Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Pretzel Treats...



These are from the Family Fun website.  They are SOOOO easy and quick to make and are an sweet and salty treat!  I great treat to make with the little ones!

Ingredients:
Bite size, waffle shaped pretzels
M & M's
Hershey kisses and hugs


  1. Heat the oven to 170F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug.


  2. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M's candy into the center of each Kiss.


  3. Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes. Place handfuls of the candies in clear plastic bags and tie on colorful ribbons.


    ****The hershey kisses took 4 minutes for me.  The Hugs I had a real hard time getting perfect but seemed to work best around 3 minutes!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Italian Wedding Soup....





I have never had Italian Wedding Soup...but when I saw this recipe on For the love of Cooking, I KNEW I had to make it!!  It was SOOOO yummy.  It will definitely be a keeper for many years to come!! Thanks For the Love of Cooking!!!


Meatballs:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tsp sweet yellow onion, diced finely
  • 2 tbsp Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup garlic and herb bread crumbs
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients gently with your fingers until well mixed. Roll into very small meatballs.
Place the meatballs on a baking sheet coated with parchment paper or tin foil coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until done through. Don't overcook! Remove from oven and set aside.
Soup:
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules or chicken base 
  • 9-10 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of stars pasta
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • Asiago cheese, grated for topping
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes; add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 60 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the basil, oregano, sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, chicken bouillon granules or chicken base and chicken stock. Simmer for 45 minutes over low heat. Turn the heat up to medium high then add the stars and meatballs; cook for an additional 10 minutes. Taste and re-season if needed. Add the spinach, mix thoroughly and serve!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

brunch ideas

Alright ladies... I'm hosting a baby shower and need some yummy brunch ideas that would be fairly simple to make.  Any suggestions?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Pasta.....


Another GREAT Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe!  She needs to write a cookbook!!  My hubby LOVED this.  It makes a lot, so next time I am going to freeze half of it!  Enjoy!

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4-ounce can diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 (10-oz) cans green chili enchilada sauce
2/3 cup red enchilada sauce
1 can large black olives, cut in half
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
16-20 oz. penne pasta (Depending on how "saucy" you want the pasta)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, until pepper is barely tender. Add the cooked chicken, green chilies, spices, enchilada sauces and olives. Let the sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Add the sour cream and cheese and heat through, until the cheese is melted (but don't boil!). Pour the sauce over the hot pasta. Garnish with extra sour cream, cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions or crushed tortilla chips.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quick and Easy Fish Tacos!



6-8 frozen crispy fish fillets
2 ripe Avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup salsa
1 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/3 cup canned enchilada sauce
6-8 taco shells
1 package angel slaw (or cabbage)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Bake fish according to package directions

Meanwhile, combine avocados, salsa and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl; set aside.  Stir together sour cream and enchilada sauce in a small mixing bowl; set aside

To assemble tacos, place fish fillet in taco shell, then top with angel slaw, avocado mixture, sour cream mixture, and cheese.

Enjoy!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween Candy Surprise Cookies

(Sorry for the blurry picture... a photographer I am not...)

Looking for a way to use up some of those oh-so-tempting mini candy bars in your kids Halloween buckets? If you are like me- I am doing a good job at hiding the candy on top of the fridge to where the kids don't really think of it that often. The problem is- I still know it's there! So, I came up with this for when I needed to make some cookies for a function.

First, I used this cookie recipe posted previously on this blog.

Then, I added 1/4 cup peanut butter along with the butter (though I thought it could use a little more, so go up to 1/2 cup if you like).

I reduced the amount of chocolate chips to 1/2 cup

Then, I chopped up random candy bars from the kids Halloween buckets until it equaled 2 cups. I stirred these in and baked as directed in the recipe. (I would stick with things that would go good in chocolate cookies- I used Kit Kats, Reeses cups, Snickers, Hershey bars and M& M's. There are certainly other possibilities!)

These were a HUGE hit and disappeared in no time! Moist and rich and a surprise (a pleasant one) in every bite!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Honey Mustard Chicken Bake

This is adapted from an allrecipes.com recipe. Very good and so very easy- a perfect weeknight meal. My husband and 2 of my 4 children gave it rave reviews (trust me, that is good! The other two just didn't know what they were missing.) I served it with herb rice and vegis. It would also be good on sandwich rolls.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 TBSP butter, melted
1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 375 deg. Grease a 13X9X2 pan.

