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...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Super simple brownie mixer required!

My favorite baking recipes are the ones that do not require a mixer! Less to clean up and quiet to make if you have sleeping children.

Here is my super simple brownie recipe. You can always dress these up by icing them or topping them with jam or berry pie filling. If you prefer a savory brownie as opposed to a fruity one, you can mix equal parts peanut butter and powdered sugar together and top them with that...boom! Reese's topped brownies.

Deanna's Easy Brownie Recipe
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 ounces chocolate chips, semi-sweet
  • 5 Tbsp margarine or butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract OR coffee extract
  • 1/2 cup flour, heaping
  • pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325*.
Line an 8x8 baking dish with no-stick foil.
Cream sugars and eggs.
Melt margarine/butter and chips together in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Add extract. Stir.
Mix chocolate mixture and egg mixture together.
Pour into pan.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes.

TIP: To cool brownies quickly, remove them from baking dish by lifting out by foil. Be careful as they will be hot. Place onto cutting board. Place entire board, brownies still in foil, into the fridge and cool until easy to cut.

Chocolate Icing Recipe

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • Milk

Add sugar and powder into a bowl and add milk until a thick but spreadable icing forms. Spread over cooled brownies prior to cutting.

Get your cocoa powder here...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Crunchy and cheesy green bean casserole...oh, my!

Green bean casserole is an important Holiday side dish in many homes across the USA! It is definitely a staple in our home.

I enjoy both styles of green beans, the regular and the French. You can choose whatever style you like best for this recipe.

This recipe is perfect! It had the creaminess of the soup and cheese along with the crunch of the fried onions and the snap of the green beans. Best of all worlds if you ask me.

Crunchy, Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
  • 1 can or box of cream soup (choose your favorite flavor. Ex.: mushroom, celery or chicken)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 can French fried onions (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
  • 1 package frozen green beans (French) OR 2 cans (drained) regular
Preheat oven to 325*.
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with butter spray.
In a bowl, combine soup, milk, cheese and half of the fried onions. Mix well.
Place half of the green beans into the baking dish.
Pour half of the soup mixture over the beans.
Repeat layering one more time.
Top with remaining fried onions and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly. 

This recipe is easily doubled. If you double it, us a 9x13 baking dish. 

Need an 8x8 pan? Here you go...Pyrex, my favorite brand!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cherry danish: is it for brunch or dessert...either way, get my recipe here!

Cherry danish is the perfect brunch OR dessert to make for the Holidays this year. It is also perfect for a weekend treat any time of year.

I always encourage my readers to get creative with the recipes I share and this one is no different. If you prefer apples, blueberries or any other fruit, feel free to use it in place of the cherries called for in this recipe.

Cherry Danish Recipe

1 Stick of margarine, cut into pieces
1 Cup of flour
4-6 tablespoons of cold water
2 teaspoons of salt
Cinnamon sugar*
1 can of cherry pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp. of milk or water (more if icing is too thick)

Line a cookie sheet with no-stick foil.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients for dough together in a large bowl. Form into a ball.
Roll out dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper into a circle.
Sprinkle dough with cinnamon sugar.
Cut dough into 4 equal parts.
Roll each part into a roll.
Twist each roll into a swirl and press together with fingers. Then, create a small dip into the top of each roll to hold the fruit.
Add cherry pie filling onto each roll.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Top with icing.

*You can easily make your own cinnamon sugar by taking ½ cup of white sugar and mixing it with 5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
You can also buy a small bottle in the spice section at your local grocery store or at Savory Spice Shop. 

One can never have too much...

Sunday, December 3, 2017

PeCran scones? What is a Pe-Cran?

photo by: sugarhero
Pe-Cran is a term that I used to combine the words pecan and cranberry! It sounds more creative to say pe-cran than pecan cranberry...well, to me it does!

I made these scones a while back and enjoyed them because they were not dry like so many other scones I have tasted.

Give them a try for the Holidays this year and let me know what you think.

Pecran Brown Sugar Scones

  • 2+ cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4+ cup milk
  • Turbinado sugar (raw sugar)

Preheat oven to 400*.
Line baking sheet with no-stick foil.
In a large bowl mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
Using a pastry blender, fork or your hands, cut in butter and combine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in cranberries and pecans.
Add milk (and maybe a little extra flour) until dough holds together when pressed.
Flour the bowl that the dough is in and shape into a ball.
Flour a knife and slice dough into 8 wedges, the best you can.
Place wedges onto prepared baking sheet.
Brush wedges with milk and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.
Press sugar into wedges, lightly.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden in color.

