Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Brownie cookies

I discovered this recipe on the side of the Duncan Hines Brownie box. If you have not had a brownie cookie, you have no idea what you are missing! They have a little crunch around the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. Yum! You can make them plain or mix it up a little and add some mix-ins, which is what I did

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1 pkg Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie mix
1/3 C oil
2 tbsp water
1 large egg

  • Mix all ingredients until just mixed
  • I added a handful of peanut butter chips.... and then a handful of chocolate chips.... and then a handful of chopped pecans
  • mixed it up
  • drop by teaspoons on cookie sheets
  • bake for about 12 minutes, don't over cook them
  • let cool 1 minute and then transfer to cooling rack

Freakin' good sweet potatoes

I have had many people tell me they don't like sweet potatoes and then completely change their minds after having these. They really are freakin' good. I got this recipe from a friend of ours years ago. The big change I made was to roast the sweet potatoes instead of cutting them into cubes and mashing them. You can do them either way, but I think roasting them gives them a nice carmelized flavor. It is also so much easier! I have literally put them in the oven and forgotten about them! I don't recommend doing this though.
I usually grab 3 big sweet potatoes that are relatively the same size. I wash them and then poke them all over with a fork or knife. If you want to get your "psycho" on, use the knife. But be careful. Then plop them on a cookie sheet. I use my Pampered Chef stone. I bake them at 325 degrees for about 1.5 hours, or until they are wrinkly and soft (see below).  Don't forget to set the timer! When they are done, let them sit on the cookie sheet until cooled. Then you grab the skin with your fingers and pull it off. Put the peeled sweet potatoes in a large bowl. You can also put the peeled potatoes in a ziplock bag and put them in the fridge for later.

Sweet potatoes as prepared above
2 eggs
1 C sugar
1/4 C melted butter
2 tsp vanilla

  • put all ingredients in a bowl
  • with a potato masher, mash and mix all the ingredients together
  • dump into a 13 x 9 pan and set aside
1 C coconut
1 C chopped pecans
1/2 C brown sugar
1/3 C flour
1/4 C melted butter
  • I found the best way to mix this is to mix all dry together with a fork, making sure you break up all the clumps
  • pour in melted butter and mix well
  • sprinkle over top of sweet potatoes
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until browned and bubbly

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pumpkin pie

This pie is fresh from the oven and has not settled yet, that is why it looks so full.

This is my mom's recipe. She always mixes this pumpkin pie recipe with her custard pie recipe. She ends up with 2 pumpkin custard pies. We had this every Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Since my husband prefers it when I don't "mess" with the classics, I usually just stick with the pumpkin pie. I will give you both recipes and you can choose whatever strikes your fancy. 

Pumpkin Pie:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 Egg
2/3 C sugar
1 1/4 C cooked, mashed pumpkin (or 100% pure pumpkin in the can)
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice (4 tsp if you are planning to make the pumpkin custard pies)
1 1/4 C Evaporated milk (a little less than a can)
pie crust (you can make your own, I use Pillsbury ready made pie crusts)

  • whisk together the egg and sugar
  • add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and whisk until it is mixed well
  • add the evaporated milk and whisk together until well mixed
  • place your pie crust evenly in pie pan 
  • pour filling into prepared pie crust
  • make a ring out of tin foil and cover the crust, so it doesn't burn
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 20 mins
  • lower oven to 350 and bake for 40 more minutes or until knife comes out clean
*If you are making the pumpkin custard pies, just set aside the pumpkin pie filling aside

Custard Pie:
 Same cooking temp and times as the pumpkin pie recipe

3 eggs
1/3 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 C milk

  • whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and nutmeg until well mixed
  • whisk in milk and vanilla until well incorporated
* If you are making pumpkin custard pies, then now you mix the 2 fillings together
  • pour into prepared pie crusts
  • make a ring out of tin foil and cover the crust, so it doesn't burn
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 20 mins
  • lower oven to 350 and bake for 40 more minutes or until knife comes out clean
Let cool on baking rack. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Triple chocolate cheesecake

Cheesecakes are HARD! If you have never made one, you read the directions and it says to bake until "almost set". I don't even know what that means. This recipe is so easy and the  cheese cake comes out perfect. I can't take credit for this, I got this recipe from Martha Stewart.  

You will need:
a food processor
1 pkg chocolate wafer cookies
6 tbsp melted butter
4 bars of cream cheese at room temp
1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 lrg eggs
1 C sour cream
8 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
Chocolate ganache for the top

For the crust:
  • preheat oven to 325 degrees & assemble your 9 in. spring form pan
  • in food processor, pulse chocolate cookies, add butter, then pulse to mix
  • press firmly into bottom of pan and a little up the sides
  • bake for 10 minutes and set aside
  • wipe out the processor bowl
  • add cream cheese, butter, salt and pulse until smooth
  • with motor running, add eggs, then sour cream, and then chocolate
  • blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed
  • pour filling into crust and bake for 1 hour.
  • turn the oven off, but let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 1 hour. DON'T OPEN!
  • remove from oven and run a knife around the edge
  • let cool completely
  • cover loosely and put the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. 
  • unmold cheesecake and spread ganache in the center
For the ganache:
In a small sauce pan, bring 1/4 C of heavy cream to a boil. Remove heat and whisk in 4 oz chopped semisweet chocolate. Set aside until thickened, 2-5 minutes. 

Can you see how moist and creamy it is? It takes a while, but the results will WOW!

Bean and cheese burritos

These are pretty easy to make.
I grab a can (or 2) of pinto beans and drain them.
I throw about a tsp to a tbsp of bacon grease (I save it in the fridge) in a pan and turn it to medium heat.
Mash with potato masher.
Add beans and a little water to desired consistency.
Add beans and some mozzarella cheese to a tortilla and fold it up.
They can be frozen for later.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Grilled zucchini

It doesn't have to be just zucchini, you can do peppers, asparagus, squash and eggplant. It is simple and delicious and great for summer. 

Slice the zucchini lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick and place in a gallon size ziplock bag. 
Drizzle in olive oil
Add salt and pepper
With a garlic press, add 2 cloves of garlic
Sprinkle in some herbs. I like italian seasoning, oregano, basil or herbes de provence. 
You could even add a little balsamic vinegar if you want. 

Now close up the bag and separate the slices, making sure the oil, herbs and garlic are evenly distributed. 

Place the slices on a hot grill. About 3-5 minutes on each side. You want to get those nice charred marks from the grill. If you over cook them, they start to get mushy. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Oatmeal Craison Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies USED to be my favorite until I made these. You could use raisons instead of craisons. Try both and tell me what you think. Either way they are delicious!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 C softened butter
 1 C packed brown sugar
 3/4 C granulated sugar
 2 tsp vanilla
 2 eggs
• beat butter, sugars and vanilla until light
• add eggs and beat until blended

1 1/4 C flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
• combine these ingredients and gradually add to the butter mixture until well blended. 

3 C old fashioned oats
1 1/2 C craisons
• stir in oats and craisons

For giant cookies, drop 1/4 cupfulls onto cookie sheet. Bake 14-17 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Do not over bake. Let sit for 3 minutes before transfering to cooling rack. 

For regular cookies, drop tsp-fulls on cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are brown. Let stand for 3 minutes before transferring to coolong rack.