Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Pots

{{Pumpkin Cream Pie}}

12 small mason jars (I used half-pint wide mouth jars)

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers (I ended up using about 1

1/2 packages of graham crackers and crushed them in my food processor)

1/3 cup sugar

6 Tablespoons melted butter

Mix these together well, then press into the small mason jars with

your fingers, and chill in the fridge. I did not cook this crust.

Pie Filling:

1 cup pumpkin (pureed)

2 cups cold milk

2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding (3.5 oz. size)

1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed (such as Cool Whip–or make your own whipping cream)

Extra whipped topping for the top of the pies

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together on low speed for 1 minute. Spoon filling into mason jars on top of the graham cracker crust. Top with a layer of whipped topping and chill in the fridge until set, for about 3 hours.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice or ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Mix all spices in a bowl and stir to blend. Makes one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Seeds

Pretty Pretty Pumpkins....

And deep inside the plump pumpkin? Perfect Pumpkin Seeds! Seeds just waiting to be turned into a delicious treat!

This fall treat is tremendously nostalgic of childhood. And once you get all that goopy stuff off the seeds... they are very easy to roast.
{{Pumpkin Seeds}}

2 cups pumpkin seeds, cleaned
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt

Place seeds in pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Strain out the seeds and dry on a paper towel.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

In a separate bowl combine worcestershire sauce, butter and salt. Then add seeds and stir together to coat the seeds with the flavor. Spread seeds out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in oven for 1-2 hours.

Remove from oven, allow to cool and store in an air tight container. Then Enjoy!

Homemade Whipped Cream

This is really the only kind of whipped cream to have and it is sooo very easy to make. No really! It is! It is so much better than Cool-whip or the kind that comes in the squirty can. You can use this in place of any recipe that calls for cool-whip or any type of whipped cream and it makes all dishes so much better.

{{Homemade Whipped Cream}}

1 cup heavy cream, chilled (nice to put it into the freezer for about 1o minutes before you whip it)
1/4 cup confectioner sugar (a.k.a. powdered sugar... this stabilizes the whipped cream better than white sugar does)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip to stiff (but not grainy) peaks. Chill until using. Best if used within one day.

Also it is really easy to make this whipped cream in a stand mixer. Place all the ingredients in and turn it on high to whip it up! Minutes to delicious-ness on top of any sweet treat.

Use it on crepes, fresh fruit, pies, or really on any dessert. Like this yummy banana cream pie! It's super easy to make too...
Banana Cream Pie

1 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips, either milk or semi-sweet
Pre-made Graham Cracker Crust (or you can make one from scratch)
2 medium size bananas (pick ripeness according to your preference)
Small box of Jell-O vanilla instant pudding
Small box of Jell-O banana cream pudding
2 cups cold milk
Whipped Topping

Place one cup of chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Melt chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds on 70% power and then pull out and stir. Watch chocolate carefully so it doesn't burn. Continue to melt chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring after. When all the chocolate has melted, add the last half cup and stir in. After stirring the chocolate and allowing some of the last 1/2 cup to melt, put it back in the microwave and after 30 more seconds all of the chocolate should be smooth and melted. (Saving that last bit of chocolate and adding it after most of the chocolate has melted helps to temper the chocolate a bit so it will set up nicely in the pie).

Now that your chocolate is melted, spread the chocolate evenly on the bottom and sides of the crust. Set aside.

Slice banana and then layer them around the bottom of the crust. Add more or less bananas as you like. This is your pie... make it the way you like it.

Open packages of pudding mixes into a mixing bowl and add the cold milk. Using a hand mixer, beat the pudding for about a minute. Pour the prepared pudding on top of the bananas and put into the refrigerator to set.

Just before serving you can make the fresh whipped topping and serve each slice with a generous dollop of homemade whipped cream! YUMMY!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chocolate Pretzel Treats

Mmmm..... What is better than sweet chocolate and crunchy salty pretzels!? I love the combination and these bite size treats are amazing! Easy to make and fun to have at a party or just for a sweet afternoon snack.

