Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween - Candy Corn

 Hope you all have a Happy Halloween.  A friend of mine told me to try this combination last year at Halloween....seriously....candy corn and peanuts...SO yummy!!  Tastes a lot like a Payday.  Delish!!



 I didn't make these cupcakes.  Someone dropped them off at our door, but I thought they were SO cute!!  I love the 'candy corn' frosting.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chinese Spicy Chicken

I found this recipe over at Mandy's Recipe Box.  We REALLY enjoyed this recipe!  So good....we really LOVE spicy over here :).

Chinese Spicy Chicken

Ingredients:

 Chicken
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Spicy Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
Sriracha Hot Sauce to taste
Red Pepper flakes
 
Directions:  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your Spicy Sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken.
 
Caution: The Sriracha sauce really is hot! So start with a little bit and stir it around and taste it before adding more. 
 
Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Red Pepper flakes before serving.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween - Pumpkin Shaped Cookie

So...I didn't really know what to name this post.  I didn't want to say 'pumpkin sugar cookie' and make you think I had some wonderful sugar cookie recipe that included pumpkin in the ingredients.

SO..anyway....just wanted to share a quick easy pumpkin shaped sugar cookie....I used my FAVORITE sugar cookie recipe....with butter cream frosting, then just added a Kit Kat for the stem.


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Friday, October 19, 2012

Applesauce Banana Bread

This banana bread uses applesauce in place of the oil or shortening.  I used some applesauce that I bottled with very little sugar a couple of years ago.  You might need to adjust your sugar if you use sugar free applesauce..

Applesauce Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (1 T vinegar, fill to 1/2 cup with milk)
3 lg. mashed bananas
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips(optional)

Directions:  Beat together applesauce, sugar and eggs.  Add buttermilk and mashed bananas.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt.  Beat with a spoon, add vanilla and chocolate chips.  Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour in greased loaf pan.  Or...if you use 4 mini loaf pans, I cook mine for 25 minutes.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chewy M&M Cookies

I asked my son what he wanted to take as a treat for his class to celebrate his birthday.....he requested M&M cookies.  I used found this recipe over at the Six Sisters' Stuff Blog.  They were really good.  I added mini chocolate chips for a little extra chocolate :)

Chewy M&M Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter(2 sticks), softened to room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups M&M's
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips(optional)

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla thoroughly.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda to creamed mixture.  Blend well.  Add 3/4 cup of M&M candies and mini chocolate chips.  Drop dough by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Slightly push a few candies on top of each dough ball with remaining candies.   Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes, or until slightly golden.
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Skeleton Halloween Veggie Tray

I made this veggie tray for my son's birthday party(Halloween baby:)) several years ago.  I know I have posted this picture before, but thought I'd share it again.

Skeleton Veggie Tray

Made with cucumbers, celery, carrots, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, broccoli, sliced mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Strawberry Syrup

I LOVE fruit syrup!!  Sunday morning I made Buttermilk Waffles and decided to make some strawberry syrup to go with them.  I found this recipe at Taste of Home.  We all really loved this syrup!  My oldest boy said that from now on he will have Peach Vanilla Syrup with pancakes, Buttermilk Syrup with French toast, and this syrup with waffles.  I can't wait to try this with crepes too.

Strawberry Syrup

Ingredients: 
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved 
3/4 cup sugar 
2 tablespoons corn syrup 
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon butter 
Waffles or pancakes

Directions:  Place strawberries in a blender(or food processor); cover and process until pureed. Transfer to a small saucepan; add the sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice and butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Skim off foam. Strain seeds if desired. Serve warm with waffles or pancakes. Refrigerate leftovers; warm before serving. Yield: about 1-1/2 cups.
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Family Pictures

 I always think it is fun to see the people whose blogs I read....here a few quick pics of my family :)


The last time we had family pictures taken....was when our oldest boy was 1...can you believe that?  He is 12 now!  I am such a slacker when it comes getting pictures!  One reason I don't like getting family pictures taken(probably the main reason) is because I hate trying to find clothes for my boys that coordinate :)  My boys like jeans and t-shirts...with all kinds of crazy sayings and pictures.  SO...I don't want to spend a bunch of money on shirts that they won't wear again.    I have had family members asking for picture...so I scheduled an appointment with my friend to get them taken.  Of course...the day of pictures I hadn't picked out any outfits.  I decided the boys could all just wear jeans and their white church shirts.  

Some of the shirts were a little small or big and they were all different shades of white...oops.


My friend was very patient taking pictures of these boys:)  We got a lot of the action above...and the 4 year old gave us lots of fun pics showing his personality...below.


I told the boys to wear a white t-shirt under their shirts.  When my oldest came downstairs, you could see Taz and a bunch of other characters showing through his white dress shirt...he said he didn't have any plain white t-shirts....so my husband told him to just put it on backwards...when my friend told us she was going to get a shot from behind...BELOW...I told her she might have to photoshop out some characters.


All-in-all...not SO difficult after all....  Definitely worth getting some good pictures of my favorite people all together.  Better make this an annual tradition!

How often do you get family pictures taken?

When was the last time you had family pictures taken?
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Samoa Popcorn

This recipe comes from the blog Cookies and Cups.  I originally saw it on my cousin Tracey's Blog.  I LOVE caramel popcorn....add in some toasted coconut, chocolate and Girl Scout Samoa cookies and it is even better!!  I had to substitute Keebler's Coconut Dream cookies for the Samoa's....since they are not available right now.  I think the Coconut Dream cookies are very similar to the Girl Scout Samoa cookies.

I packaged mine up in some Chinese take-out boxes and tied up with some thick rickrack to share with some friends. 

 Samoa Popcorn

Ingredients:
2 bags of Light microwave popcorn popped with the unpopped kernels removed.
2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
12 tablespoon butter, cubed
4 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 package Samoa Cookies or Keebler Coconut Dreams (optional)

Directions:  After your popcorn is popped according to the package instructions set it aside in a large bowl.  
Put coconut in cold skillet and heat to medium low.  It will take 10-15 minutes or so for it to toast up, but watch it carefully because once it starts to brown it will go fast.  Once it is a light golden color remove from heat and set aside. 

While the coconut is toasting, chop your cookies(if using) into small bite-sized pieces.  Set aside....make sure that you stay close to your coconut...so you can keep an eye on it and stir it occasionally.

On your counter or a nearby table line a few sheets of wax paper so you can spread you popcorn onto it when mixing the caramel.  You don’t have to do this, but it makes it easier.

Preheat your oven to 200°
To make the caramel combine the butter, brown sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.  Whisk ingredients to together and bring to a boil.  Boil without stirring for approx 5 minutes until candy thermometer reads 250°.  If you don’t have a candy thermometer, 5 minutes is just about the right amount of time, don’t worry too much.  Remove from heat and immediately whisk in your baking soda and vanilla.  When you add the baking soda, the caramel will foam up a bit.  

Pour your caramel over your popcorn and stir until it’s all coated.
Now pour you popcorn on you waxed paper and sprinkle your toasted coconut on top of popcorn evenly.  Leave your wax paper out, you will need it again! 

In a large roasting pan or baking sheet bake your popcorn in oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Now spread you popcorn back onto the wax paper and sprinkle your chopped cookies evenly on top.  Melt your semi-sweet chocolate in microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring each time. 

Drizzle your melted chocolate on top of cookies and popcorn.  Let the chocolate set and break apart.  Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Seriously, I have the hardest time getting a decent picture of chili, soup, enchiladas...etc....so this picture does not do this recipe justice!!  I found this recipe here from Plain Chicken.  If you want to see some great pictures of this dish that will make you drool....go HERE to see them.  This recipe is easy and really delicious!!

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

Ingredients:
1 can black beans
1 can corn, undrained
1 can Rotel, undrained
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 8 oz package light cream cheese
2 chicken breasts

Directions:  Drain and rinse black beans. Place chicken at bottom of pot, then pour out whole can of corn (undrained), rotel, and black beans. Top with seasonings and ranch mix. Stir together. Place cream cheese on top. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir cream cheese into chili. Use 2 forks to shred chicken. Stir together and serve.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate (or Peanut Butter) Chip Cookies

A good friend of mine gave me this recipe quite awhile ago.  I have made them quite a few times and was surprised to find that I had never posted the recipe.  The recipe calls for semi-sweet choc. chips.  While I was at the store the other day, they had Reece's Peanut Butter chips on sale....so I got them to try with this recipe. 

I bought extra cake mixes when I made Homemade Oreo's a few weeks back, so I was sure I had Devil's Food cake mixes.  haha...when I went to the get the cake mix, I realized that I had accidentally bought German Chocolate cake mixes....oops...I didn't want to go to the grocery store, so I just used the German Chocolate and it was still Delicious!!

These cookies are super YUMMY and EASY!!  You could make these with any type of 'chips', but I would definitely recommend trying peanut butter :)


Chocolate Chocolate (or Peanut Butter) Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 pkg. Devils Food cake
1/3 cup water
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet choc. chips (or peanut butter, or whatever you like)

Directions:  Mix all ingredients together.  Bake for 8-10 minutes @ 350 degrees.
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