Thursday, August 29, 2013

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake




This is a perfect cake for fall!  It is moist and absolutely delicious!!  This recipe comes from Taste of Home, and I was excited to give it a try.  I love caramel apples, and the thought of all that yumminess in a cake sounded amazing. Well, it was amazing!  I decided to cook it in a bundt pan, and it turned out great.  The family raved about how good this was, so it looks like this will be another one added to my fall favorites!
-Robin


CARAMEL APPLE BUNDT CAKE

1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
 3 1/2 cups apples, peeled and diced into small pieces.
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
 CARAMEL GLAZE:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup butter, cubed
dash of salt
1 cup confectioner's sugar
chopped walnuts, optional

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray and lightly flour your bundt pan.
In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugars, vanilla and eggs until blended well.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt together.  Gradually add the to the creamed mixture and blend well.  Fold in the apples and walnuts.  Pour the mixture into the bundt pan. (Don't worry if the mixture seems too thick, it is supposed to be that way)
Bake in the 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  Gently take a knife and slide it around the sides of the cake to make sure when you turn the pan over onto a plate it doesn't stick.  
Make the caramel glaze by heating the brown sugar, butter, half and half, and salt in a saucepan until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Let it cool to room temperature.  Beat in the confectioners sugar until smooth.  Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle if walnuts if you like.  (My kids don't always like me to add nuts, so I usually don't)
ENJOY!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fluffy Apple Dip


With fall right around the corner, this dip is perfect for those after school snacks.  I found this recipe on the Taste of Home website, and when I saw the ingredients I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out.  Happily, it turned out to be absolutely delicious!  Choose your favorite apples for dipping, (I picked the Fuji apples), and dip away!!
-Robin

FLUFFY APPLE DIP

1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 (7oz.) jar marshmallow creme
Apple slices

In a small bowl, blend together the cream cheese, peanut butter and pumpkin pie spice till smooth.
Add the marshmallow creme and gently blend in till it is mixed well.
Serve with your favorite apples, sliced, and ENJOY!!!


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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Green Bean Pasta Salad


A few years ago, a friend of mine brought this salad to a shower that I attended.  When I first tasted it, I didn't expect my tastebuds to immediately fall in love with it, but boy did they ever!! This is another one of those salads that I knew I had to get the recipe for.  She was gracious enough to share it with me and it has been one of my favorites.  Thank goodness we have a lot of fresh green beans growing in the garden this year!  Love it!!
-Robin

GREEN BEAN PASTA SALAD

1 cup chopped pecans (toasted
in the oven)
12 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 pound thin fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 (8oz.) package penne pasta
2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in half
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 5-7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.
(I always cut my bacon into small pieces before I cook it, that way it is pretty much the right size)
Cook beans in boiling salted water 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.  Plunge the beans into ice water to stop the cooking process so they stay crisp.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water.
Mix together the pasta, beans, grapes, onion, pasta and bacon in a large bowl.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and salt.  Pour over the salad and toss well.
Season with more salt if needed.  Cover and chill 3 hours.


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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Easy Chicken Curry


If you love curry and want little preparation, then this is a recipe you will want to try!  This is so easy and delicious, and when you serve it up with some Asian Coconut Rice (recipe here: http://www.sugar-n-spicegals.com/2013/06/asian-coconut-rice.html ) you have a winner!
-Becky

EASY CHICKEN CURRY

6-8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch slices (you could use chicken tenders too)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. curry powder

Lightly spray a 9x13 dish and lay the chicken pieces on the bottom.
Mix together the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream and curry together.
Pour it on top of the chicken and spread it to cover all the pieces.
Cover with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. 
Serve with Asian Coconut Rice and ENJOY!!!

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Zucchini Butterscotch Bars


What is it with zucchinis?  I do believe if I sat outside and watched them for a day I could actually see them grow before my eyes!  I have yet to try that, but it seems every year we tend to neglect one or two by not picking them in time.  So if you have those zucchini's that you neglected to pick and now they are as big as a small baseball bat, shred them and make some yummy zucchini bars!  These are a big hit in our family, and by adding the caramel frosting on top we have a home run!
-Robin

ZUCCHINI BUTTERSCOTCH BARS

3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup butterscotch chips or raisins (I love the butterscotch chips!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

CARAMEL FROSTING
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4  cup milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together butter, sugars, vanilla, and eggs.  Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture.
Blend well.  Add the grated zucchini, nuts and chips.  Pour into greased and floured 10x15 inch pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the a toothpick in center comes out clean.
Take out of oven and while letting them cool, make the frosting.
To make the frosting, melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the sugar and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. (I always keep stirring it as I cook it)
Add the milk and bring to a second boil.  Remove from heat.
Add the powdered sugar gradually, stirring well, until you get a good consistency to spread over the bars.  I used all of the 1 1/2 cups plus a little bit more.  Frost the bars and and cut into bars.
This will make 30 bars. 
ENJOY!!!

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Zucchini Bacon Quiche


I was looking for another recipe for my over abundance of zucchini's, and I found this quiche recipe on the Cooks.com website.  I started making the recipe and realized that the recipe left out a couple of details on how to put the quiche together.  So, I ended up making it up as I went and it turned absolutely DELCICIOUS!!!  This recipe makes two 9" deep dish quiche's and my family absolutely loved it!  So glad to find another use for all the hard work my husband has put into our garden!!
-Robin

ZUCCHINI BACON QUICHE

2-9" Deep Dish Pie Shells (I used frozen, and let them thaw)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
Salt
1 lb. bacon,  cut into small pieces and cooked
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
16 oz. grated swiss cheese
5 eggs
2 cups half and half
Pepper to taste

Grate the zucchini and lay out on aluminum foil.  Sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for 30 minutes.
Squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Measure out the zucchini after squeezing the moisture out.
Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook until it is cooked but not crisp.
Drain the bacon on paper towles to remove excess fat.  Divide into two equal parts.
In another pan, melt the butter and add the onion.  Saute till the onion is soft.  Add the zucchini, flour and pepper and cook for another minute.  Set aside.
Grate the swiss cheese.  Divide the cheese in half.  (So you have equal amounts for each quiche)
In a bowl, beat the eggs and add the half and half.
Make each quiche by doing the following:
In the bottom of the pie shell, put half of the cheese that has already been divided, then put the bacon on top.  Put half of the grated zucchini on top of the bacon.  Put another layer of cheese on top of the zucchini. (For garnish you can save a little bacon and a few thin slices of zucchini and lay on top of the cheese)  Pour half of the egg mixture over the first quiche, and the rest over the second quiche.  Make sure it doesn't over flow.  
I cook mine on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Cook in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and cook for another 35-40 minutes.  
Let the quiche's stand for about 20 minutes before cutting.  
So DELICIOUS!!

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Mini Muffin Cinnamon Rolls


When I saw Rachael Ray make these mini muffins, I knew I just had to make me some of those.  I have a mini muffin pan and I am always looking for opportunities to use it.  These turned out just as yummy as Rachael said they would, and they're also just so dang cute!
Robin

MINI MUFFIN CINNAMON ROLLS

2 Pillsbury Crescent Roll packages from the refrigerated section
1 cup chopped pecans
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup PURE Maple Syrup (yes I went and bought it for the first time ever!)
Nonstick spray
ICING:
1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray your mini muffin pan with nonstick spray.
In a bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup together.
Pop open your crescent roll packages and carefully roll them out on a lightly floured board being careful not to perforate the seams.  Roll them out some so that from one crescent package you have two rectangles.  You should end up with four rectangles all together.  Divide the pecan mixture into fourths, spreading a fourth over each rectangle within 1/4 inch of the edge.  Roll them up starting with the long side.  Pinch the seam together.  Cut each rectangle into six slices.  Put one slice in each mini muffin making sure the cut spiral side is face up.  Cook for 10-13 minutes till lightly brown on top.
Let them cool slightly before trying to pop them out of the muffin tin.
Make the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and lemon juice together till you have a smooth consistency.  After popping the muffins out, drizzle the glaze over the top.  ENJOY!!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribeye Chops


