Monday, December 30, 2013

Left Over Soup

This is a good way to use leftovers, but it wasn't an all out hit.  I call it left over soup because I used our left over Thanksgiving food to make it.  Aaron gave it a 6, Owen gave it a 7, I gave it an 8, and Noah gave it a 9.  The problem was the broth and the ham didn't go well together.  I don't know if I should've cut up the ham into smaller pieces, ours were bite size, or what, but it wasn't great together.  Aaron and I and the boys all loved the actual soup, it was delicious, it was just the ham that wasn't quite right.  Anyway, here's what I did.

2-3 c mashed potatoes and gravy
2-3 c ham, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
4 green onions
chives
1 can creamed corn or left over corn
1/2 c or so cream
1 T tapioca

Put all ingredients except cream in a crockpot and cook on low for as long as you would like.  A half hour before serving, add the cream, stir it, turn temperature to high and remove the lid so the sauce can evaporate a little and thicken up.  Serve.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Peabody's Eggnog Cream Cheese Muffins

While these are posted a little late for the holidays, these were awesome muffins.  I grew up in Michigan, Ohio, spent some time in Germany, England, UT, Mexico, and now Arizona.  Of all those places, only UT and Flagstaff, where I live now, are anywhere near high elevation.  I was in college in UT and didn't cook very much, so it never affected me.  Now, in Flagstaff, I cook all the time, and I have been noticing a very bad trend in my baking.  My baked goods are tanking :(.  I thought it was my oven, and that may be part of it, but after a massive failure in Pioneer Woman's carrot cake, which everyone said worked really well, I researched and found out what my problem was.  I have to change recipes for high altitude.  This should not have come as a shock to me, but it did.  Anyway, I made a couple of changes to this recipe, very slight ones, and these were not hockey pucks, and they tasted great, and they didn't spread all over, all of which have happened to me since moving to Flagstaff ;).  Culinary Concoctions By Peabody's Eggnog Cream Cheese Muffins are moist, flavorful, and turned out really well.  Aaron, Noah and I gave them a 9, and Owen gave them an 8.  These were super delicious, and moist.  Because of the high altitude problem, I made the recipe into 24 muffins, rather than the 12 the recipe suggests.  The calories per muffin were 241.  As you can see from the picture, they still didn't rise correctly, but they did alright.  I need to mess with the leavening agents and liquid/dry ingredients some more to find the right proportion.  Here's what I did:
 
For Filling:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c eggnog
2 T flour
For Muffins:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 t vanilla
1/4 c eggnog
2 eggs
3/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 t cream of tartar
3/4 t cinnamon
2 1/4 c flour
1 c sour cream (I used mostly plain yogurt because I ran out of sour cream)
 
1/3 c sugar
1 T cinnamon
 
Line muffin tins with paper liners.  Mix together the cream cheese, cinnamon, sugar, eggnog, and flour.  Shape into a log and refrigerate.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tarter and cinnamon, and set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla and eggnog and then the eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated.  Alternate adding in the flour and sour cream, beginning and ending with flour.  Place covered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill. 
Preheat oven to 375.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, then roll the chilled muffin batter into balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  After you have used up all the batter, cut little rounds of the cream cheese mixture and press into the muffins, then bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes.
 
I have changed the cooking temperature, and made the muffins smaller, both in an attempt to fix the high altitude problem.  I also used all cinnamon rather than nutmeg because I really don't like nutmeg very much :).  Try these, they are awesome!!! 


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Cranberry Egg Nog Streusel Muffins

These are a great breakfast treat, something very festive and delicious.  Merry Christmas!!!  I found these in The Recipe Girl's cookbook, but you can also find them on her website.  Noah and I made them together because he wanted a cranberry pie, and I suggested he try something a little less cranberry first ;).  These are great, I followed the recipe exactly, so just click on the link to find out what I did.  This recipe is the first recipe I have overcooked in my oven.  I went for the higher time to cook them, since my oven always requires longer cooking, but these were just a little overcooked, so start with the 18 minutes, or even check earlier.  Sorry for the horrible picture, night time remembering doesn't lead to great pictures :). 
 
Each muffin, I made 24 muffins, was 248 calories, and Owen gave them a 7 while Noah and I gave them a 9.  Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Salted Caramel Apple Crumble

So I normally love the food I've tried from Lauren's Latest blog, but this salted caramel apple crumble, unfortunately, was a flop for me.  I gave it as high as I did because it wasn't terrible, but we were all severely disappointed.  This smelled and looked wonderful, and the caramel tasted great, but the salty apples just ruined this for us.  Also, the crumble topping was too salty too :(.  This was easy to put together, and I followed the recipe exactly except for putting less salt than it called for on the apples, but it just didn't work for our family.  1/8 of the total was 477 calories, and Oma and Opa gave it a 7, Aaron and Noah gave it a 6, I gave it a 5, and Owen gave it a 4.  Oh well, we won't make this again.

for the caramel sauce-
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
for the crumble-
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
for the apples-
4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the caramel sauce- heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat to melt sugar. Continue cooking and swirling sugar until it turns amber in color. Whisk in sea salt and heavy cream. Mixture will bubble up violently briefly. Continue whisking until sauce is smooth in consistency. Stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside.
For the crumble- combine all ingredients together using a stand mixer. Mixture will be crumbly, but stay together when squeezed. Set aside.
Prepare apples and toss in lemon juice. Cook apples in a large cast iron skillet over medium low heat in butter to draw out moisture. Sprinkle with salt to draw out all the moisture possible. Drain apples and place back into skillet. This process should take about 5-7 minutes of cooking.
Pour 3/4 of prepared caramel sauce into the apples and stir gently. Top with the crumble topping. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and serve with remaining caramel sauce.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Curried Singapore Noodles

This is a good dish, although not fabulous.  I like that it is quick and easy, as are most of the recipes I have been featuring, but I would've liked a little different flavor.  Aaron and Owen gave this a 6, I gave it a 7, and Noah gave it an 8.  The calories for 1/6 of the total are 335, and it is ready in less than 30 minutes.  I found this recipe in my Cook's Illustrated family cookbook, I love those guys :). 