If you would like to add a sweet glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • milk or lemon juice

Combine sugar and vanilla into a bowl.
Add liquid until a soft glaze forms (the consistency of Elmers glue)
Drizzle over top of the baked scones.

TIP: If using milk to make glaze, you can also add a couple shakes of cinnamon to make a cinnamon glaze for the scones.

Please check out my new book that has a selection of special recipes at the end!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

My blog peeps...Apple pie recipe is here for the Holidays!

Photo taken from Google images
Apple pie...
An American classic and Holiday staple.
Let me share how to make a fantastic apple pie. Read the entire recipe and you will find a tip for an added zip at the end!

Apple Pie


         4-6 apples (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)*

         ¾ cup of cinnamon sugar

         1 tablespoon of flour

Crumble Topping:

         1 cup of flour

         1 cup of brown sugar

        2 tsp cinnamon

        4 Tbsp. butter, cold

1 unbaked pie crust

Preheat your oven to 375*.

Peel and cut your apples into small pieces.

Place your apples into your pie crust. Add sugar and flour to your apples and gently mix with your hands to combine ingredients.

Combine your crumble topping in a separate bowl.

First add your flour, sugar and cinnamon. Then, add butter and blend with a pastry blender or with your hands (do not melt butter, add cold).

Sprinkle topping over the apples.

Cover the edge of the crust with foil for the first 25 minutes while baking.

Remove foil and continue to bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.

Your total baking time will be for 50 to 60 minutes.

Eat it warm with ice cream or chill before serving!

* If you are a coffee addict, use coffee ice cream to top your pie!

*For an added zip, add ½ can of crushed pineapple to apple mixture before baking…this makes for an apple pie with a twist!

Order your pie plate right here...

Looking to make your own pie crust in a snap? Here are TWO easy pie crust recipes! 

Best EVER Sweet Potato Casserole

photo: google images
I know, I know, you see the title, "Best ever sweet potato casserole" all over the internet. But, I can not tell a lie. This is truly the best I have ever had! I make the same exact recipe every year...I never deviate.

I am a firm believer in Boston Markets sweet potato casserole...but this one I love just a smidge more!

Now, here is the question of the this a side or a dessert? It is a great debate. I is a sweet side, so enjoy with dinner!

Best EVER Sweet Potato Casserole

  • 4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 2 cups crushed corn flake cereal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup pecan bits
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted

Boil potatoes until tender (or used canned sweet potatoes).
Preheat oven to 400*.
Spray 9x13 baking dish with butter spray.
In an extra large bowl, mash up potatoes then add the remaining casserole ingredients.
Mix together well and pour into prepared baking dish.
In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients.
Spread topping over casserole.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes...until bubbly.

Order your 9x13 baking dish today! Pyrex is my fave! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Customize your sprinkle cookies for any Holiday...

Problem: I love lemon sprinkle cookies, but want to serve them for Thanksgiving. How could I make them festive for this Holiday?

Answer: Use different colored sprinkles to make these lemon sprinkle cookies suitable for any Holiday!

Lemon sprinkle cookies always catch the eye because of the various colors of sprinkles that surround each one.

For Christmas, use red and green sprinkles.
For birthday sprinkle cookies, use multiple colored sprinkles.
You can also use chocolate sprinkles for a Thanksgiving look or orange and brown sprinkles for a Halloween themed cookie.

Go beyond the sprinkle! Try using small Holiday shaped candies to roll your cookies!

Lemon sprinkle cookies

         ¾ cup margarine

         1 cup sugar

         2 eggs

         ½ tsp salt

         ½ tsp baking powder

         2 to 2 ½ cups flour

         1 ½ tsp vanilla

         1 box instant lemon pudding mix

         Colored sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350*.

Line 2 cookie sheets with non-stick foil.

Cream together margarine and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time.

Add flour, salt and baking powder.

Add vanilla and pudding mix.
Pour sprinkles onto a paper plate.

Spoon a teaspoon at a time into sprinkles and coat each cookie.

