Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Faves- Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie

Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without dessert and lots of it.  I don't make a lot of pies though out the year, but our Thanksgiving consist of plenty or pies!  Growing up I remember Grandma, my mom and aunts making lots of pies.  You had plenty of great options.  I also remember the men always undoing the top button on their pants to make room for more pie.  HAHA!!  I have carried on the pie tradition anyway and we wear sweats to avoid the pants thing.  My youngest daughter has become my pie maker and this is one of her favorites.  It takes two faves and puts it into one pie.  SO DELICIOUS!!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie
1 baked pie crust
Cream Cheese Layer
1- 8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping
Mix cream cheese, sugar and milk together until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream.
Place mixture in the pie crust.

Chocolate Layer
1 large (6 1/2 cup serving) instant chocolate pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup whipped cream or whipped topping
Mix the pudding mix with the milk.  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Stir into the pudding mix.  Fold in the whipped topping.
Spread over top of cream cheese layer.
If desired grate a small amount of chocolate on top of the pie. Refrigerate for a few hours, if you can wait that long!
Serve with whipped cream on top!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Faves- Snickers Salad

I was recently discussing Thanksgiving with my cousins. One thing we talked about was sitting at the kid's table for Thanksgiving.  It was the happening place to be, full of entertainment and lots of laughter.  None of us cousins wanted to move on to the adult table.  Our relationships grew and we enjoyed being around each other so much!  Lots of fabulous memories!
Therefore I am excited my kids will have the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with some of their cousins this year.   Snickers Salad is by far my kids most requested item for Thanksgiving dinner and it is a good one!
Snickers Salad

1 - 8 oz. container whipped topping
1 - 3 oz package instant vanilla pudding (french vanilla is so good!)
3-4 apples
3 regular sized Snickers bars
2 cups of milk
miniature marshmallows (about 2 cups)
Core and chop up apples and candy bars.
Mix pudding mix and milk together until smooth. Add apples and candy bars. Fold in the whipped topping and add the desired amount of marshmallows. Serve.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Faves- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Since moving away from Idaho extended family Thanksgivings have been pretty sparse.  This year we are blessed to have family coming and we will get together at my brother's house.  Which leads me in to this requested recipe that I got from my sister in law Nicole.  Another salad I don't make often enough. It is always a hit!!

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
5 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
3 cups cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 medium purple onion, chopped
½ cup salted sunflower seeds
1 pound bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Mix broccoli, cauliflower, onion, sunflower seeds and bacon together in a large bowl.
2. Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Stir until well coated.
3. Chill for 2-4 hours.

Note: You can use what ever ratio of broccoli/cauliflower you like.  All broccoli or half and half, ect.

The chill time does make a difference. It really allows the flavors to mix nicely.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Faves- Raspberry Pretzel Salad

This is one of those McNee family recipes that seemed to have gotten lost for a few years, but luckily it was found and now one of my family's favorites.  I don't make it often enough so it is a welcomed treat at Thanksgiving.   I promise to update the pictures this year.

Raspberry Pretzel Salad
2 cups crushed pretzels
3 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
Mix pretzels, butter and sugar. Press into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool.
1st Layer
1- 8 oz cream cheese
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1- 8 oz. whipped topping
Beat cream cheese and pineapple.  Add whipped topping and spread over crust.

2nd Layer
1- 6 oz. raspberry Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 (10 oz.) packages frozen raspberries, thawed
Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Stir in berries. Let stand for a few minutes until semi-set (around 10 minutes). Pour over cream cheese layer. Chill.  
3rd Layer
Cover the top with whipped topping.
Chill and enjoy!!

I would of loved to have had a picture of this salad served, but it was all gone within a couple of minutes.  

*Note: Strawberries also work great.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Faves- Grandma's Rolls

Growing up all family gatherings meant great food.  You knew to come hungry and plan on eating lots!  There was always a abundance of delicious food. Thanksgiving was usually an extended family gathering, it brings back lots of great memories and traditions that I still carry on with my family to this day.  Over the next week my plan is to share with you some of the Thanksgiving faves of my family.  The must have dishes for our Thanksgiving dinner.  
      First I want to start out with the most popular item I am always asked to prepare: Grandma's Rolls.   This recipe is not actually my grandma's, but I am pretty sure it is close to it.  One memory of Thanksgiving was the amazing smell of the rolls as they were baking.  The smell to this day still reminds me of my Grandma's home and brings back great memories.  You can half this recipe, but trust me they will get eaten so fast you will want the whole batch.

