Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Red Velvet Cookies

As I was making the Pumpkin Chocolate Butterscotch cookies, I also wanted to make red velvet cookies. I have never made even cupcakes that were red velvet. I looked on allrecipes.com as to how to make these. I was surprised that there was actually cocoa in red velvet, as well as sour cream. Luckily I had just enough sour cream. :) I also happened to have two bags of the betty crocker sugar cookie mix in my food storage. :) Double score! :) So I decided to make them.

1 (1 pound 1.5 ounce) pouch Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon red food color
1 egg
3/4 cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
1/4 cup chopped nuts
Mix cookie mix, cocoa, butter, sour cream, food color and egg in bowl until soft dough forms.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 9 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
Frost cooled cookies with frosting. Sprinkle with nuts. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

I didn't have any nuts, so I skipped that option. Other than that I followed the recipe. Braeden said they were yummy and he couldn't even taste the sour cream. (mind you he HATES sour cream). so that was a GREAT thing :) They are light and airy. Pretty tasty :) Enjoy!

Pumpkin chocolate butterscotch cookies

I love baking cookies! Don't you? Doesn't everyone?! I can't see why not. I love the joy of eating the cookie dough, the smell of the cookies baking in the oven, and the warm cookie with a cold glass of milk... ah... the good stuff, that's the joy of life... isn't it... I think so...

Well, enough about me and my obsession with cookies, well, baking in general. I believe that cookies make the world a little brighter place. Today's recipe came about because at first I was going to make some pumpkin chocolate chip bread. Then i thought, I know a scary thing... Can I make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I found a recipe on allrecipes.com for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I liked the recipe that used oil instead of butter, since I'm out of butter... I know another travesty... So, I decided I would double the recipe so I have enough for my kids to have some and for me to give some away. (I love sharing food with others :)) So, in doing that, I realized that I had 1/2 a bag or 1 cup of butterscotch chips that needed used, and I wasn't wanting to put them in regular chocolate chip cookies. I thought (I know I need to stop that) these would be good in my pumpkin cookies.... So here is what ingredients I used :) Enjoy!
And yes, I've already had some of the dough and a fresh warm cookie... mmmmm tasty... I think I will eat another one soon... now I'm craving them! Darn them!!!

2 cups canned pumpkin
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 egg
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips*
Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips*.
Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.
Makes at least 4 dozen cookies
Recipe from Allrecipe.com

Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy quick beef stew with noodles

So, tonight was my quick, I mean really quick dinner night. I was tired and it was cold out. I didn't want to do too much. It was really supposed to be reheated leftover night, but instead, I pulled out an old classic at my house. Now, those who REALLY know me... know that I like to cut corners, I know this is supposed to be a blog about cooking from scratch... but sometimes, this is as from scratch as it gets.

2-4 cans of beef stew (store premade canned) depending on your family size
1 Lb egg noodles
6 Qts of water (to boil the noodles in)


In a sauce pan - heat the beef stew, in a large pot boil water, add egg noodles to it, salt the water to flavor the noodles, boil noodles for 6-8 min depending on desired tenderness. Drain noodles, return to pot. Once the beef stew is heated through, pour on top of the noodles, stirring to incorporate the beef stew with the noodles. Serve...

Mind you, this isn't at all from what some would call scratch, and for some, this is what they mean from scratch. This is a nice quick warm dinner that my kids enjoy, and I like to make when in a pinch. My middle child Braeden - He had 3 or 4 helpings of this. He LOVES beef stew no matter if it's from scratch or store bought. This is a really quick easy dinner. I hope you enjoy, Even mommies who usually cook from scratch need a night off. Enjoy! we sure did :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peach Cobbler

This is my absolute favorite peach cobbler recipe. I got it from a great friend in Winchester, Virginia. After I had her's I don't make any others. :) This recipe was given to me by Sister Shake. She is amazing. I think of her sweet spirit each time I make this. Her sweet smile. Ah, good times. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

2 cups of milk
2 cups self-rising cake flour (self-rising flour sifted works fine too)
2 cups sugar
1 stick of butter - diced into small pieces
1/2 cup oil
2 cups peaches in heavy syrup (or *homemade canned peaches in syrup)
*1-2 tsp cornstarch and water(only if using homemade canned peaches)

Mix together the milk, flour, sugar and oil.

In a medium sauce pan heat the peaches until the liquid is thickened. *If you are using the homemade caned peaches once the liquid is boiling add the dissolved cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until thickened. Remove from heat.

Pour the peach thickened mixture into a 13X9 pan, add pats of butter evenly on top of the peach mixture.

Next pour the milk, flour, sugar and oil mixture on top. stir slightly to evenly distribute the milk mixture.

Place in a preheated 350F oven for 30-35 min. Till the top of the cobbler is browned. Remove from oven and enjoy either warm or cold, with ice cream and/or whipped cream. This is even delicious plain with no toppings :) So Good!

Cheddar Bacon Burgers

Now, this one I'm sure you all know how to make Cheese Burgers. My husband said I needed to put this on here because he loved the one's I made the other night so much he wanted me to share. I season my hamburger patties before I pan fry them. And I'll share my other secrets too... I could also do this on the grill I'm sure, but I haven't braved the cold and wet yet for the grill. One of these days I will conquer my fear of the grill, just not right now.

8 hamburger patties
Worcestershire sauce
smokehouse maple seasoning
sea salt and pepper
1 lb bacon cut in half
1/2 lb cheese slices - depending on thickness and if you like two slices of cheese per burger.

Place bacon on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven 450F for 20-25 min for desired doneness. While bacon is cooking in the oven, on a platter lay out all hamburger patties - at room temperature. Then sprinkle the maple seasoning, salt and pepper on both sides of the burger patties. Heat a medium to large skillet on the stove. Place the burger patties in the skillet only those that fit, sprinkle/dash the Worcestershire sauce about 2-3 on each burger patty, once browned on one side, flip and repeat the Worcestershire
sprinkle/dash on the other side. When the bacon is done remove from oven and set aside. While the burger is cooking cover the pan with a lid. Once the burger is done on both sides. place cheese on top of the burger and cover pan with lid, until cheese is slightly melted down all sides of the burger.

remove and place on a hamburger bun with your favorite toppings. Layer the bacon on top of the cheese. Enjoy!

** Baking the bacon in the oven heats the bacon evenly limiting the curves of the bacon to create a nice flat piece of bacon for the burger. :)

Shepherds Pie

I love, love, love shepherds pie! It is such an easy thing to make, and so delicious. My mom used to make this when I was a kid. It was different every time, but still so familiar. For me, it depends on the cheese I have on hand, or decide if I want to make a white sauce or a red sauce... If I make it with a white sauce, I skip the green beans and substitute mixed veggies. If I use red sauce it's the green beans for the veggie. I've made this several ways, the olives are optional with the red sauce, as my family doesn't like olives, but I do, so when I'm feeling a little frisky I add the olives to shake it up a bit. I try not to tell them it is in there. Or I end up with none of them eating, and i have a 13X9 dish of shepherds pie to eat all by my self... is that bad?! I don't think so, I will eat it for lunch for a whole week. :)) Lucky me! :)

1 lb ground beef
1 jar/can spaghetti sauce or alfredo sauce
1-2 cans of green beans or mixed veggies
6-8 potatoes (made into mashed potatoes) or 2 bags of instant mashed potatoes
1-2 cups of shredded cheese, or 6-8 slices of cheese
1 can minced black olives (optional)

brown ground beef with minced onions or just seasoned with salt and pepper. Mix in the spaghetti sauce. Pour into a 13X9 pan adding the olives (optional)

then sprinkle the cans of drained green beans on top.

Next Layer the mashed potatoes on top of the green beans.

then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.

Bake in the oven preheated to 350F for 30-35 min. Till heated through and bubbly. Remove, serve warm. Dig in! and yummy :)

Peach Cranberry Glazed Pork

I was looking on line for a peach cranberry glaze for my pork roast for dinner and I couldn't find one. I'm trying to use ingredients that I have around the house and so that is what I had. I had read cranberry glaze recipes and peach glaze recipes but I didn't have all of the items needed to make those. So, using the ingredients I had at my house, I created this glaze. I had my picky 7 yr. old try the glaze, he said it was good. Therefore, I went with it. :) gotta love the honesty of a 7 yr. old. :) This will give the pork a nice glaze and sweet tangy flavor.

1 - 16oz jar jellied cranberry sauce
1- 18 oz jar peach jelly
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 dashes of ground ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp Ranch dressing mix
2 tsp kosher salt

Mix till well blended.

Glaze on to pork roast - Bake according to pork Lbs.

When cooking the pork, I like to line the bottom of the baking dish with sliced onions, they become slightly caramelized with the glaze, which adds a great flavor to the dish.

When I was baking the pork, I started baking it covered for about 30-45 min. Then I removed the cover, and re-glazed the pork, left the lid off and cooked for another 40-50 min. then I reglazed the pork again. This time returning the lid on top of the dish. Again about every 30 min or so, I would glaze the pork until the internal temperature was between 150 and 160. Then I remove the pork from the oven and let it rest. While it rests, I added another coating of the glaze. While the pork continues to rest. I put the remainder of the glaze in a small sauce pan and thickened the glaze after it came to a rolling boil. I thickened the glaze with 1/4 cup water and 1 heaping tsp of cornstarch. I continued to let this stay at a rolling boil until desired thickness.

Once the glaze was thickened, the pork done resting, I removed the pork from the baking dish, removed the netting that helped keep the pork together during baking, cut the pork and then poured the thickened glaze and the onions on top of the cut pork.

Verdict... This was HEAVENLY! The pork with the glaze on it had such a nice flavor and aftertaste. It wasn't bitter in the least bit. It might have been too sweet for some, but for us, we liked it sweet. you could probably cut back on the brown sugar if you wanted for a less sweet taste. My kids ate a TON of this! I have a little left over, but I have more glaze than anything left over. I am tempted to save the glaze for another pork dish later on. But I'm not to sure if it would be good saved. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. My husband had his eyes rolling back in his head, and my kids did even want a drink until they were finished eating this delicious pork dish. Enjoy!