Friday, December 31, 2010

Coconut Balls

This is my mother-in-law's coconut ball recipe.  Around the holidays she makes the most wonderful candy trays...these are my favorite part of them.  For all of her chocolate covered candies she uses a mixture of a melted 1/2 a block of semi-sweet candi-quick chocolate and a 12 oz. package of semi-sweets.  I like that combination the best as opposed to just chocolate chips melted with a bit of shortening...but, use what you want to dip them in.  -Kristin

2 c. and 2 heaping T. of powdered sugar
1/4 c. softened butter
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
8 oz. sweetened, flaked coconut
1/2-1 c. chopped almonds

1/2 block of semi-sweet candi-quick (name brand if you can!!!)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Optional:  Sprinkle top with coconut or sprinkles.
  • Mix together the powdered sugar and butter.
  • Add the sweetened condensed milk.
  • Mix in the coconut and almonds.
  • Roll into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Chill for 2 hours.
  • Melt the chocolates in a glass bowl in microwave.  Start with 1 minute, stir.  Then every cook and stir every 20 seconds until smooth. 
  • Using 2 forks dip the chilled balls into the chocolate.  Let the excess drop off.  Place on greased cookie sheet or on waxed paper. 
  • If desired, before the chocolate dries, sprinkle with coconut or sprinkles. 
  • Chill for at least an hour.

Black Bean and Quinoa Soup

This soup has become one of my favorites.  The seasonings along with the combination of vegetables, beans and quinoa are incredibly delicious.  This soup smells amazing with the cinnamon and nutmeg in there.  It is a combination I was nervous to try but so thankful I did!  I adapted this recipe off of a blog called ohsheglows.  -Kristin

1 T. olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
1 medium zuchinni, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 c. water
3 vegetable or chicken boullion cubes

1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 c. red quinoa or regular quinoa, uncooked
1 t. curry powder
pinch or 2 of cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2-3 c. baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
  • Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add the chopped onion and carrot.  Saute over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Add the remaining veggies and saute for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour in water, boullion, diced tomatoes, quinoa, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, seasoned salt, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer gently 15-20 minutes. 
  • Stir in black beans and spinach, stir well, cover and simmer on low for 15-35 minutes. 
  • Taste the seasonings and add more seasoned salt if necessary.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chocolate Break Up

This is a recipe from my mother-in-law. She usually makes this around the holidays along with all her other candies. These are like little toffee, chocolate bars. The chopped pecans or heath bars on top are optional. She usually sprinkles hers with red and green sprinkles around Christmas time. -Kristin

saltine crackers
1/8 t. salt
1 stick of butter
1/2 c. sugar
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans or crushed Heath Bars
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cover the bottom of a jelly roll pan with parchement paper or foil that is sprayed.
  • Line the pan with saltine crackers.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • In a saucepan, bring to a boil the butter and sugar.
  • Pour butter mixture over the crackers.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle right away with the chocolate chips.
  • Spread the chocolate chips over top evenly.
  • If desired, sprinkle with chopped pecans or chopped Heath Bars.
  • Chill for at least an hour. Then break into chunks.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Eggnog Cookies

This is another great recipe from my sister Kate. These soft cookies will be a hit with any eggnog lover!-Sarah

3/4 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup eggnog
1 t. vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
  • Cream butter and sugar till smooth, add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Scoop dough with cookie scoop and place balls on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 degrees about 10 minutes, making sure to not over bake.

Vegetable Pizza

I've always loved this appetizer, this version uses delicious spices and seasonings to flavor the cream cheese topping on the crust. You can use any variety of vegetables on this delicious pizza, just add your favorite toppings.-Sarah

2 pkg's crescent rolls
-Press into greased jelly roll pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 min. cool.

8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 t. dill
1 t. seasoning salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
-Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream and remaining seasonings. Spread over cooled crust.

chopped broccoli
chopped cauliflower
shredded carrots
chopped peppers
sliced green onion
shredded cheddar cheese
-Sprinkle vegetables evenly over crust ending with cheese.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Peanutty Crunch Mounds

My mom made these when I was growing up, they are delicious! It's a super easy recipe that makes a great addition to any cookie tray.-Sarah

Melt: 10 oz. white bark coating
Stir in: 2 1/2 T. peanut butter

Add: 1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup Rice Krispies
3/4 cup Spanish peanuts

Mix well and drop on wax paper, refrigerate until set. (They don't need to be stored in the refrigerator)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Italian Meatball Goulash

The original recipe I have for this calls it a soup...but, it was way too thick to be a soup.  Sarah and I have changed the original recipe quite a bit and made it more like a goulash.  This is a quick and wonderful meal that everyone will enjoy! -Kristin

1.25 # ground turkey or beef
2/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 c. finely diced onions
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 t. salt
  • Mix all ingredients and shape into about 40 small meatballs.
  • Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until cooked through.
1 (28 oz.) jar marinara sauce
2 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
3 1/2 c. water (possibly another cup more)
2 c. frozen green beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. Italian seasoning
3/4 t. seasoned salt
7 oz. can mushrooms, optional
8 oz. bowtie noodles
  • While meatballs are baking combine all except the bowtie noodles and cook over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and simmer for 35 minutes with the pan partially covered.  Stirring occasionally to see if you need to add more water.
  • When meatballs are done baking add them to the soup and simmer partially covered for another 15-20 minutes until the noodles are finished cooking.  Stirring occasionally to see if you need to add more water. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Homemade Tahini Lemon Garlic Dressing (with my favorite salad combo!)