2) In a small bowl, stir together the honey, Dijon mustard, melted butter and pepper. Place chicken in baking dish and pour the honey mustard sauce over it.

3) Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, basting frequently with the sauce until chicken is firm and juices run clear.

Notes:
- The original recipe called for 1/2 cup honey. One reviewer recommended keeping it even with amount of mustard to keep from being too sweet, so that is what I did and it was oh so good and a bit tangy! (The original recipe also called for a whole stick (1/2 cup) of butter- but trust me- 2 TBSP is plenty!)

-I will definitely make this again as is and I also want to try another tip from a reviewer that sounded good. She recommended dipping the chicken in the sauce- then coat in bread crumbs and then pour remaining sauce over it. She says it adds a little crunch and takes away the need for basting.

Enjoy!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

salmon....



INGREDIENTS:

2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Harvest Muffins....


Man these are good! Tasty and low in fat and Calories! (if you do weight watchers, each muffin is only one point!)

Ingredients:
1 spice cake mix
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
2 apples cored and chopped into bite sized pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients and bake for 20 minutes. EASY! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

French Toast Bread Pudding with Warm Peaches

I just made this for the second time this morning and it was even better than I remembered. Even my boys liked it (minus the topping). I just had to share!!!
prep time: 20 minutes
chill time: overnight
bake time: 45 minutes

1 TB butter, softened
1 loaf (about 1 pound) cinnamon-swirl bread, challah, or brioche bread
6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Peaches:
4 TB butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 ripe peaches, sliced (you are definitely going to want to at least double the peaches, but nothing else)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

The night before serving, smear the 1 TB butter over the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or other 2 quart baking dish. Tear the bread into small pieces and scatter in the dish. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Pour over the bread. Tamp down the bread with a spatula to submerge each piece of bread in the egg. Cover with foil, gently pressing down so the foil is right on the surface of the mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, remove the dish and slide it into a cold oven with the foil on (otherwise, the dish will crack). Turn the oven on to 375. After 25 minutes, gently pull off and discard the foil. Continue to bake until mixture is puffed and golden brown, about 20 more minutes. At this point, prepare the peaches by melting the 4 TB butter in a wide nonstick pan then stirring in the brown sugar. When mixture is bubbly, add peaches and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until peaches start to look glazed, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside (mixture will be really hot.)

When bread pudding is cooked, let it cool for a few minutes on a rack, then spoon onto plates and top with warm peaches.

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Alfredo Sauce....


My sister in Law Nicole had this recipe posted on her blog, I'm not much for shrimp in a pasta but I decided to make just the sauce. I Loved this sauce. I have tried making a few alfredo sauces and they are always way to heavy for me. I have made this a few times now and even my non-alfredo loving husband enjoys this! Thanks for the recipe, Nicole!!

Alfredo Sauce:
1 cup butter
3/4 pint heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 dash garlic salt
3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
In a large pan put heavy whipping cream in and then add your butter and let your butter melt into the cream. Do this over low heat. Then add salt, pepper and garlic salt.
Stir in your cheeses over medium heat. Let the sauce thicken.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

PW’s Mom’s Cauliflower Soup

If you like Cream of Broccoli soup you should try this also...it is really good. I added grated chedder cheese to each bowl.
1 stick butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk finely diced
1 to 2 heads cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried parsley
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or stock
2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup half & half
2 to 4 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 generous cup sour cream, at room temperature

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown. Add the carrots and celery and cook an addition couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine. Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.
In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half & half.
Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.
Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spinach Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing....

Oh my word is this salad delicious. I found it on FOR THE LOVE OF COOKING. The soy ginger dressing paired with mandarin oranges and craisins is so yummy!!

Soy and Ginger Dressing:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Juice of 1 orange
1 tsp honey

Combine all ingredients then whisk until well combined.

Salad:
Baby spinach leaves
Mandarin oranges
Dried cranberries
Toasted almonds
Wonton strips

Toast almonds in a dry pan for a few minutes until golden brown. Toss the spinach leaves with dressing to taste. Top the spinach with oranges, cranberries, almonds and wonton strips.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mexican Lasagna


Photo from For the Love of Cooking (my camera battery died)

YUMMY! I love FOR THE LOVE OF COOKING. Her food looks so delish!! I made this tonight and my whole family enjoyed it. I served it with tortilla chips and sour cream and avacado (instead of quacamole). Try it, you'll like it! And go visit her site...you will fall in love with her food!