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 T oil, divided
2 1/2 t curry powder, divided
1/2 lb pasta (this is what I used, the recipe called for rice noodles)
1 red pepper, sliced (I used yellow because they were on sale, red would've been prettier :))
3 shallots, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can bean sprouts (the recipe called for 1 cup, I could only find canned so I used the whole can)
3/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T mirin
4 scallions, sliced thinly


Cook pasta according to directions, cooking 1-2 minutes less than called for.  Drain and reserve.
Stir 1/2 t curry powder with the shrimp.
Heat 1 T oil in the pan, add the shrimp, then cook until browned, about 2 minutes.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Heat the other T oil in the pan, then add the shallots, and peppers and 2 t curry powder.  Cook until softened, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic, and cook for about 15 seconds.
Add the reserved shrimp and juices, the reserved pasta, and the rest of the ingredients.  Toss together and let the noodles finish cooking, about 3 more minutes.  Serve!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Southwest Egg and Tater Tot Casserole

This was a fun breakfast for dinner casserole!  I found the recipe here, and it was easy and good.  I like the flavors, and I like that we could have dinner ready so quickly.  Noah helped me make it, and we loved the tater tots with it.  Noah gave it a 9, and the rest of us gave it an 8.  This is fun for kids and adults :).  The calories for 1/6 of the total were 325, but we ate less than that.  I also cut the recipe in half, because it was too much for our family.  Follow the link to find the recipe at Lauren's Latest since I made the recipe just like it says, just cut in half ;).

Monday, December 16, 2013

In Lunch Lady Land

Sloppy Joes, slop, sloppy Joes.  Thanks Adam Sandler :).  One of my favorite people in the world was a lunch lady, my husband's grandmother.  We love you GG!  I can't ever eat sloppy joes without that song running through my head.  Here is the recipe for these sloppy joes, which my family all really liked.  I didn't have any ketchup, so I had to make a few changes, but I'll put in the recipe the way I made it.  These are high in calories, and of course we had to add cheese because I can't have sloppy joes without cheese.  Without the bun, the meat was 285 calories.

1-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
1/2  whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 T vinegar
1 t sugar
1/4 cup Water
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
Chili Powder
Dry Mustard
Red Pepper Flakes
Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
Tabasco Sauce (optional; To Taste)

Brown ground beef, onion, bell pepper, and garlic.  Mix tomato sauce, vinegar, and sugar together, then add to the ground beef with the water.  Add in the brown sugar and spices, then allow to cook and reduce for about 20 minutes.  Serve!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pizza Rigatoni

Here is the original recipe for Pizza Rigatoni in the crockpot that I used, and I only made a few small changes.
 
I decided I wanted to cook the onions, so I mixed those in with the sausage, and I added the cream of mushroom soup to that mixture too, rather than giving it its own layer.  I like how it turned out, Aaron and I gave it a 7 because we both felt like the sausage needed more spice, I used sweet Italian sausage because it was on sale, rather than mild or spicy, and I would use either of those next time, Owen and Noah gave it a 9.  The calories for 1 cup, or 1/8 of the total were 528, and this was an easy weeknight meal.
 
Pizza Rigatoni
 
1/2 lb pasta
34 turkey pepperoni slices
1 lb Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
3 c marinara sauce
4 c cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
black olives, sliced or chopped for garnish (I don't like having cooked olives very much)
 
Cook pasta, drain, and set aside.  Cook sausage and onions, then mix in the soup and put half of the mixture in the bottom.  Place 1/2 the pasta on top, then pour half the marinara then place 1 3/4 c cheese on top of that and then pepperoni.  Repeat the layers, then end with the remaining cheese.  Cook on low for 4 hours. 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Vicki's Experimental Green Bean Casserole :)

I made this the other day, because we have some canned green beans that need to be eaten, and I was trying to figure out something that would taste better than canned green beans by themselves.  Here's what I came up with, kind of a play on green bean casserole :)

36 oz canned green beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 T soy sauce
1/2 c french fried onions
1 T prepared pesto
1/4 c cheddar cheese french fried onions
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together in a sprayed crockpot, and cook on low for about 3-5 hours.  Serve.

Aaron gave this a 7, Owen and I gave it an 8, and Noah gave it a 9.  He said they were the best green beans he had ever had, but he hates green beans so I'm not sure how helpful that is ;).  The calories for 1/10 of the total were 121.  I would call this a successful experiment.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Garlic Rosemary Fish and Potatoes

I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe before, it is one of our very favorites, and definitely our favorite fish recipe.  It's also fairly simple.  Aaron gave it a 9, Noah and I gave it a perfect 10, and Owen gave it an 8, because he doesn't love fish.  This recipe comes from Marcella Hazan, and I love it.  Here's what I do.

