Sunday, June 3, 2018

Out of sweetened condensed milk? No fear...

Why would one need to make their own sweetened condensed milk? Maybe you ran out...Or maybe you are trying to save money... Maybe you prefer to make your foods from scratch. Whatever your reason, here is a super simple recipe:

Just Like You Buy In The Store, Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered milk
Add all ingredients into a non-stick pan.
Heat until it boils.
Cook until thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Use right away or store in an air tight container in the fridge until ready to use.

This recipe is equivalent to 1 store bought can. 

Use your homemade sweetened condensed milk in these recipes:

Amazing 7 layer bars

Limes, limes, limes...Key lime pie

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Pignoli (Pine Nut) Cookies... an old Italian recipe

I have so many "Old Italian" cookie recipes in my collection. These Pignoli (Bin-yall) cookies, I remember fondly from my childhood.

As, New Jersey, Italians, we tend to say things differently than ANYONE else in the country! Pignoli's are a nut, otherwise known as, Pine Nuts. I grew up calling them Bin-yalls and Grandma used them in her meatballs! My sister and myself used to eat them so Grandma started hiding them throughout the house, in a glass bottle. Me and my sister found them one day in the bathroom medicine cabinet and ate the whole jar! Grandma found us and chased us around the house with a wooden spoon threatening to spank us, so what did we do? We hid behind Grandpa's chair and he protected us. Crazy memory, I know...but, those were the good old days.

Here is my Aunt Mary's recipe for these sweet and delicate treats:

1 pound almond paste
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon vanialla
Pignolis, 2 small packs
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375*.
Line cookie sheet with non-stick foil.
Break up almond paste.
Mix paste crumbs with sugar and breadcrumbs, using your hands.
Add egg whites and vanilla.
Roll into small balls, about 1 inch each.
Pour pignoli's onto a plate and roll each ball into the nuts.
Place on prepared cookie sheet and flatten with your hand or with the bottom of a glass.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Sift with powdered sugar.

These cookies are sweet and rich.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Vintage coffee cookie recipe

Original recipe card

I'm not sure exactly how old of a recipe this is. However, since it is hand-written, on an index card and used shortening, it appears to be pretty old.

I found a stack of hand-written recipes inside of a free cookbook I found in a bin of free books outside of a second-hand bookstore, years ago. What a score! The following recipe is a recipe from that stack... (I have re-written this recipe to make it easy to understand and make.)

Coffee Cookies

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped*

Pre-heat oven to 350*.
Line cookie sheet with non-stick foil.
Cream shortening, sugar and coffee, until light.
Add egg, flour, salt, vanilla and nuts.
Spoon by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes (tops will appear dry).
Cool and store in an air-tight container.

*Walnuts make a good choice for this recipe

Triple chocolate chip espresso Oreo cookies

Butter cookie sticks

New Jersey coffee cake cookies

Monday, May 7, 2018

4 Vintage Duke Energy Recipes (plus a bonus apple crisp recipe)

Is anyone else fascinated with vintage recipes? 

The following recipes came out of an old Duke Energy cookbook which was compiled from recipes right here in North Carolina! I got the cookbook for free in a big box that was placed outside of a local book shop.

Fancy fruit dip
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3-4 tbsp fruit preserves, flavor of your choice
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
Mix all ingredients together.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve with melon, strawberries, pineapple chunks, apples and any other fruit of your choice.
This “fancy dip” can also serve as a cookie dip!
Try serving with large marshmallows, graham crackers and/or vanilla wafers in addition to or in place of your fruit.

Fruity punch
  • 1 bottle of apple juice
  • 1 can pineapple juice, sweetened
  • 1 liter of orange soda
  • 1 box strawberry Jello
Prior to making punch, place juices and sods in refrigerator overnight.
Mix all ingredients and stir to combine.

Tips: You can purchase an extra bottle or can of juice and make ice cubes in ice cube trays with the extra juice. Place juice cubes into punch after combining ingredients and prior to serving.

You can also add vanilla ice cream or sherbet to the punch just before serving.

