Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our family had a very nice time eating and visiting with family. I made some "candy corn" place settings for the table.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Creamy Banana Pudding

I got this recipe from my best friend. This banana pudding is so good but its very rich, so a little goes a long way! Try it.

Creamy banana pudding:

1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 (3.4 oz) box of instant vanilla pudding
2 cups (1 pint) Heavy whipping cream-whipped (you could probably use Cool Whip in a pinch)
1 box vanilla wafers
3 medium bananas-sliced and dipped in lemon juice (so they don't turn brown)

In large bowl combine sweetened condensed milk and water. Add pudding and beat well. Chill for 5 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon 1 cup pudding mixture into a 2 1/2 quart glass bowl. Top with one third each of the wafers, bananas and pudding. Repeat layers twice, ending with pudding. Chill Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Makes 8-10 servings

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

I think I got this recipe from Paula Dean. These little buggers are so darn good and they taste EXACTLY like cookie dough, but without the unsafe raw eggs! These are great to give to friends and co-workers. They will gobble them right up. Hope you enjoy them. I'm going to try to add a link to my Flickr page so you can see what they look like. {crossing fingers}.....

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1(14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semi-sweet choc. chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 lb choc. bark

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer on med speed.
Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add choc. chips and pecans. Shape into tiny balls. Place on wax paper and chill 2 hours.

Melt choc. bark in microwave. Dip balls into the choc. to coat. Chill to set.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Swedish Dala Horses

Here is another entry in the Dallas Morning News Cookie Contest (decorated category). This cookie didn't win but I thought they tasted good. Here is the recipe:

Swedish Dala Horses

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs-beaten
2 tablespoons almond paste-cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 1/2 cups flour-sifted
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
Royal icing

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, almond paste, and orange peel. Combine sifted flour, ground almonds and baking powder and add to wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shape. Dala Horse cookie cutters are available online or at Scandinavian shops. Simple shapes are best for this cookie as they do spread when baking. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Frost with royal icing.
Here is the link to the origin of the Dala Horse:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tarragon-Sesame Crisps

Here is another cookie recipe from the Dallas Morning News Cookie Contest. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of them but they are a light, nutty quarter sized cookie.

Tarragon-Sesame Crisps

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh tarragon
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Beat in egg and add sesame seeds, pecans and fresh tarragon. Add to this a sifted mixture of flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well and drop in small mounds 3 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake about 9 minutes. Cool and remove from pan. Makes 4 dozen

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread

It cracks me up that putting pineapple in anything automatically makes it "Hawaiian". When I worked in a nursery, one of the sweet mothers would bring us this banana bread and we would devour it in seconds. I had to have the recipe and I have been making it ever since.

Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread

3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I used walnuts)
3 eggs-beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups ripe mashed bananas (I put 4 small bananas)
1 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple-drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine first 5 ingredients. Stir in nuts. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until moistened. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes. Then eat it! It's so nummy num!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Take your pick

My husband's work is throwing a Thanksgiving pot luck tomorrow and he volunteered me to make the dessert. I was excited to make something for them, but my husband told me "Don't make it to pretty cuz it's just a bunch of guys". Well I didn't want it to be ugly so I thought of doing a pretty basic cake and amp it up with ganache dripping down and strawberries. I really hope they like it. The ganache recipe follows:


6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
small pad of butter

Melt everything in a small saucepan and stir constantly until smooth. Let it cool for a couple of minutes before pouring it over your favorite.

The cakes above are devil's food with butter cream icing and french vanilla with chocolate icing.

My new apron

I'm so excited about my new apron! After wanting an apron and not finding one that I loved I asked my wonderful Aunt if she would make me one and she did! I bought a McCalls pattern at Hobby Lobby along with the two different types of fabric and she made it for me! I love, love, love it! I feel so retro.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nummy num potato casserole

My in-laws had a cook out for the football game and I brought these potatoes. They were a big hit and I was asked for the recipe. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of them.

Potato Casserole

1 32 ounce package of frozen hash browns
1 small jar of Cheese Whiz (sorry I don't know the exact size)
1 cup of sour cream
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 can of water
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of butter
dried onions to taste
For the topping:
1/4 cup of butter
2 cups of corn flakes (trust me it's good!)

Mix all of the top ingredients together (except the ingredients for the topping) and put into a greased 13X9 pan. In a medium sized bowl melt butter and pour over the corn flakes until well coated then sprinkle on top of the potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New York Style Cheesecake

This is a great recipe for thick New York style cheesecake. I made this once before but I put a water bath underneath it and it didn't cook in the middle. For this one I eliminated the water bath and it turned out really good.

