled unroll gently. Spread whipping cream on unrolled cake. Sprinkle with heath toffee bits. Roll back up and store in the freezer until ready to eat. When ready to serve slice into desired size of pieces and enjoy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Creme Brulee French Toast

I have always been a sucker for a luscious, unhealthy, sugary breakfast. I rarely eat them, but occasionally I splurge and love every second of it. I figured Easter morning was a good day to splurge. I got this recipe from my mom a few years ago. She made it for us at a breakfast for dinner get together we had. Ever since I started this blog I have wanted to put this recipe on here. I love it because I can make it the night before and bake it the next day. I also love it because it has a yummy carmel that ends up on top and you don't have to add extra syrup (that is unless you are my mom and likes the extra syrup).

Creme Brulee French Toast

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs corn syrup
1 loaf texas toast bread (I actually used homemade whole wheat bread)
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In a small sauce pan melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour into large greased jelly roll pan. Spread to cover surface. Place 12 slices of texas toast bread in a single layer to cover pan. Mix together eggs, cream, salt, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Spoon egg mixture over each piece of bread. Cover and refrigerate over night. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. If not serving immediately turn each slice of bread over to prevent bread from sticking to the bottom of pan.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Yummy Whole Wheat Bread

I am a sucker for fresh baked bread. There is nothing better than warm soft fresh out of the oven bread. I love white and wheat bread. I love that when I make bread the smell of fresh baked bread fill my whole house. I just love it! This bread is soft and tender, but still has a good hearty wheat taste to it. Add a little cinnamon honey butter and I'm in heaven!

Whole Wheat Bread

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
3 cups lukewarm water
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup honey
6 tbs nonfat dry milk
6 tbs butter
5 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tbs salt
2 cups white all purpose flour

Soften yeast in 3 cups lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attachment. Add remaining ingredients and beat until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl.  Continue with dough hook kneading for about 5-10 minutes. Remove beater, cover bowl, and let dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place away from drafts. Punch down and shape into 2 loaves. Place in 2 well greased 5 x 9 - inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Turn loaves out onto a wire rack and cool. Brush tops with melted butter.

Recipe Source: Adapted slightly from the Lion House Bakery cookbook.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Beat butter, honey, and cinnamon together with hand mixer until creamy. Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Simple Crepes with Orange Sauce

I have mentioned before that growing up every Sunday morning we would have some sort of yummy breakfast together as a family. It was a tradition I loved. My sister isn't a big breakfast person, and wasn't too excited about most of our breakfasts. These were one of things she actually would eat with us. Needless to say we ate them often. These are very simple. I know there are about a million other things you can add to crepes but I always go back to just eating them this way.

French Crepes

1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs melted butter
Powdered sugar for garnish

Combine all ingredients, beat well until smooth. Pour into hot greased pan. Tip pan until crepe is as thin as possible. Cook until edges start pulling away from pan and are starting to become a nice golden brown color. Flip carefully and cook for just a few seconds on the other side. Makes approximately 8 each.

Orange Sauce

1 1/2 tbs cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs grated orange rind (optional)
1 cup orange juice
1 tbs lemon juice

In a medium sauce pan combine cornstarch, sugar, and orange rind. Stir in juice and water. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Boil until sauce appears more clear and has thickened. Add lemon juice. Serve over top of crepes.

Here is how I like to serve mine:

Take a single crepe.

Sprinkle with your desired amount of powdered sugar.

Spread powdered sugar with a fork to evenly distribute.


Pour orange sauce over top

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pretzel Jello Salad

For those of you that have never heard of this salad you might be thinking that pretzels and jello are a very weird combination. For those of you that have had this delicious "salad" before know that it is a fantastic combination of sweet and salty. This has been a favorite of my family for as long as I can remember. If I ever need to bring something to a friend or family get together and ask my husband what to bring 9 times out of 10 he will suggest this. Now you need to know there are other variations of this recipe out there. We do ours slightly different and I LOVE the way it turns out. I love each layer individually as well as all of them together. I hope you will try it this way and let me know what you think.

