Kiss Smartie Cookies

Filed Under (Cookies) by Lisa on 16-03-2009

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Lately I have been in the spring cleaning mood. I had been thinking about cleaning out one of the cupboards (the cookie/cracker treat cupboard) for quite awhile. There were a few small Halloween size boxes of Smarties from Halloween and a few Hershey’s Kisses that had been in the cupboard for a least a year. Since no one in our house likes to waste anything unless it is moldy or otherwise compromised, I decided to search for a recipe to turn the Smarties, and Kisses into some cookies.

I found a recipe on this website www.cooksrecipes.com/cookie/super_smarties_cookies_recipe.html.

I modified the recipe only slightly. I added some rum extract for extra flavor, I also used more vanilla extract then the recipe indicated. With the smarties I cut each one in half (since I don’t like big chunks and I had very few smarties), I also used Hershey’s chocolate kisses. I cut the kisses into small pieces. I used a total of 1 cup of smarties combine with kisses.

The cookies turned out very well. The are soft, and a little bit chewy from the oatmeal (in a good way). They also have a small amount of crunch from the smarties. The combined textures make a very delightful cookie.

Here is my modified recipe:

Kiss Smartie Cookies

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup olive oil margarine

¾ white granulated sugar

½ cup lightly packed brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp rum extract

3 large eggs

2 cups rolled oats

Smarties (desired amount)

Kisses (desired amount)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the margerine, vanilla and rum extracts, and eggs. Beat well. Add the sugars and beat well. Add the flour, salt and baking soda. Beat until smooth. Now prepare the smarties and kisses (cut to desired size). Add the oats and the smarties/kisses mixture. Blend. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes in your preheated oven. Enjoy.

This recipe makes about 50 medium sized cookies.

Marinated Pork Chops For Dinner

Filed Under (Cooking, Supper) by Lisa on 25-02-2009

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This afternoon a family member requested pork chops for dinner. I decided to volunteer to make them. I search the internet and found a recipe that I liked. The original recipe can be found on this website: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Marinated-Baked-Pork-Chops/Detail.aspx

 I changed just a few things when I made it, and doubled the recipe. However next time I think I would triple it because it just seemed like it would be even better with more sauce.

I served the pork chops with corn and mashed potatoes.

The mashed potato recipe came from fellow blogger myovenhates me at:  http://myovenhatesme.com/2008/12/02/sour-cream-onion-mashed-potatoes/

The recipe is magnificent! I did change things up a little bit.

First I used 9 potatoes since I was making it for a few people. I more or less doubled the recipe. I also used fresh chives instead of dried. There was not much sour cream left so I used about ½ cup sour cream and for the rest I used light mayonnaise. I also added a bit of garlic powder for extra flavor.

It was a hearty wholesome meal that was enjoyed by all.

This has to be my ultimate favorite pork chop recipeJ

Here is the pork chop recipe ( my morphed version).

Baked Marinated Pork Chops

2 tbsp soy sauce

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tbsp brown sugar

4 tbsp organic ketchup

1 white onion diced

3 garlic cloves diced

3 carrots diced

Salt

Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl combine the: soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and ketchup. Mix well. Place pork chops in a medium sized baking dish. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the pork chops. Drizzle all of the sauce onto the pork chops. Cover the meat and rest of the dish with the carrot onion and garlic. Bake for 30 minutes in your preheated oven. Now turn the pork chops over and bake for another 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven temperature). Serve.

Cauliflower, Cheddar and Parmesan Soup

Filed Under (Cooking, Lunch, Soups, Supper) by Lisa on 22-02-2009

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This evening I was in the mood for soup. Since we had quite a bit of cauliflower  in the house I thought I would find a recipe for cauliflower soup. I searched for a recipe and found one that seemed appealing on this website: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/239/Cauliflower-And-Parmesan-Soup74416.shtml.

I morphed the recipe greatly.

The soup turned out super yummy. It makes quite a big pot of soup. Enough for about 6 very large servings.

Cauliflower, Cheddar and Parmesan Soup

olive oil

2-3 white onions (diced)

1-2 stalks celery (diced)

2 cloves garlic (diced)

5 medium sized pealed potatoes

½-1 head cauliflower

2 vegetable bullion packages (made according to box)

4 cups boiling water

salt

pepper

parsley

basil

garlic powder

savory

Oregano

cheddar cheese (grated)

parmesan cheese (grated fresh)

Prepare all vegetables. In a large pot coat the bottom with olive oil. On medium heat place the onions and garlic in the pot. Brown. Add the celery. Cook for several minutes. Now add the potato. Prepare the vegetable bullion according to box directions (I used ¾ cup water for each package of bullion). Add your prepared vegetable bullion mixture to the cooking vegetables. Cook the vegetables for 10-12 minutes. Add all the spices and herbs (be generous with these especially the salt). Now add the cauliflower. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture into a blender or food processor. Whiz for a few seconds. Then place back in pot. Do this until all the soup has been in the blender (I used a separate pot to pour my blended soup into). Once all the soup is blended on low heat add the cheeses continue to stir until melted. Sample the soup. If it is zesty enough serve if not add more of the same spices and cook for several more minutes.

