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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cornflake Wreath Cookies

Recipe from Sheryll M.

This is a recipe from my mom.  I can remember her making these when I was a little girl.  I always leave the silver dregees out because they are not edible.  

Cornflake Wreath Cookies

Makes about 30

1/2 cup butter
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp green food color
4 cups corn flakes
red hot candies
silver dragées

Melt butter, add marshmallows, stirring until all marshmallows are melted. Add extracts and food coloring; stir until it is a uniform green color. When mixture is smooth, add corn flakes; mix well but gently so as not to crush the cornflakes. Form into wreath shapes on sheets of waxed paper, decorate with red cinnamon candies and silver dragées. Let cool.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chocolate Turtles

Recipe Source Unknown

This is a basic easy recipe for Turtles.  Turtles can be so expensive in the store but with a little bit of time you can make your own.  I always say the more chocolate the better so I fully dip my turtles using forks.  Chocolate Almond Bark works well also.  It's kind of a pain to unwrap all the caramels so if anyone has a yummy caramel recipe I'm open for trying something knew.

Chocolate Turtles

1 (8-ounce) package caramels
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup pecan halves
16 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate

In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt caramels in heavy cream. Arrange pecans in groups of five (head and four legs) on greased wax paper or greased foil. Spoon caramel into a small mound in the middle of the nuts to make the body. (The caramel should partially cover the nuts to keep them in place.) Let stand until hard.

In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate; stir with spoon until melted. With a spoon, coat body, heat and legs with dipping chocolate, leaving ends of pecans uncovered. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chocolate Dipped Truffles

Chocolate Dipped Truffles 

Servings: Makes about 15 truffles

6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate or white baking bars (white chocolate), chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet or milk chocolate chips or white baking chips
Finely chopped nuts or candy decorations, if desired

1. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Melt baking chocolate in heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted; stir in whipping cream. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, just until thick enough to hold a shape.

2. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Shape into balls. (If mixture is too sticky, refrigerate until firm enough to shape.) Freeze 30 minutes.

3. Heat shortening and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat. Dip truffles, one at a time, into chocolate. Place on aluminum foil-covered cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle some of the truffles with finely chopped nuts or decorating candies.

4. Refrigerate truffles about 10 minutes or until coating is set. Drizzle some of the truffles with mixture of 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon milk. Refrigerate just until set. Serve at room temperature. Store in airtight container.

The shortening helps set the chocolate coating so it doesn't melt as easily.

Makes about 15 truffles.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles

Chocolate Cream Cheese Truffles 

I went on a truffle binge and made notes on each of the recipes I tried.  The personal note I left is down below.  I know I'm obsessed but it's handy so I don't repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

Servings: 2 dozen

1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 oz. light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
Extra cocoa or confectioners' sugar, for rolling OR:
3 tbsp. ground almonds

1. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute, until almost melted. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add chocolate and beat again until smooth.

3. Add cocoa and 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and stir until well blended. Add remaining confectioners' sugar and stir until you have a soft dough. The mixture will seem dry -- it may be easier to use your hands for final mixing.

4. Put about 1/4 cup cocoa, confectioners' sugar or ground almonds into a shallow dish. Shape chocolate mixture into 1" - 1 1/4" balls and roll in cocoa, confectioners' sugar, or ground almonds to coat. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and refrigerate until chilled.

Makes 2 dozen truffles.

Note: Very good, creamy and tasty. Taste best rolled in chopped nuts of any kind. I tried almonds and tasted just fine. Would be a good recipe to dip in chocolate. Was hard for almonds to adhere to chocolate balls. Took evaporated milk and rubbed chocolate ball in hands and picked up the nuts great. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Coconut Balls

Recipe from

When I make these I never put in the full amount of powdered sugar listed.  I go by taste and texture.  The first time I ever made this recipe it was too rich and a little chalky.  I like the middle to be a little more moist.  These have a similar taste to almond joys.

