Eggnog Snickerdoodles

3 Jan FullSizeRender

The tastiest way to use up that left over eggnog from the holidays! These snickerdoodles are so fluffy and moist, and bake up so pretty.🙂

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Ingredients:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup eggnog

4 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/3 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350^F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time; then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the eggnog. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky.

Mix together 1/3 cup sugar and ground nutmeg in a small bowl. Shape the dough into rounded tablespoon size balls and roll in sugar and nutmeg mixture. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are just set and starting to crack.

 

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Snickers Caramel Apple Dip

30 Dec IMG_4091

I wish my picture did this dessert better service. I had to make do with the remnants of the bottom of the bowl because it got eaten so fast. Remnants don’t ever make for wonderful pictures, but they do say a lot about how well people like your dish! So, I’ll count the fact that I didn’t have much to work with, a definite win. Make this. Hide in a closet. Don’t share.🙂

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Ingredients:

6 regular sized Snickers candy bars

4 medium apples (I suggest a crispy, more tart apple – I used Granny Smith)

1 (5.1 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix

1/2 cup milk

1 (16 oz) tub of cool whip, thawed to room temperature

1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Whisk pudding packet, 1/2 cup milk, and cool whip together until well combined. Chop up apples and Snickers into bite size pieces, and combine with pudding mixture. Place in large serving bowl, and drizzle with caramel topping. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

 

 

Pistachio Cake

29 Dec photo 5

We made this cake for my daughter’s birthday this past May. Pretty sad that I am only just now getting the recipe posted. But…you guessed it…I lost it.🙂 We decided to make brownies with the kids tonight, which sent me digging through my recipe box for my favorite gooey brownie recipe which I have, apparently, also lost. But, as luck would have it, I stumbled upon this random list of ingredients written on the back of a birthday card envelope, and I did a little happy dance. My pistachio cake!!! Better late than never. This cake (and frosting…they must, must be served together) is to die for. One of those ridiculous desserts that make your eyes roll back into your head after each bite. So good.

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Ingredients:

Cake-

1 white or vanilla cake mix

1/3 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1 cup club soda

1 (3.4oz) pkg pistachio pudding mix

Frosting-

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese

1 (3.4oz) pkg pistachio pudding mix

1 cup milk

4 oz (about half a tub) cool whip

For cake: Preheat oven to 350^F. Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Bake according to box instructions (cupcake: 21-24 min, bundt: 43-48 min, 13×9: 32-35 min, 2 9″: 28-31 min, 2 8″: 32-35 min). Allow to fully cool before frosting.

For frosting: Cream together powdered sugar and cream cheese. Add pudding, milk, and cool whip (add more milk if frosting is too thick for your liking).

 

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Frosted Zucchini Bars

9 Oct photo 3

I will never be a truly successful blogger. Want to know why? Because I get all excited about my blog for about 6 months…then I get lazy. Or busy. Or both. And my poor blog suffers. However! If you stick with me, I promise that I will get to the ever-growing list of recipes. Promise.

Anyone else have zucchini coming out their ears from their over-successful garden? Yeah…me either. We actually have a ton of tomatoes this year (the ironic thing being, I’m the only one in my entire house that eats them) but our zucchini never made it. I think there’s something wrong with us. All of our neighbors got a ton! I’ll trade a few of my tomatoes so I can make these.🙂 My sister passed this batch along and they look so good!!! (it’s times like these that you curse the fact that your sibling lives clear across the country and you can’t skip over to have a taste)

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Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
    • 3/4 c. sugar
    • 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 2 1/2 c. flour
    • 1 Tbsp baking powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 c. zucchini, grated
Frosting
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Blend in zucchini.
  2. Pour into greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool.
  3. Prepare frosting. Add more milk if necessary to get right consistency. Spread over cooled bars.

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http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/2011/07/cinnamon-frosted-zucchini-bars/

 

S’more Brownies

29 Sep photo 3

Just spent the last 2 weeks slaving over nine, rather complicated, Shakespearean costumes. Loved it…but I almost went insane. As did my puppy, who was abandoned outside the whole time because I simply could not sew and watch his every move at the same time (he’s a chewer). But don’t you worry, he was able to find ample entertainment. Our drip system will have to be replaced and a few plants have now been replanted about 10 times each. Not sure my husband is happy that I sacrificed the back yard🙂, but hopefully he’ll forgive the dog…and me.

