Monday, December 21, 2009

Bacon Cracker Appetizers

1 package Club Crackers

1 pound Thin Sliced Bacon (or More Depending On Number Of Crackers)
(This will do one of the 3 sleeves in the box of club crackers)

Kraft (or generic)Grated Parmesan or Parmesan Romano Cheese (don't say ewww until you've tasted these!)
( or skip the cheese and add a thin (well-drained) slice of water chestnut
and top with brown sugar

Prepare your baking rack - I put a a large wire rack, like you use to cool cookies on top of a baking sheet that has 4 sides

I dump my cheese in a small bowl

I lay my crackers face up lined up in row on another cookie sheet with sides on it to keep the stray cheese that falls off during assembly contained.

Put 1 tsp parmesan cheese on top of each cracker (once you do this a few times and get a feel for what it looks like, I just dump shake on the cheese rather thickly.

NOW you are ready to slice that slab of bacon right down the middle so the long strips are now equally cut in half.

Pick up a half strip of bacon - starting on one end of the cracker, lay one end of the bacon on the end and wrap while "stretching" the bacon to make sure it wraps around and gets the other end covered too.

Place this wrapped cracker on the rack on the cookie sheet.

When you have the rack filled, carefully put it in the oven - making SURE that the crackers are not hanging over the end of the trays ( you don't want an oven fire)

Bake for 1 3/4 hour - 2 hours at 250 degrees.

Cool. I put these in a zip lock bag if I am making them ahead of serve, put in the oven at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes and serve warm. Delish!

(They are also good at room temperature)

Lay crackers (as many as you want) face up on a cookie sheet.

Scoop about 1 teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese onto each cracker. Cut your package of bacon in half (or cut pieces individually) and carefully, so the cheese doesn’t fall off, wrap each cheese covered cracker in one half piece of bacon, completely covering the cracker. It should fit snugly around the cracker.

Place the bacon wrapped crackers onto a baking sheet that has a rack on it.

Place in a 250-degree oven for about 2 hours.

Everything (or at least a lot of things) About SALT

Many thanks to  GourmetSleuth for the great article on Salt!

Strawberry Shortcake in a Scone

These scones make for a remarkable strawberry shortcake, though they are delicious on their own with coffee as well.

Recipe makes 12 servings
Calories 187

* 2 1/4 cups all purpose cake flour
* 1 tsp salt
* 4 tsp baking powder
* 4 Tbsp sugar
* 5 Tbsp cold butter
* 3 eggs
* 3/4 cup milk (even richer with heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2)
* 1 Tbsp water
* 1 lb strawberries thinly sliced (1/6-1/4 pound per dessert depending on
how "heaping" you want it.
* 1 tsp sugar (powdered or granulated)
Whipped Cream - optional

1. Preheat oven to 450 F
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor, reserving 1 Tbsp sugar. Cut the butter into bits and pulse it into the mixture in the food processor or blend it carefully by hand.
3. Beat 2 eggs with the milk and combine with the dry ingredients with a few swift strokes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it about 10 times. If it is very sticky, add a little flour.
4. Press the dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle and cut into 2 inch rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Reshape the leftover dough and cut again. You should end up with 10-14 scones. Beat the last egg with 1 Tbsp of water and brush the top of each scone. Sprinkle each with a little of the remaining Tbsp of sugar.
5. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until scones are golden brown. Let the scones cool for 5-10 minutes and then cut them in the middle.
6. While the scones are baking, rinse and slice the strawberries, removing the stems. Put the sliced strawberries in a bowl, sprinkle them with the tsp of sugar, and mix gently to distribute the sugar.
7. On the bottom half of each scone, put a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heap the strawberries on top of and around the ice cream, and place the top gently back on top of the strawberries. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Quick and Easy Hot Jalapeno Dip

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Hellmans mayonnaise (there is no substitute for it)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1(4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers, drained
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in the chilies and peppers. Spread the mixture into a casserole serving dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave on high until hot, about 3 minutes. (We prefer baking.)

Serve with nacho chips or torn bread ....

Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate

Serendipity�s Chocolate Blend
1 1/2 teaspoons sweetened Van Houton cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons sweetened Droste cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 Godiva flowers (dark and light chocolate to taste)
1/2 ounce each of the following world-class chocolates:
Callebaut, Valrhona, Lindt, Cadbury, Anton Berg, Freia, Marabo, Ghirardelli, Cacao Barry

 If you don't have this blend... use the recipe below

   3 ounces best-quality chocolate
·  2 teaspoons store-bought hot chocolate mix
·  1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
·  1 1/2 cups milk
·  3 cups ice

·  Whipped cream
·  Chocolate shavings
·  Whipped Cream
·  1 cup heavy cream, very cold
·  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·  1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Frozen Hot Chocolate
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended.
Remove from heat, slowly add half a cup of the milk, and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, the chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Enjoy!!

To make this even more simple you can buy a Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate gift box on line. It comes in a whimsical box that includes two pouches (four servings) of the chocolate-cocoa blend mix, one signature goblet, a souvenir spoon and colorful straws. Just add milk, the chocolate mix, lots of ice and blend. It makes a perfect gift for any chocolate lover or splurge and buy one for yourself. You're worth it.

Whipped Cream
Combine the cream and vanilla and mix well. With an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, start whipping the cream on medium speed. Add the corn syrup slowly while beating. Whip until the cream holds soft peaks.
Slather, drop and dollop onto whatever your heart desires. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 cups, enough for 1 to 8 persons, depending on if you feel like sharing.