Coconut Balls

Serves/Makes: 6.5 dozen 


2 pounds powdered sugar
1 (12 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups coconut*
1/4 cup butter; softened
16 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
2 1/2 tablespoons shortening
Mix together all ingredients; chill. Form into 1-inch balls; chill again on waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Dip in a chocolate coating. Chill for another hour.

*original recipe calls for 2 cans or 3/4 of a large bag of coconut. So 2 cups is a guess on my part, based on the size of a bag of coconut.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Torani Truffle

Recipe from

This calls to dust in Cocoa powder but it's a little too much for me.  Nuts adhere pretty well to this.  The bittersweet is definitely for your true chocolate lover.  With the Caramel syrup you can barely taste it.  I've also made it with Raspberry syrup and that turned out pretty well.  You can find these syrups in the coffee aisle.  I like to have them on hand to put in my hot chocolate.

Torani Chocolate Truffles

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Torani Caramel syrup
Cocoa powder for dusting

In a double-boiler, melt chocolate; add cream and syrup and stir well. Let cool. Chill mixture until firm enough to mold. Roll into almond-sized balls, working quickly to keep chocolate firm. Fill a shallow bowl with cocoa powder and using a fork, gently roll truffles in cocoa. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to eat. Makes about 2 dozen truffles.

Variation: substitute Torani Hazelnut for Caramel and roll chocolate in chopped hazelnuts. Other syrup options: Chocolate Mint, Peppermint, Cinnamon and Almond.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Recipe Source Unknown

These can be a little messy if you don't get the chicken secure enough so I suggest you put down foil in your pan.  It's not my favorite thing trying to pry off baked on cheesy stuff.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are pounded and stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, dried chives and minced dried onion. They're rolled up and wrapped with bacon, then baked.

• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 cup softened cream cheese (about 8 oz.)
• 1/2 TBSP dried chives
• 1/2 TBSP instant minced onion
• 4 tsp butter or margarine
• 4 slices bacon


Place chicken breasts between two slices of waxed paper and pound to about 1/4-inch thickness. Salt and pepper the breasts and set aside. In small bowl, blend thoroughly the cream cheese, chives and onion. Dollop each of the breasts with one-fourth of the cream cheese mixture. Then dot each with 1 tsp butter or margarine. Fold the sides in to hold the cheese stuffing; roll each breast up and wrap with a slice of bacon. Place seam side down in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees about 50-60 minutes until done, then place breasts under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the bacon is browned.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Frito Maia Pie

Recipe from Krista N.

I got this from my good friend and it works up pretty fast.  It's nice because usually these ingredients are on hand.

Frito Maia Pie (MOM)

Brown together:
2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t chili powder

Layer in large casserole:

1/2 pkg Fritos, crushed (save rest for the top)
browned meat mixture
2 cans chili con carne
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can olives, drained
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pkg Fritos, crushed (remainder of the bag)

Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly.

(We usually use only 1# ground beef, omit the olives, add another can or two of chili, and only one can of soup, diluted with milk...)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Outrageous Carrot Cake

I have a love/hate relationship with carrot cake.  I love the frosting and the cake if done right is good too ONLY if you don't ruin it by putting raisins in it.  Raisins have their place just not in carrot cake.  OH MY...this was a little over the top and very rich!  I couldn't even fit the sucker in my fridge with out moving racks.  Just be sure to close your eyes towards the bottom of the recipe and don't look at the "health" facts per serving.

Recipe from Cooking Pleasures Magazine

Outrageous Carrot Cake

This lavish cake boasts three layers loaded with carrots, pineapple, coconut and walnuts. It’s filled and crowned with a cream cheese frosting. While cake layers are often created by slicing a single layer horizontally, the fruit and nuts in this cake make that difficult, so the batter is baked in three pans.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
2 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (about 6 carrots)
2 (8-oz.) cans crushed pineapple in juice, well-drained*
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
11/2 cups finely chopped walnuts, if desired

1. Evenly space 2 baking racks in oven. Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray bottom and sides of 3 (9x2-inch) round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper; spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into medium bowl.

