Monday, March 31, 2014

Banana Bars

Chewy, thick delicious banana bars with the best cream cheese frosting. Love these babies.
Frosted Banana Bars Recipe
Photo Credit to Taste of Home
Banana Bars
2 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup mashed bananas {about 5 bananas}
3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a cookie sheet.
Beat sugar and butter, then add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Bake for 20 minutes.
While baking, make frosting by beating butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla and beat. Add powdered sugar and beat well. When bars are cool, top with cream cheese.

Recipe Source: Susan Warren

{Grandma's} Pudding Dessert

Another of Grandma's classics that I could never live without. There are so many versions of this, I'm sure, but I'm saying this is the best. Because it is.
Photo Credit to For the Love of Food
{Grandma's} Pudding Dessert
1 cube margarine, softened
1 cup flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Cream cheese layer:
1 8 ounce cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cool whip
Jello layer:
2 small chocolate pudding
3 cup milk
Cool whip
chopped nuts
grated chocolate

Preheat oven to 350. Mix margarine, flour and walnuts together well, then press into a 9x13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
Whip cream cheese and powdered sugar together, then fold in cool whip.
Beat pudding and milk for one minute, then put on top of cream cheese layer. Let the pudding set, then add cool whip and any other topping you desire. Refrigerate unless serving.

Recipe Source: Grandma Schwartz

Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

Ice cream is awesome. It's so amazing. Whoever invented it should get a gold star. This dessert is the perfect fall ice cream dessert. I love it.

Frozen Pumpkin Dessert
1 box gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 gallon pumpkin ice cream
1 8 ounce whipped cream
caramel topping

Crush 1/2 box of the cookies. Mix well with the butter. Place in 9x13 pan, pressing down lightly. Mix softened ice cream and cool whip together. Pour on top of cookie mixture and freeze overnight. Freeze with other 1/2 box of crushed cookies. Top with caramel topping before serving.

Recipe Source: Meghan Warren

{The Best} Sugar Cookies

I'm extremely picky about my sugar cookies…probably because of this recipe. These are the softest, absolute best sugar cookies in the world. I seriously am mad every time I try a different recipe. Well, I never try other recipes at home, but I eat other recipes sometimes and it just makes me wish I had these…
So yeah, you should try these.
Soft Sugar Cookies {Lofthouse-Style}
Photo Credit to That's Some Good Cookin'
Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix sugar, egg, butter and milk until smooth.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Roll out with plenty of flour and cut your favorite shapes.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe Source: Julie Warren

Devil's Food Cookies

These are super good, super easy, not healthy. Really they're cake mix cookies, but I've tried a few different chocolate mixes, but Devil's Food is the best…the absolute best.
Photo Credit to McLain Life
Devil's Food Cookies
1 Devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2-1 package chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients well {the mixture will be very thick}. Mix at 350 for 10 minutes.

Recipe Source: Cindy Lundell

Caramel Brownies

I grew up with my aunt bringing these to most family functions and…holy cow we were always pumped! They are amazing! I love the perfect texture of the caramel…and the nuts!
Caramel Brownies
Photo Credit to My Recipe Magic
Caramel Brownies
50 caramels {about 1 bag}
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided
1 package German chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped nuts {pecans are my fave}
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13 pan.
Combine caramels and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk. Melt in saucepan on low heat.
In large bowl, combine butter, the other 1/3 cup evaporated milk, cake mix, and nuts. Mix until well combined. Press half of the mixture into the pan and bake for 8 minutes.
After it's done baking, spread the caramel mixture on top, sprinkle the chocolate chips, then add the other half of the cake mix. Bake for another 18-25 minutes. Best when cooled fully {or put into the fridge if you're too impatient!}.

Recipe Source: Sherilyn Robertson

Rhubarb Custard Bars

My mother-in-law gives me plenty of rhubarb every year since that's one of the only things she can grow in her short growing season. So, I'm always looking for new recipes. She gave me this one and it is off the hook {hello 90's}. Creamy and tangy and sweet.
 Creamy Rhubarb Custard Bars via The Baker Chick
Photo Credit to The Baker Chick
Rhubarb Custard Bars
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whipping cream
3 eggs, beaten
5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar then cut in butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Press into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, for filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake for 40-45 more minutes or until custard is set. Cool.
For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Sharrie Webster

Puff Rice Squares

Elementary school anyone? These things take me back to first grade. I loved them then, and I love them now; although I know better than to eat them as often as I crave them.
Photo Credit to Gather Round Our Table
Puff Rice Squares
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup sugar
5-6 cups puffed rice

Grease a 9x13 pan. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve sugar in corn syrup. Add peanut butter and mix until melted. Add mixture to puffed rice and spread evenly in the greased pan.

