Friday, November 30, 2007

Eggnog Tea Bread

My dad loves eggnog so I am always on the lookout for recipes with eggnog. This
bread is a fabulous and easy bread that is great to give as a gift!

1 (16 oz) package Betty Crocker pound cake mix
¾ cup refrigerated eggnog
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon refrigerated eggnog

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer for 3 minutes. Pour batter into 3 greased 6 x 3 x 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Combine powered sugar and 1 tablespoon eggnog, stirring well; drizzle over bread.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Ravioli Bites

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hershey Pound Cake

This is another of my mother's recipes. Her recipe actually calls for 8 five cent Hershey bars but since they don't sell those anymore, I figured out the equivalent for this recipe.

2 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
4 eggs
2 (5.5 ounce) cans chocolate syrup
7 (1.45 ounce) Hershey® bars, melted
1/4 t salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 t vanilla
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream sugar and butter; add eggs 1 at a time, beating well.
Add syrup and melted candy bars. Add salt to flour; stir baking soda into buttermilk and add to other ingredients alternately with flour, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla extract and pour into greased tube pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing. Sift confectioners' sugar over cooled cake.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Eggnog Tea Bread

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coconut Sour Cream Cake

This is a recipe from my grandmother's recipe box and is labeled as her sister Fern's Favorite! It is a great and easy coconut cake!

1 box white cake mix
1/4 cup cooking oil
3 eggs
8 ounces sour cream
1 (8 ounce) can cream of coconut

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 box powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 t coconut flavoring
1 can flake coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients at once in bowl of electric mixer. Bake in greased 9 x 13 or two 9 inch round pans sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool and ice.

Beat cream cheese in mixing bowl. Add milk and coconut flavoring. Work in powdered sugar. Spread over cooled cake and sprinkle with coconut.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Hershey Pound Cake

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Homemade Cocoa Mix

My mom made this every year and my sister and I so looked forward to it. It’s an easy and quick alternative to pre-packaged cocoa mixes.

6 ounces Coffemate creamer
1 lb 9 ounce box Carnation Dry Milk
2 lb box Nestlé’s Quick
1 box powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Store in airtight canister. Use 1/3 cup mix to 1 cup hot water.

TIP OF THE DAY: This is a great and easy gift idea. Package it with two cute coffee mugs, a big bag of marshmallows and some chocolate covered spoons and the recipient will love it!

Tomorrow’s Daily Special: Coconut Sour Cream Cake

Monday, November 26, 2007

Greek Pasta Shrimp

This is a quick and easy dinner to make if you like shrimp. The oregano, tarragon, and feta cheese are a great combination. It’s also a healthy dinner which is so great this time of year- with all of the fabulous holiday treats around!

12 shrimp
1 t oregano
½ t tarragon
2 t olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped, diced tomatoes
1 ½ ounce feta cheese
Fettuccine – cooked and drained

Shell and devein shrimp. In large non stick skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and sauté till tender. Add shrimp, tomatoes, oregano, and tarragon. Sauté 5-6 minutes stirring till shrimp is pink and opaque. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in feta and spoon over pasta.

TIP OF THE DAY: If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can use canned petite diced tomatoes instead.

Tomorrow’s Daily Special: Homemade Cocoa Mix

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Apple Butter Scones

If you love apple butter, you are going to love these super easy scones!

2 1/4 cups flour
3 t baking powder
1 T packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup apple butter
1 t butter or margarine, melted
2 t cinnamon

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder and brown sugar in large bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup butter, the eggs, whipping cream and apple butter until soft dough forms. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Pat into an 8 inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush with 1 t butter; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Cut into 8 wedges. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve these warm with additional apple butter.

TIP OF THE DAY: If you don't want to make these in traditional scone shapes, you can use a biscuit cutter (or a glass dipped in flour) to make round scones.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Greek Pasta Shrimp

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Caramel Brownies

These brownies are a great and easy treat for the caramel lovers in your life!

