Thursday, March 17, 2016

Coconut Macroon brownies

Brownies.... who doesn't love brownies..all different types.. plain, with M & M's, peanut butter, w/ Heath bars I could go on and on and on....

Coconut macroons.. I love, love, love anything coconut.. and make it into a cookie I am totally in.. I was wanting some brownies the other day, and also wanting some coconut macroons... It was a complete toss up, and then it dawned on me why don't I come up with a recipe to combine them.. viola this was the end result and can I say absolutely delicious!! My step-son who hates coconut loved these.  My little guy Jackson said mommy can you make these every day?  I am like no buddy but I will make these again.  6 year olds, so funny... love that boy!!!

This recipe starts with your favorite brand of brownie mix.  Just make sure the package says to cook it in a 13x9 pan (if using the kind that cooks in a 8x8 pan, just use 2 of those brownie mixes, doubling the eggs, water and oil.

Try these today, you will love them, and as always enjoy.

Coconut macaroon brownies

1 box of brownie mix (and ingredients to make them, water, oil & eggs)
1 large package of shredded coconut
1 egg white
1 T vanilla
pinch of salt
1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to directions on back of brownie mix.  Prepare brownies and pour into a 13x9 pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, spread out unto an even layer.
In large bowl add coconut, vanilla and sweetened condensed milk.  Mix well.  In another bowl add egg white and pinch of salt.  With electric mixer mix until the egg white has soft peaks.  Fold egg white into coconut mixture. With a small spoon drop small spoonful's of the coconut mixture all over the brownie batter, covering the brownie batter.  With a fork, gently swirl the coconut mixture into the brownie batter.  Bake according to the brownie instructions, checking with a toothpick to make sure the center is done.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Cut into squares and enjoy

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pizza Joes

Pizza Joes..mmm just the name is automatically yummy.  what are pizza Joes you ask?   Well let me tell you... they are like sloppy Joes , you know the sandwiches that are cooked ground meat in a BBQ-tomato sauce served on buns... yummy, saucy and just plain delicious.  Pizza Joes are done in the same manner, but instead of a BBQ-tomato sauce, the meat is cooked with delicious spices, and in pizza sauce, topped with melty gooey mozzarella & parmesan cheese.. Like pizza on a bun.. so good.

I used ground turkey for these, but ground beef, or chicken would work too.  I added a can of drained mushrooms to mine, but if you don't like them leave them out.  I also topped mine with a sprinkle of cooked bacon bits, (but next time I am topping them with mini pepperonis too).  Also use what cheese you like, mozzarella, parmesan, Italian style it all works as always use what you like.  Enjoy 

Pizza Joe's

1 lb ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
1 jar pizza sauce
1 can mushrooms, drained
grated mozzarella & fresh parmesan cheese
Seasonings of your choice * (garlic & onion powder, pinch of parsley flakes, and onion flakes, salt & pepper)
2 T brown sugar
bacon bits/mini pepperoni

In a large skillet brown meat and seasonings breaking meat up until cooked & no longer pink.  If any grease remains after cooking drain meat.  Add pizza sauce, and mushrooms stirring until combined, simmer until heated thru.  Top with both cheeses sprinkling over the top of the meat.  Turn off heat and put a lid on the pan until cheese is melted. Serve a scoop of the meat mixture on buns, sprinkle with bacon bits/pepperoni and serve.  Enjoy

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Easy turtle bars

Mmm turtles.. just the name of turtles (the candy not the animal lol ) makes me think of creamy caramel & pecans drenched in dreamy chocolate..yummy!!

 I love them... so I was happy when in a surprise Christmas box I received the recipe & ingredients to make them.. once I took a bite I was so happy... thanks for the gift Wendy :)

Patting the crust out is a little work, it is a really, really sticky batter.. but I solved that issue by sprinkling the crust batter with a little flour until I got it into a thin layer.  And don't be like me and use way too much non-stick spray which makes it even harder to spread out the layer.  You want the bars to come out of the pan, but you also want to make a bottom crust, so moderation of non-stick spray is the answer. 