Recipe Source: Kristen Money

{Mom's} Pasta Salad

I feel like this is a classic "90's" salad, but I absolutely love it. I grew up with my mom taking it everywhere and it brings back so many great memories.
Photo Credit to Deep South Dish
{Mom's} Pasta Salad
1 16 ounce bottle Zesty Italian dressing
1/2 bottle Schilling Salad Supreme
1 red onion, diced
1 cucumber, diced
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
freshly grated parmesan cheese
avocado, diced
Italian salami, sliced
cheese, cubed

Cook pasta according to package directions and rinse with cold water. 
Mix the other ingredients well. Then add the pasta.
Chill for at least two hours {best when chilled overnight}, then serve.

Recipe Source: Susan Warren

Cheese Vegetable Soup

This is a classic cheesy soup…but you add a whole bunch of vegetables. Plus there is no cream of anything soup in it. That makes it healthy enough to eat for a week, right? That's right, it does.
Velvety Vegetable-Cheese Soup recipe
Photo Credit to Kraft
Cheese Vegetable Soup
4 cups potatoes, cubed
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried mustard
3 1/2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2-4 cups cheese {I used all cheddar, but you can use any kind!}
1 bag frozen chopped broccoli
3 teaspoons chicken base

Boil potatoes through water together for 20 minutes. While they're boiling, make cheese sauce.
Mix 3 cups of milk with all sauce ingredients {butter through pepper}. Add the other 1/2 cup milk to thin.
Add as much cheese as you feel is needed. Heat until cheese melts.
When vegetables are cooked add broccoli and chicken base.
Combine cheese sauce with vegetables. Don't let it come to a boil, just heat through, then serve!

Recipe Source: Paige Bennett

Macaroni Shrimp Salad

This is the classic recipe for macaroni shrimp salad, but I absolutely love it. How could you not? Macaroni, shrimp, and mayo plus other yummies? Perfectly delicious.
Shrimp Macaroni Salad |
Photo Credit to Foodie Crush
Macaroni Shrimp Salad
12 ounce package macaroni, cooked
1/2 22 ounce bottle miracle whip
2 cans sliced olives
2 bunches green onion
1/2 stalk celery
1 pound shrimp, rinsed
Pinch of: 
garlic salt
onion salt
seasoned salt

Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Best if served after a few hours of refrigeration.

Recipe Source: Susan Warren

Slow Cooker Corn & Crab Chowder

Another Family Circle find, this is delicious, and a slow cooker one…which I LOVE. It was very easy and delicious. I substituted canned corn for fresh corn on the cob. I assume it would be better with corn on the cob, but I made this in the winter and corn on the cob isn't worth it then! But this chowder is!!
Slow Cooker Corn and Crab Chowder
Photo Credit to Family Circle
Slow Cooker Corn & Crab Chowder
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup baby carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium-size onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
pinch of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
5 ears corn on the cob, husks removed {or two cans of corn}
1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 8 ounce container pasteurized crab claw meat

Combine chicken broth, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, thyme and Old Bay in a large oval slow cooker. Place corn on the cob on top of vegetables. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

In a bowl, stir together red pepper, evaporated milk, cornstarch and salt.

Uncover slow cooker and remove corn to a cutting board. Stir red pepper mixture into slow cooker, replace cover and cook on either HIGH or LOW for 1 hour. {This is where I added the canned corn}

Meanwhile, when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs. Stir corn kernels {unless you're using canned} and crabmeat into soup and heat through. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from Family Circle

Puffy Pancakes with Nutty Banana Butterscotch

Another awesome from my mother in law. I love her recipes because most of the time its just a better
version of what I'm already doing! Like this one. It's simply german pancakes with a delicious banana super sauce on top. So amazing.
Photo Credit to Me (I know, you love the plates…)
Puffy Pancakes with Nutty Banana Butterscotch
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch salt
2 bananas, sliced thin
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Make german pancakes. While cooking, heat in saucepan over medium heat the sugar, margarine, sour cream and salt for about 5 minutes. Then add bananas and heat through. Drizzle the sauce over the pancakes and sprinkle with nuts.