Here are the ingredients that you need for these:

{{Chocolate Pretzel Treats}}

24 pretzels (square waffle ones work the best, but you can you use the twists too!)
24 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
M&M's or other candy coated chocolates

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Next, place all the pretzels on the baking sheet and top each of them with an unwrapped candy kiss in the center off the pretzel.

Third, place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for about one to two minutes, until the kiss becomes soft and shiny. (You want the chocolate soft, but you don't want the kisses to lose their shape.)

Finally, remove them from the oven and place one M&M in the center of each pretzel and gently press down. Chill these delectable treats in the refrigerator until chocolate is set again. Then control yourself and try not to eat them all at once!
Also... a few variations of this recipe include topping the chocolate kiss with a peanut M&M or a peanut butter M&M (instead of the plain kind). Also you can replace the kiss with a caramel filled Rolo and then top them with a whole pecan for a sweet chocolate turtle treat. The possibilities are almost endless.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Neiman Marcus Cookies

{{Neiman Marcus Cookies}}

2 cups butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal, then blend in a blender to a fine powder)
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
24 oz. chocolate chips
1- 8 oz. Hershey chocolate bar (grated)
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice- walnuts, pecans, etc. I've also made the cookies with no nuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and both sugars. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Mix together flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and add to butter/sugar mixture. Add chocolate chips, grated Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes about 10-12 dozen cookies.

This recipe makes A LOT of cookies. Recipe can be cut in half for half as many cookies (obviously!) and even better the recipe can be quartered and it makes about 3 dozen cookies. Much nicer for a small family of 4. Sometimes the numbers get crazy when you are trying to downsize a recipe and I always make mistakes, so I like to write them down.

Here's the measurements for the

{{1/2 recipe}}
1 cups butter
1 cups granulated sugar
1 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal, then blend in a blender to a fine powder)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips
4 oz. Hershey chocolate bar (grated)
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (your choice- walnuts, pecans, etc. I've also made the cookies with no nuts)

Here's the measurements for the

{{1/4 recipe}}

1/2 cups butter
1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar
1 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cups flour
1 1/4 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal, then blend in a blender to a fine powder)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 oz. chocolate chips
2 oz. Hershey chocolate bar (grated)
3/4 cups chopped nuts (your choice- walnuts, pecans, etc. I've also made the cookies with no nuts)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yummy Dehydrated Apples

Start with your favorite apple.

Slice the apples into thin pieces. (Use an apple peeler, corer and slicer tool to make it easier.)

To help prevent browning, create a lemon juice bath for the apple slices using water and lemon juice. About 2 T lemon juice to 2 quarts of water.

Remove apples from the water and lemon juice solution and place the apples on the dehydrating tray. Remember to leave some space between the apples to allow the hot air to move around and make the drying process a little bit faster.
Take cinnamon red hot candies and place them in a blender and pulse until they turn then into a fine powder. Put the candy powder into a flour sifter and sprinkle the candy powder over the apple slices.
Dehydrate the fruit for several hours until the fruit becomes dry to the touch. Remember to rotate the trays since some of the trays closest to the heat source will dry faster than the ones farther away. Some of the fruit will finish before other pieces, so pull off those that finish early. Store the fruit in an air tight container.
Here are the finished product. It is amazing... I thought that the apples were going to have a cinnamon flavor, but they didn't. It just sweetens the apples and gives them a fun, vibrant red color.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

I'm back.... One year later! Finally! Here is a yummy, chewy zucchini bread with oatmeal. It's a great hearty bread.

Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

3 eggs well beaten

2 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup applesauce

2 cup grated zucchini (do not peal)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 cup flour (can use 1 cup white and 1 cup wheat)

1 cup oatmeal

Add the sugar to the beaten eggs, then add the oil, applesauce, grated zucchini and vanilla. Add the spices and salt to the flour, then add this with the oatmeal to the sugar and egg mixture. Bake in two greased and floured bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Easy Snack for Kids

Ritz crackers
Peanut Butter
Apple slices

Spread some of the peanut butter on each cracker and then top with half of an apple slice.

The kids loved these healthy little snacks and they were super easy to make! YAY!
You can also top the crackers & peanut butter with a small slice of cheese.


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