Monday, December 11, 2017

Cardamom Spice Cookies


Friday, November 24, 2017

Pfeffernusse


A month from today is Christmas Eve! Every year, it seems to sneak up on me. The past couple weeks have been very busy and I hadn't had a chance to test out a new Christmas cookie recipe. Early in the afternoon on Wednesday,  I mixed up the batter, covered it up and put it in the fridge with the intention of baking them about 10:30 p.m. Well, Lauren, the hubby and I ended up getting into a very lengthy game of Monopoly. We had set a time limit of 11 p.m. and by the time we added up our money and properties it was past 11:15 p.m. I'm a "night owl," but even to me that seemed late to start baking cookies! On Thanksgiving, after the turkey, rolls and pumpkin pie were done, the oven was finally free! I pulled the batter out and started rolling the cookies. They were in the oven about 20 minutes and then I let them cool a bit. Next, they were covered generously in powdered sugar. The "kids," were both interested in a "taste test."  These were so yummy and were a hit with my family!! Awesome!!! P.S. these cookies are delish for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee😀.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup molasses, unsulfured
1 large egg
1 cup powdered sugar, reserved

In a medium bowl, put the flour, salt, black pepper, anise seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large bowl, put the butter, brown sugar and molasses. Beat by hand or with electric mixer for about two minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well with large spoon. Pour the mixture from the medium bowl into the large bowl and mix well with a large spoon. Cover with plastic and put in the fridge for a minimum of eight hours. When ready to bake, remove from fridge and roll into 30 equal-sized balls. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Put 15 balls at a time on the cookie sheet and bake for  20 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are turning slightly brown. Remove from oven and place the cookies on a baking rack for five minutes. In a small bowl, put the one cup of powdered sugar and while the cookies are still warm, roll them completely in the powdered sugar. Return them back to the baking rack to finish cooling. Store covered at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Mom's Pecan Balls



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Easy Cajun Red Beans and Rice



The hubby is very predictable. Every night, when he gets home from work, he says, "what are you whipping up for dinner?" Unbeknowst to him, I had been doing "research" for the past couple of days about how to make homemade red beans and rice. When he asked me last night, I answered, "red beans and rice!" Anytime we have ever had red beans and rice in the past, I have used a boxed mix, Zatarain's. They make awesome authentic New Orleans boxed mixes, but they are LOADED with sodium, like 880 mg/serving in their red beans and rice mix!! YIKES!!! Since November of 2011, when I got diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, I have been on a low-salt diet. I was never one to sprinkle a ton of salt on my food, but I used to eat Campbell's Chunky New England Clam Chowder Soup ALL the time !! A cup is 890 mg of sodium. Even though I take four medications for my heart, if I had some of that soup, I would blow up like a Pufferfish! Anyways, I tried really hard to make the red beans and rice sodium level realistic, so I could enjoy it. The hubby loved it, he had three helpings! When I was putting away the leftovers, there was about one serving left. The hubby said, "I wanted to save enough for you to have for lunch tomorrow!" He's such a sweetie!



Ingredients

One tablespoon unsalted butter
12-ounce bag Cajun Style Mirepoix Blend,
  frozen (I used the Kroger brand)
15.5-ounce can red beans, undrained
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
13-ounce turkey sausage, fully cooked,
  cut into bite sized pieces

*2 cups cooked white rice

In a large skillet, melt the butter slowly and then add the Mirepoix blend. Cook over medium heat until the veggies (celery, green peppers and onions) start to get soft, stirring occasionally with a large spoon. Add the red beans, tomatoes, Cajun seasoning and turkey sausage. Mix well and cook another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over white rice.