Pretzel Jello Salad

2 2/3 cups broken pretzels
1 1/2 cubes margarine or butter
2 8 oz packages cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 6 oz package strawberry jello
2 cups water
1 large package strawberries
1 8 oz package cool whip (or enough whipping cream to cover top approximately 1-2 cups)

Cream together sugar and cream cheese. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put margarine in a 9X13 pan and place in oven while preheating to melt. Break up pretzels. I have found that the easiest way is to put them in a strong zip lock back and roll a rolling pin over until you get the size of pieces you want. I like a combination of small and medium sized pieces. Pour pretzels over melted margarine or butter and mix. Spread pretzels out to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set in fridge to cool. Once cool spread cream cheese mixture over pretzels. The cream cheese mixture is thick so this can be a challenge, but don't worry it doesn't have to look perfect. Boil water. Mix boiling water and jello in a heat prof bowl. Set jello in fridge for 30 minutes. Add chopped strawberries to jello. Spread jello over cream cheese. Set in fridge until jello is set. Top with cool whip or whipping cream.

Here are some step by step photos

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amazing Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies

I have been making "Amazing Cookies" for years. They are a delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that truly lives up to its name. Well today I decided to combine 2 amazing things. Why wouldn't amazing cookies go well with Cadbury Mini Eggs? I love them both so much I just couldn't resist trying it out. First let me tell you that it is amazing that I even got around to baking any of these cookies. I am pretty sure I could have eaten all of the cookie dough without thinking twice about it. Ok ok I might think twice about it when I gain 50 lbs, but its almost worth it. Luckily I refrained and actually baked some of them. They turned out great! Such a yummy Easter treat!

Amazing Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies

2 cubes butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
2-3 cups flour
2 cups Cadbury Mini Eggs

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs. Beat well. Mix in Vanilla. Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Place oats in a food processor or blender and blend until it appears like a coarse flour mixture. Add oats and 2 cups four to butter mixture. Mix until incorporated. If dough is still very sticky add extra flour. Do not over mix. Place Cadbury Mini Eggs in food processor (I did 1 cup at a time) process until eggs are broken up so that you have some really fine pieces and some larger chunks. Add to the cookie dough and mix just until incorporated. Scoop or roll dough into 1 inch round balls. Place on a baking sheet. You can also place an egg on top for fun if you wish. I made some with and some without. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Let rest on cookie sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Orange Bundt Cake

I got this recipe from a roommate a few years ago and it instantly became an obsession of mine. I felt like every time we would get through the entire cake I would make another one. We (well maybe just me) age if for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, basically any reason to eat I would make sure I had some of this cake. It is moist and delicious. If you are looking for a good bundt cake this one will not disappoint.

Orange Bundt Cake

1 package yellow cake mix (I used 3 cups of this homemade yellow cake mix)
3/4 cup water (I use orange juice for extra citrus flavor but water works well too)
2/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 small package instant lemon pudding


3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar

Put all ingredients in a bowl and beat with mixer for 10 minutes. I love my kitchen aid mixer for this process. Grease and flour bundt pan. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. While cake is baking mix together lemon juice, orange juice, powdered sugar. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan and brush on glaze with a pastry brush while cake is still warm. To make the cake even more moist and citrusy, double the glaze mixture and inject small amounts into sections of the cake. The bundt pan makes nice ridges so you can easily see small sections of the cake. This step does take a few extra minutes but increases the flavor and moisture of the cake!

Thanks Susan for the excellent recipe!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bread Dipping Spice

I think my meals are confused this week. I had Dutch Babies for dinner last night, and this bread with dipping spice for breakfast this morning. Oh well, they both tasted really good. This dipping spice is very similar the the bread dipping spice they have at Carrabbas. Carrabbas is one of our favorite restaurants to eat at. I am always a sucker for some good Italian food and theirs is exceptional. If you have one in your area I highly recommend going there. About a year ago my husband and I had just gotten home from yet another visit to that restaurant and we were discussing the dipping spice that they give you with their bread. It is soooo yummy. I decided that it couldn't be that hard to make. I of course went straight to the internet and started searching for recipes. I found that lots of people had this same idea. There were tons of recipes out there. This recipe is what I have come up with and what suits my tastes. I know there are lots of recipes out there that call for fresh herbs and I'm sure they are amazing, but I rarely (if ever) have all of those fresh herbs in my house at one time. So here is my version of Carrabbas dipping spice. Enjoy!

Carrabbas Dipping Spice

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs crushed black pepper
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tbs dried rosemary
1 tbs dried basil
1 tbs dried parsley
1 tbs minced garlic
2 tsp garlic salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process for a few seconds. Place in an airtight container. Store mixture in the refrigerator until needed.