1 lb tilapia
4 sprigs rosemary
4 garlic cloves, peels removed and smashed a little
4 gold potatoes, chopped
4 T olive oil
salt
1 T bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400.  In a large pan, mix together potatoes, garlic cloves, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 T olive oil, and salt to taste.  Make sure potatoes are covered with the oil.  Cook for 20 minutes, then stir potatoes to ensure even roasting.  Bake for another 15 minutes, then if potatoes are done, remove the pan from the oven, place the fish filets in the pan, then cover with the remaining rosemary sprigs, breadcrumbs, 2 T olive oil, and plenty of salt.  Return the dish to the oven and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.  If fish is done, let rest and serve.

This makes four servings, and each serving is 354 calories.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pumpkin Butterscotch Blondies

I found the recipe for these yummy cookie bars on tastykitchen.com, and here is the link.  These are tasty, easy to make, and my family really enjoyed them.  We actually made them for Aaron's work potluck, and so I don't know how everyone else liked them, but Aaron gave them an 8, and the rest of us gave them a 9.  This recipe made 24 cookies, and each cookie was 225 calories.  I followed this recipe exactly, so easy peasy :).

2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
¾ teaspoons Salt
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1-¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1 whole Large Egg
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
1 cup Butterscotch Chips

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil (make sure there is extra foil hanging off at both ends – you’ll use this to pull the finished product out of the pan). In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips with a rubber spatula.
Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.
To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off the foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pumpkin and White Chocolate Mousse Parfait

So this is a recipe we tried out for Thanksgiving, and everyone except for Aaron really loved this.  Oma, Opa, Owen, Noah and I all gave it a 9, while Aaron gave it a 4 :).  White chocolate and pumpkin are both things he really dislikes.  Oh well :).  You have to have pumpkin on Thanksgiving.  This was unfortunately incredibly high in calories, but if you make the serving small enough, which we did, it's not too terrible.  The servings for 1/16 of the total are 460.
The white chocolate has a lot more subtle flavor than the pumpkin, so it's important to make the white chocolate layers thicker than the pumpkin ones.  I also made the choice to add more cinnamon graham cracker crumbs than ginger snap crumbs, because I don't love ginger or ginger snaps.  We also didn't add any caramel to this, as the recipe suggests, but it was delicious just the same.  Here's what we did:
1 c pumpkin puree
4 c whipping cream, divided
1/2 c sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
12 oz white chocolate chopped
1 T vanilla
15 ginger snap cookies, crushed
9 cinnamon graham crackers, crushed
 
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine pumpkin, 1/2 cup of cream, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, mixing until sugar dissolves. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
In another medium saucepan (or wash and reuse the same one) over low heat, combine white chocolate and 3/4 cup of cream until smooth. Transfer melted chocolate mixture to another large bowl and set aside.
As both of these mixtures are cooling to room temperature, prepare the whipped cream. Beat the remaining cream and the vanilla in a bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture using a spatula. Then fold in another 1/4.
Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture using a spatula. Then fold in another 1/4. (All of the whipped cream should be worked into the mixtures by now.)
Cover each bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.
Assemble the parfait by transferring each mousse to a separate piping bag (OR use handy Ziplock bags and cut a small corner off of each) and layer the mousse and ginger snaps into the serving glasses in any order you like. Top with caramel sauce and more ginger snaps. Chill for another hour. Serve chilled.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Garlic Caesar Chicken

This is such an easy meal, but you have to be a little careful with the cooking of it.  This Garlic Caesar Chicken in the crockpot is one of my family's favorite meals, they want it all the time.  The boys give it a perfect 10, Aaron gives it a 9, and I give it an 8. 
 
I found this in the 365 Days Of Slow Cooking cookbook, and I follow the recipe exactly.  The only thing is you can't over cook this at all, the Caesar dressing separates if you let it go too long, so towards the end of cooking time you have to monitor to make sure you remove it from the heat as soon as possible.  We serve this over pasta as the recipe suggests, and it's great.
 
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks and seasoned to taste
1/2 c Caesar dressing (the better the quality, the better your meal will taste, we really like Litehouse)
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 T garlic, minced
1/2 lb pasta, cooked
 
Spray crock, then place chicken, dressing, green pepper, and garlic in the crockpot.  Cook on low four hours, and check to make sure it doesn't over cook.  Serve with the cooked pasta.
 
This makes six servings for us, and the calories per serving are 327.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Baked Pizza Pasta

I made this the other night, and although I started with another recipe, I just wanted to make this easy and I know my husband likes meat, so I used some turkey pepperoni I had left over.  This was simple and good, although not full of flavor.  There are 276 calories in 1/12 of the total.  Aaron and I gave this a 7, Owen gave it a 6, and Noah gave it a perfect 10.

1 lb pasta
6 c marinara sauce
1/2 c parmesan cheese
34 pepperoni slices
2 c Italian blend cheese
Italian seasoning, to taste

Cook pasta until al dente.  Preheat oven to 400 and grease 13x9 in pan.  Mix pasta and marinara together.  Layer half in the bottom of the prepared pan, then cover with pepperoni, and 1/2 the cheeses.  Repeat, and season with Italian seasoning.  Cook for 20 minutes in the oven.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I am so grateful for my life, my family, and most especially my Savior.  We love all of you!  Have a safe and filling ;) Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Soup

We used to have this all the time when we lived in Mexico, and I hadn't made it for such a long time, but I was looking for something good and filling, and easy, and I happened to remember this recipe.  My sister Sonia is the one who introduced us to this soup, and I'm glad she did!  Sorry for the picture, I almost forgot to take it, and there are no tomatoes or cilantro in it to add color, so it looks terrible, but I promise the soup is delicious!  For 1/8 of the total, the calories are 434.  Kind of high, if you use half and half like you are supposed to, it will be less, I used more cream and a little milk because I didn't have any half and half.  Aaron, Noah and I gave this a 9, and Owen gave it an 8.

Chicken Enchilada Soup
 




1 lb boneless skinless chicken      2 chicken bouillon cubes

3 T. butter or margarine        2 c half and half cream

1 clove garlic            ¼ to 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

½ c chopped onion Fresh cilantro and/or parsley (dried works as well)

4 oz can chopped green chilies            1 can (16 oz) cream-style corn (optional)

½ to 1 tsp. ground cumin                    2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 c hot water                                      1 med tomato, chopped

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. In a large pan, brown chicken, onion, and garlic in butter until chicken

in no longer pink. Add green chilies and cumin. Pour in water and add bouillon. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cream, cheese, corn, cilantro, and hot pepper sauce.

Cook and stir over low heat until the cheese is melted. Stir in tomato. Simmer until tomato is heated

through. Serve immediately. Garnish with more cilantro or parsley if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings

Monday, November 25, 2013

Yogurt Pancakes

Thanks to my awesome brother-in-law for these yummy pancakes!
 
My sister Sonia and her husband went to a bed and breakfast in Utah and had these pancakes, which are really good, and Joe asked for the recipe, which the B&B kindly gave him.  They have shared the recipe with me, and now I am sharing them with you :).  These made 18 pancakes for us, and each pancake was 95 calories using skim milk and Greek yogurt.  Use any flavor yogurt to get new pancakes each time.  Grandma was here with us, and she and I gave them a 9, Noah gave them an 8, and Owen and Aaron gave them a 7 because although they liked them, they wanted chocolate chip pancakes.  Oh well :).
 
 
Yogurt Pancakes
 
Sonia and Joe
2 eggs    2 cups flour
1 ¼ cups milk    3 T sugar
2 T oil    2 tsp baking powder
7 oz yogurt, any flavor    ½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
 
Mix all wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients, beating just until mixed. If too thick, add a little more milk. Cook like normal pancakes. Very yummy and moist. Will go further than regular pancakes.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Crustless Pumpkin Pie, or Pumpkin Pudding

This is one of those great crockpot recipes from the cookbook 365 Days of Slow-Cooking.  This is definitely my favorite crockpot cookbook, and this is another winner.  The calories for 6 servings are 296 calories/serving.  Here's what you do.

16 oz canned pumpkin
1 T pumpkin pie spice
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs
4 oz cream cheese softened
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c flour
2 t vanilla
1/2 t baking powder

Mix these all together and cook in a greased slow cooker for 3-5 hours.  Top with whipped cream. 

So easy, Aaron gave it a 7, Owen gave it a 6, and Noah and I gave it a 9.  You can tell who likes pumpkin around here :).  This is a great, easy, no fuss alternative to pumpkin pie.  It tastes great and requires so little preparation.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken Pizzaiola

This is such an easy meal.  Owen gave it an 8, Aaron and I gave it a 9, and Noah gave it a perfect 10.  This is Chicken Pizzaiola from Cook's Illustrated, and we really like this meal.  It's tasty and quick to make.  I use turkey pepperoni to cut down on the calories, but other than that I follow the recipe exactly.

1 lb chicken tenders
turkey pepperoni
1 c grated parmesan
1 c grated mozzarella (I use a little more)
3 c marinara sauce
salt and pepper
Pasta to serve

Preheat oven to 450.  Salt and pepper the chicken pieces well (do not undersalt!).  Spread the parmesan in a dish and coat the chicken pieces liberally with parmesan.  Grease a 9x13 pan.  Pour marinara in the bottom.  Place chicken pieces on top.  Cook for 15 minutes, then carefully (sauce splatters and it's hot!) remove the pan from the oven and increase oven temperature to 475. 
Cover chicken pieces with pepperoni slices, then cover with mozzarella cheese.  Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.  (I cooked mine a bit longer.)  Serve with pasta.

This ends up being about 275 calories per serving, and this recipe makes 6 servings.  So great!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins

These were a really good, easy muffin.  We liked it, and Jonah helped me make them by banging measuring spoons and cups together while I made them :).  I found the recipe here, and am glad we tried these.  I love me some pumpkin, so I'm glad they turned out well.  Noah and I gave them a 9, and Owen gave them a 7 because he didn't like the apple chunks.  He said otherwise they would've been a 9.  I followed the recipe exactly, so here it is from the tastykitchen.com website.
1-⅔ cup All-purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
1 cup Pureed Pumpkin
½ cups Butter, Melted
2 whole Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1 whole Granny Smith Apple, Peeled, Cored, And Finely Chopped
* * * * * *
FOR PUMPKIN SUGAR CRUST:
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine pumpkin, butter, and eggs in another bowl and add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Fold in chopped apple and spoon into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full.
Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice; sprinkle evenly over muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

