Friday, July 27, 2012

0 Mississippi Mud Cookies

When searching for recipes for that included mini marshmallows, I remembered seeing these amazing Mississippi Mud Cookies on Cupcake Diaries
And, of course, they were a hit. . .
Nate especially enjoyed them with a tall glass of milk! :-) 
Mississippi Mud Cookies
makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp mini marshmallows
Microwave the semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for 30 more seconds or until the chips are smooth when stirred. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with a hand mixer or stand mixer until creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each one. Beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the chocolate mixture and beat till well blended. Stir in the chopped pecans and 1/2 c. milk chocolate morsels. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonsful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (This is just for easy clean up. If you don't have parchment paper, bake the cookies on a baking stone or greased cookie sheet.) Press 3 mini marshmallows into each portion of the dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Enjoy!!!
Cupcake Diaries

Also, check out the Summer Salad swap going on over at Larson Lingo! :-) 
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2 Smores Cupcakes

Another take on smores! 
These cupcakes are simple and quick to make but are cute enough to be a show stopper! 
Hope you are staying cool during these last few days of July! :-) 
Smores Cupcakes
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix 
Marshmallows (the big ones)
Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs
Hershey's Chocolate Bar
Bake the cupcakes as directed on the box, BUT, set your timer for 5 minutes before they are due to be done. When the timer goes off, take out your cupcakes and place one marshmallow on each cupcake. Return the pan to the oven and watch the marshmallows melt for the remaining 5 minutes. When done, sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on the marshmallow topping. Wait for them to cool, and eat!!:)  You can stick a bite sized Hershey bar in the top if you want for an added crunch! Or…if you like a little added crunch in your marshmallow, just leave them in a little longer and the marshmallow will be a bit burnt!!;)
Little Becky Homecky
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

2 Smores Cookies

The next few days, I will be sharing a couple of takes on traditional smores!
These delicious bars have a graham cracker bottom, a chocolate chip cookie middle with marshmallows and are topped off with a Hershey's square!
Incredible! :-) 
Smores Cookies
11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight. (or go ahead and make them right away, I did and they turned out wonderful) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x17 pan and one 9x13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want. Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers. Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want. Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.
The Girl Who Ate Everything
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

0 Mama's Pimento Cheese

I love pimento cheese sandwiches. . .
so much so that for my birthday this year, my dad, Nate and I stopped at Prasek's on our way to dove hunt and I had a pimento cheese sandwich for my birthday lunch! 
Nate despises pimentos and so, of course, does not share my love of pimento cheese!
When deciding what to make for a family reunion a couple of weeks ago, this recipe caught my eye! 
The sandwiches were delicious and the cheese is a consistency that can be served on a sandwich or as a dip! :-)    
Pimento Cheese
1 large bag sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded/grated (32 oz)
1 (8 oz) block 1/2 less fat cream cheese, softened
8 oz Edam cheese, grated
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 c juice from a jar of green olives
Grate Edam cheese; combine in large bowl with cream cheese, Cheddar, mayonnaise, and olive juice. Mix well; refrigerate until use. This is the basic recipe. You may add garlic, onion powder, black olives, green olives, or pecans - whatever you like to make it your own (I added 1/2 c pecans, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1 tsp garlic powder)
Recipes to Remember Westminster Presbyterian Church Nacogdoches, Texas
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

2 La Madeline's Tomato Basil Soup

Even though it is 100 degrees outside, sometimes a lovely bowl of tomato basil soup just hits the spot! :-) I can't go to La Madeline without ordering their tomato basil so I was thrilled to find this recipe online! And believe me, it tastes just as if the French chef at La Madeline made it! :-)
La Madeline's Tomato Basil Soup 
4 cups fresh tomatoes, cored, peeled, and chopped
4 cups tomato juice
12 -14 basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 lb sweet unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
lemon juice (optional)
Combine tomatoes, juice/and or stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Add basil leaves. Puree using an immersion blender, or in small batches in blender or food processor. Return to saucepan (if not using an immersion blender) and add cream and butter, while stirring, over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with your favorite bread.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