Oven Baked Bacon

It's Christmas and who wants to spend Christmas morning slaving over the stove cooking bacon?  Not me.  I suggest you bake it in the oven.
Don't pre-heat the oven! 
Make sure the oven is cold when you put the bacon in.
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier later.
  2. Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place on the center rack of a cold oven. Close oven door. Turn oven on to 400°F. Walk away.
  3. Come back 17 to 20 minutes later. As soon as the bacon is golden brown, but not excessively crisp, it's done. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the fat. You can pour the liquid fat into a heat-resistant container to save for other uses.


Keep your eye on the bacon during the final few minutes of cooking to make sure that it doesn't burn. Also, remove the cooked bacon from the hot pan right away. The heat from the pan and the hot bacon fat will continue cooking the bacon.

You can slightly undercook the bacon, then cool it and freeze it in a zipper bag. Then, to reheat, cook two slices in the microwave on medium power for 30 seconds or so.

Variation: Sprinkle bacon with brown sugar or freshly ground black pepper before baking.

Niman Ranch bacon. This is the real deal. Thick cut, smoky, and meaty, this stuff is made from happy, pesticide-free, free range pigs that lead productive, satisfying lives and died in the prime of their tastiness for you and me. Oh man, this stuff is good as is everything from Niman Ranch. Go get some today (Trader Joe's carries the stuff as do other good stores.)

Freezing a few slices of raw bacon for easy access is a great idea, but don’t freeze cooked bacon, it won’t taste right later.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Jalapeno Bacon Thingies

This is my favorite blog...... real food ...... real good.

She Loves Wine's Homemade Cranberry-Orange Liqueur

Nothing like a little homemade moonshine... there are lots of recipes out there for homemade Cranberry Liqueur... this is mine.
1 lb. Fresh Cranberries
3 cups of clear 60-80 proof liquor.
2 cups of sugar
1.5 cup water
1 navel orange - grate the peel and squeeze the juice

Large Sealing glass container
Glass bottles with sealing lids

Create a simple syrup: Add 1.5 cup of water to the pot. Bring water to a slow boil. Slowly add the 2 cups of sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Put the berries in the blender or food processor and blend away.

Put the chopped cranberries in the pot. Simmer on low (really, really low) for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until cool.(This takes a long time... remember it's in a sugar solution so it stays hot longer.

Select your Liquor. Most use vodka but, if you like rum (use clear), or gin better, use it. I don't use expensive vodka but I also don't use the kind you buy at the grocery store (varies by state, here in Ohio, you don't want the stuff they sell in the grocery store!) If you want to add a little kick, you can also add a couple shots of Bacardi 151 or Everclear at this point too... but I prefer it to taste like cranberry not alcohol.

Steeping: Put the cranberry/sugar mixture into a clean sterile jar. Add the liquor. Store in a cool dark place for 2 to 3 weeks. Shake it up every day or so.

Clearing: Put the jar in the fridge for about a day so it gets good and cool. Then carefully pour the mixture into a bowl through a sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth. Stir in a teaspoon of salt (trust me).

Storing: Sterilize the smaller bottles you will use for your gifts.Fill them and put the caps on. Keep them refrigerated after opening for best results. They can keep in a cool dark place for about a year.

When the "recipe" is cured....... drink it on the rocks.......or use a little in a tall glass with ice and fill with club soda... or make a Cosmo-

2 parts home-made cranberry liqueur
1 part Cointreau®
shaken not stirred
garnish with a wedge of orange, or lime


She Loves Wine's Caramel Puffed Corn

I am making a ton of this to give away for Christmas.

The inspiration for this recipe was on the back of a bag of puffed corn... I'm going to blame it on the bifocals......... I misread a recipe and came up with a better one!

This is an easy and addictive recipe... it goes fast and makes a great gift!

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

1 7-8 oz bag of Puffed Corn Curls (or you could use popcorn) I use Mike-sells Brand

1 large deep pan - or buy the throw away kind you use to roast a turkey

Empty the bag of puffed corn into the large turkey roaster... set aside

Caramel Sauce -Combine the following together in a 2 or 3 qt saucepan:

1 stick of butter (use the real thing, not margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup

Stir constantly, cook and stir for 2 minutes after it boils. After this, remove from heat and add:

1 tsp baking soda to this mixture... it will foam up high. Stir well and pour this mixture over the corn curls.

Place in 250 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour on wax paper and Break apart. Enjoy!

Soak this! 

Roasted Garlic Potatoes (The Barefoot Kitchen)

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

I’m  not much a fan of the cold, but there is one thing I do love about when the days get shorter and the temperatures drop – roasting.  Especially roasted vegetables.  Everything tastes better with that crackly brown crust that time in an oven at 400 degrees gives.
And then there are roasted potatoes.  These are my favorites – I’ll often make a meal with just these, and some wilted greens, and maybe an egg.  The tiny fingerlings aren’t as easily available anymore, but any small potato, sliced in halves or quarters, makes for a fine bite sized crunchy bite.  Rosemary is a classic for roasting, as long as it’s chopped quite fine to avoid any tough bits.  And by roasting the garlic on the tray with the potatoes, you save time, space, and add the flavor of the garlic to the air around the potatoes, imbuing them deeply with that rich, slightly sweet flavor.
Read on for the recipe

