Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homemade Refrigerator Pickles


Did you grow a garden? Or Find a sale on Cucumbers at the store, now is the time to make Pickles
Fast and easy Refrigerator Pickles are good and you can have them ready to eat in just a couple days, they store in your fridge for weeks too. No hot water bath canning needed if you are making just a jar or two.

This will make a jar or 2
Ingredients
1  sliced cucumber
1 cup water
1 cup apple cider or  white wine vinegar(can use wine vinegars too)
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 to 1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pickle Spices
You can add garlic and Red Peppers if you like these spicy

Directions
Place cucumber slices in a clean heat-resistant container with airtight lid (approximately 3 to 4 cups capacity)
Put Vinegar, sugar, and spices in a stainless steel pot (NOT Aluminum) bring to boil, turn heat down stirring to dissolve sugar and simmer spices about 5 minutes, remove from heat to cool, (IMPORTANT) let this cool so not to keep your cucumbers crisp
Once the liquid is cool pour over cucumbers in your jars
 ~Refrigerate! Let them marinate for a couple days before eating for best flavor.~~Enjoy!!

How to Make your Own Pickled Garlic

We Love LOVE Garlic around here, (keeps off the Vampires) LOL well actually it does help keep off colds and flu, I made Medicinal Garlic Just for that Purpose as well. We like eating Pickled foods and garlic is on top of that list.


Pickled garlic is mellowed. The cloves lose much of their bite, leaving a softer, sweeter garlicky flavor. They're not great to use like pure garlic, but are great when used more like pickles: to snack on, in sandwiches, in antipasto, on salads.

You see, the hard way is canning your pickled garlic. Boiling water bath, sealed lids, everything. It's really not that difficult, nor dangerous, but it's detailed, and I prefer something a little more informal.

Canned pickled garlic will last at least a year unrefrigerated, but pickled garlic the easy way will last a few months in the refrigerator.

Pickling involves bathing a food in brine and letting it cure before eating. Brine is just salt and vinegar. You can add a touch of sugar, herbs, or dried peppers, but basically you're just bathing those garlic cloves in sour salt water.

First, you need some jars. Use 4-ounce or 8-ounce jars at the largest—remember, garlic is small. Wash them in hot water. Even if you washed them before putting them away last time, wash them again – take my word for it.

Next, take the garlic and peel the cloves. Drop them into the jars. Fill to about 1/4-inch below the rim, but don't stuff them in.

Next, think about whether you want to flavor the garlic. Want a spicy edge to it? Add a small dried hot chili pepper to the jar or just some black peppercorns. You can use herbs like rosemary, dill, bay leaves, or whatever you like. They're best if you add one herb or spice rather than a bunch.

And finally, it's time for the brine. You can use straight vinegar, but it's common to add a little salt, sugar, or both to it. Red wine vinegar is excellent, but apple cider vinegar and even regular white vinegar work well, too. Experiment with the vinegar for different flavors. The easiest thing to do is put a bit of salt and/or sugar in each jar with the garlic and any extras you've added, and pour the vinegar over it all.

Add a lid and you're almost there. Just refrigerate your pickled garlic for two weeks to allow it to cure before eating it, and keep refrigerated up to a few months.
Now for the Recipe and specific Instructions:

What you need:
6 garlic heads, peeled and ends removed (Don't use any soft, diseased, spotted garlic)
This will make about a pint
1 1/2 cups Cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 t. Mustard seed
1/8 t. Celery seed


What you Need to do:
A trick to getting your garlic peeled:
Cut the ends off first of each clove then blanch for 30 seconds in boiling water. The skins will come right off.

Place garlic cloves in a medium bowl, first cutting the large cloves in half. Mix in the red bell pepper if you like

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, place the vinegar and white sugar. Wrap mustard and celery seed in a spice bag, and place in the liquid mixture. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and pepper. Continue boiling 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard spice bag.
Place garlic and peppers in sterile containers to within 1 inch of the top. Fill with remaining liquid to within 1/4 inch from the top. Seal and store in the refrigerator approximately three weeks before serving. If you eat this fairly quickly you don't have to do the water bath canning method, it will be safe just to place in a jar in your refrigerator

Additional items you could add to the jar for different garlic flavors:
Red Bell Pepper sliced
Dried whole red chiles
Red pepper flakes
Dried Oregano
Sprig of dill
Ginger

Baked Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas



The creamy cheese sauce for my chicken enchiladas is out of this world creamy and spicy and oh so nice. The sauce is so delicious all by itself you're going to make everyone happy for this dinner.

I have been on a mexican food kick this week, and enchiladas have been the star of the show around my house and my family lately. So we are trying all kinds of ideas.

this recipe makes 10 small enchiladas

Ingredients:
chicken mixture:
1 lb boneless chicken breasts diced
1 medium to large onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
3 tsp taco seasoning (I make my own, see my recipe on my blog)
1/2 cup of water
Pepper how you like

Cheese sauce:
1/2 cup of velveeta cheese diced up
1 cup of milk
1 can tomatoes and diced chiles, drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup

10 Small Corn Tortillas
1 cup Cheddar Cheese Shredded
1 cup Fiesta Cheese shredded
jalapenos for topping and
parsley or chives for topping to serve
To serve you may add sour cream or guacamole if you like
Oven set at 350 degrees F


How to Make:
First off dice up your chicken, onions, peppers. Heat skillet with 3 Tbs Olive Oil(EVO)
When skillet is nice and hot, put your onions and peppers in and saute, do not stir too much or they get mushy, once those are just tender, toss in chicken and cook till done, (it turns white)



next add your taco seasoning and about 1/2 cup of water and stir this together, add pepper how you like it, stir up and simmer about 5 minutes then turn off.


Heat Oven to 350 Degrees F
To Make Cheese sauce:
First I take my Velveeta Cheese and Milk and heat that till melted on low heat(stir to keep from sticking)
Remove cheese sauce from heat and stir in drained tomatoes and green chiles then stir in sour cream and add soup, stir this all till blended. Set aside


To make Tortillas:
 I heat mine in the microwave in a warmer

then I take about a tablespoon of cooked chicken mixtures and wrap each one, place open edge down in greased baking pan, this is the tricky part getting them to lay and not unroll, (I place a glass next to my first one to hold in place, moving down as I go)

Once they are all in rolled in pan, I pour my Cheese sauce over the enchiladas, top with some jalapenos and they are ready to pop in oven for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with toppings of your choice if you like or just as they are, the sauce alone is enough to make your mouth water.
Trust ME and ENjoy

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Rollups



Have a loaf of bread, some cream cheese,cinnamon and sugar?  Well, then you have dessert!
These are the best little tasty desserts ever and easy as can be, you just have to try them. I made mexican food last night and these were great as dessert.


Ingredients
1 loaf (16 ounces) thinly sliced bread, crusts removed
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted


Directions
Flatten bread with a rolling-pin. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar.
In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Roll up, jelly roll style.
Dip in melted butter, then in cinnamon-sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 12-14 roll-ups.

One of the best things about these little roll ups is that they are delicious warm, room temp or even cold.

Magic Muffin Mix

I love having a Quick Mix ready to make things
this is another good One that I have tried

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup stevia
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbs baking soda
2 egg whites

directions
preheat oven 350
mix liquid ingredients slowly add in dry ingredients
fill muffin liners 3/4 full
bake 15-20 minutes
recipe makes 8 muffins

extra recipes for more muffins

banana walnut muffins
magic mix
1 large brown banana mashed
1/4 vu chopped walnuts
1 tbsp banana extract

blueberry muffin
magic mix
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp brown sugar

Lemon Poppy seed Muffins
magic mix
1/2 cup lemon pudding (prepared)
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 package vanilla pudding mix

chocolate chip muffins
magic mix
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 package vanilla pudding mix



check out more recipes

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Making Freezer Meals Including My Favorite Recipes



I know if you're like me and my family You're busy. Whether you work full-time, attend college, care for a loved one, run a household—or all of the above—you don’t always have time to make yourself nutritious meals. Like many people who want to eat healthy on a budget, you probably rely on those handy frozen entrees to fill the gap. After all, they seem like a bargain compared to going out for lunch every day.
My daughters started me on this idea when they decided to first try it out, one is about to have her second baby in just a few days so she wanted to have some meals frozen up for easy dinners after the baby is here and my other girl needs more time to do more of what she really likes, playing with her beautiful girls and crafting and shopping ;) So they have given me good incentive to start trying out and writing recipes for freezer meals

But if you do the math, you're probably spending at least $60 per month for frozen meals that don’t taste that great and are processed, packaged, and preserved. Why not make your own frozen dinners and save the extra money? By using better quality ingredients and controlling the cooking method, you’ll always have a supply of quick and tasty meals on hand—foods you actually like to eat!

