Monday, December 31, 2012

Snickerdoodle Bread

2-1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups cinnamon chips
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

1.Combine 2-1/2 cups flour and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream butter and 2 cups sugar, salt and cinnamon until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix to combined. Add flour mixture, stirring until just combines. Mix the cinnamon chips with2 tablespoons flour and stir into the batter.
2.Spoon batter into 4 or 5 floured and greased mini loaf pans (5-3/4 x 3-1/4 x 2-1/4 inches) or 2 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Don’t fill more than 2/3 full. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of batter in the pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into a crack in the center of the loaf pan comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

* I have a ton of batter in my pics. I was making many loaves as Christmas gifts so dont go by the amounts in my pics lol. But this bread is so good. Its a good thing that I gave it away or I would have eaten way to much lol

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

3 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

    1.In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

     2. Pour into greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
    3.Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. 

    Saturday, December 29, 2012

    Banana Coconut Bread

    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp almond extract
    2 1/2 cups self rising flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
    1 cup light coconut milk
    1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.

    1.In the bowl using a wooden spoon mix the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract.
    2.Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed banana and the coconut milk.
    3.Gradually mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients. Start and end with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in the flaked coconut.

    4.Pour the batter to the prepared baking pan.
    5.Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

    6.Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing

    * I tripled the recipe to give as gifts.

    Friday, December 28, 2012

    Cranberry Orange Bread

    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 tsp baking soda
    3/4 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
    1 tbsp orange zest
    2 tbsp canola oil
    1 large egg
    1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
    1/4 cup dried cranberries

    1.Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
    2.Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in in orange juice, orange zest, oil and egg and mix until just combined. Stir in whole and dried cranberries. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

    3.Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    4.Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.

    Makes 1 loaf.
    * I was making mine for neighbor gifts so I tripled the recipe. 

    Sunday, December 16, 2012

    Easy Minestrone (Light)

    2 med carrots diced
    2 celery ribs chopped
    1 med onion chopped
    1T olive oil
    1T butter
    2 garlic cloves minched
    2 cans 14oz chicken broth reduced sodium
    2 8oz cans no salt added tomato sauce
    1 16oz can kidney beans rinsed and drained
    1 15oz can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
    1 can 14oz diced tomatos 
    1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
    1T dried basil
    1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 1/4 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta
    parmesan cheese (optional)

    1 In a large pan saute the carrots,celery and onion in the oil and butter until soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 min more.

    2.Add the broth,tomato sauce,beans,diced tomatos,cabbage,basil,parsley,oregano,and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover simmer for 20 min.
    3. Meanwhile in a separate pan  boil the noodles until done and drain
    4. Add the pasta to the soup mixture and heat thru spoon into bowls and top with 1 tsp Parmesan cheese if desired.

    Nutrition facts: 1 cup serving 180 calories, 4g fat, 4mg cholesterol, 443 mg sodium,29 carbs, 7g fiber, 8 g protein

    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Mexican Beef and Pasta (light)

    3 cups uncooked whole wheat spiral pasta
    1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean) 
    1 small onion, chopped 
    2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained 
    1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained 
    1 cup frozen corn, thawed 
    1 cup chunky salsa 
    1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies 
    1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained 
    3 tablespoons taco seasoning 
    1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 
    Crushed tortilla chips, optional
    1.Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. 
    2.Stir in the pasta, tomatoes, beans, corn, salsa, green chilies, olives and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and chips if desired.

     Yield: 8 servings.

    Nutritional Facts 1-1/4 cups beef mixture with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream (calculated without chips) equals 305 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 40 mg cholesterol, 737 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 20 g protein.

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Almond Joys

    1/4 cup raw almonds
    3 tablespoons corn syrup
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon melted butter
    2 cups shredded coconut
    1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups milk chocolate

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
    In a large bowl, stir together the corn syrup, powdered sugar, melted butter, coconut extract, shredded coconut and vanilla extract, to form a thick paste.

    Moisten hands slightly and form mixture into small rectangular cubes (or roll it into balls). Place on a sheet of parchment paper.

    In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate by microwaving it for 15 seconds, then stirring, microwaving for 15 seconds, then stirring, etc. until it's smooth and melty.
    Dip coconut squares into the melted chocolate. Gently spread the chocolate around the coconut until the filling is fully covered by chocolate. Press a toasted almond into the top of the chocolate and allow to dry completely before serving.

    Allow to cool at room temperature until chocolate hardens.

