Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Dinner

There are almost no words for how good this was. A 6lb bone in prime rib with roasted red potatoes & garlic mushrooms. So delicious.

Aunt Moe's Pizza Dip

All Ed wanted to snack on was Aunt Moe's Pizza Dip. So, I contacted Aunt Moe & here you go. He was so happy & devoured it.

It is basically 3, or 5, layers of Cream Cheese, Pizza Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese.

1 container Chive & Onion Cream Cheese

1 can Pizza Sauce

1 package Mozzarella Cheese

In a pie plate, spread the Cream Cheese. Then, spread a layer of Pizza Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese. Repeat the Pizza Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until all bubbly. Serve with Garlic Bread.

Cranberry Muffins

I bought 2 bags of fresh cranberries a few weeks ago. I tried a Cranberry Scone recipe & it was horrible. Why? It had a glaze on it that ruined it & made it soggy. They went to the trash. So, I was soured on cranberries for a bit. As many know, I am not one for cooked fruit. So, it took time before I was ready to try again. Last night, I had an urge to make Cranberry Muffins. I was laying in bed, reading a book & could not help myself. I jumped out of bed & went right to the kitchen. If you follow this blog, you may recognize the recipe. I repurposed a Blueberry Muffin recipe.
I started with the topping. Butter, Sugar, Flour & Cinnamon.

This is a very stiff dough. Once you mix the ingredients together, fold in the berries. These were frozen, but I have used fresh Blueberries in this recipe.

Divide the dough evenly between 12 muffin cups. I had some cutie blue with snowflakes that I wanted to use. Then, the topping gets added and fills the cups to the top.

Now, your turn...


1 1/2 cups AP Flour

3/4 cup Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

1 Egg, beaten

1/3 cup Milk

1 cup Cranberries


1/2 cup Sugar

1/3 cup AP Flour

1/4 cup Butter, cubed & cold

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine Flour, Sugar, Salt & Baking Powder, whisk together.

3. In a measuring cup, place Vegetable Oil & Egg. Add enough Milk to fill the cup, may be a bit more than the 1/3 cup.

4. Pour this into the Flour mixture & combine. The dough may be stiff.

5. Fold in the berries.

6. Divide among the muffin cups & add the topping.

7. Bake 20-25 minutes. Turn out onto counter & cool on wire rack.

Cheese Dog Treats

Time for homemade dog treats for Justice. He gets them every year for Christmas & his birthday. These are so easy, & I like to make extra & send to friends. When I make these, and look at other recipes, I wonder why I bother to buy treats from the pet store. I can make something healthy for him with hardly any work at all.

How easy? Check out this recipe...

1 cup Wheat Flour

1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated

1 Tbls Garlic Powder

1 Tbls Butter, softened

1/2 cup Milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix Flour & Cheese together. Add Garlic Powder & softened Butter.

3. Slowly add the Milk until you have a stiff dough. You may not need all the milk.

4. Place on floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Then, roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.

5. Cut into shapes & place on an ungreased cookie sheet. I still used a silpat on my baking sheet.

6. Bake for 15 minutes & let cool in the oven with the door slightly open until cool & firm.

7. Refrigerate to keep fresh.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

Seriously, the stickiest dough I have ever worked with.

Rolled into balls & then, with the tips of the fingers, lightly press down.

But, looks yummy, right? Next step - filling

Easy & tastes a bit like frosting. Why? Powdered Sugar, Cream Cheese & Butter.

Sandwich together and you have cookie heaven - Hubby could not stop eating. Want to make festive? Add Peppermint Extract to filling and/or roll in red / green sprinkles. Your friends will love them.

For the Cookies:

2 boxes Devils Food Cake Mix

4 Eggs

2/3 cup Vegetable Oil

For the Filling:

1 8oz package Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)

4 cups Powdered Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine Cake Mix, Eggs & Veg Oil. The batter is really stiff. Pinch off pieces of batter & roll into 1 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet & flatten slightly with tips of fingers.

3. Bake 8-10 minutes & remove to a wire rack.

4. While cookies are cooling, combine the Cream Cheese & Butter until smooth & blended together.

5. Gradually add the Powdered Sugar & Vanilla Extract. Mix until the icing is smooth. **You could add food coloring here for holiday themed cookies)

6. Once you have "sandwiched" the cookies, store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Chicken Fettucine Alfredo

I said I would share successes & failures. This was a failure. Why? The cheese did not melt. Is that a big deal? Yep, the sauce was gritty. See what happens when you are in a hurry...