Recipe Source: Sharrie Webster

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cheesy Flounder Fillets

Another cut out from the Family Circle while I was working as a dental assistant {and had a little too much time on my hands}. It's super easy and yummy {not healthy, but delicious}.
cheesy flounder fillets
Photo Credit to The Family Circle
Cheesy Flounder Fillets
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
4 flounder fillets, about 6 ounces {I've used halibut and tilapia}
1 package couscous {A must…only because I love couscous}
1 package frozen spinach

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
Mix together the mayo and cheese. Place fillets in baking dish, then fold in half. Evenly divide the mayo mixture over each and spread evenly.
Bake fillets for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
While fish is cooking, prepare couscous and spinach according to package directions.
Serve all while warm.

Recipe Source: The Family Circle

Fish Tacos

I love Mexican food and I love seafood. So I absolutely love when these two these are put together! Especially when it's quick!

Fish Tacos
1 pound fresh/frozen fish; cod, orange roughy, tilapia, etc.
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon lime/lemon juice
4 tablespoons mayo
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
garlic salt
tortilla shells

Bake fish for 8-10 minutes at 375 until it flakes easily. Mix the rest of the ingredients except the tortilla shells & salsa.
On tortilla shell, put fish, cabbage mix & salsa.

Recipe Source: Sharrie Webster

Salmon with Herbed Sour Cream Sauce

McCormick has recipes at the stores sometimes, and I picked this awesome recipe and I'm so happy I did. This was super delicious (and another reason to eat salmon!).
Creamy Herb Grilled Salmon Recipe
Photo Credit to Taste of Home
Salmon with Herbed Sour Cream Sauce
2 teaspoon parsley, divided
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon seasoned salt, divided
1 pound salmon fillets
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon chives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix 1 teaspoon of parsley, dill and 1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt.
Place fish, skin side down, in lightly greased baking pan. Lightly brush fish with oil. Sprinkle seasoning  evenly over fish.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Mix sour cream, milk, chives and remaining 1 teaspoon parsley and 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt until well blended. Spoon sauce over fish.

Recipe Source: McCormick

{Grandma's} Funeral Potatoes

I have never had any funeral potatoes that taste like these. They are super delicious and I swear that they are from Heaven. Which is awkward since they're funeral potatoes…
Photo Credit to Jamie Cooks It Up
{Grandma's} Funeral Potatoes
10-12 large potatoes
1/3 grated onion
2 cups sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups grated cheese
1 cube of margarine
1 cup crushed cornflakes

Boil potatoes for 40 minutes then shred. In a large saucepan, put 1/2 the butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheese & onion. Heat until cheese is melted. Pour that over the potatoes in a big bowl and mix. Put that mixture in a 9x13. Melt the other 1/2 of butter and mix with cornflakes. Put those on top of the potato mixture.
Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Recipe Source: Grandma Schwartz

Sweet Potato Crunch

This lovely was sent to me by my mother-in-law, Sharrie. Its pretty easy and so delicious, especially for Thanksgiving.
Sweet Potato and Carrot Crunch
Photo Credit to Pots & Pans, etc, etc.
Sweet Potato Crunch
3 large sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Bake Sweet potatoes until tender at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Remove skins, mash, then add rest of ingredients and mix well. Spread in a baking dish.
Mix the topping ingredients well, the spread over the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Recipe Source: Sharrie Webster

Friday, March 28, 2014

{Healthy} Mac & Cheese

Sweet sauce! I love cheese. So I love any excuse to use cheese in any dish I make. Sharrie sent me this recipe about a year ago and I'm so glad I finally tried it! It's a thick cheesy sauce with just a little pumpkin-ny flavor. Better than I expected! It is the best healthy alternative to mac & cheese I've ever made!
Photo Credit to
{Healthy} Mac & Cheese
8 ounces macaroni
15 ounce can of pumpkin
8 ounces {or more if you prefer} Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook macaroni. While it's draining, put pumpkin, cheese, and spices in the pot and heat over medium heat. When cheese is all melted, add macaroni and enjoy!

