Lucky Charm Bars

Shannon came home from work and said that someone at his work made Lucky Charm Bars, (which are similar to Rice Krispie treats), for St. Patrick's Day.  I thought that sounded pretty neat and YUMMY!  I am taking treats for my FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Dessert meeting tomorrow, so I thought this sounded fun! Plus Shannon can have one since it is not made out of chocolate, which he gave up for Lent.

6 cups of Lucky Charms
1 package of marshmallows
4 TB butter

Melt butter and marshmallows in pan.  Remove from heat when marshmallows are almost completely melted.  Add in Lucky Charms and mix well.

Place in a 9 x 13 inch buttered pan.

Notes:  These were very marshmallowly, if that is a word.  Shannon liked them.  I found recipes that said use 3 1/2 cups - but I used an entire bag.  I thought that I had measured 3 1/2 cups, but still had marshmallows left in bag - so just added the rest.  Other recipes said 25 large marshmallows.

These bars were yummy! I kept eating them, hoping there would be enough left for the meeting.

Butterscotch Blondies

Oh my goodness! These are DELICIOUS!

  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 2  large egg whites
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2  cup  butterscotch morsels (topping)
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch morsels (in batter)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat sugars and butter at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add egg whites and vanilla; beat well. Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.  I added an additional 1/4 cup butterscotch morsels to batter, original recipe did not call for it.


Spread batter evenly into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with morsels. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Calories:  142 (27% from fat)
Fat:  4.3g (sat 2.6g,mono 1.3g,poly 0.2g)
Protein:  1.6g
Carbohydrate:  24g
Fiber:  0.3g
Cholesterol:  8mg
Iron:  0.6mg
Sodium:  95mg
Calcium:  24mg
Cooking Light, JANUARY 200
 
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White Chocolate Almond Coconut Flake Delight Bars


The other day I was experimenting with ingredients that I had on hand.  This is round two! from a previous post.  This time I added chopped Almonds and coconut.  My students and co-workers loved these as well!


1 bag of marshmallows
3 TB butter

6 cups of Kellogg's Cinnamon and Sugar Cornflakes (or plain cornflakes)
1 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips
2 cups angel flake coconut (or desired amount)
1 cup chopped almonds

Butter to grease 9 x 13 pan
1/4 - 1/2 cup white chocolate chips for topping

Heat marshmallows and butter on medium heat.  Remove from heat when you can smash marshmallows with spatula and they melt.  Add cornflakes, white chocolate chips, almonds, and coconut - mix well.  Place mixture in 9 x 13 inch pan and spread out in pan.  Add 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips on top - place in oven under broiler until chips become soft enough to spread.


This is absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Scotchy Butter Nut Brownies

My favorite ingredients to utilize in brownies are Nuts, Butterscotch Chips, Toffee Bits and Marshmallows (next time I will put marshmallows in this recipe)


As one of my students said - "These brownies are ridiculous" - which means VERY DELICIOUS!!!!  What a compliment.  I love baking for my students.  Whom better to be taste testers than high school students!  I also love sharing with our office secretaries - if they like it, then you know its good, especially when they ask for the recipe!!!

Family Size Brownie Mix (9 x 13 pan)
Heath (toffee bits) (desired amount)
Butterscotch Chips (desired amount)
2 Nut-Trition Bars

Prepare brownies as directed on the box.   Top with heath bits and butterscotch chips.  Sprinkle desired amount - I did not measure.  Chop up 2 Nut-Trition bars and sprinkle on top of bars.  Bake as directed on box.

Hint:  When cutting brownies, use a plastic knife - cuts cleaner.


Gourme Mist

Fine Mist Spray Bottle for Salad 
by Gourme Mist

Oil and Vinegar Misters - for that health conscious person.
Pump and spray. (Continuous Spray)

Purchased at HyVee - full size, travel sizes can be purchased on line at Gourme Mist's Website

I love this salad spray!
Visit their site for a list of products.  They also have travel sizes that can fit right into your purse!


