Friday, September 16, 2016

almond joy cookies

My friend Rose and I went out for a quick dinner the other night at Great Harvest, a local soup and sandwich kind of place. As part of our meals, we could pick a cookie. They were specialing a new cookie that they called an Almond Joy Cookie. We thought they were pretty scrumptious, and I thought I could easily duplicate the idea. So I did. And they were yummy. I took them to a work party, and they were quite a hit. Hooray! This recipe's a keeper.

It's basically just an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips, almonds and coconut added in.  Any yummy oatmeal cookie recipe should work.  But for my own benefit and for future reference, this is the recipe I used. 

RECIPE: Almond Joy Cookies

3 dozen cookies

3/4 c. butter, soft
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 c. uncooked oats
1 bag (2 c?) chocolate chips
1 c. slivered almonds
4 oz shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375F. Beat together butter, sugars, egg, water and vanilla until creamy. Add flour, salt and soda. Mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, almonds and coconut. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet/stone. Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

guava cake

I stole this recipe from my Hawaii-loving friend Aubrey, and I'm so glad I did. It's soooo scrumptious! Creamy and moist and cold and scrumptious. Mmm. I'd make this everyday if health weren't an issue. Ha. Try it; you'll like it. Promise.

RECIPE: Guava Cake

Yield: 18
Calories: 227

1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 c guava juice/nectar
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
3-5 drops red food coloring (opt)

1 8-oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 8-oz pkg Cool Whip

2 c guava juice/nectar
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
3-5 drops red food coloring

Cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix cake according to package directions substituting guava juice for water. Add a few drops of red food coloring to tint it a bit (opt). Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake.

Cream: In a med. mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add sugar and vanilla, beat in. Slowly fold in cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Glaze: In a med saucepan, bring guava juice and sugar to a boil. Make a paste out of cornstarch and a small amount of cold water. Remove guava/sugar from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Add some red food coloring. Return to heat and bring back to a boil for one minute. Cool in fridge.

Assemble: Ice the cake with cream cheese mixture. Then glaze the top with guava gel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Monday, August 8, 2016

easy empanadas

My good friend Krista shared this idea with our bookclub when we were discussing easy, inexpensive recipes. And she hit the nail on the head with this one! It is perfectly easy and inexpensive - and absolutely yummy to boot! Her version included simply meat, onions, and cheese - kind of cheeseburger-esque. I wanted a little different flavor and changed it up a bit. But really, it'd be easy and scrumptious to change it up with any number of ingredients. Pizza pocket, breakfast scramble, you name it! Love this. Thanks, Krista. 

RECIPE: Easy Empanadas

2 pkg canned biscuits 
1 lb ground beef
1 med onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 Hatch chilis, seeded and diced
Garlic powder, to taste 
Pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Preheat oven to 400F. 

In a large skillet, brown the beef and onion over med-high heat. Add tomato, green chili, and spices. Cook until chilis are slightly soft, just a few more min. Remove from heat.

Roll out biscuit dough individually into circles. Fill circles with a Tbsp or so of filling then fold over and pinch edges (with a fork if you're feeling fancy). Cut a slit or two in the tops and brush with the egg wash. 

Then bake at 400F for 12ish minutes or until golden brown! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

funeral potatoes

These are a perfect dish to make in large quantities for a community gathering, such as a funeral. Hence the name. Or perhaps they were dubbed Funeral Potatoes because they make one think of Heaven (they're that good). Whichever the reason, Funeral Potatoes is how they are known to us. And they're amazing. In fact, they are my husband's favorite food. Comfort food at its finest. And this is the best recipe I've found for them -- from my sis-in-law Mindy, who got it from her Aunt Connie. Now I give it to you. You can thank me later.

RECIPE: Funeral Potatoes

1 can cream of celery soup
4 1/2 c. frozen hashbrowns (cooked, shredded potatoes)
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. chopped green onions
2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 c. crushed corn flakes
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Melt 1/4 c. butter. Add soup, green onions, sour cream and cheese. Stir until blended well. Put potatoes in casserole dish and layer with sauce. 

Mix corn flakes and 2 Tbsp. butter. Spread on top of potatoes. 

Bake until heated through, 30 min at 350F. 

Note: This is best if made the night before or earlier in the day and then heated.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

penne pasta bake

I got this recipe from our local grocery store, when they were doing this awesome Family Value Meal, all-ingredients-in-a-bag-and-ready-for-you program. Super cool. I've altered it a bit to make it even easier (I'm super lazy, ha), but the flavor is all there. Anyway, it's become a total staple in our household. Everyone loves it. Assuming you're not dairy-intolerant (ha), give this nummy recipe a try. You won't regret it.

RECIPE: Penne Pasta Bake

1 (16-oz) pkg penne pasta
2 c. sour cream
6 oz provolone cheese slices
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1 lb ground beef
1 med yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (26-oz) jars marinara sauce

2-3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Set aside a 9x13 casserole dish (or two 8x8s).

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add penne pasta and cook until al dente; drain. Mix in sour cream and parm. Set aside.

In a large skillet, brown diced onion, garlic, and ground beef over medium-high heat. Add spaghetti sauce and warm through.

Layer as follows: pasta, sauce, provolone, pasta, sauce. Then top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered for 25 min at 350F or until cheese melts and bubbles/browns.

**Note: This freezes wonderfully!  Bake one 8x8 and save the other. Two meals in one! Bam! Or better yet, eat one and give one to a friend! :) Also, making earlier in the day and refrigerating works great. Just keep in mind that you'll have to bake it a little longer.