Friday, October 31, 2008

Oven-baked Caramel Corn

Here's a fun Paula Deen recipe from her Paula Deen Celebrates cookbook. I couldn't find the same one online. It's so addictive, and great for movie nights, game days, or food gifts!

This is for one bag of popcorn (obviously, double the ingredients for two bags, but I've found that one bag is enough for me and four friends on girls movie night!):

Bring 1 stick of butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 1/2 t. salt, ¼ cup corn syrup, 1 t. maple syrup, and 1 t. vanilla to a boil over medium-high heat.

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. If it starts to boil really hard, I lift it off the burner for a few seconds. You can scorch this if you let it get too hot for too long. And it is HARD to clean out of a pan and to air out your house afterward! After five minutes, remove from heat and add 1 t. baking soda. Spread this over popped popcorn on a cookie sheet and stir it up as best you can, but don't worry about coating every piece yet. Bake at 250 for an hour, taking out to stir every 15 minutes or so. By the third or fourth time of doing this, every piece should be perfectly coated!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall's Perfect Breakfast!

Oh you voluptuous fall fruit, how I desire your tasty innards! Being surrounded by jack-o-lanterns and decorative pumpkins only increases my love of all foods pumpkin. Here's a great way to get rid of that pumpkin craving first thing in the morning: Pumpkin Waffles! Jay and I have eaten these three or four times, and we love them! I might even double the recipe next time so I have leftovers to freeze for a quicker weekday breakfast.

Pumpkin Waffles
by the Taste of Home test kitchens

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, pumpkin and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until combined.

Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.

Apple Bonanza!

I've been well-supplied with fresh apples since midsummer, thanks to a couple sets of very generous Maucks. I've frozen them thinly sliced with cinnamon-sugar for Diane's apple pie, and I've made apple cake and this week, I tried strawberry applesauce. Both are de-lish and worth sharing. I used tart apples for the cake, and Red Delicious for the applesauce.

Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia
by Paula Deen

I've never seen a recipe title this long, OR so many positive reviews from Food users: 531 reviews with a 5-star average rating. If you've got apples, you've got to try this one.


Butter, for greasing pan
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a tube pan.
For the cake: in a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract; and mix well. Fold apples, coconut, and pecans into batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.

Shortly before the cake is done, make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, stir in the sugar, buttermilk, and baking soda, and bring to a good rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the hot cake in the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven. Let stand 1 hour, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Applesauce
by Dave Lieberman

This one is very easy, and a flavorful change from regular applesauce. Last time I made homemade applesauce, I made it plain with cinnamon, and Claire didn't care for it too much. This one got her approval, though! Beware: I didn't get the heat high enough for a while, and had to cook it longer. It's okay, just make sure you add water to keep the sauce from getting too thick.

3 pounds McIntosh or other apple of choice (about 9 apples)
10 large frozen strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Peel, core and slice apples 1/4-inch thick. Place apple slices in a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until a sauce consistency, about 45 minutes. Use a potato masher, if necessary, to break up any lumps, but leave slightly chunky.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Breakfast Cookies!

Marking my spot for something I want to try. this Sounds yummy!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Carson came home last weekend after going to Ashlyn's birthday party with about 40 hershey kisses. They had a pinata that was FULL of them. So, I set out to find a recipe for peanut butter cookies. Surprisingly, I had never made these. I've eaten plenty of them from time to time, but never made them. I found this recipe on I changed it a bit like some of the comments suggested (less flour and add a little milk) and they were yummy. Although, Carson started asking for a cookie everyday at about 7am. Yeah, they are already gone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Apple Pie

I made apple pie with apples from our inlaws. Diane showed me how to make it one time and now I just remember the recipe. So, bear with me!

About 5-6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup sugar
Ummmmm, some cinnamon. Just add it until it's the right color. :)
Pillsbury pie crust (I know you can make these from scratch, but WHY?)
heavy cream

Cook the apples in the margarine in a saucepan until they are tender. I like them to sort of brown.
Add the sugar and cinnamon. Add a little splash of cream. About 2-3 tablespoons.