Here’s my peace offering:

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Ingredients:

  • 14 full graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • one batch of your favorite brownie recipe (boxed or homemade, make as directed but do not bake)
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

First make the graham cracker crust. Put 10 of the graham cracker and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Add butter and mix until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9×12 pan and bake at 350  for 9-10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from over and let cool for 10 minutes.

Pour on the brownie batter and cook for another 20-25 minutes until almost set.

While baking, crush the remaining graham crackers by hand and combine with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Scatter mix over the brownies and cook for 5-8 minutes until marshmallows are melted and slightly toasted.

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http://bloomdesignsonline.com/2014/01/make-it-monday-brownie-smores.html

Chicken Salad Sandwich

8 Sep photo 2

 

Alright, I’m going to apologize upfront. I hate non-reciepes. You know them – those recipes that say ‘to taste’ and don’t give you any real measurements. And here I am, posting a non-recipe. Sigh. I’m sorry. But it’s so good, you will forgive me!

I love, love this sandwich filling because it goes with every kind of bread you can throw at it. You can also mix different combinations of ingredients together (depending on what my pantry feels like offering) and it turns out fabulous every time. I originally stuck with the strict mix of chicken, diced grapes, chopped celery, and almonds. And then came that fateful day…no grapes. My favorite part, MIA. But I had everything else ready! There was no backing out. So, I scoured my shelves and decided that craisins would make an ok substitute. It turned out to be my husband’s favorite. Another time, no celery. I didn’t want to miss out on their crunch…enter chopped apples. I’ve actually had a lot of fun trying out new ways to prepare it. And I never measure. Gasp. I really just said that. But I just don’t – use mayo to taste, depending on how creamy you want it. Garlic salt to taste. Choose your bread base…to taste. My favorite is naan. Hubby likes pretzel rolls. Croissants are fabulous. Regular, run-of-the-mill grocery store sliced bread works too! This chicken salad makes everything taste like you stepped into a cute cafe for lunch. My only word of advice – no Miracle Whip. I’m not a hater – I like both Mayo and Miracle Whip – but in this mix, stick with honest-to-goodness mayo or it tastes weird.

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Ingredients:

2 breasts of chicken, cooked and diced

1/4 – 1/3 cup mayonnaise (to taste)

garlic salt

Optional additions: apples, grapes, sliced strawberries, craisins, slivered almonds, cashews, celery

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Baked Ziti

6 Sep photo 1

My husband and I are taking dance classes every Friday this month (P.S. I’m pretty excited about typing this post because I’m using my pinkie again – stitches are out and, though it looks terrible still, I can use it without being scared it is going to split in half…yay me). It was so fun! And, unlike most of the husbands, mine was actually excited to be there.🙂 I’m not a huge dancer, but I wish I was. Baby steps…

Of course, while we were out, baby boy decided to shove a spoon down his throat and bleed all over poor auntie (she has the worst luck – last time one of the kids puked all over her…I swear I don’t plan these things). We’re still up waiting for the on-call doctor to give us a buzz and make sure we don’t need to get his pretty little gash checked. Poor kid. He’s a bink-baby and having a spoon shaped gouge at the back of your throat kind of puts a damper on things when you want to suck. It’s going to be a long night, so I might as well get a blog entry in.

Baked Ziti –  as easy as spaghetti, but it sounds way fancier.😉 The recipe calls for three different kinds of cheeses, but lazy-o me just used a bag of pre-shredded pizza-mix cheese (I figure it has a bit of everything in there anyways!). So, a pretty easy recipe jumped all the way to no-brainer. Cool beans. I told you I’m not a fancy cook.🙂

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Ingredients:

1 pkg.  (16 oz.) ziti pasta
1 jar  (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 container  (15 oz.)  Original Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg.  (8 oz.)  Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

MIX spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese and reserved 1/2 cup pasta cooking water in large bowl. Add pasta and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese; mix lightly. Spoon into 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Cover.

BAKE 30 min.; uncover. Bake an additional 10 min. or until heated through.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/baked-ziti-54590.aspx

Brown Sugar Asparagus

25 Aug photo 2

My run of Les Mis started this past weekend. Opening night had a few bumps, naturally, but it was still a fantastic show. That meant that performance number two could only get better, right? Well, let’s start the morning off with trying to saw through a bagel…and my pinkie. Awesome. Five stitches and a tetanus shot later, my finger was wrapped in so much gauze and tape, I looked like I had sprouted another limb. I asked the doctor if I could take it off for the show (we actors are more than a little vain I suppose – I just could not fathom wearing that monstrosity on stage). He was hesitant, but said it would probably be fine if I just wore a regular bandaid. Hooray! Victory…ish. I took off the bandage just before curtain (I was being good and waited as long as I could), and nearly passed out from the process. I’m a boob. But the stitches got stuck on the gauze, it was all swollen and bruised…and I couldn’t even get the dumb bandaid to stay on right. In short, I ended up rewrapping the darn thing. I did cut the size down by about half, so it wasn’t so in-your-face-I-almost-amputated-my-finger kind of bandage. My mom could tell I had it on (she was looking for it because she told me I was crazy for only wanting to wear a bandaid – mom’s are always right), but my neighbor came and said she couldn’t see it from the audience. I’ll take it! Because I have to wear it for the entire run of the show.😦 The good news? The show was awesome – none of the glitches from opening night – I figure I absorbed all of the bad luck…and then bled it out all over my kitchen. I’m all about taking one for the team!

Asparagus…you don’t have to use a knife to remove the woody ends (I’m a little wary of knives these days) – just give them a good bend, and they snap off themselves. Don’t skip this step in attempts to avoid wasting a perfectly good spear of asparagus (I have never done this…ever). It tastes bad and it’s impossible to chew, so you’ll end up throwing it away anyways. This is my favorite way to prepare the good ends though! A perfect combination of sweet and salty, and oh-so-tasty!

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Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus spears

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup chicken broth

Snap off woody ends of asparagus and discard. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Stir in brown sugar. Cook, stirring continually until sugar dissolves. Add asparagus to brown sugar mixture, turning to coat. Saute for 2 min. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until asparagus are crisp-tender.

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Samoan Pancakes

18 Aug photo 2

There are so many fun versions of pancakes! I love me a good ol’ fashioned flap jack, but breakfast is so much more exciting when you try something a little different. This recipe is another from my grandma’s stash. They lived in Tonga and Hawaii for most of my mom’s life, so I trust Grandma’s islander recipes! And my kids love that they can eat these pancakes with their fingers.🙂

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Ingredients:

3 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

Drop by teaspoons into hot oil. Deep fry until golden brown and cooked through. Served buttered with syrup, or coat in sugar.

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Lemon-Lover’s Cupcakes

10 Aug photo 2

School starts in 2 weeks. I am in denial. I’ll have two of my kiddos going this year – excited, but sad too! We are squeezing every last drop out of our summer  break and trying to cram in all the last bits of fun and freedom – including doing a little cupcake decorating. Does it count as decorating if you eat most of the toppings before they make it to the actual cupcake? If you love lemon (hence the name) you will love, love these babies. photo 1

 

Ingredients:

1 medium sized lemon

1 pkg plain yellow or vanilla cake mix

1 (3.4 oz) pkg lemon instant pudding

1 (6 oz, 3/4 cup) container lemon yogurt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

Grease and dust two 9″ round cake pans, or line cupcake cups with paper liners.

Rinse lemon and pat dry. Grate enough zest to measure 2 tsp. Set 1 tsp of zest aside for frosting. Cut lemon in half and squeeze out the juice – you will need 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp. Set 2 tsp of lemon juice aside for frosting.

Place cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, water, oil, eggs, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Divide the batter between cake pan, or fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350^F for 25-30 minutes for cakes or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Bake until golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl and beat until creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 2 tsp lemon juice. Beat until will combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Continue to add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

 

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