Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pepper Fries with Ranch Dip

This was inspired by a Rachel Ray episode I saw on the Food Network. She served fried jalapenos with mole chile and homemade ranch dip. For my version, I used sweet bell peppers and to make the mole chili simple; I took canned cheese chili and added brown sugar, ketchup and chocolate baking coco powder - letting it simmer.  It was so delicious with the pepper fries and ranch dip. A meal to definitely make again!

  Pepper Fries
  • 6 Bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the seeds from all of the peppers and cut into 1/2-inch lengthwise strips.

Set up a breading station: 1 pan of 1 cup of flour, 1 pan of eggs beaten with milk, 2 tablespoons of flour and mustard, and 1 pan of bread crumbs seasoned with cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Coat the peppers in the flour, then in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs. Arrange the chili fries on a nonstick baking sheet and roast for 18 minutes, turning once. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter.

Ranch Dipper
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped, then mashed into paste with salt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix together in bowl and serve. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Figgy Pudding

 "Oh bring us some figgy pudding, oh bring us some figgy pudding, oh bring us some figgy pudding and bring it right now!"

Every time I hear that song, I always wonder what the heck is Figgy Pudding? I tried to make it last year but it was impossible to find figs at any of the grocery stores. This year however was much different. I started seeing them everywhere in October. I bought them whenever I saw them - Walmart, Smiths, the dollar store. What an abundance of figs!

We were so excited to make this since it dates back to the 16th century in England. Such an old desert that is in a popular Christmas song must be worth trying - right? Indeed it was. If you like bread pudding, carmel dumplings or gingerbread cake with butter sauce - you will love this! You must serve it with vanilla ice cream.

Figgy Pudding
  • 2 cups chopped dried figs
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 75 grams (2 1/2-ounces) dark chocolate, grated
  • Butter, for coating ramekins
  • Ice cream or whipped cream, for garnish
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • Fresh  or dried figs, quartered, for garnish (I used raisins)
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional
  • Whipped heavy cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the dried figs and water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender and puree.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture and the chocolate. Put the mixture into 4 buttered, 1-cup individual ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Prepare the sauce by stirring the sugar, cream and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. May be served in the ramekin or unmolded onto a small serving plate. With paring knife cut a cross in the top of the puddings for the sauce.

Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and it allow to soak in slightly. Top with fresh figs and vanilla ice cream or heavily whipped cream. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Plum Tart

At family reunions I always hear about the famous plum tart that my great grandma from Germany used to always make. I have always wanted to make it so I could try plum tart. When I think of plums I think of sugar plum fairies and "visions of sugar plums danced in their heads" so for me, this sounded like a Christmas recipe.

It was so delicious that I can't believe I have never had it before. My German husband told me that these tarts are such a common thing in Germany but I think plum is one he hasn't had too often. If you like cherry pie, then you'll love this!

Plum Tart
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 8 red plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix until crumbly.

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch spring form or tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, to form a circular flower pattern.

Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it's lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pita Pizzas

I came up with this super easy and tasty way to make pizzas! They are the perfect size for individual pizzas and take up an entire dinner plate. You can personalize each one for each family member. Set up a topping bar and allow your guests or kids to create their own pizzas.Pita bread has an air pocket in the center so you get the perfect crust. My husband is German and loves his crust thin just like in Italy. This is a quick and easy way to get the crust close to the authentic thin crust pizza he is used to. It's crazy good!

Just buy white or wheat pita bread (one pack comes with 6 pieces). The ones I buy are baked fresh here in Utah and only a couple bucks. Arrange them on cookie sheets and top with your favorite toppings and cheeses. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Candy Cane Twist Cookies

My mom used to make these when I was a little girl. I loved watching her roll them out and twist them. She would flavor hers with almond extract but I think peppermint is more fitting for a candy cane. These are so cute to serve with hot chocolate or to stir in a cold glass of milk. I made mine a bit larger for fun but if you chill the dough before you bake it they will not be so wide.  When I made these last night my kids were so excited and gobbled them up!

