Sunday, March 27, 2016

Monster Cookies

Click here for the free printable cellophane bag tags.  


1 dozen eggs
2 Cups (4sticks) margarine or butter, softened
2 pounds brown sugar
4 cups sugar
1/4 Cup vanilla extract
4(12oz) jars peanut butter
8 teaspoon baking soda
18 Cups quick-cooking oats
2 2/3 Cups chocolate chips
1 pound chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 pound M&M's chocolate candies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat butter, sugars, vanilla, peanut butter and eggs together
Add the baking soda and oatmeal, one cup at a time. Last, add the chocolate chips, M&M's and nuts (optional).  I usually cut the recipe in half but today I made the whole recipe and it is hard work.  Bake for 8 to 14 minutes.  Keep checking.  

Deviled Eggs

Katie did it again!!!!  This is my Easter Favorite.
I love deviled eggs and these are the cutest eggs I have ever seen. 

 Click here for a deviled egg recipe by Paula Deen.  
For Easter Clip Art click here

Friday, March 25, 2016

Chocolate Fondue Sauce

Katie's Best Ever Chocolate Fondue

The Best-Ever Chocolate Fondue Sauce
I went to my friend Katie's house for dinner and we had the best fondue.   All the food was great but you know I love dessert and I especially love dipping things in chocolate.
I am so lucky that Katie shares all her recipes with me and now I get to share them with you.  So thanks Katie, you are an amazing cook and friend!  If you have never had a Toblerone bar, rush to the store now and get one. 

Click here for original recipe.  
You will need:

6 tablespoons of whipping cream
400 gram Toblerone chocolate bar (14.1 oz)
1 tablespoon milk (optional)
  • Melt the chocolate and the cream together either slowly on your stovetop or in your microwave. Add up to 1 tablespoon of milk if your mixture seems too thick. Pour into your ceramic fondue pot and place it over a tealight. (A tealight is a small candle.)     

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Pigs in a Blanket

I love anytime a parent can get their child in the
kitchen cooking with them. 

Katie always has the best food when she host a dinner party.  That is why I never say, "No," to one of her invitations.  First we ate the Pigs in a Blanket, then Wine tasted (my cheap bottle came in second place). Then we finished the night with fondue for dinner and dessert.  I will share the BEST chocolate sauce recipe later. 
32 little sausages or lil’ smokies
1 package Pillsbury Breadsticks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place little sausages in a bowl, dry with paper towel if wet. Open breadsticks and separate into strips. Cut each strip into thirds. Take a little sausage and roll dough over, placing seam side down onto a silpat or lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until dough is cooked through, slightly golden. Let cool for 3 minutes before removing from baking sheet. Serve with ketchup and mustard!!
Approx 32 little piglets!  
 Click here for the Crescent mummy dog recipe.
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Banana Nut and Orange Poppy Seed Bread

I wish I could take credit for these delicous loaves of bread, but I can't.  My friend Katie "The Motivator,"  made them for me and I loved them so much that I got the recipe to share with you guys.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavored extract
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 cuporange juice
1/2 teaspoon butter flavored extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Original recipe makes 2 -9 inch loaves

Best Ever Banana Bread                                                    


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease bottoms of two 9-inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, poppy seeds, butter flavoring, oil, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Pour into prepared pans.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for one hour. Cool 5 minutes. Poke holes in top of loaves and pour glaze over.
  4. To make glaze: Mix orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring, 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add enough confectioners' sugar to make glaze.

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract          
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts                                                      
  •   Recipe from Taste of Home
  • optional 3/4 cup chocolate chips


  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, oil, buttermilk and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in nuts.
  • Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Yield: 1 loaf.
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Katie's wonderful gift

Katie and I went to Perry Creek a few years ago, to wine taste with our husbands.   Well, when she showed up to my house, she came bearing gifts.   It was this AWESOME apron.  What a great surprise, it made my day and week.  It is great to have friends that lifts you up and supports all your crazy endeavors.   You would think the apron was enough but no, she had 2 loaves of bread in hand.  I will post pictures and recipes in the next post.   

Mulled Wine Cider

Recipe Adapted by Barefoot Contessa

Katie did it again!!!!  I love everything she makes but this drink surprised me.   I didn't think I would like this drink because I am not a fan of apple cider.  But I was wrong...I love this drink and can't wait until Christmas.  I am making it for the family.   I can't wait to impress everybody. 