$7.99 for 6.5 oz.
$4.99 for 3.5 oz.

Cooking Class with Barry and Meta West

Today we spent several hours with Barry and Meta West learning to cook an Eastern European Dinner - we had the best time ever.  They reminisced about the sights in Europe as they took us through an Eastern European Meal.  We not only learned what went into each recipe, we were shown several techniques and given advice on cooking.  
Barry demonstrated the proper technique to dicing and chopping vegetables.  How to hold the knife properly to slicing a green pepper.  We then practiced cutting the vegetables for the dinner - onions, mushrooms, celery and green peppers.  
Barry was in charge of cooking the soup and main dish.
Meta demonstrated making a delicious dessert - we each helped icing the layers - DELICIOUS.  Their love for cooking and teaching shined through their demonstrations.  They both actually wore shirts that they purchased in Hungary - which added a little flair to the day!  We were given aprons to wear.  We sit down and had a lovely dinner.  Below you will see the menu.  This description probably does not do this class justice - words can't describe the time that we had.  I can not wait for the next class! Thanks Barry and Meta for a wonderful day! Visit the West's Blog for more dates on cooking classes and delicious recipes!
EASTERN EUROPEAN DINNER
Traveling through Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia

Dobre Doshly” – Traditional Bulgarian “Welcome”
Mananca cu paine" (Bread) with Salt and Honey
w/ a shot of Pálinka (a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy)


Hungarian Dobostrorte
Bulgarian Chicken Paprikash Soup
Serbian Cucumber Salad
Hungarian Fillet of Pork
w/ Lesco (pepper, potato & tomato stew)
Hungarian Dobostrorte
 



Too many of this and that!

Do you have the same problem we have?  Too much of one thing?  I am trying to organize my kitchen.  I have way to many of the same items.  For instance, Pyrex glass storage containers.  I have way too many of these.  I can't help it if I find a great deal on items and feel I have to purchase several.  I even have some still in my closet that are brand new and have never been used.  I will be placing some of these in storage as well.  Really, how many does a person need at once.  I am just not a big plastic container fan, however - I am changing my mind.  These glass container lids leak.  It never fails when I take left overs to work in one of these containers, I end of having liquid leak into my bag.  So I found a bargain on glad plastic containers a few weeks ago at HyVee (purchased 11 packs - each at 99 cents, plus if you purchased two sets, you received a $1.50 off your next purchase).  I will be using those for traveling food - and leave the glass containers at home for storage.

PYREX GLASS CONTAINERS




OUR RUBBER SPATULA COLLECTION


We have a lot of rubber spatulas - but these are probably not the best.  If you own spatulas with wooden or even plastic handles like the ones shown - the silicon head does come off and does occasionally need washing - otherwise mold will build up inside.  So if you have these in your drawer - take them apart and check to make sure there is no mold.  Again, how many spatulas does a person need in their drawer?



MEASURING CUPS AND SPOONS

How Many Measuring Cups and Spoons are Too Many??

One can never have too many measuring cups and spoons, or can they?  This isn't even all that we have.  I just ordered another set of cups and spoons - Kitchen Aide pink ones from Kohls today - can't wait to add them to our collection!

Easy Muffins


Muffins can be made easily with just a cake mix and one can of pure pumpkin.

Combine cake mix and pumpkin.  This is good by itself - or use it as a base and add to it.

You can use any chocolate or spice cake mix.  Add your own touch:  cinnamon,  grated carrot, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips, nuts, sprinkles - the possibilities are endless!

NO WATER OR EGG NEEDED!

Cook on 400 for 17 - 20 minutes

Easy Chocolate Dream Pastry

My sister shared this recipe with me.  She obtained it from a co-worker.  This tasty pastry tastes like a chocolate cream pie - without all the work!