Recipe Source: Sharrie Webster

Note: Next time I will add some milk to make it a little thinner.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Heavenly Blueberry and Cream Angel Dessert

Laurel made this for her own birthday, and it was perfect. It was light with a little cream cheesiness. And blueberries are heavenly, so this was hard to stop eating, and I loved every minute of it.
Heavenly Blueberries and Cream Angel Dessert
Photo Credit to Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Heavenly Blueberry and Cream Angel Dessert
12 ounces frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 tablespoon)
Baked, cooled and cubed angel food cake {A full cake from the store, or less of a boxed mix}
16 ounces light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk (can use skim evaporated milk)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

For the blueberry filling, in a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened, 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
For the cake and cream layer, in a blender or with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), whip together the cream cheese, half-and-half or evaporated milk and sugar until smooth and creamy. Transfer the mixture to a bowl if you used a blender. Fold in the angel food cake cubes. Keep in mind (from the note above) that you may not use all the cake cubes, especially if using an angel food cake mix. Add cake cubes until they are all thickly coated with a layer of cream. If making this in advance, it can dry out if there is too much angel food cake added.
For the whipped cream, beat together the heavy cream and powdered sugar until peaks form.
To assemble, in a trifle dish or in a large glass bowl, spread half of the angel food cake mixture. Top with half of the blueberries, spreading evenly across, and then spread half of the sweetened whipped cream. Repeat the layers.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve chilled.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce

So one of the only things my mother-in-law can grow in Birdseye is rhubarb, thanks to the short growing season. So we usually get quite a bit from her. This cake will make me fatter, but will use up all that rhubarb in the most delicious way possible.
Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce
Photo Credit to Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Vanilla Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for the cake. Beat in the egg. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter/sugar mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating just until moistened. Fold in the chopped rhubarb. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the batter to the edges.
In a medium bowl, combine the streusel topping ingredients, mixing them together until the mixture is coarse and combined. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
For the sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened (it will thicken more as it cools slightly). Remove from the heat; stir in the vanilla. Serve warm with the cake.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Garlic Herb Butter

This stuff is so amazing. I loved making paninis with it, putting it on Rustic Crusty Bread…and anything else you could possibly think of.
Garlic and Herb Butter Spread
Photo Credit to Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Garlic Herb Butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese and butter with a handheld mixer (or electric stand mixer) until light and fluffy and smooth. Add in the spices and herbs and mix until well combined. Serve at cool room temperature with slices of artisan bread.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Rustic Crusty Bread

I love no-knead bread. This is the first no-knead recipe I've ever tried and I know that I love no-knead bread. It's like I can't stop saying no-knead because the concept is so amazing. I love this bread. Especially when you put garlic herb butter on it. Oh my heaven.
Rustic Crusty Bread
Photo Credit to Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Rusty Crusty Bread
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast {I used active dry and let it sit for about 10 minutes}
1 tablespoon salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting dough
3 cups water

In a large bowl mix yeast and salt into lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel but don't seal the bowl airtight. Let the dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).
Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered in an airtight container, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife (I have only ever made two loaves out of the batch of dough so I just divide the dough in half to form my first loaf). Turn the dough in your hands to lightly stretch the surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put the dough on a piece of parchment paper set on a pizza peel or a rimmed baking sheet turned upside down. Let the dough rest for 40 minutes for room temperature dough; if you have used the dough out of the refrigerator, let it rest for 1 1/2 hours. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.
Place a broiler pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Place a baking stone on the middle rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat the stone at that temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
After the dough has rested and is ready to bake, dust the dough lightly with flour, slash the top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide the dough (with the parchment paper) onto the baking stone. Pour one cup of hot water into the broiler pan and shut the oven quickly to trap the steam. Bake the bread until well browned, about 24-28 minutes. Cool completely.
If you don't have a baking stone, try turning a rimmed baking sheet upside down and heating it in the 450 degree oven for 10 minutes prior to baking. When ready to bake, slide the parchment paper with the dough on it directly onto the overturned baking sheet and bake according to the recipe. You can also stretch the rounded dough into an oval and place in a greased loaf pan. Let it rise for 40 minutes if fresh (add an extra hour if the dough has been refrigerated). Bake in the loaf pan in the 450 degree oven, watching the time carefully - check after 20-22 minutes.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Note: If you follow the link, Mel has some awesome photos and a simple How-to.