Friday, December 31, 2010

Celebrate New Year's Morning with Eggnog Waffles Topped w/ Spiced Whipped Cream

If you're like me, you always have a lot of eggnog in the frig after all of the holiday partying is over. Don't let it go to waste! Treat yourself to these delicious eggnog waffles. These waffles were such a nice treat for our breakfast this morning. They would be perfect for an easy breakfast or brunch on New Year's day.

Even if you've promised to lose weight starting yourself a favor...start tomorrow - and don't skip the spiced whipped cream and powdered sugar! It's to die for!!

Eggnog Waffles with Spiced Whipped Cream

A couple of reminders before starting the recipe:

1. Preheat your waffle maker.

2. Set a bowl, along with your mixer's whisk attachment, in the freezer to chill before beating the whipped cream. 

Waffle ingredients

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 c. eggnog
4 tbsp. oil

Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.

Into a second bowl, mix eggs, eggnog and oil until well blended. 

Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Follow your waffle maker's instructions for making waffles. You will end up with a beautiful stack of waffles.

With my basic waffle maker, I was able to make 12 waffles from this recipe.

Lightly sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the waffles and top with spiced whipped cream.


Spiced Whipped Cream

Remove the bowl and whisk from the freezer.

Pour 1 c. of heavy cream into the chilled bowl. Add 1-2 tsp cinnamon, 1-2 tsp nutmeg and 2 tsp powdered sugar. Whip on high until soft peaks form in the cream. I dare you to not stick your finger into the bowl over and over again!

** I recommend starting with 1 tsp. of each spice and then do a taste test to see if you like it. I tend to like a heavier spice taste than some people. If it needs more spices, add them and continue whipping until blended.**

Leftover waffles can be frozen by placing them on a baking sheet in a single layer, then placing the baking sheet into the freezer until the waffles are frozen. The frozen waffles can be stored in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers.

As for the leftover whipped cream......grab a spoon and dig in!!  I promise not to tell!

Happy New Year to everyone in Blog Land!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rustic Apple Pie

Sit down with a warm slice of apple pie and enjoy your favorite holiday shows. This is a super easy dessert that looks like you spent a lot of time making it. All of the imperfections make it look even better.

Rustic Apple Pie

1 recipe for brown sugar apples* - recipe link below
1 refrigerated pie crust
extra brown sugar for sprinkling over the top

I used my recipe for brown sugar apples, adding 1 c. of raisins to the apples while they are cooking.

Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Stretch the pie crust out on the sheet - doesn't have to be a perfect circle.

Pour the cooked apples into the center of the crust, leaving 3-4 inches of dough all around the outer edge.

Pull the pie crust to the center of the pie, overlapping the crust as you fold it around forming a circle.

Lightly sprinkle 2 TBSP of brown sugar over the top of apples.

Bake at 350* until the pie crust is light brown - you do not need to cook any longer because the apples have
already been cooked.

Use a large spatula to loosen the pie from the pan. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the pie to a cutting board or a large plate. Serve warm.

Friday, December 3, 2010

November Cookie Carnival Round Up

Welcome to the Round Up for November! 

I was surprised to see that everyone chose to bake the Betty Crocker Sassy Cinnamon Cookies.

Like me, others had trouble actually finding cinnamon chips. There were none to be found around my area. For those of you who have them in your stores, they are priceless little chips. hahaha!!

Here's what our bakers had to say this month: 

Vivian from Let's Try These had some camera problems this month. About the cookies she said "Made the cinnamon cookies but was unable to find the cinnamon chips any where. I ended up using toffee bits as a substitute and while it was a good cookie, it reminded me of snickerdoodles."

Katrina from Baking and Boys said "These cookies are snickerdoodles on steroids. They are a thick cookie with that familiar snickerdoodle taste with pecans and cinnamon chips added for extra flavor and crunch."

Kerri from Kerri's Texas Kitchen said "I loved the sassy cinnamon cookies and so did everyone that I shared them with!"