3. In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar at medium speed 1 to 3 minutes or until thickened and slightly lighter in color. Beat in oil at low speed. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut and 1 cup walnuts until blended. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake 25 minutes; turn and reverse cake pans. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cake pulls slightly away from sides of pan. Cool in pans on wire rack 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack; remove parchment. Cool completely.

4. To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add powdered sugar; beat at low speed 1 minute or until blended and smooth.

5. Place 1 cake layer on serving platter or cardboard round; spread with 1 cup frosting. Repeat. Top with remaining cake layer; spread top and sides with thin layer of frosting. Coat sides with another smooth layer of frosting; spread remaining frosting on top. Press 11/2 cups walnuts onto sides of cake. (Cake can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, or 3 weeks ahead and frozen. To freeze, place cake in freezer until frosting is firm; wrap in plastic wrap, then heavy-duty foil. To defrost, place in refrigerator overnight; remove wrapping. Serve at room temperature.) Refrigerate leftovers.

TIP *If pineapple has any large pieces, finely chop.

20 servings

PER SERVING: 755 calories, 45 g total fat (13.5 g saturated fat), 8 g protein, 84.5 g carbohydrate, 105 mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beef Enchilada Casserole

I'm not a huge fan of red enchilada sauce so I usually sub green enchilada sauce.  For some reason I have a really hard time finding it in the smaller cans but they do exist.

Beef  Enchilada Casserole

Cook Time: 45 minutes

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (about 10 ounces) red enchilada sauce
1 can (10 1/2 ounce) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 1/4 ounce) cream of chicken soup
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chile peppers
1 cup milk
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 package (about 7 ounces) tortilla chips, coarsely crumbled
8 ounces grated Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
1 can (4 ounce) chopped ripe olives

Preheat oven to 375°
In a large skillet, brown ground beef with onion; remove from heat and drain off excess fat. Add chili sauce, soups, chopped chile peppers, milk, and minced garlic; mix well.

In a greased 9x13x2-inch baking pan, place a layer of half the coarsely crumbled tortilla chips; top with half of the ground beef mixture. Layer with remaining crumbled tortilla chips, then remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and chopped black olives over top. Bake at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Puff Pastry Hearts

Recipe from Taste of Home Magazine

Maryn and I made this dessert for Daddy on Valentine's Day last year.  He LOVES raspberries.  It's time consuming but so cute.  And the custard filling inside alone is worth it!  To make it look more elegant I suggest trying to find raspberries that are fresh.  I had to work with what I had but it didn't detract from the taste at all.

Puff Pastry Hearts

36 Servings
Prep: 1 hour + chilling 
Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 to 1 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 packages (17.3 ounces each) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 jar (12 ounces) seedless raspberry preserves
2 cups fresh raspberries
Confectioners' sugar

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in
milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until
thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg
yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle
boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.

Remove from the heat. Gently stir in extracts. Cool to room
temperature without stirring. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or
until chilled.

In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Fold into custard.

© Taste of Home 2012

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Chocolate Mint Truffles

Recipe from

Chocolate Mint Truffles

Preparation - 20 min

Cooking - 3 min
Cooling Time - 50 min refrigerating 
Yields - 48 truffles


1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels
1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts, toasted

LINE baking sheet with wax paper.

PLACE milk chocolate and semi-sweet morsels in large mixer bowl. Heat cream to a gentle boil in small saucepan; pour over morsels. Let stand for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for 35 to 45 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir just until color lightens slightly. (Do not over mix or truffles will be grainy.)

DROP by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet; refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Shape into balls; roll in walnuts. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

After rolling chocolate mixture into balls, freeze for 30 to 40 minutes. Microwave 1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Milk Chocolate Morsels and 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted. Dip truffles into chocolate mixture; shake off excess. Place on foil-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Easy Ground Beef Casserole with Potatoes

Recipe Source Unknown

Easy Ground Beef Casserole with potatoes

Cook Time: 1 hour
1 to 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, browned
1/2 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
3 large potatoes, sliced
2 Carrots, shredded
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in a skillet with chopped onions; cook until onions are tender. Drain off excess fat; transfer ground beef and onion to casserole dish. Add layer of sliced raw potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper; shred carrots to cover potatoes. Put soup over carrots. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top and bake for about 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.
This easy ground beef and potato casserole serves 4 to 6.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Raechel's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Raechel C.