Also, thinking next time I am adding a layer of shredded coconut and turning these into German chocolate bars.. then I was thinking chopped up Heath bars instead of chocolate chips and you have toffee bars.. I could go on and always use what you like.. make the soon.. enjoy

Easy Turtle Bars

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 stick butter/margarine, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips ( I used mini chips)
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1 jar (12 oz) caramel ice cream topping

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly spray with non-stick spray a 13 x 9 pan.  In a large bowl mix cake mix, butter and milk with a fork until combined.  Spoon 1/2 of the batter in the cake pan (use a spoon and divide along the pan a little batter in each corner, along with a little batter in the middle it makes it easier to spread.  Very lightly sprinkle the batter in the pan with a small amount of flour and using your fingers pat into an even layer, sprinkling with more flour to help the sticking stop.  When in a layer bake for 7-8 minutes or until a crust begins to form, remove from oven.  Sprinkle chocolate chips in an even layer over the crust, and drizzle caramel topping over chips. Sprinkle with 1/2 the pecans over the caramel topping.  Drop small spoonful's of the remaining chocolate cake batter over the top of the caramel topping and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched (caramel center will be soft).  Cool completely.  Cut into bars and serve. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lentil soup

Well now... we now have the first snow of the 2015 season in Michigan, and a winter weather warning and a snowstorm too boot.. gosh for someone who has lived in Michigan my entire life, the older I get, the less I like this winter snowy weather.. not a fan...  So needless to say it's blowing, cold, snowy & yuck! So something yummy, warm and preferably a soup, or stew is just what this weather needs..

I like this with cornbread, so make your favorite, I cheated and used a box mix (gasp, I know.. I usually like homemade, but doctored it up.  I added extra cornmeal, and frozen corn to the batter to make it more "semi-homemade".  And I greased the pan with bacon grease, to add even more flavor.  When it comes out of the oven brush it with butter to add even another layer of flavor.. easy additions and so good. 

My local Kroger store has a soup starter kit.  It is located by the cut up vegetables.  I included fresh chopped up onions, celery & carrots, along with a fresh spring of thyme & rosemary, along with a bag of lentils.   It ran around $5, so it was great to grab for when your in a hurry.  I added extra stock, and lentils, but this would work out great.

I also made this with ham hocks, but you can use smoked turkey wings, or leftover smoked ham (I hate throwing away the ham bone when I make a bone-in ham, this is a perfect thing to make with that. You can also add any leftover, chopped up ham to this for extra flavor.

Leftovers are great, and freeze well (make sure you cool completely before freezing).   However you make this, make it soon and enjoy.

Lentil soup
2 ham hocks ( you get these in the refrigerated area, by the  hams)
1 cup , carrots & celery chopped small to medium
1 onion, ends removed and outside peel removed, chopped small to medium
1 sprig of fresh thyme & rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 T brown sugar
2 T molasses
1 bag of lentils
1-2 cans broth (can use, chicken, beef or vegetarian
**seasonings of your choice, I used kosher salt, pepper, about 1/2 t onion & garlic powder, 1 t of parsley flakes)
8 cups water

In large soup pan with lid, add water, ham hocks, celery, onions & carrots.  Add thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and seasonings. Bring to a rolling boil, turning down to simmer for around 1/2 hour.  Cover the pan and simmer for about an hour till veggies are tender.  Add lentils stirring well.  Place the cover back on the lid, and simmer slowly for around an hour stirring occasionally, checking to make sure the lentils are not dry, adding the broth one can at a time until the lentils are tender and cooked thru. When the lentils are almost done add the molasses, and brown sugar.  Check the seasonings and adjust adding more if needed.  If the soup seems like not enough liquid add the remaining can of broth.  Bring to boil, taste and if more salt & pepper are needed add it at this time.  Remove the thyme & rosemary stems & bay leaf.  Serve with cornbread or rolls. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Banana muffins

I always seem to have overripe bananas that need using up. It seems like when I buy less bananas we go thru them fast and then I never have any.  When I buy more, they just seem to sit there and get overripe & brown.  Every time I freeze them for smoothies they end up getting freezer burned before I use them up.  I can't seem to win for losing... I have been wanting banana muffins so now is the time. 

