Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meringue Kisses

I've never had the privilege of having a meringue kiss, until now.  I don't know why I've waited my entire life to try them.  The kids said they tasted like marshmallows, and I think I agree with them.  They're a little time consuming, but are so cute and elegant looking, and pretty simple to make (if you can separate egg whites from the yolks).  You get a ton of these cute little Meringue Kisses, but they don't last long, so it's a good thing!  My kids kept snatching them before I even had the chance to dip them in chocolate.  Some were a little more stealthy than other.  The 11, she's like a ninja!  Never saw her coming or leaving.  Now the baby, he could have cared less if I caught him with is cute little fingers wrapped around as many Meringue kisses as they could hold.

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red food coloring
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Place egg whites in a large bowl and beat with beaters until soft peaks form (when you pull the beaters out of the egg whites (while the beaters are off) the whites stick up where the beaters left, but don't stay up).  Add the cream of tarter and gradually pour in the sugar while beating.  Continue beating until stiff peaks form (when you pull the beaters out of the mixture the egg whites stay standing up).  Add in the vanilla and a few drops of the red food coloring and beat for 2 more minutes.  Spoon the mixture into a pipping bag with a 1/4 inch round tip.  Place parchment paper on 2 large baking sheets and pipe kisses onto the sheets about 1/2 inch apart.  To pipe the kisses, hold the tip about 1/2 inch from the baking sheet and squeeze until you have a circle of meringue about 3/4 inch in diameter.  Stop squeezing, then lift the bag straight up.  That will give the kisses the cute little curved tip.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.  Let the kisses cool completely.  Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small microwave safe bowl.  Cook on high in 30 second increments, stirring well after each 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.  Dip the bottom of the kisses in the melted chocolate and set on parchment paper to set.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Linked on The Busy Bee's, Tatertots and Jello Your Home Based Mom, Six Sisters' Stuff and Manic Monday.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Caramel Buttercream Frosting

You know that day that comes once a year?  The one that people seem to get a kick out of celebrating that your hair is more gray, your skin is more wrinkly and your age is quickly approaching ancient (or antique, whichever you prefer)?  Well, I had one of those days last week, and while I prefer people don't rub it in that I'm not as young as I used to be (and never will be again *sigh*), it was quite a lovely day.  It started with my sweet little girls (4 and 6 years old) bringing me a lovely breakfast in bed prepared all by themselves (their favorite little snacks :D)!  I got lots of love notes from my 6 year old (we are officially bff's now!), the sweet hubs cooked lunch and dinner and the older kids did the dishes.  The only thing I did was make the cake, er, cupcakes.

My husband loves turtles.  The chocolate, caramel and pecan candy.  I buy him a box once in a while and the kids pretty much think their mission in life is to sneak into them and then brag to Daddy about it.  It's kind of turned into a little game.  I've started buying turtles for my sweet hubs just so the kids can play their little game.  They even like to tell where they found the turtles, how they got to them, how many they ate, where they ate them, and even where they stashed the wrappers (like, in Daddy's shoes....).

While I was trying to figure out the perfect cupcakes to make, my sweet little 6 year old spied a box of turtles on top of the fridge and suggested we make turtle cupcakes.  She's pretty much brilliant!  This Caramel Buttercream frosting  got to be the caramel part of the turtle cupcakes.  And it was awesome!

2/3 cup butter, divided
1/3 cup brown sugar

Combine 1/3 cup of the butter and the brown sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once the mixture has come to a boil, stir in remaining 1/3 cup butter and stir until melted and mixed in.  Let the mixture come back to a boil and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Combine butter and shortening in a large bowl and beat until they are well mixed and smooth.  Add powdered sugar and mix until well mixed.  Add milk and mix until smooth (should be thick).  Add cooled caramel and mix until well combined.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Manic Monday, Tatertots and Jello and The Busy Bee's.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fried Potatoes

My kids usually don't care much for leftovers.  As a matter of fact, they sometimes tell me they'd rather stave than eat leftovers.  These fried potatoes are one of the few exceptions.  Not sure if it's because they are leftovers made over, or because they're potatoes.  When I boil potatoes I actually boil extras.  On purpose!  Just for these awesome Fried Potatoes.  And there are never any leftovers.  Ever.  Unless you count the few pieces of bell pepper and onion the kids dig out.  I'm still determined to make my kids love bell peppers and onions.