1 package German Chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup margarine, melted
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 package (14 ounces) caramels
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and butter. Spread half of this mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or has been lined with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Melt caramels in remaining evaporated milk over very low heat or according to directions on package of caramels. Pour caramel mixture over cake and then pour chocolate chips over caramel layer. Pour pecans over chocolate chips. Press remaining cake mix on top. Bake for 18 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

TIP OF THE DAY: If you are in a pinch for time, you can use either a jar of caramel topping or the new caramel bits instead of the traditional caramels.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Apple Butter Scones

Friday, November 23, 2007

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie

This is a great variation on a traditional pumpkin pie! The bottom layer of brown sugar, pecans, and butter is a chewy, praline type layer.

1/2 cup brown sugar
4 T butter, melted
1/2 cup pecan pieces

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Cool Whip (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and pecan pieces. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes. In mixing bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with Cool Whip.

TIP OF THE DAY: If you are baking a pie and the crust starts getting too dark, cover the edges with foil to prevent it from getting too dark.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Caramel Brownies

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hot Chocolate Cookies

I thought that these would be a fun holiday treat to make for Tony's kids who arrive on Friday afternoon for a week and a half visit! We CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup instant hot chocolate mix
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
12 T butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 t vanilla
24 large marshmallows, cut in half crosswise

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
2 T cocoa powder

Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa mix, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined after each. Mix in milk and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop the dough onto cookie sheets. Bake until the cookies are set, about 8 minutes. Remove and carefully place a marshmallow, cut side down, in the center of each cookie. Place back in the oven and continue baking until the marshmallow begins to look puffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and let cookies sit on the baking sheet for 1 minute before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Glaze: Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, add butter, milk and cocoa. Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil - let cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into the bowl of confectioners' sugar and beat until creamy. Immediately spoon a little of the glaze over each of the cooled cookies.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mom's Cornbread Dressing

I think I am one of the only people that do NOT like dressing. The rest of my family LOVES it and thinks something must be seriously wrong with me since I don't. Growing up every Thanksgiving and Christmas the EXACT same thing would happen. My mother would always put some dressing on my plate, I would go and sit at the "kiddie" table and cry because I didn't want to eat it, and then my grandmother (who was the sweetest lady EVER), would come in and eat my dressing for me so I wouldn't get in trouble. Finally I think my grandmother got tired of eating both her dressing and mine, so she asked my mom why in the world she kept making me eat something year after year that I obviously did NOT like. My mom said that because she loved it so much, she just couldn't understand me not liking it and kept thinking that at some point, if I ate it enough, I too would grow to love it. That never happened but I do make it every year for my family. The first Thanksgiving after she died I was so nervous that I wouldn't make it correctly and would ruin the day for my entire family but thankfully I had watched her enough to recreate her recipe- even though she never wrote it down.

1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced white onion
1 double batch of Nana's Cornbread
10 eggs
turkey broth (I have no idea how much- I just pour until it looks right- but I promise to measure on Thursday and add it here)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Crumble up cornbread in prepared pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Mix in diced celery and onion with hands. In large bowl beat 10 eggs. Pour over cornbread mixture. Carefully pour turkey stock into pan until all cornbread is well moistened. You do not want your cornbread mixture floating in the stock. Salt and pepper dressing and place on a cookie sheet and carefully place in oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until set.

TIP OF THE DAY: I really don't like dicing celery and onions and love this time of year when they sell containers of them pre-cut. The cost is about the same and it's a great time saver!

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Hot Chocolate Cookies

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cream Cheese Brownie Pie

This is the perfect pie for any chocolate lover!

1 9 inch deep dish pie crust
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 T sugar
1 t vanilla
3 eggs
1 box brownie mix (not the family size)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 T water
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
chocolate sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and 1 of the eggs on medium speed until smooth; set aside. In large bowl, beat brownie mix, oil and remaining two eggs with a spoon till well mixed. Spread enough brownie mixture to cover the bottom of the pie crust- about 1 cup. Spoon and carefully spread cream cheese mixture over brownie layer. Top carefully with remaining brownie mixture and spread carefully. Sprinkle with pecans. Take a butter knife and twist to swirl the two batters. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until center is puffed and crust is lightly browned. Cool completely and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve with cool whip or ice cream.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Mom's Cornbread Dressing

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pumpkin Pie Dip

This is a great appetizer for Thanksgiving day or a fall party!

