Saturday, February 28, 2009

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

I saw this recipe from Patti Cakes and knew I had to try it. I was right, they are great cookies.

White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl using an electric mixer combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter; mix well to cream together. Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well. Fold in the oatmeal, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips- making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 3 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

This dish isn't hard to make, but it does take a while to cook on the stove. It is definitely worth the wait!


Baked Spaghetti
Garlic Bread

Baked Spaghetti

2 cups canned petite diced tomatoes
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup water
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1 ½ tsp House Seasoning (which is 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper & ¼ tsp. garlic powder)
1 ½ tsp. seasoning salt
1 ½ tsp. sugar
2 small bay leaves
1 ½ pounds ground beef
8 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining. Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot. Simmer for 20 more minutes & remove bay leaves. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes. Cut into squares before serving.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

I found this cute idea from Your Homebased Mom. Very simple and thank goodness she went through all the trial and error for me :) I bought the generic brand or Oreos and should have gone for the "real" deal (double stuffed too). It would have been a lot easier to stand the cookies up once they had been dipped. Cookies are dipped in melted Almond Bark and adorned with sprinkles. Hannah passed these out to her class on Sunday.

This mini cheesecake idea came from Skip to my Lou. The recipe & pan is from King Arthur's Flour and the recipe is called Caramel Chocolate Seduction. I only added the caramel topping to my cheesecakes, because no one else wanted it. Crazy people!

Caramel Chocolate Seduction

2/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
heaping 3/4 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup, light or dark
pinch of salt
heaping cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips

3 ounces caramel, from a block, or 8 to 10 unwrapped candies
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted walnuts

Find a pan that makes 12 individual (1 1/2" to 2") round or heart-shaped cakes; a pan that makes small muffins (not mini muffins) would work. There's no need to grease the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the crust: Mix all of the crust ingredients, and place a tablespoon of crumbs in each cup of the pan, pressing into the bottom and about 1/4" up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, and cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.

To make the filling: Beat the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk. Stir in the melted chocolate, vanilla, and egg. Use about 2 heaping tablespoons to fill each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 35 minutes, until the cheesecake is set around the edges-a small spot in the middle should still look soft. Remove from the oven and cool slowly to room temperature.

To make the glaze: Place the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, or put the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at low power. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, so that the glaze thickens slightly but is still pourable. Pour about 1 tablespoon of chocolate glaze onto each cheesecake. Tilt pan to cover completely. Chill cheesecakes before removing from pan.

To make the topping: Place caramel and cream in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, or put the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at low power. Stir frequently, until melted and smooth. You can adjust the consistency by adding more cream to thin the sauce, or by chilling slightly to thicken. Just before serving, drizzle cheesecakes with melted caramel and sprinkle with toasted nuts. Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes.

I wrapped a few up and brought them to church for the Primary Presidency. Hopefully they loved them as much as I did!

Valentine's Day Lunch

Peanut Butter Sandwich Hearts

I found this cute sandwich cutter right before Valentine's Day. It makes the cutest sandwich and Hannah loved it!

Valentine's Day Lollypop Flowers

Lollypop Lilies

Another cute idea from Skip to my Lou. These are Valentine Lollypop Lilies and Skip to my Lou has the downloadable files that make these SO quick and easy to make!

Brownie Hearts

This is what we are making today with our heart cookie cutters. I think they are so cute! We also use our cookie cutter to make fun shapes in our peanut butter sandwiches too.

Brownie Hearts

1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa

Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with foil. Grease bottom only of foil with shortening or cookie spray. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs. Bake as directed for 13x9-inch pan. Cool competely, about 1 hour. Using foil to lift, remove brownie from pan. Remove foil. With deep 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut 12 brownies. Arrange brownies on serving plate. With small strainer, sprinkle brownies and plate with cocoa.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

(CrockPot) Party Meatballs

These meatballs are very easy to make, but taste so good!


Party Meatballs
White Sticky Rice
Salad or Vegetable of Your Choice

Party Meatballs

1/3 to 1/2 bag of Costco meatballs
8 oz Russian salad dressing
15 oz can jellied cranberries
1 Lipton onion soup mix
8 oz can crushed pineapple (optional, but we always include it)

Dump all ingredients in crockpot. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or 4-5 hours on low, stirring occasionally. (These are also great as an appetizer)

Source: Tonya

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Easy Appetizer (No Cooking!)

Original Roasted Raspberry Cheese Appetizer

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 to 3/4 cup Fischer & Wieser's Gourmet The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce®
fresh raspberries and mint for garnish, if desired

Place cream cheese on serving dish and pour 1/3 cup Fischer & Wieser Gourmet The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce® (bought at Costco) over top, allowing it to drizzle down sides of cream cheese. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint, if desired & serve with assorted crackers.

Or for a great cheeseball: Whip cream cheese with sauce (using measurements above). Form into a ball, and roll in chopped pistachio nuts or chopped, toasted pecans. Sprinkle parsley on top or drizzle with two tablespoons of additional sauce.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chinese Chicken Salad

At Women's Conference on January 31st we had a great Chinese Chicken Salad lunch. Lunch was great and the Conference was wonderful!

Chinese Chicken Salad

1 lb. package baby spinach
1 head of romaine lettuce, wash and broken into pieces
1 can mandarin oranges, drained (I'd use 2 cans, since I love these oranges)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
4 chicken breasts, grilled, sliced. Before grilling, sprinkle with "Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning" by McCormick
2 cups fried bean threads (bean threads can be found at Whole Foods or Albertsons). Fry in 2" oil - they poof up quickly

Toss with "Oriental Sesame Seed Dressing" and enjoy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tool of the Month - Cooking Torch

Cooking Torch (with Creme Brulee Set)

Creme Brulee is my FAVORITE dessert! I have made this many times, and the kids have the best fun browning the sugar on the top of the Creme Brulee.

You can use a Cooking Torch for melting cheese on French Onion soup, finishing Meringue, glazing Fruit Tarts & browning the top of Twice Baked Potatoes. I've never used it for those things, buy maybe someday I will ;)

Creme Brulee Recipe

1 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP plus additional 1/3 cup sugar
2 extra large or jumbo egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prepare some boiling water.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and 2 TBSP sugar; cook, stirring occasionally until small bubbles appear around edges of pan, 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth and light. Pour hot cream mixture into egg yolks, a little at a time, beating continuously until well blended. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Divide mixture among four 4 oz. ramekins.

Arrange ramekins in a baking pan and place on middle shelf of preheated oven. Fill pan with boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake until custard is just set, about 25 minutes (use caution when removing ramekins from oven as they will be very hot!). Chill 2-3 hours.

Sprinkle remaining sugar evenly over top of cooled custards. With the kitchen torch, move the flame continuously over the surface of the ramekins, in a circular motion until sugar melts and becomes golden brown and bubbly.

Best treat ever! (even better than Coconut Ice Cream)

Source: "Creme Brulee Set" box