Monday, January 30, 2012

Snickerdoodle bars

I am sure there are thousands of Snickerdoodle blondie recipes out there.  This is the 2nd recipe I have tried and this one is by far the WINNER!! I made them last week and they lasted 30 minutes.  Brenn had friends over after the basketball game and baseball tryouts on Saturday...they asked for these I whipped them up.....they were devoured.  Everyone loves them! They are so easy and especially good when kind of warm! I did not wait the hour for them to cool. YUMMY!
2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c butter, softened
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp white sugar mixed with 1 Tbsp cinnamon

drizzle~ 1 c powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla....mix well and drizzle over the cooled bars

Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan.  Toss together the flour, baking powder and salt. Breat the butter until creamy on high then add the sugars and beat.  Add the eggs and vanilla slowly and mix til combined.  On low(so it doesn't fly all over the place) beat the dry ingredients until combined. Press 1/2 the batter evenly in the bottom of the pan.  This is my LEAST favorite part of this type of recipe....sometimes I don't want to make them because of the pressing...but these are worth the work!! Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture all over the dough and drop the rest of the dough in teaspoonfuls all over the pan.  Bake 20-25  minutes or until golden and tester comes out clean. Cool 1 hour and drizzle the glaze over the cake....YUM! Enjoy~

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara

Huh....turns out my family doesn't like pancetta.  I was so excited to try this recipe.  I am always looking for new pasta dishes and this was not a keeper! Boo! I did not care for the overpowering flavor of the pancetta but I am not a bacon fan, so I thought Ant and Brenn would devour this....good thing I had a lot of sides with this dish.....
1 pound spaghetti
8 ounces of pancetta diced
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups grated pecorino romano cheese
fresh ground salt and pepper

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking cook the pancetta in a large skillet over med-high heat until crisp.  This took about 5 minutes, remove all but 1 tbsp of the fat.  Reserve 1/2-3/4 cup of the pasta water then drain the pasta and put it in the skillet with the pancetta.  Toss well to combine.  Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together in a large bowl.  Turn the heat off below the pan and add the eggs, yolks and 1 cup of the cheese.  Make sure you get it all stirred together.  Then add the pasta water until you get the sauce consistency you want.  I used most of the 3/4 cup of water.  Toss well and then add the rest of the cheese to the top and fresh ground pepper! I hope your family likes it more than my family some lose some.....Enjoy~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pound Cake

Super easy and versatile! You can top the bad boy with anything! I love pound cake but this may be in the top 3 of my all time favorite.  The hint of almond is awesome! I topped this with blackberries that had been macerated in splenda and a touch of almond flavoring.....YUM!

  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. (The butter will become a light yellow color*it took my mixer 5 minutes to get to this color* Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy, color should be a fluffy white*took my mixer about 3 minutes*  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow yolk disappears.
Add flour to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Batter should be smoooooth! Stir in extracts.
Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. *I used the cooking spray with flour and it worked perfect-o!*
Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Easy and soooo good! I  love the almond flavor!! Enjoy~

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cheesy Breadsticks

This was a super easy addition to our Italian meal last night.  You can use fresh pizza dough or you can use the pre made in order to save time.  I was baking all day so I added extra time to make the dough.  YUM! I don't know why I have not made these before but the kids want them every night they said!

1/2 of a basic pizza dough recipe or 1 can or pre made pizza dough
2 Tbsp soft butter
2 cloves crushed
1/4 c parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
*I added red pepper flakes and pepper*

500 degree preheated oven
Mash the softened butter with the garlic*I will be using this concoction on several things in the future*
Roll dough our to fit a cookie sheet or pizza pan, using parchment paper on the bottom.  Slather the yummy garlic butter over dough and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese then toss the mozzarella on the very top.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, watch the last couple of minutes, it will get really brown if it goes too long.  Cut into sticks and devour the cheesy goodness! YUM! Enjoy~

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cookies n cream cookies

Soooo....a new twist on the chocolate chipper....everyone loved them and I made an extra batch for Brenn to take to lunch tomorrow.  These cookies have milk in the dough....yum! You will love em!
3/4 Cup Butter Flavored Crisco*not usually a fan of crisco in my cookies...but this was A-ok!*
1 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Milk
1 Ts Vanilla
1 Egg
1 Tsp Salt
3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Cups flour 
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Chopped Cookies N Creme Candy Bars
Mix the shortening and brown sugar until smooth.
Add the milk, vanilla, and egg and mix again until smooth.*smooth seems to be the theme here...*
Mix together the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the chips and candy bar.... Yummilicious!!
Place by tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-9 min at 375 degrees *I definitely baked 9 minutes**

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mac 'n cheese with kielbasa and dijon mustard

Mmmm mmmm cheesy comfort food! This was a great week night meal.  I think I would 1/2 the caraway seeds next time and add more sausage.  It is a little time consuming but it is worth it in the end.  The steps are many but the taste is outstanding!
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs(pulse in a food processor or use pre made ones, I like fresh better)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together and set aside

Cook 8 ounces of elbow macaroni and drain, set aside

 1 Tbsp olive oil
12 ounces of kielbasa cut into rounds
Brown and drain on a paper towel

Melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter in the same pot as the sausage was browned in
2 Tbsp shallots, minced
1 Tbsp caraway seeds**I would not use this much again**
Cook for 3 minutes until the seeds are toasted

Whisk in~
2 Tbsp flour and cover the shallots, cook 1 minute.
2 1/2 whole milk then whisk and cook 5-8 minutes until it is thick.  Reduce heat to low and Add
1 cup shredded Gouda and
1 cup shredded Gruyere by the handful and make sure it melts all the way before adding more.

