December 11, 2017

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (I use 1 cup milk and 1/2 c. semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar for two minutes.  Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and mix until light and fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and gradually mix into wet mixture.  Mix until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.  

Form dough into roughly 1 1/2- 2 inch balls (I like to use a 1 3/4 Tablespoon cookie scoop).   Place dough balls on cookie sheet, leaving 2-inches between each.  Bake for 8-9 minutes or until tops of cookies start to crack (mine are perfect at 9 minutes).  Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.  Repeat with remaining cookie dough.  When cookies are cool, top with frosting and crushed candy canes, if desired.  Makes around 42 cookies.  

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 Tbl. vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbl. milk, as needed
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy canes, for garnish, opt.

In a large bowl, mix together butter, cream cheese and salt until smooth.  Add the vanilla bean paste or vanilla and mix until combined.  Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add a little milk, if needed, to reach desired spreading consistency.  Beat until fluffy.  Spread over cooled cookies and top with crushed candy canes.

Base cookie adapted from: Jamie Cooks It Up
Frosting from: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

December 10, 2017

Cookie Butter Pound Cake

    For the Cake
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup cookie butter (i.e. Biscoff Spread or Trader Joes Cookie butter)
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Glaze
  • 1¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • speculoos cookies, crumbled (for garnish)
  1. Grease and flour a standard bundt pan; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Using a countertop mixer, cream together the butter, cookie butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (~2-3 minutes on medium speed.)
  4. Add eggs; mix until well combined.
  5. Add remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, sour cream and vanilla). Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
  6. Using a spatula, pour batter into greased bundt pan.
  7. Bake for 65-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out mostly clean.
  8. Let cake cool in pan for 30 minutes and then transfer to a baking rack until completely cool.
  9. Meanwhile, make the Glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
  10. Pour Glaze on top of cooled cake and garnish with crumbled speculoos (i.e. Biscoffj) cookies.

July 22, 2017

Watermelon Feta Salad

Sweet and salty, bursting with the flavors of summer this salad is perfect for a picnic, potluck, or backyard supper.
  • watermelon, cubed and drained
  • basil, freshly torn
  • feta, crumbled
  • lime, fresh squeezed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cube watermelon into bite sized chunks. Drain in a colander. Toss gently with basil and feta. Drizzle with lime juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve. Best if served within a few hours.
  2. Adjust ingredient proportions to feed your crowd.

July 10, 2017

Orange Pineapple Punch

2 c. pineapple juice, chilled
1 envelope unsweetened orange drink mix (Kool-Aid)
3/4 - 1 c. sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
2 1/2 c. cold water
1 (12 oz.) can lemon-lime soda 

In a blender, blend pineapple juice, orange drink mix, sugar and water until sugar is dissolved and mixture is frothy.  Pour into serving cups (or punch bowl) and add the soda.  Serve immediately.  Makes around 2 quarts.

July 8, 2017

Canned apple pie filling


  1. 12 cups sugar
  2. 1 ¼ cup cornstarch
  3. 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  4. 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  5. 2 teaspoons salt
  6. 5 quarts water
  7. 6 Tablespoons lemon juice
  8. 12 quarts of apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

Mix first five ingredients together in a large stock pot.
Stir in water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Add apples and lemon juice. Stir well.

Fill clean jars leaving half an inch of headspace.
Wipe rim of each jar before capping with new lids, and clean rings.
Process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.
1 quart jar fills a 9” pie shell.
Makes 14 quarts.

Waterbath canning is essentially boiling jars of food in a large stock pot. Your pot needs to be taller than your jars by at least three inches to allow for a rack (or, in a pinch, kitchen towel), on which to set the jars so that they are not in direct contact with the source of heat, and also, to allow for two inches of water over the jars.
You will place the jars in the water bath canner, and add water ideally of the same temperature as the contents of the jars to at least a two inch depth above the jars.
Timing of the canning process begins when the water comes to a rolling boil.
After the processing time is over, it is very important to cool the jars carefully. If lifted from the canner immediately, the jars could explode upon contact with a any cool breeze.
If you can’t let the canner and jars slowly cool together, let them cool as much as you can, and then remove them them, making as sure as you can that there are no stray breezes coming through, while shielding yourself with a towel. Place on another towel, and finally, cover the jars with yet another towel to minimize chances of cracking glass.