Place on cookie sheets about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

Check out these Christmas themed sprinkles!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reese's fudge, Reese's fudge, Reese's fudge! Could it be so easy?

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? It seems unreal to me, but I'll live. And whether I believe it or not, it's still coming! Yikes! 

I have an easy, rich and delightful recipe for you to try. Your family and friends will love it and think you spent hours making it! But, in all honesty, it may take you 15 minutes to prepare this scrumptious dessert. 

No bake Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge 
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 16 Reese’s peanut butter cups

Prepare 8x8 square baking dish by lining it with no-stick foil.
Line dish with 12 Reese’s cups and set aside. 
Add into a 4 cup glass Pyrex measuring cup: chips and milk and stir. 
Place into microwave for 1 minute (on high heat) and stir.
Place back in for 30 seconds, remove and stir.
Do this until it is completely melted. Be sure you stir it every time you check it because chocolate chips keep their shape until they are stirred. So, it may appear that they are not melted and can easily burn if you do not stir them.
When ready, pour into prepared pan.
Top by crumbling the remaining cups over the top of the fudge and gently press them into the fudge.
Refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours and cut into 1 inch squares.

Get two 8x8 baking dishes in just 2 days with PRIME! 

You're welcome! :) 

You can also make your own peanut butter cups! You can use any shape mold, included the peanut butter cup candy molds you can buy. If you do not have candy molds, you can use a mini muffin tin to make your cups!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Best pie crust tips ever! (And super easy recipe)

Have you ever made a pie crust that was too crumbly, too wet or too sticky? Check out this   list of tips to help you make the best crust for your pie.

Flaky Pie Crust

           1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. un-sifted flour

           1/2 tsp. salt

           1/3 cup oil (any vegetable oil)

           2 Tbsp. water

Stir together and roll out between 2 pieces of waxed paper.

If your dough seems wet, add a touch of flour until it reaches the desired consistency to roll.

Problem: Crust will not form.

Fix: If your crust is crumbly and will not stick together to form into a ball, chances are it is    not moist enough. Try adding a few drops of water until it holds together.

Problem: Crust cracks as you roll it out.

Fix: If your crust is cracking as you roll it with your rolling pin, it may be too cold. Allow it to warm to room temperature and try rolling it again.

ProblemDough is sticking to the rolling pin.

Fix: If your dough is sticky, it may be too warm. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes and try  again. You could also try and add a slight amount of flour to the dough to get it to stop         sticking.

Problem: Crust is not brown.

Fix: If you would like a nice brown look to your crust, brush it with milk or an egg wash        before baking.


If you are pre-baking your pie crust, do not stretch it into the pie plate. Be sure to roll it out  large enough to fit. Also, you can poke holes in it to keep it from puffing up while baking.

To get your pie crust easily into your pie plate, roll it out on a piece of waxed paper and       then flip it over onto the plate. Remove waxed paper and you are all set!

Need a new rolling pin? 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

It's the most CRANBERRY time of the year...

You sang the title of this blog post in your mind (to the tune of, It's the most wonderful time of the year) as you read it, didn't you? You're giggling now, right?

Chances are most of us have eaten cranberries in cranberry sauce, but what else can you do with these berries and their juice?

Make a drink:

Fill a glass ½ full with soda water or carbonated water and the rest of the way with cranberry juice, or cran-apple juice. Top with a few fresh cranberries. You can also add a dash of          orange juice if you would like to.

Make a snack:

Ants on a log: Cut a stalk of celery into 3 pieces. Add peanut butter to each piece. Top with dried cranberries…red ants on a log!


Mix together: 1 block of cream cheese, 1 cup walnuts (chopped), 1 cup dried cranberries and add to a stalk of celery. This will fill about 12 celery stalks. Cut each in half and serve as a      tasty appetizer.

Bake with them:

Add 1 cup of dried cranberries to your oatmeal cookie dough.


Add to pancake batter or on top of pancakes or french toast.

Garnish your cakes with them:

In a bowl, beat pasteurized egg whites until light. Dip fresh cranberries into the whites then  coat them with sugar. Let them dry and use them to decorate your baked goods.

Cranberry bark:

Melt a bag of chocolate chips. Add 1 cup of dried cranberries. Spread onto a no-stick foil      lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate until hard. Crack apart into pieces.