4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish
1/4  Cup Grand Marnier

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

Easter Eggs

Now a day people are doing the coolest things with eggs.  I saw the scrambled eggs on Pinterest and had to make them for my boys.  And the colored hard boiled eggs are from my friend Katie.  She has her own section called "Katie's Korner," on this blog and always shares her cute creations.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cupcake Crafts

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Pop up Cards

Click here for my pinterest page

For step by step instructions from Dina Kowal click here
I saw a lot of cute pop up cards on Pinterest but I really liked Dina's step by step instructions,
very easy to follow.

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Pin Cushion

 I got this idea from pinterest, click here for instructions. I love anything with mason jars. 

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This is my son Michael and his girlfriend Jacquelyn's second cooking adventure.  The brownies were first and they were so good.  I had Michael double the recipe and make them for my small wine tasting party.  That is how I celebrated my birthday with Mike's family.  I will blog about the wine tasting later.


1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 banana mashed
**different variations**
1.  add 1/4 mini or regular chocolate chips
2.  add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and and 1/4 cup raisins
3.  add 1/3 cup blueberries in place of banana and replace vanilla with lemon or orange extract.

Place oats in a blender and blend until texture looks like flour.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together with a hand mixer or stand.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry.  Heat the griddle on medium high.  Make sure the griddle is hot before you pour the pancake mix on the griddle.


Katie's Famous Pizzelle's

I need to make sure I see Katie every December for now on, I am noticing a trend with her.  If I am having any kind of baking party she brings these delicious little goodies.   I don't have a pizzelle iron so I know that the only way I am going to get one of these cookies is to make sure I keep having Cookie Exchanges.    I hope you have had a Pizzelle or can try one someday.


3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and blend into the batter until smooth.
  2. Heat the pizzelle iron, and brush with oil. Drop about one tablespoon of batter onto each circle on the iron. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter and baking time depending on the iron. Bake for 20 to 45 seconds, or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron. Carefully remove cookies from the iron. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
  3. For chocolate pizzelles, add 1/4 cup cocoa sifted together with flour and baking powder, 1/4 cup more sugar and 1/4 teaspoon more baking powder. I find that for the chocolate mixture, the iron must be well oiled to start and then brush on more as needed.
recipe from Allrecipe

Neiman Marcus Cookies

Cookie shapes

I was cleaning out my GO TO recipe binder and stumbled across this recipe.  I haven't made these cookies in years and thought today was a perfect day for cookies. I love these cookies because Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies are one of my favorites.  My husband knew something was different and guess that they didn't have any sugar.  What?  I don't know what he was talking about.  They are not as good a Nestle Toll House, but what cookie is?   Neiman Marcus Cookies
2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks softunsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces chocolate chips
4 ounces grated  Hershey bar
1 ½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350˚F. Place oats in a blender or food processor and blend until very fine. Set aside,

2. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars in a large bowl until light.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds to blend.

3. Whisk together the flour, processed oats, baking powder and salt. With a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, blend the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.  Add the chocolate chips, grated chocolate and nuts.

4.   Use a cookie scoop or roll dough into a long cylinder and slice.      Bake 14 to 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned. The cookies should still feel a bit soft at this point. (They will not spread very much and will look undercooked. Do not overcook or they will become hard and dry when they cool.) They will harden as they cool. Remove from oven and let cookies cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cooling racks. Cool cookies at least 30 minutes before serving.

Martha Stewarts crisp and chewy chocolate chip cookie is the next cookie I want to try.

Another option- make logs, refrigerate and slice.

Small scoop makes great snack
size cookies


Ranger Cookies

Better Home Ranger Cookies
This weekend I took my boys to see our dear friend Sue.  She hasn't seen them in awhile and they are growing so fast that I thought I better make it a point to visit her before they are driving.  Well~we shared a lot of funny stories, a beverage and Ranger Cookies.   I asked Sue for the recipe and she said she just followed an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe and added: dried cranberries, dried apricots, chocolate chips, and shredded coconut.  I looked in my faithful Better Homes cookbook to find an Oatmeal Cookie recipe and found a recipe called Ranger Cookies.  I made them today and they are GREAT!  I never would have tried this recipe before because I am not a fan of dried fruit and coconut in Oatmeal cookies doesn't sound that good to me.  I was wrong this cookie is really delicious and I will definitely put it in my TO GO TO binder.  Thanks Sue!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoonbaking powder
1/4 teaspoonbaking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut                                           
1/3 cup snipped dried apricots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda; beat until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir in cereal or oats, coconut, and dates or raisins.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 8 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack; cool. Makes about 12 big cookies

