Welcome to my kitchen! Sit right down and join me for something yummy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies

Ritz Crackers
Smooth peanut butter
chocolate bark (or chocolate chips)

Make peanut butter sandwiches with crackers and peanut butter (pictured at right in picture)

Melt chocolate and dip peanut butter Ritz in chocolate. Place on waxed paper to harden. Enjoy!

(The chocolate cookies above are still wet. When they harden they are not as shiny. These are also good dipped in white chocolate.)

Saltine Toffee

Saltine Toffee
(this is SO yummy!)
1 1/2 sleeve saltine crackers
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups chocolate chips (I mixed semi sweet and milk chocolate)
chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place a single layer of saltine crackers on top of foil.

Melt butter and brown sugar in a small pan on top of stove (medium high heat) stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Pour butter/brown sugar mixture over crackers. (I spread it out as best I can so that it covers the crackers.) Place crackers in oven for 5 minutes or until slightly bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for one minute. Pour chocolate chips over top of hot crackers. Let sit until softened (you may need to put them in the warm oven for a minute to help soften). Spread chocolate until it completely covers crackers.

Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Place in refrigerator to harden. When completely cool, break off pieces. This does not have to be refrigerated after it cools. Enjoy!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner this year is going to be very traditional. I want to enjoy Christmas day and not spend the entire day in the kitchen! So, Mom and I planned a simple menu and we're going to split the food preparation. I think I got the easy job!

Here's what we'll be having and I'll put the name next to who is making it:

Ham (Mom)
Turkey Breast (Mom - she's going to make it in the crockpot)
Mashed Potatoes (Me)
Gravy (Me - but I'm cheating and I bought mix -- Ssshhhhh!!!)
Green Beans (Me)
Lima Beans (Me)
Corn (Me)
Sweet Potatoes (Mom)
Deviled Eggs (Mom)
Potato Salad -- per Neal and Beth's request -- (Me)
Macaroni and Cheese (My Mother-in-law)
Dinner Rolls (Me)

I think I'll make a cheese pie with strawberries for dessert. There'll probably be another dessert, but I'm not sure what. I'm trying not to make a bunch of dessert, so that there's none left over after Christmas!

What are you making for Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner?

Do You Need a New Breakfast Dish for Christmas?

This is my all time favorite breakfast dish for Christmas morning! It's pretty easy to make and tastes wonderful! I received this recipe many years ago from my friend, Colleen, and it has become a favorite for my Mom and I! (Neal doesn't like Cinnamon, so he doesn't partake!) First I'll give you the original recipe:

Baked Cinnamon French Toast Custard

12 slices cinnamon bread (I like the kind without raisins)
soft margarine
9 eggs
1 qt milk
2 cups half & half
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line bottom of 9 x 13 pan with half of bread. Butter remaining bread. Place with buttered side up over bread. Beat eggs and add other ingredients. Mix well. Pour over bread. Let stand 15 minutes. Set pan in larger pan and pour boiling water about half way up the dish. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

This dish melts in your mouth!

Since there are only 3 of us that eat this dish, I cut the recipe in half. I have also been known to substitute some of the ingredients for lower fat/calorie ingredients. It has never turned out bad!

(recipe for 7" x 11" pan)

6 slices of cinnamon bread

4 or 5 eggs (I've also used an egg beater/real egg mixture and it worked fine)

2 cups milk (I use skim)

1 cup half and half (I use fat free 1/2 and 1/2) I've also just used 3 cups milk and omitted the half and half.

1/2 cup sugar (or Splenda)

2 1/4 tsp vanilla

Follow instructions above. I hope I didn't confuse you with the second recipe, but it's actually really easy. I don't think you can mess it up!

Merry Christmas!

Holiday Hot Chocolate

I have a new favorite hot chocolate to drink this time of year. Once Christmas is past though, I will not be drinking it! It sure tastes good this cold morning!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

8 oz milk
1 Hershey's Peppermint Kiss
2-3 Tbsp Hot Chocolate mix
Whipped Cream in the can (definitely an indulgence around here!)
Your Favorite Mug!

Pour the milk into your favorite mug and place in microwave for two minutes. Carefully remove (those handles get hot!) and drop in Hershey's Peppermint Kiss. Then spoon in hot chocolate and mix well -- until you can no longer feel the Kiss. Top with whipped topping and enjoy!

This is SO good! I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Swirled Snowball Cookies

Swirled Snowball Cookies
(recipe by Nestle Toll House)
3 sticks butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
10-oz pkg Nestle Swirled Holiday Morsels
1 Tbsp vanille extract
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 tsp salt
Extra powdered sugar

PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees. BEAT butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in morsels and nuts. Shape level tablespoons of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheets. BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets (I did this on the cooling rack). Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar, if desired. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen

They are very, very yummy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Leftover Soup -- Thanksgiving Edition

Or at least that's what Ben is calling it!

So how many of you are making something with leftover turkey today? We've been eating leftovers all weekend. I did cook on Friday though, because it was my daughter's 14th birthday. I made chicken enchiladas, refried beans, onion shortcake and Southwest Cheesecake. I'll have to post some of those recipes later.

Beth thought I should write down how I made this soup today, since *I* made it up. Of course we haven't eaten it yet, so who knows if it tastes good or not! lol It does smell divine though!

I do not have the exact measurements on any of this, but this is what I threw into the pot:

Leftover Turkey Broth (Neal made the turkey and used all kinds of spices and herbs. I drained the broth and put it in the pot. I probably had about 2 quarts of broth)
5 small potatoes, diced
Onion, about 1 cup diced
Celery, about 2/3 cup diced (all I had left)
Carrots, about 1 1/2 cups diced

Let the above ingredients come to a boil and then turn down to medium heat. Cook about 45 minutes and then add:

frozen corn, about 1 cup
frozen lima beans, about 1 cup
green beans (about 1 cup -- I used what was left in fridge)
Northern Beans, 1 can (do not drain)
Turkey, about 2 or 3 cups diced

I think that's it. It is simmering on the stove right now and is making us all hungry!

What did you do with your leftover turkey?

(**Note** The soup was a success! I didn't have any because I had a stomach bug, but the family liked it a lot!)