Friday, October 31, 2008

I'm Meeeeelllllltiiiiiiing.....

I know that Halloween is over, but I couldn't resist not blogging about these little witches! They are so cute and so much fun to make!! I first made them for my husband to take to school for his kids and they loved them, so I decided to make them for my co-workers!!! I actually saw the recipe while I was at Lowe's!! My husband was off looking at stuff, so I went and looked at the cookbooks in the front of the store! The recipe was in the seasonal Halloween Taste Of Home magazine! I don't have the "actual" recipe, (because I didn't buy the book, and I couldn't find it online) but they looked like they would be so easy to make on my own without one. I do give all the credit to Taste of Home! (which I subscribe to and love!!)

I am sorry about my camera broke a couple of months ago and I had to have I just bought a cheap point and shoot camera! I guess you get what you pay for! I promise to get a better one soon!
courtesy of Taste of Home
What you need:
1 bag of Halloween Oreo's
1 Bag of stick pretzels
1 Bag Bugles
1 - 2 cups Shredded Coconut
Yellow Food Coloring
2 bags of White Chocolate Chips
Orange Food Coloring
1 bag of Milk Chocolate Chips
To Assemble:
First in a gallon size zip-lock bag combine your shredded coconut with a couple drops of yellow food coloring. (I kept adding drops until I liked the yellow color....and just seal and shake the bag to get the color all over the coconut) Set the yellow coconut aside. Next set your Oreo's out on wax paper. Take the bag of Milk Chocolate Chips and place the chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until melted. Take a Bugle (I tried to use only the ones that were flat on the bottom and had a good circle to them...that helps them sit on the Oreo) and dip it in the melted Milk Chocolate Chips. I just used my fingers to get lots of chocolate on them. Make sure there is enough on the bottom to seal it to the Oreo. Once it is covered just place on the Oreo and let it dry. While the "Hats" dry, take the 2 bags of White Chocolate Chips and melt the chips in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl. Once melted take out and add a couple drops of orange food coloring to color the chocolate orange! Place the orange melted chocolate into a gallon size zip-lock bag. Snip off a small part of one corner of the bag. Be careful the chocolate is still warm. On another piece of wax paper, pipe a good amount of the chocolate (I would say a little bigger than a half dollar) onto the wax paper...repeat until you have used up your chocolate. Take your hats and push them into your "orange puddles". Then place one pretzel next to the hat for the broom stick. Sprinkle some of the yellow coconut on top of one end of the pretzel for the broom straw (make sure it is the end that has chocolate so it sticks!) Repeat until you are out of your Oreo hats! Cool until the chocolate sets ... I let mine cool over night. Once the chocolate is set, use a metal pie server to scrap them off the wax paper! ENJOY!!!

Candy or a Cookie?

So my work decided to have a constume contest combined with a celebration of halloween sweets! I saw a recipe on The Recipe Girl Blog and I knew right away I had to make it for my co-workers! I goes perfectly with my Melted Witches, "witch" I will post later!! :o)

The cookies were a little time consuming, but came out really cute! I actually refrigerated my dough overnight and it seemed to work better. Hope you enjoy! Happy Halloween!
Recipe Adapted from Betty Crocker (per The Recipe Girl)
2 Pouches (1 lb. 1.5 oz bags) of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1/3 cup Melted Butter
2 Large Eggs
Orange Food Color
Yellow Food Color
***I used Yellow, Orange and White for my layers, but the original recipe from The Recipe Girl used Chocolate chips to make a chocolate can find that recipe here.***

Line an 8x4-inch loaf pan with waxed paper, extending paper over sides of pan. In medium bowl, stir cookie mixes, butter and eggs until soft dough forms.

On work surface, place 1½ cups of dough. Knead desired amount of orange coloring into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.

Divide remaining dough in half. Gently press one half of remaining dough into pan on top of orange dough. On work surface, knead Yellow Food Coloring into remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over plain dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan. Refrigerate 1½ to 2 hours or until firm. I kept mine in the friday overnight.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. If needed, trim slightly to make perfect rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 6 or 7 triangular wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1-inch apart.

Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Worth the Wait!

I was recently reading The Kitchen Sink and came across this recipe. I was immediately drawn to it seeing that it called for Apple Cider and I had recently been to an apple orchard! It seems like I am always finding new recipes that use Apple Cider or pumpkin!! It took quite awhile to make, but it was definitely well worth the wait!

The chicken was so moist and the flavors from the Sage and Apple Cider really complemented one another! I substituted the Spanish onion for a regular large onion, and didn't notice any difference. I also added some fresh garlic and garlic salt. If you want to add the garlic/garlic salt like I did, just add it when you are searing the chicken. I used 2 cloves and probably about 2 teaspoons of garlic salt.
I paired the Cider Braised Chicken with Mashed Potatoes! It seemed like the perfect combination!

Cider-Braised Chicken
Adapted from Food & Wine (per The Kitchen Sink)

1 tablespoon pure or extra-virgin olive oil
4 whole chicken legs or bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large Spanish onions, halved crosswise and thinly sliced
4 sage leaves2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 1/2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until the skin is crisp and browned, about 8 minutes. Turn and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet or large platter, skin side up.
Add the onions to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the sage, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and starting to stick to the bottom of the skillet, about 5 minutes. Add the apple cider to the skillet and simmer over moderately high heat until the cider is syrupy, about 25 minutes. Add the vinegar to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and black pepper. Stir stock and parsley into the skillet. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.

Transfer the onion sauce to a large roasting pan. Arrange the chicken in the sauce, skin side up. Set the roasting pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 350°. Roast the chicken until cooked through, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Set the roasting pan over high heat and boil the sauce until the liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and serve with the chicken.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Waking up to Pumpkin...mmmm!

My favorite thing about fall is PUMPKIN! I really truly love all things flavored pumpkin. My friend recently stopped by an apple orchard and picked me up some homemade pumpkin butter! It is so delicious ... I have eaten it off a spoon, topped English Muffins, spread it on toast, slathered it on an apple, and then I thought....what if I put this deliciousness in OATMEAL!!!
And so I introduce to you PUMPKIN OATMEAL!

I was really in the mood for oatmeal, so I just pulled out the good ole Quaker Oats box and followed the recipe on the back with my few "special" additions! It was so yummy! The prefect fall treat!
3/4 cup Oats
1 1/2 cups Milk
Dash of salt
1 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 cup Pumpkin Butter (I didn't actually measure this, just tasted as I added so if 1/4 cup isn't enough just add more!!)
On the stove boil your milk with the salt. Stir in the Oats, Pumpkin Pie Spice and Pumpkin Butter. Cook about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. I topped mine with a little bit of cool whip and cinnamon sugar!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


So when I was at my friends house last night, she went into her freezer and asked if anyone wanted a Popsicle...I said no and she was like "what no Popsicle for Liesl!?!" To which I replied "well if you really want to know, I just feel like having something bad...we might as well end the night bad since dinner wasn't so healthy!!" So she went upstairs and came back down with this recipe...CAKE IN A MUG!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it!!! hahaha But we had all the ingredients so we decided to give it a shot!!

I know it isn't the most eye appealing thing, but it actually wasn't too bad for that late night crave!

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
4 Tablespoons Flour
4 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons Milk
3 Tablespoons Oil
3 Tablespoons Chocolate Chips (Optional)
a small splash of Vanilla Extract
1 Large Coffee Mug
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Add the milk, oil, chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug on a plate and place in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the cake overflows, hence the reason for the plate underneath! Allow to cool for two minutes and tip onto plate to eat!
So although it doesn't look to appetizing, it really wasn't that bad!! My friend told me she got the recipe from her husband's grandmother...I guess it's one of their family recipes!!! :o) May want to give it a try if you have one of those late night cravings!!!

Parmesan Heaven!

Parmesan cheese is one of my absolute favorite things in the world! So when my husband and I got the invite to our friends house I decided to try out a new idea that has been boiling in my head...Potato Chip Parmesan Crusted Chicken!

I paired it with a recipe that has been in the family for years (and a favorite of my husband's)...Parmesan Potato Bake! This is definitely NOT the healthiest meal, but when going for some comfort food with lots of flavor, this meal hits the spot!

Potato Chip Parmesan Crusted Chicken

1 package of chicken tenders

1 egg

2 Tablespoons Milk

2 cups (may need more depending on number of tenders in package) of crushed up potato chips (I used Wavy Lays because those are my husband's favorite)

1/4 cup Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese (the kind in the plastic container)

2 Tablespoons Garlic Salt

2 Tablespoons of fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350. You will need a large cookie sheet lined with aluminium foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. You will also need 2 bowls/containers: one to put the egg wash in and the other for your potato chip mixture. Crack egg into one bowl/container and add the milk. Mix together well. In the other bowl/container add the crushed potato chips, Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Salt and Pepper. Then taking one tender at a time dip in the egg wash and then the Potato Chip mixture. Make sure the tenders get covered in all the yummy potato chips! Then place the covered tender on your greased cookie sheet. Repeat under you have used up all your tenders. Place tenders in the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes or under chicken is cooked and the outside is crispy. I flip mine half-way through, so the other side gets nice and crispy!

Parmesan Potato Bake
1 stick margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup Kraft grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
3 - 4 large potatoes
Preheat oven to 350. Place the stick of butter in a 9in square pan and place in oven to melt the butter. Wash and peel your potatoes. Carefully slice the potatoes into thin slices. Using a gallon size zip lock baggie, combine your flour, Parmesan cheese and salt. Seal bag and shake to combine ingredients. Pull 9in pan out of oven, the butter should now be melted. Be careful the dish will be hot! Place potatoes into the zip lock baggie and shake to coat the sliced potatoes. Once they are all coated, open bag and place them in a single layer in the pan with the melted butter. (sometimes I sprinkle a little more Parmesan cheese on top!!) Back for 1 hour. Turn at the half-hour mark. (I also sprinkle more Parmesan cheese when I turn them!) ENJOY!!!
**So I told my friends to give me some feed back on the Chicken recipe and this is what we all pretty much decided...we really loved them! The chicken was so moist and the Potato Chips had just the right amount of crunch to them! My friend decided that we should have tried to make a Garlic Pesto Mayo to dip them in! I think I may try that next time!!! ALSO, I got to thinking about the whole Chip Crusted Chicken idea and I thought you probably could do this with your favorite BBQ flavored!!! That would be delicious!! Maybe even Ranch Doritos!! The possibilities are endless!!! Have fun, and feel free to ask questions!!***

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who would have thunk it!

So this is my first blog! Yippee! And surprisingly it isn't a dessert!! I know .... hard to believe huh!? I wanted to start off this blog tipping my hat off to this wonderful fall season! Sometimes living in Nashville we miss out on having a fall season, no colorful leaves, no scents of fall lingering in the air...just waking up to to the bitter cold air the morning after a 70 degree day!! So without further ado I would like to introduce my personal recipe for ...
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds!
I have always loved carving pumpkins...the best part for me was digging my hands down deep into the eewwy gooey pulpy seed filled mess!


(best if done on a night you want to carve, but not required)

Multiple large pumpkins

1/2 cup Salt


Carving Kit to cut pumpkin

***I always have a difficult time with measurements! I always use the best tools God gave me: my eyes, mouth, and nose! When it looks/tastes/smells's good for me!***

Use a sharp knife from the carving kit to cut a circle around the stem large enough to get your hand inside the pumpkin. Once you have circle cut, pull on the stem to open the pumpkin. Inside are all the goodies! Use the Scrapper or a large spoon to scrape all the pumpkin seeds out. You will get pulp with the seeds. Scrape the pumpkin out until it is clean inside. Once you have it all cleaned out get a large bowl to put just the seeds in. Sift through the pulp/seed mixture to pull just the seeds out and place them in the large bowl. Try to get as much of the pulp off the seeds as possible.

Once you have all the seeds in the bowl cover the seeds with water. There really is no set amount of water since the amount of seeds you will have will vary, but just make sure they are swimming in some water! Next, I would add about a 1/2 cup of salt to the bowl. You can always add more if you like them saltier. Then cover the bowl with a lid if possible or just clear plastic wrap will do. Leave them set on the counter for at least 24 hours to soak up that yummy salt flavor!

After 24 hours,
First pre-heat your oven to 350. Pour seed mixture into a strainer and rinse the seeds off with clean water. Take a cookie sheet and spray with non-cooking spray. Spread seeds onto the pan evenly. Sprinkle top of seeds with salt and place in the oven to bake.

Bake seeds for about an hour and a half or until seeds are dried out, times may vary depending on the oven. About every 20 minutes move the seeds around with a wooden spoon to make sure all the wet seeds are exposed to the heat. You can also sprinkle more salt as you stir them around if you wish. After all the seeds have dried (about an hour and a half later) pull cookie sheet out and let seeds cool.

Store seeds in a closed container. Enjoy! I have keep seeds for a couple of weeks, but they usually don't last that long in my house!
***Photography by Kristen Wiltse!***