These were super simple and they turned out well.
  I only got 20 out of the recipe, rather than the 24 the recipe said, and so each muffin was 141 calories.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Super Nacho

This is a great dish that I have been making since I married Aaron.  This is a Tunell recipe that my mother-in-law shared with me, and every Tunell I know loves it :).  Aaron thinks it is wonderful, and I like it a lot, especially when I make it the way I like it.  Owen gave this a 6, because he thought it was too spicy, and the rest of us gave it a 9.  I think Aaron would've given it a 10 if it weren't spicy, but I like it that way :).  The calories for 1/9 of the total are 380, so high, but so good!  Here's the easy recipe:

1 lb chorizo
1 onion, diced
1 can green chilies
1/2 c El Pato taco sauce
1 can refried beans
3 c shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400.  Brown chorizo and onions together until cooked and onion is softened.  Add in green chilies and taco sauce.  Spread beans in the bottom of a square baking pan, then top with meat mixture, then top with cheese.  Cook in the oven for 25 minutes, then serve with favorite toppings and chips.

We are going to layer the cheese next time and add a little more beans, because the kids and I think there is too much meat to bean/cheese.  Anyway, quick, easy, and delicious.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

Does anyone ever use those delicious biscuits that you pop open, and then have left overs?  Our family always has at least 2 biscuits left over, usually more.  Well, I have a great way of using up left over biscuits that my family loves.
 
Is this even a recipe?  Not really, but we really enjoy it :)
 
1/2 biscuit
1 T butter
garlic salt
2 T cheese
 
Bake at 350 for at least 5 minutes, or until the biscuit has reached desired crispiness.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Mexican Style Scrambled Eggs

These eggs are flipping fantastic!  I do not always love eggs, but these are so good.  I found the recipe in my Cook's Illustrated cookbook, I seriously love the Cook's Illustrated cookbooks, and this recipe is another fabulous one.  I changed the recipe a little to accommodate my family's taste buds, and they liked it!  Here's what I did

6 eggs
2 oz tortilla chips, crushed
1/4 t salt
2 oz pepperjack cheese
1/2 jalapeno, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 T butter

Melt 1 T butter, then add in the onion and jalapeno.  While these are cooking, mix together the chips, the salt and the eggs.  Add the eggs to the jalapeno and onion, then when the eggs are done, add in the pepperjack cheese.

This made four servings, and each serving was 276 calories.  Aaron gave this a 9, Owen gave it a 7 because he thought it was too spicy ;), and Noah and I gave this a perfect 10.  Noah helped me make this, it is so simple and easy.  We'll be having these a lot!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Vampire Cookies

Remember these vampire cookies I posted the recipes to a few weeks ago?  We made these on Halloween, and they were easy and fun for the boys.  The boys also told me they tasted awesome, I refrained from trying them, too much sweetness and I don't like marshmallows :).  Anyway, I have reposted the recipe, and they are super fun!
 
 

VAMPIRE COOKIES

Ingredients
1 package (18.25 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough or your favorite cookie recipe...

1/2 cup prepared vanilla frosting, tinted red
1 3/4 cups miniature marshmallows
48 slivered almonds

Instructions
Prepare cookies as directed on package or according to your favorite recipe. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Cut each cookie in half for a total of 48 halves.
Frost the bottoms of all cookie halves with frosting. Place 6 marshmallow teeth around curved perimeter of 24 halves. For additional support, an additional marshmallow can be placed behind the teeth. Top with remaining 24 halves. Insert two almond slivers in between teeth for fangs. If fangs do not adhere, dip tips into frosting.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crockpot Sesame Beef

I found this recipe in my cookbook from the lady who does this blog, www.365daysofcrockpot.com.  I really like that cookbook, since it is easy, and one of the tastiest crockpot cookbooks I have ever seen. 
 
This is so easy, and not very high in calories.  Aaron gave it a 6, and the rest of us gave it an 8.  Aaron said he wishes there wasn't so much broccoli, oh well ;).  Here's what to do.
 
1 lb beef roast
1/2 c oyster sauce
1 1/3 c beef broth
salt and pepper
sriracha to taste
1 package steamed broccoli florets
2 T cornstarch
sesame seeds
rice to serve
 
Place seasoned roast, oyster sauce, beef broth and sriracha in crockpot and cook for 8-9 hours on low.  When beef is tender, take 2 T of cornstarch and mix with some of the liquid in the crockpot.  Return mixture to crockpot and mix.  Add in the broccoli and sesame seeds and serve over rice. 
 
This is low in calories, only 297 calories per serving.  Easy and great!
 


Monday, November 4, 2013

Slow Cooker Fajitas

 

We had these great fajitas the other night, and although not traditional fajitas, they were really good.  I love how easy these are.  One of these days I'll share my favorite fajita recipe from Cook's Illustrated, but for now, these are really good and easy.  I of course changed things a little, but that is normal for me :).  We had 12 servings for this, so each serving of meat was 127 calories.  Here's what I did.

1 1/4 lb beef chuck roast, seasoned
1 10 oz can rotel
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
salt
1/2 t garlic salt
a couple of dashes of tabasco sauce
3 stalks dried lemon grass (I didn't have any lime juice, so I made do.  I just removed the lemon grass before serving.)

Place onions and peppers in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients on top.  Cook for 8-9 hours on low.  Serve how you desire.