Pour it into a pie crust. Put the second crust on top and seal it up. Cut the little slits to release the steam. Then pour another splash of the cream on the top and smear it around. Bake at about 325 for an hour. I love my pie crust sheilds! Use one for the first 45 minutes then remove so that it can brown.

That's it!

Oh and be sure you top it with ice cream!

KIM UPDATE: It's also really good if you sprinkle raw sugar on top of the top crust!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fun finger foods!

Last night, Matt and Kim Mauck came over to watch America's Got Talent (weak!), and we had a fun finger foods dinner! I served Crash Hot Potatoes (which I love--have made them four times now I think!), Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps, and Fried Asparagus. YUM!

The chicken recipe is courtesy Paula Deen, and you wrap chicken chunks in bacon and then dredge it in a mixture of brown sugar and chili powder. FYI: I thought the dredge mixture needed a bit more flavor after I made it the first time, so I added seasoned salt and lemon pepper.

The fried asparagus is a fun way to eat veggies--dip the asparagus in a very sticky beer batter, and then deep fry. Serve with Ranch dressing to dip!

Sweet squash casserole!

I should have posted this a little earlier when it was the peak of squash season, but my mother-in-law is still giving me some from her garden, so maybe you can still use this. It's from one of my favorite little cookbooks, Requested Recipes from Granny's Pink Rose Tea Room. This lady used to operate a cute little tea room in her Victorian-style home. I went there once, and everything she served was so different from the kind of stuff you usually eat, but so delicious!

2 lbs yellow squash: cooked, drained, mashed. (I dice three or four medium-sized squash and boil for 6 minutes, then mash with a fork in the colander. Just a rough mash will do.)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped (I sometimes leave out the peppers and onions if I don't have them on hand; it's still great!)
1/4 cup butter (If you don't do the peppers and onions, you won't need the butter either.)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (Here's where the sweet comes in!)
4 eggs
1 t. seasoned salt
1 pinch plain salt
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Topping: 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Saute onions and pepper in butter. Put cooked, mashed squash in casserole dish. Mix milk, brown sugar, egg, salts, and cheese, and pour over squash. Make sure onions and pepper are cool before adding them to the casserole (I have scrambled my eggs before--when I didn't have any back-up ingredients to start over, and had to strain out all the scrambled bits. Not pretty.)

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until the center doesn't jiggle anymore. Melt butter and add bread crumbs, and bake for 10 more minutes.

This is great as leftovers!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hot Crash Potatoes!

These were delish! I made them with home grown potatoes from my in-laws garden. Super easy as well.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It was a hit!

The bread turned out delicious! Although, I did the recipe wrong. I put 1/2 C cornmeal in with the dough and you are supposed to only use it on top as you pull it out of the bowl. Anyway, it still turned out good. I'll be doing it again and maybe even for pretzels like Jen suggested.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I am off to try this super easy recipe for bread.

I didn't want to write down the recipe so, I thought I would just link it here. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes

Here's a Paula Deen recipe that is great for special occasions! I made them for Jay and I for Valentine's Day. It's similar to the Chili's molten cake, with a liquid inside! I have no idea how the chemistry works; you don't inject anything, it just turns out firm on the outside and "molten" on the inside. As Paula would say, it will make you want to slap your mama! I made them in a muffin tin, and those are smaller than the called-for 6oz custard cups. Take a couple minutes off the bake time if you do this; mine could have stood to be a bit more molten. I also did not use the orange liquer--not something I have around the house, or really want to make a special trip to the liquor store for!

Molten Lava Cakes

6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Grease 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave, or in a double boiler. Add the flour and sugar to chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and orange liqueur. Divide the batter evenly among the custard cups. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes. The edges should be firm but the center will be runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.