Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Apple Fritter Bread

This is so delicious! I doubled the recipe because it looked so tasty and was glad I did so since it went fast.  Matthew requested his own loaf and then topped the slices with vanilla ice cream.  He knows how to do dessert.

 Apple Fritter Bread

 Heat oven to 350.  Coat a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Mix together in a bowl:
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Set aside.

In a different bowl combine:
Two apples, peeled, cored, chopped.
2 TBS white sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
Set aside.

In a mixer bowl combine:
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp of baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Pour half of the batter into loaf pan.  Add half of the apple mixture, and then half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Repeat.  Lightly press apples into the cinnamon mixture and swirl through batter gently with a knife (I just made a figure 8 with the knife through the whole loaf pan once). Bake 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

 To make glaze mix:
1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Wait for 15 minutes after bread comes out of oven and drizzle on top.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Most Delicious Garlic Bread

A little twist on the normal recipe I use for garlic bread.  I serve this often as it fills up hungry boys. 1 baguette (or any kind of bakery bread) sliced lengthwise Mix together:
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) softened butter
1/4 cup of mayo  
3 cloves of garlic, chopped (I use chopped garlic from a jar)
about a half dozen fresh basil leaves chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
I honestly don't measure any of these ingredients, I just estimate, and it's never turned out anything but delicious. 

Spread mixture evenly on bread. (There should be nice thick layer.)
Leave open, and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown..

Monday, July 6, 2015

Grilled Sweet Peppers

One day in the grocery store, I couldn't resist buying this big bright bag of mini sweet peppers.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them-I doubted any kids but my oldest (who eats anything and everything) would eat them plain.

I decided to throw them on the grill with some chicken that evening.  

I took off the green caps, threaded them on wood skewers, brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with some course kosher salt.  I left them on till they were just slightly soft and had some pretty grill marks on their sides.

They were delicious and gone in seconds.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips.  I put the dough in the fridge for about 2 hours.

I wanted to make large cookies, so I used my ice cream scooper to measure and scooped dough onto parchment covered cookie sheets.  I flattened each cookie a little before baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes (keep in mind my oven is fast).  Cool before removing from sheets.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I love hummus.  This is an easy recipe-no fancy food processor needed, I make it right in my blender.

2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed
1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained
1/3 cup of tahini (roasted not raw)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

I put all of that in my blender and blend till smooth-I add a little water if it needs to get "unstuck" and thinner.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pita Chips

These are so easy and taste great with my homemade hummus.  If there are any left-my kids eat them up as soon as I remove them from the oven.

coarse sea salt
Greek seasoning

Heat oven to 350.  
Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of pita bread.  If your pita is thick and you'd like thinner chip-like pita crisps, you can carefully, using a serated knife or simply by pulling apart, separate each piece of pita.
Place on bread on cookie sheets, butter side up.
Sprinkle seasoning and salt-don't go crazy! less is more!-over each buttered pita.

Bake in oven till bubbly and brown. Watch carefully as they burn quickly.  Usually mine are perfect in about 10 minutes.  I break them apart, or while they are still hot, I'll take a pizza cutter and slice them in wedges.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cocktail Wieners

My mom has made these every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my family loves them.

1 bottle chili sauce
1 jar red currant jelly
4 TBS brown sugar
1 package Lil Smoke Sausages

Mix first three ingredients on stove over low heat.  
Add sausages.
Heat through till hot.

Monday, December 12, 2011

French Baguettes Using Bread Maker

I love these for the feta dip, or for meatball subs, or just because.

1 cup very warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 TBS white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
1 egg yolk
1 TBS water

Place first five ingredients in bread machine, in the order listed. Set on dough cycle.  When cycle is done, place dought in warm place for 30 minutes (or more if necessary), and let rise until doubled.

Once risen, punch dough down.  On a lightly floured surface roll (I use a rolling pin) into a 16x12 rectangle.  Cut dough in half to form two 8x12 rectangles.   Roll up each half tightly, long wise.  Taper end.

Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet.  Make deep diagonal slashes every 2 inches.  
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Mix water and egg yolk and brush on tops of loaves.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, December 9, 2011

White Cheese Dip

1 pound white American cheese
1/2 cup milk
1 TBS butter
1 4 oz. can chopped green chiles
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
cayenne pepper to taste

Place cheese, milk and butter in a sauce pan over low heat.
Cook and stir until cheese has melted.  (Don't walk away,  or it will burn!)
Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Add a little more milk if too thick.
Heat through and serve with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Personalized Photo Placemats-A Great Gift

I am always on the look out for cute place mats.  I just cannot use cloth mats!  I would have to wash them every day and I do not want to add to my laundry load.

The plastic ones I find always seem boring and outdated so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Using Picasa, I made a collage for each member of my family.  I selected a bunch of different photos of each of the children...great vacation memories, baby pics, funny faces, etc...created a collage, and then using the Text feature, wrote their names on them.  The kids love these place mats!  Each photo seems to bring up a topic of conversation at the dinner table.  "Remember when Dad made us hike up that mountain?"  or "We had so much fun at that reunion!"

You have heard me talk about using the collage feature of Picasa is the same method I use for making my blog headers and my scrapbook pages.  It is so fun, easy and best of all free.   For a tutorial on how to make a collage you can go here, or here for a step-by-step easy video tutorial from Persnickety Prints.  You can also use a different program (i.e.Photoshop), OR just use a single picture if you don't want to bother with fancy digital stuff.  If you want to make it even easier, you could pick up a few 11 x 17 size papers, and have your children make their own drawings.

I called my local printer and decided to go with an 11 x 17 size.  That seemed to be a good size for a place mat, and it was easy and cheap for them to make color copies and laminate those color copies because it is a standard size.  The color copies were $1 each, and then to laminate each of them was $3.  $4 for custom place mats!  Not bad!  They also told me I could just email the collages to them, which made the whole process extra easy.

I did this about 5 years ago (using just a single picture that I brought in to be photocopied, before I was familiar with photo editing software) and the place mats held up for a good 3 years.  They are easy to wipe off with soap and water.  The copy place told me that they use 5mil laminate which makes them durable and sturdy.

Here are some tips and ideas:

1. I made a collage using the automatic "Mosaic" feature...that throws all your selected photos together into a collage automatically. (I chose plain white for my collage background.)  Once that collage was created, (after you hit the Create Collage button) I selected that collage, and also selected a scrapbook paper, pressed Collage again, and using the Picture Pile feature, centered the finished collage on the scrapbook paper.  That is how I got the scrapbook paper edge around the collage.

2. Sometimes the copier will cut off a small bit around the edges...ask!!!  The copy lady told me I would lose about 1/4" didn't matter because I had the scrapbook paper behind my collage, but without it, it might have.  Keep that in mind.

3. Remember in Picasa you can select your own custom collage size.  You just type in your dimensions.  (Horizontal size first.)  Again, I used 17 x 11 because it was cheap and easy.

4. I think for this size, I could have used less pictures.  I overloaded my own placemat and some of the pictures are tiny.  The ones that turned out best are the ones were I selected not more than 30 pictures.

5. And of course, the possibilities are endless.  Wouldn't it be cute to type in manner reminders?  Or the family dinner blessing?  You could make seasonal place mats also, with fun summer or fall colors, or a holiday theme.