Easy raisin bread 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 -2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • cooking spray and cinnamon sugar
Preheat the oven to 350*.
Spray loaf pan with cooking spray and thinly coat with cinnamon sugar.
In a large bowl mix together: flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Set aside.
In mixer, cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs and beat well.
Take turns mixing flour mixture and milk into creamed mixture in mixer.
Add raisins.
Pour into prepared loaf pan. You can also use 2 loaf pans for smaller loaves of bread.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top of the loaf/loaves.
Bake for 40 minutes and test for doneness by inserting a butter knife into the center of the loaf. If it comes out clean, it is ready to take out. If it comes out with unbaked batter on it, bake in increments of 5 minutes until inserted knife comes out clean.

Orange muffins
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp grated orange rind
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400*.
Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs.
Stir in rind, juice and milk.
Add flour, baking powder and salt.
Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 minutes. 

Cherry danish recipe 

Apple pie dessert pizza recipe

Super simple brownie recipe

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Simple kitchen tips to save time and money...
Saving time and money are pretty high on most of our priority lists these days! Save a few seconds here and a few cents there...

Before eating a lemon, lime or orange, grate the peel and let it dry. You can use it later in cookies and cakes. Store air-tight in a jar.

If a recipe calls for less evaporated milk than what is in an entire can, use the left over milk for your morning coffee.

Use up your pickle juice... Use it to make homemade salad dressings in place of vinegar or in stuffed eggs in the place of mustard.

After you crimp the edges of your pie crust, with your fingers, lift it up so it does not touch the rim of the pie plate. This will make slicing much easier.

If you need to decorate your cookies in a pinch, put white sugar in a bowl or small glass jar. Add a few drops of food coloring and stir or shake (if in a jar). Sprinkle over your cookies. If you have small jars, you can make up several batches in different colors and keep them on the pantry.

For left over whipped cream, add 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice or instant jello and whip slowly to combine. Use on pies or in your cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. You can also use it for dipping fruit.

By using these simple tips, in addition to saving time and money, they will also eliminate wasting any food. Have fun being frugal and economical :)

Best pie crust tips ever!

7 tips and tricks to better coffee...

10 time saving tips to making the parent life easier

How to order coffee...

Monday, January 1, 2018

Triple chocolate chip espresso Oreo cookies...Yup!

Chocolate, coffee and cookies all go hand in hand! My love of all three helped me come up with this addictive cookie recipe.
I will be surprised if you are able to eat just one!

Triple chocolate chip espresso Oreo cookie recipe

  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp coffee extract
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda, heaping
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 15 Oreo cookies, crushed

Preheat oven to 350*
Line two cookie sheets / jelly roll pans with non-stick foil.
Add Oreo's into a plastic zip top bag and crush by rolling with rolling pin.

Cream butter, sugars, extract and espresso powder.
Add eggs.
Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Add baking soda.
Mix in crushed cookies.
Add chips.
Mix to combine.

Spoon by tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes.
Ovens vary, start checking at 8 minutes. Cookies may bake for up to 12 minutes, depending on your oven.

Triple chocolate chip espresso Oreo cookies!
Time for new cookie you go!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Make these cookies in a flash...semi-homemade cookies

Sometimes we need something sweet and we need it quickly. Check out these two semi-homemade cookie recipes.

These recipes are perfect for last minute Holiday treats, birthday parties or for a busy weekend. They also make perfect gift ideas!

Semi-Homemade Double Chocolate Chip Almond Latte Cookie Recipe

1 bag Betty Crocker Snack Sized chocolate chip cookie mix
Butter and Water, per directions on the bag
2 tsp cocoa powder
1.5 tsp instant coffee granules
1 handful chocolate chips
1 handful slivered almonds

Pre-heat oven to 375*.
Line a cookie sheet with no-stick foil.
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and drop with a teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-13 minutes.
Check after 10 minutes and put back in for up to 3 more if needed.

Peanut Butter Cup Mocha Brookie Recipe

12 Peanut butter cups
1 bag chocolate chip cookie mix, add 2 tablespoons of instant coffee to cookie batter
1 box brownie mix, add 1 tablespoon of instant coffee to brownie batter
½ cup chocolate chips
Eggs, water and oil, as directed by bag and box mixes

Pre-heat oven to 350*.
Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Add a tablespoon of cookie dough into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup.
Press dough to fill bottom of each cup.
Add peanut butter cup, top side down, into each muffin tin, on top of the cookie dough.
Spoon brownie mix on top, being sure each muffin tin is no more than ¾ of the way full.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Get your cookie sheets here...