Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Buttery Pecan Cookie Balls

I am a big fan of buttery cookies, and these cookies are one of my favorites.  I love how these cookies just melt in your mouth!  These can be made just as they are, or you can switch them up by adding cinnamon to give it a different twist.  These make a perfect treat for any occasion!
-Robin

BUTTERY PECAN COOKIE BALLS

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar, divided
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy.
Add 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour, salt, nutmeg and pecans, blend well.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place 1 inch apart.
Bake 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately start rolling the cookies into the rest of the powdered sugar.  Place sugared cookies on a wire rack to cool.  When cooled completely, roll again in the sugar.
If you want to make the cinnamon version, add 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to the cookie dough, then add another 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to the powdered sugar to roll the cookies in.
ENJOY!!
Yields 36-40 cookies

Adapted from mccormick.com

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lemon Pie Bars


These lemon bars are delicious!!  This recipe is simple and easy to make! Sometimes you don't need to say anything more than YUM!
-Robin

LEMON PIE BARS

2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, mix together 2 cups flour and the powdered sugar together.  Cut in the butter.
(An easy way to cut in the butter is to freeze it and then grate it into your flour mixture).
Mix the dough until it resembles a pie dough consistency.  Press the dough into a 9x13 inch pan.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
While the crust is cooking and in a seperate bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, 4 Tbsp. flour, lemon juice and lemon rind.  Beat for about 1 minute.  Pour the mixture over the baked crust.
Bake the bars another 20-25 minutes, or until the lemon topping is set.
Cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Cut into bars.
ENJOY!!!
Adapted from: allrecipes.com

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dirty Rice


As my son spent some time down in the south, (Texas and Louisiana), he acquired a great love for southern food.  Needless to say, he is always asking me to cook some of his favorites. One of those favorites is Dirty Rice.  I found this recipe on southernplate.com.  The only thing I changed was to add both ground beef and sausage to the recipe.  This was absolutely delicious!  He was absolutely thrilled that I made it and I was absolutely thrilled it was so good!!
-Robin

DIRTY RICE

4-5 cups cooked rice
1 lb. uncooked sausage or ground beef.  I used 1/2 pound each.
1-2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning (Tony Chachere's)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. dried chopped parsley

In a large skillet, cook the celery, bell pepper, garlic, onion, parsley, sausage and ground beef.
Cook until the meet is thoroughly cook.  Drain excess fat.  Add the creole seasoning and mix in.
Stir in the rice and continue cooking over medium heat until the rice is heated through, stirring well the whole time.
(The Creole seasoning can be added slowly according to how much spice you like.)


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lemon Delight Jello


If you are looking for a perfect spring jello salad, then this is it! This isn't your plain old lemon jello, this is amazing lemon jello!  I found this recipe in an old college cook book that I pulled out from 1981 and was excited to try it.  This was an instant hit with my family and is now one of our family favorites!  I just can't figure out why it took me so long to make it!
-Robin

LEMON DELIGHT JELLO

2 (3 oz.) pkgs. lemon jello
3 bananas, sliced
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple-drain and save the juice
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Make jello as directed on packages.  Add drained pineapple, bananas and marshmallows.  Set in a 9x13 dish.  After the jello is firm, make the topping.

Topping:
1/2 tub cool whip
2 Tbls. cornstarch
1 cup pienapple juice (add water if not enough juice)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten

Mix juice, sugar, cornstarch and egg in a medium saucepan.  Cook stirring constantly until thick.  Cool and fold in cool whip.  Spread over the set jello and leave in refrigerator until serving.
ENJOY!!!
Serves 12-15

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Apricot Pulled Pork



I found this recipe on busycooks.com, and was excited to try it since I am always looking for good slow cooker recipes. I seriously love my crockpot and depend on it to make my life a little easier.
The recipe didn't dissapoint and we made some absolutely delicious pulled pork sandwiches with it.  You could also roll it up in a tortilla if you want.  I will definitely make this again!
-Robin