Candy Cane Twist Cookies
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract 
  • 3-4 drops red food coloring
  • 1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, cream sugar, powdered sugar, and butter until light and fluffy. Add oil, vanilla, almond extract and eggs.; mix well. Stir in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt until well blended. Divide cookie dough in half and in separate bowls. In one bowl add the peppermint extract and red food coloring. Mix well until dough is colored. Cover both bowls with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours (I placed mine in the freezer for an hour instead). You need very cold dough for the cookies to hold shape in the oven.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.Take a finger full of white dough and red dough and on a floured surface, roll them each into snakes about 9 inches in length. Place each snake side by side and pressing ends, slowly twist the dough together as if you were twisting crepe paper until entire cane is twisted. (If your dough is too sticky add a little more flour to each finger full, if it's too dry and breaking add a tiny bit of shortening). Place on a cookie sheet and bend the top so it forms a candy cane shape. Wet your finger and pat down any cracked areas so your candy canes are smooth. Place cookies in freezer for 5 minutes before placing in the oven. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool.

Place on cookie sheets and then place cookies in freezer for 5 minutes before placing in the oven. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

3D Cookie Christmas Tree

When I was a little girl my mom used to make this Christmas tree tower. I don't remember it but my older sister does. My mom said that she and her mother used to teach classes how to make these. I had never seen one in person but after my older sister described it over the phone, it sounded pretty simple. The one that my mom used to make had a thin candle as the dowel that held the tree together. She would light the candle and use it as a centerpiece.

For the recipe you need star cookie cutters of different sizes but I just free handed it with a pairing knife on my cookie dough. I cut out several different sizes and then stacked them from largest to smallest. You'll want to also make quarter sized mini cookies to place in between each cookie to keep them from sticking and and ruining the pretty frosting. You can use a soda lid as your cookie cutter.

Any sugar cookie recipe will work but unlike normal sugar cookies you don't want these to be soft or they will crumble and your tree will fall apart. Avoid recipes with softeners such as cream, sour cream or cream cheese. I baked mine an extra few minutes and left them out a few hours so they were harder (but not too hard, still a little soft).

You will also want to take something small like a marker lid and poke a hole in the center of each of  your cookies so that you can stack them on a dowel. A great dowel to use is a chopstick. A prettier dowel would of course be a very thin candle that is the same width from top to bottom.

Sixlets make perfect little candy ornaments or on the baking isle where the cake decorating section is you can find candy colored balls. I was fortunate to have a bag of mini gummy stars in my pantry so I I used a yellow one as the star on top of the tree. Use this cute tree as your dinner centerpiece and for desert the kids will have fun removing these and dipping them in milk or hot chocolate.

There is plenty of dough so I recommend also making my candy cane twists with the extra dough. Check out that recipe here: http://cookwithlindsey.blogspot.com/2013/12/candy-cane-twist-cookies.html

3D Cookie Christmas Tree
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Butter Cream Frosting
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used raspberry extract instead)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk or whipping cream
  • 2-3 drops of green food coloring

  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 drops green food coloring 
  • candy for ornaments

In a large bowl, cream sugar, powdered sugar, and butter until light and fluffy. Add oil, vanilla, almond extract and eggs.; mix well. Stir in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt until well blended. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours (I placed mine in the freezer for an hour instead). You need very cold dough for the stars to hold shape in the oven.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out cookie dough on a floured surface. Begin cutting different sizes of stars. You can make stencils on the computer and cut out on card stock. Then use the card stock stencils and place them on your dough. Use a small pairing knife to cut around the stars. Lift the cut stars and place them on a cookie sheet. 8-12 stars should be enough. I made a few extra just in case some of them broke. Using a soda lid or any lid smaller than a milk cap, cut out about 8-12 circles. Place on cookie sheets and then place cookies in freezer for 5 minutes before placing in the oven. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Allow to cool.

For frosting, in a medium bowl mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency. Add food coloring and mix well.