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    White Chocolate Cranberry Bars

    1 box white cake mix
    ⅓ cup butter, melted
    2 tablespoons water
    2 eggs
    1½ cups craisins
    1 cup white chocolate chips
    ½ cup pecan pieces
    Glaze Ingredients:
    ¼ cup milk
    ¼ cup sugar
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 cup white chocolate chips

    1.Grease bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan.
    2.Mix together cake mix, butter, water and eggs on low speed until combined.
    3.Stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips and pecans
    4.Spread in pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350 or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

    5.Cool completely and then prepare glaze.
    6.Heat milk, sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
    7.Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and continue to boil for 3 minutes.

    8.Remove from heat and stir in the white chocolate chips until melted.
     9.Drizzle the White Chocolate Cranberry Bars with the glaze.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Raspberry Cheesecake Truffles

    8 oz cream cheese, softened slightly
    14 graham cracker sheets, finely ground in a food processor
    3 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam 
    3 Tbsp powdered sugar
    1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
    1/2 tsp raspberry or vanilla extract
    6-8 drops red food coloring

    1 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips  (you can also use bark)
    1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable shortening

    2 graham cracker sheets, finely ground in a food processor (for topping)

    1.In a mixing bowl, using a fork, mix together cream cheese, 14 ground graham cracker sheets, raspberry jam, and powdered sugar.  Stir into well combine.  Mix in 1/4 cup melted white chocolate chips, raspberry extract and food coloring.  Blend well.  Cover mixture with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to form mixture into balls.

    2.Remove mixture from freezer and scoop mixture out by tablespoons and form into balls.  Place on a wax or parchment covered baking dish or plate.  Cover truffle balls with plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour, or until firm enough to dip in chocolate.

    3.Melt chocolate chips with shortening in microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until melted and smooth.
    4.Remove truffles from freezer, using a toothpick or fork, dip truffle balls into melted chocolate.  Return chocolate covered truffle to wax paper and sprinkle with ground graham cracker before chocolate hardens.  Repeat process with remaining truffle balls.  Place truffles in refrigerator and allow chocolate to harden.  Store truffles in refrigerator in an airtight container.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Peppermint Brownie Bites

    1 brownie mix 9×13 inch size
    18 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses
    1/2 Cup chocolate chips
    2 Tablespoons heavy cream
    3 original candy canes, crushed

    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and scoop into a  mini muffin tin pan that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray, about 3/4 way full.  Press kisses into center of brownie batter, do not push all the way to bottom, some of the tip should stick out the top.  Bake for 20-23 minutes or until brownies are cooked through.  Let cool completely.

    2.  Melt chocolate chips in microwave 30 second intervals until smooth and melted.  Stir in cream until silky smooth.  You can place back in microwave for 10 seconds to smooth more if needed.  Dip tops of brownies into melted chocolate, then sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    Blueberry Cream Pie

    For the crust:
    2 c. flour
    1 1/2  Tbsp. sugar
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1/2 cup plus 6T  shortening
    1/4 c. cold water
    1 med egg
    For the filling:
    3 c. blueberries
    1 c. sugar
    1/3 c. all purpose flour
    2 large eggs
    1/2 c. sour cream
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 Tbsp. corn starch
    For the topping:
    2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
    2 Tbsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    pinch ground nutmeg
    1/4 c. butter, melted
    1/2 c. plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

    1.So first you want to make your crust because *ALERT* you have to chill the dough for two hours before you can proceed. This “chill the dough” step always takes me by surprise and messes my schedule up, so I always like it when that disclaimer is put right at the front of the recipe. So for the dough you’re going to mix the flour, sugar, and salt together, and then mix in the shortening. It will resemble shortbread-y type crumbs after you’ve mixed it thoroughly. Stick that mixture in the freezer for a good five minutes so it can be chilled.

    2.Ok so after that has chilled out for a bit, take it out and add the egg and water. Mix it all together, form it into a nice ball, and stick it in the refrigerator for a couple hours! Once it’s been adequately chilled, spread a handful of flour out on a flat surface and roll the dough out with a rolling pin.
    Then, spread some flour over the top of the rolled dough. Begin to roll the dough up into a tube for an easier transfer to the baking dish.

    3.Now’s the time to whip up the filling. Start with the allotted sugar and flour, and then mix in the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Then mix the blueberries with the cornstarch and add them into the prepared crust, and finally pour the creamy mixture over the blueberries.

     4.Mix up those last ingredients for the topping  sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, melted butter, and flour. Spread evenly over the top of the creamy-blueberry mixture.
    Brush the dough over with an egg, so that when it comes out of the oven the crust is nice and brown. Bake in the oven at 350 for 55 minutes.Or until the middle is no longer jiggly.

    * So yummy. This pie was a little time consuming with all of the chilling but it was so yummy and even tastes great the next day cold from the fridge I give it a 4 1/2