Thursday, 23 November 2017

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Seriously melt in the mouth. Thank you Beneath My Heart

1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
3 oz. package of cream cheese
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk (reserve white)
2 cups all purpose flour
  • Blend together sugar, margarine, cream cheese, salt, almond extract, vanilla, and egg yolk with mixer. 
  • Mix in flour until well blended.
  • Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for two hours.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Roll out dough, one third at a time, on a lightly floured surface. 
  • Using a cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out cookies as close together as possible.
  • Place the cookies one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 
  • To prevent breaking, move cookies to and from baking sheets with a  spatula 
  • Leave cookies plain or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with colored sugar.
  • Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are a light golden brown. 
  • Cool completely
  • If desired, use the almond glaze below.

Almond Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 Tb. water
4 drops of food coloring
  • Stir all ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour 1 teaspoon of glaze on each sugar cookie. 
  • Use the back of the teaspoon to spread glaze evenly over cookie. 
  • Let glaze dry.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Southwestern White Chili

A Lovely Chili from Mari at My Little Corner of the World


1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 jar (48 ounces) Great Northern Beans
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
4 cups chicken broth
8 ounces cheddar cheese

  • Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  
  • Saute celery, onion and green pepper until translucent.
  • In stockpot or crockpot, combine chicken, beans, cumin, salsa and chicken broth.  
  • Stir in celery mixture.  
  • Simmer uncovered in stockpot for about an hour stirring occasionally, or in crockpot for 6 hours on low.  
  • About 5 minutes before serving, stir in cheese and allow to melt.


Apple Pecan Stuffing

This Thanksgiving Apple Pecan Stuffing recipe is a delicious blend of buttery bread cubes, apples, and pecans. Thank you Homemade Interest



2 c Onions, diced
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 c Carrots, diced
1 c Celery, diced
2 Granny Smith Apples, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
8 oz. Butter, melted
12 c Bread, cubed
1½ - 2 c Broth
2 c Parsley, finely chopped
2 c Pecans, roughly chopped
2 tsp Beau Monde Seasoning
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Place the onions in a small bowl and sprinkle the sugar over them. 
  • Let onions sit for about an hour.
  • In a large skillet saute the carrots, celery, apples, and garlic until softened.
  • Strain the sugared onions and add them to the saute along with the melted butter.
  • Add mixture to the bread and toss in a large bowl.
  • Add chicken broth to the bread mixture along with the pecans, parsley, and Beau Monde seasoning 
  • Slowly toss until the broth is all absorbed by the bread.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spoon into a well-greased 3-quart or 13- x 9-inch baking pan.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
  • Remove foil and continue to bake for 5 - 10 minutes or until top is crusty and brown.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Sweet Potato Casserole

 Perfectly sweet with a delicious crumb topping. Thank you Chef in Training


3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes 
⅔ cup sugar 
½ cup butter, softened 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
⅓ cup milk 

Topping:
⅓ cup butter, melted 
1 cup brown sugar 
½ cup flour 
1 cup chopped pecans 


  • Boil and mash sweet potatoes. 
  • Beat in sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and milk until smooth and creamy. 
  • Put in 9x13 greased pan. 
  • To make topping, combine topping ingredients together in a small bowl. 
  • Stir and mix to combine. 
  • Crumble topping over sweet potatoes. 
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Cheesy Taco Bake

This cheesy taco bake comes together in no time and is a family favorite! Thank you The Cookin Chicks


1 lb ground beef of turkey
1 package taco seasoning 
2/3 cup water
chili cheese fritos
1/2 can cheddar cheese soup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Toppings desired: salsa, sour cream, onion, tomato, avocado, etc

  • Brown beef or turkey over medium high heat until no longer pink.
  • Drain fat and add in the taco seasoning and water.
  • Simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and meat is thoroughly coated in seasoning.
  • Layer chili cheese Fritos on the bottom of and 8 x 8 baking dish.
  • Place seasoned meat on top of Fritos.
  • In a saucepan, heat cheddar cheese soup and milk over low heat.
  • Once warm, pour cheese mixture on top of meat.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over cheese and place pan in preheated oven, 350, for about 12-14 minutes.
  • Remove pan from oven and scoop desired amount onto plate. 
  • Top with favorite toppings!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Low Carb Loaded Cauliflower Bake

An easy low carb recipe that makes a great low carb side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas!


