Friday, December 31, 2010

Cashew Salad


This recipe has been moved to The Traveling Circus.

Click the link below for the recipe

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

Every year we have breakfast at my parents' house on Christmas morning. I wanted to find something that can be made the night before so we don't have to make anything Christmas morning. My husband's cousin made this for her son's mission farewell about a month ago and I thought it was so good. I thought it would be perfect for Christmas morning.

Printable Recipe

Breakfast Casserole


12 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pkg. frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 cup ham, cubed

Whisk together eggs. Add salt, pepper, and milk. In a separate bowl, combine hashbrowns, cheese, onion, green pepper, and ham. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour egg mixture over hashbrown mixture and mix together. Cook uncovered at 350 for 45-55 minutes.

*This can be made the night before.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cheesecake

My husband made cheesecake for his family on Christmas Eve. He has a large family so he made 3 cheesecakes. He was pretty much baking all morning. This is the best cheesecake ever!  I'm a cheesecake lover so it's not very hard to please me. But after trying this cheesecake I'm always disappointed by other cheesecakes. It's that good!  Cheesecake is always a little time consuming to make and I've heard a lot of people say they've made it and it hasn't turned out right. If you follow this recipe it will turn out great. It's so good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Printable Recipe

Cheesecake
adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Food Network

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 1/2 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:
frozen berries, thawed (any kind)
sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 350. To make crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. Using your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Increase oven to 450. To make filling, mix together cream cheese and sugar using a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Reduce the mixer to low and add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix well and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 225 and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let sit at room temperature for another 2-3 hours, until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. To cut cake, make sure the knife is hot by running hot water over it. If the knife is cold it will tear the cake.

To make topping combine thawed berries and desired amount of sugar. Serve over cheesecake.

serves 12-15

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almond Roca Toffee

I think I've gone a little overboard with making Christmas treats this year. One of my biggest weaknesses is Christmas treats. If they're in my house I can't stop eating them. I have no self control. Here is another yummy treat for you to enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Almond Roca Toffee
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar
2 (3 oz) pkg slivered almonds
1 pkg milk chocolate chips
1 (3 oz) pkg sliced almonds

Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar. (If you are using unsalted butter add 3/4 tsp salt) Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5-6 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Stir until mixture is golden brown. Add slivered almonds. Once mixture comes to a boil, clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Continue stirring over medium heat as mixture darkens and reaches the hard crack stage which is a temperature of 300 degrees. Immediately take off stove and spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and let melt. Put a foil tent over the pan to keep in the heat. Once the chocolate is melted, smooth with a spoon. Sprinkle almonds on top. Cool in fridge and crack into pieces.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate and Caramel Dipped Pretzel Rods

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the yummy treats. Chocolate covered pretzels is one of my very favorites. When I saw this recipe for chocolate and caramel pretzels I was sold. This is something that I will probably make every year. So good!!!

Printable Recipe

Chocolate and Caramel Dipped Pretzel Rods
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
pretzel rods (about 40)
chocolate for dipping (I used 1 1/2 bags of milk chocolate chips and 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips for drizzling)

In a heavy pan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Stir continuously until it forms a soft ball in cold water (about 15 minutes). Take off heat. Use spatula to smooth over pretzels. Place on parchment paper or wax paper sprayed with cooking spray. Let set for about 20 minutes. Melt chocolate in microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour chocolate in a tall glass and dip caramel covered pretzels into chocolate. Place on wax paper. Refrigerate to let chocolate set. Melt white chocolate and drizzle over pretzels.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oreo Truffles

This recipe has been moved to The Traveling Circus.

Click the link below for the recipe

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homemade Caramels

Ever since I can remember, my favorite treat in the whole world has always been homemade caramels. That's a pretty big statement because I definitely have a sweet tooth. This is definitely a "must have" treat for the holidays. It's fairly simple to make but wrapping up each caramel is a little time consuming. But it's totally worth it because it's so delicious!

