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.