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
apples, sliced
gingersnaps (or Betty's Ginger Cookies)

Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add pie filling, cinnamon, and ginger, beating well. Cover and chill 8 hours. Serve with gingersnaps and apple slices.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Cream Cheese Brownie Pie

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pumpkin Fluff

This is a super easy and low calorie alternative to pumpkin pie!

1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 (1 1/2 ounce) box sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) container fat free cool whip
1 t pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in order. Chill for 2 hours.

TIP OF THE DAY: This could also be placed in a low fat graham cracker crust and turned into a pie for only a few additional calories!

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Pumpkin Pie Dip

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Chocolate Pecan Pie

For pecan pie lovers, this is a new twist on an old favorite!

1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
4 eggs
1 cup pecans
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy saucepan combine melted margarine, corn syrup, white sugar, and cocoa. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla, salt, and eggs, stirring well. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Mix well. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell and top with remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Bake for 55 minutes. Cool before serving.

TIP OF THE DAY: In order to keep your eggs from cooking when added to the chocolate mixture, put a bit of the hot chocolate mixture in a separate bowl and whisk the eggs into the bowl of chocolate to prevent the eggs from cooking, pour the remaining hot chocolate mixture into the bowl of chocolate/egg mixture, whisking constantly, until thoroughly mixed. Then add the vanilla and salt and pecans.

Tomorrow's Daily Special :Pumpkin Fluff

Friday, November 16, 2007

Maple Walnut Pie

This pie is a great fall pie. Sweet and yummy!! It's a good alternative to the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies usually served for Thanksgiving.

1 1/4 cups maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 t flour
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 T butter, melted
1 9-inch frozen unbaked deep-dish pie shell
1 1/2 cups walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir maple syrup, sugar, eggs, egg yolk, flour, and vanilla in large bowl to blend.Whisk in melted butter (maple mixture will be very thin at this point). Stir in 1 cup of walnuts. Place frozen pie shell on heavy baking sheet. Carefully pour maple mixture into pie shell. Arrange remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts atop maple mixture, pressing into maple mixture to coat. Place baking sheet in center of oven.Bake pie for 50 minutes, or until crust edges are golden and filling is just set in center. Cool pie on cooling rack for 15 minutes.

TIP OF THE DAY: Serve this pie warm with cool whip or a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Chocolate Pecan Pie

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Almond Joy Bread

My sweet friends at work love Almond Joy candy bars so I am always looking for Almond Joy recipes to share with them. This yummy bread was a huge hit! It made two loaves and after Tony tasted it he said......."You aren't going to take all of that to work are you?".

Almond Joy Bread
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
¾ cup canola oil
¼ cup melted unsalted butter
1 t vanilla
1 t coconut extract
3 cups flour
½ t baking soda
½ t baking powder
½ t salt
2 T cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened coconut
½ cup raw almonds, chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

Coconut Glaze
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 T butter
1 t coconut extract

Almond Joy Bread:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first 6 ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat ingredients on medium speed for 2 minutes.In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Starting with the flour mixture alternate flour, and then buttermilk till all is combined. Mix until just combined. Do NOT over mix. Fold in coconut, chocolate chips and almonds. Pour into two loaf pans or 8 mini loaf pans that have been greased and floured or sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and place on rack to dry. While cakes are still warm, poke several holes in the top of the cake with a fork. Drizzle Coconut Glaze into the holes.

Coconut Glaze:
Place ingredients into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about a minute. Turn heat off but leave saucepan on burner. Drizzle over bread. Cool.

TIP OF THE DAY: After the bread is cooled, you can drizzle this bread with a chocolate glaze made up of 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 2 T butter, and 1 T corn syrup melted in the microwave.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Maple Walnut Pie

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Betty's Ginger Cookies

This recipe is from my sweet friend Betty and is one of my all time favorites. Betty included this recipe in our church cookbook and the first time I made them, I knew exactly why. These cookies are soft and chewy and don't have an over powering ginger taste like gingersnaps do. Try them and I promise you will not be disappointed!

