Saturday, March 31, 2012

Coke Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup Coke (not diet)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup Coke (not diet)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans - optional

Place flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Combine butter, cocoa powder, Coke and buttermilk in a small sauce pan.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients.  Mix well, then add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well and pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  While cake is baking, combine butter, cocoa powder and Coke for the glaze and heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Add pecans and mix well.  Pour over hot cake.  Let cool completely.

I sometimes will heat up the cake to serve and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  YUM!!

Recipe from May Flaum.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs

I don't think it would be Easter without a Cadbury Creme Egg or 2 (dozen....). My 3 year old had fun making them with me (she's the best "taster" girl ever!) and all of the kids had fun eating them.

1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
pinch salt
1 pound chocolate chips, melts, or bark
1 tablespoon shortening (if using chocolate chips)

Beat together butter and corn syrup until smooth. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat until smooth and combined. You may need to stir in the last cup or so by hand. Place about 1/3 of the dough in a separate bowl and color with yellow food coloring (I used about 3 drops, but think 1 more would have been better to help the yellow stand out a little more). Divide white dough into even pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet (I used my small cookie scoop and ended up with 22 pieces). Divide yellow dough in to an equal number of pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet (I used a baby spoon for the yellow). Chill dough for 20 to 30 minutes to stiffen up a bit (it will be a bit sticky). Remove dough from the fridge and roll the yellow dough into balls. I put powdered sugar on my hands to keep the dough from sticking. Flatten each white piece of dough a bit and place a yellow piece in the center of the white dough. Wrap the white dough around the yellow and form into a ball (or egg shape). Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, heat in 30 second increments at 50% power. Stir well after each heating. Dip each egg in chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper to dry.

Recipe adapted from Raising 4 Princesses.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday and Get Your Brag On.

Strawberry Filling

I love strawberries. If I had to pick a favorite fruit, strawberries would be a strong contender. My kids all love strawberries too. Maybe that's why they're all so sweet! :) My little 6 year old requested Strawberry Filling in her birthday cake this year so I made this yummy filling for her. She loved it both in her cake and when she licked the pan. This Strawberry Filling is also fantastic on ice cream.

1 (16 oz) bag frozen strawberries, thawed
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch

Puree strawberries in a blender. Pour sugar and cornstarch into a medium pan and whisk to combine. Add Pureed strawberries and whisk until smooth and combined. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Recipe adapted from Baking Junkie.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vanilla Mousse

I decided to make my little girls birthday cake this year. I usually leave it up to the bakery, but decided to do it on my own this year. Mainly because she wanted a heart shaped cake and the bakery doesn't make heart shaped cakes. :) She requested strawberry filling and creamy filling. This Vanilla Mousse was perfect! She loved it and so did the rest of the family. Not only is it a great filling, it's also a delicious dessert on its own. Well, maybe with some berries.

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small bowl and let stand 1 minute to soften. Add boiling water and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Let cool slightly. In a medium bowl mix together sugar, whipping cream and vanilla. Beat with beaters on medium speed until mixture is stiff. Add gelatin mixture and beat until well blended.

Recipe adapted from Real Mom Kitchen.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Granny's Farm Pancakes

Granny's Farm Pancakes are my 10 year old's favorite pancakes. I don't think it hurts that her favorite people in the world are her Granny and Papa. :) The pancakes are light fluffy and really good. I still haven't met a pancake I didn't like.

3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil 

Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour about 1/4 cup batter at a time onto a hot griddle. Cook until bubbles appear in the center of the pancake, then flip and cook until golden.

Recipe from my mom.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Smooth As Silk Frosting

This frosting really is as smooth as silk. I have never had such a silky smooth frosting. And the taste? Amazing! It's not as sweet as a buttercream frosting (like my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting), but every bit as delicious. I think I might have eaten a little too much before it went onto the cake. Maybe.....

Smooth As Silk Frosting takes a little time to make, but is worth every minute. It starts with a white sauce and ends with silky smooth perfection. Even my frosting hater loved it! I know, I know. Who doesn't love frosting? She is a bit weird. :)

3 tablespoon Flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup real butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Cook until the mixture is thick enough that you can see the bottom of the pan while stirring. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Once it has cooled off some, you can put it in the fridge. Combine sugar and butter and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and thickened milk mixture. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fully (it took me just over 5 minutes). When it is finished you shouldn't be able to feel any of the sugar.

Recipe from Our Best Bites.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Susan's Tex-Mex Casserole

We love anything that could be considered Mexican food (by any stretch of the imagination).  Tex-Mex, Americanized Mexican, or authentic Mexican.  This Tex-Mex Casserole (or layered Tex-Mex bake for the "casserole" haters out there :)) was a hit with the entire family.  I loved how easy it was to throw together and the hubby loved how hearty it was with the beans and corn. 

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups enchilada sauce (I used a packet mix, could also use a 28 ounce can)
1 can black olives, sliced
18 corn tortillas
4 cups Monterrey jack cheese, shredded

Brown ground beef with onion.  Add enchilada sauce, corn, beans and olives.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and place about 1/2 cup meat mixture on the bottom of the pan and spread.  Layer 6 tortillas, 1/3 meat mixture and 1/3 of the cheese.  Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with the cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until it is bubbly and the cheese is melted.  Top with sour cream and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Homemade Wheat Thins

Homemade Wheat Thins? How cool is that? My kids (and I) love crackers, so I was excited to try these out. I thought they turned out great. They didn't taste just like the ones you buy at the store, but were a good wheat cracker. The thinner you make them, the better.

1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour*
1 ½ tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons butter, cut up
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon vanilla
salt for topping

Preheat oven to 400. In a food processor bowl combine the whole wheat flour (*start with 1 cup + 2 tablespoons and add the last 2 tablespoons at the end if needed), sugar, salt, paprika and butter. Pulse until you get fine crumbs. Combine water, honey and vanilla and pour over dry mixture. Process until everything is evenly combined. Don't over mix. Form into a ball and cut into 4 pieces.  Cover the dough until ready to use.  Roll one piece at a time as thin as you can and cut into squares. Place cut crackers onto cookie sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until light brown and crisp.

Recipe from Home Cooking in Montana.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

This is one of those quick and easy meals for when I forget we are supposed to eat in the evening time. At least until I hear "I'm hungryyyyyy", "When's dinner?", "Mom, I'm starving!" at least 20 times each. Luckily, I usually keep everything on hand that I need for them. It doesn't hurt that the kids love them either. The baby loves anything he can dip (although, he usually just sucks the dip off and double dips, then triple dips, etc), and the kids all love pepperoni (my 6 year old called it macaroni for the longest time. Very cute if you ask me :)).

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cut pepperoni
1/2 cup pizza sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Whisk in the milk and egg, then stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups (you will probably end up with some leftover batter. I used regular muffin tins for the leftovers). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden. Heat the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Recipe from Lick the bowl good.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wheat and Black Bean Chili

Don't tune out just because the word wheat is in the title. This Wheat and Black Bean Chili is really, really good! I loved it. The kids weren't too big on the texture of the wheat, but loved everything else about it. It's hearty, spicy and just plain good! Oh! Did I mention it's healthy too?

2 tablespoons oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper,chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (I only took a couple spoon fulls of the sauce off the top of the peppers. That stuff is spicy! I think my entire can only had 2 peppers in it. If I used both of them I think I would have killed us all with the spice. Moral of the story? Start out with less and add more if you would like.)
2 cups broth (I used beef)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place wheat and salt in a medium sized pan. Add 3 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour (you can do this step ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use). Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chipotle to taste, broth and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in cooked wheat and heat through, about 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lime juice. Garnish each bowl with avocado and cilantro.

Recipe from Eating Well.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes (aka Crack Potatoes)

Oh boy! Do I have a scrumdidilyumptious (thank you Willy Wonka for my word of the day) potato recipe for you! These Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes are SO good! The kids devoured them, the hubby devoured them, and even I devoured them.

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes are creamy, saucy, cheesy, bacony, ranchy goodness. If you like those things, you will love these taters.

2 (16 ounce) containers sour cream (I used fat free
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (3 ounce) bags real bacon bits
2 packages dry ranch dressing mix
1 (28 - 30 ounce) bag frozen hash browns

Combine sour cream, cheese, bacon bits and ranch mix and mix until smooth. Add in frozen hash browns and stir until well coated. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake at 400 for 45 minutes.

Recipe from Plain Chicken.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Healthy(er) Banana Bread

I have a Banana Bread recipe that I absolutely adore. It's fantastic, but I wanted to lighten it up just a bit and make it a little healthier without losing the taste or texture. I didn't go too crazy, but did make some changes. The family didn't notice a difference and quickly ate it up.

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sour milk
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour into 1 large or 2 medium loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Baggie Ice Cream - Fun For the Kids!

Did you know you can actually make ice cream in a baggie? Really, you can! No ice cream machine needed. One of the cool things about Baggie Ice Cream is that the kids can do it all by themselves! Unless, of course, you have little ones, then you might need to help shake. Who needs a shake weight when you can make Baggie Ice Cream?

Baggie Ice Cream was another one of the snacks my 3 year old and I made during our winter theme at preschool. She insisted on putting sprinkles on top. Sprinkles do make everything taste better. Maybe I should try them on my kids food when they don't want to eat.

1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons ice cream salt

Pour the milk, sugar and vanilla into a sandwich sized zip bag. Squeeze out the air and seal. Put packing tape along the top of the bag to make sure it doesn't spill out. Fill a 6 cup(ish) container 2/3 of the way full of ice (you could also use a gallon sized zip bag if you prefer and fill about 1/2 way full of ice). Sprinkle ice cream salt over the ice, then add the baggie filled with the ice cream mixture. Seal the lid and shake, shake, shake! It takes about 5 minutes of shaking before the ice cream is ready. It will be about the consistency of soft serve ice cream. To get the ice cream out, I quickly run the baggie under cold water, then snip off one corner and squeeze the ice cream out.

Recipe adapted from an activity at Thanksgiving Point.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pizza Factory Bread Sticks

These Pizza Factory Bread Sticks were awesome! They were so tender and just plain good! I made them for dinner when my in-laws were over and they were a hit with everyone. I could seriously eat just the bread sticks for my entire meal. Yeah, they are that good. Go ahead and make some soon. And since you'll thank me, you're welcome. :)

2 1/4 cups hot tap water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
5 to 5 cups flour

6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 teaspoon garlic salt
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Combine in the bowl of a mixer, water, sugar, salt, yeast, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 3-4 minutes. On greased counter top, break off pieces of dough a little larger than a golf ball and roll into thin ropes. Twist two ropes together and pinch the ends so they stay. Place on a buttered (butter makes them better :)) cookie sheet and let rise for about 30 minutes, or until the bread sticks double in size. Bake at 375 for 14 minutes. If you want them to be just like Pizza Factory's, use dowels (or skewers) and twist the dough around them and bake for 12 minutes. While the bread sticks are baking, combine seasonings and melted butter. Brush over the bread stick when you take them out of the oven. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Recipe adapted from PTITCHEF.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Olive Penguins

Aren't these Olive Penguins the cutest things ever!?! They are also delicious. Cute and delicious? Can't beat that. Who knew cream cheese and olives were SO good together? One of my new favorite snacks. :)

For preschool with my 3 year old, we were learning about winter. What better snack than cold loving (edible) penguins? She not only love eating them, but also like to help put them together. She was even nice enough to save a couple for her big sissy who was at school when we made them. What a little sweetie!

These Olive Penguins would be super cute for a winter party.

1 can jumbo olive
1 can small or medium olives
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
1 carrot, sliced

Take the jumbo olives and cut about 1/4 of the olive off (up and down where the belly of the penguin will be. Feel free to eat the part you cut out. We love olives and didn't let a single piece go to waste :)). Fill each of the jumbo olives with cream cheese. Take each carrot slice and cut a small triangle out. To assemble, place a carrot slice down first with the cut out part to the front. Place a jumbo olive on top of the carrot with the white, cream cheese, side toward the front. Top with a small or medium olive with the cut out circle end toward you. Push a toothpick down through the center to hold the penguin together. Put the carrot triangle in the circle for the beak. Enjoy your cute and yummy snack!

Linked on Get Your Brag On and Meatless Monday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Royal Icing

This royal icing makes some fancy shcmancy cookies! It takes a bit of time, but is a lot of fun to work with and the cookies come out SO cute. The kids were at school when I made them and sure were impressed. They loved my little heart design and how smooth they were. They kept asking me how I did it, but I kept it as my little secret.

If you are looking for something a little (okay, a lot :)) quicker, try my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. It's amazingly delicious!

4 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until stiff peaks form. (Make sure all bowls and utensils are totally grease-free or your icing will never reach proper consistency.) For each color of icing you want, spoon some of the thick white icing into individual bowls and add coloring. Place about half of each colored icing in a piping bag. Thin the other half of the colored icing by adding 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the icing is about the consistency of corn syrup. Place each color of thinned icing in a piping bag or squeeze bottle.

To use. Out line the area you want colored with the thicker icing. Let dry for at least 30 minutes, then fill in with the thinner icing. You can use a toothpick to spread the thinner icing if needed. Let dry at least 1 hour.

Recipe from Glorious Treats.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday

Monday, March 12, 2012

World Famous Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies

I haven't ever been to Paradise Bakery, so I don't know how they compare, but these World Famous Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies come out crispy and practically melt in your mouth. They were a hit with the kids, but I think anything would be that I called a cookie. :)

1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups shortening (I used butter flavored)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1/3 cup corn starch
3 1/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer. Mix on medium and mix for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not over mix. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours. Roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes and place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden.

Recipe adapted from Kari's Cooking.

Linked on Get Your Brag On and Sweets for a Saturday.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

This Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce is so easy to make and is really good. Just throw everything in your crock pot and forget about it. Well, for 8 hours. The flavors are really enhanced by the long, slow cooking process. And you don't even have to do anything to it but pour it in the crock pot and then eat it. That's my kind of recipe. :)

If you like a little meat in your sauce, cook the meat and throw it in the sauce right before eating. Italian sausage is my favorite.

3 (15 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Just before serving, remove bay leaves and discard. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.

Linked on Get Your Brag On.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Queso Blanco Dip (White Cheese Dip)

This dip is creamy cheesy and totally dip-able! It has great flavor and was loved by all. Did I mention it is a restaurant recipe? Not sure which one, but it is. After just one bite, you'll be in love.

1 1/4 lb White American Cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup diced green chiles
2 pickled jalapenos, chopped
1 ounce pickled jalapeno juice
2/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cold water
pinch of cumin (optional)

Toss all ingredients into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute. The mixture might seem watery during the first few stirs, but should come together as a nice runny dip after all the cheese is melted.

*Reheat Instructions: Store any leftover cheese dip in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until creamy and hot.

Recipe from Pennies on a Platter.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cheesy Artichoke Dip

I made this amazing Cheesy Artichoke Dip for the Super Bowl last month. I know it's been a while, but it's definitely worth wait. It's creamy, cheesy and just plain fantastic. Out of all the dips I made, this was my favorite and my hubby's favorite. The baby (okay, toddler) even loved it!

1 cup mayonnaise
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 can diced green chilies
1 can artichoke hearts

Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until cheeses melt. Serve warm.

Recipe from my friend Connie.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Layered Bean Dip

My hubby LOVES Layered Bean Dip. He actually asks me to make it once in a while, and that's really saying something! The entire family loves this dip. It is so cute to watch the little ones dip their chips in it. Especially the 1 year old.

1 can re-fried beans
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 to 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/3 to 1/2 cup sliced olives

Spread beans on the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch dish. Spread sour cream on top of beans, then sprinkle with cheese, green onions, tomatoes and olives.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

7 Layer Tostadas

These 7 layer Tostadas turned out SO good. The kids loved making their own and I loved how easy they were. I have made tostadas several times before, but these were the best tostadas ever!

1 can re-fried beans
1 1/2 cups guacamole
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp taco seasoning
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced black olives
6-8 tortillas - I used corn
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly brush tortillas with oil and lay on a cookie sheet. Bake until crisp, flipping about every minute (it takes about 4 to 5 minutes for them to cook). Combine beans and taco seasoning in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until warm. To assemble tostadas, spread beans on tortilla, then guacamole, then sour cream. Top with cheese, tomatoes, green onions and olives.

Recipe adapted from Lemon Glaze.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Corn Bread Pancakes with Honey Butter Syrup

Another fantastic pancake recipe. Corn Bread Pancakes topped with Honey Butter Syrup. The family all liked the pancakes, but the kids weren't too into the the syrup (it's not maple). I loved the syrup and thought it went perfect with the pancakes.

2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp applesauce

Place cornmeal in a bowl. Heat buttermilk in a microwave safe container until it just comes to a simmer. Pour buttermilk over cornmeal, mix well, and let stand for 5 minutes. Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. Add sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and applesauce to the cornmeal. Gently whisk in dry mixture and stir just until combine, batter should be slightly lumpy. Butter griddle and pour 1/4 cup mixture onto griddle at a time. Flip pancake when bubbles start to appear on surface and bottom is golden. Cook opposite side until golden. Serve warm with honey butter syrup.

Honey Butter Syrup

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat , stir powdered sugar and honey and whisk until combine. Mix in buttermilk. Bring mixture just to a boil stirring constantly, then remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp baking soda. Stir mixture until frothy about 10 seconds. Serve warm.
Store syrup in refrigerator in an airtight container up to one week, reheat in the microwave until warm.

Recipe from Cooking Classy.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday and Get Your Brag On.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fantastic Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

My kids LOVE oatmeal cookie sandwiches. I like them just fine, but decided to make them even better. Chocolate chips make everything better, right? These Fantastic Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches really are fantastic. A bit rich, but fantastic! The family loved them. YUM!!

1 pound butter (no substitutes)
1 ½ cup sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 tablespoons vanilla
3 eggs
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups flour
4 cups chocolate chips
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Cream butter and sugars. Add vanilla, eggs, salt and soda. Blend flour in well. Fold in chocolate chips. Form dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to cooling rack and cool completely. To assemble: Pipe or spread frosting onto the back of a cookie, then top with a second cookie. Roll in sprinkles, if desired.

Linked on Sweets for a Saturday and Country Mamma Cooks.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Red Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

I am not a fan of red enchilada sauce from a can, but we love enchiladas. So, I was really excited when I found a recipe that lets me make my own red enchilada sauce. It does take a little longer, but it is well worth it. These Red Sauce Chicken Enchiladas are fabulous!

1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas (fajita-size for flour tortillas)
cooking spray
salt and ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside. Cut or shred chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the onion mixture in the large bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Heat oven to 400 F. Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes.
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