Thursday, March 31, 2011

German Chocolate Chip Cookies

We love German Chocolate cake!! The very best part of the cake is the frosting!! Can you imagine putting all that goodness in a cookie...well that is what is so brilliant about this recipe I found over at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  She has some wonderfully delicious recipes!! These cookies were AMAZING!! They were even better the next day.  They are a bit flatter than the normal cookie, but are soft and chewy.  OH YUM!!
German Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (1 of those packages of crackers thrown in the food processor is usually the correct amount)
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans (Due to allergies I used sliced almonds)
Mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat condensed milk and butter until smooth. Mix all together, then add coconut, chips and nuts. Slightly grease cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 to 10 minutes until light brown.
*You could leave out the nuts if needed and they would still be amazing!!
Frugal Antics
For a great recipe!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Almost" Homemade Refried Beans

The other day I wanted to make my family a home made Mexican meal like you would get at a restaurant.  My plan was enchiladas, Mexican rice and homemade refried beans.  Well I forgot to soak my beans the night before (that recipe will come later), so out of desperation I came up with this recipe and it worked brilliantly!!  Simple, easy and delicious my type of recipe.  Everyone will think you slaved in the kitchen for this tasty side dish.
Almost Homemade Refried Beans
2 (16 oz.) cans refried beans
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese + a little more for garnishing.
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese*
Place everything in the crock pot and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 1-2 hours or when they are hot throughout.  Stir mixture a few times during the cooking.   Top each serving with a little shredded cheese. 
*If desired you can use all cheddar cheese.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tried and True: Simple Fudge Bars

Since I have been asked for this recipe a lot lately I decided it needed a second post and put on the tried an true list!!
These bars are super simple, but an  incredibly delicious treat!! It only takes a few minutes to prepare, but others will think you spent a lot of time in the kitchen making these. 

Fudge Bars
1 package yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
Combine cake mix, eggs and oil. Press 2/3 mix into a 13 x 9 greased pan.  Put the rest of the mixture aside.
Place the butter, milk and chocolate chips in a bowl.
  Microwave until everything is melted and smooth. Stir after each minute. (Approximately 2 1/2 minutes.)
Pour over top of cake mixture.
Drop the reserved cake mixture on top of the chocolate layer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting.
Beware they are addicting!!

The winner of "Cook it Together" drawn by random number generator is Snowhite from Finding Joy in My Kitchen  Congratulations!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Well it is Spring Break for my bad we don't get a Spring Break at work!! 
Oh well, I guess I can't complain.
 I have a couple of seriously delicious recipes that I made last week  to share with  you this coming week.                           
 Don't forget to enter the cookbook giveaway.  Winner will be announced later tonight.
This Week's Menu
Tuesday: Balsamic Chicken Salad
Wednesday: Stuffed Meatballs
Thursday: Picnic Night
Saturday: Chicken Veggie Pasta Toss
Sunday: Grilled Steak
Have a great week!!

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sticky Chicken

This is a sweet buffalo sauce that turns out a bit sticky!!  I make mine a bit on the mild side, it does have a little kick though.  It is an INCREDIBLE flavor and is so simple to make.  I like to save about 1/2 cup of sauce and mix it with ranch for a great dip or salad dressing. 
Sticky Chicken
Cooked chicken (any type you like)

1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce ( I used a 5 oz. bottle)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
Place ingredient in a saucepan. One medium high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a boil.  Take off heat and  let cool for at least 5 minutes, but can be made ahead of time.
Pour over cooked chicken.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.  It will thicken more as it cools.   If you don't want your sauce thick bake only long enough to make sure everything is heated.
~If you want a hotter sauce use more Frank's Red Hot Sauce and less ketchup.  If you like it sizzling hot: add 1 cup Frank's Red Hot and no ketchup.
Linked to:
Friday Fat Camp

Friday Favorites #7

A Happy Birthday to my sweet daughter who is turning 7 today and she is so EXCITED!!
Once again some amazing recipes this week and I can't wait to try them out on my table.