Husbands Delight Casserole

Lasagna meets beef stroganoff in this recipe. This casserole's claim to fame is in it's name because it really is a Husband's Delight!

Serving Size: 1 piece
Servings8 to 10 people
560 kcal
  • 1 lb. hamburger meat, browned and drained
  • 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce, any flavor
  • 1 envelope of dry and zesty spaghetti sauce mix
  • 12 oz. package of medium egg noodles, cooked
  • 16 oz. carton of sour cream
  • 8 oz. bag of shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 oz. bag of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cup of shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
  2. Mix the jar of spaghetti with the envelope of dry spaghetti sauce and 1 tsp. of garlic salt. Combine it with the browned hamburger meat.
  3. Take the cooked noodles and spread them onto the casserole dish.
  4. Spread about 1/3 of the meat mixture on top of the noodles.
  5. Spread about 1/3 of the sour cream on top of the meat.
  6. Sprinkle half of the Cheddar Cheese and half of the Mozzarella Cheese on top of the sour cream. 
  7. Continue this layering process and end it with the cheese. Sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on the top.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes and serve.
Libby's Notes
Recipe Source: My mother, who in turn found it in a cookbook.

May 27, 2017

Sour Cream Pound cake

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
6 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream together sugar and butter, add the egg yolks one at time; beat well after each addition. Blend in vanilla, lemon juice and sour cream. Into a separate bowl, sift sifted flour, salt, and soda. Add sifted dry ingredients to batter; beat well. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the cake batter. Pour into a greased and floured tube or bundt pan and bake at 300° for about 1-1/2 hours or until cake tests done.Cool 10minutes and remove from pan

May 21, 2017

Sweet Crispix Mix

Preheat oven to 300

You will need:
1 and 1/2 sticks butter (3⁄4 cup) 
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup pecan halves
Handful of broken pretzel sticks 

6-7 cups Crispix cereal
A small sprinkle of Kosher or Sea Salt

Spray 2 large baking sheets lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large container combine cereal, nuts, and pretzels - set aside.
In saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil on stove top. 
Boil for 2 minutes, then immediately pour over cereal mixture and gently stir to coat.
Divide mixture by pouring 1⁄2 onto each baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake 8 minutes and then gently stir mixture and bake another 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle very lightly with a bit of coarse salt
Let cool completely on the baking sheet
- toss to break apart.
Store in airtight container. Enjoy! 

Thanks Pam Cole

March 27, 2017

Healthier Taco Pasta

8-12 oz. large shell pasta (or other type of pasta)
3/4 Lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 packet of taco seasoning
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. onion powder
pepper, to taste
1 Tbl. brown sugar, opt.
1/2 c. hot pasta water 
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can mild Rotel, un-drained
1 heaping cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 Tbl. chopped cilantro

Cook pasta according to package directions; reserving 1/2 cup hot water.  Meanwhile, brown ground beef or turkey in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the taco seasoning, cumin, onion powder, some black pepper and brown sugar.  Carefully add 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water to the skillet and stir to combine; allow to simmer for a few minutes.  It should be thickened at this point.  Stir in the beans, Rotel, cottage cheese and cilantro.  Continue to heat over medium heat and add the drained, cooked pasta.  Stir until pasta is evenly coated in sauce.  The sauce should be thick and creamy, but if it isn't, simmer for a few minutes until thickened.  Serves 4-5

March 26, 2017

Chocolate Whoopie Cake

1 (15.25 oz.) box chocolate fudge cake mix
1 (3.9 oz.) box instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. vegetable or canola oil
4 large eggs
1 c. sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla

Marshmallow Creme Filling:
10 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (7 oz.) carton marshmallow creme
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
3 Tbl. whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  For the Cake: Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan; set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla.  Using a hand mixer, mix until all ingredients are completely incorporated and mixture is smooth.  Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread out evenly.  It is a very thick batter.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert to a wire rack and cool completely.  Once cake is cool, slice in half horizontally. 