0 Beer and Bacon Butter Beans

I have such fond memories of my dad spending random Saturday's (in the rare occasion that there wasn't a baseball game to go to:-) stirring and tasting a pot of stew or beans. I would say that slow cooked items like those are his specialty! So when I made a batch of Beer and Bacon Butter Beans, I knew that he would be the ultimate judge . . .
and he gave them two thumbs up! :-)
Beer and Bacon Butter Beans
Serves 6-8 as a side
8 slices thick bacon, chopped
2 cans white beans of your choice, rinsed and drained (or soak 3 cups of white beans (I used navy beans)over night to use)
1 large shallot, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups amber ale (I used Guinness)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small sprig rosemary
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a heavy bottomed pot or pan with a lid, cook your chopped bacon over medium-high heat, until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a plate to use later.
2. Turn the heat to medium and cook the shallots in the bacon fat, until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add in the garlic, and stir for 1 minute. Add in the chicken stock, beer, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary sprig. Add bacon. Bring to a boil, then cover and place in the oven for about 2 hours, until the beans are tender and some of the liquid has reduced. Stir in the 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, taste, and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
Crepes of Wrath
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

5 Honey Spice Chicken Thighs

These quick and easy chicken thighs were amazing!
Nate could not stop raving about them and was pretty upset when they were gone!
They are perfect for a dinner party due to the fact that they require such little prep time!
Honey Spice Chicken Thighs
8 (4 lbs) chicken thighs
1/3 cup honey
1 TBSP cider vinegar
1 TBSP chili powder
1/2 TBSP garlic powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine everything except the chicken thighs (honey, cider vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, and salt). Stir until combined.
Remove the skin from the chicken thighs if desired. Place the chicken thighs either on a roasting pan or a baking sheet covered with foil. A roasting pan can be simulated by placing wire cooling racks over a baking sheet to allow juices to fall below the chicken. Brush the honey spice mixture over the surface of the chicken thighs, using about half of the total honey mixture.
Place the chicken thighs in the fully preheated oven. Roast for about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken thighs from the oven and use the remaining honey spice mixture to brush on a second coat. Return the chicken to the oven and roast for another 20 minutes. Serve hot.
Note: Do not brush any of the honey spice mixture onto the chicken after it is finished cooking because it is contaminated with raw chicken. Use all of it prior to the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Budget Bytes
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Monday, July 9, 2012

1 Bean and Beef Burritos

One of my sweet friends has a wonderful cooking blog that I love to reference, Made Like Madeley!
Lauren's husband, Brian, and Nate are so alike that I know that whenever I make something off her blog, it will be enjoyed by all members of the family!
These bean and beef burritos were no exception! :-)
Bean and Beef Burritos
2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 whole medium onion
1 can chopped green chilies
2 (7 oz.) can Enchilada sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
Cumin, Oregano, Garlic Salt to taste
1 can refried beans
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
12 whole burrito-sized flour tortillas
Extra grated cheese, for sprinkling
Cilantro leaves to top
Brown ground beef with onion and season to taste. I added a few dashes of cumin, oregano and garlic salt along with a small can of chopped green chilies. Pour in one can of enchilada sauce and simmer over low heat. Heat refried beans in a saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of cheese and stir in till melted. Keep warm. Heat tortillas in microwave for one minute. Spread a small amount of beans on each tortilla. Add meat. Fold over ends, then roll up. Place two burritos on plate, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle cheese then microwave for one minute or until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro and serve!!
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Sunday, July 8, 2012

1 First Lady's Lasagna

Sharing and oldie but goodie today! :-)