You would think with that list of ingredients, it could only be delicious.

I cubed up 3 smaller skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts, seasoned with Salt & Pepper, and browned in a skillet with just a bit of olive oil, about one turn of the pan.

Once the chicken was browned, I took it out & covered with foil. Then, I melted the Butter (2 sticks) added 2 cups of Heavy Cream & 2 cups Parmesan Cheese. And, I rushed it. Once it was thick, I added the fettuccine noodles, fresh, and then the chicken. Looked delicious, tasted okay.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Puppy Chow

It was time for an old family favorite - Puppy Chow or People Chow. It goes by many names.
Melt the peanut butter, chocolate chips & butter in a pan over low heat until melted.

It needs to be smooth to work properly. Look how shiny that is.

Pour onto the cereal in a large bowl & fold to combine. I ended up using my hands & getting very messy.Hopefully, you can get it all covered without breaking up much of the cereal.

Put the Powdered Sugar in a reclosable plastic bag & add the chocolatey cereal mix, in batches, to the bag. Seal & shake until WELL coated. This could take a few minutes. But, it is so worth it. See how pretty that is...

1/2 cup Peanut Butter

1/4 cup Butter

1 cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 tsp Vanilla

9 cups Cereal - I used Rice Chex

3 cups Powdered Sugar

1. Melt 1st 3 ingredients, add vanilla.

2. Pour Cereal into large bowl & coat with the melted Chocolate mixture.

3. Put Powdered Sugar in large, reclosable bag & add the coated Cereal in batches. SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE until well coated.

Candy Cane Biscotti

This was easy to make. The recipe suggested 4 logs of dough, I did 2.

Bake until just getting golden & cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet.

Slice & bake again - Biscotti = Twice Baked


1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened

1/2 cup Sugar

3 Eggs

2 1/2 cups AP Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

2/3 cup Crushed Candy Canes (about 8 candy canes)

Optional: White Chocolate & extra crushed Candy Canes

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the Flour, Baking Powder & Salt.

3. Combine Butter & Sugar & beat at medium speed until creamy. Scrape sides often.

4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

5. Reduce mixer to low & slowly add in the Flour mixture, beating until just combined.

6. Stir in the crushed Candy Canes.

7. Divide dough into fourths on a lightly floured surface & shape into 9 x1 1/2 inch logs. Place 3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet.

8. Bake 18-20 minutes, until tops are cracked & ends just start to turn golden. **If you do larger cookies, bake 20-25 minutes**

9. Remove from oven & reduce heat to 325.

10. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheet.

11. Carefully remove to cutting board & cut into 1/2 inch slices with a sharp serrated knife.

12. Arrange pieces on same cookie sheet & bake for 12-14 minutes, turning cookies after 7 minutes.

Optional: Melt White Chocolate & drizzle over the biscotti. Sprinkle extra crushed Candy Canes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are crispy & delicious & they got a little messy during construction. Why? Because you chill the dough and then roll it in your hands & then roll in powdered sugar so it looks like this:
When they are baked, they look like this. So, so yummy. I made mine a little bigger than recommended in the hopes of limiting the consumption of my hubby.

Here you go:

6oz Semi Sweet Chocolate or 1 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

3/4 cup AP Flour

1/3 cup Cocoa

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Butter, softened

1 cup Brown Sugar, packed

2 Eggs

2/3 cup Powdered Sugar

1. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Set aside & cool to room temperature.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together Flour, Cocoa, Baking Powder & Salt. Set aside.
3. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat Butter & Brown Sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in Eggs, one at a time, then add in the melted Chocolate.
4. Reduce speed to low & add in the Flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
5. Transfer bowl to freezer & chill for 30 - 60 minutes, until dough is firm enough to handle. (To make ahead: dough may be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.)
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
7. Roll tablespoons of dough between palms to form balls & then roll GENEROUSLY in the powdered sugar. You want a really thick coating.
8. Place on parchment lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart & bake for about 10 minutes. Tops will be cracked & center almost set.
9. Cool for 3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

If you follow my blog, you know that I have a recipe for Lemon Ricotta muffins that are oh so good. They are the type of muffins that I have a hard time eating just one. Well, I found a recipe that turned those ingredients into cookies.