Roasted Garlic Potatoes
Prep – 10 minutes, Total – 1 hour, 15 minutes
2 pounds fingerling or small red potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt (like kosher salt)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped very fine
1 bulb garlic
baking sheet, parchment paper
How To:
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Wash the potatoes and split them into halves or quarters.  Pour the olive oil in a large bowl, and add the potatoes.  Toss until well coated.  Add the salt and rosemary and toss to coat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the potatoes in an even layer.
Remove the outermost paper from the garlic, but keep the bulb intact.  Slice off the pointed top so all the cloves show.  Wrap the garlic in tinfoil and set it on the baking sheet with the potatoes.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are crisp and browned, tossing occasionally.  Remove the garlic and set aside until cool enough to handle. Squeeze the pulp out of the cloves and into a bowl, and mash the garlic up with a spoon.  Add the cooked potatoes and stir them around to coat them with the garlic.  Enjoy!
(Inspired by a recipe from A Veggie Venture)
You might als

Tiny Pies in a Jar

As we are getting closer to Christmas more and more of us are looking for gift ideas to make.... I think these tiny Pies in a Jar are not only cute... but very, very clever......

You will want to visit Our Best Bites site to see all of them and their wonderful tutorial.

Photo by Our Best Bites

Cherry Pies

Lots of suggestions on their web site... including using homemade pie crust if you're in a pinch for time or totally lack the culinary skills to make pie crust.

What a great gift for any man..........they even go in the freezer !

How to Buy Chocolate (for melting, baking or eating) from Givers Log

I continue to be amazed by great web sites and the personal journeys of bloggers and the  is no exception, it's ALL about giving - from making gifts, packing, social graces, etc.  Bookmark her, you'll want to return there often.

 The Chocolate tutorial below is an example of the wealth of information you will find on her site.

How to Buy Chocolate (for melting, baking, or just straight eating)

dark chocolate 2If you want to remain in chocolate innocence, read no further. Because after reading this post your run the risk of becoming a chocolate snob. Then there’s just no going back.
I’m getting to be quite the dark chocolate junkie. Lately I’ve been adding unsweetened chocolate or natural cocoa when I have a cup of hot chocolate. How about you? Here is how chocolate flavors are divided up:
unsweetened chocolate (the other name for this is “chocolate liquor,” aka, straight chocolate, more on that below)
sweetened dark
(this includes extra bittersweet, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and sweet)
milk chocolate
white chocolate
Here’s a peek at the spectrum of ingreds:
bittersweet = at least 50% chocolate, at most 12% milk solids
semisweet = at least 35% chocolate, at most 12% milk solids
milk = at least 10% chocolate and 12% milk solids
white = at least 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk solids
Chocolates will label themselves with “bittersweet” or “semisweet” but standards vary between companies. The only way, then, to compare chocolates from one company another is to taste them (twist my arm).
types of chocolateStandards vary between companies, one company’s bittersweet is another company’s semi-sweet
Anyone have a brand you’re loyal to? Here are a few that are popular among pastry chefs and chocolatiers:
E. Guittard (USA), Cluizel (France), El Rey (Venezuela), Valrhona (France), Scharffen Berger (USA), and Callebaut (Switzerland, USA).
The best way to find your favorite chocolate is to sample:
1. Smell it. Good chocolate will smell chocolaty.
2. Break it and look for a nice clean snap, not a grainy crumble.
3. Look it over, it should be pretty and glossy.
4. Taste it. Once in your mouth it should melt soft and smooth.
Consider having your culinary friends over for a chocolate tasting. Set out different types of chocolate and some water for cleansing y’alls pallets. Start with the darkest chocolate and work your way to the lightest. Look it over, hold it in your hand and smell it as it starts to warm, snap it, then let it melt over your tongue.
chocolate tasting partyHave your friends over for a chocolate tasting party. Have everyone  bring a bar and taste from dark to light.
We’re going to get hardcore here. Chocolate starts as ground up nibs found inside a cocoa bean. This pure chocolate is called chocolate liquor (it has nothing to do with alcohol, in case you were wanting to ask), and that is made up of nearly equal parts cocoa solids and cocoa butter (it has nothing to do with dairy). So there you have it.
real chocolate = cocoa butter + cocoa solids
Cocoa solids are just the nonfat part of cocoa, the chocolate-flavored part.
So a real chocolate bar, then, is just real chocolate plus sugar, extra cocoa butter to make it smooth and meltable, a little vanilla because chocolate is so much better in combo with another flavor, and usually soy lecithin. A milk chocolate bar will also have milk solids.
When you leave out the cocoa solids, you get white chocolate.
When you keep the cocoa solids but replace the cocoa butter with vegetable fats, you get confectionery coating, like the Wilton candy melts you buy at the craft store (which is why these are called “chocolate-flavored” wafers, they are not real chocolate ).
When you leave out the cocoa solids and replace the cocoa butter with vegetable fats, you get vanilla confectionery coating. Which is not any kind of chocolate any way you look at it. See the chart below.
cocoa nibs
Where it all starts, cocoa nibs. You can buy these raw at a place like Whole Foods.
real chocolate2cocoa butter + cocoa solids = real chocolate (bottom left)
vegetable fats + cocoa solids = chocolate-flavored confectionery coating (top left)
cocoa butter + vanilla = white chocolate (bottom right)
veg fats + vanilla = vanilla confectionery melts (top right)
white chocolate melts
White chocolate has a creamer color than vanilla melts because it is made with cocoa butter.
real chocolate ingredients
The ingredients for real chocolate will say “cocoa butter.”
wilton candy melts ingredients
Candy melts will have a vegetable fat, like palm kernael oil, instead of cocoa butter.
Candy melts are nice and easy to use. They melt easily, are hard to scorch, do not have to be tempered, and are otherwise very cooperative. The only problem is they taste waxy.
When you buy chocolate for melting, you want something that will melt quickly and smoothly. A chocolate that’s had a lot of extra cocoa butter added will do that ( it has a low viscosity, or low resistance). It will enrobe whatever you dip into it and hug the bumps and nooks and will cool quickly and be oh so pretty. The chocolate you really want for this job is called courveture. It’s super meltable (it has up to 39% cocoa butter). It’s also super expensive. So shop around. It’s often hard to find out how much cocoa butter is in a bar of chocolate in American bars. Chocolate makers figure this is part of their secret recipe. But you can pretty much guess by price. A high price often means a higher cocoa butter content. So pick your budget and go from there.
If you really want to get hardcore, bust out the calculator. You can usually get a good estimate of how much of the bar is cocoa butter (I saw this in a book called Bittersweet by Alice Medrich, p. 347):
grams of sugar per serving / grams per serving = percentage of sugar in the chocolate
whatever’s left is the percent of chocolate liquor
fat grams per serving / serving size = percentage cocoa butter
whatever’s left is the percentage of cocoa solids
if it’s milk chocolate you also need to account for up to 12 percent milk solids
The cheapest way to buy, which also happens to be the way to buy the best chocolate, is to buy it in huge slabs. I’ve gone in on a slab with friends and also bought chunks of a slab at the bulk section in WinCo. I’ve also had great luck with chocolate meant for chocolate fountains, which I’ve bought at a restaurant supply store or at Michael’s with my 40% off coupon. Just make sure it is real chocolate.
meltable chocolateAll of these versions of real chocolate will work for melting.
chocolate ingredients2This bar has plenty of extra cocoa butter and would be great for melting. Too bad most American chocolate bars do not make their cocoa butter level so clear.
While we’re talking about chocolate, I thought I’d throw in a quick note about cocoa. As you’ve probably figured by now, cocoa is made up mostly of the solids from choclate liquor,with a little fat left in. When you’re trying to decide what kind of unsweetened cocoa to buy, here are some guidelines.

