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2.18.2018

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

There are TONS of recipes for chocolate chip cookies out there, but I had to share this one with you all!  There is a little "secret" ingredient at the end that makes these one of the best!  Little chewy, little bit crunchy, and a whole lot of YUMMY!

Enjoy!




Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 Cup Shortening (Crisco)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
2 1/3 Cup Flour
1 Tsp Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1 - 11.5 Oz Bag Chocolate Chunks (or any large chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream together shortening and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and eggs.  Add dry ingredients until blended, then stir in chocolate chunks.  Place rounded tablespoons of dough on parchment lined pan.  Lastly (the important step not to miss), sprinkle a bit of coarse sea salt over each cookie.  Bake for 11 minutes (don't over bake - should just be starting to brown on edges).  Let cookies cool on pan for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

2.02.2018

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Can a person ever have too many recipes for banana bread?!  When I came across this recipe over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, I knew I should give it a whirl!  This is a yummy dense banana bread with the perfect sweet note from the streusel topping!

Enjoy!



Cream Cheese Banana Bread

3/4 Cup Butter, softened
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Mashed Bananas (approx. 3 ripe bananas)
3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

Streusel:
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8.5x4.5" loaf pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).  Mix in eggs, vanilla, and bananas.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.

In a small bowl, use a fork or clean hands to mix together streusel ingredients.

Divide batter evenly among pans and sprinkle streusel on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until top is domed and toothpick comes out clean from the middle.  Let cool approximately 10 minutes before removing from pan to finish cooling on rack.


8.22.2017

Mostaccioli

This is a favorite pasta dish in our house!  As a big family, we love a hearty recipe that makes enough for left-overs too!  This is also one of my favorite freezer meals and/or take a meal to someone dish!  I often will split the recipe - cook half and put the other half in the freezer for another day OR I'll just make a double batch for a few freezer meals!  I can just throw a salad together, add some garlic bread on the side, and bellies are happy!

Enjoy!


Mostaccioli
Serves 12

1 - 16 oz Box Mostaccioli Pasta (Ziti makes a good substitute)
1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
1 Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 - 26 oz Jar Spaghetti Sauce
1 Can Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup, undiluted
1 1/2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
3/4 Tsp Ground Pepper
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook mostaccioli according to package directions (I like to al-dente/firm for baked pasta dishes) and drain.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown hamburger with peppers, onion, and garlic, drain.  In a large bowl (or the pan you're going to cook in), mix together spaghetti sauce, soup, Italian seasoning, ground pepper, and hamburger together.  Then, stir in mostaccioli and 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese to beef mixture.  Transfer to 2 11x7" baking dishes (or one deep 9x13) and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover pan with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes (about 30 minutes if using 9x13" pan), remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

If preparing from freezer: Thaw in refrigerator overnight, remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking, and bake covered in preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.

3.18.2017

Banana Bread Coffee Cake

Love banana bread?  Love coffee cake?  Looking for a way to use up some ripe bananas?  You're going to love this yummy coffee cake with bananas added!

Enjoy!


Banana Bread Coffee cake

Cake:
3/4 Cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
3/4 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Mashed Bananas (about 3 ripe bananas)
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Baking Powder

Filling:
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Crumb Topping:
2 Cups Flour
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
6 Tbsp Butter, melted

In a small bowl, mix filling ingredients and set aside.  In another small bowl, stir together dry ingredients for crumb topping, then add melted butter until large crumbs form and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 9"x13" pan and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla - beat on high until smooth.  Mix dry ingredients with whisk in separate bowl, then slowly add into butter mixture until just combined - add buttermilk and bananas.  Spread half the batter into the pan, sprinkle filling evenly over batter, and spread remaining batter on top.  Use a butter knife to gently swirl the filling into the batter.  Sprinkle crumb mixture over the top.  Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.

2.14.2017

Best Ever Meatloaf

This last Sunday, I was in a total comfort food mode and decided to try this new meatloaf recipe I came across over on another blog.  I'm adding it here with no picture because we LOVED it that much and this blog is still very much a place for me to "store" my tried, true, and favorite recipes.  Seriously though, it was scarfed down before I could even attempt to get a picture!  Plus, at this point, I'm pretty sure everyone knows what a meatloaf looks like! Hopefully at some point I will capture one and get it added to the recipe!

Some notes on making this...use lean meat, the leaner the better or you may just have a really juicy meatloaf that crumbles when you pull it out of the pan - it'll still taste amazing though, I promise.  LET IT REST!  I'll say it again, let it rest - this helps it stay together when you're serving it!  If you don't have any apricot preserves, feel free to use any jelly you have on hand - grape, orange marmalade, etc would all taste fantastic too!

If you try it, leave me a comment!

Enjoy!

Best Ever Meatloaf

2 lbs Lean Ground Beef, Ground Turkey, or Ground Venison
1 Sleeve Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 Cup Milk (can add up to a full cup if needed)
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1/3 Cup Onion, finely chopped
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

Sauce:
3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Apricot Preserves
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 5x9 loaf pan lightly with cooking spray - set aside.  In a large bowl, combine ground beef, crackers, egg, milk,  ketchup, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Mix together until thoroughly combined - use your hands, they really do work the best for the job (sans germs and rings of course).  Put meat mixture into the pan and spread evenly.  Plan loaf pan on rimmed baking sheet (for any accidental overflow of juices) and put in oven.  Bake for 90 minutes - add sauce half-way through baking.  Let meatloaf rest for 15 minutes after removing from oven before slicing and serving.

