Thursday, November 17, 2016

Apple Cider Syrup

I love apple cider! Trader Joe's sells a really fresh tasting Honey Crisp cider that is so good! I used it to make some syrup to go on my Apple Pie French Toast (see pic below) and it is amazing! I like the taste of it without cinnamon, but if you want a cinnamon apple syrup feel free to add cinnamon. Would also be great on crepes or ice cream.

Apple Cider Syrup
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 TBSPs cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 cups apple cider
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP butter

In medium sauce pan combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon (if desired); blend well. Slowly whisk in apple cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until melted. Makes 2 cups. Serve with THIS!


Apple Pie Baked French Toast

I've made this with blueberries, peaches, and now I've added a fall spin! In between layers of cubed french bread is a layer of cream cheese and apple pie filling! Even better I've topped it with Apple Cider Syrup. Yum! I also mixed some cinnamon with powdered sugar to sift over the top too. Amazing fall breakfast and would be perfect to wow your Thanksgiving guests.

 Apple Pie Baked French Toast
1 loaf french bread (day old bakery bread works great)
1 21oz can or jar of apple pie filling
8 oz cream cheese
4 TBSPs butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups half and half
10 eggs
Powdered sugar
Cinnamon (optional)
Apple Cider Syrup (optional) or whatever you want on top

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 in baking dish with non stick spray.
2. Cube bread and layer half in prepared dish.
3. Scoop apples out of can and unto cutting board (save the gooey glaze left in the can). Roughly chop them and spread the apples in a layer on top of the bread cubes.
4. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and drop them on evenly across the apples. Cover with remaining bread cubes.
5. Pour melted butter over the top of the bread cubes.
6. Whisk together half and half, leftover apple glaze from the can, and eggs. Pour over the top of the bread as evenly as possible. Try to cover all the bread. Press down with spatula so that the liquid is absorbed by the bread.
7. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
8. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. If it starts to get too brown, lay a sheet of foil on top until it has finished baking. Remove from oven and sift powered sugar over top and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Cut into 8-12 servings. Serve with Apple Cider Syrup.

Note: If you serve immediately, the pieces won't stay in a formed square. They'll break apart as you dish it up. For uniform looking pieces let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Love these!! This is fall in a little paper cup. Now that it's finally starting to cool off at night here in Texas, these will go perfectly with my hot cocoa and TV watching. :) The Pumpkin Pie Spice is a McCormick seasoning that is made up of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. So if you don't have any, you can make your own mixture with those 4 spices.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins
adapted from thenovicechefblog.com
Pumpkin Batter
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tsps pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsps vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Batter
1 pkg (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 18 muffin cups with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps.
4. Using a large scoop (about 1/4 cup), scoop batter into the prepared muffin pan.
5. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
6. Drop 1 TBSP of cream cheese batter into each muffin cup and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter a little.
7. Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Store leftovers in refrigerator.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mummy Meatloaf

Halloween dinner can't be creepier than this! Don't worry, this tastes better than it looks. :) Use your favorite meatloaf recipe and dress it up to look like a mummy or use mine posted at the bottom. See my step by step pics for assembly below.

Mummy Meatloaf
Your favorite meatloaf recipe (or see mine below)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
Onion
3 slices of bacon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Put your meatloaf in a 9x13 in baking dish, or on a rimmed cookie sheet and shape it into a head.
3. Mix ketchup and brown sugar in a small bowl, and spread on the top of the meatloaf, leaving a couple of spoonfuls in the bowl for later.
4. Cut the end off of the onion and then cut one slice. Find 2 rings for eyes and put them on the meatloaf. Cut out some teeth from the leftover rings and position them on.
5. Wrap one slice of bacon from the top corner of the head down between the eyes and over to the side. Wrap another underneath the eye to the opposite side of the face. Wrap the last one at the top of the head. OR just do whatever you think looks good. :)
6. Spread the last 2 spoonfuls of ketchup and brown sugar mixture over the slices of bacon.
7. Bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
Serve with brain jello.


My Meatloaf
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning
1 cup beef broth
Mix everything together with hands



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Candy Corn Cookies

I changed up my last cookie recipe to add candy corns! Perfect fall kid cookie!  I even recruited my kids to help me make them by breaking the candy corns in half. These cookies sometimes have an irregular shape if the candy corns stick out and melt on the sides, but they taste sooo good!!

Candy Corn Cookies
2 cups flour
2 tsps cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsps vanilla
1/2 cup vanilla chips
3/4 cup candy corns, chopped in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Add flour mixture and to creamed mixture, and stir until combined. Stir in vanilla chips and candy corn pieces.
5. Using a TBSP sized scoop, drop dough onto prepared pan.
6. Bake on cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes on pan then transfer to wire rack.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Baked Ziti

I've made some new friends in San Antonio that have new recipes for me to try! This baked ziti was delicious! I especially loved the layer of sour cream. I like the fresh taste of parsley so I added it to the recipe. It makes a huge pan pan full, so be ready for leftovers! Another option is to assemble it in 2 8x8 pans and freeze one for later.


Baked Ziti
adapted from bmrobertsrecipes.blogspot.com
1 lb. ziti or rigitoni pasta
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lb. ground beef (season with salt, pepper, onion powder)
½ lb. ground italian sausage
2 (26 oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
2 TBSPs fresh parsely, chopped
8 slices provolone cheese
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet, brown onion, garlic, ground beef and sausage over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce and parsley, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a deep 9x13in baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
4. Layer as follows: ½ of pasta, ½ of sauce, provolone slices, sour cream, last ½ of pasta, 1 cup mozzarella, and last ½ of sauce. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cheeses are melted.

Layers

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mini M&M Cookies

I go through phases with cookie recipes. This is the one I have been making recently. 3 times in the last month to be precise. :) Twice with m&ms and once with mini Reeses' pieces. I like to freeze the leftover dough in balls and then bake them when needed, straight out of the freezer. All you have to do is add 2-3 extra minutes to the bake time. The cornstarch in the recipe acts as a tenderizer. It also works without the oats, and you can of course substitute chocolate chips.

Mini M&M Cookies
2 cups flour
2 tsps cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsps vanilla
1/3 cup quick oats
1 cup mini m&ms, or other add in

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. In mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
4. Add flour mixture and to creamed mixture, and stir until combined. Stir in oats and m&ms.
5. Using a TBSP sized scoop, drop dough onto prepared pan.
6. Bake on cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes on pan then transfer to wire rack.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen