Archive for October, 2013

Apple Pie Bites with Cheesecake Pudding and Caramel Syrup

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I made this dessert Thursday night and I posted it on Facebook and Instagram. I had some people to take interest and want the recipe, so I am happy to share it.

This recipe is one of those throw-it-together-at-the-last-minute creations. We had eaten dinner Thursday night and I was still hungry, but I had a sweet craving. It happens a lot in this household, especially for me since I’ve been married. The inspiration behind this recipe was a single apple given to me by someone at work. Have you ever known of a recipe that uses one piece of fruit? Not this girl. So, I do what I do best – I went to Pinterest. And, you know, it is hard to find a recipe for one apple. I found several for 3 apples, but very few for one. But, after a couple of minutes of searching, I found this recipe that only had 4 ingredients and didn’t take long to cook. You will need to scroll down the page for the recipe called Apple Pie Bites.

All you need for this simple dessert is 1 apple, 1 can of crescent rolls, and a pinch of cinnamon and sugar. I am not exactly sure how much of a pinch of cinnamon and sugar that you should add, but I know I pinched a good bit on each roll and I felt it could use a little more flavor. But, that is your preference because I am a lover of cinnamon and I love that strong flavor.  The recipe calls for apple slices, but I chose to chop my apple.  The reason is my apple slices were not pretty nor evenly sliced, therefore the chopped apples were more appealing and easier to eat with a spoon.  I also ended up with more slices than crescent rolls and I hate to waste food, but I had almost exactly the same amount of chopped apples on each crescent roll.

These are what the bites look like.

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You can eat these bites by themselves.  You can even eat them for breakfast.  Too bad we don’t have any left or I know what I would be having for breakfast in the morning.  However, I chose to enhance the dessert because I already had the pudding and caramel syrup in the refrigerator.  For the pudding, I used JELL-O Cheesecake Pudding and followed the directions on the box, which was 2 cups of cold milk whisked with the pudding mix for 2 minutes.  The caramel syrup was Smucker’s Sugar Free Caramel Sundae Syrup. I was a little uncertain about this sugar free caramel syrup, but this has a really good sweet flavor.  I think it gives this recipe a little something extra.

Once the apple pie bites were finished, I grabbed 2 glass bowls, the pudding, and caramel syrup.  I layered the pudding on the bottom and topped it with the apple pie bites and caramel.  I believe my favorite part of this dish was the mixture of the cold pudding and caramel with the warm apple pie bites.  For Brandon, I served this dessert with a cup of hot chocolate, as you can tell in the picture below.

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Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

I had a sweet surprise Sunday morning. Sweet in more than one way because my husband was so sweet to cook breakfast and he fried some sweet donuts and donut holes. Don’t get the impression that he normally doesn’t cook breakfast because he does on the weekends when he feels like it, but it has been a long time since he has cooked something different other than biscuits, eggs, and bacon.

Brandon said this was the quickest he has ever made breakfast. It only took him about 15 minutes total, including prepping and cooking. All he did was heat the oil, cut the holes out with a bottle cap, dropped the donuts and donut holes into the oil, melted the butter and mixed the cinnamon and sugar, and rolled the donuts into the mixture. For the recipe, check out Southern Plate.

I am sure you already have most or all the ingredients in your kitchen.  All you need is 1 can of biscuits, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and vegetable oil. Since this was a last minute thing, Brandon made a few adjustments because of the availability of ingredients in the kitchen. The only can of biscuits we had was Grands! Jr. Golden Homestyle Honey Butter Biscuits and he used Canola oil. I think you can get by with an extra can of biscuits because we had plenty of the cinnamon sugar mixture leftover.

These donuts will make your kitchen smell like Christmas. I love the smell of cinnamon! When you take the first bite, you will feel the crunch of the sugar granules along with the taste of the sweet sugar, salty butter, and spicy cinnamon. Even though the donuts are made out of canned biscuits, I did not notice much of a texture or flavor difference. However, the only problem I had with the donuts was they were a tad too sweet. The second day seemed to not be so sweet because the sugar had melted into the cinnamon and there wasn’t much of a sugary crunch. They were still pretty awesome for leftovers.

Here is a picture of Brandon rolling the donuts in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

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You may notice in the picture below that there are more donuts than donut holes and the truth is some made it to the cinnamon sugar mixture and some just made it out of the oil. But either way, they were delicious and too bad only 2 are left at the moment. At least we won’t have to fight over who gets the last donut.

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Sugar Cookies with Turquoise Butter Frosting

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Last weekend I was needing a quick dessert recipe that I could make the day before.  Our church planned an evening service and meal at the local pumpkin patch.  All we needed to bring were hamburger patties, buns, chips/sides, and a dessert. We had everything but the dessert. So on Saturday, I started rummaging through my cabinets and found a bag of Betty Crocker’s sugar cookie mix. I remembered I pinned a sugar cookie and frosting recipe, but, after browsing the frosting recipe, I realized I was lacking some ingredients, like sour cream. It didn’t take me long to find a replacement recipe.

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  I knew I had all the ingredients, so I got them out and, in my excitement, threw all the ingredients in a bowl.  Bad idea!  If only I had continued reading I would have realized the directions for the frosting were not listed on the website.  So, I improvised and I grabbed my Better Homes and Garden Pink cookbook and found a similar Butter Frosting.  My creativity wheel was turning and I was excited!

Since I improvised the cooking process, I am posting the ingredients of the frosting from Pinterest and the directions from my cookbook.

Prepare the cookies as directed on package.  I just used the drop cookie recipe on the back of the package.  For the frosting, you will need:

  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • food coloring and sprinkles (I used McCormick Neon! Food Color & Egg Dye)

In an extra-large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well.  Beat in heavy cream and vanilla.  Gradually beat in remaining sugar.  Add in extra heavy cream if the mixture gets dry or add more sugar if its too wet.  Taste the frosting to make sure it’s not too sweet.  You can also stick the bowl of frosting in the refrigerator to thicken it up.  Once it’s at your desired thickness, add food coloring dye according to the package’s directions.  I used the recipe for turquoise on the back of the box: 20 blue and 6 green.  Be careful when using the dye because it will easily get all over your fingers.

Once cookies have cooled and frosting thickened, spread frosting on top of cookies.  If frosting is a little runny, leave a little room on the sides of the cookie because the frosting will run off like in my picture.  Refrigerate cookies if made-ahead.  This will also harden the icing before serving.

My favorite part about these cookies are the frosting. I mean, look at the color. It will definitely catch anyone’s eye and appetite.  They seemed to go over well at the Pumpkin Patch.  We had 4 left out of 20.  And, of course, we ate those other 4 the next day.

Here is a picture from our time at the Pumpkin Patch.

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I am planning on putting our pumpkins on the porch, but until I can clean off the porch, they will be sitting on the counter in the kitchen.  Here’s my decorated pumpkin.  I am so happy how it turned out!

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Stubbs Grilled Pork Chops

Have I mentioned that my husband loves to grill? Here is another meaty meal made possible by him.

We try to buy meat when it’s on sale. I am not a fan of bone-in meat because my philosophy is that I should not have to work hard to eat my food. However, sometimes the price at the store trumps my feelings of things I love to eat. Lately, it seems harder to satisfy price and my feelings, as in the case of our latest grocery trip. We found these pork chops this past weekend at the grocery store that were bone-in but cheaper than anything else at the local stores. Brandon was excited to purchase the pork chops because he knew he would get to use the new bottle of “Stubbs Pork Dry Rub”. We had a coupon for the Stubbs. 🙂 The picture below shows Brandon’s grilled pork chops with a bottle of the dry rub.

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So, now that you’re starving for a taste of these pork chops, I will enlighten you on how to cook them.

To make the pork chops, you will need:

  • 1 pkg of pork chops (we used center cut pork chops and only cooked 2 because they were so big)
  • Apple juice (enough to cover the pork chops)
  • Kosher salt (desired amount)
  • squeeze butter
  • Stubbs Pork Dry Rub
  • Marinate the pork chops in Apple juice and kosher salt for 4 hours or overnight. Preheat grill. Remove pork chops from juice and drain the excess liquid. Pour your desired amount of Stubbs rub on both sides of the pork chops. Place pork chops on grill. Cook 6 minutes on each side or until done, depending on the temperature of the grill. Once you flip the pork chop, squeeze butter on top to keep it from drying out.

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    When you are finished, your pork chops should look something like this:

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    We served these up with a serving of pinto beans warmed in the microwave with butter and salt. This recipe is definitely a keeper for this family. I hope it will be for yours, also.

    Grilled Hot Dogs and Chili Peppers Wrapped In Bacon

    This is not a fancy dish nor is it a pretty dish, but it’s one of those finger-licking-good kind of dishes. It is definitely messy, so make sure to grab plenty of napkins.

    Brandon is the one created this meal. “Created” meaning he did not use a recipe. I know someone else has made this before, especially the bacon wrapped hot dog because we saw an episode Wednesday night of Diners, Drives, and Dives on the Food Network of a hot dog stand selling gourmet hot dogs from all over the U.S. and he sold these similar hot dogs except with lots of different toppings. However, I have not looked for any recipes relating to this meal, so I am just posting what my husband made the other night.

    You will need:

  • a pack of hot dogs (we used Bryan’s Juicy Jumbos)
  • thick slices of bacon
  • chili peppers (We used mild peppers)
  • about 2-4 oz. of cream cheese, depending on how many peppers you have
  • hot dog buns, optional
  • toothpicks soaked in water
  • all the toppings you like for a hot dog
  • The most important tip to remember is to make sure the toothpicks have been soaked in water for 30-45 minutes. If they do not soak long enough, then the toothpicks burn and break off. I can assure you that you do not want to bite down on a piece of toothpick in your hot dog. I know from experience of forgetting to remove the toothpicks.

    Preheat the grill. Grab the peppers. Cut the top off and halfway down one side of the peppers and remove all the seeds. Fill the peppers with cream cheese, stopping just before you reach the top. Wrap the bacon from bottom to top and secure with the soaked toothpicks. Place on a plate and set aside.

    Now, grab the hot dogs. Wrap the bacon from top to bottom and secure with the toothpicks. Place these also on the plate.

    Cook the peppers and hot dogs on the grill, rotating every 1-2 minutes to get an even cook on the bacon.

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    The picture below is not the best, but what it does not show is the power of flavor with each bite. Once you get to this point, place the hot dog in a bun, add your toppings, and throw a pepper on the side. I like my hot dog simple with mustard and pickled relish, while Brandon enjoys mayo, pickled relish, and cooked onions (even though I think he’s cheating because mustard and hot dogs have been best friends since the beginning of time). However, you can opt out of the bun and just grab a fork and a bottle of A1, which is one of my favorite ways to eat a hot dog. The best way to enjoy this meal is by pairing it with a good game of some American Football. We love our Cowboys and Bulldogs!

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    Cheesy Baked Chicken

    I have always been a lover of chicken. I probably would not have survived as a child if there had not been chicken (or McDonald’s). Well, I may be exaggerating just a little, but it is in my top 5 things to eat and I definitely ate a lot of it as a child.

    I knew I wanted to have chicken for dinner tonight because I pulled 3 breasts out of the freezer Sunday night. However, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I’m a procrastinator when it comes to anything to do with the house. This was the case for dinner tonight, but thankfully Pinterest saved me. I am so thankful that someone developed this website. I would be a messy and uncreative wife and friend without it’s help.

    This recipe was one of the first recipes that I saved to my board. It is very simple and quick and it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, which is something I look for in recipes. The recipe is posted at Serving Joyfully. All you need is 4 chicken breasts, parmesan cheese, Italian bread crumbs, flour, butter, and cheddar cheese. I’m sure you already have most of those ingredients in your kitchen now. Bread the chicken, bake it in the oven, and you will end up with something like this:
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    I served the chicken with canned black eyed peas that was heated in the microwave with butter and kosher salt. Brandon also had a small mixed salad (not pictured) as an appetizer.

    As with the past recipes, I tweaked this recipe a little. I used mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar because I didn’t think I had enough of cheddar. Mozzarella is always a good partner with parmesan cheese. I also added 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning because I only had plain panko bread crumbs. Brandon thinks it needed another teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a little salt to give the chicken more flavor. I used half the butter because I only baked 3 breasts and one of them was really small. Next time, I think I will marinate the chicken in Italian Dressing to give it more flavor.