New York Style Cheesecake

15 graham crackers(I think they mean 15 individual crackers, not a whole sheet)-crushed
2 tablespoons butter
4 (8oz) packages cream cheese-room temp.
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 can any flavor pie filling for the topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 inch spring form pan. In medium bowl mix crumbs and butter, press into pan. In a large bowl mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Do not over beat! Blend in milk and then mix in eggs one at a time just until incorporated. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake for one hour, then turn oven off and let cake cool in oven for 5-6 hours. Don't open the oven so the heat can't escape. Chill in fridge.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flour-less Chocolate Cookies (baker unknown)

Ok on to a post of something better looking than a foot. Another one of the cookies that was entered in the easy category of the cookie contest was the flour-less chocolate cookies. They were nummy too.

Flour-less Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups pecans (toasted and coarsely chopped )
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the cocoa, sugar, salt and pecans in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. With the mixer running, slowly add the egg whites and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly. DO NOT OVER MIX.
With a 1-ounce cookie scoop or a generous tablespoon, scoop the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, to make cookies that are 2 inches in diameter. Space the cookies widely.
Put the cookies in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 325 degrees. Bake about 15 minutes, or until small thin cracks appear on the surface. Switch the pans halfway through baking. Pull the parchment paper with the cookies onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before removing cookies from the paper.

(For the easy category these cookies seem a little complicated, but that's just me)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Payback is a B!tch

Ok before you judge me for making this disgusting foot cake let me tell you the story. I have the opposite of a foot fetish. I HATE feet. They gross me out really bad! Well....I work with a bunch of men and I made the mistake of telling them I hate feet. Big mistake! Huge! Now when I come to work I have pictures of the nastiest looking feet you have ever seen plastered on my desk. I get to hear about feet and boils and all the other nasty stuff that happens to feet during lunch. And the last straw was an email I got from my boss saying that his birthday was coming up and he wanted "this" cake and he enclosed a picture that turned out to be a picture of a nasty, disgusting, horrific and revolting foot. So I thought "ok if he wants that "cake" for his birthday then that's what he's going to get". The nasty foot cake was born.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ginger Snowflake Cookies by Nelson Prater

These thin cookies were so good and tasted a little like an oatmeal cookie. You should definitely try this recipe.

Ginger Snowflake Cookies

2/3 cup salted butter
2 cups quick-cook oats
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger, cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slowly melt butter in a saucepan. Stir together oats, sugar, flour, spices and salt. Stir in melted butter, corn syrup, milk and vanilla. Line baking sheet with foil (shiny side up). Drop by rounded TEASPOON on to foil.
Press down to flatten out pretty thin. (These will spread quite a bit-to at least 2" in diameter, so leave lots of room).
Bake 6-8 minutes or until starting to brown. (You can prepare other foil sheets with dough while these are baking).
Remove from oven, pull sheet off the pan onto wire rack to cool. Slide next foil onto pan and stick in oven and repeat. After they have completely cooled, they will be easy to peel off the foil. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Raspberry Dream Bars by Cindy Ellison

These cookies were entered into the Dallas Morning News Cookie Contest. Not sure if they won anything but they were delicious! Here is the recipe:

Raspberry Dream Bars

1 cup butter, soft
1 1/2 cups sugar (divided use)
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 X 15 inch jellyroll pan. In a large bowl, beat together butter, 1/2 sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until well blended. Add flour and mix until blended. Add chopped pecans.
Pat dough evenly into bottom of greased pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
Remove pan from oven but leave the oven on. Let cool for 5 minutes then spread the perseveres evenly over hot crust.
Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar and vanilla and beat until very stiff.
Gently spread on top of the preserves, making sure to seal the edges and corners. Return to oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting. Makes about 18 2 1/2 squares.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Deal! :(

I'm so bummed! The Dallas Morning News Cookie Contest was today and when I first got there I thought to myself I have a chance at winning, then some of the other contestants came rolling in and my confidence just kept going down farther and farther. But the winner was a cookie that I had cancelled out completely thinking "There is no way that one is going to win". I sound like a bitter old cookie maker huh? Well here are the nominees and you be the judge. (Don't forget my little guy)

The fifth one down from the top won. I think it is supposed to be a Lord a Leaping?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A troop of cookie men

Well one of my entries for the Dallas Morning News Cookie Contest got picked. Can you guess which one? I have to bring 7 of them to Central Market on Thursday to be judged. I'm nervous and excited all in one. I entered last year and didn't win so I'm hoping that my luck is better this time. Having been through the process once I have a better understanding of how it all goes down. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 2, 2009


At a Halloween party this weekend the host made what she called "Tiajuana". Don't ask what or why it's named that because I have no idea, but it tasted good. It's a little like Rotel cheese dip but with more substance. Here is the recipe...


2 cans Ranch Style Beans
2 cans Rotel (drained)
1 family size can Cream of Mushroom
1 family size can Cream of Chicken
1 block of Colby Cheese
2 pounds of ground beef

While you are browning the ground beef add a sprinkle of Cumin. Once the beef is cooked add all the ingredients into a crock pot and enjoy.