Monday, August 1, 2011

Smoky Burger Sliders with Grilled Pineapple and Chipotle Mayonnaise

Smoky Burger Sliders with Grilled Pineapple & Chipotle Mayonnaise

The patties:
1 1/2 lb. ground beef (about 88% lean)
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and minced
2 tsp adobo sauce (from the chipotle pepper can)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

The mayonnaise:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and minced
1 tsp adobo sauce (from the chipotle pepper can)
2 tsp fresh lime juice

The pineapple:
2 large rings pineapple (preferably fresh)
8 wheat dinner rolls (or other small rolls), split in half crosswise
8 slices queso fresco cheese (sliced from the round)

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

The patties:
In a medium bowl, combine ground meat , chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Divide the meat mixture into 8 equal pieces and form each into patties that are 2 1/2 to 3-inches in diameter. (Can be made ahead. Place on a baking sheet, cover, and chill. Bring the room temperature before grilling.)

The mayonnaise:
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and lime juice.

The pineapple:
Place pineapple rings on the grill and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and cut each ring into quarters.

Putting it together:
Place the rolls cut side down on the grill. Remove when the cut side is lightly toasted. Spread a generous amount of chipotle mayonnaise on each roll.

Place the meat patties on the grill and cook, lid closed, 5 minutes per side, or until barely cooked through. I like a little bit of pink inside to ensure optimal juiciness.

In the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a thin slice of queso fresco cheese. Close the lid of the barbecue to melt the cheese.

Remove the patties from the grill and place one patty on the bottom half of each prepared bun. Top each patty with a piece of grilled pineapple and top with the top half of the bun. Serve.Makes 8 sliders.

Recipe and photo source: Cookin Canuck

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Microwave Chicken Tortilla Casserole

If you are opposed to eating meals cooked in the microwave, you can also place this in the oven on 400 for about 10 minutes. 

Microwave Chicken Tortilla Casserole
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or diced (this is about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup french fried onion, divided
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp dried cilantro or 3 Tbsp fresh
  • 2 (10 inch) flour tortillas (the big burrito sized ones)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, sour cream, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/2 cup of fried onions, chopped green chilies, taco seasoning, and chopped cilantro. Mix until well combined combine.
  2. Cut up one of the tortilla into 1 inch pieces using a pizza wheel.  Add to the chicken mixture and stir until blended in.
  3. Place the  remaining tortilla into a 9 inch pie plate, this will create  the crust for your pie.  Spoon the mixture into the tortilla/crust.
  4. Place in microwave and microwave on high for about five minutes. Sprinkle the pie with the remaining cheese followed by the fried onions. Microwave for one minute more, or until cheese is melted. Keep in mind that microwave varies, so cooking time may vary too.  Makes 6 servings.
Recipe and picture source: Real Mom Kitchen

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rena Scarpino's Spaghetti

This is the best spaghetti sauce you will ever eat. I like to make big batches of this and keep it in my freezer for those days I just don't feel like cooking...which is often lately.

Rena Scarpino's Spaghetti

1 lb. pork, cut into small pieces (2-3 chops), or beef chunks can be used
1 large can tomato juice
3 gloves garlic
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
3 dried red peppers (or to taste)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt

Brown meat. Salt and pepper. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 2-3 hours with lid off. The sauce will thicken.  Remove bay leaves and peppers. Correct seasoning. Cook 2 lbs of spaghetti and drain. Mix with 3 oz. Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp. butter. Add sauce and let set with the lid on to blend flavors. Serve.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

With the combination of the summer heat and being at the end of my pregnancy cooking is the last thing I have wanted to do. This is one of the few things I have made.

Banana Cream Pie

For the crust: (Or just use a pre-made frozen crust)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 tbsp. very cold water

For the pastry cream and filling:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
3 ripe but firm bananas, plus extra for garnish (if desired)

For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Add in the butter and toss with a fork to combine.  Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Mix in the water on low speed just until the dough comes together.  Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425° F.  Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Roll out the dough into a thin round large enough to fit a 9-inch round pie plate.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate, trim the edges and use your thumb and fingers to crimp the edge.  Cover with a piece of foil or parchment paper, and fill the pie plate with baking beads (dried beans or rice works too.)  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nearly set.  Remove the foil and baking beads and bake the crust uncovered for 5 more minutes, or until it is completely baked and light golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

In the meantime, make the pastry cream.  Bring the milk to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick.

Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk to temper the eggs so that they don’t curdle.
Then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream.  Put the pan over medium heat and, still whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.  Allow to boil, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes before removing from the heat.  Whisk in the vanilla extract.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky.  Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard and refrigerate until cold.

When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them diagonally into ¼-inch thick slices.

Whisk the chilled custard to loosen it, then spread about a quarter of it over the cooled pie crust (this will be a thin layer).  Top with a layer of banana slices.  Repeat, adding a thin layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer of bananas.

To make the topping, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream just until it starts to thicken.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks.  Spoon the topping over the pie filling and spread to cover the edges of the custard.

Garnish with extra banana slices, if desired.  Slice and serve (this pie is best eaten the day it is made.)

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mexican Rice

A very good side dish to go along with any Mexican meal.    

Mexican Rice

*Serves 4-6

1 cup of long grain white rice
2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of lime juice, from about 1 lime
1/2 cup of freshly chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin
Salt to taste

In a medium-sized pot, add rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir. Cover the pot, lower the heat to low and simmer for 17-20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep the pot covered for 5 more minutes.

While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions in the hot oil for 10 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomato paste and cumin and cook for another minute or two. Mix in hot, cooked rice, lime juice and cilantro. Mix until well combined. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo source: My Kitchen Cafe

Friday, July 1, 2011

Red, White and Blue Finger Jello

Red, White and Blue Finger Jello

Yield: About 40 pieces
Prep Time: 30 min + chilling time

1 (3 ounce) box red jello gelatin
1 (3 ounce) box blue jello gelatin

4 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

boiling water & cold water


1. In a medium bowl, mix one box of red jello with 1/2 envelope of unflavored gelatin. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour into a 9x13-inch glass pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (make sure that your refrigerator is level, or your jello will come out uneven-looking).

2. While first layer is setting, prepare white layer. In another bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup of boiling water. In a separate small bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over 1/2 cup of cold water. Let stand a few minutes and then add 1/2 cup of boiling water to dissolve the gelatin. Add to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Pour 1 cup of this milk mixture over the first layer of red jello. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

3. While white layer is setting, prepare blue layer. In a medium bowl, mix one box of blue jello with 1/2 envelope of unflavored gelatin. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour on top of white layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. Repeat with red layer, another cup of of the white layer and then finishing with a blue layer on top. Refrigerate for 15 minutes after adding each layer.

5. Let jello set before cutting. Use a sharp knife to cut, and then use a metal spatula to slide underneath the jello and scoop out jello squares.


*For a festive 4th of July look, use a star cookie cutter to cut out a star-shape for the center of your platter. Place some jello squares red-side-up and some blue-side-up.
*For testing purposes, I used Strawberry & Berry-Blue flavored Jell-O. Sometimes you can find Pina Colada flavored jello (which is white), and you could opt to use that as your white layer. The milk layer though is yummy & the kids seem to like it mixed with the jello layers.

Recipe and picture source: (Adapted from The Food Librarian)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Pudding Cookies

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Pudding Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 oz box instant chocolate pudding mix
10 oz bag peanut butter chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or line with a silpat liner.

2.  In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.

3.  Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, mixing to combine.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate pudding mix, peanut butter chips and marshmallows.  Mix until just combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, place onto baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through.  Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Recipe Source: Picky Palate

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rolled Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Rolled Cinnamon Roll Muffins
originally found on
makes 1 dozen muffins

1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar added to it
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk or cream

Pour milk into a measuring cup and add the lemon juice or vinegar. (Skip this step if you are using buttermilk.)
Measure the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla and egg into a mixing bowl. Add the milk. Add the flour. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two.

Roll the dough into a 12-inch by 24-inch rectangle. Spread with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough into a log beginning at the wide side. Stretch the log slightly. Cut into two-inch pieces and put the pieces into greased muffin tins or muffin tins lined with cupcake papers.