Sauce:
In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, brown sugar, apricot preserves, and Worcestershire sauce.  Spread half or so of the sauce over the meatloaf halfway through baking.  The remainder can be used for more dipping/topping. 

2.13.2017

Banana Cake with Browned Butter Icing

I have had this recipe pinned on Pinterest for a long time and finally was able to make it!  This is a great addition to any bundt cake lovers recipe collection!  Only thing I did differently from the original recipe was use my beloved browned butter icing recipe.

Enjoy!


Banana Cake with Browned Butter Icing

Cake:
3 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
3/4 Cups Butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla
2 Large Eggs
4 Bananas (the riper the better)
1 Cup Sour Cream (or plain Greek yogurt)

Icing:
1/4 Cup Butter
2 Cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 Tsp Vanilla
3 Tbsp Milk

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter and flour your bundt pan.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl - set aside.  In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, then add vanilla.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Slowly mix in bananas, then sour cream until well combined.  Gradually add in dry ingredients/flour until just combined.  Pour into prepared bundt pan and tap pan flat on the counter a few times to help batter settle.  Bake for 60-75 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Transfer to cooling rack for 20 minutes before inverting out of pan.

Icing:
Melt butter in small saucepan on stove until it turns a light brown color.  Whisk browned butter into powdered sugar and vanilla, then add milk until desired consistency.  I let mine cool a minute or so before pouring slowly over cake to help avoid it running off too quickly.

10.12.2016

Apple Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

A yummy and easy cake to whip together with your apple harvest in the fall!

Enjoy!


Apple Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze

Cake
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Applesauce (I used unsweetened - you can also substitute oil for this)
2 Tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs
3 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Medium Apples (peeled, cored, and chopped finely)

Glaze
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Milk (can substitute with Half/Half or Cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour bundt pan and set aside.

In large bowl, beat together sugars, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs until light and fluffy.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon - stir into wet mixture until just blended.  Fold in apples and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour up to 1 hour 20 minutes; until toothpick comes out clean from cake.  Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before inverting to finish cooling on wire rack.

While cake is cooling, make glaze by combining ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, and remove from heat.  Let cool a minute or so before slowly pouring over warm cake (I put aluminum foil under the wire rack to catch drips for easier cleanup).

5.18.2016

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

I whipped up this recipe with some things I had on hand and I love the way they turned out.  Even better, there was no electric mixer needed!  Nice and light, but super moist and just the right amount of chocolate!  I've included some substitutes for making this a bit healthier next to the applicable ingredients if you desire - measure the same.  These will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for a couple days.  Enjoy!


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

1 Cup White Flour (substitute: wheat flour)
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 Large Egg
1/2 Cup Sour Cream (substitutes: vanilla or plain Greek yogurt)
1/4 Cup Oil - I used a canola/vegetable blend (substitutes: applesauce or melted coconut oil. Measure coconut oil in melted form and let cool slightly before using)
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Cup Ripe Bananas, mashed (approximately 3 bananas)
3/4 Cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (substitute: dark chocolate chip or any chip you desire)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with 12 liners and lightly spray liners with cooking spray (these like to stick - skip the liners, grease, and lightly "flour" tins with cocoa powder).

In small bowl, whisk (or use a fork) together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and set aside.  Mash up bananas and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together egg, sour cream, oil, vanilla, and brown sugar.  Stir in mashed bananas and flour mixture until just combined.  Then, stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly among the 12  muffin liners.  Bake for 18-25 minutes; until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of muffin.  Allow to cool 5 minutes, then remove, and finish on a cooling rack.

Enjoy warm or cold!

3.22.2016

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake

I love eggs benedict, but I love how easy this casserole is to make more!  I made this recently for a weekend retreat and the pan was almost licked clean, they all loved it so much!  This is a make-ahead, overnight casserole - so nice to just pop it in the oven the morning of!  I mixed up my hollandaise sauce during the last 10 minutes of baking.

Enjoy!


Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake

6 English Muffins, chopped in 1" pieces
12 oz Canadian Bacon, chopped
8 Eggs
2 Cups Milk (I used 2%)
1 Tsp Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper
1/4 Tsp Paprika

Sauce:
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Butter, melted

Split English muffins and chop into one inch pieces (I chopped mine into 9 pieces).  Spread pieces onto an ungreased baking pan and broil for 2 minutes (until bread is toasted) and then flip over and broil for another minute or two.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, onion powder, salt, and pepper (to taste).

Grease 9x13 baking dish.  Sprinkle half of the Canadian bacon on bottom of dish, top with broiled English muffins, then remaining Canadian bacon.  Then, pour egg mixture evenly over top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove dish from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until center is set.

Sauce:
In a double broiler or metal bowl over simmering water; constantly whisk eggs yokes, cream, lemon juice, and mustard until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Reduce heat to low.  Slowly whisk in warm melted butter, making sure not to stop whisking until it is all incorporated.  Drizzle over casserole or portion sauce on each plate.

4.21.2015

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting


I know it's been entirely too long since I posted a recipe over here.  Life has been busy, to say the least.  I hope to bring you more sooner than later!

This week we celebrated my daughter's birthday and this frosting was used!  If you love marshmallows and the sweetness of buttercream, you won't be disappointed!

Enjoy!



Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

2 Cups Butter, softened
2 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Almond Extract
1 - 13 oz Jar Marshmallow Creme

Cream butter with electric mixer until butter is fluffy.  Gradually add in powder sugar a 1/2 cup at a time and then beat in almond extract.  Gently fold in (or mix on low speed) marshmallow creme into frosting until incorporated.  Now you can frost away or fill your favorite cookie and make a creme pie!