Grandma's Rolls
In a saucepan, combine:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
Bring to a boil and let cool. (important to let cool)
In a small bowl combine
1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbs yeast
2 tsp sugar
Set aside and let dissolve.
2 1/2 tsp. salt
3 beaten eggs
8-10 cups flour

When the milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm (or cooler), pour into mixer. Add 4 cups flour, the yeast mixture(I let this dissolve right in my mixing bowl), salt and beaten eggs. Beat until smooth. Add flour a little at a time while mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl but is not stiff. (It usually takes 9-10 cups for me).

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. Punch down, cover and let rise again until doubled in size.

After dough has risen a second time, divide in half. Each half will make a cookie sheet. Form your rolls and place on a greased cookie sheet a little ways apart. Let rise 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
I always butter the tops of my rolls right after they come out of the oven.

Makes approx. 40 rolls depending on the size of your rolls.
I usually let my dough raise in a sunny window. When there is not any sun which regularly happens in our neck of the woods, I preheat my oven on the lowest temperature possible (mine is 170 degrees) for just a few minutes (Literally like no more than 5 minutes). Then I turn it off and let my dough raise in the oven.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

K&T's 'Rockin' Barbecue Meatloaf

A couple months ago in the midst of my move I received an email from my cousin Kara about this meatloaf she had made this was her note:
"So my BCE (best cousin ever) I made award winning meat loaf tonight. Was so rocking exciting about I brought samples to Cathi, my Mom, James, Kim and Hunter. First... Hunter ate it... An 11 year old liked meat loaf... Back in the day you couldn't get us to eat much of anything. It's heavenly!"
 I was totally intrigued at that point to actually have taken the time to share it with that many people when her life is so busy..It must be delicious!
Then came the disclosure...
"Well, no recipe..."
The good news is she explained to me her process and with some trial I think between the two of us (we do make a good team) we have come up with a fabulous recipe!   I was so excited  for this that  is was the first real meal I cooked in my new kitchen.  She was right it was incredible!!  Then the bad news....
hubby threw away my recipe notes.
Disappointment set in, but also gave me the opportunity to try it again to see if it truly was as good as I remembered just not the fact that the family had been eating total processed foods during the move.
No surprises...
It was just as delicious as I remembered, so thankfully I had the recipe correct in my head. Most definitely a keeper!!  Picture does not do it justice!  
K&T's 'Rockin' Barbecue Meatloaf
(A Kara & Tiff Creation)

1 medium onion diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 egg
2 pieces of bread toasted (and made into crumbs)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce plus more for the topping.*

Melt butter over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until they tender and caramelized a bit. Remove from heat.  Place in a large bowl.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Form in to a loaf.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes then remove and drain off the fat.  Brush it with additional barbecue sauce and return to the oven.  Bake for an addition 15-20 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

The first time I made this I used muffin tins for individual sized portions.  Cook those for about 30-40 minutes.  Draining the fat after the first 20 minutes.

*Kara recommends Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce, used gluten free bread and added diced red pepper to her onion mixture.

She's right it is heavenly!  Thanks Kara.

Monday, November 3, 2014

No More Scrubbing Cookie Sheets!!

In the mist of my move I received a fabulous gift in the mail.  It was a Non Sitck Silicon Baking Mat, which I was so excited to try out.  Well some how it got lost in the shuffle of the move.  The other day I was moving things around and guess what I found!!

I must admit I was a little skeptical on the "non stick" part so I decided to put it to the test.  I made some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The dough is quite sticky.  I placed the mat on my cookie sheet and put the cookie dough right on top.
I baked them as normal.
Used the spatula to get them off only because they were hot and it was so simple!!
They slid right off the mat.
The more incredible part...
Look how clean the mat stayed after I took the cookies off.
Totally passed the test and impressed me!!
No more scrubbing the residue off the cookie sheet or buying parchment paper.
So excited to try it out for other things like:
  • Rolling our dough.  I hate the flour mess .
  • Putting it under pies that might over flow and make a mess in the oven
  • Putting it in my casserole dishes to prevent that horrible clean up 
  • Using it for all my baking needs.
It comes with a 100% no hassle guarantee and is FDA approved.
A huge surprise was finding Love Your Kitchen had featured one of my recipes in the flyer that comes with the mat.  It was pretty awesome!!
I love this mat and I am sure you will too!!

Disclaimer:  I was not paid any money for this review.  I was given the mat as a gift to try out.  All opinions are my own.


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