Warm cran-apple juice and some ground cinnamon... makes a great quick cider!

Decorate with them:

String dried cranberries and popcorn on a string and decorate your Christmas tree or house.

Need more ideas? Buy this book...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Squash it!

Anyone else love to see the autumn squash on the shelves at the grocery store? They always look so pretty and often times, interesting with their crazy shapes. They really do make fantastic table arrangements! But, how about the eating? Let's go over a few things...

Spaghetti Squash

How many recipes for this pasta alternative have YOU seen on Pinterest? I have definitely seen my fair share.
However, my FAVORITE way to fix it and eat it has already been explained in a past post by mwah..
Spaghetti squash: How the heck do I cook this stuff?


Pumpkin is super easy to cook, then be used in pies, cookies, breads, dips, pastas, and much more. I have read several articles about how pumpkins are used for much more than pies in this day and age.

Preheat your oven to 350*.
Line a jelly roll pan with non-stick foil.
Using a large serrated bread knife, slice pumpkin down the center.
Scoop out seeds and set aside for later.
Add enough water to just cover the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place pumpkin sides, open side down on pan, on water.
Bake for 30 minutes to 1 hour, checking every 15 minutes. Bake time will depend on the pumpkin size.
Cook until mushy to the touch.

Butternut Squash

This is an amazing sweet potato alternative. Anything you do with a sweet potato, it is safe to say, you can do with butternut squash!
I like to bake mine in the crockpot.

Turn crockpot on high.
Place 1 cup of water into crockpot.
Poke squash with a fork to make holes throughout.
Cook for 4 to 5 hours, until soft to the touch.

You can add cinnamon to the water if the flavor will go with what you are going to make. It will make the house smell fragrant of fall.

Looking for new squash recipes? It's a great time for a new cookbook! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Making Halloween Candy?

Halloween is here again! Ever ask yourself this question: How could I make my own molded candy?
I'm sure most of us have given it a thought at one time or another. Here is how:

  1. Purchase some plastic candy molds in shapes that you like. For Halloween I would suggest ghost or pumpkin shapes. Michael's or AC Moore would be great places to purchase said molds.
  2. Buy bags of chocolate flavored candy disks to make your molded chocolates. Again, Michael's or AC Moore will have these. 

One important tip when working with melted disks is to be sure that NO water gets into the mix. It will make it clump up and the entire batch will be ruined.

Quick mocha latte candy mold recipe
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate flavored disks
  • 3-5 teaspoons instant coffee granules

Melt chocolate disks in a double broiler.
Add coffee granules to melted disks.
Spoon mixture into molds.
Refrigerate 15 minutes or until hardened.
Remove from molds.

Other flavor ideas:

Make your own Reese's filling:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
Add melted chocolate to mold, just enough to coat.
Add a dab of filling on top of coated mold.
Top with melted choco0late and refrigerate.
BAM! Homemade Reese's!

Chai chocolates add:
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves 
Add ground spices to melted chocolate.
Pour in molds and refrigerate. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Eggnog...oh, how we love thee!

Oh, we love thee! It is that time of year again. I bought our first carton of the year this week! I like the Horizon Organic eggnog, myself :)

Of course we drink this rich, sweet treat…but, try making drinks or baking with it too!

Mix it:
In an 8-ounce glass, pour in 3 ounces of eggnog and 4 ounces of Sprite or Ginger Ale. They balance each other out wonderfully!

How about using it as creamer in your coffee?

Eggnog smoothie? Try mixing 1 banana, ½ cup eggnog, ½ cup milk and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and mix in a blender.

Bake with it:
Try using eggnog in the place of milk in some of your favorite Holiday recipes. Try it in cookies, cakes, pies and puddings.

Eggnog facts:

  • Eggnog is made from: milk, cream, sugar, eggs (beaten), cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Eggnog is thought to have come to us from England.
  • Silk makes a “soy eggnog” that is super tasty!
  • Eggnog is typically served in the United Stated and Canada.

Eggnog Crisps

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg,
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup ground pecans
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cups M&Ms, minis*

Preheat oven to 350*.
Line 2 cookie sheets with no-stick foil.
Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and vanilla.
Combine flour, ground pecans and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
Add to creamed mixture.
Add M&Ms.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared sheets.
Press down gently.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are lightly golden.
Should make about 3 dozen cookies.