2 small heads Cauliflower cut into florets
2 tbsp. Butter
3 cloves Garlic minced
2 c. Heavy Cream
4 oz. Cream cheese softened
2 c. Gruyere cheese shredded
1 c. Cheddar cheese shredded
6 slices Bacon cooked and crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. Chives

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large pot bring water to a boil and add cauliflower florets.
  • Boil for 5-7 minutes or until cauliflower is slightly softened.
  • Drain water and set cauliflower aside.
  • In a medium saucepan melt butter and add garlic cooking for about 1 minute.
  • Add heavy cream and bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.
  • Add cream cheese and Gruyere cheese stirring until it has melted.
  • Continue stirring over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add cauliflower to a greased casserole dish.
  • Pour cheese mixture over the cauliflower
  • Top with cooked, diced bacon, and cheddar cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender and cheese has melted.
  • Garnish with chives before serving.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Pumpkin S’mores Bars

Pumpkin meets s’mores…it’s definitely the way to welcome fall this year spicy pumpkin bars with a melted chocolate and marshmallow layerThank you Inside BruCrew Life



1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups chocolate chips
3 cups miniature marshmallows



  • Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. 
  • Add the pumpkin, eggs and vanilla and beat again.
  • Stir together the baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
  • Slowly add to the butter mixture until a soft dough forms. 
  • Spread in a greased 9x13 baking pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top of the hot bars.
  • Cover the chocolate chips with the marshmallows. 
  • Return to the oven and bake another 2 minutes. 
  • Turn on the broiler and broil for 1-2 minutes.  
  • You just want the marshmallows to start turning golden, so do not over broil them. 
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  • Use a wet knife to cut the bars into 24 squares. 
  • Rewet the knife in between each cut. 
  • The water on the knife keeps the marshmallow from sticking. 
  • Store in a sealed container. 
  • Makes 24 bars.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

A layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake fills layers of pumpkin cheesecake in a simple graham cracker crust pie! Thank you Barefoot in the Kitchen




Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 16 crackers worth (gluten free crackers work fine)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Pie Ingredients:
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice mix
Optional topping: Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Stir together the crust ingredients and press into 2 pie pans. 
  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar together with a mixer until smooth. 
  • Add the vanilla and the eggs and beat again.
  • Pour 1/3 of this mixture over each pie crust. (approximately 1 1/3 cups of the filling.) 
  • Stir the pumpkin puree and the spices into the remaining filling and beat until well combined. 
  • Divide the pumpkin mixture between the two pies 
  • Use a spatula to smooth it across the cheesecake layer.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center looks almost set. 
  • A knife inserted should come out mostly clean. 
  • Cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. 
  • Top with whipped cream, just before serving.



Monday, 6 November 2017

Loaded Broccoli and Cheese Soup

A lovely Chowder-like soup...thick and satisfying. Thank you Lil Luna


2 - 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
2-3 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed into small pieces
1 tsp. onion powder
2 small heads broccoli (washed and diced small)
3 TB butter
⅓ cup flour
3½ cups milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic pepper
6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

  • In a large pot combine chicken broth, carrots, potatoes and onion powder.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add broccoli, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • While simmering, melt butter in a large sauce pan. 
  • Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute (or until golden brown). 
  • Whisk in milk and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Add cheese and stir until it is all melted. 
  • Add salt and garlic pepper.
  • Pour cheese sauce into the large pot and stir until well combined.
  • Add more milk  or broth  for a thinner consistency and add any additional salt and pepper needed. 
  • Top with bacon pieces.
  • Serve warm.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

