Tuesday, September 14, 2010

S'more Cookie Bars

Saturday we went to a birthday party where everyone brought side dishes or dessert. This was one of the desserts served. OH MY!!!!!! It is delicious :) It's AWESOME! I can't wait to make it. Thanks, Debbie!

1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. flour
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs (approximately 7 full graham crackers)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 super sized (5 oz.) dark chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey's)*
1 1/2 c. marshmallow cream/fluff

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough (2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate if necessary to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick). Spread the marshmallow fluff over the chocolate. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily done by putting the dough in a gallon size ziplock bag or between plastic wrap. Use your palms or a rolling pin to flatten it out and then use scissors to cut down both long sides of the bag, so it will open up book-style. Place the bag, dough side down, on the fluff. From there peel the bag up and spread the dough where it is uneven.) Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

*Debbie's Notes - I made this amazing dessert for the first time this past Sat for a BBQ birthday party after first having it at my sister's house. I did not have chocolate bars on hand, so instead used semi sweet Ghirardeli chocolate chips. If you use the choco chips, make sure to press them into the dough so that spreading the marshmallow cream over it will be a little less challenging. I think it turned out great, but then again I am a bit biased to Ghirardeli.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fruit Leather

I had a lot of peaches...and not enough jars to make jam so I decided to give fruit leather a try. I remember LOVING the fruit leather my mom would make when I was a kid, and my kids go crazy for fruit leather when I buy it so I figured it was a win-win situation. I chose this recipe.

Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes)
Lemon juice
Sugar (if needed)
Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

Rinse the fruit. Take out the pits, chop the fruit. Taste the fruit before proceeding. Note how sweet the fruit is. If very sweet you will not need to add any sugar. If still a little tart, you may need to add some sugar in the next step.

Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. Uncover and stir. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan. Taste the fruit and determine what and how much sugar, lemon juice, or spices to add. Add sugar in small amounts (1 Tbsp at a time if working with 4 cups of fruit), to desired level of sweetness. Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time to help brighten the flavor of the fruit. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices to augment the flavor. (I added about 4 TBL of sugar, 2 TBL fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg to my 5 cups of fruit.)
Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more). Put the purée through a food mill or chinoise. Alternatively purée it thoroughly in a blender or food processor. Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. The purée should be very smooth. Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Place the baking sheet in the oven, try to keep any plastic wrap from touch the sides of the oven or the oven racks. Also try to make sure that the plastic wrap hasn't folded back over on top of the purée. If this happens, the purée won't dry out. Heat the oven to a low 140°F. (My oven only went as low as 170°F. I left it in the oven overnight...about 10 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.

When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it up from the plastic wrap. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer. 4 cups of fruit yield about one baking sheet of fruit leather. I made two pans and put them in the oven at the same time. My bottom pan was too crispy! Next time I'll move my racks higher in the oven or only do one pan at a time in my little, bitty wall oven. Seriously, it's only taken us a day to devour almost the entire pan. My kids LOVE it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Honey Lime Enchiladas

My friend sent me this link this past week. This blog is filled with lots of YUMMY recipes. My friend suggested this recipe...

Dave and I liked this twist on enchiladas...and it used a couple limes from our lime tree! The kids still prefer regular, ol' enchiladas that I always make...there wasn't enough "stuff" for them to dip their chips in like they normally do :)
1.5 lbs pork or chicken, cooked and shredded (I used chicken)
1/3 c honey
1/4 c lime juice
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce (I used about 3/4 of a 26 oz. can)
equal parts mixed together of:mozzarella cheese, shredded, cheddar cheese, shredded (I used a triple cheddar blend)
flour tortillas

Mix together sauce ingredients then add to shredded pork or chicken. Let the sauce soak into the meat for about 30 minutes. Lightly spray 2 pans with non-stick baking spray. (I just used one 9x13 pan.) Pour green enchilada sauce into pans to coat the entire bottom. Fill tortillas with shredded meat and desired amount of cheese. Roll and place in dish. Pour remainder of sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle more cheese on top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then turn on broiler and place enchiladas nearer the top of oven. Let it broil until cheese is slightly brown and crispy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Soft Pretzels

Last night for RS I provided the recipe for the pretzels the women made. This recipe came from one of my roommates in college. I decided to make them for dinner as well. I let the girls help me make them...we had a great time together :)

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 TBL sugar
½ tsp salt
3 ½-4 cups flour
1 egg
1 TBL water
2 TBL coarse salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 2 large baking sheets. In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water; stir with rubber spatula until well blended and yeast is dissolved. With wooden spoon, gradually stir in sugar, salt, and enough flour (about 2 ½ cups) until a soft and slightly sticky dough forms. Turn dough onto well-floured board. To knead, fold dough towards you; with heels of hands push dough away with short rocking motions. Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat above motion. Continue kneading and turn about 5-7 minutes adding another ½ cup or more flour if necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough shouldn’t stick to board or hands. Cut dough in half, then cut each half into 6 equal-sized pieces. With floured hands, roll one piece of dough back and forth between palms of hands to form a dough rope. Continue rolling and stretching dough rope until it’s 15 inches long. Place rope on baking sheet, cross left side of rope over to the middle of rope creating a loop. Then fold right side of rope up and over the 1st loop to form pretzel shape. Continue with remaining dough, placing pretzels 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Enlarge holes in pretzels by inserting thumb and index fingers into holes. This will prevent them from completely closing during baking. In small bowl, mix together egg and water, brush on pretzels. Sprinkle with course salt. Bake at 425 degrees 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Pretzels taste best when eaten warm. Makes 12 pretzels. Instead of salt on top, I've added parmesean cheese (pictured) or cinnamon and sugar :) Don't forget you can dip them in cheese sauce or spaghetti sauce.

I learned a new trick to create more of a pretzel shape...loop dough, twist, and fold the ends over the top...perfect pretzel shape that I need a bit more practice at :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September Menu

1. Chicken Stir Fry...I added some new veggies this time...cauliflower and fresh red peppers...red peppers are now a MUST addition :)
2. Hurdsman Grilled Chicken
3. Tin Foil Dinners over the campfire
4. Kabobs
5. Alfredo w/ Breadsticks
6. Labor Day BBQ
7. Spaghetti & Scones
8. Orange Chicken
9. Santa Fe Salad
10. Green Chile Sauce Enchiladas
11. Cafe Rio Meat
12. Chicken Fried Steak
13. Curry Chicken (looking for a recipe still...suggestions?? :)
14. Turkey Pot Pie
15. Garlic Tomato Pasta
16. Salmon Loaf
17. Mini Pizzas
18. New Recipe...suggestion?
19. Lasagna
20. Porkchops
21. Taco Soup
22. Tostados
23. Honey-lime grilled chicken
24. Bread Bowls with Baked Potato Soupo
25. Western Burgers
26. Grilled Fish
27. Tetrazzini Chicken
28. Porcupine Meatballs
29. Taco Salad
30. White Chicken Pizza

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Tacos are definitely a pretty basic meal at our house but it's one I know EVERYONE will eat.

Brown 1 lb hamburger.  Drain grease.  Add taco seasoning with about ¼ cup water  (although I actually PREFER to just use about 1/2 cup or more of salsa rather than taco seasoning).  Let simmer for 5 minutes.  Place a spoonful of meat on a taco shell or tortilla and add other toppings as desired.   Topping suggestions:  lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sour cream, beans, peppers, pico de gallo.

Can substitute diced or shredded chicken for hamburger.