Monday, February 3, 2014

Cherry Pie Sugar Cookie Bars

This recipe is super simple.  I pinned it quite some time ago knowing that my husband would likely love these.  He did.  Ate an entire row so far, and he's only been home an hour.  They are delicious just the way they are, but I bet warm with some vanilla ice cream would be great too.  The almond extra is what puts them over the edge!  Thank you "Mostly Homemade Mom" for the great recipe.

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
1/2 c butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 tsp almond extract
21 oz can cherry pie filling

Mix egg, butter & sugar cookie mix into thick dough.  Reserve 3/4 c and set aside.  Press remaining dough in greased 9 X 9 pan.  In separate bowl, mix almond extract & pie filling.  Spread over cookie dough.  Crumble remaining dough on top on pie filling.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Homemade Dog Treats: Peanut Butter & Bacon

We've been stuck inside for the last few days because of the frigid temps.  What do you do when you are stuck inside for days with the kids AND it happens to be your dogs 7th birthday?  You surf pinterest for homemade dog treat recipes, hoping you have all of the ingredients!

Here is the recipe!  They were easy, with few ingredients.

It made quite a few, so we will either have to freeze some or share with our fellow dog parents.  Now what to do with the rest of our day?  I am going Stir Crazy!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mary Hafford Sugar Cookies

Mary Hafford was an immigrant from Ireland that settled in Wisconsin in the 1800s.  This is her sugar cookie recipe.  It was so much fun to make these with my inquisitive 7 year old.  We talked about how making these cookies would have been different in the 1800s vs. today.  I found pictures of her house online and shared them with her.  One picture was of the wood burning stove which also sparked some good questions.  Few ingredients, simple & tasty!

(This is half the original amount and still made plenty)
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream butter & sugar together.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Gradually add flour and finally baking soda.  Roll into balls, the size of walnuts.  Roll balls into sugar (we used colored).  Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crockpot Tomato Basil Soup

I picked up more hours this fall which means I am not home until at least 3:30pm most days.  With dinner between 5 & 5:30pm, I really need to "keep it simple" this year.  Because of my limited prep time, my crockpot is getting a workout this year!  A coworker pinned this recipe and brought in her leftovers for lunch.  She let me snitch a spoonful.  It was delicious, so I made it later that week.  Although my kids didn't really like it, my husband & I did.

NOTE: This recipe has about 45 minutes of work at the end to finish it, so prepare accordingly.

  • 2 (14-ounce each) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the garlic & olive oil variety)
  • 1 cup finely diced celery (I omitted this)
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots (I used matchstick carrots)
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

  • In crockpot, combine the tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, oregano, basil, broth, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours until the vegetables are tender.
  • About 45 minutes before serving, melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden, about 3 minutes. 
  • Whisking constantly, slowly ladle in 1 cup of the hot soup from the slow cooker. Whisk until smooth and bubbly. Add another cup and stir again until smooth. Add another cup or two and stir until smooth.
  • Stir the creamy, hot mixture back into the slow cooker. Add the Parmesan cheese, half-and-half, salt and pepper, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes until ready to serve. Top with croutons.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Bars (no baking required!)

So, my husband was leaving at 2pm.  At 10am, he informed me that he needed "a dish to pass".  We didn't have chips & salsa.  I was all out of brownie mix.  I didn't have oatmeal, sweetened condensed milk or caramels, so my go to bar recipes were falling by the wayside.  I offered grapes, but he seemed disappointed in that possibility.  So, I remembered hearing about no bake peanut butter cup bars so decided to "google" it.  I got lucky on the first recipe I tried.  Thank you "Brown Eyed Baker".  And I had all the ingredients on hand!

Here's what you need:

For the peanut butter layer
½ cup unsalted butter
1¾ cups powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

For the chocolate layer
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup milk chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)

Line an 8 X 8 with aluminum foil and grease.  (Be sure to leave some foil hanging over the edge for easy removal of the bars later)

For peanut butter layer, melt butter in saucepan or microwave.  (I melted in the microwave in my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl).  When butter is melted, remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir in peanut butter.  Stir in graham crackers.  Spread into pan and smooth out.

Next, for chocolate layer, melt butter in saucepan.  Add chocolate and stir until melted.  I suggest a low heat since chocolate & butter seem to burn easily.

Pour chocolate over peanut butter layer and smooth evenly.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until set.  Remove foil from pan and cut using a pizza cutter (super easy way to cut!).  16 small squares is good since they are pretty rich.  Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Next time, I may try to make individuals in mini muffin tins with mini muffin liners to resemble Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Banana Ice Cream (One Ingredient)

I saw this posted by multiple people on Pinterest.  I tried it out and was amazed that it actually worked!  Here is the site I referenced. 

Bananas, extra ripe (We used 4)

Peel the bananas and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Lay on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.  Freeze for a few hours.

Pop them into a food processor or blender.  (We used a food processor.)  Keep pushing the bananas down with a spatula.  At first, the bananas will just look liked chopped bananas and you will doubt that this will really work.  Just keep scraping down the sides and as you continue, it will get more and more like ice cream.  If you eat it immediately, it will be more like "soft serve"...which is the perfect opportunity to add some mix-ins like chocolate chips or peanut butter (or both).  Pop it in the freezer to eat later and it will be a more traditional, harder ice cream.

Our girls enjoyed it topped with Magic Shell...(tasted like a chocolate covered banana).  YUM!  Such a fun & healthy treat.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Grape Salad

For the 4th of July, we all offered to bring something.  I had a craving for grape salad.  It makes so much that a family gathering was the perfect opportunity to make it.

2 pounds green grapes
2 pounds red grapes
8 ounces cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
8 ounces sour cream (I used light)
1/2 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c pecan pieces

wash and dry grapes
beat cream cheese, sour cream, white sugar & vanilla with electric mixer
coat grapes with cream cheese mixture and spread in 9 X 13 pan
just before serving, toss brown sugar & pecans and sprinkle over the top of grapes (I don't recommend adding nuts/brown sugar ahead of time...the nuts loose their crunch and the brown sugar dissolves into the cream cheese mixture)

Also, I only added nuts to half because I didn't know if everyone liked nuts.