Mexican Lasagna

3-4 flour tortillas
Salsa
Cheddar cheese, grated
Refried beans
Black beans
Frozen sweet corn, thawed
Tomatoes, diced
Black olives, sliced
Green onions, sliced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Guacamole

Turkey Filling:

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 tsp olive oil
1 small sweet yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Dice and prepare all vegetables for the lasagna. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the ground turkey and break up until it's in small crumbles. Add the onion and seasonings then mix thoroughly. Cook until the meat is done and the onion is tender, about 6-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Add some salsa to the bottom of the baking dish and coat evenly. Next add a flour tortilla (I trimmed the sides a bit so it would fit the dish). Spread refried beans over the entire tortilla then add cheese, ground turkey, black beans, tomatoes, corn, black olives, a bit of green onion then spread some salsa over the top. Add another flour tortilla and repeat the layering process 2- 3 times

On the final layer, add the tortilla, a thick layer of salsa and cheddar cheese then sprinkle the top with black olive slices. Cover and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove lid (or tin foil) and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese melts and gets golden brown. Let sit for 5 minutes before slicing. Top with fresh guacamole and sliced green onions.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Dip


This recipe was given to me by my friend, Julie. It is super easy and addictive to eat- the more you eat- the more you want it!!! It also works just as well with low fat ingredients, so you can save a lot of calories!

2 10 oz cans of chicken (drained)
1/2 cup of Franks Red Hot (you can go up to 1 cup based on how hot you want it)
1/2 cup of Ranch Dressing
1 8 oz bar of cream cheese (softened so it will be easy to stir in)
1 cup of Mozzarella cheese

Use a fork to "fluff" the chicken in the can and put in a medium size bowl. Add the Red Hot and the Ranch dressing and mix. Stir in cream cheese and then mozzarella cheese. Pour into a small casserole/ oven safe dish and back at 325 deg. for 20 minutes. Or, it can be microwaved until heated well throughout.

Serve warm with Tostitos tortilla chips.

YUM!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Peanut Butter M&M Chocolate Chip Goodness

My friend Abbey has a variation of the Toll House Cookie Recipe. They are awesome. I do warn you that if you make them, I recommend to NOT keep key ingredients on hand unless you have more will power than I do. (Or have someone to share a LOT of them with.)

Sorry about the weirdness below. Not going to bother fixing it.
Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
  • 1 cup m&ms
  • Directions

    PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

    COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

    BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

    SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION:
    PREPARE
    dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

    * May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

    FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Cheese

I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe. I love her recipes and this one didn't disappoint. My two year old especially loved it!


Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta, and Parmesan Cheese

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch squares
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces ziti (penne makes a great substitution - I've used both with great results)
4 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4-5 cups broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want)
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped coarse
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (asiago was the cheese in the original recipe and can be interchanged, but I always have parmesan on hand so I used that)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir the chicken and continue to cook until most, but not all, of the pink color has disappeared and the chicken is lightly browned around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, 3 cups of the water, and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is very thick and syrupy and almost completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the broccoli turns bright green and is almost tender, 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and return the heat to medium-high. Stir in the cream, parmesan, and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing more grated parmesan at the table, if desired

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lemon Jello Salad

This is my favorite Jello it's almost like a desert. I make it all the time

2 pkgs lemon jello
4 c water
1 can crushed pineapple
3 c bananas sliced
miniature marshmallows

Topping:
1 cup pineapple juice
1 egg
1/2 c sugar
2 TBS. flour
1/2 pint whipped cream

Prepare jello according to pkgs. Drain the pineapple and save the juice. Add pineapple and sliced bananas. Spread layer of marshmallows on top. Put in fridge until fully set.
Topping:
Make topping by mixing flour and sugar in pan and then add egg and pineapple juice. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened. Let cool completely. Whip the cream until set and then add to the topping mixture. Stir in carefully. Then put on top of jello and serve.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Chocolate Angel Food Cake