Aaron and Owen and I gave this an 8, Noah gave it a perfect 10.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta with Bacon and Veggies

So we had this yummy dinner the other night, and although it took a little bit of time, longer than the 5 minute crockpot meals I have been making, this was worth it.  It was fresh and full of flavor.  Here is the link to the original recipe, and I basically followed the recipe exactly, just did my chicken a little differently.  The calories for 1/12 of the total, which was quite a bit of food, were 397, and I like how fresh the broccoli and peppers made this feel.  I didn't add mushrooms, because we have mushroom haters in this house.  Noah gave this a 9, I gave it an 8, Aaron and Owen gave it a 7.  Here's what I did.

5-6 chicken tenders
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 lb pasta
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 T minced garlic
one baggie steamed broccoli
15 oz can white beans
15 oz chicken broth
1 c whipping cream
1/2 c basil pesto
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper, then cook in a sprayed pan on both sides until chicken is cooked through.  Chop and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Cook onion, pepper and garlic until pepper and onion are softened.  Add in the broccoli and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add in the beans, chicken broth, cream, pesto, and parmesan cheese.  Cook until well combined, then add in chopped chicken and bacon.  Cook until sauce has reduced a little, and serve.  If sauce becomes too thick, add in a little cream or milk or chicken broth to thin it out again.

Try this, it is really good!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

No recipe today, I just had to share this cuteness :)
 
 
Hope that everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chicken Ranch Teriyaki (Bacon Cheese Chicken)

So this is one of our favorite crockpot meals, and it is super duper easy.  We call it chicken ranch teriyaki, but the original recipe is called Bacon Cheese Chicken.  You can find the original recipe here, and I follow it pretty closely.  This is really good.  Owen gave it a 7, Aaron and I gave it a 9, and Noah gave it a perfect 10.  This is worth the calories, which are kind of high, about 300 per serving, and the servings are small, but so great!

Here's how I make it.

Chicken tenders (we use 5-6, use how many will feed your family)
1/2 c ranch dressing (the sauce, not the packet)
1/4 c teriyaki sauce
4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c grated cheese

Spray your crock.  Place chicken in bottom, then mix ranch and teriyaki and pour over chicken.  Put cheese and bacon on top.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or longer if using thicker cuts of meat or bone-in meat. 

We ate this with broccoli and rolls, super yummy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Banana Breakfast Cake

We had this pumpkin banana breakfast cake the other morning, and it is not really very much like a cake.  It's very healthy, and easy to make, and definitely not very sweet.

I didn't add the oil to the batter, I just added a little more banana and more pumpkin, so the calories on this are astonishingly low.  For 1/16 of the total, the calories are only 130.  I used hazelnuts instead of walnuts, not surprising, and blended my hazelnuts with the sugar, but other than that I followed the recipe.
 FOR THE CAKE:
¾ cups Oat Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Table Salt
1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Cloves
¼ teaspoons Ginger
⅛ teaspoons Nutmeg
2 Bananas, Mashed
1 cups Pumpkin Puree
⅓ cups Maple Syrup
¾ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon creamer, I used creme brulee flavor
FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING:
⅓ cups hazelnuts, Ground Into Flour
¼ cups Rolled Oats
¼ cups Oat Flour
½ Tablespoons Sugar
½ Tablespoons Maple Syrup
½ Tablespoons Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease an 8×8” pan.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg). In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the mashed bananas, pumpkin, syrup, vanilla extract and creamer. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Scrape the batter (it will be super thick) into the pan and smooth the top.
Add all of the streusel ingredients to the bowl and stir until everything is evenly coated. Sprinkle the mixture over the cake and press it lightly into the batter using your hand.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back lightly under your finger instead of sinking in. Remove it from the oven and set pan on a rack. Let it cool slightly and serve warm.
Store leftover cake in a refrigerated, sealed container.

We ate ours warmed up with a little cream over the top.  This sounds strange, but my Grandpa used to eat cake this way all the time, and it really does taste great.  Anyway, Owen and I gave it an 8, and Noah gave it a 9. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Stuffing Dinner


So this is so super easy, and it's nice because you can use canned food for everything.  If you haven't been to the store in a while, like I haven't, this is great, because you can just throw everything in a pot.  You can use fresh chicken, or canned like I did this time.  It's a little better with fresh chicken, obviously, but again, this works and my family really likes it. 

1 box stuffing mix
3 T butter, cut up
1 2/3 c warm water
1 lb chicken, fresh or canned (rinsed if canned)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 c evaporated milk
1/2 c french fried onions
1 can green beans, rinsed

Mix together the chicken, soup, milk, onions, and green beans.  Pour the stuffing mix over the top, then pour water and place butter on top.  Cook on low for about 2-3 hours if using canned chicken, 3-5 hours if fresh chicken.

Owen, Aaron and I gave this an 8, and Noah gave it a 7.  As I said, we like this better when it uses fresh chicken, we all gave this a 9 with fresh.  Season more if you wish.  The calories are about 370 for 6 servings.  Anyway, this kind of meal is so simple and easy, and I'm always up for something that makes it easy for me ;).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

I love crockpot mashed potatoes.  They take a lot less work, and no fussing, watching, or water.  These are how I like to make them, and my family likes them too.  They aren't as fluffy as regular mashed potatoes, but the ease makes up for that small flaw in my opinion.  We give these a perfect 10, and for 1/6 of this recipe the calories are between 170 and 180.

6 yukon gold potatoes, chopped (I don't like russets, won't ever use them)
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
4 t minced garlic
rosemary or thyme
1 T butter
1/8 c cream
1/4 c milk

Place chopped potatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and rosemary or thyme in slow cooker.  Mix and cook on low 4 hours.  Make sure potatoes are cooked through, then add butter, cream and milk, and any other spices you desire.  Whip, mash, however you like to beat the potatoes up ;).  Serve.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Oatmeal Pie

This was such a fun experiment!  Oatmeal pie sounds weird, but it really tastes good.  It is kind of like pecan pie, but I like it better because it doesn't have nearly as many nuts, and is a little less sweet, which is a good thing ;).  The calories are around 300 for 1/16 of the pie, and we gave it a 9.  It's almost healthy enough to have for breakfast :).  I found the recipe here, and made only two changes, but here's how I did it.

3 whole Eggs
½ cups Granulated Sugar
½ cups Dark Brown Sugar
¾ cups Light Corn Syrup
½ cups Butter, Melted And Cooled Slightly
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
¾ cups Old Fashioned Oats (uncooked)
½ cups flake Coconut
2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
½ cups hazelnuts, chopped
1 whole Unbaked 9 Inch Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl beat eggs until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Mix well. Add the corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the oats, coconut and flour. Add the oat mixture to the creamed mixture and mix until blended. Pour into a prepared un-baked pie crust. Top with chopped pecans and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 30 – 35 minutes. Bake until the center is set. Test by touching the pie center lightly to see if it is almost firm. Do not over bake.
Cool completely on a wire rack. Store leftovers tightly sealed in the refrigerator.
 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hamburger Gravy

This was such comfort food for us.  I started with this recipe, and went off of it a little bit.  Everyone enjoyed it, and we will have it again.  Owen gave it a 7, Aaron gave it an 8, I gave it a 9, and Noah again gave it a perfect 10.  I liked it paired with the mashed potatoes that I will share the recipe for soon.  Here's what I did for the gravy.

1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 T butter
3 T flour
thyme, garlic salt, onion powder to taste
2 c beef broth

Brown beef and drain grease if necessary.  Put in spices and butter, then add flour and stir well.  Add in beef broth, bring to a boil and let thicken.  Serve over mashed potatoes or baked potato as in the original recipe.

The calories for 1/4 of the total were 203, so not high in calories really.  We had this with salad and rolls.  Yummy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cake Mix Waffles

Cake mix waffles, what an easy thing to do.  You take a cake mix, follow the instructions on the box, and instead of baking the cake, you make waffles!  I didn't add oil, I added pumpkin instead, so it was healthier and I used up the left over pumpkin I had.  These came out pretty soft, I think because there was no oil, but other than that they were great.  Owen and Aaron gave them a 9, and Noah and I gave them an 8.  These are so easy, it is great to not have to do as much for dinner ;).  The cheese in the picture was from the scrambled eggs we had with our waffles.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Nacho Chicken Tortillas

 
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's® Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 cup water                                                                               
2 cups salsa                                        
1 1/4 cups uncooked regular long-grain white rice                                                                               
1.25  pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast tendersSalt

Stir the soup, water, picante sauce and rice in a 4-quart slow cooker.  Salt the chicken and add the chicken and turn to coat.                                                    
Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board.  Using 2 forks, shred the chicken.  Return the chicken to the cooker and stir.

                                                                                                               
 
So I bought some cheddar cheese soup for a recipe I planned on making, and then I didn't want to make that recipe, so I had condensed cheddar cheese soup sitting around.  Enter google search :).  Here is where you can find the original recipe.  I found this, thought it sounded great and easy, and we made it.  Noah gave it a perfect 10, Owen gave it a 5 because he thought it was too spicy, and I gave it a 9.  The rice could've been a little less well done, but other than that I thought it was awesome.  For 1/12 of the total, which is a ton of food, the calories are 180.  I think it would be better split into 24 helpings.  Anyway, this turned out well, and I'm glad I didn't try the nacho cheese soup.  Mexican and soup just doesn't appeal to me, although I know lots of people like it like that.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Texas Trash Warm Bean Dip

So here is the recipe for Texas Trash Bean Dip that I posted before, and although really good, I think it could be better.  This has 335 calories for 1/12 of the 13x9 dish, and is tasty, but Aaron and I both thought it needed more spice.  I think some salsa added, and less cream cheese in the recipe would really make this better.  Anyway, the recipe is


Texas Trash Warm Bean Dip
...

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cans (16 ounces, each) refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded


DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with both cheeses.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese in melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips.
Super easy, but again, it needed more flavor.  Aaron and Owen gave it a 7, I gave it an 8, and Noah gave it a 9.  I will make it again with the changes I suggested, we'll see how we like it better.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pizza Lasagna

Crockpot lasagna is a great way to make lasagna easy and fast.  We love it that way, and although it doesn't make nice little squares like you get when you bake it, it is still delicious.  I found the original recipe I started from here, but we like it better how I make it now.  This is a perfect 10 from everyone!