For topping, in a small bowl mix coconut and food coloring. Stir with spoon pressing down for about 10 minutes until coconut is green. (It takes a while for the coconut to mix with the food coloring. Do not add more food coloring thinking you don't have enough. 2 drops is plenty it just takes time. )

After cookies have cooled take a small marker lid and carefully pierce holes in the center of stars and round cookies. Frost cookies with green frosting while still on cookie sheets. Sprinkle coconut over tops and begin stacking cookies from largest stars to smallest stars on a pretty platter. Place a round cookie in between each star. Use a chopstick or thin candle as your dowel to place cookies on through center of holes. The dowel will keep your tree from tipping over. Decorate with candy ornaments and light candle for ambiance. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Avocado Pasta

This is so delicious, creamy and light - and healthy! I could seriously eat the entire batch it's that good!

Avocado Pasta
  • 1 pound pasta (I use whole wheat)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium avocados, halved, peeled, and seeded
  • 1 packed cup basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted 

Boil the pasta according to directions on package. Drain, put pack in pot and add olive oil. Toss and set aside.

Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the avocados and place in a food processor. Add the basil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss together. Add the cheese and almonds and toss together until coated. Top with parsley and serve. 

Inspired by this recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/linguine-with-avocado-and-arugula-pesto-recipe/index.html

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lindsey's Stollen

This is a traditional Christmas bread in Germany and I decided I was going to surprise my husband with a homemade loaf to make his day! I really made this recipe my own and it turned out fabulous! The entire family gobbled it up in a day. It turns out that my mom's grandma who was from Germany used to make this all the time and my mom and her mom used to teach classes on how to make this bread way back in the day. I had no idea!

This is so yummy! The first time I ever tried stollen I wasn't a big fan. I thought it was dry and bland. There are different versions of it with different fillings and when I added my own fillings the flavor was perfect and it was so delicious! In my version there are bursts of citrus, cinnamon, and nuttiness. I never did like fruit cake or anything with candied fruit in it - but this my friends is not the same! My husband likes it cold but I like it warm right out of the oven. Either way you can't go wrong eating it!

Lindsey's Stollen
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 1/4 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp dry active yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 tangerine, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tsp grated tangerine peel
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup of chopped nuts (I used hazel nuts, almonds and walnuts) 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  For dough, heat milk, water and and butter in small saucepan until warm and blended (do not boil).

In a large bowl whisk 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast together. Add warm milk mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Add egg and 1 cup flour, beat another 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until batter is stiff.Transfer to greased bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile for the filling, heat bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 3 cups of sugar, tangerine slices and lemon slices. Allow to boil for 30 minutes or until peels are tender and chewy like candy. In a separate bowl, add dried cranberries, raisins, figs, grated tangerine and lemon peel zest, nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg. When peels are finished boiling removed from liquid syrup. Remove any seeds. Chop the peels on a cutting board and add to mixture in bowl. Pour about 2 Tbsp of the citrus syrup into the fruit mixture and stir.

Remove risen dough and place on floured surface. Kneed fruit mixture into dough. Roll into a long sub shape and curve ends (like a crescent moon). Place on a greased cookie sheet, cover with plastic and allow to rise for another 1 1/2 hours in a warm place.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and brush melted butter over the top. Dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Apple Crisp Cheesecake

This is super yummy! The creamy cinnamon filling, crisp crumble topping and sweet caramel sauce is the perfect way to do an apple desert! I loved this. The recipe called for homemade crust but I like to save time so I bought a pre-made graham cracker crust.

Apple Crisp Cheesecake
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust 
  • cream cheese, softened - 2 - 8oz pkgs
  • packed brown sugar - 1/4 cup
  • egg - 1, lightly beaten
  • sour cream - 3 tbsp
  • ground cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • ground ginger - 1/8 tsp
  • apple, sliced & peeled - 2/3 cup
  •  all-purpose flour - 3 tbsp
  • quick cooking oats - 3 tbsp
  • brown sugar - 3 tbsp
  • ground cinnamon - 3 tsp
  • cold butter - 2 tbsp
  • caramel ice cream topping - personal taste

 For filling, in a small bowl beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in the sour cream, cinnamon and ginger.
Pour over crust. Arrange apple slices over filling.