Compared to store-bought, homemade frozen meals are:
Healthier. Many commercially-prepared foods are full of salt, artificial ingredients, preservatives and unhealthy fats. By making your own meals, you can control what goes into them and use quality ingredients like brown rice instead of white rice, organic vegetables instead of conventional, and olive oil instead of palm oil.

Inexpensive. While a frozen meal may be cheaper than a restaurant bill, it's still more expensive than cooking from scratch. If you prepare your own meals with whole ingredients, you can save $100 a month or more.
Time Savers. Making your own meals doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Set aside one day a month to cook a few recipes and you will have enough meals to last for weeks on end. You can even make cooking a social event by inviting some friends and sharing recipes—you’ll get to try something new while you chitchat with your buddies.
Eco-Friendly. Frozen entrees are packed in plastic and cardboard that usually ends up in landfills. When you make and package your own foods, you can decrease your impact on the planet by using glass or plastic containers over and over again with little to no waste.

Full of Variety. Prepackaged frozen meals don’t offer any flexibility—what you buy is what you get. While you might like some of the ingredients in the meal, not everything is going to appeal to you. But by creating your own, everything will be up to your taste level and standards—and you can change the menu, ingredients, and combinations any time!The choice is yours. Preparing freezer-ready meals isn't a difficult task. 

To get started, use these meal-preparation and storage tips.
The containers you use to store your meals in should be both microwave- and freezer-safe. Both glass and plastic may work well, if they meet these standards (all glass and plastic containers are different). Another option is large freezer bags. Certain foods will freeze well in a bag, and can then be defrosted in the refrigerator, placed in a microwave-safe container, and then reheated.

Before portioning out cooked food into containers, allow it to cool completely first and always leave extra room at the top of to allow for expansion of the food during freezing.
Make sure food is wrapped well and/or covered with air-tight lids to prevent air from getting in.
Foods with high moisture content (such as soups) tend to freeze better than drier foods.
Don’t turn your food into a mystery science project. Use a permanent marker to label each dish with a name and a date. For maximum quality and flavor, use each meal within a couple of weeks. Just like in a store, rotate your stock so that the newest meals are in the back and the oldest are in the front for easy access.
Vegetables should be slightly undercooked to prevent them from becoming mushy when you reheat them.
Be careful about bacterial contamination. Completely cool hot food before freezing it to prevent the growth of bacteria. Bacteria can grow when the outside of food freezes while the inside remains warm.
If you’re not sure a meal will freeze well, cook and freeze only a small portion the first time. If the quality is okay, then go ahead and freeze more in the future.

Read your owner's manual to find the fill level that will keep your freezer running at peak energy efficiency. Certain freezers run best when completely full, while others shouldn't be filled more than half-way.
Consider posting a freezer inventory list nearby to track the meals (and dates) of everything in the freezer. Check off each item as you remove it and you will know exactly what foods are available at all times. This also prevents forgotten foods from going to waste.

Freezing your meals is a great way to keep foods longer, but frozen doesn't mean forever. As a general rule, fruit and vegetables will stay freezer-fresh for around eight months, fish and shellfish for up to six months, and meat and poultry for three. Trust your instincts and throw out anything from the freezer that smells or tastes "off."

Don’t re-freeze defrosted foods because the taste and texture will decline and you could be risking bacterial contamination
As a general rule, the following dishes tend to freeze well: baked goods, burgers (sometimes uncooked will freeze better), burritos, calzones, casseroles, cooked beans, cooked grains, egg rolls, enchiladas, French toast, quiche, lasagna, manicotti, mashed potatoes, meatballs and meatloaf, pancakes, pot pies, poultry, roasted meats, sauces, sloppy Joes, soup, stuffed shells, taco fillings, tofu, TVP, and waffles. Foods that do NOT freeze well include: egg- and cream-based sauces, instant rice, salad, stuffed poultry, hard-cooked eggs and fried foods.

