Holiday Goodies

Well, it’s that time of year again. That’s right, holiday goody time. Where we all loosen our belts a little and enjoy the sweets like never before. Because after all,  everyone’s diet starts January 2nd.  I thought some of you might be interested in knowing what we delivered to our neighbors and perhaps you might even give some of these recipes a try. Enjoy!!!

Christmas Goodies
Christmas Goodies

Nutter Butter Santas

Nutter Butter Santas
Nutter Butter Santas

Makes about 32 cookies

  • 1 Package Nutter Butter Cookies
  • White Chocolate
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Mini Chocolate chips
  • Small round red hot candies
  • Red decorating sugar

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Next, melt chocolate in a double boiler (You can make your own double boiler by filling a large pot up with a few inches of water and then putting a metal bowl inside). Dip bottom of Nutter Butter cookie in white chocolate. Sprinkle bottom with coconut and let cool. Next dip top of Nutter Butter cookie in white chocolate and sprinkle with red sugar. Assemble eyes of Santa with mini chocolate chips by dabbing a little white chocolate where you would like the eyes to go. Use the red hot candy for nose.

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes
Mini Cheesecakes

Serves 12

  • 2 Packages Cream Cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 12 Vanilla Wafers
  • Canned Fruit Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a mixer or food processor combine softened cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Line a muffin tin with foil cup cake liners and place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each foil cup. Pour mixture into each cup until 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool, fill the middle of each mini cheesecake with a table spoon of pie filling. Refrigerate and serve.

Oreo Truffles

Oreo Truffles
Oreo Truffles

Makes about 26 Truffles

  • 1 Package Oreo Cookies
  • 1 Package Cream Cheese
  • 1 Package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tablespoons Shortening
  • Chocolate Sprinkles

Place Oreo cookies in food processor and blend until cookies are broken down into crumbs. Next add cream cheese and mix well. Scoop mixture up with table spoon and roll into balls. Place Oreo balls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Next, melt chocolate in a double boiler and add shortening. Mix well until chocolate is smooth and shiny. Dip Oreo balls in chocolate using two spoons and place on wax paper. Sprinkle each Oreo ball with chocolate sprinkles. Let cool and then refrigerate.

Challah Braid

Challah Braid
Challah Braid

  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups all purpose or bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  1. Mix 1 1/2 cups of the four, the sugar, salt and yeast in food processor. Add warm water and oil. Blend in food processor on low for 30 sec. Add egg, blend until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
  2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. place dough in large bowl greased with shortening, turning dough to grease all sides. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.) Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  3. Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening. After pushing fist into dough, divide into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into 14-inch rope. Place ropes close together on cookie sheet. Braid ropes gently and loosely; do not stretch. Fasten ends; tuck ends under braid securely. Brush with vegetable oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40 t0 50 minutes or until doubled in size. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water; brush over braid. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Taco Casserole

This recipe is one that my mother use to make for us when we were kids. I’ve made it for Eric several times and now he craves it. We both give this one 5 stars!

Taco Casserole
Taco Casserole

1lb. ground beef

1 medium chopped onion

14 oz. tomato sauce

1 package taco seasoning

1/8 tsp ground pepper

1/8 tsp ground hot pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 small can green chilies

1 small can olives (drained)

1 bag shredded 3 cheese Mexican mix

12 small corn tortillas

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup chopped green onion

Directions:

Heat Oven to 375

Combine beef and onions in skillet. Brown beef and cook onions until translucent and drain off juices and fat. Second, add 3/4 can of tomato sauce to mixture. Next add taco seasoning, pepper, hot pepper, and cumin. Mix in well then fold in green chilies and olives. Heat mixture all the way through, add the rest of tomato sauce if needed, and set beef mixture aside.

Butter bottom of 9X13 casserole dish. Next butter the tops of  the first 6 tortillas and arrange them in the bottom of baking dish so that the entire bottom is covered. Spread half of beef mixture on top of buttered tortillas. Next sprinkle half of the Mexican cheese mix on top of beef. Afterward, butter the remaining 6 tortillas, place them over the beef mixture and layer the rest of the meat and cheese like before. Finally drizzle chopped green onion over the top of the casserole. Bake @375 for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.

Cut Casserole in to sections and serve hot with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, and spicy salsa.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes

Eric and I will sometimes be in the mood to have breakfast for dinner, so we’ll load up in the car and head down the road to the old IHOP. Every time we go, I always struggle to order the right pancakes. I ask myself, “Do I want the fluffy buttermilk pancakes, or am I craving their delicious cornmeal pancakes?” Neither one seems to satisfy me completely. Finally, I decided to go on a quest for the perfect pancake recipe.  I am happy to say, I found it! This recipe takes my two favorite pancakes and combines them into one mouthwatering flapjack. If you like blueberry or banana pancakes, you can easily mix your favorite fruit into this batter to make your perfect pancake. Give them a try and enjoy!

  • Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes
    Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes

    1/2 cup cornmeal

  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Put cornmeal and cold water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and continue to boil gently and mix for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn cornmeal into a mixing bowl. Stir buttermilk into cornmeal mixture. Sift together flower, surgar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; add to cornmeal mixture. Stir in beaten egg and butter. Cook pancakes on a lightly greased griddle or pan.

Pasta Bar

Pasta Bar
Pasta Bar

Once again it is time to post a recipe.  Eric and I love to go to Brick Oven located in Provo and order the “All you can eat pasta bar”. However, now that we have a baby it’s not as easy to get out of the house, so I creatively came up with this little beauty… My home made pasta bar. This bar includes two different kinds of sauces along with different cheeses and toppings to put on top. Yummy!

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 stick of cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Combine butter and whipping cream in a small saucepan; cook over low heat until butter melts. Stir in cream cheese until it is fully melted. Next, stir in Parmesan cheese, white pepper, and parsley.

Yield: 8 servings

Meat Sauce

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce of choice (I prefer the Ragu Sweet Basil and Sun Dried Tomato sauce)
  • Several leaves of basil rolled up and cut into strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Salt and pepper beef and brown. Drain beef, then set aside. Next, combine garlic and olive oil on medium heat in a skillet. Saute until garlic is tender, but do not brown the garlic. Next, pour entire jar of sauce into garlic and olive oil. Stir in basil and red pepper. Finally add beef to the sauce.

Pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions. Try cooking two different types of pasta that you think your family will enjoy choosing from.

Mmmm, Eric likey
Mmmm, Eric likey

Toppings

  • Mizithra Cheese (This is wonderful sprinkled on top of the meat sauce)
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Pine Nuts
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Grilled Chicken

Heavenly Banana Delight

Without a doubt this is one of Eric’s and my favorite dessert. It truly is a bit of heaven in a dish.

Serves 10-12 (If you’re piggies liken Eric and I, this recipe serves 6.)

  • One 3 1/2 package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • One 12-ounce box vanilla wafers
  • 3 or 4 bananas, sliced
  • Chocolate syrup
Heavenly Banana Delight
Heavenly Banana Delight

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pudding mix, condensed milk, and milk, and beat for 2 minutes, or until well blended.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.  In another bowl, whip the heavy cream.  Add the whipped cream and the sour cream to the pudding mixture.  Place half the vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch dish.  Top with half the sliced bananas, half the pudding mixture, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup (don’t be shy with the chocolate syrup).  Repeat each layer and decorate the top with chocolate syrup.

Popovers

Those who know me know I like to cook, so I told Eric I would like to add recipes as one of our categories on our family blog. I’m hoping to post a new recipe each week accompanied by a picture. Hopefully this will inspire some of you to get into the kitchen and cook something new to share with your friends and families. Most of my recipes come from several different sources such as The Food Network, Martha Stewart, the internet, and of course my southern mother. The good news is, I try out these recipes for you and then give them my stamp of approval when I post them.

This popover recipe is simple and delicious. If you’ve never made popovers, get in the kitchen and make them right now. These taste wonderful will a little butter and honey. My favorite way to serve them is with pot roast and gravy drizzled over the popovers. Good luck and what ever you do, don’t open the oven and peek for a full 30 minutes!

Yields 12 popovers

  • 4 eggs
  • 2cups milk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

    Popovers
    Popovers
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Grease 12 large muffin tin cups. Break eggs into a bowl: beat well with a fork or whisk. Add milk, flour, and salt and beat just until blended. Fill muffin tin cups three-quarters full with batter. Place the pan on rack in the center of the oven. Set the over for 450 degrees and turn it on. Bake for 30 minutes without opening the oven door.