For topping, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple slices. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set.
 Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.

Refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, remove sides of pan. Caramel topping may be added to taste just prior to serving. Refrigerate leftovers. 

Original recipe here: http://okcbestcheesecakerecipes.com/recipes/cheesecake/apple-crisp-cheesecake/

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup

If you love flavor and you love soup - then this recipe is for you! Yes, it sounds like a summer soup but because it has sweet potatoes in it, I think it can classify as a Fall soup as well. It's sweet and creamy with a kick. You will love it!  This recipe makes about two servings.

Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup

  • 1 cup mashed, baked sweet potato 
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk (or cream)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3 pinches of salt
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (Knorr makes chipotle bullion cubes you can find on the soup isle. I used one of those)
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips
  • Crumbled bacon
Blend potato, broth, zest, salt and chipotle powder in a blender. Pour into soup pot and heat on medium high. Serve soup warm and top with garnishes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Best Crab Soup Ever

Oh my gosh! This is seriously THE BEST soup I have ever had. Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you, it's not that tough to make and trust me - you will be so glad you made it. Sure, fresh crab meat is not cheap (at least here in Utah) but it's worth the cost on this recipe. My kids and husband loved it and we couldn't stop eating it. I wanted to share it with other people, but we just couldn't stop eating it. I crave it all the time now. Don't skip any of the ingredients, each one adds to the unique flavor and the recipe wouldn't be the same without it. Also, imitation crab meat is NOT to be used in this recipe. You will do yourself a huge disservice by using the fake stuff. Get the real stuff, you can find by the canned tuna. Canned is cheaper than fresh.

The Best Crab Soup Ever
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pinch of curry powder
  • Pinch of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (I used white wine vinegar) 
  • 5 cups clam juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (I used dry) 
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 pounds fresh crabmeat, drained and picked (I bought canned) 
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter with oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

Stir in flour and next 5 ingredients; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add sherry and clam juice; stir until well blended. Stir in parsley and tarragon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until reduced to 4 cups.

Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a separate bowl or pan, pressing on solids with a spatula; discard solids. Return soup to Dutch oven; stir in cream. Cook over medium heat 25 minutes or until soup is thickened. Add crabmeat; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

You can find this recipe here: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/river-house-she-crab-soup-10000001831920/

Cookie Dough Fudge

Okay, I absolutely love this recipe! Who doesn't love cookie dough? Especially cookie dough that doesn't have any egg in it. And who doesn't love fudge? Two amazing American favorites married into one is one of the best creations I have ever seen grace the planet. Seriously, give it a try.

Cookie Dough Fudge

For the cookie dough:
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp half and half

For the fudge:
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Line and 8x8 baking dish with tin foil. Allow tin foil to overlap the sides by an inch. Spray with cooking oil.

For the cookie dough, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, salt and half & half. Stir in the flour until well blended. Set aside.

For the fudge, combine the brown sugar, salt, butter and half & half in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. When mixture is smooth add the vanilla.

Add the cookie dough to the fudge base and stir to combine. Mix in the chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Chill until set (about 3 hours). Enjoy!

You can find this recipe here: http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2013/02/12/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-fudge/

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jell-O Popcorn

This popcorn is so easy to make and super yummy! You can change up the flavors to match any holiday or occasion. I used it for my Halloween visiting teaching treat. 

Jell-O Popcorn

  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 (3 oz.) package cherry or other flavored gelatin

Heat oven to 300ºF. Line large shallow roasting pan with heavy foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil. Place popped popcorn onto foil. Make sure kernels have been removed.

