Friday, May 28, 2010

Mini Fruit Pizzas

I made this dessert for a church function. I thought it would be fun to make a fruit pizza, but as individual cookies. I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, Easy Sugar Cookies, from There are a few different recipes out there for the topping on fruit pizza, but I like this recipe the best. Use whatever fruit combination you like best. 

Mini Fruit Pizzas
adapted from
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

1 jar (7oz) marshmallow cream
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla

Assorted fruit

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and the 1 tsp of vanilla.
2. Gradually blend in dry ingredients.
3. Roll rounded TBSPs full of dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to cool on wire rack.
4.Beat marshmallow cream, cream cheese, and 1/2 tsp vanilla together in mixing bowl until well combined and smooth. Spread onto cooled cookies.
5. Top cookies with fruit.
Makes 3 dozen

Monday, May 24, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

I had a couple people over for dinner and served this as a side. One of the guests brought up how much they disliked boxed mac and cheese, and how it was obvious that this dish was NOT from a box. I just kept my mouth shut. It's super easy with just a few add-ins. My recipe I'm posting is a tiny bit different from the one on the Kraft website. I triple the topping (using 18 crackers instead of 6) and I use black pepper instead of cayenne. Try it and see if you can fool someone. :)
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from
1 pkg (14 oz) Kraft deluxe macaroni & cheese dinner
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
18 Ritz crackers, crushed (about 3/4 cup)
3 TBSP butter or margarine, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Prepare dinner as directed on package. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese, sour cream and pepper.
3. Spoon into greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish; top with remaining Cheddar; then combined cracker crumbs and butter.
4. Bake 20 min. Let stand 5 min. before serving.
Makes 5, 1 cup servings

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Brazos Baked French Toast

This is one of my favorite recipes! My mom got this recipe a few years ago from a bed and breakfast. It's great for breakfast and brunch. We sometimes even eat it for dinner! To make it extra special you can throw in a few blueberries with the cream cheese. Check out that recipe here. *Update - I have halved the butter and can't tell a difference.

Brazos Baked French Toast
1 16oz loaf french bread (day old bakery bread works great)
8 oz cream cheese
8 TBSP butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup maple syrup
10 eggs
Powdered sugar

1. Cube bread and layer half in a 9x13 in. pan. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and sprinkle evenly across the bread. Cover with remaining bread cubes.

 2. Pour melted butter evenly over the top. Mix half and half, syrup, and eggs and pour over evenly. Press down with spatula so that all the liquid is absorbed by the bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

 3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min. Sift powered sugar over top. Cut into 8-12 servings. Serve with maple syrup.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brownie Crackles

I was looking for something to make today and decided on these cookies. They are very easy and yummy. They have lots of good reviews on Make sure you don't make them too big or they'll be flat. Also, the dough is a little sticky so it's easiest to drop it right into the powdered sugar then cover the top with more powdered sugar before rolling it around.

Brownie Crackles
1 (19.8 ounce) package fudge brownie mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
confectioners' sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, combine brownie mix, flour, egg, water and oil; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Place confectioners' sugar in a shallow dish.
2. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into sugar; roll to coat. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks.

Makes 3 dozen

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Southern Potato Salad

This is a combination of 2 potato salad recipes I really like. I love the colorful tomato and parsley garnish. I like to use small red potatoes and leave the skins on. There are optional add ins, but I don't use them. Memorial Day is coming up...don't forget the potato salad for your BBQ!

Southern Potato Salad
2lbs. red potatoes
1 cup mayo
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T white vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
Chopped parsley (optional) for garnish
Ripe tomato wedges (optional) for garnish
Other options:
2 chopped hard boiled eggs, 1/4 c sweet relish

1. Scrub the potatoes and cut them in half or quarters so the pieces are about the same size and about 2in. across. Place the potatoes in a medium size saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, covered, until potatoes are barely tender and easily pierced with fork 15-20 minutes. Potatoes continue to cook as they cool, don't overcook.
2. Drain the potatoes, as soon as they are just cool enough to handle, remove and discard skins if desired. Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes and place them in a large bowl. Cool completely.
3. In a small bowl combine mayo, salt, pepper, vinegar, and sugar. Whisk to combine.
4. Add the celery and onion to potatoes in the large bowl and toss to combine. Fold in the mayo mixture. Taste for seasoning adding more salt or pepper as needed. Refrigerate until served covered with plastic wrap. Garnish with parsley and tomatoes if desired.
Serves 8

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Strawberry Pancake Roll-ups

I had some strawberries I needed to use up, so I found this recipe online and decided to try it. I loved it! It was so good! The filling would also work well in crepes.

Strawberry Pancake Roll-ups
1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
6 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
8oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup milk
Salad oil

1. Thinly slice 1/2 quart of strawberries. In a blender or food processor, whirl remaining 1 quart strawberries until smooth. Press through a fine strainer into a bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible with the back of a spoon or a spatula; discard residue. Whisk 1/4 cup sugar and the lemon juice into strawberry purée.

2. In the blender or food processor (no need to rinse), whirl cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the strawberry purée until blended and smooth.

3. In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, and milk just to blend. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture just until evenly moistened.

4. Place a nonstick griddle or a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat (350°); when hot, coat lightly with oil and adjust heat to maintain temperature. Spoon batter in 1/2-cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes; turn with a wide spatula and brown other sides, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer. As pancakes are cooked, transfer to baking sheets and keep warm in a 200° oven. Coat pan with more oil as necessary to pan to cook remaining pancakes.

5. Spread each pancake with about 2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture and roll up. Set two roll-ups on each plate, top evenly with sliced strawberries, and drizzle with a little strawberry purée; serve with remaining purée to add to taste.

Serves 4-6

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pound Cake

I like pound cake because you can do a lot of things with it. I especially like it with strawberries. This recipe is an easy one that I make with things I usually have on hand.

Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly grease an 8 1⁄2-by-4 1⁄2-inch loaf pan, preferably glass, and dust with flour.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until blended. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract on medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until just blended. Sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and stir until both are just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream, then sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture and stir until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap gently on the counter to even out and settle the ingredients. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes, or longer if using a metal pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Place the cake on one of its sides and continue cooling. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 8 to 10.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Family Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar Glaze

When I got married my husband said he didn't like meatloaf, so I never made it. I finally decided I was going to make it and he would try it. It's now one of his favorite meals, and my kids love it too. This recipe is an easy meatloaf with a sweet glaze. I always serve it with mashed potatoes (my favorite is garlic cheese).  I like to use quick oats and dried minced onion in the recipe. To drain the grease after it bakes I use my bulb baster. I tip the pan a little and use the baster to suck up all the grease.

Family Meat Loaf with Brown Sugar Glaze
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2/3 cup quick oats OR 1 c fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup onion finely chopped OR 1 TBSP dried minced onion
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp mustard (optional)

1. Combine all meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
2. Combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Spread 1/2 cup of glaze into bottom of a loaf pan.
3. Press meatloaf mixture into loaf pan. Spread remaining glaze over top of meatloaf.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drain. Slice and serve. Serves 6-8