If you’re ready to start making your own frozen dinners, here are a few healthy recipes
adapted from http://www.sparkpeople.com

Now here are some of my Favorite Freezer Recipe Meals I have collected and written


***
Turkey Burgers
Ingredients
1 lb ground turkey (99% fat free)
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 tbsp chunky salsa (use medium or hot for extra kick)
serves 4

Directions
Combine all ingredients until well mixed.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide into 4 patties. 

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook over medium heat until cooked thoroughly (about 10 minutes), flipping once about half-way through.
You can freeze these for quick meals

***
 Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 can cream of chicken soup
flour tortillas (or you can use corn if your family prefers) cut in strips
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 small can diced green chilies
1 onion, minced

Spray an 8" square pan generously with cooking spray. Spread a small amount
of the cream of chicken soup in the bottom of the pan. Mix meat, onion,
diced green chiles and remainder of chicken soup together. Cover bottom of
casserole with strips of tortillas. Cover with half of the meat mixture.
Cover with tortilla strips, add remaining meat mixture and top with
tortilla strips. LABEL, DATE and FREEZE.

This makes 1 8" square pan. Make several at a time or at least one extra to
freeze when you are serving meat loaf anyway.
Bake frozen for 2 hours at 350 degrees, or 1 hour thawed overnight in
refrigerator at 350 degrees.
***

Creamy Rich Chicken Enchiladas



These Enchiladas are Rich and Creamy and oh so Cheesy, the blends of peppers gives it just the right spice but it's really not too hot because you remove the seeds and it calms them down; everyone will eat them all up. Enjoy Good Food

What you Need:
1 1/2   pound chicken cut in small chunks or cubes
1  10  ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 Onion diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper diced and seeds removed
1 Anaheim Pepper diced and seeds removed
1/2  teaspoon salt
Dash of Pepper how you like it
1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
1 can cream of chicken soup
1-16 ounce carton dairy sour cream
1/2  cup plain yogurt
1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1   cup milk
1  4  ounce can diced green chile peppers, drained
12 flour tortillas
1 1/2  cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)
Some Green onions sliced thin(optional)
Salsa and/or thinly sliced green onions (optional)

What you need to do:
Heat 3-4 tablespoons of your preferred oil in skillet, then toss in diced onions, and peppers and cook till just tender about 5-10 mins. Then toss in chicken cubed and cook it till done, add spinach and cook till its tender. Season with salt and cumin and pepper to taste. Turn off

For Sauce:
Stir together sour cream, yogurt, flour, stir in milk and chile peppers. Divide sauce in half Pour a third of sauce into your chicken Mixture and cook till warm and blended a few seconds, Do NOT let boil.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For filling, sprinkle some cheese in tortilla, and spoon some of the sauce and the chicken-spinach mixture; you will need 12 portions. Next Place one portion of the filling in the middle of a tortilla; roll up into a spiral. Place filled tortilla, seam side down, in a greased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and the remaining filling.
Spoon the remaining sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of Enchiladas and Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with salsa and/or additional green onions sprinkled over
Serve with desired sides, we did salad and my Banana Cream Poke Cake

Monday, October 28, 2013

Peach Jam without Fruit Pectin



How To Can Peach Jam Without Pectin.

Enjoy the taste of fresh peaches all year long with our delicious Peach Jam recipe. I like cooking jam and preserves without fruit pectin.
Nothing better than making homemade fresh preserves, jams and jellies, they are loved by everyone when you give them as gifts too.



Ingredients
4 pounds of fresh Peaches
3 cups of Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
1/2 cup of Water

Instructions
Prepare the jars for canning
Wash jars and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse
Place jars inside a canner filled with water, bring to boil.
Boil jars for 15 minutes to sterilize.
Place lids and bands in warm water, do not boil. Leave until ready to use.