I was looking for a yummy dessert that wasn't too high in calorie. I had never made an angel food cake before, but was curious to try. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com that was easy and also included chocolate!!! Find it here. It was yummy and easy- with the classic spongy angel food cake texture and it is only 180 calories and 0 grams fat per serving. We topped it with fresh strawberries and cream....soooo good- it was gone before I thought to take a picture with toppings, but you get the idea. I didn't have a bundt pan, but I improvised by using a springform pan with a metal funnel in the middle. Not quite as pretty, but it worked!
  • 2 cups egg whites (will vary based on size of eggs, but it was 15 eggs for me!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix confectioners' sugar, cake flour, and cocoa. Sift together 2 times, and set aside.
  3. In a clean large bowl, whip egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until very stiff. Fold in white sugar 2 tablespoons at a time while continuing to mix. Fold in flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a 10 inch tube pan.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for approximately 1 hour, or until cake springs back when touched.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Garlic Toasted Open Faced Lasagna Ciabattas

I got this recipe off of the Picky Palate It's a really easy and great recipe! It has all the taste of lasagna but on crusty bread!! Enjoy! The second time I made this, I added fresh spinach leaves in between the ricotta cheese mixture and sauce!

Garlic Toasted Open Faced Lasagna Ciabattas
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1 26 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
8 leaves fresh basil, chopped (taste great if you have them, but not necessary..I used a teaspoon of dried)

15 oz container ricotta cheese
½ Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon Italian Seasoning

8 garlic roasted ciabatta rolls (I just used a loaf of ciabatta bread)
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place oil into a medium dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Cook sausage until browned, about 5-7 minutes; reserve ¼ Cup of sausage for ricotta. Reduce heat to low and stir in pasta sauce and basil leaves. Simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Place reserved ¼ Cup sausage, ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper and Italian Seasoning into a medium bowl. Stir to combine.

3. Split each ciabatta roll and place cut side up onto a large baking sheet. Spread ricotta mixture over each roll, about ¼ Cup (*you probably won't use all of ricotta.). Top with a couple spoonfuls of pasta sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and hot. Remove, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies... best recipe so far

I've been on a quest to find a really good chocolate chip cookie recipe. This is the winner so far. I found it here.

2¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Set oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Edges should be golden brown.

**Notes from Jeanine: One thing I've learned about cookies... you really need to cream the butter and sugar together for a while to make a good cookie. Also, with these cookies I baked them for about 10 minutes rather than 12.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Banana Brownies

Looking for another way to use up those brown bananas? Try these banana brownies... they were pretty good. I found the recipe here.

3/4 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
chocolate chips

Mix everything together. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chocolate Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches...need I say more?


I found these special treats on the all you magazine website. They look delicious. There are recipes for three different flavors, Snickerdoodle-Caramel Sandwiches with Banana Ice Cream, Chocolate-Mint Chip, and Oatmeal-Rum Raisin. For me...I am all about chocolate and mint chip!!! Enjoy! I have a feeling I will be making these quite often this summer!

Chocolate-Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Combine chocolate mixture, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until mixture is well combined. Gradually stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Add chips.

3. Roll dough into 16 1 1/2-inch balls, then roll each in sugar. Transfer dough balls to baking sheets, and bake until cookies are puffed and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

4. Arrange 12 cookies bottom side up and top each with a small scoop of ice cream. Top with a second cookie, bottom side down, pressing together slightly. Wrap each in plastic and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Yield: 8 large sandwiches

Sunday, June 28, 2009

pigs in a blanket


Okay, so most of you know how to do pigs in a blanket. This is just my new little twist on an old idea.
*1 pkg. lil' smokies
*buttermilk pillsbury biscuits
First I cut each biscuit in half. Then I wrap each half around a lil' smokie. Make sure the part where the two ends meet is on the pan. Bake as directed on the biscuit package. Simple right? So easy and yet, so so good.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sweet Chicken....


I love this chicken. It was so good, I couldn't stop eating it! I served it with rice that I cooked half water/half coconut milk. TASTY!!

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
8 chicken thighs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine coconut milk and water. Pour into greased slow cooker.

Add remaining ingredients in order listed.

Cover. Cook on low 5-6 hours.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chicken in a Pot....

(I took this picture half way through the cooking process...it was smelling so good I had to sneak a peek!!!)