I met one of my best friends at a very special summer job I had for numerous years after college! Elizabeth and I both went to Baylor, had a ton of numerous friends and even lived in the same dorm freshman year. . . but the Lord perfectly designed our friendship to start after college. Elizabeth and I immediately hit it off and found we had a lot more in common than our blonde hair and blue eyes! From traveling to Cameron, going to baseball games or running all over town together, we always were in an adventure and always having a blast together! Elizabeth is so wise beyond her years. . . she is my "earthly" counselor! I go to her with everything! AND she is the PERFECT person to rejoice with because she gets SO excited about the little things! I adore our "Wednesday Walks" or anytime when I get to spend time with her! She is such a special person and I am so thankful that she is such an integral part of my life! Elizabeth walked by my side throughout my dating relationship with Nate. . . from the beginning when she was a part of a secret plan when Nate first sent me flowers at work to the start of another stage of life when sweet Nate went up to the office to show her my ring the day he proposed! So naturally she was my Maid of Honor! :-) Sweet Elizabeth EXUDES Jesus and I love that quality in her! She is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside! I absolutely CANNOT wait to see all the wonderful things the Lord has in store for her future. . . she has a million talents and is one of those people who could be a famous writer or speaker or could be an incredibly amazing stay at home mom (just depending on where the Lord leads her!) . . . I know this, whatever the Lord has in store for her future, she will be INCREDIBLE at it!
Elizabeth's sister, Johannah, shared this recipe with me! Nate adores pasta and this recipe is one of his favorites!
First Lady Lasagna
1 pound mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef or elk
1/2 pound Potters hot sausage (optional)
1 package lasagna noodles (I HIGHLY recommend buying the "precooked" ones)
For Meat Mixture:
Brown meat, drain and add
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tablespoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound can peeled whole Hunts tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans tomato sauce
Simmer all ingredients for 30 min (add a little water if needed) Cook 1 package lasagna noodles and rise well in hot water.
For Cheese Mixture:
3 cups creamed cottage cheese (1 pound carton, drained)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to assemble lasagna. In a 13x9x2 inch pan alternate layers of noodles, meat, cheese mixture and mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hours. Serves 8-10
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Saturday, July 7, 2012

1 Happy Birthday, Boys! :-)

Happy Birthday, boys! :-) I love y'all! :-)  
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Friday, July 6, 2012

0 Lemon Bars

Lemon Bar cheer was spread throughout Houston a couple of weeks ago. . . from friends to family to church, everyone enjoyed them! 
Such a perfect "cool" dessert for summertime and not to mention they are amazing! :-)
Lemon Bars
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill for 15 minutes
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. (I refrigerate for easier cutting) Cut into triangles or squares and dust with confectioners' sugar.
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

1 Zucchini Walnut Loaf

We have had an abundance of zucchini at our house lately! So I decided to make zucchini bread! :-)
This version is very healthy but all of my family members/taste testers said it was wonderful, as did I . . . Nate (who doesn't like anything whole wheat) gave the bread an "ok" rating! :-)
So for those of y'all with meat and potato husbands, go with a "full" sugar version! :-)
I hope your Independence Day was lovely!
Zucchini Walnut Loaf
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used 2 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used 1/2 tsp)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract, (optional) (I used vanilla)
1 cup grated zucchini, lightly packed
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 mini 6-by-3-inch loaf pans with cooking spray. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk egg whites, sugar, applesauce, oil and lemon extract (if using) in a medium bowl. Stir in zucchini. Make a well in the dry ingredients; slowly, mix in the zucchini mixture with a rubber spatula. Fold in walnuts. Do not overmix. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans. Bake the loaves until a toothpick comes out almost clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
Per slice: 118 calories; 3 g fat ( 0 g sat , 1 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 88 mg sodium; 37 mg potassium.
Eating Well
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2 Southern Skillet Corn

 There is such an abundance of beautiful corn lately at farmers markets and grocery stores! 
I made this skillet corn a couple of weeks ago and Nate devoured it all!
This side is perfect for eating on screened in front porches, espcially on Independence Day!
Happy 4th!
So thankful to live in the Land of the Free! :-)
And, as always, thank you to the men and women (and their families) who sacrifice so much to keep us free!
Southern Skillet Corn
6 ears corn
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
Shuck corn and pull off silks, then rinse under cool running water. In a large bowl, cut the corn from the cob with a sharp knife. Scrap up the cob with a spoon to get the milk. Combine flour, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then add to 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir with a fork or whisk or combine. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a large, heavy bottomed skillet. Add corn and flour mixture and cook over medium-low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Makes 6 servings
Kevin and Amanda
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

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