Sunday, September 12, 2010

GO STEELERS! It's Football Season!


Are you ready for some football!! We are!!

We have 3 SUPER Steelers Fans in our house

and 1 SUPER Jets fan!

Give a shout out to your team right here!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

August Cookie Carnival Round Up!

Hi Everyone!

Were you starting to think that I'd forgotten about the round up last month?

I would never do that. I've been thinking about it - quite a bit, in fact. I have some new ideas that I would like to incorporate. It's just finding the time to do it.

I'm sure most of my readers can relate to being super busy this time of year.

The two recipe that we tried this month were:

Coconut Cherry Bars
Zucchini Carrot Bars

Ok, without further chit chat, here's the round up:

Vivian @ Let's Try These  used fresh cherries instead of maraschino cherries in her coconut cherry bars. Genius in my opinion!

Michelle @ Something New is Cooking said that she had red fingertips for a while from the cherries but that it was well worth it because she really liked the coconut cherry bars.

Katrina @ Baking and Boys! made both bar recipes:

For the coconut cherry bars, she drizzled chocolate over some of them. Can you imagine how good that would be? YUM! She said that they were pretty good.

For the zucchini carrot bars, she kicked it up a bit and used some Raisin Bran Extra with cranberries, raisins, yogurty clusters, sliced almonds.

Krista @ The Swans says that she likes participating in the Cookie Carnival because it is a good way to try recipes that I normally would not try. (Thanks, Krista!) She shared the coconut cherry bars at a cook-out where they were well received.

Tiffiny @ The Bake-Off Flunkie said that it's nice to have a bar cookie that's not chocolate or lemon for a change. (I totally agree!) Tiffany add some rum flavoring to her coconut cherry bars -- another ingenious idea! I bet that they were delicious!

and my bars

Tami @ Tami' Kitchen Table Talk - I made zucchini pineapple bars. I switched out several ingredients in the original zucchini carrot bars. Everyone in our ate them. I did them "Mom thing", too, and called them spice bars. No one even suspected that there was zucchini in them.

I also made the cherry coconut bars but what a flop did they turn out to be. I'm not sure what I did wrong but after looking at everyone's pictures here in this round up, I really wish my bars would've turned out ok. I know that I would've loved them. You can read more about them at the bottom of the post for the zucchini bars.

There you have it, another great round up!

I'd love to hear from you. Stop by and leave us a comment to let us know what you think of our cookies!

If you would like to join the Cookie Carnival, here's the guidelines on how you can do just that.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pita Pizza

We have a new favorite in our house...pita pizzas. I know that lots of families already eat these but they're new to us. Everyone enjoyed personalizing their own pizza with their favorite toppings.

With just a few ingredients for the pizzas and a quick side salad, dinner hit the table in no time at all. YAY!

Pita Pizza

1 pita bread per each pizza
Pizza sauce - I made 8 pizzas
using 1 1/2 cups of sauce

Mozzarella cheese
Fav toppings - I used sliced mushrooms,
black olives, turkey pepperoni & fresh parm

Preheat oven to 450*

Lay pita breads on cookie sheets. Top with sauce and mozzarella cheese. Allow everyone to top their pizza with their favorite toppings.

I had to use 2 cookie sheets at one time in the oven so I baked our pizzas for 8 minutes, and then switched positions with the trays in the oven and baked for another 2 minutes.

I'm planning on making a bunch of these and freezing them to have on hand for lunches or snacks.

Toppings that we've thought of:

Red sauce pizza
Buffalo chicken and cheese
Ham and cheese
veggie and cheese

This is also a great meal for kids to make (with help, of course, with the oven).

August Cookie Carnival - Zucchini Pineapple Bars

The trees are starting to turn colors but someone forgot to tell Mr. & Mrs. Heat and Humidity that they are supposed to go on vacation for a while. It's still 90* + here!  At least the bright orange, yellow and red leaves can put me in a fall state of mind. I hope that everyone reading this has a relaxing Labor Day. We sort of hung out here at home today but we did run shortly to pick up some groceries. We don't have much planned for tomorrow, either.
This was the perfect time to bake the Zucchini Carrot Bars that was chosen for the Cookie Carnival.  I decided to switch the carrots out for some crushed pineapple that I had leftover from adding to the 2nd Cookie Carnival choice, Coconut Cherry Bars. (You can read about that debacle at the end of this post.)

If you look closely, you can see the flecks of pineapple and the raisins poking out.

We loved these zucchini bars. They were moist and delicious. Because they are really hearty I cut them into even smaller bars than suggested. My kids even took them in their lunches.

Here's my recipe, including all of the changes that I made:

Zucchini Pineapple Bars

For Bars:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained well
1 1/2 cups honey nuts flakes
1/2 cup All Bran flakes
1 cup raisins

Lemon Glaze

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine flour, soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, butter, egg whites and vanilla until smooth.
Stir in zucchini, pineapple & cereals. Add dry ingredients; mix thoroughly. Spread evenly into
13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.

To make Lemon Glaze:

Combine butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Spread evenly over warm bars. I will
leave the butter out of this glaze recipe the next time that I make them. I used real butter but I didn't like the taste of it with the lemon and powdered sugar.

Cool completely before serving. Cut into bars. Cover and store in refrigerator.

The original recipe for Zucchini Carrot Bars can be seen here.

Like I mentioned before, I did try the Coconut Cherry Bars, too, after seeing all of the great pictures sent in by everyone who baked them this month. I have no idea what went wrong with my bars but they were nothing like the original picture or any of the bloggers pictures. First of all, I added some crushed pineapple but I don't think that hurt anything. I think that the downfall started with the crust. It just didn't look right ...too puffy. I chopped the cherries in the food processor so that turned the top mixture dark pink - very pretty - but something happened when it baked. The crust broke away from the cherry topping and this mixture baked solid, not soft like in the pictures. I was so disappointed in how they turned out that I dumped them before taking a picture of them. They weren't good...even though my hubby did eat a couple of pieces of them. I think that he was trying to make me feel better. aaawwwww!!!  These bars look delicious. If I can muster up the courage, I might try them again....following the directions with no added ingredients.

If you would like to join us in baking cookies from month to month, join the Cookie Carnival today!

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