1 box of puff pastry (2 sheets in each package)  
--Make 18 squares
--cut each sheet down creases. Which will give you six strips. 
--Then cut each strip into thirds - which will give you a total of 18 squares.

Spread small amount of Nutella on one side of square 
Place 3 baby marshmallows on top of Nutella
Fold diagonal to form triangle
Crimp edges with fork to close

Bake as directed on puff pastry box. 


400 for 10-15 - until golden brown! ENJOY!!!

Best if eaten warm.

White Chocolate Flake Almond Delight

Today I was experimenting with ingredients that I had on hand.  I needed to get rid of marshmallows and cornflakes before they expired.  So before school this morning, I made my students a snack.  They LOVED them!

6 cups of cornflakes (Kellogg's cinnamon and sugar flavor)
1 bag of marshmallows
1 bag of white chocolate chips
--3/4 for mixture, 1/4 for topping
1 cup of whole Almonds (I was going to chop these, but could not find my chopper was pressed for time)
2 TB butter

Heat butter and marshmallows in skillet on medium heat.

While you are waiting for marshmallows to melt - take additional butter and grease a 9 x 13.  Place almonds in bottom on pan.

 Remove from heat when you can smash marshmallows and the butter is melted (do not over cook marshmallow mixture or items will come out very hard)  Add cornflakes - mix well.  Then add 3/4 of bag of white chocolate chips into cornflake mixture.  Remaining chocolate chips will be used for topping.


Pour cornflake mixture into pan - and spread out with your hands covered with plastic gloves.  You may have to butter your gloves so that the mixture does not stick.  Pour remaining chips on top of bars - place under broiler until chips are heated.  Take a rubber spatula and spread out white chocolate.  I also added almonds on top.  I think in the future I will throw the almonds in to the marshmallow, chocolate mixture so that they are coated.





Mom's Brittle


My parents have pecan trees on their land.  Each year we pick up pecans.  Mom purchased a pecan tree shaker a few years ago.  It is kind of like Easter egg hunting (even though there are tons of pecans everywhere) - the excitement of finding pecans and putting them in the bucket - FUN!!!!!  My mom makes the best brittle - she not only uses pecans, but dry roasted peanuts or cashews.  Over Thanksgiving mom demonstrated how to make this delicious candy.  I can't wait to try and make it by myself for the holidays.  More pictures and video to come on the steps to making brittle


2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 cups of raw or roasted peanuts or other coarsely chopped nuts - 1 lb of nuts
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, butter and salt.  Cook until sugar dissolves and comes to a boil.  Cook and stir occasionly to 254  (soft cracked stage) add nuts. Continue cooking, stirring often to 310 (unless it starts to get dark) or until syrup is clear golden color, remove from heat.  Stir in soda and vanilla immediately, poor on silicon sheet or onto 2 buttered pans.  If desired use two forks to lift candy and stretch it thin.  Cool.  Break into pieces.  Makes about 2 1/4 lbs.  Mom uses a sheet of silicon to spread brittle onto.  She places towels under silicon sheets.  Uses a high temperature rubber spatula to spread mixture thin.

Dad's Turkey Dressing

I look forward to my Dad's stuffing every year at Thanksgiving!

Serves:  20

2 1/2 lb loaves bread cut into cubes - dried
3 cups diced celery
1 medium onion diced
3 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cubes of butter
Juice or broth off of neck and tail (boil tail and neck and save juice)
Salt and pepper
1 TB sugar
5 slightly beaten eggs
Sage to taste

Boil -  neck and tail - save broth

Directions:
Cook together the celery, onions, chicken broth and cream of chicken soup.  Until celery and onions are transparent - let cool.  Place the bread cubes in a well buttered roaster pan and let dry.  This could be done a day or two before.  To mix the dressing:  sprinkle salt, sugar, pepper and sage over the cubes.  Pour the beaten eggs over bread cubes.  If your turkey is cooked, you can add pieces of turkey to mixture or you can take meat from neck or tail.  Pour the cooled mixture of celery and onions over bread cubes and mix well.  Do not use too much seasonings to start with - season to suit your taste.  Mixture will be a little sloppy - put three or four dabs of butter on top.  If your turkey is done, you can add a few laddles of broth around edges of bread mixture.

Notes:  this may boil over if it is placed in a 9 x 13 pan (instead of a roaster pan) - place cookie sheet under pan if you use 9 x 13 pan.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  350 for one hour.

White Pie

This recipe is from my dad's mother. 

Yields: Two Pies

1 1/4 cup sugar
3 TB flour
pinch of salt
Mix together

Add:  3 1/2 cups milk

Microwave until it starts to thicken - will not get overly thick.

In another dish:

4 egg whites - beat well
add 1 tsp. vanilla
add 1 cups chopped pecans - fold in
Add egg white mixture to warm sugar mixture

Place in two baked shells
Top with whipped cream and nuts

Mom's Deviled Eggs

Boil eggs (salt water)
Run cold water over eggs

12 eggs
3 TB vinegar
2 TB sugar
Miracle Whip - to desired thickness
Salt
Pepper

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
3 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 cups chocolate chips

Bake 375 10-12 minutes

Dawn's Favorite Things!

Besides family, friends and my dog, there are simple things in this world that make a persons life a little more happier, well that is my life anyhow.  So one of my fellow blogger buddies created a post of her favorite things.  So I thought to myself, what are my favorite things?  

Leave a comment of what your favorite things are.

SPICE RACK

 I am so tired of spinning my lazy susan hunting for a spice or seasoning.  It seems like I spin that lady several times before I find the spice that I am looking for, and my thumb is sore by the time I finish finding all of them.  I finally color cordinated the spices (I know weird huh), thinking that would help.  Shannon asked if I color cordinated them by lid color?  No silly by color of spice.  So, that made it a little easier, but still wasn't effective.  So I thought a spice rack would be nice.  I found a spice rack at Kohls - which was on sale, plus I had 30% off.  I did replace mint, seasoning salt, celery salt, crushed bay leaves and sea salt with ones that I use most often - Cumin, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder and Curry.




Green Market Baking Book


Green Market Baking Book: 100 Delicious Recipes for Naturally Sweet & Savory Treats

Lose the sugar with recipes for sweet and savory treats that use only natural sweeteners and seasonal products: no white sugar, corn syrup, or chemical substitutes allowed. Celebrity chefs from across America contribute their favorite recipes to this unique collection, which offers suggestions for delicious dairy- and gluten-free treats, along with vegan and low-fat variations. And every recipe has been tested and re-tested to perfection.


In this book, Laura Martin demystifies the art of substituting natural sweeteners for refined products, so readers can use these sure-fire alternatives in their own favorite dishes!

Order yours today from Amazon

Shannon's Mexican Stuffed Chicken


Shannon made this for supper tonight - and it was DELICIOUS!!!!!!

This recipe was acquired from allrecipes.com - Bob's Mexican Stuffed Chicken

I could not get a nice shot of the chicken dish - kind of messy - BUT DELICIOUS!!!!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (1.27 ounce) packet dry fajita seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms (did not use)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (we used fat free cheese - cheese didn't melt, but was crispy-YUMMM)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • toothpicks

We had left over onion mixture - so I sauteed it - without oil.  It was delicious to eat as a side dish with chicken.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix the corn flakes, chili powder, and fajita seasoning. In a separate bowl, mix the red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion.
  3. Dredge the chicken in the corn flakes mixture to evenly coat. Sprinkle one side of each breast with 2 tablespoons Cheddar cheese, and layer with 1/4 the vegetable mixture. Top with equal amounts salsa. Carefully roll the breast halves over the filling. Seal seams with toothpicks, then dredge again in the corn flakes mixture.
  4. Arrange the rolled chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Top with remaining cheese, and continue baking 10 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear and cheese is melted.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information


Amount Per Serving  Calories: 368 | Total Fat: 14.8g | Cholesterol: 103mg

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Shannon gave up chocolate for Lent, so I wanted to make him something without chocolate and something that was EASY!!!!  From my Grandma Hoy!