Peach Jam Recipe:
Rinse the peaches under cool running water.
Place whole fresh peaches in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes.
Remove and place in a sink with cold ice water.
Peel peaches, remove the pit, slice in half, then into quarters.
Slice each quarter into 2 or 3 chunks.
Place cut peaches in bowl and toss with lemon juice.
Place in food processor and pulse into small bits but do not liquefy.
Place a sauce pot on stove, set to medium heat.
Add water, then sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Add peach pulp and continue to stir until it thickens.
As it thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking and burning.
When done, ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, add lid and band. Finger tighten.

Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner or according to the time for your 
altitude.

Remove from canner, and place on folded towel for 24 hours in a draft free location.
May be stored in a dark cool place for a year or longer.
Enjoy


Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a 
basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 - 7 Half Pint Jars

Pizza Macaroni Casserole



Here's a fast and easy Pizza Macaroni Casserole that has that delicious Pizza flavor and plenty of cheese
I served this up with fresh steamed Broccoli tonight

First cook up your ground beef, onions, garlic and peppers then drain
then add your sauces and seasonings
Then layer it in a greased baking dish
I add the sauce meat mixture, then topped with some macaroni

Then added some sliced canadian bacon
added more sauce and the cheeses and a last layer of macaroni and more cheese
Pop it in the Oven and bake for about 20-30 Minutes till cheese is melted and bubbly
I can smell the Pizza and Cheese, can You?
It's such Good Food, try some



What you Need:
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 can (14oz) pizza sauce
1 package noodles
4 oz cheese, mozzarella
1 small can mushrooms
I onion, diced
1 can (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
4 oz cheddar cheese
1 package pepperoni
1 green pepper diced
1 cup parmesan cheese



What you need to do:
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Brown meat and onion. Drain grease and add sauces. Cook noodles
Then layer noodles, meat mixture, cheeses, and pepperoni. Repeat layers. Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted.
If you can't be home to cook this and bake it, you can try my Crock Pot Pizza Casserole Recipe so it's ready when you do get home.

Crockpot pizza casserole

Pizza is a food of the gods around our family so I decided we needed a recipe for Pizza in the Crock Pot
This is really good and cheesy, you can add different ingredients too

First I browned my ground beef, then added Diced onions and diced garlic
Then I added chopped green pepper and seasonings
I simmered this another 5 minutes or so
Next I added the sauces
My picture doesn't show the beautiful Red sauce, sorry
Then I cooked the macaroni
Once the Pasta was cooked 
layer noodles, meat mixture, cheeses, and pepperoni. Repeat layers. Cook on high for 30 minutes then reduce heat and cook for 1 hour until cheese is melted.




What you Need:
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 can (14oz) pizza sauce
1 package Pasta(your Choice-I used Macaroni)
4 oz cheese, mozzarella
1 small can mushrooms
I onion, diced
1 can (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
4 oz cheddar cheese
1 package pepperoni (or Thin Sliced Ham, Canadian Bacon)
1 green pepper diced
2 TBS pizza seasoning
a little salt and some pepper

Easy Instructions:
Brown meat and onion. Drain grease and add sauces. Cook noodles then layer noodles, meat mixture, cheeses, and pepperoni. Repeat layers. Cook on high for 30 minutes then reduce heat and cook for 1 hour until cheese is melted.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dulce de Leche- Thumbprint Cookies

Oh these are such wonderful cookies you really need to bake some up. ok I couldn't decide which cookie to make so I made some of each with the variety of nuts











½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose
1 egg white
1 tsp water
1 ½ cups salted cashews, chopped
1 ½-2 cups dulce de leche (depending on how much you fill)


Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add egg, vanilla extract, and salt to creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until fully combined.
Add in flour, beat on low until fully combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a fork, beat together egg white and water in a small bowl. Place cashews in a separate bowl.
Remove dough from fridge and shape into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in egg white, allowing excess to drip off. Roll dough balls in cashews to coat.
Transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Using a 1-tsp measure, or your thumb, make an indentation in each cookie.
Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set, 12-13 minutes. I like to at this time repress my thumb or tsp measure to make the indentation really big in the cookie when the cookies come out of the oven. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
When cookies are cool, fill the cookies by piping dulce de leche into the indentations.
Adapted from Cuisine at Home Magazine Special Production: Holiday Baking



Pecan Polvorones with Dulce de Leche

1 ½ cups (5.25 ounces) pecans
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk (optional)
2 cups (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour


Filling
2/3 cup (4.625 ounces) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
Scant 1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until most are finely ground and the largest pieces are about ¼ inch. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
2. Wipe the processor bowl with a paper towel to remove excess oil from the nuts. Add the sugar and salt and process until fine and powdery. Add the butter, vanilla and egg yolk, if using, and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour and pulse until the dough starts to clump together. Add the nuts and pulse just until combined. Transfer the dough to a bowl and knead it by hand briefly to make sure it is evenly mixed.
3. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls (0.5 ounce each) and place them slightly apart on a plate or tray big enough to hold all the balls yet small enough to fit in your refrigerator. Press the handle of a wooden spoon dipped in flour (or your finger) into each ball to form a depression. Cover and chill the cookies for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 325⁰F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
5. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and place them 1 inch apart on the lined or ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the cookies are lightly colored on top and light golden brown on the bottom. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Cool cookies completely.
6. To make the filling: while the cookies are cooling, combine the muscovado sugar with the cream and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Boil gently for about 2 minutes without stirring. Cool the sauce briefly.
7. Spoon a little filling into the depression in each cookie. Allow the filling to cool completely. May be stored in airtight container for at least a week.

Hearty Corn Chowder

A hearty Corn Chowder soup that warms the insides and fills the belly when you're starving
add some warm bread and a delicious dessert and you will taste a little heaven.

what you need:
1/2 cup diced bacon
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups water
3 cups cream-style corn
2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 cups half-and-half

Directions
1.Place the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat, and cook until crisp. Drain and crumble, reserving about 2 tablespoons drippings in the pot.
2.Mix potatoes and onion into the pot with the crumbled bacon and reserved drippings. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Pour in the water, and stir in corn. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover pot. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender.
3.Warm the half-and-half in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Remove from heat before it boils(do not let boil), and mix into the chowder just before serving.

Bourbon Crockpot Chicken



This is one of our favorites for Chinese dinner night but sometimes I don't have the time to get out the wok to cook it so the original recipe comes from copycat recipes but we turned it into a crockpot version and walla it's ready when we get home and are hungry
Bourbon chicken is a dish named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans,Louisiana and for the bourbon whiskey ingredient. The dish is commonly found at Cajun, Chinese, and American BBQ themed restaurants.
The recipe includes soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and bourbon whiskey in the base, and the chicken is marinated in this sauce. Many leave out the Bourbon If you want to use Bourbon add 1/2 cup in place of your water.

This recipe will serve between 4-8 people depending on their appetites and what you serve it with.
4 oz. per person is about the size of the palm of your hand - boneless breast meat
4 people per Pound

What you Need:

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 garlic clove crushed
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup light apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons organic ketchup or chili sauce (depending on how hot you like stuff)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water or 1/2 cup bourbon
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

What you Need to do:
Stir and mix all ingredients into crockpot and add chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
Serve over rice with a side of ginger glazed carrots and YUM it's such Good FOOD

Hearty Country Hash



This homemade Hash is Hearty with veggies diced up in it and has a little spice cooked in, it's Really GOOD FOOD.

What you Need:
1 lb ground beef
1 potato per person, chopped in small pieces
1 Anaheim pepper diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup, nonfat do not dilute with water
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

What You Need to do:
Brown beef and onion, garlic, anaheim pepper add potatoes, salt and pepper and cover with water. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Then remove cover and cook out the water. When the hash is fairly dry, add the soup and heat through. I served this today with eggs and toast and homemade Peach Jam



Avocado, Cucumber, Tomato, and Mozzarella salad

Some of my favorite vegetables together in a dressing that is so fresh and delicious; It's Just Really GOOD FOOD.

Servings:4
What you need for the Salad:
2 avocados peeled and quartered
2 cucumbers, peeled, quartered lengthwise & sliced
4 Tomatoes, halved and quartered
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 -8 green onions, tops only, chopped
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes

Dressing:
1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt & pepper


Directions:

Combine ingredients and toss gently
Mix oil & vinegar, add seasoning and whisk thoroughly.
Pour over salad and Enjoy

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Party Fun Treats

My daughter had their annual Halloween Costume Party tonight and it was so much fun
There were treats, good food, punch, drinks, games and more games and costumes, and it was good old fashioned family style, can't beat that.