Frozen Fruit Cups
The Cutting Back Kitchen

Strawberry Soup
Purple Chocolat Home

Enchilada Meatballs
Running Away? I'll Help You Pack

German Chocolate Chip Cookies
Frugal Anties of a Harried Homemaker

Mozzarella Mac & Cheese
Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters

Chicken & White Bean Wraps
Debbi Does Dinner Healthy and Low Calorie

Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Caramel Glaze
Singing With the Birds

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crock Pot Root Beer Pulled Pork

I have shared with you our latest crave of pulled pork.  We prefer it baked but sometimes simplicity is what is needed. This is a simple and delicious recipe.  I love the BBQ sauce.  Adding the root beer adds a great flavor.

Crock Pot Root Beer Pulled Pork
adapted from Gooseberry Patch
2 cups onions sliced and divided
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
4  pound pork roast (loin is best)
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons liguid smoke (optional)
3 cups  Root Beer divided
16 oz bottle BBQ sauce ( or two cups)

Place 1 cup onions and the garlic it the bottom of the crock pot. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper, place in crock pot.  Add 1 1/2 cups root beer and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on low setting for 8-10 hours or on high setting for 5 hours.  Remove roast and set aside to cool. Discard onion and liquid in crock pot.  In a saucepan, bring the BBQ sauce and 1 1/2 cups root beer to a boil and then simmer for 15-25 minutes.  When roast is cool enough to handle, shred with a fork.  Discard fat.  Return shredded meat to the crock pot. Stir in sauce mixture and remaining onion. Cover and cook on high for 1-3 hours, until the onion is soft. 
*We were anxious to eat so added the onion to the sauce mixture, then combined it with the meat and ate!!
*We also added a little liquid smoke to the sauce mixture, for an added smoky flavor.
We took the leftover and froze them. It froze great and was a great easy meal for later!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Caramel Chocolate Crumb Bars

These bars were easy and so delicious! A good mixture of chocolate and caramel with a hint of butter crust! Oh YUM!! I took most of them to the girls in my YW class.  My son told me they were no good. I shouldn't take them and he would be happy to eat them all for me.  Ha Ha!!  I am glad I did because I would of eaten the whole pan had I got the chance.  He said he should of eaten more while he had the chance.

Caramel Chocolate Crumb Bars
1 1/2 cups flour + 2 Tablespoons dived
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup cold butter
30 caramels
2 Tablespoons milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
In a food processor or by hand combine 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, salt and soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Reserve 1 cup of crumbs and press the rest in a greased 9x13 pan. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes or until set. 
 In a microwave safe bowl, melt the caramels with the milk. Stir after each 30 seconds until melted and smooth.  Stir in the 2 Tablespoons flour and mix until well blended.  Pour over top of crust.
 Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and reserved crumb mixture. 
 Bake 15-20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
Cool and then cut into bars!! Enjoy.
Linked to:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday & A Giveaway

A Happy 12th Birthday to my sweet daughter!!  It is hard to believe that little 3 pound baby, is now a beautiful young woman!!
Her party went really well, but boy was I tired!!  The girls commented on how much they liked the sandwich bar with fruit and veggies.  So that was really nice.  This week is a bit easier on me because of not one but two birthdays.  We are also off and running...literally. Track has started so be prepared for more pasta meals.  My son has a routine and has to have pasta the night before every meet!  I am going to have to get creative!!

This Week's Menu
Monday: Birthday Dinner
Tuesday: Enchiladas Creamas Verdes
Wednesday: Lasagna
Thursday: Sticky Chicken
Friday: Birthday Dinner
Saturday: Hoagie Sandwiches
Sunday: Grilled Steak
Now for the GREAT NEWS!! As a little "THANK YOU' I am giving away:
It is a darling cookbook! Perfect for the aspiring small cooks in your life and just about anyone!!
To enter be a follower and leave me a comment!!
Winner will be drawn by Random Number Generator on March 28th!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good Healthy Bread: Nature's Pride

The other day I received a box on the front porch from Foodbuzz.  In the box we found......
Nature's Pride Hearty Wheat with Flax
I LOVE bread so you can imagine how excited I was to find out all the impressive nutritional facts.
*100% whole wheat bread
*Good source of Omega 3-ALA
*22 grams of whole grains
*Good source of fiber, 3 g per slice
*5 g of protein per slice
*A nutritious bread with onle 100 calories per slice.
Now the BEST PART:
Other bread that boast that type of nutritional value, just don't make the cut.  This one  does and I was even caught eating it plain!  We loved it as toast and with our favorite meats as a sandwich!! I now don't have to feel guilty about eating bread!!
I was very impressed.