1 lb. bag baby carrots
1 small onion, diced
14 1/2 oz. can green beans
3 lb whole chicken, cut into serving size pieces (I just used a few frozen chicken thighs)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1/2-1 tsp. dried basil

Put carrots, onion, and beans on bottom of slow cooker. Add chicken. Top with salt, pepper, broth, and wine. Sprinkle with basil.

Cover. Cook on low 8-10 hours, or high 3 1/2-5 hours.

Enjoy!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pie


This is a recipe that a friend emailed to me from allrecipes.com, knowing it is right up my alley. She was right! I couldn't resist- I had to make it! It is kind of like pecan pie meets chocolate chip cookie. Very rich, chocolaty and just yummy! I didn't have any pecans, so I just used extra chocolate chips. I also followed the suggestion of one of the reviewers and added about 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of vanilla- kind of like when you make a chocolate chip cookie. But, many gave the recipe 5 stars making just as listed! It is very easy!

(I didn't have a ref. pie crust, so I made my own. That is why it looks a little funny, but it tasted great!!!)

1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (9 in) pie shell

1) Preheat oven to 325 deg.

2) Combine cooled melted butter, sugar, eggs, pecans, flour and chocolate chips; mix well. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pastry shell and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. Let cool and serve.

Ooooooh so good!

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

COSI Tomato Basil Soup

About two months ago I went to COSI and had Tomato Basil soup. I couldn't get the flavor out of my head. I finally did a search and found a recipe. MMMM. Pretty darn close!! This is the blog where I found the recipe.

Note-I tripled the recipe. Used 1 part cream, 2 parts skim milk, it tasted great. (In fact, reconstituted powdered milk!) We dunked the Quick Rise Rolls with this (previously posted). Perfect for our rainy yesterday.

Tomato Basil Soup
(4 servings)

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can of diced or crushed tomatoes, drained
2 cups half & half, cream, 2% milk or soy creamer, heated
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp white pepper
Salt

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, stirring often. Add tomato paste; stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add drained tomatoes, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree with a stick blender in the saucepan or transfer to a blender to puree. Return to saucepan and stir in heated creamer, fresh basil, sugar, garlic powder, white pepper and salt to taste.

Serve with grilled cheese or toasted bread if desired.

Panera Fuji Apple Walnut Chicken Salad

I've also been craving Panera's awesome salad. I haven't had it for a year but when I had it I promised myself to find a wanna-be recipe. This is pretty good. Here's where I found it. (Note-delicious apple chips found at Odd Lots for $1!) I didn't make the dressing, I just bought a raspberry vinagrette.

This apple walnut chicken salad is a delightful main course, or omit the chicken and serve it as a first course green salad.

Fuji Apple Walnut Chicken Salad

  • 6 cups mixed field greens (such as arugula, radicchio, curly endive, etc.)
  • 1-1/2 cup cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 oz. apple chips

ForApple White Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Toss mixed greens, rotisserie chicken, blue cheese, walnuts and apple chips together in a large salad bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over salad. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.


Read more: "Fuji Apple Walnut Chicken Salad: This is one of those salad recipes your guests will beg you for. | Suite101.com" -http://healthycooking.suite101.com/article.cfm/fuji_apple_walnut_chicken_salad#ixzz0HTK3ZKPi&A

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Easy Crockpot Chicken.....


I love crockpot recipes. I don't know why I don't use my crockpot more, its so easy. This was tasty, easy and I had all the ingredients on hand....who could ask for anything more!

4-5 chicken breasts (I used thighs and just threw them in frozen)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 package lipton onion soup mix

combine cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix in crockpot. Add chicken and cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6)

Serve over noodles or rice. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peanut Butter Brownies with Peanut Butter Icing


Wow- rich is the word. But, if you live for chocolate/peanut butter combos like I do, you will love them!

Peanut Butter Brownies (from a Brownie Recipe book)

1 cup all-purpose, plus additional for the pan
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
12 TBSP unsalted butter, plus additional for the pan, at room temp.
9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
2 large egg yolks, room temp
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla

1) position rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 deg. Butter and flour a 9X13 inch baking pan; set it aside

2) In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda until well combined. Set aside.