Bake at 375° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until golden brown.Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes and then remove from the muffin tins. Drizzle with icing (if using) when cool.

Recipe Source: Taste and Tell

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ooey Gooey Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies

I am completely obsessed with the peanut butter, marshmallow, chocolate combination right now. I can't get enough of it!!

Ooey-Gooey Peanut-Butter Brownies
Recipe from Cooking Light, Sept. 2010

3/4 C sweetened condensed milk, divided (fat-free is fine)
1/4 C butter, melted and cooled (1/2 stick)
1/4 C non-fat milk
1  box devil’s food cake mix (18.25 oz)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
cooking spray
1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme (about 1 3/4 C)
1/2 C peanut butter morsels(or more)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With an electric mixer, combine 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, milk, butter, cake mix, and egg white.

Mixture will be very thick.  Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Use either floured hands, or spray your hands with cooking spray in order to press it down without having it stick to your fingers.  The layer will be thin.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Combine 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl and combine until smooth. Stir in peanut butter morsels.  Spread marshmallow layer over brownie layer in pan.  Carefully drop remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Start with 20 minutes then go up from there if needed. Remove from oven and cool before cutting into squares.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fantastic Alfredo

This is a tasty meal you can feel good about. No one will ever know there is cauliflower in it.

Fantastic Alfredo

12 oz. pasta (penne or fettuccine work well)
2 Tbsp. trans-fat free soft tub margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 c. fat free milk
1 c. grated reduced fat white cheddar or part skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. cauliflower puree (just cook as usual and puree in a processor or blender)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1 sprigs fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 c. of the cooking water before draining. Drain and set aside.

Heat margarine in a large skillet with deep sides over medium heat. When the margarine foams, add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant but not brown.

Add flour and cook for 4-5 minutes, whisking flour into margarine until smooth paste forms.

Whisk in 1/4 c. of the milk at a time until the milk is absorbed and creamy sauce starts to form. Once all the milk in incorporated, bring the sauce to a slow boil, whisking for 1 additional minute. Stir in cheese, cauliflower puree and Parmesan, mixing until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, paprika and pasta. Toss to coat. Add a little of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too thick. Top with basil sprigs and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Jessica Seinfeld author of Deceptively Delicious

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Won Tons

I grew up on these things and still love them to this day!

Won Tons

1 lb. hamburger
1 heat cabbage (Napa or 1/2 head regular cabbage)
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger root, grated
1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 pkg. won ton wrappers
Oil for frying

Shred cabbage and place in a large bowl. Add about 1/4 c. salt to cabbage and mix together. Let sit for about 30 minutes. There will be lots of water in the bottom of the bowl after it has been sitting. Squeeze all liquid out of the cabbage and place in another dry bowl. (I usually lightly rise the cabbage to get some of the salt off of it, then really squeeze out the liquid. Don't rise too heavily or you will just put liquid back into the cabbage.)

Mix all ingredients together with cabbage. Put a small amount of mixture on won ton skin and seal with water using instructions on back of package.

Heat vegetable or peanut oil in a large wok or Dutch oven to about 375. Gently drop won tons in oil and cook until golden brown on outside and meat is cooked on the inside, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rice Krispie Treat Pops

This is a fun alternative to plain Rice Krispie Treats.

Rice Krispies
6 c. Rice Krispie cereal
3 Tbsp. butter
1 pkg. (10 oz. about 40) regular marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispie cereal. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly in 9 x13 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool.

Cut Rice Krispies into desired pop sized squares. Stick a Popsicle stick in one end and rest on a baking sheet.

Melt white or chocolate almond bark in a double boiler or in a microwave safe measuring cup.  Dip each pop into melted almond bark and top with whatever you desire.

Topping options:
Crushed Oreos
Chocolate chips
Candy coated chocolate chips or M&M's
Crushed Butterfingers
Melted caramel (this is great to dip in melted caramel then in melted chocolate)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mini Chicken Alfredo

Great for an appetizer or a main dish.
Mini Chicken Alfredo
Makes 12 servings of 24 shells

24 dry jumbo pasta shells, (about 6 oz.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter (8 Tbsp.)
1 1/2 c. grated Parmesan, divided
2 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, divided

Preheat broiler with rack 5 inches from element. Spray two 24-cup mini muffin tins with nonstick spray; set aside. Bring a large post of salted water to a boil.