 Combine sweetened condensed milk and dry gelatin in medium saucepan. Heat and stir over low heat until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly, 4 to 5 minutes. (for easy clean up soak in hot water immediately)

Pour mixture over popcorn. Stir gently to coat using a long-handled wooden spoon. Bake 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Carefully turn out onto large piece of lightly buttered foil. Cool. Break into pieces or clusters.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vanilla Lime Cupcakes

I created this recipe for my daughter's third birthday party. The theme was princess and the frog and these were very fitting! 

I love adding jell-o to cake mix not only because you can create so many fun flavors and colors of cake by doing so  but also because of the chemical reaction that takes place. The batter foams and bubbles and becomes a little heavier. It ends up making the cake much more moist and fluffy. The lime tastes so delicious in these cupcakes and the cool, creamy and light vanilla topping just adds the perfect touch. I prefer my pudding topping to normal frosting any day.

Because these were frog themed, I used the gummy frogs and they were heavenly! If you wanted to stick with a lime or green theme then you could put those sugared gummy limes on top or even try the apple flavored gummy rings. You can't go wrong either way!

Vanilla Lime Cupcakes
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • (enough eggs, water and oil per requirement on cake mix directions)
  • 1 pkg lime gelatin

Vanilla Topping

  • 1 large tub of cool whip
  • 1 pkg vanilla pudding (dry)

Make cake mix according to directions on box. Add box of gelatin and stir in. Pour into greased cupcake tin. Bake according to directions on cake mix box.

In a medium bowl mix cool whip and dry vanilla pudding mix together until well blended. Set aside.

When cupcakes have cooled spread vanilla topping on top and decorate. Enjoy!

These cupcakes can be set out for hours and topping will not melt. As soon as topping is refrigerated, the cold temperature makes it difficult to spread so you want to make sure you don't refrigerate until after you have spread the topping onto the cupcakes. Store in an air tight container.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

La Victoria Green Taco Sauce

Ever wonder what to do with all those green tomatoes at the end of the season? I used to always wonder until I came up with this idea. This is my own recipe and I apologize because I didn't record measurements I just threw ingredients in until it tasted just like the real deal even though it has less ingredients. I would recommend adding small amounts of the salt and vinegar until it reaches your liking - so you don't accidentally overdo it. It's so simple to make. No peeling skins, slicing or any tiring steps - just boiling, blending, some flavoring and you are good to fill your jars. I love it!

I have an awesome recipe I created years ago using green taco sauce - it's a family favorite - Green Enchiladas. My husband prefers La Victoria green taco sauce to any salsa. We use it on nachos, as a dip, on tacos and burritos and of course enchiladas! Mix it it with sour cream, mayo, jalapenos, cilantro and ranch seasoning for an amazing dip!

La Victoria Green Taco Sauce
  • Large pot of green tomatoes
  • white distilled vinegar
  • salt 
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Wash green tomatoes and place in boiling water. Be sure to pull off stems. Boil for about 10-15 minutes until tomatoes are very soft. Dump out hot water and rinse tomatoes in cold water until they are cooled. Place batches at a time in the blender and then pour puree back into pot. Do this until all tomatoes have been pureed. Add vinegar (1/4 cup at a time until it reaches your liking), salt, onion powder and garlic powder. The vinegar helps preserve the sauce but also creates the popular tangy flavor of the taco sauce. Add salt 1 tsp at a time until it reaches your liking.

Pour puree into sterile jars and screw on lids. Boil in hot water bath for 45 minutes. Remove and check the following morning of all jars have been sealed. If not you can boil again or place in the fridge. Enjoy!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

I thought this up one day while daydreaming about deserts. It was so simple to make. It just bought some graham cracker pie crusts and make a thin cheesecake and baked it, then poured the lemon filling and meringue topping over it and baked it again. It was delicious!

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

  • 2 graham cracker pie crusts 
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar 
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract  
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Lemon Mirengue
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested  
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten 
  • 4 egg whites 
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar 

Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350 degree. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Then cool.

Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell over cheesecake. Set aside.

Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Cool before serving.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sweet Apple Bacon Meatball Skewers

Mmmm! I saw a picture of something similar in a German cookbook. Here's my version! I love the sweet crispy coating on the bacon and the way those baked apples taste - they create a nice aroma in your oven. The meatballs soak in the sweet flavors and it's delicious!

I served mine with mini yellow potatoes and salad.

Sweet Apple Bacon Meatball Skewers
  • 1 bag frozen meatballs (not Italian kind)
  • 1 pkg of bacon
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 crisp gala apples, cut into wedges
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange bacon, apples and meatballs on skewers in a pattern. Place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar over skewers. Bake for twenty minutes or until bacon is crisp. Enjoy!.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Schnitzel Sandwich (Midwestern Fried Pork Sandwich)

I first saw one of these at the Maid Rite in Layton. I guess they are a popular sandwich in the Midwest. When I learned what it was I realized it was pretty much a schnitzel sandwich. It's much funner to say so that's what I call it.

Here is my version. Load this baby up with white cheddar cheese sauce and you have a little piece of heaven in your hands!

Schnitzel Sandwich
  • 4-6 pork chops, thawed
  • 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-2 cups oil
  • sandwich bread
Cheese sauce
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream (or milk)
  • 2 cups shredded WHITE CHEDDAR cheese (Walmart has it)
  • lettuce
  • pickles
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • kethup 
  • mustard
  • mayo
Place eggs, flour and bread crumbs each in separate dishes. Pour one cup of oil into a frying pan and heat on medium high. Dip pork chops in flour and coat on each side. Then dip them in the eggs and coat evenly, then dip them in bread crumbs and coat both sides. Place in the frying pan and cook until entire pork chop is golden brown and crispy.

In a small sauce pan melt half of the butter on medium high. Stir in 2 Tbsp of flour. Add cream. Continue stirring. Melt in the rest of thr butter. Sprinkle remaining flower over the top and keep stirring. Add both cups of cheese and stir until mixture is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat or keep warm on low while stirring. You can always add more flour to thicken it. Sprinkle the flour over it rather than dump it in or you will have big clumps of doughy flour. You want it smooth and silky.

Get sandwiches ready and pour cheese sauce over the pork chops (schnitzel). Top with toppings and condiments. Serve with chips, fries or a salad!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bacon Crepe Rolls

These are so easy to make and so yummy! Really you can take any topping combination and make these fabulous. I created this recipe with bacon and it was amazing!

Bacon Crepe Rolls
  • 8 crepes
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 2 cups crumbled bacon
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup milk  
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. 

Mix cream cheese and garlic together. Spread 2 Tbsp onto each crepe. Sprinkle bacon and green onions over the top. Roll up into a burrito. Cut into one inch slices. Serve while warm.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

I love this recipe because it was so easy! Who doesn't love a good poke cake?

Banana Pudding Poke Cake 

  • Nilla Wafers
  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 boxes Banana Pudding Mix
  • Cool Whip
  • 3 bananas, sliced
Bake cake according to package directions. When it is done, poke several rows of holes. Make pudding according to directions. Pour pudding over cake while the cake is still warm & the pudding hasn’t setup. Add sliced bananas on top of the pudding. Ice with Cool Whip. Place Nilla Wafers in a plastic bag (as many as you like). Break them up with a rolling pin or whatever you have. Sprinkle the top with the crumbs. Refrigerate 2-4 hours. Enjoy!

Recipe from http://www.lovesharecook.com/banana-pudding-poke-cake/

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fruit Pizza

My sister used to always make this for us when we were little. She learned how to make one in 7th grade Home Economics Class  and it became a favorite! Here's my spin on it.

Fruit Pizza
  • 1 can of Pilsbury sugar cookie dough
  • package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened 
  • /2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1 can of oranges
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup orange marmalade 
Roll out cookie dough onto pizza pan. Bake according to directions on can. Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and spread over cooled cookie dough crust. Arrange fruit on too. Melt marmalade in microwave and pour over pizza. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.Serve cold.Enjoy!