I served this soup with some home made tortilla chips, and some fresh vegtables.

Enjoy J

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 14-01-2009

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Yesterday I was in the mood for baking. So I searched for a recipe. Nothing in our recipe books really caught my eye, so I searched google. I found a recipe on this website http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pumpkin-Cream-Cheese-Muffins/Detail.aspx  that sounded really good. I changed the recipe a little, as usual. The muffins turned out super yummy. The many textures and tastes blend together in a symphony of flavor.

If you make these don’t make the same mistake I did. I made them into 12 muffins that overflowed the pan! They still turned out really well but the pan was a mess after. It would probably be better to use 24 medium sized muffin tins. Or if you want huge muffins maybe try making 6 in a 6 muffin tin.

Here is the recipe.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Use 24 medium sized muffin tins

Filling

4-5 oz cream cheese

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tsp brown sugar

Topping

3 tbsp all purpose flour

2 tbsp white sugar

¾ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp margarine

Muffin Batter

1 ½ – 2 cups pumpkin pieces

2 cups all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup brown sugar (not packed)

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

A couple shakes salt

2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

1/3 cup olive oil

½ – 2/3 cup skim milk

1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp rum extract (or real rum)

¼- ½ cup pecan pieces

To Make the Filling

Combine all the ingredients listed under filling in a medium sized bowl. Beat with an electric mixture until a smooth mixture is formed. Set aside.

To Make the Topping

Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. (It may be easier to cut in the margarine or use a pastry blender). Set aside.

To Make the Batter

In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, mix well. Then add the pecan pieces and mix well. Set aside. In a blender add: the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, olive oil, milk, vanilla extract, and rum extract. Blend until smooth. Now combine the blender mixture with the flour mixture. Stir until smooth. Fill muffin tins ¼-½ full of muffin batter. Then spoon some filling into each muffin tin. Now add another layer of muffin batter. Add the topping. Bake until slightly browned and a tooth pick comes out clean. Enjoy.

Chocolate Beet Muffins

Filed Under (Breakfast, Muffins) by Lisa on 10-01-2009

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-The prettiest muffins I have ever seen-

-The most delicious muffins I have ever tasted-

Yesterday I was in the baking mood. I felt like making muffins, so I paged through a muffin cookbook. I found one that interested me. I was a little skeptical of it since it was a recipe for beet chocolate muffins.

I am not a fan of beets cooked or fresh. However I had never had them in muffin form. My dad loves beets and grows tons of them in his garden. Consequently we ended up with a large amount of beets in our freezer. My parents boil the beets, cut them into small pieces and put them into sandwich size zip lock bags and then place the bags in the freezer.

For this recipe I just used one sandwich sized zip lock bag of beets. I think it works out to about 1 ½ – 2 cups of beet cut into small pieces.

Here is the recipe. I morphed the original version which came from Company’s Coming; Mostly Muffins recipe book by Jean Pare (Page 52). Here is my version.

Chocolate Beet Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ cup coco

½ tsp salt

¼ cup medium unsweetened coconut

½-¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

¼ cup olive oil

1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp rum extract (or real rum)

¾-1 cup skim milk

Beets about 1 ½- 2 cups fresh or frozen cut up beets

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins (12 muffin tin)

In a large bowl place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and coco. Blend well. Now add the chocolate chips and coconut to the flour mixture. Mix well.

In a blender place the beets (if you are using frozen beets microwave them for 2 minutes first) eggs, brown sugar, milk, vanilla extract, rum extract, and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Now add the beet mixture to the flour mixture. Blend until a smooth batter is formed. If it the batter looks too dry add a little more milk. The dough should look like this.

Now spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes (or until the muffins go from a fuchsia color to a deep red/brown color). Serve warm or cool (both temperature are super yummy). Enjoy.

A Simple Green Salad

Filed Under (Salads) by Lisa on 05-01-2009

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This evening I made salad for my lunch (yes lunch since I’m on my night shift time). I have been staring at the lettuce in the fridge for about a week. I bought it intending to make salad about a week ago, but the urge never hit. I think in the winter when it’s cold and snowy the last thing I want to do is eat a cool salad when I could be eating a nice warm meal. Here is my salad recipe.

A Simple Green Salad

Lettuce

Radishes

Balsamic vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt

Ground black pepper

Parmesan cheese (fresh grated)

Prepare vegetables. Place in a bowl. Pour vinegar, and oil over vegetables. Then sprinkle on the spices. Toss and sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Serve.

This makes a tasty yet simple salad.

Shortbread Cookies Yummy

Filed Under (Cookies) by Lisa on 19-12-2008

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This evening I was in the mood to do some Christmas baking. I decided to make some shortbread cookies. I compared three recipes, and in the end came up with my own. Here it is.