3/4 cup shortening (you can use butter but the cookies will be really flat and not nearly as good)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cup flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine next 5 ingredients; add to mixture, mixing well. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in 1/3 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE! Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

TIP OF THE DAY: To make the molasses come out of your measuring cup easily, before pouring it in the measuring cup, spray the cup with cooking spray. It will pour right out and make cleaning the measuring cup so much faster!

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Almond Joy Bread

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

These are another fabulous fall cookie. They smell wonderful when they are baking and are a great oatmeal cookie variation. The cinnamon chips are so wonderful and are usually only found this time of year. I buy a bunch and throw them in the freezer so I'll have them year round.

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 2/3 cups HERSHEY'S Cinnamon Chips
3/4 cup raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, brown sugar and sugar in large mixing bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Combine flour and baking soda in small bowl and add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and raisins. The batter is very stiff. Drop by heaping teaspoons (or use your cookie scoop) onto cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes on until lightly browned. Do NOT over bake. Cool 1 minute then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

TIP OF THE DAY: To make bars instead of cookies, spread batter into lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into bars.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Betty's Ginger Cookies

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

These bars are wonderful warm. It's like having a warm gingerbread cookie with pumpkin pie on top. YUMMY!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
2 sticks butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup rolled quick oats

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 small can mashed pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/2 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1/8 t ground cloves
2 large eggs

1 cup powdered sugar
1 T butter or margarine, softened
1/4 t vanilla1 to 2 T milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar and molasses until creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture and place in a small bowl. Scoop the remaining mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray.Add the oats to the reserved mixture and mix until combined - set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves - mix until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until combined. Scoop the mixture over the uncooked base and evenly spread the mixture over the top. Crumble reserved oat mixture over filling.Bake until the topping is a golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix in just enough milk until the mixture will easily flow from a spoon - drizzle over cooled bars.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Taco Casserole

This is quick weeknight meal that is yummy on a warm fall night!

1 lb ground beef or chicken
1/2 onion, diced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 can pinto beans
1 small package whole wheat penne pasta, cooked and drained
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese

Brown onion and ground beef in large saucepan after seasoning with salt and pepper. Add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Add beans and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn down heat to low and add drained pasta and cheese. Stir well and serve!

TIP OF THE DAY: This can be a super quick dinner if you cook your ground beef or chicken ahead of time. If I know that I am going to cook two different things in a week that require ground beef, I'll brown it all at once. I did that on this past Sunday when we had lasagna, and then was able to get this dinner made in a jiffy!

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Maple Walnut Scones

The cinnamon scones were such a hit at work that I decided to try another kind of scone. The sweet technology ladies at work didn't get a chance to try the cinnamon ones, so I made these just for them. They smelled delcious while cooking and tasted even better!

2 T brown sugar
2 T walnuts- chopped and toasted
½ cup butter or margarine
2 T brown sugar
2 t baking powder
¼ t salt
½ cup walnuts - chopped and toasted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
2 T milk
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 2 T brown sugar and 2 T finely chopped nuts in small bowl and set aside. Cut the margarine into flour, 2 T brown sugar, baking powder, and salt with a pastry blender or two large knives in a large bowl until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and it worked just fine and was much easier). Stir in a ½ cup of toasted nuts. Stir in maple syrup, egg, and just enough milk so that the dough leaves the side of the bowl and forms a ball. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times to coat. Pat or roll into an 8-inch circle on a lightly greased cookie sheet or pizza pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar nut mixture. Cut into eight wedges but do not separate. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; carefully separate the wedges. Serve warm and enjoy!

TIP OF THE DAY: This makes large scones. To make smaller ones pat into a rectangle and cut into small triangles.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Taco Casserole

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mom's Lasagna

My mom's lasagna was always one of my favorite meals growing up and her recipe is the one I always use. It is by no means low fat, so I don't make it often. But when I do, it is definitely a treat and so worth the extra calories!