Put 1 Tbsp of mixture in a small saucer with raised edges. Pour extra-virgin olive oil over the mixture, and dip warm sourdough or French bread into the mixture. I think it fantastic with this bread.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dutch Babies (German Pancakes)

 Most everyone that knows me knows that breakfast is one of my passions. I have always loved eating a big warm breakfast. I am really excited to share this recipe with you, not because it is fancy, difficult, or elegant because its not. This is just one of those recipes that is simple and good. Growing up we would all eat Sunday morning breakfast together. It was always such a treat. We almost always had one of four things. Our options for breakfast were crepes, french toast, sour dough pancakes, and dutch babies. My dad and I were usually the ones that made breakfast (which I also loved). It was just such a fun yummy way to start off a good relaxing Sunday. This being said you can understand why there is a warm place in my heart for these yummy things.

I am sure quite a few of you out there have this recipe or some variation of this recipe. I'm sure many of you have some fancy way of making this recipe. That is wonderful, and if you do have a yummy variation I am always up for trying new things, but really this recipe is for those few of you that have never had these. These babies are simple, eggy, and delicious! I hope you all enjoy them.

Dutch Babies

3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbs melted butter

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Pour into a well buttered, high sided 9X9 baking pan. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Garnish with melted butter and powdered sugar.

One variation I often use is I will melt the butter in my pan while the rest of the ingredients are mixing in the blender. I then take the hot pan out of the oven and pour the egg mixture right in. It helps the mixture bubble up more while baking and also gives the edges a nice yummy buttery flavor.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oven Baked Chimichangas

Dinners can some times be a challenge for me. I would much rather make some sort of sweet treat than something that is hearty and could suffice for a whole meal. I am constantly looking for new good dinner recipes that excite me. Let me tell you that this is one of those recipes. I found this on my friend's site and thought it looked good. I made it for my husband and I and we both loved it. It is a very simple recipe (which I love) but also has really good flavor, and is filling. I would like to call my taste in food kid friendly. Most kids are picky eaters when they are young, and it seems that I never grew out of that. My food favorites are typically semi basic, but still have to have really good flavor. These chimichangas are right up my alley, and hopefully your kid's as well. I hope you enjoy them.

Oven Baked Chimichangas

1 lb of leftover meat (chicken, roast beef, turkey)
10 uncooked flour tortillas
1 can re-fried beans
1 cup uncooked rice
2 TBSP oil
Shredded Cheese
Sour cream

Cook rice according to directions substituting chicken stock or broth for water . In each tortilla put a 1-2 TBSP of each the rice, beans, meat and shredded cheese. Fold the sides of the tortillas in place on baking sheet. You can use toothpicks to hold them closed if needed. Brush lightly with oil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Top with salsa and sour cream.

Click here to see the original recipe from my good friend Jodee

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fruit Bars

I think I could stay home all day and just make yummy treats. This would be fine if I didn't want to eat all the yummy treats that I made (my taste buds love it, my thighs do not). The reason I love baking so much is because I LOVE eating the things that I make. I have very little desire to make something that I don't like (my husband can attest to the fact that I have a long list of foods that I do not like). Well today I unexpectedly got the day off. Of course the thing I wanted to do most was make some yummy treats. I found this recipe in my recipe box and knew that this one was the winner for the day!

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat and 1/2 cup white flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup butter
1 cup fruit jam (I used a mixture of homemade raspberry and strawberry jam)

Mix flour, baking powder, brown sugar and oats. Place flour mixture into a food processor. Cut the butter into slices approximately 1-2 tbs thick and add to the food processor. Pulse until all the butter is incorporated and is a crumb texture.  Pat 2/3 mixture into a 13X9 inch pan. Spread jam over top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the mixture over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

I got this recipe from my good friend Matney. She calls them apricot bars because she uses apricot jam. I call them fruit bars because I like to use a variety of different jams. Regardless of the jam you use these are amazing. Thanks Matney for the great recipe!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Green Smoothies

I'm sure most of you have heard about green smoothies. As far as I can tell they are kind of the craze right now, and why wouldn't they be? What better way to eat a bunch of fruits and veggies than to blend them all together and drink them? Not to mention that there is no better way to start you morning off right. My husband and I heard about these a few months back and decided to try them. I will admit my husband was quite skeptical at first. He told me he didn't want to actually know what was in it. He was shocked that it wasn't actually green. I have definitely experimented a lot with different fruits and some turn out much better than others. I usually use whatever fruits and veggies I have on hand. Here is the smoothie I made today.

Green Smoothie

1/2 cup milk
3-4 hand fulls of spinach ( will often fill the whole blender with spinach)
2 cups fresh strawberries
1 banana
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbs honey
1/4 cup strawberry lemonade

Combine the milk and spinach in a blender and blend until smooth. Add strawberries, banana, blueberries, honey and lemonade blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Like I said this is the one that I made this morning and it was really good. Here are 2 other fruits combinations I have used in the past in my smoothies and really enjoyed.

Spinach, pineapple, orange juice, banana (this one is actually a lovely color of green)

Spinach, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, yogurt, honey

I have even added whole carrots to the process and enjoyed that. These smoothies are not an exact science so please feel free to play around with the fruits and veggies. Spinach is typically my staple in these, but I have also used other types of green leafy vegetables.

Friday, April 8, 2011

S'more Cookies

I got the idea for these cookies a few years ago when my mom made these fantastic bars (of which I'm sure I will post on here at some point so be patient). The bars were ooey and gooey and delicious. The only downfall to them is that they are very rich and messy and although most days I don't oppose to these two wonderful traits sometimes it is just better to have something fast to grab and snack on as you go. I decided to try and turn these wonderful bars into a wonderful cookie. I was quite pleasantly surprised at the results. I think I have since made these cookies more than I have made the bars (not to discredit the bars at all because they are fantastic as well). Who doesn't love warm cookies with chocolate and marshmallow melting all over them? These cookies get me really excited for the coming summer months when we have have campfires and roast marshmallows!

S'MORE'S Cookies

 1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (about 1 single package)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips (I always side with more chocolate)
1 cup mini marshmallows

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and blend until mostly mixed. Add chocolate chips and marshmallows. Mix until incorporated. Roll into balls and place on a silpat lined baking sheet. If you don't have a silpat line it with parchment paper or anything that will help the marshmallows not stick to the pan. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Do not over bake. Cookies should look gooey with the marshmallows melted. I like to enjoy mine with a glass of milk!

Here's the line up

Look how yummy this cookie dough looks. Its amazing any of the scrumptious little mounds of cookie dough every got baked.

Please not that the first batch I forgot to use my silpat. They still tasted amazing, they just didn't want to come off the cookie sheet at all. Since they didn't come off the sheet very well I took it upon myself to try multiple cookies to make sure they still tasted good. You can use this same excuse if you feel the need.

Oh the wonderful silpat. I often forget how fantastic this thing is until I use it again. My cookies came off this thing so simply and beautifully. You wouldn't even know that they were sticky.

Add a little milk on the side and who wouldn't want to eat 1 (or 12) of these!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tangy Cauliflower Casserole

My mom always says that I must have gotten my love for cooking from my grandmothers. My mom is actually a really good cook she just doesn't enjoy it like I do. Well whether or not that is true I will admit that I have some fabulous cooks as grandmas. This is a recipe that I got from my mom who got it from her mom. The first time I had it I knew that it had made it onto my favorite veggie dishes list. I have made it a few times since then and continue to love it. I hope you enjoy.

Tangy Cauliflower Casserole

1 medium head of cauliflower
1/2 cup mayo or miracle whip
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp green onion (optional)

Wash and cut cauliflower and place in a glass casserole dish with a lid. Microwave for 7-9 minutes. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over cauliflower. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 2 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Apple Dip

I don't know about you but I seem prefer my fruits and veggies with some sort of yummy dip or sauce all over them. Really anything that gets you to eat your fruits and veggies should be completely acceptable on all diets and be counted as 0 points or 0 calories however you want to count it. The only problem with this dip is I can eat it with or without apples. Secret confession - when I eat this dip with my apples I usually have more dip than apples but who's keeping track right? I have loved this recipe since I was a little girl. If I ever need a little extra encouragement to eat more apples this always does the trick!

Ok I know there are some of you that don't like butterscotch chips. I am actually one of those people. You are just going to have to take my word for it until you make this dip that it doesn't taste like butterscotch. Just try it, you will be glad you did.

