Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Recipe Recap...


As you all know, I've been baking quite a bit recently. Due to this I haven't been able to post anything new. So, I thought I'd re-post a few great recipes from the blog that would be perfect for your upcoming holiday shindig!



This Brie Cheese Bread Bowl is a family favorite.



Crab Bruschetta is fabulous!



Love this Potato Cheese Soup!



This Chicken and Cannellini Bean Stew is a hearty and healthy choice for your celebration.



Turkey and Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs look festive and are full of flavor.



Spicy Tomato and Thyme Linguine is a wonderful dish.



Roasted Gemstone Potatoes look lovely and taste great, too!



Roasted Asparagus  has to be my favorite vegetable side dish!






White Chocolate Cranberry Scones can be made a few days ahead for a simple, easy breakfast.






Broiled Plums with Mascarpone Whipped Cream are light and elegant.



Make these Candy Cane Sleds for a cute treat!



Or share some Hawaiian Snowballs with your guests.


Hope you decide to try a few of these recipes...... I've certainly enjoyed making them!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars...




I know I've been posting a lot of sweets, but really, I positively cannot help it.

It's Christmastime, people.

I'm a baking fool this time of year.

I love baking anyway, but Christmas baking is so much fun! It wouldn't be Christmas without all the goodies we have in the house or without delivering some to those we know.

The down side of this...... having sweets in the house pretty much THE ENTIRE MONTH OF DECEMBER!!!

Why?

There goes my diet. Yep, the one I've been on, oh... since after I gave birth to my 13 year old.

Although, I am doing pretty well as of this week. I've learned not to deprive myself. That's the key, because if I do, I'll end up scarfing my face full of more than just Christmas cheer.

Capeesh?

 A sugar overload. Not good.

So, I've decided a small sweet a day will be perfect. I get my fix, without over indulging. A win/win in my book.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1 Sleeve Graham Crackers (About 2 Cups), Finely Crushed
  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter Morsels
  • 1/4 Cup Peanuts, Finely Chopped*
  • 1/4 Cup Pecans, Finely Chopped (Optional)*
  • 1 Can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
* Add the peanuts and/or the pecans to your taste.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees (F).

Place the butter in a glass 13x9 baking dish and set in the oven to melt, watching carefully. Once the butter is melted, carefully remove it from the oven and layer the crushed graham crackers, morsels, and nuts in that order. Drizzle the milk over the layers, making sure to saturate the ingredients well. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until very bubbly and somewhat browned on top. Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool and set completely (3-4 hours). It will look a little gooey, until the bars set. Cut into squares or triangles. Makes about 15 squares or 30 triangles, depending on how large the bars are cut.

Enjoy! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge...



I can't believe that we are into the month of December!

I always try to get my Christmas shopping done early, but that never seems to be the case... although I am done before Christmas Eve.

If only I could be done by December, so I can dedicate the entire month to Christmas baking. I love baking up goodies to hand out to family, friends, neighbors, teachers... you name it. 

I know you and you live in good proximity to me... you're getting baked goods!

This year, I'll also be baking yummies for my husbands co-workers. I'm dedicating this weekend to nothing but baking. I'll be on baking overload...

... wish me luck!

Do you bake till you drop around the holidays? Do tell.

P.S. Make these while your at it!

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
Slightly Adapted from Eagle Brand Chocolate Fudge
  • 3 Cups White Chocolate Morsels 
  • 1 (14 oz) Can, Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon, Mint or Peppermint Extract
  • 3 Large Peppermint Candy Canes, Crushed
Begin by lining an 8 inch square pan with wax or parchment paper, overlapping the paper on the sides for easier removal of the fudge once set.

Combine the morsels, milk, and salt in a medium sized heavy duty saucepan. Melt on low heat, stirring constantly. Once smooth, remove from the heat and stir in the extract. Pour the mixture into the lined 8 inch pan. Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy canes over the top of the fudge and gently press in place. 

Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until set. Cut into squares, and store in parchment lined tins or Tupperware in the refrigerator. Set out a few minutes before serving, so the fudge softens a bit. Makes around 16 squares. More or less depending on how big the squares are cut.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day After Thanksgiving Hash...




One of the best parts about Thanksgiving......

...... the left-overs. For sure.

Especially if you have spent the wee hours of Friday morning Black Friday Shopping. Which, I intend to do with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

I can't wait to get out there and score some major deals!

Anyway, nobody feels like cooking after having already prepared an abundant feast on Thanksgiving. Left-overs are a definite staple, in our home, and I'm sure in your home, too.

This is an easy peasy recipe, that you literally throw together and cook up, hence... a hash.

Perfect for soothing the brutalizing Black Friday hang-over.


Day After Thanksgiving Hash

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Left-Over Turkey, Chopped
  • 2 cups Left-Over Stuffing
  • 1/3 Cup Gravy, Warmed Through
  • 1/3 Cup Golden Raisins or Dried Cranberries (Optional)
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium/low heat. In the meantime, in a medium sized bowl, mix the turkey, stuffing, gravy, and raisins/cranberries (if using) together. Add to the hot skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot and browned. Serve as a breakfast or dinner side dish. Makes about 2-3 cups of hash. 

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Creamy Sweet Potato Pie...



Pie...

I cannot live without it.

...... well, maybe, but it would be extremely hard to do so!

That's why I love Thanksgiving time.... among other reasons. It's not all about the food. Really.

We are finally near family and we will, without a doubt, be spending it with them this year. So stoked!

I love pies that take very little time to prepare. To save time I bought a pre-made frozen pie crust, baked it and let it cool. If you prefer to make a pie crust from scratch, or even a graham cracker crust, go right ahead. It's totally up to you.

Whatever you decide to do, just please try this recipe! My family loved it... now go make a pie!

... While you are at it, head over to Tidy Mom, and check out all the delicious pies linked up to her 4th Annual Love the Pie Party.  Then, you can make some more pies!


Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  sponsored by Whirlpool and enter to win a new Whirlpool Range


Creamy Sweet Potato Pie

  • 1-2 Pie Crust(s), Baked and Cooled
  • 1 (29 oz.) Can of Yams, Drained
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, Plus Some for Garnish
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Pinches of Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/3 Cup Sour Cream, Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Non-Dairy Whipped Topping, Plus Some for Garnish, Thawed
In a large bowl, cream the yams, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sugars until well combined and fluffy. Scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the vanilla and mix. Mix in the cream cheese and sour cream until well combined. Gently fold in the whipped topping.

If using two pie crusts, divide the sweet potato mixture between them. If using only one, use half or a little more than half for the single pie crust. Store the remaining sweet potato mixture in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Cover and place the pie(s) in the refrigerator to set, about 4 hours or overnight. Serve with a dollop of whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon. If you have stored some of the left-over sweet potato mixture, use it as a dip for graham crackers, cookie sticks, or fruit.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and White Chocolate...




I've been on a sweet kick. It was October, hence all the Halloween goodies. So, that pretty much makes it okay......

...... in my book, anyway.

Here's another sweet treat... but somewhat healthier... I mean, it does have oats in it... and dried cranberries.

Oats + Dried Cranberries = Healthy

I wanted a hearty cookie that would fill my kids up for their afternoon snack after school. My oldest is playing basketball, so this is great for a quick pick-me-up before practice.

I'll eat anything with "cookie" in the recipe title, so no problem there. My husband on the other hand, is not partial to oatmeal cookies, but he did say he thought they were good. I'll take it!

The white chocolate morsels give the cookie just the right amount of sweetness. Just gotta have some sweetness! And the cinnamon... that hint of nutmeg...

Yeah, I think you'll like them...


Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and White Chocolate

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
  • Pinch of Ground Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Stick plus 4 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Morsels
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Begin by whisking together the flour, soda, powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the sugars and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs and combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2-3 batches. Once well combined, stir in the oats, cranberries, and morsels. Drop by tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are slightly browned around the edges and the center doesn't look gooey.  Makes around 3 dozen.

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

One-Eyed Purple People Eater Cupcakes...



Can anyone else believe that Halloween is upon us!?!

Not me.

I've been so busy with my girls arranging and taking them to appointments and now, I'll be picking up my oldest from basketball practice and attending games.

With our weather, finally sunny and bright... I thought I'd better snap a shot of these totally easy cupcakes. I am really going to have to break down and buy one of these sets for my food photography.

Soon... very soon. From what I hear and remember when we lived in Southern Oregon many years ago, it will be dark all winter long. So, no natural light to take photos... BOO!

Anyway, with most of us having busy schedules, I thought I'd share a treat that you can whip up in no time. These are perfect for a Halloween Party, either at home or in the classroom!

I hope everyone has a safe and fantastic Halloween!


One-Eyed Purple People Eater Cupcakes

  • Cupcakes, Completely Cooled
  • 2-3 Batches of Frosting, Canned or Homemade
  • Purple Gel Food Coloring
  • Candy Eyeballs, Colored or White
  • Decorating Tips #12 and #233
  • 2 Decorating Couplers
  • 2 Disposable Decorating Bags, 12in or 16in
Begin by thoroughly mixing the purple gel food coloring into the frosting, adding as much or as little as desired.  Add a coupler and tip to each decorating bag. Divide the frosting, fill the bags, and secure them closed. 

Beginning with the #12 tip, pipe a swirl of frosting onto the cupcakes for the base, covering as much of the cupcake as desired. Once all the cupcakes have been frosted, begin using the #233 tip. 

Starting at the outer area of the swirl base, begin piping the "fur" onto the cupcake frosting base. Apply pressure to the bag and pull away a bit then stop pressure, to get the affect of strands of fur. Continue working your way around inwardly, and toward the top of the cupcake base. Cover any areas that may be without "fur." Top the cupcake with a candy eyeball to finish. 

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Pies...


 

Have you ever had a conversation about something with someone, and then a few days later what you were talking about suddenly pops up... for example... I was mentioning the movie Jaws to my husband. Then literally the next day there was a Jaws marathon on one of the movie channels!

Freaky!?!...... Right!?!

Let me tell you, when there is a Jaws marathon on TV, nobody has to tell me twice to tune into that mother.

NOBODY.

It's one of those movie series that I have got to watch... even though I am covering my eyes half the time. No joke.

Don't even get me started on the movie score.

Ok... so... I grew up with a pool. My sister and I lived in that pool all summer long. It never failed that at least once... maybe twice... ok, multiple times, I would freak myself out and convince myself that somehow a killer great white shark was in our pool. Cue the Jaws movie score in my frightened little girl head. I was out of that pool so fast...

I was a nervous child.

Anyway... sharks aside, I was totally thinking about making these cookies, and not too long after, my daughter was approaching me about when I was going to be making our pumpkin cookies that we enjoy every Fall. Another freaky mind thing... yes?

So, I wanted to change it up a little, and I decided to make them into cream pies. Who doesn't love cream sandwiched between two cookies!?!

... Or even scary shark movies, for that matter.

Ummm, nobody.......


Pumpkin Cream Pies

For The Pies:

For The Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter, Softened
  • 1 (8oz.) Block of Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
When the pumpkin cookies have cooled completely, match them in pairs as best as you can according to their size and shape; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about two minutes. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and incorporate well into the butter and cream cheese mixture, all the while scraping down the sides of the bowl. Lastly add the cinnamon and mix in completely. 

Once the filling is made you can either spread it or pipe it. If piping, use a 16 inch piping bag. Add a #12 round tip, securing it with a coupler to the piping bag. Fill your bag about half full, pressing the filling down toward the bottom of the piping bag. Fold the corners in and twist, securing it shut. 