4 to 5 cups diced potatoes (from left over baked or boiled potatoes)
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

Put butter in a large frying pan and heat over medium-high heat until melted.  Add potatoes, pepper, onion and season salt and fry, stirring often, until browned; 10 to 15 minutes.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Show and Tell Saturday, The Busy Bee's, Tatertots and Jello, Manic Monday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grandma's Waffles

There's a waffle truck that has started coming to a park-and-ride about a mile from my house.  It's supposed to have some pretty awesome waffles.  I was going to go and grab me some yummy waffles for lunch today, 'cause that's what all the cool people in the neighborhood do :), but I have 2 sweet little munchkins with colds and I didn't want to take them out in the cold.  Or was it that I really, really dread putting my sweet little 2 year old in his car seat.  It sometimes turns into a 5 minute battle of screaming (him) and crying (him too).  People probably think I'm beating the poor child!  If I can avoid taking him somewhere, I gladly do it.  But I still really wanted some waffles.  Like the strawberry and cream waffles I've heard about.  Just as I was trying to decide if I was ready for battle, I remembered my super way cool waffle maker I got for Christmas.  Well, at least I hoped it was super way cool, since I hadn't tried it out.

I'm pretty sure these waffles could rival the ones from the waffle truck.  They're, light, fluffy, buttery and practically melt in your mouth.  Yep, I'm convinced the waffle truck has nothing on these waffles. 

1 1/3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 eggs , separated
1/2 cup butter , melted
1 3/4 cups milk

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Separate the eggs, adding the yolks to the dry ingredients. Put the whites in a small mixing bowl and beat until stiff; set aside. Add milk and melted butter to dry ingredients and blend. Fold stiff egg whites into the mixture. Ladle mixture (I used 1/2 cup per batch) into hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dirt Cups

Once in a while I make an attempt at being "SuperMom".  This was one of the noble attempts, and honestly, it worked!  The kids, especially the little ones, were highly impressed.  For some reason the older ones are much more difficult to impress.  Or at least getting them to admit they're impressed.  I think my baby was the most impressed.  Mom actually let him eat worms and dirt!  That's not something that happens everyday.

6 (9 ounce) clear plastic cups
4 cups chocolate pudding (I double the recipe for Hasty Chocolate Pudding to use)
18 chocolate sandwhich cookies (like Oreo), crushed
12 candy gummy worms

Divide the chocolate pudding between the cups - about 3/4 cup pudding in each cup.  Divide the cookie crumbs between the cups, then top with 2 candy gummy worms.

* You could layer the pudding and cookie crumbs as well.

Linked on Manic Monday, The Busy Bee's and Whisk Away Wednesday.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fudgy Brownies

I have a confession.  I've never been much of a dark chocolate fan.  If it wasn't milk chocolate, I wasn't about to touch the stuff.  BUT, I would happily hide away with a bag of chocolate chips.  And not the milk chocolate kind.  Little did I realize I was happily feasting on dark(ish) chocolate.  When the realization first struck, I was practically in shock!  Me?  Eating dark chocolate?  Whoa!  After the initial shock wore off, I quickly embraced the delicious and healthy(er-ish) stuff.  (I tried to come up with a more eloquent word than "stuff", but obviously, it didn't happen.)  Who knew dark chocolate could be so down right tasty!? 

Since we're on the topic of dark chocolate + tasty, let me introduce you to, quite possibly, the most heavenly dark chocolate creation ever known to man (aka me).  Fudgy Brownies.  The name doesn't seem to do these rich, dense, fudgy morsels justice.  Maybe this picture will do a better job.  Not justice, but a better job.

See all that glowing in the background?  Pretty sure it's from a halo.  These Fudgy Brownies are heavenly!

1 1/4 cups butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium sized microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted (my butter was frozen and it took 3 minutes). Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one until each egg is thoroughly mixed in. Add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the greased pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 35 to 40 minutes. If you have an ounce or two of will power, let the brownies cool completely before stuffing your face cutting them into squares and eating them like a lady.  Or gentleman.  I was unable to resist the them long enough to let them cool in the pan. Instead I let mine cool under a lovely scoop of vanilla ice cream. 
Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Linked on Tatertots and Jello, Show & Tell Saturday, Show & Tell Saturday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Pamela's Heavenly Treats, Hello Weekend, Sunday FUNday, Manic Monday, Whisk Away Wednesday, The Busy Bee's and Six Sisters' Stuff.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Old Fashioned Mints

Yesterday my sweet (most the time) little 6 year old came home from school and nicely asked insisted I tell her which one of my daughters is the most beautiful girl in the entire world.  That wasn't a hard task.  I quickly told her it was ShAK (shake).  Boy was she confused!  She looked at me like I was crazy and informed me that I didn't have a child with that name. I asked her what the first sound of Shaye's name was.  Sh she told me.  So I asked her what the first sound of her name was.  She told me A (for Asia).  Then I asked her what sound Kailee's name started with.  And she told me K.  I nicely sounded it out for her.  Sh-A-K.  She told me that I couldn't do that.  It just wasn't fair!  Okay, I told her.  The most beautiful girl in the world is KASh (cash).  Once again, she wasn't impressed, and gave up. 

These little beauties, on the other hand, did thoroughly impress the little monkey.  As a matter of fact, I can't think of a single person in the house that wasn't impressed!  These Old Fashioned Mints remind me of the little after dinner butter mints my grandpa used to keep around his house.  They're a bit softer, but just as yummy! 

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
food coloring, optional

Combine butter and salt in a large bowl and beat for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and peppermint extract, and beat on medium-low speed until it forms a dough. Add more powdered sugar or sweetened condensed milk, if needed, to make a soft, but not sticky dough.  If you are coloring the dough, divide dough into as many pieces as colors you are making.  Roll each piece of dough into a ball and make an indentation with your thumb.  Drop a drop or 2 of the food coloring into the indentation and knead until the color is incorporated.  Continue with each color until all pieces of dough are colored.  Break off golf ball sized pieces of dough and roll into a long, skinny rope, about 1/2-inch thick.  Cut into pieces that are about 1/2-inch long.  Let the candies dry on the counter or on a cookie sheet over night, if you can keep little hands off them!

*Next time I'll add 1/2 teaspoon of butter flavoring.  I would have this time, but I was all out.  Sometimes I think there's a ghost in my house that can read my mind and takes things I think about.  How else could I run out of things like ground beef, and chocolate chips!?!

Recipe from Averie Cooks.

Linked on Tatertots and Jello, Show & Tell Saturday, Show & Tell Saturday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Pamela's Heavenly Treats, Hello Weekend, Sunday FUNday, Manic Monday, Whisk Away Wednesday and Six Sisters' Stuff.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hasty Chocolate Pudding

There is no better pudding than homemade, if you ask me.  I usually make vanilla pudding, but once in a while I'll make chocolate.  This Hasty Chocolate Pudding is the best homemade chocolate pudding I've ever made!  It's quick - cooks in the microwave! - and easy.

1/2 cup white sugar 
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder  
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 cups milk

Combine dry ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and whisk until smooth.  Slowly whisk in the milk, making sure there are no lumps.  Place in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes; stir.  Cook in additional 1 minute increments (2 to 4 more minutes) until the pudding is thick and shiny.  Add vanilla and stir well.  Place plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding (to prevent a film from forming) and refrigerate until cold.

Recipe from All Recipes.