*I like to multi-task, so while I was making the red beans, I was cooking the rice at the same time!!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

No Bake Peanut Butter/Chocolate Bars




This is for sure the hottest summer I have experienced since we have lived in Michigan!! The air conditioning "battle," with the hubby has been going on for months! He doesn't like to be cold and I don't like to be hot! I usually win, because I tell him I get really cranky if it's too hot at night and I can't sleep. I have been concentrating on making "no bake," desserts because even using my oven with the air conditioning on, I still sweat!! I made these bars shortly before Lauren came home from her summer job about a week ago (she worked at a camp). I think she had one from that "batch." Lauren and the hubby both wanted me to make these bars again, so I told my husband when he went to Meijer this past Sunday to pick up some powdered sugar.  I got all set to make them, but then realized I had no brown sugar!  Last night, close to 10 p.m., I told Lauren it was getting too late to make these bars. She had been looking forward to having them for hours and given that we are "night owls," around here, I whipped some up. Before the chocolate had barely gotten hard on the top, both the hubby and Lauren had some!! I may have to make a third batch!!


Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
16.3 ounce jar smooth peanut butter, any brand
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
10 ounce bag dark chocolate chunks

In a medium saucepan put the butter, brown sugar and the peanut butter. Slowly bring the mixture to medium heat, stirring constantly with a large spoon, until smooth, but not boiling! Immediately remove from heat and add the vanilla and the powdered sugar. Stir ingredients together until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated in. Press into an ungreased 9x13 inch pan. The mixture will still be a little warm, so press down with the back of a spoon or a dinner knife to distribute evenly. In a small saucepan or bowl, melt the dark chocolate chunks until smooth. Spread evenly on top of the peanut butter mixture. Leave at room temperature until the chocolate hardens or pop into the fridge to cool it quicker!!!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Frozen Strawberry and Yogurt Popsicles


I am always on the "hunt," for easy recipes!! This definitely ranks up there, for sure, with just two ingredients!!! If you don't have a popsicle mold, now is a great time to buy one. In the summer, you can usually find popsicle molds in the dollar-type stores. The large "big box," stores will start marking down their summer items once the back-to-school stuff starts rolling in. This past Thursday, I was in one of my favorite "big box," stores and the piped in music was Christmas jingles. Okay, I think that may be rushing the season just a bit, don't you think?!?!?!



Ingredients

Two 5.3 ounce containers Vanilla Greek Yogurt,
  any brand, I used Chobani
16-ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Put the yogurt and sliced strawberries into a blender and puree. Pour the mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours. Run under warm water to loosen the molds to remove the popsicles. For breakfast a few days ago, I gave one of these to Dominic. I think he thought it was pretty cool having a popsicle for breakfast!



 Note: I was able to get seven popsicles out of the mold I used.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Couscous and Zucchini


I can count on one hand how many times I have made couscous in my life. Until I looked it up on the Internet, I didn't even know what it was!! Yes, I was that clueless! As dinnertime was approaching last night and my marinated pork chops were almost done in the oven, I was scrambling to figure out a side dish. I had zucchini and a box of couscous, so how about mixing them together?!?! I was in the midst of making this "concoction," when the hubby arrived home. I told him what I was whipping up and he had a one word response, "interesting." All righty then.  When I put some of my "concoction," on his plate, I waited for a reaction. He had two helpings! When dinner was over and we were cleaning up the dishes, I asked him if he would eat it again. He said he would! Cool!!

FYI - this is super scrumptious left over the next day, I know because I had some for lunch this afternoon!!

Ingredients

4 cups zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup water
2/3 cup couscous, any brand
  I used Near East

Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with the canola oil.  Add the zucchini and onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a large spoon until the onions and zucchini start to get soft and tender. Sprinkle the cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper evenly over the onions and zucchini. Immediately add the water, stir to mix in the spices and bring to a boil. Remove frying pan from the heat, add the couscous, stir to combine and cover for five minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.



Friday, July 14, 2017

Key Lime Cream Cheese Pie



When I told my husband that I was going to make a key lime pie recently, he seemed particularly intrigued. I later found out why. He said that's his favorite kind of pie! I had no clue. You would think after 26 1/2 years together I would know that!! We haven't changed a bit, have we?!?! The hubby has a little more "snow," on his "rooftop," and I have acquired a few extra pounds, but other than that....






