Month: April 2017

Happy Easter!

It’s Easter! And we all have wonderful memories of this holiday, don’t we? I remember hunting for eggs, Mom making a wonderful ham with all the sides ie macaroni cheese, potato salad, Lima beans, and I’m sure she made her wonderful yeast rolls, too. And, of course, we had deviled eggs. What’s Easter without deviled eggs?

This photo is one of my favorite childhood pictures of me and my sister in our Easter dresses. I loved that dress I was wearing (I’m on the left). And aren’t our twin haircuts cute as pie? Funny, my sister has perfectly straight hair and mine is naturally curly – but look at our hair. My Mom was determined to have us look alike, I think! I learned much later on in life to not fight the curl.

Back to Easter, although I won’t be cooking a traditional Easter dinner, I did think to make these wonderful Peanut Butter Eggs. Think Reese Cups, yes! In fact, you can most certainly use the same recipe to make your own Reese Cups. Simply make the filling, roll into small balls. Melt the chocolate. Spoon a small amount into your mini paper cup, rolling the cup around so the chocolate goes up the sides. Let set. Add one peanut butter ball per cup. Cover with additional melted chocolate and let set. Wa la, you now have homemade Reese Cups! And they are to die for.

For the eggs, I rolled the peanut butter filling into balls, then smashed that into each cavity of a silicone egg mold (you can purchase this one by clicking on the photo). Then into the freezer until firm. Then I melted the chocolate and shortening for dipping! Although mine weren’t decorated quite like Easter eggs, I used what I had on hand. That’s the beauty of these eggs, you can leave them plain or decorate as you desire. They will be delicious no matter what’s on the outside!

Bon appétit!

Peanut Butter Eggs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 20 eggs
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1½ cups Creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup Butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1-2 bags Milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
Instructions
  1. Beat together powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter together. At this point the dough will be crumbly. Add two tablespoons of milk and continue to beat together until the dough softens. If the dough still seems crumbly that is ok.
  2. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to desired thickness. About ½ thickness. You can use egg cookie cutters or with a knife, shape the dough to look like eggs.
  3. Place eggs on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for an hour.
  4. When you are ready to dip them, add the chocolate and 1 Tbsp shortening in a microwave and melt 30 seconds at a time. Stirring it after every 30 seconds and being careful not to cook the chocolate to burn.
  5. Dip each egg in chocolate. I used a spoon to help cover in the chocolate. Place them on wax paper to set.
  6. If more chocolate is needed, melt the second bag with the shortening. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 130 Fat: 8g Saturated fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 12g Sugar: 10g Sodium: 76mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 3g Cholesterol: 2mg

 

Tea Time!

Don’t those look just scrumptious? They are called Cranberry Tea Cookies. I’m not much for sitting around sipping tea and eating Crumpets but I can guarantee you I could very well be doing just that with these cookies.

They remind me of Pecan Sandies without the powdered sugar coating. I think Pecan Sandies are close to the very first cookie I ever made and boy did my family love them. These tea cookies have the same shortbread texture chock full of cranberries and pecans. I could see how they would pair nicely with a cup of hot tea. I plan to make another batch soon but will substitute dried blueberries instead of the cranberries. Can you imagine how awesome those will be?  And then I might try a batch with chopped dried figs, and then perhaps a batch made as thumbprints with some dark chocolate in the center. You get the idea . . . the variations are endless with the basic dough recipe. Just use your imagination.

By the way, I had to look up Crumpets just to see what they are and here is the definition – “Crumpets are the quintessential, afternoon tea treat, served warm with lots of butter. The soft, spongy crumpets we know today, reputedly, come from the Victorian era and are very different from early, flat griddle cakes. It is the extra yeast in the batter which creates the soft texture and the myriad of little holes on the top (so perfect for soaking up the butter).”

They look alot and sound alot like English Muffins to me which, by the way, are in this post.  I love making those and you just can’t beat the fresh flavor that comes from making your own.

But for now, try these Cranberry Tea Cookies.  They are not difficult and are really, really good!  Let me know how you like them!

Bon appétit!