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla.

Mix and scoop with a 1 inch cookie scoop.

I put some heath toffee on some of them.  I also added one marshmallow in the middle of some.  I asked Shannon if they were good?  He said why - are these healthy cookies? Guess he thinks everything I make has to be something hidden in them or healthy.  NOPE!!! I didn't tell him that I didn't put a lot of work into these - just four ingredients ;) They sure are pretty though - and pretty tasty.

Yields:  18 cookies.

White Chocolate Confetti Bars

Found on Girl Meets Life's Blog - made alterations to original recipe.

8 x 8 pan
Ingredients:
  • 1 box confetti cake mix (original recipe - yellow cake mix)
  • 3 TB olive oil or canola oil (original recipe - 1/4 vegetable oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (used Acidophilus milk)
  • 1/4 cup - Add rainbow sprinkles - I added small ball rainbow sprinkles in batter and on top (did not measure)! - YUMM!!!
  • 1/2 cup plus a few extra of white chocolate chips 
Directions: Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk slowly – you want the batter to remain as dense as possible. Then mix in the rainbow sprinkles and white chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Note - I only had olive oil in the house, so I added Almond Extract in hopes that it would cover up the olive oil taste.  I could still taste the olive oil, but not overly.

I made these a second time - this time using 1/4 cup canola oil - and skim milk.  I was disappointed - they were cakey instead of more chewy.  Not sure what happened.  

Dash of This and That Turkey Mix

I am very bad about just throwing in ingredients to get my ground turkey to taste good.  Which I should measure my ingredients - especially when the mixture turns out pretty tasty! Even below I am not for sure if I included everything - but this recipe will be used as a reminder to myself on what to add.

I enjoyed this meat mixture with a side salad of:  Romaine, Broccoli slaw (which I am addicted to), pepper, Chia Seeds, and Balsamic Vinegar (Modena's Spray Pump - YUMMY)

1 lb extra lean ground turkey
1 diced onion
Garlic
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Celery Seed
1 bag of frozen - Green, Red, Yellow Peppers (Birdseye Brand)

2 TB Chili Powder
Cumin

Brown meat, garlic and onions.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Healthy Banana Nut Bread

I found this recipe on What Katie's Baking!  Check out her blog - it is CUTE!!!

Ingredients: (yields one loaf in a 9 X 12 pan)
  1. 3 cups whole wheat flour + more for dusting
  2. a pinch of salt
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/3 cup flaxseed powder
  5. 1/3 cup + 1 cup orange juice or milk (I used almond milk)
  6. 1/4 cup applesauce
  7. 1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract (I used vanilla and it turned out really well, but next time I think I'll use almond, just to try it)
  8. 1 cup sugar, or 3/4 cup agave or honey
  9. 1 cup mashed banana, about 3-4 bananas depending on the size (I microwaved mine until they got melty, then added them)
  10. 1 cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Lightly grease a 9 X 12 loaf pan.
2.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder.
3.  Combine flaxseed powder with 1/3 cup orange juice/milk/almond milk (depending on what you are using), and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
4.  In another large bowl combine oil, sugar (or honey), mashed banana, and the rest of the juice/milk/almond milk, vanilla/almond extract. Add the flaxseed powder mix to this and stir to combine.
5.  Add the flour mix to this wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. This is going to be a sticky gooey mix.
6.  Dust the the nuts with flour. Carefully fold them into the dough.
7.  Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour to hour and a half or till the toothpick comes out clean (it took 60 minutes in the convection oven).
8.  Cool completely for about 15 minutes before turning the bread over. Slice only when completely cool or it will fall apart.