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t oregano
1 t basil
2 large cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
1 box lasagna noodles
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 lbs sliced mozzarella cheese

Saute onions and garlic in large pot over medium heat. Add ground beef and brown. Add spices (measurements of which are a guess b/c I never measure them). Drain meat. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomato. Mix well and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. While sauce is simmering, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions and drain. Spray 9 x 13 pan or deep dish lasagna pan with cooking spray. Spoon a small amount of meat sauce onto bottom of pan. Layer noodles, sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers 2 times ending with cheese. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray so that the cheese won't stick to it and cover lasagna with foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

TIP OF THE DAY: Put a tiny bit of cooking oil in your water when boiling the noodles so that they don't stick together when you drain them.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Maple Walnut Scones

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cinnamon Scones

I LOVE scones but have only ever made them using a mix I purchased. I recently decided to try making some at home and am so glad I did. If you have never tried one- they are a sweet, but not too sweet, biscuit type of bread. Great with tea or coffee for breakfast. This recipe was my first attempt and I think they turned out great. As a bonus, all the cinnamon in the recipe made the house smell yummy too!

4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
¼ t cream of tartar
1 t salt
1 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Turn mixer on lowest speed and slowly drop in butter pieces. Mixture should be crumbly. Add in sour cream and egg and mix just till well combined. Turn dough out on to a floured surface and knead dough just until it comes together. The less you handle the dough, the lighter your scones will be. Pat out to about ¾ inch thickness. Either spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper. Cut dough into small triangles (traditional scone shape) or use a round glass or biscuit cutter and cut out small circles. Place on cookie sheet, sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Mom's Lasagna

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Meatball Pizza

This is a recipe that I adapted after watching Rachel Ray one Sat. afternoon with Madison. It's a nice switch from traditional pizza.

1 recipe homemade pizza dough or 1 container refrigerated pizza dough
1 T olive oil
2 T rosemary
1 t salt
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4-6 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 t pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley
1 t oregano
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a round pizza stone or pan or on a rectangular baking sheet, using flour or cornmeal to dust the dough, spread out the dough to form your crust. If you are using a baking sheet, drizzle pan with extra-virgin olive oil then set crust in place. Poke the pizza dough in several areas with the tines of a fork. Drizzle the dough with extra-virgin olive oil then season it with finely chopped rosemary and a little salt. Place in oven 10 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, then the meat. Brown and crumble meat a couple of minutes, then add onions and garlic. Season the meat with salt and pepper then work in the tomato paste using the back of a wooden spoon to combine. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, parsley and oregano. Remove pizza crust from oven and top with meat. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pizza. Return the pizza to the oven and bake another 10 to 12 minutes.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Cinnamon Scones

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maple Pecan Bread

This is a great fall recipe that only takes just a few minutes to mix up and get in the oven.

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
3 T vegetable oil
1 t maple extract
3 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Maple Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 t half and half or milk
1 t maple extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of loaf pan. Mix all ingredients except pecans and Maple Glaze in large bowl with spoon; beat 30 seconds. Stir in pecans. Pour into pan. Bake 55-65 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about an hour.

Stir together all ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over cooled bread.

TIP OF THE DAY: Sprinkle additional chopped pecans over the top of the maple glazed bread. For an additional pecan flavor, lightly toast your pecans before putting them in the batter.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Meatball Pizza

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pumpkin and Spiced Cider Pudding Cake

I always love to bake but when the weather starts to get colder and the holidays approach- I really get in the mood to bake! This is a fabulous dessert to make on a chilly fall evening!

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 c milk
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 T butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/4 t pumpkin pie spice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Stir in pumpkin, oil, and milk just until moistened. Spread in ungreased 8 x8 square baking dish (or double and put in a 9 x 13 pan). Heat apple cider and butter to boiling in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Meanwhile mix brown sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice in small bowl. Sprinkle over pumpkin batter in baking dish. Pour boiling cider mixture over all. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and edges are bubbly. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm.

