Monday, May 9, 2011

Can-Do Cookies

My family has been making these as long as I can remember. I like this bar cookie because it is super easy and soft. -Marian Adamson

2 eggs
1/3 c shortening
2 teas. vanilla
1 c margarine
1 1/2 c sugar
2 teas. baking powder
1/2 teas. salt
3 1/2 c flour
12 oz chocolate chips (or any time of chip or chocolate you have around)

Cream together the eggs, shortening, vanilla, margarine, and sugar. Mix in the baking powder and salt. Add the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press into a pan and bake at 350 degrees. It takes about 15-20 minutes for a shallow baking pan and about 25-35 minutes for a 9x13. Cookies should be firm, but not very brown or they will be dry.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Midnight Bonbons

This arouse from a desire to make something chocolatey that didn't require grains or baking during that (sometimes rare!) quiet time of night when only Mom and Dad were awake. It also had to be quick and easy, as who wants to wait and then have tons of dishes to clean up in the middle of the night? Sorry, there are really no measurements, so you can all hate me for that. ;) We made it a second time, to let Hannah join in on the fun, and it worked then too, so hopefully it'll work for all of you!

Pull out a small saucepan and pour in some chocolate chips (oh, about 1/2c) and some creamy peanut butter (oh, about 1/4-1/3c). Melt together on med-low, stirring frequently. While you're waiting for the chocolate and pb to melt, pour a bit of powdered sugar into a bowl. (You can also try chocolate sprinkles or toasted honey wheat germ, which I really was a random clearance find.) Once the choc-pb mix is blended, stir in a small amount of cold milk (oh, maybe 1-2 TBSPs). This should actually make the mix thicken up* to about the consistency of playdough. Let it cool briefly, if needed. Then take small bits and roll into balls and then roll in the coating of choice. (I found the powdered sugar needed to be coated again after sitting for a moment.) Arrange nicely on a plate, get comfy on the couch, and enjoy!

*If it doesn't thicken, chill in the fridge. Pull out half the mix and continue following the directions, and then pop them back into the fridge when done and pull out the other half to work with. Serve chilled.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cucumber Punch

From: Taunja Ruch
Delish Dish

Use this whenever you need a light and refreshing alternative to lemonade.

2 L Lemon-lime soda (Sierra Mist, 7up, Sprite)
1 can frozen limeade
1 cucumber

Mix Limeade and soda. Chop the cucumber into rounds. Drop into the limeade/soda mixture. Refrigerate for an hour (if you have time). Serve.

People will look at this oddly at first, and then make sure you have extra fixings on hand, because it will go quickly!

It also goes well with Cafe Rio. . ..

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baked Chicken Taquitos

adapted from Our Best Bites

From: Emily Garner

Makes 14-16 taquitos

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. green salsa
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3 T. chopped cilantro
2 T. sliced green onion
2 c. shredded, cooked chicken
1 c. grated Monterrey jack cheese (use pepper jack if you like a little heat)

small yellow or white corn tortillas
kosher salt (do not skip this ingredient!)
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Mix softened cream cheese, green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder. Add cilantro and green onions and mix. Add chicken, cheese and combine well.

Working a few tortillas at a time, place 3-4 between two damp paper towels and microwave for 40 seconds, until tortillas are soft and pliable and won't crack when rolling. Place 2-3 T. of the mixture on the lower third of the tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Roll it up as tight as you can.

Place filled taquitos seam side down on the baking sheet. When ready to bake, spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with some kosher salt on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to turn golden brown. Dip in sour cream, salsa, guacamole or whatever you like!

Creamy French Onion Meatballs

From: Emily Garner

About 40 frozen, cooked meatballs (I buy these from Sam's Club)
1 can condensed French onion soup
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 c. sour cream
rice or noodles

Place meatballs into a 4-6 qt. slow cooker prepared with nonstick cooking spray. Combine soups and pepper and pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Stir in sour cream. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice, wild rice or noodles.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel and Toffee Bonbons

Added by Ani Brown

(I'm not always a peanut butter fan, but wow, these are addicting, amazing, and totally easy! Yum!)

*Note: to chop the pretzel sticks, I place several large handfuls of pretzel sticks in a ziploc bag, seal, and roll over the top with a rolling pin until the pretzels are crunched up well. I measure out of the bag and continue the process until I have 2 cups. These bonbons can be made up to three days in advance. The peanut butter pretzel filling can be made and formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 months before dipping.

*Makes about 10-12 dozen bonbons

8 tablespoons butter, softened to warm room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

2 cups peanut butter

1 cup toffee bits

2 cups chopped/crushed pretzel sticks

1 pound chocolate (semisweet, milk, bittersweet)

2 tablespoons shortening or butter

Toffee, chopped nuts, chocolate jimmies for garnish

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until evenly combined. Add the peanut butter and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the toffee bits and pretzel pieces by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet (12X18-inches or several smaller baking sheets) with parchment or waxed paper. Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch or so (it doesn't have to be exact) balls and place them on the lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm. At this point, the balls can be transferred to a sealed container or freezer ziploc bag and frozen for up to 2 months.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and shortening/butter together in a microwave-safe bowl or in a double boiler until completely melted and smooth (taking care not to overheat the chocolate as that can cause white streaks, bloom, to appear in the hardened chocolate).

One by one, toss a formed peanut butter/pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and using a fork, cover the ball with chocolate. Lift the covered bonbon out of the chocolate with the fork and tap the lower stem of the fork (right above where the rectangular tined fork part ends) on the edge of the bowl to let excess chocolate fall through the tines of the fork. Scrape the bottom of the fork along the edge of the bowl and transfer the covered bonbon to a parchment lined baking sheet (you can use the same baking sheet(s) used for freezing the balls if you have room). Set the bonbon very close to the parchment paper and using a second fork or butter knife, gently scoot the bonbon off the fork onto the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle your garnish of choice on the top of the wet chocolate before it sets.

Refrigerate the bonbons until ready to serve.

Turkey Club Pizza (to die for)

by Natalie Pelfrey

1 tube of ready made pizza crust (or you can make your own if you are a stud)
sesame seeds (sprinkled on crust)

Bake the crust at 425 for around 5 minutes or until it little golden brown. Take it out and let it cool for awhile.

Then spread mayo all over the crust and top with:
Monterey Jack cheese
basil (fresh or dried)
thinly sliced deli turkey
real bacon, crumbled
thinly sliced tomatoes
swiss cheese

Throw it back in the oven for 7-9 minutes or until crust is light brown and cheese is melted.
One of my favorite recipes!