I love pork!  I heard that they are no longer going to have just pork chops, but they will be called either "Porterhouse Chops",  "New York Chops", and "Ribeye Chops".  A pork butt will now be called a "Boston Roast".  (That does have a better sound to it). Yesterday I saw for the first time the "Ribeye chops" so I bought some.  I decided to use my slow cooker since I had a busy day ahead and cook them in barbecue sauce.   These were easy and delicious and made for a great Sunday dinner!  I kind of like the new names, but to me they will always still be pork chops!
-Robin

SLOW COOKER BBQ RIBEYE CHOPS

3 1/2 pounds boneless Ribeye chops
1 cup barbecue sauce (I love Sweet Baby Rays)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)
Garlic powder
Onion Salt
Pepper
Red pepper flakes if you want it spicy (optional)

Season the pork with garlic powder, onion salt, and pepper.
Mix the barbecue sauce, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, liquid smoke, and pepper flakes together in a seperate bowl.  Layer the pork chops in your slow cooker, making sure to put the sauce on each chop as you go.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  The meat should fall to pieces nicely!

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Baby Zucchini Cupcakes



Baby oh Baby, my sister is going to make me an aunt!  My mom and I threw my sister Heather a baby shower and we used some of my dads garden veggies to make some delicious cupcakes!!  These turned out so yummy and made a really cute treat for the shower.  This recipe came from marthastewart.com and the main thing I did different was to add a little more spice and make the frosting pink for my soon to be niece!
-Becky

BABY ZUCCHINI CUPCAKES


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
4 Tbsp. butter (room temperature)
4 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Beat the butter and cream cheese together till smooth.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.  
Add 1-2 drops of red food coloring to make the frosting pink.
Keep refrigerated if not using right away.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
In another bowl combine together the zucchini, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Blend well.  Add this to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. (Do not over mix)
Divide the batter evenly among the cups.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean,
30-40 minutes. (We cooked our approximately 35 minutes)
Let cool before frosting.  (Let them cool on a wire rack, taking them out of the muffin tin)

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lemon Chicken


My friend Emma at work let me sample the Lemon Chicken that she was eating for lunch.  It was so delicious that I asked her about the recipe.  She told me that her husband got the recipe from his Grandma, and that he had enjoyed it for years.  She emailed me her husbands blog where he had posted the recipe so that I could make and share it on my blog also. Check out his blog: http://cookingsofanamateur.blogspot.com/2010/07/grandma-gublers-lemon-chicken.html?m=1
This recipe was easy and absolutely delicious!!  It was a big hit with my family, and I was so happy to have found a new recipe that I can now make and pass on to my posterity!  Thanks Grandma Gubler!
-Robin

LEMON CHICKEN

3-4 chicken breasts cut into small pieces (about 3/4" cubes)
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. flour
1/2 tsp. terragon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
1 cube chicken bouillon
or use 3/4 cup chicken broth instead of water and bouillon.
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh is best)
Rice

Cube the chicken and cut off any excess fat. Preheat the pan and melt the butter in it.  Cook the chicken in the butter until it is cooked through and brown lightly.
Mix the flour, terragon and salt together till blended and sprinkle it over the chicken.  Mix it into the chicken so that it coats the pieces well and then cook it until it browns lightly and get a good crust. 
Dissolve the bouillon in the water and add to the chicken. (Or add the chicken broth.  I used the chicken broth. I did add about 1/2 cube extra of the chicken bouillon to add a little more flavor.)
Add the lemon juice and cook another few minutes until you get a gravy consistency.
Serve over rice and ENJOY!!!!

I served mine over rice that I seasoned with chicken bouillon.  
Here's the recipe:
3 cups water
3 bouillon cubes
3 cups instant rice
Dissolve the bouillon cubes in the water till it comes to a boil.
Turn off the heat and add the rice. 
Cover and let sit till done.
(You can do the same with regular rice, just use 1 bouillon cube for each cup of water)

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