There were cheese pumpkin dip and a veggie pumpkin tray with a dip




Then we also made some cute halloween candy
poured into molds, this takes some steady hands to get the details

and witches brooms and hats

if you check out my blog I have most of these and other Halloween Recipes include in details
More to come


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tater Tot TACO Bake Casserole


For years one of our favorite casseroles at our house has been Tater Tot Casserole; well here is a little Mexican Spice Side of that Recipe to heat up your kitchen.
It's Such GOOD FOOD you just have to try it soon.

What you Need:
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 small can black olives (sliced)
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen corn
1 (16 ounce) tomatoes with green chilies (drained)
1 (12 ounce) can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (16 ounce) bag shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (16 ounce) package frozen tater tots
1 (10.5 ounce fluid ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 Cup chopped chives or green onions

What you Need to DO:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add ground beef, garlic, and onion and cook and crumble
the meat apart with a spoon or spatula until the ground beef is completely
browned. Drain off any excess fat. Add taco seasoning mix, tomatoes and green chilies, frozen corn,
and black beans to the ground beef. Cook until heated through. In a large bowl combine
ground beef mixture, ¾ of the Mexican cheese blend, and all of the tater tots. Stir
well to combine. Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the prepared
baking dish. Add the tater tot mixture to the baking dish and lightly pat the mixture
down into a solid, even layer. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tater tots.

Place into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. During the last few
minutes of baking, top the casserole with the remaining Mexican cheese blend and the
sliced black olives and chopped chives. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and
bubbly.

Original Recipe Adapted from Justapinch.com

Layered Pumpkin Loaf



Ingredients
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 egg whites, divided
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. Magic Baking Powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg. (250 g) Philadelphia Light Brick Cream Cheese Spread, softened


Instructions
HEAT oven to 350ºF.
MIX pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3 egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl. Add flour, baking powder, spice and salt; stir just until moistened. Beat cream cheese spread, remaining granulated sugar and remaining egg white with whisk until well blended.
SPOON half the pumpkin batter into 9x5-inch nonstick loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray; cover with layers of cream cheese mixture and remaining pumpkin batter.
BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 5 min. or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Loosen bread from sides of pan; cool in pan 10 min. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely.
By kraftrecipes.com

Crock Pot Creamy Salsa Chicken


This is a creamy and a little spicy smooth tasting Mexican Dish to cook up in your Crock Pot that you are going to really Like, want less spice, you can use mild salsa and leave out the Jalapenos, or spice it up more with your choice of favorite spicy Salsa. We serve it over cooked rice usually.

What You Need:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup (I used the cream of chicken)
1 cup salsa-spice(it up how you like it)
1 can corn-drained
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream
1/3 Cup Chopped Jalapenos (I used canned)
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
cilantro, for serving (optional) (I also added a little shredded cheddar-jack, black
beans and green onions on top) serve with rice

What you Need to DO:
Spray crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken on bottom. Pour salsa, corn, jalapenos and lime juice on top. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender. One chicken is tender, reduce to low (stir sour cream and cream soup together then pour on top and stir in -cook about 20 minutes  Serve over rice. Top with a few dashes of hot sauce, chopped cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice.  Enjoy!

-Add a little cheddar cheese and sour cream for additional flavor.
-Not a fan of too much spice/heat, use a mild salsa and skip the jalapenos
 and hot sauce.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grasshopper Bars


I really have always liked mint, and grasshoppers,I like to sprinkle mint chips on top when I can find them too, Mmmm Make some GOOD FOOD!!

What you Need:
1 box chewy fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 (3oz) package cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4  tablespoons créme de menthe, to taste
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
Mint chocolate chips(optional for topping)if you can find these


What You Need to DO:
Prepare fudge mix as directed on package. Bake and let cool completely before frosting.
Combine the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and créme de menthe.
Spread over brownies.
Melt chocolate chips and butter. Pour over frosting and tilt pan to cover completely and form a thin chocolate layer. 
If I can find them I like to sprinkle mint chips on top after frosted too
Refrigerate until cool, cut into squares and serve.