Monday, December 21, 2009

Mexican Wedding Cakes

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar (10x confectioners sugar) (plus additional for rolling in later)
2 Cups Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla

Cream Butter and Sugar. Beat in the rest of the ingredients (will be stiff). Roll into 1" balls. Bake 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 13 minutes @ 375 degrees. (Don't let the tops brown). Roll in powdered sugar after slightly cooled (or shake in bag of powdered sugar) Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.

**NOTE! I made these cookies this morning with "salted" butter, and omitted the added salt in the recipe. They still came out delicious! :)


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Powdered Sugar Cutouts (Orange Peel Cookies)

1 Cup of Butter room temperature
1 and 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar (10x confectioners)
1 Egg
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Grated Orange Peel (or) Lemon Peel
2 and 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Egg Yolk Paint ...
1 egg yolk
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of water
Assorted Food Colorings

In Medium bowl beat together butter, powdered sugar, egg, vanilla and orange or lemon peel until light and fluffy. Add flour and baking powder, beating until blended. Wrap in clear saran wrap well and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. To bake cookies, preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough 3/16 to 1/4 inch thick. With lightly floured cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Prepare egg yolk paint. Using pastry brush, brush on egg yolk paint..Sprinkle cookies with desired sprinkles. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges begin to slightly brown. Remove cookies from baking sheets, cool on racks.

*This recipe doubles nicely


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Royal Icing

This icing makes about 2 1/2 cups. Do not double the'll have plenty!


5 Tb. meringue powder
1/2 cup water, plus more for thinning as needed
1 pound confectioner's sugar

In a bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat meringue powder and the water on low speed until combined. Add sugar, scrape down the sides of bowl, and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 10 minutes. Thin with a bit more water, as needed. Icing should be used immediately, as it hardens quickly. This is a great icing that is used to make gingerbread houses. It works like glue!

Gingerbread Cookies

This is a must-have recipe for your holiday baking. Makes about 4 dozen.
Chilling the dough before and after cutting into shapes makes for neater, crisper cookies. You can bake and ice the cookies up to one week ahead; store in an air-tight container at room temperature...or put them in the freezer...they are sooo good cold with a glass of milk!!!!


6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheets
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
4 tsp. ground ginger
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsulphured molasses
1 recipe Royal Icing

Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. In a bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add spices, slat, and beat until combined. Beat in molasses.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat on low speed until combined. Turn out dough onto plastic wrap; flatten into a disk. rap; chill 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface; roll out 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and arrange on greased baking sheets.

Bake until firm, about 12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely before icing. Decorate with royal icing and anything you wish.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Here is a very simple recipe for very tasty fudge. :)


3 Cups of semisweet chocolate
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter cut up in chunks
1 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Place chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter in large microwaveable bowl. Cook in microwave till chips are melted, about 1-3 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking. Stir in nuts, if desired.

2. Pour into well-greased 8x8 inch glass baking dish.(I used Butter Pam baking spray), Refrigerate until set (hard).
Then, cut into slices when hard.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Orange-Scented Cranberry Sauce

I'll make this every year's sooo yummy with turkey!

2 bags(12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 wide strips orange zest,
plus 1 cup fresh orange juice
coarse salt and ground pepper

In a medium saucepan. combine cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in orange juice. (to store, refrigerate up to 1 week. Bring to room temp. before serving)

Makes 3 1/2 cups

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spice-rubbed pork loin with butternut squash

4 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cp. packed light-brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder or other single chile powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 lbs. butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1 inch thick cubes
1 boneless pork loin (5 lbs.), tied
coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together 3 Tb. oil, sugar, chile powder, cinnamon, cumin, and 2 Tb. water. Add squash and toss to coat. Set aside.

Generously season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy skillet or pan over high. Add 1 Tb. oil and swirl to coat. Cook pork on all sides until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Place pork on a rimmed baking sheet; pour oil from skillet onto sheet and spread evenly.

Arrange squash around pork. Brush pork with sugar mixture from bowl. Bake until pork is cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in center should register 135 degrees), 40-45 minutes, brushing meat with sugar mixture and turning squash every 15 minutes. Tent pork with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy! Serves 8

~submitted by Nicole

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Black Cat Cookies

Happy Halloween!!!

This recipe was given to me a few years back by my very sweet sister, Louise. I've made these cookies with my daughter Autumn every year since then and hope to continue till I have a grandchild! Autumn loves to pinch the ears, taking care not to "over-pinch" and they always come out so cute. They're in the oven right now...I wish you could smell them! There's nothing like candy corns to make you feel like it's Halloween.


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
candy corn
Red hot candies, Reeses Pieces, or M&M candies

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Pinch top of cookie to form ears. For whiskers, press a fork twice into each cookie.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove from the oven; immediately press on candy corn for eyes and candies for noses. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yields: 2 dozen


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homemade Pretzels

I found this recipe and made them for my preschool class last year. The children loved stirring and measuring and then kneading the dough and shaping it into letters. When I made them last I just rolled out pieces the size of a cheese stick and they plumped up nicely in the oven.

1 1/2 cups Warm Water, NOT HOT!
1 Tb. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 packet yeast
4 cups Flour
1 egg
coarse salt

Measure 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 Tb. sugar, 1 tsp. salt and 1 packet of yeast. Pour the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. Add four cups of flour to the other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it on a floured tabletop. Knead until smooth. When complete pull off a piece of dough and shape it any way you would like. Place the shapes on to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush the pretzels with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Let cool before eating.

I like to serve these pretzels with honey mustard sauce, or ranch dressing.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Picnic Pasta Salad

Today is our church picnic, and we were asked to bring our favorite picnic side dish!
This is one of our favorites and wanted to share with you. :)

Picnic Pasta Salad

2 Boxes of Spiral Pasta
1 16 ounce block of Mozzarella Cheeze
1 Cup of chopped Celery
1 Cup of Chopped fresh Carrots
1 Onion Chopped
2 Green Bell Peppers Chopped
1 Bottle of *Kens Light Ceasar Dressing

Cook Pasta , drain and rinse in cold water, making sure pasta is no longer warm.
Cut up Block mozzarella into small chunks.
Chop up all remaining ingredients.

Mix all ingredients in large bowl.
Add bottle of Ken's Light Ceasar Dressing and mix well.

Refrigerate overnight for best results to let flavors mix together.

(You can add more dressing or less depending on your taste, sometimes if I put more dressing, it seems too overpowering, I do like just one bottle for two boxes of pasta)..This does make a large can half the recipe if you want less.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Raspberry Streusel Muffins


* 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 cup milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons cold butter or margarine
* confectioners' sugar


1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg. In a small bowl, mix sour cream, milk and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture just until moistened. Gently fold in raspberries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Dust win confectioners' sugar.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Swiss Cheese Quiche

I borrowed this recipe from my friends mother. She made this quiche when she hosted a Longaberger party once. I was hooked! I love it when it comes straight out of the oven, but I suggest to wait a few minutes before you cut into it because you'll scorch your mouth like I do every time!!!


Pie shell (these days I use a refrigerated Pillsbury dough)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups Half and Half
8 oz. Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tb. flour

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, cream and seasoning. Mix well. Toss cheese with flour. Add cheese to egg mixture. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees 40-45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Baked Apples

Baked apples are the easiest Autumn dessert to make. Your microwave makes this old fashioned recipe into a fat-free dessert that's so easy to prepare.

Make sure you have fresh baking apples to use for this recipe.

In New York State we have many different varieties of apples available almost all year long. Here are some varieties that I suggest.

Jonagold- a great fried apple. Simply saute' in a little butter and add a little cinnamon. No sugar needed!

Crispin - an excellent variety for roasting whole or thick slices. Very juicy and super crisp. Wonderful accompaniment for your favorite roast.

Cortland - a great baking apple. Also can be used in a fruit plate because this variety does not turn brown quickly when cut!

Rome - this old apple variety (1816) is a superb cooking apple because it retains its shape beautifully as well as its tart flavor. Great with pork chops.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

4 baking apples, cored
4 Tb. maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider
ground cinnamon
chopped nuts (optional)

Peel 1 inch around tops of apples. Place apples in microwave-safe casserole dish. Pour cider around apples. Fill each apple with 1 Tb. syrup and dust lightly with cinnamon. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes or until fork tender.

makes 4 servings
1 medium apple 80 calories


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pepperoni Bread


1 Pizza Dough
tomato sauce (I use jar sauce for this)
sliced pepperoni
16 ounce bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 stick of butter (Melted)
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees*

Usually I buy the pizza dough in the grocery store frozen. I let it thaw on the counter.
Spray a metal cookie sheet with nonstick spray..
Stretch out the pizza dough into a big rectangle onto your cookie sheet.
Take about two tablespoons full of jar tomato sauce and spread over dough. This keeps your bread moist inside and gives it flavor too!
Then, layer the cheese first, spread it out over the top of the sauce..then layer the pepperoni on top of the cheese.

Then, roll up horizontally so it is a long tube like shape.
Melt your stick of butter (I melt mine in a ceramic bowl in the microwave)for a minute.
pour butter over entire top of pepperoni bread.
Then sprinkle garlic powder over top of pepperoni bread.

Bake at 375 degrees* for about 30 minutes, or until top of bread is a nice golden brown.

Slice and serve immediately.

This is a great appetizer when having guests over. It is a big hit! :)


Friday, October 2, 2009

My Chicken Soup!

This is a pretty simple recipe, actually I don't really follow any rules when I make this, but it is one of my favorite meals!

Chicken Soup
Whole Chicken (whatever is leftover from the previous dinner the night before!)
Chopped celery
Chopped Carrots
Chopped Onions
Spinach leaves
Orzo Noodles

I take the leftover whole chicken (whole with bones, and put in a pot , cover with water)
Bring to a boil, then simmer for about two hours.
Take out whole chicken, and let cool on dish.
Separate and take off as much leftover chicken from bones as you can and put all the chicken back into the broth in pot.
Discard bones.
Take all chopped vegetables and put into pot of broth with chicken.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

I usually let it cook for a while longer, maybe another hour. Till vegetables are soft.
Cook orzo noodles separately in another small pot.

I add orzo noodles to each bowl as needed when serving soup.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Upside Down Popover Pizza

This is soooo good! :)

Upside Down Popover Pizza
1 pound pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
½ medium green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon each dried basil, marjoram leaves, crumbled
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
8 ounces of mozzarella cheese sliced
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Popover Batter:
Beat together 2 eggs, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil and ¼ teaspoon salt

In large skillet cook sausage until browned, pour off any excess fat. Add onion and green peppers. Cook for a few minutes.
Stir in flour, basil, marjoram and tomato sauce.
Heat well, then pour into 13x9 inch baking pan. Arrange mozzarella slices on top. Pour popover batter over all. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until well browned. Serve at once.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

This is always such a treat in our house when the Fall season arrives...I decided to start baking a little early for the season! My daughter requested that I make my pumpkin bread (which is a wonderful recipe from my friend Denise!), after she left for school this morning, I baked up a bunch of loaves!

PUMPKIN BREAD preheat to 325°

3 cups white sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp cloves
2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1+1/2 tsp salt
Mix above ingredients in large bowl

1 cup vegetable oil 2 eggs
2 cups pumpkin (1 small can)
Blend these into above mixture

Add 3+1/2 c flour and mix well

Bake at 325° in 2 greased loaf pans for 1hour 15 min
or 1 hour for 4 small loaf pans


**Edited to add...this morning I decided to put a little less of the mix in each loaf pan before baking..I was able to make 6 small loaves from this batch of mix!**

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tomato Cheese Tart


3 eggs
1 1/4 cups half and half
8 oz. shredded cheddar or Swiss cheese
about 3 medium fresh from the garden tomatoes, sliced into medium width circles
1 tsp. rosemary plus extra
1 tsp. oregano plus extra
1/2 tsp. salt
lots of fresh ground black pepper
1 Pillsbury pie crust
basil to garnish
1 9 inch tart pan (the shallow one with the fluted edges)

I love to grow tomatoes in my garden and this year I have A TON of tomatoes on the vine. After making a huge pot of sauce I still had some tomatoes left over so I decided to try making a tomato tart. It turned out delicious so try it and enjoy for yourself!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 1 Pillsbury pie crust in the fluted tart pan and press down the edges. Mix the eggs with the half and half, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.
Sprinkle the cheese over the egg mixture. Place the tomatoes on top of the tart in a circle starting from the outside working into the middle, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle the top of the tart with the extra herbs and more fresh ground pepper and salt. Put into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When timer goes off turn the oven temperature up to 375 degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, watching that it does not brown too much. This tart can be serves warm or cold and can be garnished with fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

submitted by Nicole

Cucumber Salad

4 Cucumbers
1 Onion sliced
1 Cup of White Vinegar
1/2 Cup of Water
3/4 Cup of Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Dill

Slice up cucumbers and onions and toss together in bowl. In small saucepan, combine vinegar, water and sugar. Cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and pour the mixture over the cucumber and onions. Stir in dill. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Marinate at least one hour for flavors to mix.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Homemade Apple Pie

It is just about that time of year again...baking apple pies and the wonderful smell of Autumn in the air!
But, in this house, I have been baking apple pies all summer long.
This is the recipe I use.

*Preheat oven to 425 Degrees.

Pastry for a two-crust pie (I cheat and use Pillsbury)!

6 Cups thinly sliced, peeled Apples
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

In large bowl combine all filling ingredients. Mix lightly. Spoon into pastry lined pan. Top with remaining pastry. Fold edge of top pastry under bottom pastry, press to seal. Flute edge.Cut slits in several places in top of pastry. Bake at 425 degrees for 40-45 Minutes or until apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. About halfway through baking, I usually wrap the top edges around the pie with tin foil to prevent burning of the crust on the edges while it cooks.

I am so ready for a piece..are you?!

Fresh Mozzarella with basil

This is something I absolutely LOVE!
I usually serve this before a pasta meal and my guests really enjoy it :)

Fresh Mozzarella
Big Beefsteak Tomato
Fresh Basil leaves
Olive Oil

Slice up the fresh mozzarella and Beefsteak tomato. Layer one on top of the other (see photo) on serving dish.
I also tuck in Basil leaves as I layer the cheese and tomato.
Drizzle olive oil over all.

Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The flavors blend nicely and tastes delicious!


Butter Cookies

A recipe from my sweet friend Nancy. :)
These are the most delicious cookies and will melt in your mouth!
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 lb. Butter (2 sticks)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla

Beat together butter and sugar. Add flour and baking soda.
Use mixer or knead by hand to mix.
Add vanilla last.

Roll into balls approximately 1" in diameter.
Place on buttered (not sprayed) cookie tin. Flatten balls with a fork
dipped in flour.

Bake at 350 degrees until edges only are lightly browned.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I found this recipe in an old Apple Recipe book I found upstate NY. When I serve it I cut the pan up into single serving size squares and put on a serving tray and dust with powdered sugar. The optional topping is yet another way to enjoy this dessert, if you like EXTRA sweetness!

3 EGGS, beaten
2 cups SUGAR
1/4 cup HONEY
1 tsp. VANILLA

1/2 tsp. BAKING SODA
1 tsp. SALT
1/4 tsp. NUTMEG

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In a large bowl bet together the first five ingredients. In another bowl sift together the dry ingredients and stir into liquid mixture. Beat well. Fold in nuts and apples. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 X 2-inch pan. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Bake 45 minutes.

Optional Topping...
1 stick BUTTER (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup MILK
1/4 cup HONEY

Combine ingredients in a heavy-bottom sauce pan. Boil 2 1/2 minutes. Pour over cake while still hot. Sift powdered sugar on top. Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream or Fresh Whipped Cream. Enjoy warm!

Submitted by Nicole

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


1 cup SUGAR + more to taste

Begin by placing a glass bowl and whisk or electric mixer whisk attachments into the refrigerator or freezer depending on your time allowance. When the utensils have had a chance to 'chill' remove them and pour the cream into the bowl. Immediately begin whipping the cream until it forms semi stiff peaks. Add sugar a little at a time until thoroughly combined and tastes as sweet as you would like it to be. You may refrigerate this whipped cream until you use it but it is BEST fresh. Enjoy!

Great add-ins...always fold in these ingredients until incorporated.
1 Tb. Chocolate syrup
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Vanilla

submitted by Nicole


This is a fantastic version of Peach Cobbler. Do yourself a favor and only use fresh peaches, not canned in juice. The most important thing about this recipe is not to overmix. This will cause the cobbler part to become doughy. Less is more! The kitchen will smell soooo good when this is in the oven, enjoy!
1/4 cup + 2 Tb. Butter
2 cups Sugar
3/4 cup Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
Dash of Salt
1 tsp. Nutmeg
2 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 cup Milk
2 cups Sliced Peaches, about 9 medium fresh Peaches.
Preheat oven to 350.
Melt BUTTER in 2 Qt. dish and set aside. Combine 1 cup SUGAR, FLOUR, BAKING POWDER, AND SALT. Add MILK and BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER MIX - STIR GENTLY ONLY UNTIL INCORPORATED! Pour batter over BUTTER in baking dish. DO NOT STIR. Combine PEACHES, CINNAMON, NUTMEG and 1 cup REMAINING SUGAR. Spoon over batter and DO NOT STIR! Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
You will love this recipe! By using fresh peaches you will achieve the perfect dessert. I like to serve it with VANILLA ICE CREAM or HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM. Sprinkle a little bit of nutmeg over your topping and ENJOY!
submitted by Nicole