Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cheesy Bloomin' Onion Bread

Here is a quick and scrumptious appetizer sure to please!  I changed things up a bit by using the same (amounts slightly modified) buttery mixture I use for my Ham and Swiss Party Rolls instead of plain melted butter.  Thanks to my dear friend Avril who introduced me to this yumminess!

Cheesy Bloomin' Onion Bread
Recipe adapted from:  Baking and Creating with Avril
  • 1 loaf crusty Sourdough bread.  You want something with a good crust on it, otherwise, it will not survive the cutting
  • 14 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Melted Butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Green Onions, white and green parts sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bread length-wise and width-wise without cutting through the bottom crust.
Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Insert cheese slices between cuts. Combine butter, Worcestershire Sauce, Dry Mustard,and Onion Powder.  Drizzle over bread. Sprinkle Poppy Seeds and green onions over the top of the bread, making sure to get into each nook and cranny.  Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Unwrap the bread and bake 15 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

This recipe has been linked up at:
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
The Country Cook
This Chick Cooks
Eat at Home

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Choco-Chery Chookies

Kiddo C loves cherries...I mean LOVES cherries.  So, it shouldn't be a shocker that she LOVED these cookies.  I mean, really, who doesn't love that chocolate and cherry combination?!  These cookies are a delightful fudgey brownie like bite with a splendid cherry surprise. 

Choco-Cherry Cookies
Recipe Source:  My Tasty Treasures
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 48 Maraschino Cherries (10 oz jar) undrained.  (I only used about 30-ish)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350.
In a bowl, combine flour and cocoa powder, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on high for 30 seconds.  Beat in sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add in egg and vanilla and continue beating to incorporate.  Slowly, add flour/cocoa mixture. 
Shape dough into 1" balls.  Make an indentation into each cookie with your thumb.  Drain cherries, reserving juice.  Press a cherry (or half of a cherry if they are large) into each cookie.
In a small pan, melt chocolate chips in the sweetened condensed milk.  Add 4 tsp cherry juice.
Spoon 1 tsp frosting over cherry in each cookie.  Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for one minute before removing to rack.

This recipe has been linked to:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
Eat at Home

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pecan Crack

These.  Are.  AMAZING.  Like seriously, unbelievably amazing.  Oh, did I mention super-simple to make to boot?!  Oh, and did I mention that your house will smell so freaking luscious that your neighbors will be walking zombie-like down the sidewalk towards the smell?!  Oh, and did I mention they are AMAZING?!  OK, enough of that...go and make these immediately.  I will wait until after the holidays for the songs of gratitude to be written in my honor.  I am a giver that way ;)

Pecan Crack
  • 1 pound Pecan halves
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
Beat the egg white and vanilla together until frothy. Stir in one pound of pecan halves into the mixture. Stir to coat.
In another bowl, mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, and  pumpkin pie spice. Pour sugar mixture into moistened pecans. Thoroughly mix so that pecans are well coated with sugar and spice combination.
Spread on large cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Even though it may not look like it is working, the last 10 minutes or so it really starts drying out and getting that amazing candy crunch on the outside.

This recipe has been linked up at:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home

Friday, December 16, 2011

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies

These are fabulous cookies....dare I say my favorite of all the auditioning newbies.  Butter-y, vanilla-y, with a sublime crispy/chewy thing going on.  Even my coconut-hating husband loved them!  The oatmeal and coconut just lend the right amount of flavor and texture to kick these babies right to the permanent Goody Tray' shizzle!

Oatmeal Coconut Chewies
Recipe Source:  My Tasty Treasures via Mel's Kitchen Cafe
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup quick oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined (silpat or parchment) baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set but not overly browned (bake a few minutes longer for a crispier version).

This recipe has been linked up at:
This Chick Cooks
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Goody Platters

...SHHH!  Don't tell my neighbors, the Fire Department or the Police Station in my neighborhood, but here are the goodies that will be on this year's Holiday Goody Platters.  There are pictures and links to the recipes I already have on the blog, but I need your help deciding which others to share sooner rather than later.  What, of these goodies would you like the recipe for right away?  Give me your top 3 and I will FOR SURE get those posted by Monday, pinky promise! :)  Hopefully I can squeeze in a few more between Monday and Saturday. 
Hope you are all remembering to have FUN and take time for extra snuggles during this crazy time of year!