Natural cocoa: This has the more intense taste of the original cocoa bean, and more acidic. Chocolate purists often prefer it. It is nonalkalized, so it’s used in recipes with baking soda, which is an alkali.
Dutch-processed cocoa: This cocoa has been mixed with chemicals to alkalize it. It smooths out the flavors and makes them less harsh, which was especially necessary when chocolate making was not as sophisticated as it is today. It also gives it a rich darker color. Because it’s already alkalized, you can use it in recipes with baking powder. If you use it with baking soda it will over rise—too muck alkali.
dutched vs natural cocoaDutched cocoa (on the right) is darker and richer in color, but the flavor is milder.
natural cocoa
natural cocoa (top) is nonalkalized, dutch processed is alkalized
dutched coacoa vs natural
Baking soda usually won’t work with dutch processed cocoa becsue you’ll have too much alkali.

Another Great Creative Food Blog

Is this not cute and creative?  How adorable is that?

I especially like it because I've made gingerbread houses and know how much work they are!

This is from the web site, "NOT MARTHA"....she even gives you the template to cut your own gingerbread from. 

Please visit her site for awe and inspiration!

Savory Breakfast Scones

This recipe is from the blog- VanillaLatte Please visit her blog- lots of yummy recipes there!

She says this is a recipe you can be creative with... her all time favorite is tomato, basil and feta with  -  Spinach and Swiss is a close second.  She also mentioned Bacon, Cheddar and green onion for meat lovers which is what I made since I happened to have all those ingredients on hand.   And then I played with sun-dried tomato, bacon and green onions.... Yummmm.

I have some olive tapanade - I think it wants to be paired with some feta and green onion......... I love savory things, so the possibilities are endless.

Many thanks to VanillaLatte (Maggie Ha) for posting a great recipe!

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 sticks of cold butter, cubed
3/4 cup of crumbed feta
3/4 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
1/2 cup of basil, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 cold large egg
whole milk for brushing
Preheat oven to 425°F or 210°C

Step 1: Mix the dry stuff and prep the fillings!
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside for later. Chop your cherry tomatoes, slice your basil leaves and grate your cheese.
Step 2: Mix some more!
Now add in the cubed butter to your flour mixture. Crumble the butter up with your hands until you have a coarse meal. Now add in the Parmesan cheese, feta, tomatoes and basil to the flour mixture and mix together with your hands. Whisk together the buttermilk and the egg. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk and egg mixture. Use a fork to fold together the mixture and be careful not to over mix!
Step 3: Bake!
Line a muffin tray with muffin trays or parchment paper cut into squares. Scoop in about 2 large tablespoons of the dough or until about 3/4 full. Brush the tops of the dough with whole milk and pop in the oven for 20 minutes. The top will be golden brown and the center flaky. Set on a cooling rack to cool completely before storing but it’s best to serve them warm!
So the menu for the breakfast contains these savory scones, the bacon, cheddar and green onion version, biscuits with butter, plain scones with jam, yogurt and fresh fruit, and juice or tea. Mmmm can’t wait!
Savory Scones

Posted by: Maggie Ha

Savory Scones

Savory Scones

Cool Lime Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart: Cookies
Makes about 7 1/2 dozen

1 1/2 cups {3 sticks} unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cups confectioners' sugar {plus more for dusting cookies}
Finely grated zest of 4 limes
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Whisk the flour, cornstarch & salt in a mixing bowl & set aside.