Anyways, this pie has just five ingredients, but oh my, it is SO good!!! The hardest part was waiting overnight to let it set. That's right, you don't need to put it in the oven, let your fridge do all the work!!! My husband got the first bite and told me, "this is really good!"  I have a great hubby, he likes 99.9% of the food I make 🙂. A happy wife is a happy life!

Ingredients

6-ounce ready-to-eat graham cracker pie crust
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
8-ounce bar cream cheese, softened
8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed

In a medium size bowl, put the condensed milk, lime juice and cream cheese. Using an electric mixer or a large spoon, beat until smooth. Pour into graham cracker crust. Spread whipped topping evenly on top. Put in fridge for 12 hours. Serve immediately and keep covered in fridge.

*Note: feel free to use whatever brand you like for the ingredients. I am partial to the Kroger brand, so that is what I used. Enjoy!!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

No Bake Rocky Road Bars



I have had marshmallows on the "brain," for a while now and finally decided to do something about it Thursday afternoon!!! It has been a tad toasty here lately and I did not want to turn on the oven, so a "no bake," recipe was a perfect option. You need just four ingredients and two hours to make this tasty treat, SO, if you are wondering what to take to your next gathering, whip up some of these bars, they are sure to be a big hit!

Ingredients

1 cup dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
2 cups milk chocolate morsels
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan with aluminum foil and then spray with non-stick spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, put the peanuts and marshmallows. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, put the chocolate morsels and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a medium heat, stirring occasionally with a large spoon just enough to melt the chocolate morsels. Don't boil! Pour over the ingredients in the large bowl. Stir gently with a large spoon until the peanuts and marshmallows are covered in the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Put in fridge for a minimum of two hours and then cut into squares. Store up to five days covered in the fridge.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Baked Dutch Baby



This has got to be one of the easiest breakfasts I have ever made and it has just six ingredients. It looks kind of fancy, doesn't it??? A "typical," Dutch Baby is cooked in a cast iron skillet. We have one, but it is buried in a box in the back room of our basement somewhere! I decided to bake it in a glass pie pan instead. All I can say is YUM!!! After a super duper busy weekend, it was nice to slow down a little this morning and have a slice of this with a steaming hot cup of coffee!


Ingredients

2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium size bowl, put the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat well with a whisk or large spoon until well combined. Gradually, add the flour a little bit at a time until all the flour has been added. Beat well. The mixture should be thick and creamy. In a small bowl in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove, melt the butter.  Add the melted butter to an ungreased 9-inch pie pan (I used a glass one), so it covers the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture in and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let it cool slightly. Enjoy as is, top with fresh fruit or with powdered sugar.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Beef Taco Casserole


This December will be 27 years since I met my hubby. Pretty much since the beginning of our relationship, I have cooked and/or baked for him. That probably adds up to a lot of meals!!! One day last week, he came home from work and said something along the lines of, "what kind of concoction are you making?"  I sometimes get in a "rut," so when he saw different ingredients laid out on the kitchen counter, he was intrigued. When we sat down to eat, the hubby had two VERY large helpings. Guess he liked my "concoction!" LOL. I like to say the hubby and I are like a fine wine, we get better with age!!!!!

 



Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes,  undrained
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup sour cream
1 ounce taco seasoning mix packet
2 cups tortilla chips, crushed
2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium saucepan, brown meat until no longer pink and it is cooked through. Remove from heat and drain off grease. Stir in tomatoes, black beans, sour cream and the taco seasoning mix packet and stir well with large spoon.  Set aside. In a 9 x 13 inch ungreased pan, spread the crushed tortilla chips in an even layer. Spread half of the meat mixture, then half of the cheese, then the other half of the beef mixture, ending with the other half of the cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes or until heated through. Makes eight servings.

Cardamom Spice Cookies

Back a while back, I made a loaf of cardamom bread. I tucked the bottle of cardamom back into my kitchen cabinet and promptly forgot ...