Linked on Whisk Away Wednesday, Six Sisters' Stuff, Show & Tell Saturday, Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Pamela's Heavenly Treats, Hello Weekend, Sunday FUNday and Tatertots and Jello.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Candy Sushi

My friend Rachie swore she would NEVER touch sushi.  The near thought of it made her ill.  Not that sushi is my favorite stuff on the planet, but I do enjoy a nice California roll every once in a while.  Being the nice friend that I am, I made her some lovely sushi.

All packaged up in a lovely sushi take out container.  When she first saw it she thought I really made her real sushi.

1 batch crispy rice treats (I used my Crazy Good Crispy Rice Treats)
Green fruit roll ups (I used Jovy green apple because the color is deeper than some of the others I looked at.)
Red and green sour punch straws
Large gummy fish candy

To make the California rolls:
Press about half of the crispy rice treats mixture onto a greased baking sheet and press down until it's about 1/2 inch thick.  Press remaining mixture into a greased 8x8 inch greased pan until it's about 1 inch thick and set aside.  I didn't use the entire pan for either.

Place 2 green (cucumber and avocado) and 1 red (crab) sour straw on the thinner crispy rice close to the edge.  Roll tightly and cut once the crispy rice just covers the sour straws.  Repeat with remaining sour straws and crispy rice mixture.  Cut the fruit roll ups into strips that are wide enough to go around the rolls.  I cut the rounded edges off and used the center part.  My strips ran the length of the fruit roll up (less the rounded edges) and were about 4 inches wide.  Save the scraps.  Wrap the fruit roll up around the roll and press to seal.  Let sit for 1 hour before cutting into 1 inch slices.

Other sushi:
Cut the crispy rice treats in the 8x8 inch pan into about 1x2 inch piece.  Top each piece with a gummy fish candy.  Cut fruit roll up scraps into thin strips (1/4-1/8 inch wide).  Cut strips into lengths to fit around the crispy rice treats with the fish on top, about 5 inches long.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Serendipity and Spice, Whisk Away Wednesday, Six Sisters' Stuff, Show & Tell Saturday, Pamela's Heavenly Treats, Hello Weekend and Tatertots and Jello.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creamy White Chicken Chili

Last night my sweet hubby came home super excited.  He heard on the radio that if you test drove a vehicle from one of the local dealerships, they would give you free tickets to the Utah Jazz vs Miami Heat game that's coming up this next Monday.  Even though I'm not much of a sports fan, I decided to be a good sport and go with him.  To make a long story short, I went to test drive a car for free tickets and walked out with a new car.  Now that's what I call a good salesman!  And a nice impulse purchase. :)

This Creamy White Chicken Chili is fantastic!  I can't think of a better dinner on a cold winter night.  

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups shredded chicken
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I like Franks)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese
2 cups half & half
1 teaspoon cumin
2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chiles
3 (15 ounce) cans navy or white beans, drained

Place butter in a large pot and cook over medium heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour to make a paste.  Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and half & half.  Whisk until is thickens and starts to bubble.  Add cheese and whisk until melted.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until warm.  Do not boil.

Recipe from my friend Nikki.

Linked on Serendipity and Spice and Whisk Away Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes, to say the least, so it always baffles me that my kids aren't fans.  They did come from me, after all.  Granny even thinks sweet potatoes are pretty tasty little buggers, so it baffles me even more that the kids don't like them.  Especially since the kids think Granny is so incredibly cool.  My 11 year old has even informed me that she likes her Granny more than she likes me.  According to the 11 year old, her Papa is #1 on her "like" list with Granny coming in a very close #2.  And if I'm lucky, I'm a very, very distant #3.  On a good day.

This Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole was one of my successful attempts to get the kids to eat sweet potatoes and actually like them.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable for a vegetarian version)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large sweet potatoes (about 4 cups), cubed and boiled until tender
1 cup onion, diced
2 cups red enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
9 corn tortillas, torn into about 8 pieces each
2 cups shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)

Combine quinoa and chicken broth in a medium sized pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until all the broth has been absorbed.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients except cheese.  Mix well and pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro and sour cream, if desired.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Serendipity and Spice and Whisk Away Wednesday.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Susan's Granola

I like new words.  I remember being in 3rd grade and having a substitute teacher.  Her name was Miss Evans and I thought she was super cool.  Super cool because we had the same last name.  And also super cool because she taught me a new word.  Facetious.  I felt so cool using such a big word.  I still use it with my kids when I want to sound smart.  It's strange to me that no matter how smart I really am, or how much schooling I have under my belt, the kids think I'm no smarter than a rock.  My 11 year old doesn't believe a thing I say.  Sometimes I tell her to call Granny when she doesn't believe me on something.  She still thinks Granny is smart.  I thoroughly enjoy the look on her face when Granny tells her I'm right.  Not exactly in those words, though. 

Earlier this year I learned another new word (I learned several new words between 3rd grade and now, but that would be a lot of words to put in a single post!).  This new word was introduced by my husband. Conundrum.  I used to call my mom and tell her I had a dilemma.  She would tell me that dilemma should have been my middle name.  Susan Dilemma, instead of Susan Beth.  After figuring out what conundrum meant, the sweet hubs wouldn't tell me, he said I had to figure it out myself, I called my mom and told her I had a conundrum.  And she knew exactly what I meant.  I told her I was offended that she knew what the word meant and I had gone my entire life in ignorance.

And then this summer my friend Rachie moved into the neighborhood.  She didn't teach me any new words, just reintroduced a couple of old words to my vocabulary.  Rad and dude.  My friend Rachie, she's rad.

This granola is pretty rad too.

6 cups uncooked oatmeal (not instant)
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
3/4 cup wheat germ
2 cups chopped nuts (I used almond and pecans)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water

Combine oatmeal, coconut, wheat germ and nuts in a large bowl.  Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.  Pour over oatmeal mixture and mix well.  Pour onto a large baking sheet and bake at 300 for 1 hour, stirring after every 15 minutes.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original.

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies and Serendipity and Spice.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix

I think I have a bit of an obsession with peppermint candy canes.  I buy them by the case.  Literally.  They're one of my favorite things to buy when they go on clearance after Christmas.  I use them throughout the year in my Peppermint Meltaways, White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake and Candy Cane Hot Chocolate Mix.  I might even have the urge to make Candy Cane Fudge sometime during the year.  I usually break out the candy cane stash in the middle of the summer when I am dreaming of the cooler weather.  And no one complains a bit.  I might get strange looks from the kid's friends, but no complaints.

10 peppermint candy canes
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup powdered creamer
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Break up the candy canes place in the bowl of a food processor and process until the candy canes turn to powder.  Pour candy cane powder into a small bowl and add remaining ingredients; mix well.  To serve, mix 1/3 cup Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix into 3/4 cup hot milk.  Stir well.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Tatertots and Jello.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

General Mills Giveaway Winner!!

Congratulations to the winner of the General Mills Movie Ticket Giveaway, Susan, commenter #5 (selected through!  I've sent you an email with with instructions on how to claim your prize pack.  Enjoy the show!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

I've never been one to eat fruit in salsa.  I've always thought it was weird.  Until I tried this Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip.  It was a life changing moment.  I quickly fell in love with the dip and made some for my sweet hubby.  I had him try it out before dinner and he took the plate and a package of crackers and told me he wasn't going to be hungry for dinner.  I think that was a good sign.

1 bag fresh cranberries
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into 4-6 pieces
1 bunch green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Place cranberries, cilantro, jalapeno and green onions in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Pour into a medium sized bowl and add sugar and cumin; mix well.  Spread cream cheese onto a serving platter and top with desired amount of cranberry salsa (I use about 3/4 of the salsa).  Serve with tortilla chips and/or crackers.

Recipe from my friend Tasha.

Linked on Tatertots and Jello.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...