No Bake Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie

An easy no bake pie for Thanksgiving made with prepared pie crust, ice cream and whipped topping. Thank you Meatloaf and Melodrama

1 prepared graham cracker pie crust
1/2 gallon pumpkin pecan ice cream (any pumpkin ice cream works)
1 8-oz tub whipped topping
caramel sauce
chocolate sauce
pumpkin morsels
semi sweet chocolate morsels

  • Add a thin layer of chocolate syrup to bottom of pie crust
  • Freeze until firm
  • Fill pie crust with ice cream, and return to freezer until firm
  • Spread whipped topping over ice cream
  • Top with morsels and chocolate and caramel syrup

Parmesan Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Parmesan garlic smashed potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy, crunchy on the outside. Delicious with the garlic butter and a healthy sprinkle of parmesan on top. Thank you Little Spice Jar


2 pounds baby yukon gold potatoes (red potatoes will work too)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped (divided)
2-3  tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  • In a large pot of boiling water, cook the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. 
  • Use a knife to piece the potatoes, it should pierce through easily.
  • Drain the potatoes and place them on the baking sheet. 
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the olive oil, butter, garlic, salt, and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley. 
  • Heat the olive oil mixture for 20-40 seconds or until the butter melts completely.
  • Drizzle the prepared garlic butter over the potatoes and toss to coat evenly. 
  • Using the bottom of a flat-based jar or glass, smash the potatoes until they flatten but remain in one piece.
  • Bake the garlic smashed potatoes for 12-14 minutes then top with the parmesan cheese  
  • Continue baking for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the tops are golden and crispy. 
  • Serve topped with the remaining parsley.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Pumpkin Patch Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

This would be the perfect fall breakfast to have the weekend. It includes both pumpkin and apple! Thank you Real Mom Kitchen


Syrup:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 cups apple juice or apple cider
Pancakes:
Mix up your favorite pancake mix according to package directions.
For every cup of dry mix used, mix in the following:
¼ cup canned pumpkin
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

  • To prepare syrup: in a sauce pan mix together, sugar, cornstarch, and pumpkin spice. 
  • Stir in apple juice or apple cider.
  • Bring to a boil, remembering to stir occasionally. 
  • Boil until desired thickness and remove from heat.
  • For pancakes: prepare pancake mix according to package directions
  • For every cup of mix used, add ¼ cup canned pumpkin and ¼ tsp pumpkin spice. 
  • Cook pancakes and serve with the apple cider syrup.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

These pumpkin cheesecake bars could not be easier to make.Thank you Roxana at A Treats Affair


    Crust
1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
Filling
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese , softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 cup (8 oz) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
whipped cream
pumpkin pie spice


  • Heat oven to 300°F.
  • Line a 13X9 baking pan with parchment paper leaving about 1 inch of paper hanging on the sides.
  • In a medium size bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter.
  • With your fingers press the crust on the bottom of the prepared pan. 
  • Set aside while making the filling.
  • In the mixing bowl of your stand-up mixer , add the cream cheese and sugar. 
  • With the paddle attachment on, beat on low speed until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended.
  • Spoon half of the mixture over the crust and spread evenly.
  • To the remaining cream cheese mixture add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.
  • With a wire whisk stir until smooth. 
  • Carefully, spoon over mixture in pan.
  • Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until just set. 
  • Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool down for about 1 hour or so.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars.
  • Top each bar with whipped cream and a dust of pumpkin pie spice.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Walnuts and Cranberries

Filled with wonderful fall flavours. Thank you Common Sense Home


2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup uncooked oatmeal – quick cooking for a softer cookie, old fashioned for a chewier cookie
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom - substitute more cinnamon if you don’t have cardamom
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree or canned solid pack pumpkin
1 cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  • Heat oven to 350°. 
  • Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside. 
  • Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl until well blended. 
  • Mix in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin
  • Add the dry ingredients and stir gently until blended. 
  • Stir in cranberries or tart cherries and chopped nuts
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and set.  
  • Don’t overbake!  
  • Cool for a few minutes on the pan to set up before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Savory Italian Sausage & Vegetable Soup