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

(Makes about 60 cookies depending on the size)

4 cups all purpose flour

4.3 oz olive oil margarine

2/3 cup not packed brown sugar

3 tsp vanilla extract

5-6 tsp semi warm water (as needed)

Combine the flour and sugar, and mix well (make sure there are no clumps of sugar). Add the vanilla extract and margarine. Beat the dough with an electric mixer. Now knead the dough until it is a consistency that allows for it to be rolled. You will likely need to add the water at this point. Add enough water to just make it a consistency that allows for it to be rolled (knead it into your dough). Preheat your oven to 320 degrees F. Roll dough into snake like rolls. Cut cookies to desired thickness (I made mine on the thick side so they were less likely to burn). Bake for about 15-20 minutes in your preheated oven (I baked mine for 17 minutes and they were the perfect texture). Enjoy.

Mexican Salad

Filed Under (Salads, Supper) by Lisa on 09-12-2008

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A few days ago I was in the mood for Mexican salad. I had never made a real Mexican salad before (other then just using a store bought Mexican salad dressing on a green salad). I found several recipes for Mexican salad, and combined three of them. This is what I came up with.

The salad turned out super yummy. However the portion size was a little too big. The recipe makes 3 HUGE servings. Maybe 4-5 medium-large ones.

Mexican Salad

Meat Mixture
Several stalks fresh chives
One white onion
1/8 tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
A few shakes black pepper
½ tsp chipotle Chile pepper
2 tsp taco seasoning
127 ml Chopped green chilies
One 15 oz can red kidney beans drained
One medium sized package extra lean ground beef

Dressing
6 tbsp skim milk
3 tsp lime juice
1 cup no fat sour cream
A few shakes Tabasco sauce
3 tsp taco seasoning

Other Ingredients
Lettuce (I used romaine) (a couple heads depends on the size)
Tomato
Red pepper
Tortilla chips
Graded cheddar cheese

Directions

Meat Mixture
In a large frying pan brown the ground beef. Then add all the spices. While they are cooking prepare the onion, chives, beans and chilies. Add to the ground beef mixture and cook for several minutes.

Dressing
Combine all the dressing ingredients together and mix well. Set aside.

Other Ingredients
Prepare all the vegetables. Place the lettuce on plates for serving. Then top with red pepper and tomatoes. Scoop dressing over each plate of vegetables. Place a little bit of the grated cheddar cheese on top. Place a few scoops of the ground beef mixture on each plate (there may be leftovers of the ground beef mixture). Place cheddar cheese on top. Arrange tortilla chips around the outside of each plate. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Filed Under (Cakes) by Lisa on 01-12-2008

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Tonight I was in the mood for cheesecake, so I decided to make some. I chose to make pumpkin cheese cake since we have a lot of pumpkin in the freezer (from Halloween).

The original recipe I used (and greatly morphed) came from this website: http://recipegal.com/pumpkincheesecake/Bon-Appetit-Pumpkin-Cheesecake.htm

The cheesecake turned out divine. The flavor is exquisite. Not too sweet, but sweet enough, and nice and smooth. The crust is also very flavorful. The only recommendation I would make would be to add more margarine to the crust (maybe double) because the crust was a bit crumbly. Other then that, this is a must try cheese cake recipe.

Here is my morphed version.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust

1 ½ cups graham crumbs

1 ½ cups ground pecan

¼ cup of brown sugar (not packed)

¼ cup olive oil margarine (melted)

Filling

13 oz light cream cheese

1 ¼ cup no fat cottage cheese

1 cup brown sugar

1 ½ cups pumpkin pieces

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground allspice

¼ tsp nutmeg

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the graham crumbs, ground pecan, and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix well. Add the melted margarine. Press into baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside. (makes one crust). Two crust recommended for this recipe.

For the filling:

In a blender place the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. In a large bowl add the cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. Beat with an electric mixture until combined. Now add the pumpkin mixture to the cheese mixture and blend until smooth. Pour over crust. Bake in your preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on your pan(s) and oven). Cool. Refrigerate overnight. Serve.

Pear Pecan Muffins

Filed Under (Muffins) by Lisa on 27-11-2008

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In our deep freeze we have an abundance of pears. This is because we have two fairly large sized pear trees in the yard. The past fall was a particularly good year for our trees so, we ended up with a huge amount of pears. We have about 30 frozen zip lock bags full in the freezer.

Tonight I decided to experiment with making some pear muffins. This is the recipe I came up with (I think it’s fairly low fat and sugar). The muffins are moist (but not super moist), and have a lovely texture. The pecans make them extra flavorful. Enjoy

Pear Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 medium sized (large) muffins

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar (not packed)

2 tsp baking powder

A few shakes of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 cup skim milk (with 2 tsp white vinegar)

2 large eggs

2 tbsp olive oil

About 1 ½ cups chopped pealed and cored pears

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼-½ cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl place the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Mix well. Add the pecan pieces and stir. In a blender, add the brown sugar, pears, skim milk (that is mixed with the vinegar) eggs, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.

Now add the blender mixture to the dry mixture in the bowl. Mix until smooth. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 30-40 minutes (until golden and a toothpick comes out clean).

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