For the Marshmallow Creme Filling:  In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix butter until smooth.  Add the marshmallow creme, salt and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add remaining one cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy.  Spread filling over the bottom half of the cake and place top half of cake over the creme filling. 

For the Chocolate Ganache:  Place chocolate chips in a small bowl; set aside.  Microwave whipping cream in a small, microwave-safe, dish until it starts to bubble.  Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Stir together until smooth and creamy.  If chocolate chips aren't completely melted.  Place in the microwave and heat, stirring every 10 seconds until mixture is smooth and chocolate is melted.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened and pour over cake.  Store cake in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

March 25, 2017

Orange Dreamsicle Bars

3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbl. orange zest (zest of two oranges)
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. baking powder  
1 (12 oz.) bag white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter and brown sugar until very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at at time, beating until combined.  Mix in the vanilla and orange zest.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Press dough evenly into a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool completely.  Cut into bars and serve.

Orange Dreamsicle Cookies

2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 Tbl. grated orange zest 
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add the orange zest.  Gradually add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Using a small ice cream scoop, drop dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-11 minutes.  Yield: around 30 cookies

March 17, 2017

Kathy's mexican dip

8 oz. cream cheese softened
2 Tbs. Miracle Whip

Mix together in bottom of pie plate

Pour salsa over

Add shredded cheddar cheese on top

microwave until cheese melts on top (3-5 minutes)

Special thanks to Kathy Hughes

March 16, 2017

Irish Cottage Pie

  • 1.5 lb. ground sirloin
  • 3 tbsp. Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp. The Fresh Market Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. sweet onion, chopped (about ½ large onion)
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 c. carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 large carrots)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ c. The Fresh Market Beef Stock
  • 1 c. Guinness
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 c. The Fresh Market Frozen Green Peas
  • 1 ½ lbs. red potatoes
  • 1 c. Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 375F. Heat a Dutch oven or large, wide skillet over medium high heat. Add beef and cook until crumbled and no longer pink. Drain beef of any excess grease and transfer to plate.
To the same pan add olive oil and butter. When butter melts add onion, celery, carrots, salt and pepper and sauté until vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Vegetable mixture will become very thick. Whisk in beef stock, beer, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan.
Stir in beef and peas. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook 7-10 minutes. While mixture simmers and thickens, thinly slice red potatoes (the thinner the better).
Spoon mixture into a 10 x 13” or 10 inch round baking dish, both at least 2 inches deep. Top with sliced potatoes, heavily overlapping each. Sprinkle cheese evenly over potatoes. Cover dish loosely with aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, remove foil and return to oven for additional 30 minutes or until pie is bubbling and potatoes are nicely browned.
Remove from oven and allow to rest a minimum of 20 minutes before serving.

March 13, 2017

Tortellini Salad

Mix together in big bowl:
2 frozen bags cheese tortellini – cooked al dente (don’t want to overcook)
From deli: ¼ inch – ½ inch chunk genoa salami & provolone cheese (chop into little squares)
4-5 Mozzarella String Cheese each cut in chunks (optional)
Parmesan or Romano cheese: shredded & chopped into really small squares
Artichoke hearts (I use larger can of Cento or ½ big glass jar from Sams) chopped
1 can medium black olives (keep whole or cut each one in half)
1 tomato chopped or I like to use sundried tomatoes (that are re-hydrated) chopped
15-20 fresh basil leaves torn into pieces (if you use dried add with spices in jar below)
(You can add anything to your taste-chopped fresh red or green pepper, celery etc)

Shake together in jar:  ( just stirring together doesn’t seem to work as well)
¼ cup red wine vinegar (I like the Italian brands)
¾ cup olive oil
2 T or more of balsamic vinegar (no caramel color in it!!)
2 crushed garlic cloves
½ tsp or more of dried oregano
S&P to taste
Onion powder – couple of shakes
Garlic powder – couple of shakes

Pour the marinade over the tortellini & stir gently (If the salad is for the next day, I refrigerate around ¼ of the marinade to pour over the salad the next morning and stir into salad gently)

This is all kind of approximate since I don’t measure, so it will be to your taste whether you need to add more spices!!  I hope you enjoy!! 

Thank you for Valerie Purcell