Savory Italian Sausage & Vegetable Soup is a satisfying meal in itself! Thank you The Gooseberry Patch



1/2 lb. Italian ground pork sausage
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 14-oz. cans chicken broth
1/2 c. white wine or chicken broth
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes in tomato purée
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 c. orzo pasta, uncooked
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper



  • Brown sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat. 
  • Drain, leaving a small amount of drippings in pan. 
  • Add onion and garlic 
  • Cook just until tender. 
  • Add broth, wine or broth, vegetables and herbs 
  • Bring to a boil. 
  • Add uncooked pasta 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables and pasta are tender. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. 


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Jack O’Lantern Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Peppers

Tasty beef and veggie mix topped with cheesy mashed potatoes stuffed into ghoulish peppers Thank you Cupcakes and Kale Chips


4-6 orange peppers 
1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped 
1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
3/4 cup tomato paste (one 6-ounce can)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth
4 cups, or about two 10 oz. packages frozen vegetable medley, thawed (carrots, peas, corn, and green beans)
1 pound Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided



  • Slice the top off of each of the peppers and reserve. 
  • Remove the seeds and, if desired, use a paring knife to carve a jack o'lantern face into each pepper.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat 
  • Add the ground beef, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper  
  • Cook, breaking up the meat, until it is browned. 
  • Drain any excess grease. 
  • Stir in the tomato paste, Worscestershire sauce, and beef broth. 
  • Add vegetables, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • While the meat is cooking, place the potatoes and a pinch of salt into a pot of cold water, cover, and bring to boil. 
  • Remove cover and boil for 10-12 minutes, until fork tender. 
  • Drain and return to the pot
  • Add ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt or sour cream, milk, and salt. 
  • With potato masher or hand mixer, mash to desired consistency.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Divide the meat mixture between the peppers
  • Top with the mashed potatoes and remaining cheese, and place in a glass baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until heated through, peppers are tender and cheese and potatoes are slightly browned.


Monday, 30 October 2017

Pear and Maple Syrup Banana Bread

This cake recipe is a brilliant way to use up browning bananas in the fruit bowl. It's all the more sticky and decadent with the addition of pears. 


100g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
3 (about 250g) really ripe and speckly bananas (see tip)
100g golden caster sugar
2 ripe but still firm comice pears, cored and chopped, dusted in a little flour
1 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra to serve
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large free-range egg
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g pecans, roughly chopped

  • Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. 
  • Grease and line a 1 litre loaf tin with baking paper so it overhangs the short edges of the tin 
  • Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl 
  • Stir in the melted butter and caster sugar with a wooden spoon until well combined. 
  • Stir through the pears, the maple syrup and vanilla extract 
  • Beat in the egg. 
  • Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda
  • Gently fold in, along with the pecans, using a metal spoon.
  • Pour the mix into the loaf tin, then bake for 45 minutes. 
  • The cake should be dark on top with a soft, moist sponge. 
  • Check it’s done by poking a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean it’s ready. 
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Drizzle with extra maple syrup to serve.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Apple, Pear and Cranberry Crisp

A perfect Fall dessert. Thank you Spoonful of Flavor



For the fruit filling:
2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped into large chunks
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into large chunks
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
zest and juice from one lemon

For the topping:
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
pinch of salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Grease an 8-inch square baking dish and set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine pears, apples, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, zest and juice. 
  • Stir to coat the fruit. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the butter, oats, flour, cinnamon, sugar and salt. 
  • Stir well until combined.
  • Pour the fruit filling into the prepared baking dish and top with the oat topping.
  • Baked uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and crisp is bubbling around the edges.
  • Serve warm.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This easy pumpkin spice cake is a fall favorite. Thank you Two Peas and their Pod