This is my favorite salad combo and dressing of mine. The dressing is so easy to make and keep on hand. It also makes a perfect dip for veggies. This salad combo is perfect...loaded with flavor and the perfect crunch. The dressing recipe is adapted from a blog called -Kristin

Tahini Lemon Garlic Dressing:

1/4 c. tahini
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1 t. salt
A sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
  • Blend all together. Store in refridgerator.
An Awesome Salad Combo:

2-3 c. chopped romaine, or other greens
2-3 sliced pickles
some sliced black olives
some diced red pepper
some diced cucumber
1/4 avocado, diced
1/4- 1/2 c. shredded carrots
1 T. sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 c. chickpeas
  • Mix all together. Serve with 2-3T. dressing. Delicious!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sour Cream Cookies

This is my friend Kristin's cookie recipe.  This recipe reminds me of the ones my mom used to make that we cannot find the recipe for.  I have tried other sour cream cookie recipes and they did not turn out right, they were to cakey.  These are perfect!  -Kristin

4 c. sifted flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla

About 2 cups powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
  • Sift flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.
  • Beat butter, sugar and egg until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in sour cream and vanilla and beat till smooth.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture until well combined.
  • Wrap dough overnight in wax paper and refrigerate overnight.
  • Roll out dough 1/3 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes.
  • Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting.
  • Mix all frosting ingredients together adding the milk slowly until you get the consistency you want.

Wendy's Pecan Pie Bars

My Mother-in-Law makes these delicious pecan pie bars around the holidays.  She has made them for years and everyone looks forward to them.  The crust is buttery and delicious and the topping is chewy, carmel-like, crunchy deliciousness!  -Kristin
Cookie Crust:

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. softened butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
  • Mix with a mixer until very crumbly.
  • Press into a greased 15x10 baking dish (which is known as a lasagna dish).  Make sure to grease up the sides of the pan too for when you add the filling later.
  • Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Pecan Pie Topping:

4 eggs
1 1/2 c. corn syrup
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 T. melted butter
1 1/2 t. vanilla
4 c. pecan halves
  • While the crust is baking prepare this filling by beating together all the ingredients except the pecan halves.
  • Stir in the pecan halves.
  • As soon as the crust comes out of the oven spread this topping over it.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until the topping is mostly set and golden brown.
  • Cool completely and chill before cutting. 
(These are always made in the winter around the holiday's in our family so we keep them outside in the garage until ready to serve....instead of taking up room in the fridge.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate Crunch Brownies

This is a recipe Sarah sent me saying that we had to try.  Her Mom was given these brownies by a friend and told Sarah they were a must to make.  Well, I tried them...and they are a must to make!  Here is the recipe of some of the most delicious brownies EVER!  -Kristin

1 c. butter softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 c. flour
6 T. baking cocoa
2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt

1 small jar marshmallow creme
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter
3 c. crisp rice cereal

  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar; add eggs.
  • Stir in flour, cocoa, vanilla and salt. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack.
  • Spread marshmallow cream over the cooled brownies.
  • In a small saucepan over low heart, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat: stir in cereal.
  • Spread over marshmallow layer.
  • Chill for 1 hour before cutting.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf

I've been making this tasty side dish for years. I believe it's from a Taste of Home magazine. I love the flavors of this easy dish. It's a great way to use some healthy ingredients with lots of great flavors!-Sarah

3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (or wild rice blend)
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup barley
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1 T. butter
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • Rinse and drain rice, place in a saucepan. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in barley, dried fruit and butter.
  • Spoon into greased casserole dish. Cover and bake at 325 degrees 55 minutes. Until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Add almonds and fluff with a fork.
  • Taste and add salt if needed, depends on the strength of the broth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Grandma's Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread is delicious and reminds me of my Grandma. It is one of my favorite recipes from her. She baked this bread in cans.  You can use soup cans or fruit cans.  Us grand kids thought this was so cool- circle bread!  The fruit cans give you a wider loaf and that is usually what I use.  It's important that you use cans that are not a peel back lid, but one you would need to use a can opener on.  The peel back lids have a ridge and the bread doesn't come out very easily.  Enjoy :) -Kristin

2 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. oil
1/4 c. water
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 2/3 c. flour
  • Combine eggs and sugar.  Mix well.
  • Add pumpkin, oil and water and blend thoroughly.
  • In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet.
  • Grease 3 fruit cans well.  If using soup cans use about 4-5.
  • Divide batter between the cans.
  • Bake at 350 for about an hour if using fruit cans.  If using smaller cans check at about 45 minutes.