3) Place 6 TBSP butter and both kinds of chocolate in the top of a double boiler (or one pan on top of another with water in the bottom pan). Heat and stir until melted and remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

4) Place the granulated sugar and the brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat in one egg at a time, using and electric mixer at medium speed. Once the mixture is smooth, beat in both egg yolks at the same time. Continue beating until the mixture is pale brown and light- about 3 minutes. Beat in the remaining butter 1 TBSP at a time.Continue beating until the mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes. Then, beat in the peanut butter, vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture until smooth, about 2 minutes scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

5) Stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Do not beat, though the batter will be very thick. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading it gently to the corners.

6) Bake for 15 minutes, than rap three or four times on the oven rack. Bake for an additional 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Set pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes.


Peanut Butter Frosting (from allrecipes.com, I followed a commenters suggestions- this is the recipe with the suggestions.) This would also be good on chocolate or Peanut butter cake.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
2-3 TBSP cream (or milk)

In a large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in all of the sugar. Mix in the cream and beat until it is spreading consistency, adding a little more cream only if necessary. Spread on brownies.

Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips if needed.

Buttermilk Cupcakes with Lemon Icing


A yummy spring treat! This was forwarded me by a friend from "Columbus Parent" written by Robin Davis. I made them and they were a hit!



Makes about 18

You can double the batch if you have a big crowd. If you don't have cake flour, use 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour. The cakes won't be as light, however.

Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.

Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a large bowl.

Beat butter, sugar and lemon peel in another large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk and beating just until combined after each addition.

Divide batter among cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cupcakes in cups 5 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack to cool completely.

To make frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar. Beat until well blended. Add lemon juice and beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. (If frosting is too thin, refrigerate until thicker.)

Spread frosting thickly on cakes. Cupcakes can be made up to 2 days ahead. Store in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

PER CUPCAKE: 279 calories; 3 g protein; 38 g carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 13 g fat (8 g saturated); 59 mg cholesterol; 238 mg sodium.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Brownie & Cookie Bites

The good excuse to make them: Mother's Day. In a nutshell, you make brownie batter, cookie batter. Pour brownie batter, plop cookie batter. Bake for 35-40 min at 350. Top with ganache. Crazy enough, I could have actually done with about 1/2 the ganache topping, or regular chocolate frosting. I think I'd appreciate the stuff underneath more without all that topping.


Full instructions here.

photos from Bakerella.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Taco Bell Quesadillas

I REALLY like Taco Bell's quesadillas. On Mother's Day I asked him to replicate them. Thankfully someone in cyberspace had done the dirty work. Here's the recipe we used-even minus a few ingredients they were great. We use the George Foreman for quesadillas (and other sandwich smooshing.)

Ingredients

SAUCE
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced jalapenos, slices
2 teaspoons jalapeno juice, from minced jalepenos
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 dash salt

QUESADILLAS
4 flour tortillas
4 chicken tenderloins
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2 slices process American cheese

Directions
1 Combine sauce ingredients and stir until smooth.
2 Grill chicken in vegetable oil and cut into thin slices.
3 Preheat skillet over medium heat.
4 One at a time, lay tortilla into hot skillet and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of each shredded cheese and 1/2 cheese slice on one side of the tortilla.
5 Arrange about 1/4 cup chicken slices over tortilla on the same half covered with cheese.
6 On the empty side, spread about one tablespoon of sauce.
7 Fold over, and press gently with spatula.
8 Cook until cheese is melted and slice each into 4 pieces.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Frosty Fruit Punch....

Kori, my sister, posted this recipe a while ago. Last Sunday my mother hosted a baby shower and made this punch. It was excellent!! It was really refreshing and had great flavor! I felt it was definitely worthy of making a second appearance on the blog! Enjoy!
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 lg can (12 oz) frozen orange juice (undiluted)
24 oz pineapple juice
Juice of 1 lemon
3 bananas
1 small pkg frozen strawberry
2 bottles 7-up

Boil the water and sugar together. Add the frozen orange juice, pineapple juice and lemon juice. Freeze. I separate it into two containers to freeze faster.


When ready to serve, dump frozen juice into huge bowl. Add the 7-up, bananas and strawberries. Let sit for 20 min (or until starting to melt and become slushy) mash all together and serve.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Banana Bread with Streusel-Nut Topping....


Sorry about my lack of posting. My husband and I just bought our first home and the last month has consisted of packing, moving, painting, unpacking....and not so much cooking. But, I am so excited about this recipe that I had to share! I have tried MANY banana bread recipes...and this is by far my favorite. It's moist, thick and I LOVE THE TOPPING on it. So here it is, by far the best banana bread recipe I have yet to come across!


