Saturday, December 31, 2011

Black Eyed Pea Dip

This doesn't taste like black eyed peas at all. It tastes like a bean dip. If you are looking for a tasty way to get some good luck for next year this is the way to go. I apdapted this recipe from Pioneer Woman.
Black Eyed Pea Dip
1 can of black eyed peas, dranied
1 small can of green chilies
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 c. cheddar cheese
1/4 c. sour cream
3 heaping T. salsa
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. cumin
salt and pepper
Mash the peas then mix everything together in a baking dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Candy Bars

These are great and very easy. I like that you cut them in squares instead of rolling in balls and dipping in chocolate. Much quicker!

Candy Bars
1 c. light Karo syrup
1 c. sugar
1 c. peanuts
1 c. peanut butter
3 c. Rice Krispies
12 oz. bag of chocolate chips
12 oz. bag of butterscotch chips
In a large microwave safe bowl,  stir together the sugar and Karo syrup. Microwave for 2 minutes. Add peanuts and peanut butter and stir. Microwave another 1 minute. Stir in Rice Krispies until combined really well. Spread out onto a greased 9x13 pan. Microwave the chips for 2 minutes. Stir and spread over the top of the bars. Let cool.

Cherry Pecan Shortbread

These are similar to a cookie called Santa's Whiskers, but those are coated in coconut. I think the coconut is supposed to be the whiskers, so I can't really call these Santa's Whiskers. Anyway, these are not too-sweet and are nice with a cup of coffee or tea.

Cherry Pecan Shortbread
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. almond flavoring
2 T. milk
2 1/2  c. flour
3/4 c. chopped candied cherries
3/4 c. chopped pecans
Cream the butter, sugar and almond flavoring. Add the milk. Beat in the flour until just mixed. Fold in the cherries and pecans. Roll into a log. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Slice off 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until lightly brown on the bottoms.

Veggie Squares

These are great! I threw all my veggies in the food processor to make them chopped finely and then I sprinkled them on the cream cheese.

Veggie Squares
2 pkgs. crescent roll sheets
2- 8 oz. cream cheese
1 pkg. dry ranch
1 c. mayo
1 bag of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli pre-cut (in the produce section), chopped up
1 green pepper, chopped up
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese
Roll out crescent roll sheets and cover a jelly roll pan. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. Let cool. Mix ranch, cream cheese and mayo. Spread over the crust. Evenly sprinkle with veggies and cheese. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I have made this recipe for a few years now and it always turns out great.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 tub of fresh grated parmesan cheese (around 1 cup)
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. mayo
2- 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
2 cans of artichoke hearts chopped up and drained
1 t. basil
1 heaping t. garlic chopped
salt and pepper
1 c. chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
Mix it all together in a crock pot and cook until it is all melted together and hot (a few hours). Serve with tortilla chips.

Homemade Honey Baked Ham

If you like honey baked hams, you will love this. It tastes the same and costs way less! I bought my ham on sale for $1.49 a pound. It also makes almost no mess when you cook it in a bag. I forgot to take a picture, but it makes a nice golden brown ham. The leftovers are awesome too.

Homemade Honey Baked Ham
1 spiral cut ham
1 large oven bag
2 c. honey
1/8 c. dark corn syrup
1/8 c. whole cloves
1/3 c. butter
In a small sauce pan, bring the honey, syrup, cloves and butter to boil. Turn to simmer. Place the ham flat side down inside your oven bag in a roasting pan. Baste with half of the glaze. Bake at 275 degrees for 15-20 minutes per pound. About half-way through, baste with the remainder of the glaze.

Applesauce Jello

I remember this fondly from elementary school lunches. I was happy to find the recipe to recreate it. Don't judge the recipe based on the bad picture, I forgot to take one and had to take a picture of the leftovers. This jello is really good.
Applesauce Jello
2 pkgs. cherry jello
2 c. boiling water
2 c. cold applesauce
Mix the jello with the water until dissolved. Add in the applesauce. Refrigerate until firm.

Date Pinwheels

This is hands-down the best cookie I've made this year. Worth the trouble!
Date Pinwheels  
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 c.)
2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 3/4 c. chopped dates
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
1/8 t. salt
1 1/2 cups finely diced pecans or walnuts

Cream  the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Chill the dough till it's firm enough to roll out, at least 1 hour.

While the dough is chilling, make the filling. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the dates, sugar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and boil the dates gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened to about the consistency of very soft jam. Stir in the finely diced nuts, and set aside.

Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll the dough into a 9" x 12", 1/4"-thick rectangle. Spread half the filling over the entire surface of the dough; the filling is sticky and stiff, but if you keep wetting your fingers, you can push and spread it around without too much trouble. Roll the dough up, lengthwise, to make a log. Wrap each log in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for several hours, or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut the log into 1/3" slices, and place the slices 1 1/2" apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for10-11 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oreo Truffles

This is too easy to really count as a recipe, but everyone who likes Oreos loves these. For a fun variation try mint oreos with green tinted white chocolate.

Oreo Truffles
8 oz. cream cheese
1 pkg. oreos (not double stuff)
1 or 2 bags of white chocolate chips (I like ghiradelli or hershey, not nestle)
Pulverize the oreos. Mix with the cream cheese. Refrigerate. When cold, scoop out into balls. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Dip the balls in the chocolate. Let cool on wax paper.

Microwave Caramel Puff Corn

This is that awesome crack corn that I love, but it is even easier because you can make it in the microwave. Also, this time I tried the Dillons brand of butter puffcorn ($1 a bag) and it turned out great.

Microwave Caramel Puff Corn
1 large paper grocery bag
2 bags of butter puffcorn
1 stick of butter
1 c. of brown sugar
1/3 c. white corn syrup
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
Spray the inside of the grocery bag with Pam. Dump in the puffcorn. In a medium sized sauce pan, mix everything else but the baking soda. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time. Mix in the baking soda. Pour over the puffcorn. Shake the bag. Close the bag and microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds. Shake. Microwave for 45 seconds. Shake. Microwave for 30 seconds. Shake. Microwave for 20 seconds. Shake. Pour out onto wax paper. Let cool. Store sealed up.

M&M cookies

These are great for the holidays and easy to put together.

M&M cookies
3/4 c. butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla. Stop the mixer and add the flour and baking soda. Beat in the flour until just incorporated. Fold in the M&M's. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes.

Microwave Divinity

This is awesome. I was impressed with how easy it is to make. It tastes the same as the kind made on the stove top.
Microwave Divinity
3 c. sugar
2/3 c. water
1/2 c. white Karo syrup
2 egg whites
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

1 c. chopped pecans
Mix the sugar, water and syrup in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 13 minutes (don't stop and stir it). While it is cooking, beat the egg whites and salt in your mixer until stiff. Then when the syrup is done, slowly beat it into the egg whites. When the mixture is not shiny any more, mix in the vanilla and the nuts. Quickly spoon it onto wax paper. Let it cool.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Party Mix

This is kind of like two things in one. I made a batch of chex mix and I made a batch of ranch oyster crackers and then I mixed them together. This makes a ton and it only took about 20 minutes.

Party Mix
9 c. crispix cereal (or chex)
2 c. cheese-its
1 large can of mixed nuts
2 c. pretzels
1 bag of oyster crackers
6 T. butter, melted
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. season salt
3/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing
3/4 c. vegetable oil
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and ranch dressing. Pour the oyster crackers in and coat them completely in the dressing. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 275 degrees. While those are baking, add the cereal, cheese-its and nuts to a large, microwave safe mixing bowl. In a large measuring cup, mix the butter, Worcestershire, season salt, garlic and onion powder. Pour over the cereal mix and mix it to coat. Microwave for 2 minutes, then stir. Repeat until you have microwaved a total of 6 minutes. Mix in the pretzels, then spread out on a cookie sheet or wax paper to dry. When the oyster crackers are done, remove from oven and let dry also. When both are dry, mix them together. Store in a sealed container.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Haystacks (AKA Chow Mein Noodle Cookies or Chinese Fudge)

Again, this hardly counts as a recipe, but I love making these and having them on hand for Christmas. If you want, you can add peanut butter to the mixture (1/2 c.) or you can substitute all chocolate chips or all butterscotch chips.
2 cans of chow mein noodles
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 bag of butterscotch chips
1 can of peanuts
In a very large mixing bowl, melt the chips in microwave. Start with 60 seconds, stir and then add more time as needed until melted. This time it took 2 minutes total. Then add in the noodles and peanuts. Mix well until they are fully coated. Drop by tablespoon onto wax paper. Let cool.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

White Chocolate Pretzel, Rolo, Pecan Candies

This isn't really a recipe. They taste wonderful. My only tip is to use parchment paper! I did not and had to pry the pretzels off the pan.

White Chocolate Pretzel, Rolo, Pecan Candies
1 large bag of Rolos
1 bag of white chocolate pretzels (or make your own)
1 bag of pecan halves
First toast the pecans on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Then on a cookie sheet lined with parchment, lay out your pretzels. Put one Rolo on each pretzel. Bake in the oven at 350 for 2 minutes. Working quickly, press one pecan half on each Rolo. Let cool.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Orange Cranberry Pound Cake

This is an excellent winter cake. It is easy to make and very rich and homemade tasting. Nuts are optional. If I were to add nuts, I would put a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans in this.

Orange Cranberry Pound Cake
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
zest of 2 oranges
6 large eggs
3 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. heavy cream
1 t.  vanilla
1 1/2 c. dried cranberries
zest and juice of one orange
1 c. of powdered sugar
Cream the butter, sugar and zest for 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in a little of the flour mixture. Then beat in a little of the cream. Alternate until you are done, careful not to beat more than needed to just mix it in. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Put in a cold oven and turn it on 325 degrees. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or more if the center is not set). Let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan. When it is completely cool, whisk the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the cake.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

These are very good. I think you could leave out the chocolate if you wanted just a pure pecan pie bar. This serves more and is much easier to make than actual pecan pie.

Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
1 1/2 c. flour
stick of butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
Mix all together and pat down in a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
3 eggs
3/4 c. corn syrup
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. melted butter
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 3/4 c. chopped pecans
Beat the eggs, syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla. Fold in the chips and pecans. Pour onto the crust. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so, until the middle is set.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pumpkin Bars

These are more thick like cake than bars, but I think that is because I used a 9 x 13 pan. I think if you use a jelly roll pan, they will be more like bars.

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 can of pumpkin
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. salt
Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until fluffy. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and just mix until combined. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until the middle is done. Let cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c.)
1/2 a bag of powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
milk or cream to thin
Mix the butter and the cream cheese. Whip in the sugar. Add the vanilla. Add in milk until it is the right consistency.