~Holiday Spiced and Roasted Candied Pecans, aka Pecan Crack
~Melted Snowman Cookies
~Oatmeal Coconut Chewies
~Coco-Cherry Cookies
~Deconstructed Popcorn Balls
~Super Simple Peanut Butter Fudge
~Peanut Butter Blossoms
~White Trash Candy  (The name of this CRACKS me up)
~Graham Cracker Toffee
~Nutella Potato Candy
~Cream Cheese Mints
~Holiday Nuggets (an almond-y, shortbread-y cookie that looks like a sparkly Mexican Wedding Cookie)

Reindeer Poop  -  I will make these into small truffle-sized balls....hey, my kiddos named them, lol!

Blinged-Out Holiday Rolo Turtles  -  Will drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkle with red and green sprinkles

Brown Butter Sea Salt Rice Krispy Treats  -  Again, will dress these bad-boys up with a drizzle of white chocolate and holiday sparkly goodies

And here are some additional ideas for your holiday platter:

This post has been linked up at:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Scooter's Baked Spaghetti

We are back from Texas.....WHEW, what a trip!  I think I deserve an award or something for going on a 3-day-each-way road trip by myself with 3 kiddos.  Or maybe a weekend spa getaway.  Or maybe a week-long nap.  Or maybe some of my favorite Sara Bee wine administered by intravenous drip.
We had a great time and the road trip was actually a breeze.  The kiddos were GREAT and there were no problems.  The only meltdowns/temper-tantrums were from me, lol!
During this time of the year, I firmly believe it is of the utmost importance to keep some sense of normalcy.  It is too easy to get swept up in the craziness.  For me, keeping up with family dinners is vital.  Not only does it ground you and remind you of what is really important, but it nourishes your body and soul for this stress-laden season.
This recipe has turned into a family favorite for sure.  The unique combination of ingredients gives is an almost lasagna-type quality.  Ohhh, the French Fried Onions really bump it up a notch and give such a great flavor and texture.  It is a cinch to make and would be a great dish to put together in the morning (sans French Fried Onions) and simply bake when you are ready.  We all really, really loved it!

Scooter's Baked Spaghetti
Recipe adapted from: Salad in a Jar
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (26.5 ounces)    
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided 
  • French Fried Onions (small can)
Cook spaghetti according to directions on the package. Cook to al dente, drain and set aside.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese and milk.  If your cream cheese is not soft enough, you can stick it in the microwave for a few seconds.  It should be able to spread easily.  Set aside.
In a skillet, saute the onions and peppers until translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, but do not let it burn.  Combine vegetables to cream cheese mixture.  Add 1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese and 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese to the cream cheese/veggie mixture and stir to incorporate.
In same skillet (less dishes) brown ground beef. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat.

Using a 10 x 6 dish (I used a 9x13 and was ok), assemble in the following order:
Thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Spaghetti Noodles
Cream cheese/vegetable/cheese mixture
Spaghetti Meat sauce
Remaining cup of Mozzarella Cheese and remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese (or more taste of course)
French Fried Onions (added during last 5 minutes of cooking)

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes. (This is the secret ingredient–don’t let them burn.)

Make this ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze without the French Fried onions. Don’t forget to add them 5 minutes before casserole is finished cooking.

This recipe has been linked up to:
The Counrty Cook
Tidy Mom
Simply Sweet Home
This Chick Cooks

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Plan 12/5 - 12/10

Can I just say how happy I am to make and eat a homemade dinner?!  After about 2+ weeks of eating out and on the road, I am over to moon to dirty up my kitchen.  So, before I give you my final post on the Texas trip, here is my weekly menu plan:

Monday - Pulled Chicken Suiza Melts, Tortilla Chips (new)

Tuesday- BBQ Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Wednesday- Cranberry Mustard Pork Tenderloin, Rice, Salad
Thursday- Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken, Rice, Potstickers
Friday- Salmon, Cucumber Dill Relish, Rice Pilaf, Green Beans
Saturday- Roasted Green Bean and Red Potato Soup, Cornbread (new)