Apple Dip

1 cup butterscotch chips
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp cinnamon

In a saucepan over low heat melt the butterscotch chips and sweetened condensed milk stirring frequently to prevent burning. When all the chips are completely melted remove from heat and add the salt, vinegar, and cinnamon. Serve warm with sliced apples. Stores well in the fridge, just rewarm dip in the microwave or sauce pan prior to serving.

This recipe is courtesy of my wonderful mother.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Eggs Benedict Pizza

This is one of my husbands favorite breakfasts! He prefers more of the salty protein type breakfast. I typically enjoy a sweet breakfast with some sort of syrup, but for something without syrup this is fantastic. I made this a year or so ago for a friend get together where we had breakfast for dinner, (also one of my favorite things) everyone loved it. I have kept it in the back of my mind wanting to make it again soon. This weekend, being conference weekend and all, was the perfect opportunity. I of course had to change things a little bit this time but the results were so good! I really should have made 2 so I could have left overs, oh well maybe next time.

For the crust I used a cottage cheese roll dough that I got off one of my good friends sites. It turned out so wonderful for my crust. You can check her site out here.

Eggs Benedict Pizza


1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP yeast
1 16 oz tub cottage cheese warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minutes
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour
Hollandaise Sauce

6 egg yolks
2 cubes butter melted
2 tbs lemon juice
a dash of white pepper
12 eggs scrambled   
2-3 cups cubed ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine the water and sugar in your Kitchen aid mixer and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Leave it for a couple of minutes while you get the next part ready.

Blend cottage cheese, eggs, salt, and baking soda in your blender so that the cottage cheese is nice and smooth. Add to the yeast mixture. Blend well.

Add the flour and mix with your flat blade attachment. This is a very VERY sticky dough so don't think you need to add more flour. Let it raise on the counter for 45 minutes or in the fridge for 2-3 hours. 
After the rising period is over you can use the dough to make one large pizza or 2 smaller ones, or even 1 pizza and some rolls. The possibilities are endless. I used the whole recipe for one large pizza and it was still more than enough dough. Use as much or as little dough to make the right thickness of crust for you particular taste.

Once you have shaped your dough bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until edges are a nice golden brown color. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes while you make the hollandaise sauce.

For the hollandaise sauce combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend for a few seconds to mix. Melt the butter in the microwave. You want your butter to be very hot and bubbly. While the blender is running pour the hot bubbly butter into the blender in a steady stream. Keep blending for about 10 seconds to make sure it is all incorporated.  Sauce should thicken as you pour the hot butter into the blender.

Spread the sauce onto the cooked pizza crust.

Scramble a dozen eggs and place on pizza. Top with cubed ham. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Place back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is hot. Cut into slices and enjoy.

All of these pictures were taken by my wonderful husband! He was busy taking pictures while I was busy devouring this yummy pizza.

Note: There are shortcuts to this recipe if you choose to take them. You can use any recipe for pizza dough so if you already have a favorite feel free to use it. You can even get a package of crescent rolls and spread them out and them into your crust. Shortcut #2 you could use a package of hollandaise sauce and spread that on you pizza. I have tried the pizza with the crescent roll crust and it was quite tasty but I felt like making my own would be slightly more healthy. I haven't ever tried packaged hollandaise sauce. I love real hollandaise sauce so much that I can't bring myself to try the packaged kind. The technique used above for making the hollandaise sauce is so easy and well worth the results.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Start the morning off right!

I am always looking for healthy ways to start the morning. I have always been a HUGE breakfast lover but as I grow up (kinda) I have tried to make my breakfasts more with whole grains and other healthy stuff. I have recently gotten into green smoothies which I love but I don't always have the fresh fruit and veggies on hand needed. This is also something I can put in a container and bring with me to work. I hope you enjoy.

Steel Cut Oat and Quinoa Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
1/4 a cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I use fresh ground cinnamon)
1/4 - 1/2 cup cream, half and half or milk
2-4 tbs honey
Fresh fruit (optional)

Rinse and drain quinoa. Combine oats, quinoa, water, and cinnamon in a rice cooker. Turn it on and let it do its thing. When oats are soft, quinoa has opened, and all the water has absorbed add the cream and honey mix well. Add fresh fruit if desired. Enjoy!

Note - The cream just gives it more of a creamy texture. You could also use milk in place of the water while cooking which also gives it a creamy texture but you have to watch it very closely because it will boil over and make a mess.