* If you do not have M&M minis, you can use regular sized M&Ms in this recipe.

Need new cookie sheets? Purchase these for a great price on Amazon...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thanksgiving morning pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing

Pumpkin time is here! Every Thanksgiving morning, I serve pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing for us to eat while we watch the Macy's parade. I bake it the night before so it is easily served. 

Picture this: 

  • Me...sitting on the couch sorting through Black Friday coupons from the Thanksgiving Day newspaper.
    Husband...sitting on the floor messing on his computer.
    Kids...sitting in the living room playing with toys/electronics. 
    As we all watch the parade!

It is a fantastic morning! Now, you can enjoy this easy pumpkin bread with your family too!

Easy Pumpkin Bread

1 box white cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh puree)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 single serving cup of apple sauce (4 ounces)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 shake ground cloves
Chai sugar*
Butter spray

Preheat oven to 350*.
Spray 2 loaf pans with butter spray and then lightly coat them with chai sugar. In a bowl add cake mix, pumpkin, egg, milk, apple sauce and spices. Mix well with wire whisk, removing all lumps. Pour evenly into two pans. Sprinkle chai sugar over the top of each. Bake for 55 minutes.

Deanna's Chai Sugar
2 shakes ground pumpkin pie spice
2 shakes ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
Mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight container or plastic bag. You can easily double or triple this recipe.

For an extra treat, make this cream cheese icing to spread over your bread:


4 ounces cream cheese, soft
1/2 stick butter or margarine, soft
1/2 tsp vanilla or bakers mystery flavor
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp milk
Mix cheese and butter with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Slice bread and serve icing along side.

*You can also use cinnamon sugar instead if Chai sugar!

Basic Cinnamon Sugar

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of white granulated sugar
Mix ingredients together and store in an air-tight container or plastic bag.


Need glass loaf baking dishes?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Food Network Thanksgiving magazine review 2017

Yep! The big Thanksgiving issue of the Food Network magazine is already out and for sale!

My mother-in-law lent me hers to go through and I wound up buying my own copy. Partially because I was going to give the new copy to her. Why you may ask? Because I absentmindedly wrote in hers while taking the "What's Your Pie IQ" quiz. Whoops!

All in all, it seems like a good compilation of Thanksgiving recipes. There is something for everyone.

I really like how the magazine opened...with a letter from the editor where she admits to forgetting to add a recipe for homemade rolls to the magazine. So, to fix it, she added her moms dinner roll recipe.

Here is a snapshot I took of the cute story with the recipe:

Also included in the magazine are three tear out bookmarks from Folgers. I thought that was a neat touch. Definitely something we can all use for our books or magazines. I almost tore them out of my mother-in-laws magazine, but thankfully I did not! Yikes!

One of my favorite recipes is Bobby Flays Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Crunch Topping. Wow and Yum!

At the end, there is a, "Color This Dish" contest. The magazine has a black and white slice of pie that we can use, photocopy or go online to print. We are instructed to color it and then submit it to Food Network to possibly win a $500 or $50 prize.
I would say this magazine is worth the $4.99 plus tax!

To make buying easy, click the link below to purchase your copy!

Friday, October 13, 2017

A complete fall inspired meal: Cheesy...soupy...bready!

I am trying out something new with this post! Since so many of us find ourselves doing more cooking and baking in the fall, I have put together a complete meal (including recipes)! We begin with a cheesy appetizer, an autumn soup you can make in the crockpot or on the stove and then we finish up with applesauce old-fashioned recipe (that I have no clue where it came from).

Let's get started! Maybe this weekend you can make all three:

Baked Cheese Dip 

  • 1 block of cream cheese, 8 ounces, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, diced fine

If using oven, preheat to 325*. If using crockpot, set on low or high.
Spray 8x8 baking dish or crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.
In a bowl, mix all ingredients together well.
Pour into baking dish or crockpot.
If using oven, bake for 30 minutes. 
Serve warm with torn crusty bread or your favorite crackers!

Butternut Squash Ravioli and Spinach Soup

  • 2 containers of fresh, butternut squash filled ravioli (frozen cheese filled can be used as well)
  • 1 large box organic vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Add stock and water into a large pot.
Add spices until you are satisfied with the flavor.
Bring to a simmer.
Add ravioli. 
Add spinach. I like to tear mine up into small pieces.
When the ravioli float to the top, they are done. Usually about 8-10 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese.