I was sent this loaf of bread as part of Foodbuzz's Tastemakers program. Thanks to Nature's Pride and Foodbuzz.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Favorites #6

Wow!! Where did the week go?  I appologize for the lack of post this week.  I have been working more and trying to plan a preteen birthday party (a little added STRESS there!!).  The party is tonight, so wish me luck!!  There were some FABULOUS recipes this week and I didn't get them all!  Thanks for being so inspiring! Can't wait to try these out on my table!!

Brown Sugar Bacon
The Sporadic Cook

Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters

An 'A' for Effort

Apple & Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Lamp Unto My Feet

Enchilada Soup
Purple Chocolat Home

Irish Beef Hand Pies
Megan's Cookin

Olive Parmesan Bread
Running Away? I 'll Help You Pack.

Winter Salad
Healthy Eating for Ordinary People

Homemade Hamburger Buns
Tightwad Mom's Frugal Forum

Linked to:
Friday Favorites at Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Simply Baked Pasta

One night last week I came home from work, very tired and needed something super quick for dinner.  This dish saved me that night and the best thing is the family LOVED it.  Even my picky eater had seconds.  It is so simple I feel a bit guilty posting the recipe, but it is a good one.
Simply Baked Pasta
1 lb. pasta  ( I used penne.)
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic
1 cup or more sliced mushrooms
1 jar spaghetti sauce (around 26 oz.)
1 can tomato soup (10 3/4 oz.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 can petite diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Do not overcook.  Drain and set aside. 
In a skillet brown hamburger, onion and garlic.  Season just a bit to taste. Add mushrooms and cook just a few minutes until they are soft.  Drain.
Mix the pasta and hamburger mixture together with the spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and tomatoes if desired.   Pour into a  9 x13 casserole dish. 
Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese on top.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Then remove cover and cook for 10 more minutes.
Next time I will add some more veggies to it.

Linked to:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Baked French Toast Sticks

This is the perfect quick and easy breakfast (or when ever), that can be made ahead and frozen.  They taste delicious!!  My kids thought they were in heaven!! I am really LUCKY that any of them made it to the freezer.  The family devoured them straight out of the oven.

Baked French Toast Sticks
makes 36 sticks
4 eggs
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon vanilla
12 thick (about 1 inch) sliced bread or Texas toast sliced bread
3-4 Tablespoons butter (optional)
Cut each slice of bread into three pieces.
In a shallow bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, milk , maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla with a fork or whisk, until well blended.  Dip each bread strip into the egg mixture, coating completely, but do not over soak.  You don't want the bread to be super soggy.
Place on a greased cookie sheet.  If you want you can brush a little melted butter underneath each strip before you place it on the cookie sheet.  I found that worked well!  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Let them sit while the oven is preheating.
Bakefor 10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter and turn them over to toast the other side.  Return to oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more or until golden brown.
Now you can either eat or flash freeze (put them in the freezer for a bit so they freeze individually.)
and place them in a freezer bag.  They make for a great quick breakfast. 
When ready to serve reheat in the toaster oven for 3-5 minutes.
Eat plain or serve with syrup and garnish with a little powdered sugar.
Oh YUM!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week the dishwasher died and I have come to the realization how spoiled I am...because I HATE doing dishes by hand.  It has been an awakening for the children and it has been interesting to watch them during this process.  I am hoping that they are learning something!!   Enough complaining and on to this week's menu!!

This Week's Menu
Monday: Crescent Chicken Bundles
Tuesday: Spaghetti with Italian Spaghetti sauce
Wednesday:  Taco Rice & Beans
Thursday:  Picnic Night
Friday: Birthday Party Pizza
Saturday: Italian Chicken Pitas
Sunday: BBQ Chicken
Happy Eating!!


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