TIP OF THE DAY: Serve this warm with either Cool whip or fresh whipped cream.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Maple Pecan Bread

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Strawberry Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored jello
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs at room temperature
2 3/4 cups flour

2 1/2 t baking powder
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry jello until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.
Frost cake with canned or home-made cream cheese or butter cream frosting.

TIP OF THE DAY: Decorate this cake with sliced fresh strawberries or drizzle with strawberry jam.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Pumpkin and Spiced Cider Pudding Cake

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Doodle's Funeral Salad

My aunt's name was LaWanda but her nickname was Tootsie so my sister and I called her Aunt Tootsie. Once we went to visit and she made the BEST fruit salad ever and so of course my mother and I asked for the recipe. She wrote it down and when we saw the name of the salad we were a bit perplexed. She had titled the recipe "Doodle's Funeral Salad". We asked her about it and she explained that her friend Doodle (of course someone named Tootsie would have a friend named Doodle :) had died and while at the luncheon following her funeral, my aunt tasted this salad and loved it. She found the recipe and it became forever known as Doodle's Funeral Salad. Since I got it from my aunt, to me it's Aunt Tootsie's Doodle's Funeral Salad. No matter what the name, trust me when I say it is the BEST fruit salad ever!

1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained- reserve the juice
1 can mandrian oranges, drained-reserve the juice
1 large jar maraschino cherries
1 (3 ounce) package Jello vanilla pudding, COOK AND SERVE
3-4 bananas
Fresh strawberries
Fresh blueberries

Mix drained pineapple and mandrian orange juice to make 1 cup. Discard extra juice. Add 1 cup juice to a small saucepan with pudding mix. Heat over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook till it turns clear (this will all of a sudden happen, trust me) and thickens, stirring all the time. Remove from heat and cool. Add all fruit. Chill and serve.

TIP OF THE DAY: If you are in a hurry you can chill the cooked pudding/juice mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Strawberry Cake

Friday, November 2, 2007

Smushy Cake

Growing up my mother made this cake and called it a Neiman-Marcus Cake. My sister and I renamed it Ooey Gooey Cake. Madison has now renamed it Smushy Cake and it is one of her favorites. It's a great cake to make with just a few ingredients. It's not very pretty- but it sure is yummy- especially fresh out of the oven!

1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 box powdered sugar

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, 1 stick melted butter and 1 egg in mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Pat into the bottom of the 9 x 13 pan and set aside.

Filling: In another mixing bowl beat cream cheese until smooth then add eggs and vanilla. Add in powdered sugar and beat well. Pour over cake mixture and spread until smooth. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. This is NOT a cake that should look done- it's supposed to be gooey in the center so do NOT over bake it. Cut fairly small pieces because it is RICH. Serve warm.

TIP OF THE DAY: There are tons of variations for this recipe:

  • Banana: Add two ripe bananas to the filling mixture

  • Chocolate: Use a chocolate cake mix and sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts on the top before baking

  • Carrot: Use a spice cake mix and add nuts and 1 and 1/2 cups of shredded carrots to the filling mixture

  • Pumpkin: Add a 15 ounce can of pumpkin and an extra egg to the filling mixture

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Doodle's Funeral Salad

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mama's Fajitas

Growing up my mother made the best fajitas- but they weren't like the fajitas that you get in restaurants today. She served them more like a steak, not in strips- with a yummy marinade that I was shocked to find the ingredients of. If you are looking for a new Tex-Mex recipe- this one is GREAT!

2 lb flank steak
1 bottle low sodium teriyaki sauce
1 t garlic powder
1 small lime , cut in half

Trim steaks and score diagonally. Combine teriyaki sauce and garlic powder in large freezer Ziploc bag. Add flank steak. Squeeze lime over steaks and drop lime into bag. Seal and shake to mix. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Preheat gas grill or gas broiler using medium flame. Drain steaks. Place on grill or broiler pan. Grill for about 6 minutes each side. Serve with Spanish rice and jalapeno pinto beans.

TIP OF THE DAY: Always keep bottled lemon and lime juice in your refrigerator for times that a recipe calls for it and you don't have fresh ones on hand.

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Smushy Cake