Cristine from Cooking with Cristine said "I haven't seen the cinnamon chips in stock here in El Paso but had a nice stash in the freezer from Arizona." - Lucky you! I searched everywhere around me here in NC and couldn't find them. I had no problems finding them when I lived in Pa.

Krista from Meet the Swans said "I subbed butterscotch chips for the cinnamon chips and walnuts for the pecans in my cookies".

Tessa from The Cookin' Chemist said "I made these cookies to take to work to share."

Shonda from The Knowlton Nest said "This cookie reminded me of a Snickerdoodle with chocolate chips and nuts inside."

Here is Chaya's Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Oct's roundup

Chaya from My Sweet and Savory said " This is one of the cookies that I sent to the soldiers"  - What a wonderful thing for you to do, Chaya!!

Thank you for another wonderful round up, ladies!

So that all of us can spend more time with our families during the holidays, we won't have a Cookie Carnival during December. Never fear, though! We will ring in the New Year with cookies!!

Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Edible Pilgrim Hats

These adorable (and edible!) Pilgrim hat favors will decorate any pretty holiday table. Turn them over to use as a treat cup and fill with your favorite treats.

colored ice cream cones
red fruit leather
yellow fruit leather
yellow sugar sprinkles
Karo syrup
chocolate wafer melts
1- small-sized, unused paintbrush
1- medium-sized, unused paintbrush 

Plain Pilgrim Hat
Wrap red fruit leather around the middle of the ice cream cone, right under the lip of the cone. Wrap one end of the fruit leather over the other, pressing the ends to make them stick together.

Cut a piece of the yellow fruit leather the same width as the red fruit leather, then lengthwise into a small square. Place the yellow square on top of the red band, forming the "buckle" on the hat. Using the small paintbrush, paint a little bit of Karo syrup onto the yellow square and sprinkle with the yellow sugar.

Chocolate Covered Pilgrim Hat
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the candy melts at 30-second intervals, stirring frequently, until melted. Using the medium-sized paintbrush, paint the chocolate over the entire cone, making sure to completely cover the whole cone. Set cones in refrigerator for 5 minutes to harden chocolate.

Once the chocolate has hardened, wrap red fruit leather around the middle of the ice cream cone, right under the lip of the cone. Wrap one end of the fruit leather over the other, pressing the ends to make them stick together.

Cut a piece of the yellow fruit leather the same width as the red fruit leather, then lengthwise into a small square. Place the yellow square on top of the red band, forming the "buckle" on the hat. Using the small paintbrush, paint a little bit of Karo syrup onto the yellow square and sprinkle with the yellow sugar.

For Treat Cups: Fill with your favorite snacks like caramel corn, Trix cereal, trail mix, popcorn, etc. You can even fill them with pudding or yogurt. Just don't forget the spoon.

Hand Print Turkey Cookies

Kids will get a kick out of watching their hand prints turn into turkeys. This fun group activity allows kids to not only make their own creations, but eat them too!

1 roll of refrigerated sugar cookie mix or your favorite sugar cookie recipe
red, yellow and green paste food coloring 

3 pairs of disposable gloves

chocolate chips

red fruit leather

candy corn

Divide the cookie dough into 4 equal pieces, leaving one piece white and coloring other 3 pieces: 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green with the paste food coloring. Make sure to wear a clean pair of gloves when mixing each color so that you avoid coloring your hands!

**Hint: Color each piece slightly darker than you want the end result to be. It will lighten a bit during the baking process.

Gently press each piece of the dough together, forming a large ball. Place dough into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/2 inch thickness. Gently press hand into dough to make a clear imprint.

Cut around outer edge of hand print with a knife. Repeat with remaining dough. Lift cookies carefully with a spatula and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Separate the fingers to resemble feathers, leaving the thumb standing upright for the head.

Bake until lightly browned. Immediately after removing from oven, press one piece of candy corn into each of the 4 fingers, leaving thumb plain. Gently remove from pan.