Banana Bread with Streusel-Nut Topping
Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (5 medium)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Grease one 9x5x3-inch or two 7 1/2x3 1/2x 2-inch loaf pans; Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
In a medium bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared pan (s).
Prepare topping by combining in a small bowl brown sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chopped walnuts. Sprinkle topping over batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes for a 9x5x3-inch pan, or 40 to 45 minutes for a 7 1/2 x3 1/2x2-inch pan, or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing (I waited about 4 hours).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Creamy One-Pot Pasta


This is actually a recipe from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks. It was very easy and really good and also lower in fat. Makes for a simple but yummy weeknight dinner. I forgot to buy the can of sun-dried tomatoes, so I used regular petite diced tomatoes and drained the can. I sauteed the garlic in a tsp of olive oil. I also didn't have fresh basil, so I sprinkled on some dry basil and it was good! I made it a meal by adding 3 sliced chicken breasts that I had grilled and seasoned. You can leave chicken out and have a meatless meal or a hearty side.

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced
1 jar (7oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, undrained
3 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth (5 1/4 cups)
1 lb uncooked penne pasta
1 head broccoli (or 2 cups small florets)
2 medium carrots, peeled
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese (neufchatel)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
grated fresh parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil (optional)

Place garlic and 1 TBSP oil from sun dried tomatoes into an 8qt stockpot. Cook garlic over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until garlic is golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add broth. Return to burner, increase heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; cover and simmer vigorously 8-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked but still firm. Stir occasionally. DO NOT DRAIN!

Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets and place into a bowl. Slice carrots and add to bowl. Drain sun-dried tomatoes; pat dry with a paper towel. Slice tomatoes into thin strips. Add to bowl with carrots and broccoli.

Cut cream cheese into cubes. Add vegis, cream cheese, salt and black pepper to stockpot. Stir until cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until vegis are tender. If desired, top with grated parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil.

6 servings: each serving contains 410 calories, 11 grams total fat, 5 grams fiber.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

We loved this recipe so much we not only ate leftovers day after day but turned around and made it again RIGHT after the first batch. It is a lot of ingredients but many just require opening a can and dumping in...I do have to say it looks nasty until you put the toppings on. (And if you take the picture when I did-after its already been dug into, it still doesn't look that great.) Really though, its a GREAT blend of textures and flavors.


INGREDIENTS

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
1 cup white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
chopped green onions


DIRECTIONS
In a medium stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, and chopped green onion.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Story Cookies

Happy Easter, Everyone! Here is my attempt at "resurrecting" this blog. (Where did everyone go?:))

These are to be made the evening before Easter. It is a fun way to really teach your kids the story of the crucifixion and resurrection. Sorry I didn't think to post this earlier in the week, but you can print and save for next year. We did it this year and my kids LOVED it!

You Need:

1 Cup Whole Pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
tape
Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (This is important- don't wait 'til you're half done with the recipe!)

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty, on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read Joh 19:28-30.

Add the egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste is and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed through reprentance and the Atonement. Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27: 57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt. 27:65-66

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16: 20 & 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt 28:1-9.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Allergen Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


Does any of you have kids/husband who is allergic to milk/eggs/nuts?? Luckily, I do not. However, my friend, Amy, has a little girl who is allergic to just about everything it seems. Amy is constantly searching for recipes that are "Sophia Safe." Especially baked goods. Among many other things, Sophia is allergic to milk (ALL dairy), eggs, nuts and more. Amy came across this recipe and we tried it together one day at her house. I love cookies and love to bake and, I have to say, these taste like the real deal yet have NO dairy or eggs or nuts at all. It is incredible! She found the recipe on this blog. It has many other good recipes as well.

2/3 c. dairy free shortening

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract

1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce

1 3/4 c. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. mini dairy free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixer, combine the shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and applesauce. In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Add to shortening mixture and combine until creamy. Stir in chocolate chips and drop with a cookie scooper onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool at least 5 minutes on baking sheet and then move to cooling racks. Enjoy!!!


NOTE: The chocolate chips had been ordered from Enjoy Life Foods.(the site offers many allergy friendly products). The ingredients are: evaporated cane juice, chocolate liquor, non-dairy cocoa butter.