Monday, May 25, 2015

Patriotic 7 Layer bars....Monday's with Mom

Happy Memorial Day!

When I was growing up, we always had picnics on Memorial Day. Usually we went to a park at a local lake. It was always a fun day. Dad would bring along the baseball and gloves and we would all play catch. Sometimes it was a Frisbee or a football. Mom would bring a blanket and watch. She was ALWAYS cold even when it was 80! She wore a sweater and scarf over her ears all summer long. You remember these..she had them in every color!

The meal was usually grilled hot dogs, beans, homemade potato salad and Old Dutch potato chips.
( In later years it was Barrel O Fun chips) Dessert was usually a cake or bars. BUT she always made it patriotic. If it was an angel food cake, she would frost it with red, white and blue icing.

So in honor of mom today, I made some well known "7 layer bars"...with some patriotic M & M's of course!

Have a great day everybody! 

Patriotic 7 Layer Bars

1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. grahams, crushed
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. M & M's
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350. Place the butter in a 9 x 13 pan and put in the oven until melted. Remove and sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on top, then the chocolate chips, and walnuts. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over all. Sprinkle with the coconut and top with M & M's.Press down slightly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until edges start to brown. Cool before cutting.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Pat's Orange French Toast

Another church cookbook winning recipe! 

But then orange, cinnamon, sugar and butter together can never go wrong, can it?

I knew it was going to be good when the wonderful aroma started to fill the house. Then when I flipped the slices over and saw the lovely caramel coating, I could hardly wait to taste it. This is one of those recipes that really needs to set a bit before serving. BUT as soon as it had cooled down we dug right in!

We were not disappointed. I can't wait to make this again!

Pat's Orange French Toast

1/4 c. melted butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I used more)
1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. orange juice
3 large eggs
1 tsp. orange zest (I used more)
8-10 slices French bread ( I used 8)

Pour melted butter in a 11 x 17" pan. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Beat eggs and add OJ and zest. Dip bread slices into egg mixture and place on top of sugar mix. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until firm to touch. Serve sugar side up, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thin, crisp chocolate chip cookies

Ever had Tate's Chocolate Chip cookies? If you haven't you should try them..they are delicious!  (You can buy them here.)

I have the cookbook, and often make them for Brent. He likes nothing better than a thin, CRISP cookie. I freeze them so he can grab a couple when he packs his lunch for work. I hear about it if the freezer is empty!

This time I made them with some patriotic M & M's for Memorial Day weekend. I wonder what he will think of them...he really doesn't like his chocolate chip cookies fooled around with!!!

Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookie( with M & M's)
 adapted from Tate's Bakeshop Cookbook

2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
M & M's ( or 2 c. chocolate chips)

Cream the sugars and butter. Add the eggs,water, and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda,salt,and flour.Stir in the M & M's. Drop by Tbsp. onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes until edges and centers are brown.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Baked Potato Topping

This is our favorite topping for baked potatoes, which we have quite often. Baked potatoes are so easy I often just throw them in the oven with whatever meat I'm having.

But it's easy to get tired of them if you make them that often, so I like to add different toppings to jazz them up. This one I found in a Taste of Home magazine a few years ago, and it's been a regular ever since.

I get hungry just looking at it...melting down that fluffy mound of potato!

Potato Topping

2 Tbsp. bacon, chopped
4 large baking potatoes
1/3 c. butter,softened
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 c. mayo
shredded cheddar cheese

Bake the potatoes. Mix the butter, mayo, onions and bacon. Set aside. Cut an X on the top. Spoon some of the topping on and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, let melt a minute before serving.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bundt Pan Cinnamon Overnight Rolls

These were awesome!

I've made a similar recipe before with butterscotch pudding that my family LOVES.( you can find that recipe here) But I saw this one with the vanilla pudding and cinnamon, and couldn't wait to try it. I love cinnamon! I also added some chopped pecans on half. Delicious!

Brent likes to warm them in the micro and slather with butter, but I like them just the way they are. The caramel, spicy cinnamon and crunchy pecans are a perfect breakfast treat!

Bundt Pan Cinnamon Overnight Rolls

12-15 frozen bread rolls ( I used Rhodes frozen dinner rolls)
1 small package vanilla cook and serve pudding
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. shopped pecans

Grease a bundt pan well. Place frozen rolls inside. Melt the butter, and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pudding and heat till boiling. Pour over the frozen rolls. Top with pecans. Place in cold oven overnight. Next morning, take out of the oven.  Preheat to 350, and bake for 20- 25 minutes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pineapple salsa

We love salsa and chips!

I'm always trying different recipes and buying different brands. My favorite thing to buy at craft fairs are jars of home made salsa.

This recipe sounded interesting, and I had all the ingredients on hand so I whipped up a batch. I loved the sweet and spicy combo! I always add more cilantro, as we love it so much....

Pineapple Salsa

2 c. chopped pineapple
2 to 3 medium tomatoes ,seeded and diced
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped ( I used less)
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil ( I added more)
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. minced garlic ( I used garlic salt added to taste)

Mix well and chill.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's with Mom...Walnut Cookies

My mom LOVED walnuts. She always had a bag in the freezer and put them in almost every cookie or bar she made. You know how the recipes often say,"nuts optional?" Well, they were always an option for her!

She often baked cookies to take to various meetings and organizations, and lucky me...I would get to taste one before she left! BUT only one,"these aren't for home" she would say when I complained.

I think she often baked at home when she was growing up too, as I found one of her very old cookbooks from her hometown church with lots of recipes that had comments or were circled from when she was a kid.  I guess growing up in a family of eight, one would need lots of goodies! Her father ran a "five and dime" variety store and I know she often worked there, especially around the holidays. But she must have had time for baking too, from the looks of this cookbook.

This recipe she had marked as "good" and if I remember correctly, she made them to take to a teachers meeting once,too. Of course, they had walnuts!

I had to find out if this was the recipe I remembered, and so I made them. I couldn't wait to take a bite, so I ate one right from the oven.
 I was kinda disappointed.

While they tasted ok, they just weren't what I remembered. 
SO I went and ran a few errands, came back and decided to eat another one.

NOW they tasted how I remembered! 

Yes....a delightful, slightly crispy, sugary coating that dipping them in the egg white and sugar gives them, with the soft center and crunchy walnut on top. 
A great sugar cookie!

This has happened to me before with different baked goods, they taste MUCH better later, sometimes even the next day. I'm not sure why that is,but I'm glad I gave them another try...delicious! Just like mom had made.

Old Fashioned Walnut Cookies
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 c. walnut halves
1 egg yolk (reserve white for dipping)
vanilla ( I used about a teaspoon)
Combine ingredients and form dough into balls and dip each into egg white and sugar. Place a walnut on each one, pat down and bake on greased cookie sheets at 350 for about 5-10 minutes until lightly brown on the bottoms. Cool a bit and remove from cookie sheet.