SLOW COOKER APRICOT PULLED PORK

4 lb. boneless pork roast
16 oz. jar apricot preserves
1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 can Campbells French Onion Soup
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 onion, chopped
rolls

Trim off the excess fat off the pork roast.  Place the roast in a 4-6 quart crockpot.  In a bowl, mix together the apricot preserves, apricots, garlic, salt, pepper, onion soup, mustard and chopped onion, then pour over the pork.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Remove the pork and shred.  Skim off the excess fat on the liquid remaining in the crockpot.  Add the pork back to the crockpot and stir well with the apricot sauce.  (If you don't want as much liquid in your pork, remove some before adding the shredded pork, then add any back after you have mixed the pork in.)
Serve on sliced rolls.
Serves 12-15

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding Dessert

This is a dessert that my dad has made for many years.  My dad is in his late 80's and still loves to cook.  He still makes this dessert, in fact he made it not too long ago when I stopped by to visit.  It is a pretty simple dessert, but so delicious!  I love the fact that not only is this yummy, but it brings back some wonderful memories of my dad!
-Robin

NILLA WAFER BANANA PUDDING DESSERT

2 small pkgs. instant banana cream pudding
4 cups milk
2 bananas, sliced
1 to 2 cups sliced strawberries
1 carton cool whip
1 box Nilla Wafers

In a triffle dish, (or you can use a 9x13 casserole dish) line the bottom with a layer of vanilla wafers.  Mix together the banana pudding and milk with a hand mixer until it starts to thicken.  
Put a layer of sliced bananas and strawberries on top of the vanilla wafers.  Pour half of the pudding on top, then repeat the layers.  Top off with cool whip.
ENJOY!!!
Serves 8

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad


With spring just around the corner, I was excited to eating more salads.  I don't know why, but when the weather warms up I am always in the mood for salad!  This salad is perfect to serve for a brunch, or just to add as a side dish.  I like to use chicken that I cook and dice, but when I am in a time crunch, which seems to be often in my life, I just used frozen diced chicken chunks and thaw them in the microwave before mixing in.  I have to say this is absolutely delicious and definitely got me in the mood for spring!
-Robin

MANDARIN CHICKEN APASTA SALAD

Dressing:
1 tsp. finely chopped peeled ginger
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 clove garlic or 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

Salad:
1 box farfelle (bowtie) pasta
1 cucumber peeled and diced (remove seeds)
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1 carrot shredded
1 (6 oz.) bag baby spinach
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups diced chicken
1/2 cup sliced almonds
6 sliced cooked and crumbled bacon

For the dressing, peel and finely chop the ginger.  Mix together all the ingredients and whisk to blend well.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the salad, cook the pasta and drain.  Toss the pasta with the rest of the ingredients.  When ready to serve, pour the salad dresssing over the salad and toss until the salad is covered well.
ENJOY!!
Serves 12

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Brownie Waffles


I've said it before, brownies are my weakness!  When I saw this recipe from Zupas for brownie waffles, I knew that I had to make them.  Wow, I was thrilled because not only were they delicious, the were quick and easy!  I could seriously make these in less then 15 minutes!  That is a big plus for me, because when I have that brownie craving not having to wait is the best!  Serve these with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream and caramel sauce and I couldn't be happier!!!
-Robin

BROWNIE WAFFLES

1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar.  Stir in the eggs one at a time till blended well.  Add the vanilla extract.  Stir in the cocoa and then add the flour and mix just until combined.
Spray your waffle maker with cooking spray.  Add 1/4 cup batter to each waffle section.  (About 1 cup for my waffle maker will make one large round waffle).  Cook according to your waffle maker instructions, be careful however to not over cook!  Serve with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, or they are absolutely delicious just plain!
Yields 4 large round waffles or 16 small sections.  
Adapted from cafezupas.com

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