2 cups AP Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 8oz container, Ricotta Cheese*
2 Tbls Lemon Juice
Zest of ONE Lemon

1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tbls Lemon Juice
2 Tbls Cranberry Juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine butter & sugar & beat until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
4. Add ricotta, lemon juice & lemon zest. Beat to combine & stir in the dry ingredients.
5. Drop level tablespoons of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto parchment lined baking sheets.
6. Bake for 15 mihnutes, until slightly golden at edges, but still soft. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes.
7. Combine the glaze ingredents, minus the sprinkles, and spoon about 1/2 tsp onto each cookie. Use back of spoon to smooth & spread the glaze. Add sprinkles to cookies. Let the glaze harden for 2 hours before packing into a container.

*I just realized that I used an entire container of the ricotta cheese, oops. That would explain the texture of my cookies.

** I did not use the glaze. I am not one for glazing cookies, but it sounds delicious.

Lemon Olive Oil Cookies

I cannot even explain how great these cookies are. I found the recipe and could not wait to try it.

Here is the recipe:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp grated lemon zest
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Whisk first 4 ingredients together in a medium bowl
3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice & vanilla
4. Add wet ingredients to dry & mix until it resembles wet sand. Roll dough into pieces the size of a walnut and roll in the sugar.
5. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet & bake for 12-15 minutes.

I wanted to try another batch using either limes or clementines. The hubby vetoed both of those. He really likes the lemon & wants another batch.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Our Thanksgiving dinner was very low key. I have only one picture to show you and that is my plate full of food. I ordered a Smoked Turkey Breast from Oklahoma Joe's and just had to finish cooking it. I placed in the oven with strips of bacon, wrapped in foil & baked for about an hour.

I roasted mushrooms & brussel sprouts with garlic, salt & black pepper. It was so good. And, of course, I made mashed potatoes. Everything was so good.

There were plenty of appetizers, which I indulged in. A crudite platter with ranch dip, roasted peanuts, cheese cubes, & crackers.

Christmas dinner will be a bigger affair, even though it is just the two of us. Look forward to roasted prime rib & red potatoes.

Beef Enchiladas

Brown hamburger with salt & pepper. Mix in the onions, sour cream & cheese.

Combine the next 8 ingredients & bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into a 9 inch pie plate. Dip the tortillas, both sides, into the sauce and add approximately 1/4 cup of beef mix. Roll & place seam side down in an ungreased 9X13 pan.

Pour extra sauce over the enchiladas & bake.

Serve with sour cream & cheese. I also serve it with rice.

Beef Enchiladas

1lb Ground Beef

1 Onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1 cup Shredded Cheese, I used a taco blend

1/4tsp Black Pepper

1/3 cup Green Bell Pepper, chopped

2/3 cup Water

1tbls Chili Powder

1 1/2 tsp fresh Oregano, or 1/2tsp dried

1/2 tsp Cumin

4.5oz can Green Chiles, diced

1 clove Garlic, minced

15oz can Tomato Sauce

8 Tortillas, 5-6 inches in diameter

Heat oven to 350.

Brown beef in 10 inch skillet until brown. Drain & return to pan. Stir in Onion, Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese & Black Pepper. Cover & remove from heat.

Heat Bell Pepper, Water, Chili Powder, Oregano, Cumin, Green Chiles, Garlic & Tomato Sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil & then reduce & simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 9 inch pie plate.

Dip each tortilla into sauce to coat both sides. Place about 1/4 cup of the beef mixture into each tortilla. Roll & place seam side down into ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes & sauce is bubbly. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Pie

7 ingredients, plus a frozen pie crust. That is it.

Easy, too. Put everything in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.

Pour into the frozen pie crust, put on a cookie sheet and bake. That's it.

How good does that look? Ed finished it in no time. He is already asking for another one.

Pumpkin Pie

Frozen Pie Crust

16oz Canned Pumpkin

1 Can Sweet Condensed Milk

2 eggs, Beaten

1tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp Fresh Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Salt

425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower oven to 350 degrees & bake for another 35-40 minutes.

Place in fridge for 4hrs.