I topped mine with mini chocolate chips, which unfortunately makes it so you can't turn them upside down to get them out of the pan when they are done.  You have to carefully remove them from the pan ( I placed mine on a cookie sheet to cool then stored in baggies, for easy grab & go for lunches etc.).

You can add  nuts, raisins, chocolate chips or whatever you like to the batter and not top them.  I even thought an oatmeal streusel topping would be good too. If you add ingredients to the batter add at the end (and mix 1-2 t flour into the nuts, chocolate chips etc so they don't sink to the bottom of the batter when cooking)

My oven runs a little hot, so adjust your baking times as needed.  As always use what you like, and enjoy.

Banana muffins

2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 t baking soda
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2-3/4 cup mini chocolate chips(if using)
3 mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray muffin tins (or use paper baking cups).
In large bowl add flour, baking powder, baking soda, regular & brown sugar, & cinnamon whisking gently until combined. Add butter, egg, milk, vanilla, and bananas mixing well. Add to dry ingredients gently mixing just until batter comes together.  Divide mixture evenly into 12 muffin cups.  Top with chocolate chips.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Immediately remove from muffin tins, and place on cookie sheet to cool.   Enjoy

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Chili queso dip

Queso dip... thinking this is my new obsession.  I developed a sausage queso dip just this week, and seriously could not get enough.  Thinking how else I could tweak the flavors to eat more of this dip.  So I had some leftover meat & bean chili that I didn't know what to do with and thought chili, queso hmmm.  Let's give this a try and viola... YUMMY chili queso dip was born.  It is super good.. creamy a little spicy, and oh so good.  I served this dip with tortilla chips, but you can use fritos, scoops, pretzels or chunks of crusty bread...

You can add hot sauce, or use hot Rotel tomatoes (I have little ones eating this dip, so I make it mild but serve hot sauce on the side for my husband and myself to jazz it up)

 Make this soon.. Enjoy

Chili Queso dip

8 oz package of Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 cup leftover prepared meat & bean chili
1/2 can drained mild Rotel tomatoes
pinch of sugar
**Seasonings of your choice, I used garlic & onion powder, pinch of celery seeds, paprika)
Tortilla chips for dipping

In microwave safe dish, add all of the ingredients.  Cook for one minute, then stir, continue cooking stirring after every 30 second increments until creamy and melted.  Serve with tortilla chips. 

Beef tips and noodles

When the weather turns cooler I love Beef tips over noodles.  The creamy yummy goodness just makes me happy :)  Between making the house smell good & when you eat it, you get nice and warm YUM.  I like to add some sour cream to my sauce to make it extra rich and creamy.  It gives it a little tangy goodness, but if you don't like it leave it out. 

I serve this over wide buttered egg noodles, but you can serve it over mashed potatoes, or rice and it would be equally good.. I also add fresh mushrooms & onions, but you can omit them if you don't like.  Like I always say, adjust things to how you like them.  Make this today.. Enjoy

Beef tips & noodles

2 lbs cut up, beef stew meat
1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 8 oz. package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1 T Worchester sauce
1T Red wine
1/4 cup water
2T cornstarch
1 T. butter
1/3-1/2 cup sour cream (I usually start out with the 1/3 cup and if it needs more I add a little more)
**Seasonings of your choice ( I added pepper, seasoned salt, garlic & onion powder, dried parsley & a pinch of celery seed)

Cooked buttered egg noodles (Boil regular egg noodles, drain add butter, salt & pepper)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In large covered oven safe dish whisk together the mushroom soup, Worchester sauce,wine and beef broth.  Add mushrooms, onions, beef & seasonings mixing well breaking apart the meat cubes and coating everything with the sauce.  Cover the dish and cook for around 2-3 hours (stirring every hour). Remove from oven and stir well.  Mix water and cornstarch pour over beef mixture, stirring well.  Place back into the oven uncovered for a few minutes to thicken the sauce.  When sauce is bubbly and thickened remove from oven and add sour cream & butter stirring really well to make a creamy sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Serve over buttered cooked egg noodles.  Enjoy