For the Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin (not pie pilling)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 ounce cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. 
  • Set aside.
  • Beat together sugar and oil until smooth. 
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  • Add in the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition. 
  • Transfer batter to prepared bundt pan.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack. 
  • Cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto the wire rack. 
  • Cool cake completely.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the the cream cheese frosting.
  • Beat the cream cheese until smooth. 
  • Gradually add in powdered sugar and mix until combined. 
  • Mix in vanilla and milk. 
  • Beat until smooth. 
  • If frosting appears to be too thick, slowly add in a little more milk until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Spoon frosting over cooled cake. 
  • Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. 
  • Cut into pieces and serve.
  • Cover the cake and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Jack O Lantern Sugar Cookies

Cute....and delicious. Perfect for Halloween. Thank you Mommys Kitchen


1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour

Coloured Icing:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tablespoon softened butter or margarine
4 - 5  tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
orange & green food coloring or icing paste
Candy corns & Licorice Ropes  (mouth and eyes)

  • In a medium size bowl beat shortening and butter together with a electric mixer. 
  • Add sugar, vanilla extract and egg.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together then add to the creamed mixture. 
  • Mix together scraping the sides of the bowl and form into a ball
  • Place dough inside a large zip lock bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Remove dough and let sit on the counter at least 30 minutes. 
  • Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut with pumpkin shaped cookie cutter and place on a un greased baking sheet.
  • Bake at 375 for 7-8 minutes or until edges are firm and start to get golden brown. 
  • The bottom of the cookies should be light brown as well.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes. 
  • Remove and place on a baking rack to cool completely. 
  • Frost with colored icing.
  • To make the icing, mix all ingredients together blending with a fork. 
  • If too dry, add a little more milk. 
  • The icing is thin and pourable, so don't be alarmed. 
  • Once mixed, remove about 1/2 cup to a separate bowl to use as green icing for the stems.  
  • To the remaining icing add a few drops of orange food coloring or icing paste. 
  • Spoon over cookies and let the icing run off the sides. 
  • Add candy corn eyes and a licorice mouth. 
  • Let frosted cookies set for at least 6 hours or overnight so the icing will harden.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Beef and Spinach Pasta Bake

A simple pasta bake using fresh ingredients, full of flavour and oh so delicious! It is a very filling dish, so beware! What looks like a small portion on your plate is certainly going to fill your tummy! Thank you Love Foodies



2 Cups of your favorite pasta cooked and drained.
1 lb Ground beef pork, chicken or soya
1 Package of fresh or frozen spinach 
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce or Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 cup sliced mushrooms 
Salt & Pepper

Cheese Sauce
3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups Milk
1 1/4 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper

  • Peel & chop onion, garlic and mushrooms   
  • Add to a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Lightly fry until the onions are soft and translucent 
  • Add your meat and cornstarch and cook, stirring in the pan with the other ingredients. 
  • Add the spinach and Worcestershire Sauce 
  • Season with salt & pepper.
  • Leave to simmer very low whilst you make the cheese sauce. 
  • Melt butter in pan under gentle heat
  • Add Flour and beat until smooth paste and take pan off the heat.
  • Combine the milk and broth 
  • Slowly add a little at a time and combine until smooth, 
  • Add a little more of the milk / broth, combine. 
  • Continue until all the milk / broth is used.
  • Return to gentle heat, and keep stirring until thick ..about 5 minutes  
  • Season with salt and pepper if you wish...your cheese may be salty so taste the sauce first
  • Add 3/4 of the grated cheese and combine. 
  • The remaining 1/4 of the cheese is for the top of the bake.
  • Preheat oven to 170 C / 325 F / Gas 3
  • Start with a layer of 1/3 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan
  • Top with a layer of cooked pasta, then cheese sauce. 
  • Repeat these layers, ending with the cheese sauce as the final top layer. 
  • You should be able to make 3 layers altogether.
  • Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.
  • Place in the oven for 45 minutes. 
  • When done, remove and leave to set for 30 minutes or it will be  too slushy. 
  • Allow to firm up a little then you can get the bake from the pan using a fish slice.