Stir in~ 3 Tbsp dijon mustard and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Add the sausage and pasta and stir well.  Put in a 2 quart baking dish that is greased.  Sprinkle the crumbs over the mac and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees til bubbly! Let stand 5 minutes before serving!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hot Fudge Cake

I am not a chocolate fan...but this smelled and looked delicious! The kids gobbled it up. I will definitely be making this again, and doubling the recipe. It was so easy and the center is so much like a lava cake that you would think it took hours!
1 c flour
3/4 c sugar
6 Tbsp baking cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c whole milk
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c packed brown sugar
1 3/4 c hot water
toppings*I used whipped cream, hot fudge and caramel sauce*

Combine the flour, sugar, 2 Tbsp cocoa, baking powder and salt then stir in the milk, oil and vanilla.  Spread into an ungreased 9 inch square baking pan.  Stir the brown sugar and 4 Tbsp cocoa together and toss it over the batter.  Pour the hot water over everything and do NOT stir. Bake at 350 degrees fro 40 minutes.  Serve warm and top with goodies! Enjoy~

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Oven Roast

I  am a fan of crock pot roasts...easy and the clean up is a snap.  I came across this recipe and tried it.  It was good but I will make some changes next time.
3-5 pound beef roast *I used chuck*
kosher salt and pepper *I used sea salt*
2 cups of beef broth

Season the roast with the salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan until all sides are browned.  Place chuck in a roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake at 275 degrees for around 3-4 hours.  I placed carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes around the roast and they cooked nicely! Enjoy~

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bananas and Cream Bundt Cake

 I got this recipe from a friend. She sends me some wonderful things to try! Thanks Laura! I am still on a quest to find a banana cake that Tony loves as much as he loved the one in San Angelo....this came close! I will definitely be making this again!


1/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
confectioners' sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Add bananas and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, stirring just until combined. Stir in walnuts. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. **I actually used 1 banana, 2 Tbsp butter melted and 2 cups of powdered sugar and used that as a frosting drizzle for the cake instead of the called for powdered sugar.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crabmeat Saffron Fettucini

Christmas dinner was a little different. I will make this again but put my own touch to it.  I will post it as I change it.  We thought it was not full of enough flavor.  Kinda boring and blah....try it, you may like it!
1/8 tsp saffron
1 Tbsp sherrt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 Tbsp shallots, chopped
3 cups whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 pound fresh lump crab meat, shells removed
1 pkg fettucini cooked and drained
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

Mix saffron and sherry, set aside.  Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and saute until soft, stir in cream.  Turn heat to low, simmer on low until reduced, about 30-35 minutes.  Stir in sherry mixture and simmer 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Gently stir in crabmeat and warm only, so not cook.  Add pasta and toss ocer ow heat.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley.  Enjoy~

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Roasted Rosemary Pork with Asparagus

Christmas Eve dinner was new for us this year.  We are usually with family and this year we were just 4 of us, so we embarked on new traditions.  This pork was awesome! We voted that it will be our new menu!
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 fresh ground pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 center cut pork loin, 5 pounds
2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and blanched
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, olive oil, mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl, reserve 1 Tbsp of this mixture for the asparagus.  Spread the rest of the mixture over the fat side of the pork.  Place pork, fat side up, on a wire rack in a roasting pan.  Place it in the oven and immediately turn the oven to 325 degrees and cook uncovered 2 hours.  Toss the asparagus with the garlic mixture. Arrange it around the pork loin and cook uncovered 15-20 minute. Serve and enjoy~

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Banana Cake

I had a lot of bananas to use and Tony had told me of this banana cake he has tried while he was in south Texas.  I found a recipe for TX banana cake! YUM! WE had a ton of teen age boys over that night and they devoured it before I could take a photo.  I will definitely be making it again and then post a pic.
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted(I don't sift...I whisk well)
1 large banana mashed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.  Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Min in the eggs and banana.  Add the pecans, milk and vanilla, blend well. Sift(again I whisk well) flour and baking soda then add to the banana mixture.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Cream the butter powdered sugar and banana together and spread over the warm cake, sprinkle with extra pecans if you want! Easy and so good. I served it warm.  Enjoy~

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cranberry Bread Pudding

I made this delicious dessert for Christmas Eve dinner.  It was so good, very simple and elegant.
I got got this recipe off of the Williams-Sonoma website.  I will be making it again, with different types of dried fruit, the possibilities are endless!
12 slices day old baguette cut into 3/4 inch cubes
4 eggs at room temp
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg(BEST spice ever)
pinch of salt
4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup dried cranberries
powdered sugar for dusting

Lightly butter an 8 inch square baking dish.  Spread bread cubes in it.  In a bowl whisk the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.  Put in the milk, whisk until well combined.  Pour over the bread, let stand,  then press the bread down evenly until soaked, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Scatter the cranberries evenly over the top and hen press to submerge.  Set the baking dish in a shallow roasting pan.  Fill the pan 1/2 way up the sides of the dish with very hot tap water/  Bake the pudding until knife comes out clean.  I baked mine about 58 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temp. Dust each slice with powdered sugar and eat! Enjoy~