After the cookies have cooled slightly, press a chocolate chip into the thumb for an eye. Use a small piece of fruit leather and stick on for the turkey gobbler neck.

That's it!

Let the kids have fun eating their creations!


Rice Crispy Turkeys

My kids love chocolate rice crispy treats just as much as the regular ones.

These cute little rice crispy turkeys will make a sweet addition to your child's Thanksgiving table. They are sure to gobble them up for dessert!

Rice Crispy Turkeys 

3 TBSP Margarine or Butter
1-10 oz. Package Regular Marshmallows (about 40 lg.)
- or -
4 cups Mini Marshmallows
6 cups Chocolate Crispy Cereal
Candy Corn
Mini candy coated chocolate candies
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips for "glue"
Red Fruit Leather
Popsicle Sticks
Plastic Baggie

Melt margarine in large pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add chocolate crispy cereal. Stir until well coated. Press mixture evenly into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan and cool slightly.

Add the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 20 second intervals until melted. Stir. Pour the chocolate into the plastic baggie, pushing into one end, forming an icing bag. Carefully snip off the very tip of the baggie. This is your "glue" for the candy faces on the turkeys.

Round Turkeys: While the crispy cereal mix is still warm, Use a lightly greased 2 or 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out cereal rounds. Using Candy Corn for feathers, stick them into the cereal around the top half of the circle. (I used 5 Candy Corn on each turkey). Glue on the mini candy coated chocolate candy eyes and Candy Corn nose/mouth. Cut out a small piece of fruit leather for the gobbler and glue it under the candy corn.

Rectangle Turkeys: While the crispy cereal mix is still warm, cut the mixture into 3-inch long rectangles. Using Candy Corn for feathers, stick them into the rectangle along the sides and top - refer to the picture for correct placement. Glue on the mini candy coated chocolate candy eyes and Candy Corn nose/mouth. Cut out a small piece of fruit leather for the gobbler and glue it under the candy corn.

For Turkey Pops: Place a Popsicle stick up through the bottom of each circle or rectangle.

Wrap individually in plastic wrap or goodie bags before refrigerating. Bring to room temperature before serving. Can easily be frozen once individually wrapped.

Each 9x13 pan makes 12 circle or 12 rectangle turkeys

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October Cookie Carnival Round Up!

There were a couple of deeelicious cookies to bake for October's Cookie Carnival!

Sending out a big Thank You! to Jamie@MyBakingAddiction for allowing me to use her recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies. This recipe received rave reviews! If you haven't had a chance to make them, I suggest putting them on your "to do" list. Jamie has a great blog filled with gorgeous pictures. Be sure to stop by and check it out. It will have you drooling!

The Kids Cook cookie choice was a giant Halloween Pizza Cookie from Hershey's.

Don't worry, if you didn't have a chance to bake these cookies with the short notice that I gave in October, I'm extending this round up into November, too! Send me pics and links throughout November and I will post them along with November's round up.

Check out our participants for this month!

Cristine@Cooking with Cristine made the pumpkin oatmeal cookies

 She already had them bookmarked so this Cookie Carnival was just the push she needed to make them!

Yi@Workout then Cook baked the pumpkin oatmeal cookies

She said that they were a big hit at the office!

Katrina@Baking and Boys! made the Halloween Pizza

She said that it was a big hit with her family and friends!

Kerri@Kerri's Kitchen baked the pumpkin oatmeal cookies

 Welcome, Kerri, to the Cookie Carnival!

Tiffiny@The Bake-Off Flunkie made the pumpkin oatmeal cookies

She said that this recipe is her new favorite pumpkin cookie!

Krista@The Swans made pumpkin cran-oat cookies

She said that the combination of pumpkin and cranberries makes them a fitting choice for Christmas, as well as, Thanksgiving!

That wraps up the round up for this month!

Stop by and say "hi" to me and the other Cookie Carnival participants. Share some Cookie Love with us!

I'd love for you to join us!

Here's how you can join today!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

September Cookie Carnival Round Up!

First of all, I can't thank you all enough for sticking with the Cookie Carnival while I've been away. I can't tell you how much it means to me...thank you! thank you! thank you!

An update on my Mom -- After many ups and downs, she was finally able to go home over the weekend after two months in the hospital. Thank you to everyone who said prayers for her. She still has some battles to fight but she is determined to do her best to get back to living the life she is used to. :)

I think that I am finally back on track with no computer problems right now. YAY! 

Now to catch up on things!!

For our September Cookie Carnival we baked two cookies:

Apple Butter Cookies from Food Network Canada's Anna Olsen
Chiquita Banana Breakfast Cookies from the Chiquita Banana website

I received a lot of positive feedback for the apple butter cookies - they reminded me of the Little Debbie Pumpkin Snack Cakes. The banana cookies, not so much, although some people changed them up a bit and ended up liking them. It seems that we all had trouble with the banana cookies and not many liked the way they tasted. If have to say, though, my husband liked them. I didn't like them at all. I think that the secret might have been to add some chocolate chips to the banana cookies.

Here's some thoughts on the cookies: 

Shonda@The KnowltonNest made the banana cookies

She said "I was pleased with how moist the cookies were. Tastes great with a glass of milk!"

Tia@ButtercreamBarbie made the apple butter cookies

 She said "It's like a little taste of fall in every bite!" She made her own apple butter, too!

Andrea@MyLifeandGoodTimes baked the apple butter cookies

 This was one of her first experiences with apple butter. She described the cookies as a tasty fall treat!

 Katrina@BakingandBoys baked the banana breakfast cookies

 She said "I think these were a great way to use up some of those overripe bananas I always have on the counter!"

Yi Shen@WorkoutThenCook! made the banana breakfast cookies

 She ended up with breakfast "pancake" cookie but said that they were still moist and yummy. 

Krista@MeettheSwans baked both cookies!

For the banana cookies, she says "Isn’t it great when “breakfast” is in the name of the cookie? Then it is perfectly OK to eat cookies for breakfast." 

She also made homemade apple butter for the apple butter cookies. She has a poll on her blog asking if you think these cookies are sandwich cookies or not? 

Vivian@LetsTryThese made the apple butter cookies

She wasn't thrilled with these cookies. Even though she used homemade apple butter, it didn't make the cookies taste any better to her.

Katy@AlphabetSoup baked pumpkin butter cookies

 She said "I really liked the way they turned out.  They are more muffin-like in texture."

 Lisa@Gourmified made the banana breakfast cookie

Although she wasn't thrilled with the breakfast cookies, her kids had fun in the kitchen with her! (That's what I like to hear!! - Tami)


This was a fantastic round up! Thank you so much for participating! 

Welcome to all of our new members!

Welcome back to everyone who has been away for a while.

Please spread the word around about the Cookie Carnival! Everyone is welcome to participate!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Not Gone - Just Computer Problems

Did you think that I'd pulled a disappearing act? I assure you, I haven't!

The last few weeks have been very complicated. My Mom was in and out and back into the hospital - she was in and out for testing but then had a mild stroke over the weekend. Things are starting to improve with her, Thank God

As if life wasn't complicated enough with my husband changing shifts for two weeks and working daylight, (Yes, that throws our house into a tizzy),my computer was hijacked by a severe Trojan horse that left me locked out of it completely. To make things worse, our bank accounts were hacked into (police don't think the 2 are related).
Thankfully we will get the money back, it's just playing the waiting game and not having the money right now that stinks.

I keep reminding myself that no matter what, it really could be a lot worse.

I haven't forgotten about the Cookie Carnival! Unfortunately, everything is tied up in my computer so as soon as I get it back, I will get in touch with every one. I'm hoping to get it back next week sometime. I'm thankful for my iPhone (which I managed to crash as well but we recoverd it) but I can't wait to get back to a bigger monitor. :)

Please hang in there with me. I miss talking with everyone!


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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