My niece stayed with us over the summer a couple years back and she made these cookies that were absolutely wonderful.  I have a handful of different chocolate chip cookie recipes and I love them for all different reasons.

Raechel’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. brown sugar
¾ c. sugar
1 c. butter ( ½ c. shortening, ½ c. butter)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ c. flour
¾ tsp. Salt
¾ tsp. Baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips

preheat oven 350 degrees cook 10-12 minutes

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Recipe from Angie M.

I know this may seem silly to have a recipe like this but my sister-in-law served these for Family Camp one year and they were delicious.  She served them on croissants and they were lovely.  I do agree with her cashews fit the bill perfectly in this combination of ingredients.  I'm in love with Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning so if I have it on hand I'll toss in a shake or two.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

3 cups chicken
1 1/2 cups sliced grapes
2 stalks celery finely chopped
3/4 to 1 cup mayo or miracle whip
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used cashews)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste.

Petite Macaroon Cups

Recipe from

I've had this recipe forever and just got around to trying them out and this is definitely a keeper.  Did you know that you can make flaky pie type crust from cream cheese?  These are nice and bite size but don't be fooled about the bite size because you'll find yourself 5 macaroons later still popping them in your mouth.  For the longest time Macey kept asking me to make macaroni pies and I couldn't figure out what she was talking about.  So the official name for these per my 4 year old is "Macaroni Pies".  If anyone dares to try the chocolate version let me know how they turn out.  They suggested to divide into 12 balls and that sounded time consuming so after I divided them into four quarters I shaped them into logs.  I kept the one I was working with out and used a knife to evenly divide it into 12 portions.  The other 3 logs I threw back in the fridge so the dough would stay firm until I needed to use them.

Petite Macaroon Cups

Petite Macaroon Cups

Servings: 4 dozen cups
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 17 Minutes

1 cup butter, softened
2 (3 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut


BEAT butter and cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy; stir in flour. Cover; chill 1 hour.
HEAT oven to 375°F. Divide dough into quarters. On floured surface, shape 1 quarter into a smooth ball. Divide into 12 balls. Place each ball in a 1 3/4-inch muffin cup; press evenly on bottom and up side of each cup. Repeat with remaining dough.
COMBINE sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla and almond extracts in medium bowl; mix well. Stir in coconut. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool in pans; remove.
CHOCOLATE MACAROON CUPS: BEAT 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa into egg mixture; proceed as above.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Oreo Truffles

Recipe Source Unknown

This is Matt's favorite truffle.  The white chocolate is extremely hard to dip in.  To make it easier to dip, freeze the oreo balls and take a few out at a time to dip as you go.  You can also use almond bark.  I found they dip a little easier with the almond bark.  You can also opt to dip in milk chocolate.  I heard someone using nutter butter cookies in place of the oreo so I'll have to try that some time.  

Oreo Truffles

1 package Oreo cookies
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 package white chocolate chips
1 package chocolate chips (optional)

Put cookies and cream cheese in a food processor and mix until makes a mud-like paste (if you do not have a food processor, you can crush the cookies in a freezer bag and then mix with cream cheese using a hand mixer.) Shape into 1 inch balls. Place balls on cookie sheet and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Melt white chocolate chips, and quickly dip chilled balls. You can then drizzle with melted brown chocolate chips if desired. Keep finished truffles refrigerated.

Flat Iron Steak Marinade

Recipe Source Unknown

Flat Iron Steak Marinade


3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 dash salt

1. Whisk all ingredients together.
2. Pour over 1 lb of steak and marinade for at least 3 hours, turning each hour.
3. Grill over med-high about 6 minutes per side.