Cranberry Tea Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweet Endings
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup extra sugar
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and mix. Add flour and salt and mix well. Stir in cranberries and pecans.
  2. Roll into two logs, each about 8 x 1½" long. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for two hours (or overnight) in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Unwrap one roll. Slice cookies about ¼" thick, rolling individually in sugar. You want to be sure to coat the edges just perfectly. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment. The cookies won't spread much, so you can place them fairly close together. Bake for 10-12 minutes, checking them after 10 minutes. Do not over bake them. They should look baked and have just a hint of color. You don't want them to get very brown on the edges or on top.
  5. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cookies Calories: 190 Fat: 11g Saturated fat: 6g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 21g Sugar: 8g Sodium: 61mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 2g Cholesterol: 25mg

 

The Best Bloody Mary

The title of this post is “The Best Bloody Mary”! Although I have little experience drinking these, I did make a gazillion of them as a bartender and certainly served just as many as a waitress. I have only recently tried the Bloody Mary myself. It is truly an acquired thing, much like a good Scotch. But I digress. . . this Bloody Mary is quite good and is the best in my book. It’s quite flavorful with just the right amount of spice!

Kick off your Sunday morning brunch with a round for everyone. You’ll thank me later!

Live it up and drink it down!

The Best Bloody Mary
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Libations
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 6 ounces Tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Olive juice
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4-6 shakes Tabasco
  • pinch celery salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • lime juice
  • coarse sea salt
  • various veggies for garnish
Instructions
  1. Dip pint glass in lime juice. Roll in coarse sea salt. Fill glass with ice.
  2. In a shaker, add a few cubes of ice. Add all ingredients (minus the toppings) and shake to combine.
  3. Strain into the pint glass. Garnish with chosen veggies!

 

Crock Pot Beer Chicken

One day I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. With beer being one of the key ingredients, I figure it had to be good, right? And it is!  It’s also low fat and low calorie and did I mention good? And oh so easy!

I usually make it for dinner one night and then make Chicken Salad out of the rest or even Barbeque Chicken Sliders. It’s great either way. Watch for both of those recipes shortly! They’re a coming!

Bon appétit!

Crock Pot Beer Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Mains
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts (use eight 4 oz breasts)
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts into crock pot. Add beer. Sprinkle spices on top. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Delicious!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8 oz Calories: 257 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 1g Unsaturated fat: 1g Trans fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 3g Sodium: 491mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 44g Cholesterol: 116mg

 

Animal Style Burger

What is an Animal Style Burger you ask? If you’ve ever been to an In-N-Out burger joint (locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah) you’ve likely had one. If you haven’t, it’s possible you’ve heard of it, as I have.

This recipe came across my Facebook newsfeed one day and I immediately said “I must make that” and I did. I wanted to find out for myself what the fuss was all about. And I did. Honestly, the ingredients to this burger are all basic ingredients usually or sometimes added to burgers. I think it’s the sauce that makes the difference and the way the burger is cooked (can’t beat that mustard crust) and then there is the assembly.

It seems backwards to me as I’m used to having the lettuce and tomato layered on top of the beef patties. Their way, you layer those items on the bottom. In the end, it doesn’t really matter as it all winds up in the same place, right?

But there is something truly different and wonderful about this burger. Not something you want to have all the time but definitely a treat when you have dinner guests and burgers are warranted. This recipe will set your burgers apart from the one’s next door, for sure.

Bon appétit!

Animal Style Burger
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons Vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup Onions, finely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon White vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Sugar
  • 4 thin Ground beef patties, about ½-in thick
  • 2 teaspoon Yellow mustard
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 2 white Hamburger buns
  • Lettuce, for serving
  • 4 Pickle chips
  • cooked frozen french fries, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. If the onions are browning too quickly, turn down the heat and add a splash of water. Set aside onions and wipe the skillet clean.
  2. Meanwhile, make the special sauce. Mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Season to taste and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the hamburger patties with salt and pepper before adding them to the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the bottoms have developed a nice seared crust. Spread about ½ tsp of yellow mustard on the top (uncooked) side of each patty before flipping. Flip the patties and cook for another minute. Add the cheese slices on top of each patty and cook until the cheese melts.
  4. Top each bottom bun with a heaping tablespoon of the sauce, a tomato slice, pickles and a piece of lettuce. Add a cooked patty to each bun and top each with caramelized onions. Top the onions with another patty each, then top with top bun. Serve with fries (garnished with extra sauce and onions).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 1156 Fat: 92g Saturated fat: 30g Unsaturated fat: 10g Trans fat: 44g Carbohydrates: 40g Sugar: 11g Sodium: 1598mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 44g Cholesterol: 178mg

 

%d bloggers like this: