Friday, November 30, 2012

Easy Chocolate Truffles

I am still amazed at how easy and incredibly delicious these little buggers are.  And they only have 3 ingredients!  Easy, delicious and only 3 ingredients?  Can you guess what will end up on the goodie trays my friends and neighbors will be getting in a couple weeks?  These Easy Chocolate Truffles. 

2 (11.5 ounce) bags milk chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
12 chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos), crushed (I used mint filled Oreos.  YUM!!!)

Place chocolate chips in a large microwave safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until chocolate chips are melted.  Let the chocolate cool for 5 minutes, then stir in the whipped topping until smooth and well combined.  Place mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  Roll the chocolate mixture into small balls and roll in the crushed chocolate sandwich cookies.

It's easiest to have a little helper when rolling the balls.  One to roll the chocolate mixture and one to roll them in the crumbs.  It's not hard to do both alone, just a little easier with a little helper.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Tatertots and Jello and Show Me What Ya Got!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Muffins

I can't believe it's almost December!  Christmas is quickly on it's way and the end of the year is on it's tail.  I hope you all take a little time to slow down and enjoy the wonderful season.  The smells, the sounds, the lights, the spirit.  Happy holidays!

I always get excited for fresh cranberries.  Fresh cranberries always mean Christmas Muffins.  I kinda like LOVE these Christmas muffins.  They are full of fruit and spices and are delicious!  Now if only I could get the kids to like cranberries......

¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sat
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup butter, melted
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
1 ½ cups cranberries, chopped
1 ½ cups apple, chopped

Mix together sugars, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  Make a well in the center, add the melted butter, milk and eggs, mix until smooth.  Stir in cranberries and apples.  Spoon batter into muffin pan until cups ¾ full.  Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Recipe from???

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Tatertots and Jello.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crazy Good Crispy Rice Treats

I've never been the biggest fan of crispy rice treats.  I'd eat one here and there, but never have a second.  Until I had one at Bunko.  And then a second.  I couldn't believe how good they were and asked the hostess what her secret was.  She laughed and told me it was an insane amount of butter.  I played around with them and come to find out, she was right.  Lots of butter makes some Crazy Good Crispy Rice Treats!

1 (10.5 ounce) bag marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
4 cups crispy rice cereal

Combine marshmallows and butter in a large microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until marshmallows and butter are melted; about 2 minutes total.  Once marshmallows are melted, add crispy rice cereal and mix until thoroughly combined.  Pour mixture into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan and press down (I grease my hands and use my hands).  Let sit for at least 1 hour before cutting.

Recipe from They Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Soft Sugar Cookies

I don't think the holidays would be complete without Soft Sugar Cookies.  From Valentines to Christmas, Soft Sugar Cookies are a must!  These Soft Sugar Cookies are perfect for cutting out festive shapes (or not so festive shapes). The dough is easy to work with and the cookies come out soft and delicious.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
6-7 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking powder

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs, vanilla and sour cream.  Combine with dry ingredients and mix well.  Roll out to about 1/4 inch thick and cut.  Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Corn Chowder

I'm not a fan of the cold.  The kids get stir crazy, which drives me crazy and makes me grumpy.  And it's cold.  I really, really don't like to be cold.  When I start to shiver I really shiver.  It takes, what seems like, forever to warm up and then my body aches because of the shivers. 

On the bright side, cold weather is a great excuse to make soups, stews, and chilies.  Like this Corn Chowder.  I was surprised how well it went over with the kids.  Most of them had seconds!

8 ounces bacon
6 cups diced onions 
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
12 cups chicken stock
6 cups diced potatoes
3 (16 ounce) packages frozen corn kernels
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and crumble; save for garnish. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the bacon fat, cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are tender and translucent. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken stock. Add potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the corn to the soup. Next add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted (do not boil!). Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve topped with bacon.

Recipe adapted from Skip to my Lou.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin!

I have a serious thing for pumpkin.  Love the stuff and still can't seem to get enough!  If you're a fan of pumpkin too, this is for you.  Here are my 5 most viewed pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Poppers - A cross between and muffin and a doughnut hole. 

Kneaders Pumpkin Bread (with chocolate chips) - Enough said.

Pumpkin Pancakes - A perfect pair with real maple syrup.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting - Almost too good to be true.  Almost.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice - I love DIY mixes!!

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ricotta Gnocchi

I've never made my own pasta before, but this Ricotta Gnocchi was so simple!  Not only was it easy, it was delicious.  After cooking the Ricotta Gnocchi, I fried it in butter and sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese.  It was good, very good!  It would also be fantastic in soup or with a pasta sauce. 

1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, except flour, and mix well.  Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is soft and sticky.  Pour the dough out on a floured surface and knead in remaining 1/2 cup flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Divide dough into 6 pieces.  Roll each piece into a rope that is about 1/2 inch thick.  Slice into 1 inch pieces.  When the water is boiling, drop the gnocchi into the water.  When the gnocchi is all floating, cook for 30 more seconds.  Remove gnocchi from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander.

Recipe from Budget Bytes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chocolate Cake Balls Pops

Calling all chocoholics!  These Chocolate Cake Ball Pops are for you.  They're chocolate x 3 and amazing!  My kids loved them so much they wanted to share them.  With everyone.  Friends, teachers, neighbors.....  After sampling multiples, of course.  I loved them so much I wanted to share them too.  To keep myself from eating them.

 I'm drooling!

All packaged up for my girls to take to their teachers.  They LOVE their teachers!
1 package chocolate cake mix (or your favorite chocolate cake recipe) baked according to package directions and cooled
1 1/2 cups chocolate frosting (I used this Chocolate Frosting)
3 cups milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet would work as well)
2 tablespoons shortening
Sprinkles, optional

Crumble cake into a large bowl and add 1 cup of the chocolate frosting; mix well.  Add remaining frosting, a little at a time, if needed, to make a mixture that holds together.  Shape into small balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place a sucker stick into the balls and press well into the cake ball (I go all the way to the bottom of the cake ball).  Place cake balls in the refrigerator and cool for at least 1 hour.  Combine chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring well after each 30 seconds, until the everything is melted and smooth.  Remove cake ball pops from the refrigerator and dip into the chocolate, one at a time (I like to dip just the top part of the stick as well.  I think it helps the ball stay on.  Hold the pop above the chocolate to let the excess chocolate drip off (I hold it for 10 to 15 seconds and I hold the pop side ways instead of upside down to help prevent the ball from falling off).  Place pop back on the parchment paper and sprinkle with sprinkles, if desired.  You can also put the pops in a glass with the pops up after dipping if you prefer them without the flat side.  I like the flat bottom because I think they are easier to serve.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Oh.  My.  Goodness!  These have got to be the best cinnamon rolls in the world!  I just love copy-cat recipes.  They're usually packed full of awesomeness and these Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls were no different.  They're awesome!  They came out soft and tender and just plain tasty.  I loved them, the family loved them, and I'm sure you will love them!  Make them now and you can thank me later. :)

1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt

Combine flour and yeast in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients for the dough and mix well.  Add in 2 cups of the flour mixture and mix well.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until the dough is soft and not too sticky.  Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then cover and let rise until doubled.  In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling.  Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with the 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roll the dough, starting at the long end, into a tight roll.  Seal the seam by pinching the dough.  Cut the dough into 12 even rolls and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.  Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  While rolls are baking, beat together icing ingredients until smooth.  Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Cookie Dough Dip

I'll let you in on a little secret.  This Pumpkin Cookie Dough Dip is healthy!  Did I mention it's also delicious and doesn't taste healthy?  Well, it is, and it doesn't.  My kids loved dipping the little graham crackers into the dip and eating it.

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1 (15 ounce) can white beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup quick oats
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil or butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk, if needed

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor except milk and process until smooth.  Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed for consistency.  I sprinkled the dip with a few mini chocolate chips because we love Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies so much and served it with graham cracker sticks.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Berry and Feta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

I woke up to snow this morning.  Snow!  I'm not ready for snow.  If you ask me, snow is a 4-letter word.  You know, the bad kind of word Mama would wash your (or your brother's) mouth out with soap for using.

The snow had me contemplating a nice hot cup of Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate, but as I was out shopping this morning, I saw some beautiful raspberries and black berries that made me think of summer.   Thoughts of summer on a cold fall day was just what I needed, so I bought some berries.  To make them last a little longer than just eating them alone, I made this amazing Berry and Feta Salad with Lime Vinaigrette.  It made the perfect lunch along with my turkey sandwich.

1 (5 ounce) bag sweet baby lettuce mix - spring mix would also work well
1 head romaine lettuce, torn or chopped into large bite sized pieces - a 5(ish) ounce bag would work well
1 (12 ounce) container raspberries
1 (12 ounce) container black berries
1 (4 ounce) container feta cheese crumbles
1 cup sugared pecans

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil (I prefer extra virgin)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well with a whisk; set aside.  Combine lettuces and toss to combine.  Just before serving add berries, feta cheese crumbles and sugared pecans; toss lightly.  Serve drizzled with a small amount of dressing.  Dressing could also be mixed into the salad.  Just add to taste.

Recipe from The Royal Cook, an original!

Linked on Tatertots and Jello.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Where are Grandpa's Dentures?

Have you ever seen Meet the Robinson's?  You know the part where the grandpa is searching for his teeth?  For some reason, these "Grandpa's Dentures" remind me of that part of the movie.

If your kids, grandkids, or even you, are like my kiddos, this is the perfect snack for you!  When I buy snacks for my kids, I buy the stuff I would have loved as a kid.  But for some reason, my kids are still just as bored with their snacks as I was with mine.  They definitely weren't bored eating Grandpa's Dentures!  They all loved them, and they weren't too hard to make.  Bonus!  They were even tasty.  Double bonus!

1 red apple, cut in half and cored, then sliced
peanut butter
miniature marshmallows

Take each apple slice and pat dry with a paper towel.  Spread one side of each apple with peanut butter.  Place marshmallows along the outer edge (by the peel) of half of the apple slices.  Top with another apple slice with the peanut butter side down on the marshmallows.


Linked on Tatertots and Jello.
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