Cook shells in boiling water until al dente, 12-15 minutes; drain and rinse under cold water.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, 8-9 minutes per side; cool slightly, then chop into small pieces.

Warm cream and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. Whisk in butter until melted. Add 1 c. Parmesan, 2 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. parsley. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and remove from heat.

Fill each shell with 1 heaping Tbsp. chicken mixture. Stagger filled shells, open ends up, in every other muffin tin well to prevent them from sticking to each other. Sprinkle shells with remaining 1/2 c. Parmesan.

Broil shells until sauce bubbles and Parmesan melts and is golden, about 2 minutes. Garnish shells with remaining 2 Tbsp. parsley.

*If you would like a reduced fat Alfredo Sauce use this. I make it all the time and love it!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Swiss Mushroom Chicken

I apologize for the picture but I was in a hurry. If you are opposed to mushrooms, just leave them out and it still tastes great!

Swiss Mushroom Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. crushed Ritz crackers (about 25 crackers)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter, divided
4 slices ham or salami
4 slices Swiss cheese

Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Place egg in a shallow bowl. Combine cracker crumbs and salt in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken in egg, then in crumbs, set aside.

In a large ovenproof skillet, saute mushrooms in 1 tablespoon butter until tender; remove and set aside. In the same skillet, melt remaining butter. Add chicken; cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes each side or until juices run clear. Top each chicken breast half with a ham slice, mushrooms and a cheese slice. Broil 4 inches from heat for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.

*if you do not have an ovenproof skillet, just remove the chicken from the skillet and put in a 9x13 inch glass dish sprayed with cooking spray before you place them in the oven.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Avalanche Bars

If you have ever been to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and had their Avalanche Bark you will recognize the taste of these bars. They are very easy to make and extremely addictive. 

Avalanche Bars

12 ounces white chocolate chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Lightly grease a 9×9 pan (or 8×8 if you prefer thicker bars) and set aside. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chips for one minute. Stir. Then continue to microwave in 30 second increments until the chips are completely melted. Add the peanut butter to the melted chocolate and stir to combine. Add the Rice Krispies. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes, stirring now and again. Add the marshmallows and the mini chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly, pressing lightly with the back of a spoon, taking care not to press too hard or they will be overly compact and it will make the bars dry and tough. Garnish with additional mini chocolate chips, if desired. Let the bars cool completely before serving.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Oat and Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Oat and Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

1 c. oats
1/2 c. pecans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme 
1 tsp oregano 
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 chicken breast tenderloins, thawed

1. In a food processor grind the oats and pecans. Dump into a bowl and stir in seasonings.  
2. Spray each chicken tender with Pam then roll into the oat-pecan mixture.  
3. Place on a greased baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees. Rotate the chicken once while cooking.

Serve with honey or BBQ sauce for dipping.  

Recipe Source: Sweet Treats and More

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peanut Buttery Twix Bars

This is like a giant Peanut Butter Twix Bar! So good!! The original recipe called for 1 container of Rich and Creamy store bought chocolate frosting...yuck! So I changed the topping to a homemade frosting.

Peanut Buttery Twix Bars

Cookie Base:
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
8 or 9 fun size Twix Bars, sliced in to 1/4 inch pieces

36 caramels (from 14 oz bag)
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil and spray bottom and sides with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, and egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan. Press Twix pieces into the dough in even rows. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan, heat caramels and sweetened condensed milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until caramels are melted. Stir in peanut butter. Heat to boiling. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Spread over warm cookie base. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

For frosting, combine sugar, butter, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir, remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips  and let cool, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it cools. Spread cooled frosting evenly over filling. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled. Cut into bars and store covered in the refrigerator.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Worlds Best Dinner Rolls

I don't know if I would call these "World's Best" but they are definitely good rolls.The recipe says you will get 24 rolls out of this but I got a lot more than 24 and they were a pretty good size

World’s Best Rolls
2 c. whole milk (if you’re in a pinch, you can use 2%, but whole is best. Don’t use 1% or skim)
½ c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/3 c. (5 1/3 Tbsp.) butter
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp.), preferably bread machine yeast
2/3 c. warm (105-115-degree) water
8-9 c. all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs

Combine milk, 1/2 c. sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts.
Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm. This can take a long time so you can rub some ice cubes along the sides of the pan or pop the entire pan in a sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture down. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If the yeast hasn’t bubbled, you’ll need to repeat this step.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c. flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes.