Crockpot Pizza Lasagna

6 ready to bake lasagna noodles
12 oz Italian sausage
24 turkey pepperoni slices
24 oz marinara sauce (or a little more)
2 T water
Italian seasoning, Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, other spices to taste
3 c Mozzarella cheese
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 T prepared pesto

Grease slow cooker.  Mix ricotta with pesto.  Place 2 lasagna noodles in bottom of slow cooker (break to fit).  Brown the sausage and add spices to taste.  Pour half  of the sausage over the noodles.  Place half of the pepperoni slices over the sausage.  Cover with 1 c of sauce, 1 T of water, and 1/2 of ricotta, then top with 1 c mozzarella cheese.  Repeat this, then top with the last 2 noodles, 1 c of sauce and 1 c of mozzarella cheese and 1/2 c of parmesan cheese.  Cook on low for 3-5 hours.  Serve.

This is so good, and we have it once a month.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ding Dong Cake

So we tried this Ding Dong Cake the other day when we had friends over, and it was super duper good, and really tasted like a Ding Dong!

 
The original recipe I posted before, but here it is again.
 
Ding Dong Cake

1 box devils food cake mix
8 oz. cream cheese softened
3 c powdered sugar...
1 stick butter softened
8 oz. cool whip
1 tub milk chocolate icing

Prepare and bake cake as directed on box. (2 round cake pans)

Filling: Mix and cream the butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and fold in cool whip.

After cake is completely cooled split layers spread filling on each layer and stack, do not spread filling all the way to the edge of the cake, the weight of the cake will press it out to the edge once you are finished, this keeps the filling from mixing with the icing.  Then ice entire cake with the chocolate icing. You will be able to put a thick layer of filling between the layers.

I made the cool whip layer just like it says to, but I decided I wanted to make the cake as moist as possible.  I started with this recipe, and adjusted it to my needs.  Here's what I did.

1 box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1 small box chocolate pudding
6 T vegetable oil
1/2 c skim milk
4 eggs
1/2 c plain yogurt
15 oz canned pumpkin
2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

Grease and flour 2 9 inch cake pans.  Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together, then pour evenly in the two pans.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Cool completely.

This was super good, and not very difficult.  The filling is so delicious as well.  I used store bought frosting, because I was trying to make things easy, but using your own favorite chocolate frosting recipe would work even better (because of the consistency).  Happy day!
I gave this a 9, Owen gave it an 8, because it is super rich, and Noah gave it a perfect 10.




Thursday, October 3, 2013

Texas Trash Warm Bean Dip

I saw these on Facebook and want to make sure I can find them again.  We are trying the bean dip next week, can't wait!

Texas Trash Warm Bean Dip
...

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cans (16 ounces, each) refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded


DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in refried beans until combined. Stir in taco seasoning.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with both cheeses.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese in melted and slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips.
Delicious
Ding Dong Cake

1 box devils food cake mix
8 oz. cream cheese softened
3 c powdered sugar...
1 stick butter softened
8 oz. cool whip
1 tub milk chocolate icing

Prepare and bake cake as directed on box. (2 round cake pans)

Filling: Mix and cream the butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and fold in cool whip.

After cake is completely cooled split layers (TIP: you can place the uncut cakes on plates in a freezer for about 30 minutes to make a cleaner cut, then use unwaxed dental to pull through the layer and make a wonderful even cut.) and spread filling on each layer and stack, do not spread filling all the way to the edge of the cake, the weight of the cake will press it out to the edge once you are finished, this keeps the filling from mixing with the icing. Now, if you have any filling left over you can mix it with the icing. It’s what i did. Then ice entire cake with the chocolate icing. You will be able to put a thick layer of filling between the layers



Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 12-14

3 cups AP Flour...

1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Splenda (use could white sugar if you like)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 - 15 oz. can of pumpkin
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together brown sugar, Splenda, oil and pumpkin. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the vanilla. In a separate bowl, shift together the dry ingredients. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.

Using a pastry bag with a round tip, or a big zip top plastic bag with one corner snipped, squeeze out concentric circles of batter, starting from the middle and working outward until the circles are about 2 inches in diameter. Bake for 11 minutes and cool on a rack.

Cream Cheese Filling

1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 - 16 oz. package of powdered sugar
about a capful of vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon (to taste)

Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Frost flat side of half the pies and top with another piece


Are you ready for Halloween?

VAMPIRE COOKIES

Ingredients
1 package (18.25 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough or your favorite cookie recipe...

1/2 cup prepared vanilla frosting, tinted red
1 3/4 cups miniature marshmallows
48 slivered almonds

Instructions
Prepare cookies as directed on package or according to your favorite recipe. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Cut each cookie in half for a total of 48 halves.
Frost the bottoms of all cookie halves with frosting. Place 6 marshmallow teeth around curved perimeter of 24 halves. For additional support, an additional marshmallow can be placed behind the teeth. Top with remaining 24 halves. Insert two almond slivers in between teeth for fangs. If fangs do not adhere, dip tips into frosting.
Chocolate Lasagna

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Begin by crushing 36 Oreo cookies. I used my food processor for this, but you could also place them in a large ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. When the Oreos have turned into fine crumbs, you are done.
  2. Transfer the Oreo crumbs to a large bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs. When the butter is distributed, transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
  3. Mix the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in 2 Tablespoons of milk, and sugar, and mix well. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the crust.
  4. In a bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding with 3 and 1/4 cups cold milk. Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken. Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the previous cream cheese layer. Allow the dessert to rest for about 5 minutes so that the pudding can firm up further.
  5. Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving