Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cherry Pie Cookies

Christmas Cookies
I really love the melt in your mouth buttery flavor of these cookies!  I found them on the Recipe Critic's site.  She does some amazing stuff!  I loved the red and white colors for Christmas.  They are also great because they whip up in no time and taste elegant with the white chocolate drizzle on top! 
All you do is mix the dough quickly with your mixer, then dish it out on parchment lined pans with a medium cookie scoop.  Add canned cherry pie filling and bake.  Drizzle with melted candy almond bark and you have one amazing cookie!  Here are the ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 21 ounce Cherry Pie Filling
  • ½ cup white chocolate baking chips or white almond bark
 To find the directions for preparing these wonderful cookies click here:    Cherry Pie Cookies
 (I doubled the dough and it was about perfect for using the whole can of cherries!)

What is your favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe???

This recipe was shared on these great sites! 
My Personal Accent 
A Pinch of Joy 
I should be mopping the floor 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Goo Goo Clusters

     This homemade candy recipe is super fun and easy so I wanted to get it up on the blog so any of you looking for quick homemade gift could get it in time for the Holidays! 

     I found these candies on a website a couple of years ago and have loved making this recipe.  They only take about 1/2 hour to make and are fun to give as neighbor gifts.  The marshmellows can be found at Walmart along with the carmel bits. 

Homemade chocolates
Here is how you do it:


1 package Stacker Mallows (thin marshmallows)  8oz. bag.  Mine had 46 in it and I used them all.
11 oz. bag Caramel Bits.  (any caramel would work but these are much easier than unwrapping them.)
2 Tablespoons milk
12 to 16 oz peanuts.  (I used Great Value Cocktail peanuts)
32 oz chocolate.  

(I have used both chocolate almond bark and Callebaut wafers and they were both good). The ones pictured in this blog are the Callebaut dark chocolate Snaps and look semisweet but were sweet and tasted very good.)

Dipping Chocolate
     Begin by setting up a couple of cookie sheets and line with parchment paper.  Set out the marshmallows.  These have a concave side and a rounded side.  I set them with the concave side up because it holds the caramel a little bit better. 
Homemade candy

     Then put the caramel bits in a microwave safe bowl and heat with the milk for 1 minute. Stir with a fork and then keep heating for 15 second intervals until the caramel is melted and smooth.
Pour the peanuts on a plate and set up your workstation together like this:
     Now you can pick up a marshmallow and use a knife to fill the center of it with caramel.  Then turn the whole thing over and press lightly into the nuts. 

     Set them down on the cookie sheet to cool for about 20 minutes. 
     When they are firm, melt the chocolate in the microwave until smooth when stirred.  (I stir every 15 to 30 seconds. The container should be deep and tall but wide enough to easily get the chocolates out with a fork.  I use my 2 cups Pyrex measuring cup.
     Drop them in and cover with chocolate.  Lift out with a fork.  Wipe off excess chocolate from underneath side of fork and set on the cookie sheet to harden.
     As the chocolate cools it will turn from glossy to a dull color.  You can see that the closest chocolates are not yet set and the furthest chocolates are dull and set.

There you go! These are melt in your mouth delicious!

This recipe was shared with these wonderful sites!
Wonderful at Home 
Naptime Creations 
The Recipe Critic 
Kitchen Meets Girl 
Anyonita's Nibbles 
A to Zebra Celebrations 
A Pinch of Joy! 
My Personal Accent 
The Wondering Brain 
Blog Hop Blitz 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Raspberry Cream Mousse for Christmas! My Salt Tree Guest post is now here!

What a wonderful time of year!  I am so thankful for many blessings that make my life rich every day.  I am very thankful for my family and the freedoms we enjoy.  

Whatever your traditions are for this day of thanks, I hope you are able to do the things you love with those you love!  

Have a very Happy Day!

I am also grateful to be able to post here today for Salt Tree's Christmas Cavalcade.  It is a great opportunity to share with you and enjoy getting to know other fantastic bloggers who will contribute in the days to come!  

      For this occasion, I decided I needed to come up with something special, unique and exciting to share with all of you.  I am so very happy to say that everything came together and I am so pleased to debut this delicious and easy to make dessert for you. 

Easy Raspberry Mousse

There are so many special events and get togethers in the holiday months ahead that you really need a supply of awesome "go to" recipes.  We don't want any panic moments when you are asked to come up with something right?  Here is one that is easy to make and will delight any guest.

      This was inspired by a recipe from Martha Stewart here, but as delicious as that sounds, time is short during the holidays, so this is a simplified version that has unbelievable flavor and is much easier to make. 

 Here you go!

Raspberry Cream Mousse


1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping Cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla
3 oz. softened cream cheese (not pictured)
1/2 cup Welch's Natural Raspberry Spread
1 Tablespoon Raspberry Jello powder
12 Mother's Iced Lemonade Cookies (Or lemon Oreo size cookies)
Mint leaves and Fresh Raspberries for garnish

     Whip heavy whipping cream in a mixer until it forms semi stiff peaks.  Add powdered sugar until well blended.  Remove 1/2 of the cream and place in another bowl.  Add softened cream cheese to the whip cream (that is still in the mixer bowl) and mix until cream cheese is blended throughout. 

     In the other bowl, add the Raspberry Spread to the whip cream by gently folding it in until it is all incorporated.  Sprinkle jello powder on top and also fold in well.  (The jello will be grainy at first but in just a few minutes it will dissolve).   

 Place one Mother's lemonade cookie in each cup of a mini cheesecake pan.  I love my pan and if you want one you can find them here or here.  My pan is the bright aluminum type and so it reacted with the acid in the raspberry spread and turned a little bit blueish.  If you are planning to make this a lot buy one that has the non stick coating to prevent this.  I just lined the outside of the cups with parchment paper and that also helped them come out of the pan much easier.

Using a medium cookie scoop, drop one scoopful of the white whip cream mixture in each cup. 
     Spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon.  Then repeat with the raspberry mixture.
    If you do not have a mini cheesecake pan, you can line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper leaving enough so that it hangs over the side by a couple of inches and line the bottom with graham crackers instead of the cookies. I used a bread pan for the extra mousse and that works too.   Layer the whip cream mixture first and the raspberry mix last.

Then cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 2 hours. 
Remove from pan and carefully take the parchment paper off of the sides.  Then use a spatula if needed to even the sides up. 

Easy Mousse

Cut into squares if desired. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge in a air tight container until served.

Place fresh raspberries and mint leaves to garnish right before serving.

So elegant and festive!  Happy Holidays!
This recipe was shared with these great sites:
A to Z Celebrations 
The Recipe Critic 
Naptime Creations 
Kitchen Meets Girl 
Smart School House 
My Personal Accent 
The Country Cook 
Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

10 Minute Mini Pumpkin Tarts

10 minute Pumpkin Tarts

Is anybody out there still looking for a last minute Thanksgiving treat that is easy to make?  This is your day!  Thanks go to my neighbor Audrey for this great recipe!  These work up in just a few minutes with no cooking, baking, and very little time to chill!  They are ready almost immediately and they are ooooh so good! 

Here's what you do.


3 pkgs. frozen mini  pastry shells (Athens Mini Phyllo Shells) These were at Walmart
1 15 oz can of Pumpkin Puree.  (Not Pumpkin Pie Mix)
2 cups whipped topping, thawed (like Cool Whip)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 4.5 oz pkg. cheesecake flavor instant pudding
Mint leaves (Optional garnish)

     Remove shells from freezer to thaw while you make the filling.  Mix pumpkin, whipped topping, and pie spice together in a bowl with a wisk until smooth.  Add the dry pudding mix and whisk it in. 

      Fill a ziplock bag with pudding mix then cut a small hole in the end and pipe the mix into the center of the shell. 

Top with a dab of whipped topping and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice over that.  Finish with a small mint leaf if desired.
Chill until served.

You don't have to wait until next Thanksgiving to enjoy these.  They would be great anytime!

This recipe was shared on these sites!

I am Guest Posting on Salttree's Christmas Cavalcade!!!

I am very excited to announce that on Thanksgiving Day I will be guest posting on for a special event.  Salt Tree is having their annual Christmas Cavalcade.  (Click on Salt Tree above to see it!)

This is sooo fun.  They have lined up some amazing bloggers to contribute their best posts for the Christmas Season!  I hope you will be sure to look Thanksgiving morning for my fun post called Raspberry Cream Mousse!  Then every couple of days a new blogger will add a new post.  Some will be crafts, some are recipes and some are fun holiday ideas.  So be sure to check this out from the link above!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Triple Chocolate Gourmet Carmel Corn!

Chocolate Carmel Corn
     I have a good friend!   A most amazing friend!  The kind of friend that shares her most favorite and awesome recipe with me without even hesitating!  Now that is true friendship in my book!  I first tasted this recipe when she brought it to work and it is one of those WOW! moments when you just know you will die if you don't figure out how to make this a part of your life!  And then she just let me have it!  (Not in the "will you leave me alone?" kind of way) In the "here it is and I will tell you all my tips to make it work out way"!!  And so I am passing it on to you!  Because we are friends too and I want you to have that WOW! moment in your life!

     I think that this is a great treat to make anytime for the holidays, maybe for after that big Thanksgiving dinner and everyone is still sitting around the table playing games day.  Or for wrapping in a cellophane bag and tying red and green ribbon at the top for neighbor gifts.  It is that good and gourmet looking!  You will be everyone's favorite neighbor this year!  
So have fun with it!

Triple Chocolate Gourmet Carmel Corn
Thanks Julie!

     Pop 3/4 cup popcorn kernels without oil.  (I use my hot air popcorn popper, Julie pops them in a small lunchsack in the microwave)

     Remove unpopped kernels and then divide into 2 large bowls.

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup 

     In a heavy 4 quart saucepan.  Melt and then bring to a boil over medium heat.  Using a candy thermometer boil until it reaches 255 degrees F.  (Make sure your thermometer is accurate).  Remove from heat and stir in:

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

     Pour 1/2 of the mixture over popcorn and mix, then repeat this with the second bowl of popcorn, coating all the popcorn with caramel.  Place the coated popcorn on two cookie sheets in a single layer.  Place both sheets on separate racks in the oven that has been heated to 250 degrees F. 
      Cook for 20 min and then turn the popcorn with a spatula and rotate the shelf each sheet is baking on.  Cook another 20 min and turn again.  At this point I took a few kernels off the sheet and let them cool.  They were crispy and crunchy so I took all of the popcorn out.  The recipe says this can take up to 1 hour and 20 minutes.  That may depend on exactly what temperature you cooked the caramel syrup to.  If it was a little less than 255 degrees it may take longer than mine to be crunchy when cooled.  (The warm popcorn will still be soft and syrupy).  Just test and and cook until done!

     Now remove it and let it cool.  Divide the popcorn into the same 2 large bowls so you have room to stir and fold in the next ingredients.
When it is about room temperature, add:

2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup raw whole almonds

     Melt in a medium bowl in the microwave, (for 1 minute the first time and then 30 second intervals) 

1 lb. white chocolate (We used white Almond Bark and it worked well)

      Pour 1/2 the chocolate over each bowl of popcorn and fold it into the mix until all is well coated.
Divide the popcorn and place back on the two cookie sheet in a single layer.

Place separately in  heavy quart size ziplock bags:
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

     Melt these slowly in the microwave also.

     When the chips are melted, seal the bags and cut a very small end off of the corner of the first bag.  Hold the bag with your whole hand around it and close to the tip to prevent it from splitting under pressure, and slowly squeeze the chocolate out across the popcorn using sweeping motions. 

     Lightly cover each cookie sheet of popcorn.  Repeat with the next bag of chocolate beginning on the opposite corner of the cookie sheet to make a nice pattern.  Let this cool and harden. 

      This stuff is addicting so please share it with others before it becomes a problem!!!

PS.  Am I the only one that thinks Marshmallow should be spelled with an e??? As in Marshmellow?  

I love to hear your comments!

This recipe was shared on these fine sites!
A pinch of Joy 
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms 
Naptime Creations 
Chef in Training 
Pint Sized Baker 
I Should Be Mopping the Floor 
Jam Hands 
Salt Tree Social 
Tasty Tuesdays 
The Country Cook 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fresh Tomato Salsa!

Homemade Salsa

     I asked my coworkers if it was too late in the year to post a Fresh Salsa recipe. They said they all make salsa year round so I am going with this! 

     Actually I do still have garden tomatoes even though we have had some snow in Utah and some freezing temperatures.  When the weatherman gives us the "you better bring in your garden produce" announcement, I collect all the green tomatoes with some of the vines still attached to keep them fresh and bring them in the basement.  I usually have tomatoes ripening there until Thanksgiving day.  Cool huh?  I love how they are so sweet and flavorful don't you? 

     This is just perfect in my estimation.  Tomatoes vary in size and so I start with these amounts and then add small amounts of the seasonings until I like the taste.  The same is true with the Jalapeno.  Start with 1/2 of one and then add more and stir a few times until the heat is like you want it.  Jalapenos are so unpredictable!

Fresh Salsa

6 Medium, Ripe Tomatoes
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 large Onion, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
1/3 bunch Cilantro, washed and chopped (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 to 1 Jalapeno Pepper (to taste) 

Combine all ingredients and chill for a few hours to let the flavors mingle.  

Be Careful!! This stuff is addicting!

I got this recipe from my friend Debbie Rueckert!  Thanks Debbie!
This recipe was shared on these wonderful sites! 
Grow with Epic Mommy 
The Country Cook 
Jam Hands 
Flour Me With Love 
I Should Be Mopping the Flour 
 Salt Tree 
The Recipe Critic 
Naptime Creations 
Made in A Day 
Chef In Training 
Anyonita's Nibbles 
A Conquered Mess 
Buns In My Oven 
My Personal Accent 
Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons 
Happy Kid's Inc.
Wonderful At Home 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Deep Fried Halibut

deep fried halibut
      As a child I remember my parents going to a wonderful fresh fish restaurant to buy the freshest, most delicious fillet of halibut available in our western city.  The restaurant was called Bratten's  and it isn't around anymore but I still love to buy halibut and deep fry it the way Mom and Dad did years ago.

    Halibut isn't cheap and it is good to wait until it is in season.  I think that time is in the spring.  My local market had some on sale a couple of weeks ago and I jumped at the chance to buy some.  One thing to remember is that it doesn't take as much to make a good size serving as you might think.  Because the fillets are cut into a lot of pieces, one pound of fish made a very good size dinner for 3 adults.  

     Here is the recipe, if you like a sweeter batter you can play around the sugar proportion but this is a delicious batter as it is.

Halibut Fish Batter
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder

     Mix all ingredients together with a wisk in a bowl until smooth.

Cut fish into desired size.  I like mine about 1 inch x 2 inches.  It is easier and faster to cook if they aren't thick.  You can cut them in larger pieces but make sure they are cooked all the way through.  Keep size uniform so you can time and check the first few to make sure the meat is flakey all the way to the center.  Then use the same time for the same size pieces. 
cooking halibut
 Dip pieces in batter and fry in oil at 400 degrees until center is done.

deep fried halibut

fried fish

     These are very good dipped in lemon butter sauce.  Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small pan and add about 3 Tablespoons lemon juice.  Serve in small individual bowl for dipping.  

     These are not low in calories and we don't make them often but they are so delicious you will dream about them!

This recipe was shared on these sites.