Add beaten eggs.Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it.

Don’t worry, it will firm up during the rising process. Part of what makes these rolls so good is that they’re so soft and light; if you add too much flour, they will be heavy and dense. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.
Spray 2 9×13 glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle and then cut it into 12 equal-sized pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan.
Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go (depending on your oven), preheat oven to 375.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown.

Recipe Source: Our Best Bites

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sour Cream Poppyseed Streusel Muffins

Sour Cream Poppyseed Streusel Muffins

2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 8-oz. container sour cream (light works great)


1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare streusel by combining streusel ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. To prepare muffins, combine sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine buttermilk and remaining muffin ingredients in a small bowl and add to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups or 24-36 mini muffin cups, either lined or sprayed. Sprinkle evenly with streusel mixture.Bake at 375 for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan immediately and place on a wire rack to cool.

Recipe and picture source: Our Best Bites

Friday, May 20, 2011

Garlic Knots

If you are a garlic lover, you will love these rolls. Just make sure you have some breath mints handy!

Garlic Knots

10 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 Tbsp.)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. plus 3/4 c. water, heated to 110 degrees
1 1/8 tsp. rapid rise or instant yeast
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200, turn it off. Grease a large bowl. Set aside.

Cook garlic, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon water in small nonstick skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is straw colored, 8 to 10 minutes. Add remaining butter, stirring until melted. Let stand 10 minutes off heat. Strain garlic butter through fine mesh strainer into small bowl; reserve garlic solids.

Whisk remaining water, 1 tablespoon garlic butter, reserved garlic solids, and yeast in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add water mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes. Turn dough onto clean work surface and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in turned off oven until dough has doubled in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down dough on floured surface. Roll dough into 12 by 6-inch rectangle and cut into twelve 6-inch strips and roll into ropes. To make the knots, make a 1 1/2 inch loop, tie the rope as in the first step of tying shoelaces. Tuck tail into the center of the loop from the top. Pull the other tail up through the bottom so the end pokes up through the center. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and return to turned off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.

Remove knots from oven and discard plastic. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Return knots to oven and bake until set, about 5 minutes. Remove knots from oven and brush with 2 tablespoons garlic butter. Rotate pan, return to oven and bake until golden brown, 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. Serve warm.

*Shaped knots can be refrigerated, covered, for 24 hours. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 200 degrees and turn off. Put knots in turned off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes. Proceed with baking instructions.

Recipe source: Cook's Country Dec/Jan 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

This bread is so amazingly good!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Yield: one 9 x 5" loaf

For the dough:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
½ tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the filling:
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. 

Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and heat just until the butter is melted.  Set aside and let cool briefly, until the mixture registers 115-125˚ F on an instant-read thermometer.  Add the milk mixture, water, vanilla and eggs to the mixer bowl.  Mix on low speed until a cohesive dough forms.  Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and is tacky but not sticky.  Knead about 3-5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

(After the dough has doubled, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.  Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before proceeding.)

While the dough rises, add the butter to a small saucepan and melt until browned.  Set aside.

 Combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl and mix well.  
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate.  Roll into a ball, cover with a clean towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  Roll the dough out into an approximately 12 x 20-inch rectangle.  Brush the dough with the browned butter.  Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough in an even layer.  (Yes, really, use all of it.)  

Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.  Slice the dough vertically into 6 even strips.  Stack the strips on top of each other and again cut again into 6 equal slices.  Stack all the squares on top of each other and set into the prepared loaf pan.  Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place, 30-45 minutes.  
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Transfer the loaf to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  (If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil at the end of baking.)  Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan 20-30 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and carefully turn the loaf out, transferring to a serving plate.  Serve warm.  

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats
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