Printable Recipe

Homemade Caramels


1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and continue stirring over medium heat until soft ball forms in cold water, about 10-15 minutes from the time it starts boiling. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Cool completely. Cut into squares and wrap in wax paper.

makes about 75 pieces

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

I'm always looking for new salad recipes to take to parties. This is a great salad for a pot luck or to serve as a main dish.

Printable Recipe

Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

2/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
6 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp fresh ginger or 2 tsp ground
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 head napa cabbage, cut into 1/4 inch shreds (4 cups)
1 head romaine, chopped (4 cups)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup chow mein noodles

Whisk together vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger. Remove 1 cup and set aside. Add chicken to remaining marinade and let sit for 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and adjust oven rack to 6 inches from broiler. Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed. Broil until lightly browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Place chicken on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Poke holes to vent and refrigerate while preparing salad. Combine salad ingredients. Shred chicken and toss with salad. When ready to serve, toss with dressing and noodles.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Caramel Crunch Bars

I am a sucker for anything with caramel. I was a little skeptical about this recipe when I saw that it calls for club crackers. But my obsession for caramel took over and I gave it a try. It was so good! The saltiness from the crackers balances out the sweetness of the caramel and it's a great combination.

Printable Recipe

Caramel Crunch Bars
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

80 club crackers
1 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place a layer of crackers on the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Spread half of the caramel mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers, then spread remaining caramel mixture over the crackers. Top with the final layer of crackers.

In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Spread over crackers. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thai Lettuce Cups


Oh my goodness! These were so good. They were a little tricky to eat but that was part of the fun. It was a little spicy but I think it depends on the type of sweet chili sauce you use. Apparently the sauce I bought had a kick to it. My kids are pretty used to eating fairly spicy food so as long as we don't tell them it's spicy they don't notice. You can serve it like this or as a salad. It would probably be a little easier to eat as a salad. This was great as a main dish with some white rice on the side but I also think it would be a great appetizer. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Thai Lettuce Cups
adapted from The Sisters Cafe

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup honey
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters and leaves gently removed
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
juice of a lime (to taste)
1 handful basil, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Drain liquid if necessary. Add bell pepper and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add sweet chili sauce and honey. Simmer to reduce and coat chicken. Before serving stir in lime juice and peanuts. Sprinkle with basil. Serve in lettuce cups.

Serves 4-6

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vanilla Pudding Pie Filling

This is a basic vanilla pudding recipe. You can serve it with any kind of topping or filling that you want and in any kind of pie crust. My husband made this for Thanksgiving and he topped it with Snickers candy bar. It was delicious!

Printable Recipe


Vanilla Pudding Pie Filling


1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2-3 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
filling options: bananas, candy bars, cookies
pie crust (any kind)

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and milk and stir over medium heat until thickened. Stir in egg yolks. Stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool and add desired filling. Pour into pie crust and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you don't want the filling mixed with the pudding, you can pour the pudding into the crust and top it with desired ingredients.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pretzel Jello Salad

My kids wanted to eat the pretzels and I told them they couldn't because it was for the jello. Then my 6 year old said, "Pretzels in jello! I'm not trying that." I know it sounds weird but it is seriously so good. The pretzels make the crust and with the cream layer it kind of tastes like white chocolate covered pretzels. Yum! Whenever I make this for my husband's family everyone goes crazy over it. It's my favorite jello recipe ever. It's technically a jello salad but it actually tastes more like dessert. It's perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas but it's great any time of the year.

Printable Recipe

Pretzel Jello Salad


2 cups pretzels, crushed but not fine
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
8 oz cool whip
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 (3 oz) pkg strawberry jello
20 oz frozen sliced strawberries

Mix pretzels, butter, and 1 Tbsp sugar. Smooth out in a 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes. Cool for 1 hour.

Beat 1 cup sugar, cool whip, and cream cheese. Spread over cooled pretzels.

Mix boiling water with jello. Reduce heat to low and add frozen strawberries. Stir for about 2 minutes. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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