Combine the softened butter & the confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment & beat until light & fluffy, about 4 minutes. 

Beat in the lime zest, lime juice & vanilla extract until incorporated, occasionally scraping down the bowl.  

Add the dry ingredients & beat until just blended. 

Divide the dough in quarters.  Roll each quarter into a log & place on a sheet of parchment paper.  

Using a ruler, press along the edge of the parchment to narrow the log, until 1 1/4 inch in diameter.  

Chill the dough until firm, about 1 hour, or freeze up to 2 months.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Remove the dough from the parchment & slice the dough into 1/4" rounds.  Space the rounds 1" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet & bake for 13 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. 

Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.  When cool, toss the cookies gently in a bowl of confectioners' sugar until evenly dusted.  

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

3 Cheese Fondue

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)

1/2 cup (packed) grated Gruyère cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pound unpeeled large red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

48 (about) 6-inch skewers

print a shopping list for this recipe

PreparationHeat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, and Gruyère. Whisk until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Combine potatoes, 6 cups water and salt in large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are just tender when pierced with skewer, about 6 minutes. Drain. Transfer potatoes to bowl. Add olive oil and parsley; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Fondue and potatoes can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate. Whisk fondue 5 minutes over medium heat until melted and smooth. Reheat potatoes in 350°F oven 10 minutes.)

Place potatoes on platter. Spear each with skewer. Serve with warm fondue

For Dipping - bread, potatoes, fingerling potatoes, cauliflower,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another great foodie blog and GREAT idea for kids

You need to check out her web site - too cute! I love the snowman marshmallows... wondering if the edible markers can be purchased at a national chain store - for those of us who tend to be late bakers and shoppers. Everything you see below for this posting came right from her web's so cute... lots of great ideas... I can't wait for you to see it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

sweet snowy gifts (gingerbread snowflake ornaments and snowman cocoa jars)

I made a batch of gingerbread snowflake ornaments for cookie gifts this year, and since no one can escape my newfound love of painting marshmallows, I ended up adding a mason jar o' warmth to go with them.

I used a gingerbread cookie recipe from Williams-Sonoma (link provided below), then filled a mason jar with snowman marshmallows and hot cocoa. I added a recipe tag, slapped on a sticker and all done.

how to make gingerbread snowflake ornaments

you will need
gingerbread recipe
snowflake cutter (mine was
about 2 1/2 inches)
one frosting bag, coupler and size "3" tip

white frosting color

white sanding sugar or sprinkles

thin ribbon
cellophane favor bags

what to do
Prepare gingerbread recipe. Roll about 1/4-inch thick and place on parchment paper lined baking tray. Make holes with the straw and bake as directed by the recipe. Let cool. Tint frosting white and prepare a frosting bag with size 3 tip. Fill with white frosting and tie closed with a rubber band. Working with one cookie at a time, pipe snowflake designs and immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar or sprinkles. Let dry overnight.

To package, string ribbon through several cookies and tie. Place the cookies in a cellophane bag and tie closed with another piece of ribbon.

how to make snowman hot cocoa mason jars

you will need
mason jars
black and orange edible pens
(I suggest Americolor gourmet writers)
hot cocoa mix
cellophane favor bags

tags, stickers and ribbon (optional)

what to do
use markers to make snowman faces on marshmallows. Let dry about an hour. Fill a favor bag with some hot cocoa mix (I used about a cup) and twist closed with a tie. (I used the favor bag instead of putting right in the jar to keep things tidy, but you can also just add the mix right to the jar.) Place the favor bag of cocoa in the jar with the tied area in the middle at the top. Place marshmallows around the top of the cocoa facing out of the jar. Close with lid.

If desired, add your own personalized sticker to the top of the jar, or attach a tag with the cocoa recipe using a piece of card stock, a hole punch and a piece of ribbon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ice Cream Truffles & Link to a great site

I am so excited to be able to share a GREAT web site with fellow foodies....GARNISH .... you will LOVE her site because it's all about packaging and presentation and that makes our food gifts look even more impressive!  She also has a great shipping policy for the holidays   $7 flat rate !

This photo and recipe are from her site.......... peruse it and bookmark it... how wonderful to be able to have a source for the packaging to show off your great creations.  All her packaging is food safe...except the metal CD boxes.


The entry below is from her site..........

On a recent trip to my family's cottage in the lovely land of Muskoka, I was flipping through a Canadian Living magazine. And here is what I found. Ice cream truffles! That's right, truffles that are ice cream. I am loving everything about it!

Step 1: using a melon baller or small scoop, dish out vanilla ice cream balls and place on a tray or mini muffin tray and place in freezer

Step 2: pour some of your favorite goodies into separate bowls...nuts, coconut, sprinkles, cocoa powder

Step 3: remove the ice cream balls from the freezer and roll in the goodies

Step 4: place the truffles in a mini cupcake liner

Step 5: store in a white paper bowl with lid , in a deli plastic container , in a round hinged container or put in a freezer bag and then place inside a variety of unique boxes for a real statement

Step 6: share...bring for a hostess gift, send them home with your guests at the end of a party, or spread the love, just because!

July is national ice cream month (thanks Skip to my Lou for letting us know!). Enjoy it like you've never had before. We love creative. We love unique. We love this idea!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fireside Frozen Mocha

  • 1 cup brewed coffee, cooled
  • 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup or cocoa powder 
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Fill a blender with a cup of ice or The Magic Bullet’s Tall Cup halfway with ice.
  2. Add chocolate syrup, milk, and sugar.
  3. Add a cup of coffee to the blender and mix until smooth or fill The Magic Bullet’s Tall Cup ¾ full with coffee and mix with the Cross Blade until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into 2 coffee cups.
  5. If desired, add whipping cream to the Short Cup and blend with the Flat Blade for about 5 seconds or use store-bought whipping cream in the can or make homemade whipping cream (I do this by chilling hand mixer beaters and bowl in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes; then I whip cream and some sugar or Grand Marnier until soft peaks form).
  6. Add whipped cream to the top of the coffee mixtures and serve.

Cracker Jack Caramel Corn

This recipe comes from "Savory Sweet Life" - please become a fan of hers on Facebook!

* ½ cups Unpopped Pop Corn Kernels

* 2 cups Spanish Peanuts

* 1-½ cup Brown Sugar

* ⅓ cups Light Corn Syrup

* ½ cups Butter

* 1 teaspoon Salt

* ½ teaspoons Baking Soda

* ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

* 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

Preparation Instructions

In an air popper, pop the kernels according to your machine’s manual. My machine only allows you to pop 1/3 cups at a time, so make sure you follow your machine’s capacity instructions. You should have almost 4 quarts of popped popcorn using 1/2 cup of kernels.

Dump the popcorn and the Spanish peanuts in a clean tall paper grocery bag. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a medium sauce pan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt over medium heat and allow to gently boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn off heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Carefully and immediately pour caramel sauce into the paper grocery bag and stir the sauce, popcorn, and nuts with a wooden spoon until the sauce is evenly distributed. Take the popcorn mixture and evenly scatter it between both greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to cool and break up the pieces (if desired). Store in Ziploc bags or airtight containers. Enjoy!

Ham and Swiss Double Pinwheels

This recipe and photo are from the Pillsbury web site

1/4 lb cooked ham, cut into pieces (about 1/3 cup)

1 oz cream cheese (from 3-oz package), softened

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 oz)

2 tablespoons sliced green onions (2 medium)
(If you have some fresh spinach or basil, toss of in )

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In food processor bowl with metal blade, process ham and cream cheese until smooth and well blended.

2. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough into 1 large rectangle; press into 13x8-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; press into 13x8-inch rectangle.

3. Spread ham mixture over rectangle. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese and onions.

4. Starting with both short sides of rectangle, roll up both toward center. With serrated knife, cut into 16 slices; place cut side down on cookie sheet.

5. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm. (Better a little over than under)

Make them LOVE -LY -  I have been using this recipe for bridal showers for several years. I form it into a heart shape as follows: As I place each slice on the cookie sheet, I use a teaspoon handle to push the center into a point and shape it by pinching it between thumb and finger. The 2 round parts become the top curves of the heart. Everyone is really impressed by the appearance and flavor!
Cut them easier  -*Suggestion for the person who said they are difficult to cut: After you've rolled them up refrigerate them for about 20 minutes, they should be a little easier to cut. Bon Appetit!

Oven-Baked Red Potatoes

Total time: approximately 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2):

1. 2 tablespoons of olive oil

2. 6 red potatoes

3. 1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt

4. 1 small handful of fresh rosemary

5. Pepper to taste (not pictured)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wash off each potato, then cut them into mouthful pieces.

Lay tinfoil over a baking pan. Lay down the olive oil. Toss in the potatoes and crown it all with salt, rosemary and pepper (if you so desire). Toss the potatoes with your hands, ensuring the potatoes are well coated. Throw the pan into the oven and cook until the potatoes brown (approx 25 minutes).

Taste of Home Sticky Coffeecake Ring

Taste of Home Magazine is wonderful and they have a fabulous web site which is where this recipe and photo is from..... if you haven't visited their site you are missing one of the best recipe resources on the web!

3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits


•Brush a 10-in. fluted tube pan with 1 tablespoon butter. In a small

bowl, combine syrup and remaining butter. Drizzle 2 tablespoons into

pan. Combine the brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon; sprinkle 1/3 cupful

over syrup mixture.

•Separate biscuits; place in prepared pan with edges overlapping. Top

with remaining syrup and nut mixtures. Bake at 375° for 15

minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1-2 minutes; invert onto a

serving platter. Serve warm.

Yield: 10 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 piece) equals 188 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 328 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Sour Apple Martini

1 shot of Sour Apple Pucker

1 shot of vodka

Club soda

¼ lime cut up and squeezed

1 large handful of ice

Squeeze ¼ of a lime into the glass, dropping the remains into the glass after. Throw in a large handful of ice, and then pour in 1 shot of vodka and 1 shot of Sour Apple Pucker. Top each glass off with club soda and mix it all together.

Flatbread Pizza - Have it your way

 1 Lavash flatbread

 1 tablespoon of olive oil
 1 handful of spinach
 1 half a red pepper sliced thinly
 pepperoni or left over chicken sliced thinly
 1 handful of mozzarella cheese
Thin slices of brie (1/4 of a triangle of brie)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over the lavash and spread it around evenly.
Place the veggies, meat and cheese over the lavash. It’s best to do veggies first, meat second and cheese last to hold your ingredient down. Like a pizza crust, make sure to leave some room around the edges so it’s easy to hold onto.

Place pizza in the oven and bake for about ten minutes. The goal is to have the lavash crust golden brown.

Remove from oven and chop into 6-8 pieces. One cut long ways and either two or three cuts short ways then serve with a bottle of wine.

Oven-Fried Zucchini Sticks for Two

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

 1 tbsp VIRGIN olive oil

 ¼ cup breadcrumbs

 Ranch dressing to dip

 1 dash black pepper

 1 dash garlic salt

 2 dashes dry BASIL flakes


 1 zucchini

 2 eggs

Rice Krispies White and Dark Chocolate Truffles

This is a kid-friendly recipe - for making and eating.
Makes 24 truffles

1 pkg white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup Rice Krispies Vanilla Flavour

1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - you will melt this later

1. Melt white chocolate chips and butter in medium bowl in microwave or over saucepan of boiling water. Stir until smooth. Let cool at room temperature about 30 minutes.

2. Form white chocolate mixture into 2.5 cm (1-inch) balls. Roll in cereal, pressing cereal into truffles to coat well. Roll in palms to re-shape balls. Refrigerate about 30 minutes, until firm.

3. Melt semi-sweet chocolate as in step one. Dip prepared balls in chocolate to coat. Lift out with fork, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place on waxed paper lined baking sheet. Let cool about 1 hour.

4.  If desired, drizzle with melted white chocolate ... simply dip a fork into it and drizzle.

Savory Grain-Free Crackers from Karina's Kitchen

For those who can't tolerate gluten, I highly recommned you visit Karina's site....this recipe and photo belong to her....  These also make a great gift when coupled with a bottle of wine, for your friends who have given up gluten.

These crackers are mighty tasty- especially if you're generous with the seasonings.

2 cups fine almond or pecan meal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon minced roasted garlic, to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

2 teaspoons dried Italian Herbs, to taste

Pinch or two of turmeric for color

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon sugar or raw agave nectar

1 cup very finely grated aged Parmesan (I used a microplane grater)

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed

4 tablespoons spring water, as needed

1 beaten egg white- if not vegan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until a moist, moderately sticky dough forms. Add more water or oil if you need it. Taste test. Adjust seasonings to your taste buds. Using oiled hands place the mound of dough on the parchment and flatten with the palm of your hand. Use oiled palms and fingers to press the dough out evenly and as thin as possible. If it cracks, simply press back together with moist fingers. Bake in the center of a hot oven for 15 minutes or so, until the dough is set and golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. When the dough has cooled, cut the dough into pieces using a pizza cutter. Or break apart for random jagged pieces.

The crackers will be extremely tender and breakable while they are warm. Allow them to cool completely before handling. Store in an air tight container. They are not super crisp - they're more like a cookie texture, and quite tender. Very flavorful. If you prefer a crisper cracker, bake again briefly before serving. Keep an eye on them so that they don't get too browned. This made about 16 to 18 crackers for me.


Recipe ©2005-2009 Karina Allrich

Bacon Tomato Dip in Bread Bowl

1 box dry Knorr's leek soup mix

1 16 oz container sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a couple hours... but if you can't wait that's okay! You can eat it right away!

When you chop the tomatoes, try to remove some of the seeds so the tomato is not too wet. You can actually dap the tomatoes with a paper towel to dry them a bit.

Serve the dip with chips or veggies. This makes a great dip to bring to any gathering or party. Everyone will love it!

Want a really special dip bowl? Buy a round bread and cut off the top and scoop it out a bit. Put the dip in the bread. It's a great way to serve this dip! You can even rip off pieces of bread and eat it with the dip.

Bathtub Gin Fizz

1 (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage

1 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 1/4 cups gin



1. In large punch bowl, combine carbonated beverage, lemonade concentrate, lime juice and powdered sugar; stir to blend.

2. Gently stir in gin. Serve over ice in tall glasses. If desired, garnish glasses with lime slices.

Homemade Cranberry Liquer

This is as close as I come to making my own "moonshine".... You will need to plan ahead for this one... allow 2 weeks.... 12 days if you're really pressed for time. The prep time is quick, the wait time before bottling holds you up.

12 days
20 min prep

Makes 1 Quart - You'll probably want to make more!

• 1 lb cranberries

• 4 cups superfine sugar, divided

• 1 cup water

• 3 cups 80 proof vodka

Combine cranberries with 2 cups sugar.

Add water and boil 4-5 minutes until skins start to pop.

Remove from heat and cool.

Put in a mixing jar, one of those large glass sun tea jars works great!add vodka and shake vigorously.

Cover and leave to infuse at least 7 days, shaking or stirring occasionally. Refrigerate.

Pour thru a coarse strainer and discard berries.

Let rest 3-4 days.

Without shaking the jar, decant only the clear liquor into another jar, leaving white residue in the original jar.

The white residue can be put thru a paper strainer (I use an unbleached coffee filter) until liquid is clear; add the strained liquor to the already decanted liqueur.

Combine liqueur with 2 more cups of sugar and shake vigorously until sugar is absorbed.

Let clear overnight and bottle.

Cran-Orange Cosmo

2 ounces orange juice (I used freshly squeezed)

1 ounce vodka

2 ounces cranberry liqueur

Place all ingredients into shaker.

Add ice and shake.

Garnish with fresh orange slice.

Red Cosmopolitan

1/2 cup vodka, well chilled

1/2 cup cranberry juice, well chilled

1/2 cup triple sec

1/2 cup cranberry liqueur, well chilled ( you can make this without this liquer but it's not as good!)

1 lime, juice of

In a shaker fill with ingredients add ice and shake.

Pour into a martini glass.

Garnish with lime slice and fresh cranberries.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

30 chocolate pretzels (change servings and units)

10 ounces pretzel sticks (Pretzel RODS)

12 ounces milk chocolate chips (or melting disks)

1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

candy sprinkles (optional)

miniature M&M's chocolate candies (optional)

mini Reese's pieces (optional)

chopped peanuts (optional)

Melt milk chocolate chips in double boiler or in microwave (be careful not to burn in the micro).

If you are using the white chocolate, wait until later before melting unless you can keep it over warm water.

Dip each pretzel rod about 2/3 of the way up in chocolate.  ( I find it's easiest to put the chocolate into a glass and work fast)

Lay on wax paper lined baking sheets, lining up the rods but leave a bit of space between them.

Allow to set a little, but not completely dry (while waiting, make sure your white chocolate is ready).

Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle over the milk chocolate by gently swishing the fork back and forth over the rods but not touching them.

Place your sprinkles or candies on a paper plate and roll each pretzel rod in desired topping (or just sprinkle on).

Lay back on wax paper to set completely.

These look great displayed in, or given in, a unique glass or mug.

Tiger Butter Fudge

• 1 pound white chocolate

• 1 pound semisweet chocolate, melted

• 1 1/3 cups crunchy peanut butter


1. Line a 10x15 inch pan with parchment. Set aside.   (User a smaller pan for thicker fudge)

2. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering (not boiling) water, heat white chocolate and peanut butter. Stir constantly until white chocolate and peanut butter melts.

3. Spread onto prepared pan. Pour melted semi-sweet chocolate over top and swirl through with a knife, to create a marble pattern. Chill until firm. Cut into 1 /2 x 1" pieces.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Nirvana Cake

This picture and recipe are from JIF Peanut Butter, my FAVORITE peanut butter! Check out their web site for more recipes.

• Crisco® Flour No-Stick Spray

• 1 (18.25 oz.) box Pillsbury® Devils Food Cake

• 1/2 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil

• 1 1/4 cups water

• 4 large eggs

• 1 (3.9 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding and pie filling mix

• 2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips


• 1/2 cup Pillsbury® Whipped Supreme® Vanilla Frosting

• 1/2 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter

• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

• 1/2 cup milk

• Chocolate curls or shavings for garnish (optional)


1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup fluted pan with flour no-stick cooking spray.

2. COMBINE cake mix, oil, water, eggs and pudding mix in a large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. BAKE 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Cool completely.

4. BEAT frosting, peanut butter, almond extract and milk in medium bowl with electric mixer until well combined. Spoon frosting over cooled cake. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

Servings: 15

"Chocolate cookie with a surprise peanut butter center."

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

3/4 cup peanut butter


1. In small bowl blend flour, cocoa and baking soda. Mix until well blended.

2. In large bowl beat sugar, butter or margarine and 1/4 cup peanut butter, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Set aside.

3. To make Filling: Combine confectioner's sugar and 3/4 cup peanut butter. Blend well.

4. Roll filling into 30 - 1 inch balls. For each cookie, with floured hands, shape about 1 Tablespoon of dough around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with glass dipped in sugar.

5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7-9 minutes. When cookies are done, they should be set and slightly cracked.

Cherry Nut Balls - No Bake

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup maraschino cherries (chopped and drained)

3/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut

2 cups quick cooking oats

Nuts ground fine to roll balls in

Beat sugar, butter, vanilla, cherries and coconut. Mix in rolled oats. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Shape the mixture into 1" balls, then roll the balls in the chopped nuts. Store airtight in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Makes about 24

1 cup creamy peanut butter

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F. In large mixing bowl, beat peanut butter and butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla, and beat until creamy. Blend in flour and salt. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread into ungreased 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Immediately sprinkle remaining morsels over cookie layer. Let stand 5 minutes until morsels become shiny and soft. Spread the rest of the chocolate chips evenly over top. Cool completely.

Knock You Naked Brownies

1 package German chocolate cake mix (18.5 oz)

1 cup chopped nuts

1/3 cup + 1/2 cup evaporated milk-divided

1/2 cup melted butter

60 vanilla caramels unwrapped (one 14 oz package)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, nuts, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and melted butter. Press half of the batter into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for eight minutes.

In the microwave or top of a double boiler melt caramels with remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When caramel mixture is well mixed, pour over baked layer. Cover with chocolate chips. Chill for about an hour or until the caramel is hard. Press the remaining batter on top of morsels. Return to oven and bake 28 minutes (or less for gooier brownies). Let cool before cutting.

Note: This recipe supposedly originated at the Salt Creek Restaurant  in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Serving Size: 24

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Recipes for Special Diet - Low Sodium, Coumadin etc

Check out Dr Gourmet for recipes and for foods that need to be avoided.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cucumber Onion Dip - Taste of Home

This is from one of my all-time favorite web sites, Taste of Home


Cucumber Onion Dip

 Cucumber Onion Dip
“Family members request this fast and flavorful dip often,” Judith Priglmeier assures from Aitkin, Minnesota. “We especially like it with baked potato chips, but it tastes great with any type of chip or cracker.”
12 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 15 min.


  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Rye chips or crackers

  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, cucumber, onion, mayonnaise,
  • salt and pepper until blended. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with
  • rye chips or crackers. Yield: 1-1/2 cups.
Nutrition Facts: 2 tablespoons dip (prepared with reduced-fat cream cheese and fat-free mayonnaise; calculated without crackers) equals 50 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1 fat.