Old Fashioned Applesauce Bread 

  • 1 1/4 cups applesauce 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3 tablespoons milk 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 Cup raisins 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Lightly grease inch loaf pan. (You can spray it with cooking spray)
In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs and milk; beat well.  
Shift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, 
nutmeg, allspice, and salt; stir until smooth.  
Fold in 1 cup of raisins.  
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. 
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

So, what do you think? Are you happy with my selections? Should I make more posts like this? Let me know what you think! :) 

Everyone needs a good pair of kitchen shears!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, Cookies and Coffee

I am no stranger to coffee. I have had my fair share...the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not prejudice. I will give a cup a try from anywhere. Let me prove this to you...

See! NO STRANGER to coffee. Of course, I have my preferences, but every coffee drinker does.

I also enjoy making coffee at home. In a regular coffee pot! Imagine that. Am I the last person on earth that does this?

I am going to show you an easy recipe I figured out when I used to sell Party Time Mixes. You can do this with a package of hot cocoa as well. Let me introduce to you...(drum roll), MUDSLIDE COFFEE!

You may be thinking, hmmmm...what type of cookie would go good with mudslide coffee? I've got you covered... Russian tea cakes, my friends, Russian tea cakes: 

Russian Tea Cake Cookie Recipe

1 Cup margarine, room temperature
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 Tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 Cup flour
1/4 Tsp. salt
3/4 Cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)*
Powdered sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375*.
Prepare a cookie sheet with non-stick foil.
In a large bowl: mix margarine, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds.
Form into 1 inch balls and place ½ to 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes until set, not brown.
Immediately roll in powdered sugar. Allow to cool and roll in sugar again.

To make plain without nuts, just omit them from the recipe.

Have a lovely fall day! 

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

It's official...Fall is here and so is Rachael Ray's October magazine!

Happy Fall! Time for baking, cooking, cool air and open windows! I have gotten back into the cooking and baking spirit now that the weather is cooling down. I plan to post some new recipes soon.

The end of September I was asked to participate in a local Oktoberfest event at Lafayette Village Shopping Center in Raleigh, NC. Savory Spice Shop asked me to sell my baked goods at their shop! I accepted the invitation, baked for two days and I SOLD OUT! In TWO hours! It was a good day.

I do have an opinion about this months Every Day Magazine for ya... If you do not subscribe, I suggest you purchase a copy! It is packed full of fall inspired recipes. A couple of my favorites are: Sweet Potato Hummus and Potato Parsnip Rosti. "Yum-O" as the lady herself says.

Happy Baking and Cooking Season! 

Get your issue here!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Ready for fall...who's with me?

Tomorrow is August 1! September will be here before we know it and that means fall is just around the corner. Fall is my favorite season, with winter coming in a close second. So, get ready to see autumn inspired recipes coming from this blog!

Several days ago, I had a taste for pumpkin, I made pumpkin spice coffee creamer and it hit the spot!
I use French Vanilla, non-dairy coffee creamer (powder) and I add cinnamon, cloves and ginger to taste. You can see in this picture, how it looks before I shake it up...

You could also use regular flavored powder creamer and add your own sugar then add the ground spices. I prefer using the vanilla creamer because it is already sweetened.

Happy soon to be pumpkin spice season, everyone!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 4th, Red, White and Blue shortbread

Happy Firecracker weekend!

For your red, white and blue pleasure, I have made a batch of shortbread with preserves and a crumble topping!

I do make these to sell for my bakery: The Fiery Whisk and because of that, I can not reveal my exact recipe. However, I can still help you whip up a batch for the sparkly weekend. How, you may ask? Take a look:

First, bake a batch of Easy Shortbread

Second, before baking, choose your favorite flavor of preserves. I chose blueberry, strawberry and fig. Spread the preserves over the shortbread before baking.

Lastly, combine a quick Streusel topping (Here is a recipe from the baking goddess herself, Martha Stewart.)

Add your topping over the preserve layer and bake according to the Easy Shortbread recipe directions. now have your own, buttery, tasty, satisfying, red, white and blue shortbread dessert for Firecracker weekend.

Happy Baking!