2016 now and Michael drove us to Sue's, always Easter weekend.  Had another great visit but this time I took pictures of the cookies and her special drink.  My boys named it Sue's Special drink.
Sue said the cookies spread out too thin and were crumbly.  We loved them and this plate was empty when we left.  She even had to bring out a few more.  Trevor described them best ~ crisp and chewy.  Sue put dried apricots, cranberries, shredded coconuts and chocolate chips in these cookies.
I was talking to Sue about Ranger cookies and she said she thought a true ranger cookie had Rice Crispies in the recipe.  I don't know, but I found a recipe that called for Rice Crispies and one that called for  Corn Flakes.


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Gingerbread Cookies

I love the Taste of Home tree... next time I will spend more time on my tree.  I tried to make up for the lack of attention to detail with Christmas ornaments.  ha ha   To see a picture of it click here

  • 1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/3 cups molasses
  • 2 cups cold butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom              
    • 7-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
    • 6 tablespoons meringue powder, divided
    • 10 tablespoons warm water, divided
    • Edible glitter
    • Candy of your choice
    • Dark chocolate and white candy coating, melted                                              
    • EQUIPMENT:                                                
    • Pencil                                                
    • Ruler
    • Waxed paper
    • Scissors
    • Cookie cutters—round (2-1/2 inches, 2 inches and 1-1/2 inches) and star-shaped (3 inches, 2 inches and 1 inch)
    • #101 petal pastry tip

    TOTAL TIME: Prep: 2 hours + standing Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling
    MAKES: 36 servings                                      


    1. To create star templates: With a pencil and ruler, draw five-pointed stars on sheets of waxed paper, labeling each template with its dimensions. Draw an 8-1/2-in. star, 8-in. star, 7-1/2-in. star, 7-1/4-in. star, 6-3/4-in. star, 6-in. star and 4-1/2-in. star. Cut out with scissors and set aside.
    2. To make dough: In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring brown sugar and molasses just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter until melted. Stir in eggs until blended. Combine the remaining dough ingredients; stir into brown sugar mixture. Divide dough into four portions.
    3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion to 1/4-in. thickness. Using templates, cut one 8-1/2-in. star, two 8-in. stars, one 7-1/2-in. star, two 7-1/4-in. stars, one 6-3/4-in. star, two 6-in. stars and one 4-1/2-in. star. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
    4. Cut two circles using a floured 2-1/2-in. round cookie cutter. Cut 12 circles using a floured 2-in. round cookie cutter. Cut two circles using a floured 1-1/2-in. round cookie cutter. Cut remaining dough using floured star-shaped cookie cutters. Reroll scraps. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.
    5. For one batch of icing: In a large bowl, combine 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons meringue powder and 5 tablespoons water; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat on high for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Keep icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.
    6. To assemble: With icing and round cookies, make one 2-1/2-in. sandwich cookie, six 2-in. sandwich cookies and one 1-1/2-in. sandwich cookie. Let stand for 15 minutes or until set.
    7. Place the 8-1/2-in. star on a serving plate. Spread a small amount of icing onto center of star; top with an 8-in. star. Spread a small amount of icing onto center of star; top with 2-1/2-in. round sandwich cookie. Spread a small amount of icing onto sandwich cookie; top with remaining 8-in. star. Let stand for 15 minutes or until set.
    8. Repeat with remaining icing, sandwich cookies and stars, building tree using the largest stars and sandwich cookies first. After each star is added, let stand for 15 minutes or until set.
    9. To decorate: Prepare a second batch of icing. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert #101 petal tip. Fill bag with icing. Decorate tree as desired with icing, edible glitter and candy. Decorate a 2-in. star cookie as desired; secure on the treetop with icing.
    10. To decorate small star cookies: Dip cookies in melted candy coating; place on waxed paper and let stand until set. Sprinkle white cookies with edible glitter. Leave some cookies plain if desired. Gently place cookies onto tree branches and on the serving platter. Yield: 1 gingerbread tree and 3 dozen small star cookies.

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