Take a pumpkin cookie or pie, and flip it over so the flat side is up. Placing the piping tip to the center of the pie, apply pressure to the bag to build a nice fluffy cloud of filling onto the pie. Take the matching pie and press it flat side down, gently, sandwiching the filling in between each pie. Continue until all the pies are made. Makes 16-18 pies. 

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Spider Cookie Pops...




Ok, so...  I DO NOT like spiders. Just puttin' that out there.

I mean, these fun edible cookie pops, I like... but real creepy, crawly ones... um, no.

To top it off, there are a ton of spiders where we live... a TON! Hawaii had its fair share of disgusting insects, but the spiders there weren't nearly as big and scary as the ones we have here.

And can I tell you?..... I am so tired of walking through spider webs. It doesn't matter that I sweep them often. The next day... guess what...  they're back. Yep. No joke.

Also... I see a spider... I squish it. Sorry nature, sorry Dalai Lama, it's a reflex. Even the Daddy Long Legs get the wrath. I know they kill the super poisonous spiders and that's something I probably need to think about, since we do get those here as well. I'm considering sparing them in the near future.

Anyway, the point to this story?

Well, there really isn't one. I just wanted to vent one of my many phobias to you.....

..... and let you know that I made some cute, FUN creepy crawlies that you should totally make yourself.

Totally.


Spider Cookie Pops

Begin by cutting the licorice into one inch pieces. You will need 8 licorice pieces per cookie pop. Twist off one side of the Oreo cookie, leaving the cream filling in tact on the other side. Place a lollipop stick, measuring about half way up the cream filling, and gently press into the filling. Take 8 licorice pieces and press them, also gently, into the cream filling, arranging them like spider legs. 

Melt about half of the candy melts in a heat proof 1-cup measuring cup or small heat proof bowl in 30 second intervals, until they can be stirred smooth. You can add more candy melts and microwave them as needed. On the Oreo half without the cream, spread a bit of melted candy melts in a circular motion onto the center of the cookie, about the size of a quarter. Place this half of the cookie back onto the cream filling half, sandwiching the the spider legs and the top of the lollipop stick in between. 

Add a small amount of the melted candy melts to the back of the candy eyeballs, using a toothpick or the tip of a lollipop stick. Place on the face of the Oreo cookie, eyeball side up, and arrange as desired. Allow the cookie pops to set, about an hour or two. 

*If you prefer cookies to cookie pops, don't add a lollipop stick. Easy peasy! 
*The Double Stuf Oreos seem to work the best.
*The Candy Eyeballs can be found in the Cake Decorating aisle of your local craft store or online.
  Check your local grocery store, too... that's where I found mine! 

Enjoy!

I'm sharing this post over on I'm Lovin' It and Whatever Friday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Zucchini with Mozzarella and Prosciutto...

 


Well, the girls have been in school for almost a month now and we are settling into our regular routine. After moving, it takes some time to get used to our new surroundings. We've lived in Oregon before... my youngest was born in the state 8 years ago. However, we are now in northern Oregon and before we were in southern Oregon. 

I know once winter hits we will be in for a shocker! I mean, we lived in a climate that was mostly dry all year, as well as 85 and sunny. I already told my hubby that I'm going to have to invest in a couple of these babies...... no doubt.

From what I hear, it will be dark and stormy ALL... WINTER... LONG...

All of that natural light has been left behind in Hawaii...... sad, but true. 

Anyhow, the trade off is that we are back on the mainland and closer to family... yippee! We truly are happy about that.

I figure we better get started taking our vitamins and eating more veggies that are going to keep us healthy for that cold, wet winter that's a comin'. 

I love zucchini just as is, but it's even better "all dressed up". Yes, I did happen to put a nice piece of mozzarella on it, and then wrap that sucker in prosciutto... but, who cares, right!?! I'm still getting my vegetable serving, dang it!


Zucchini with Mozzarella and Prosciutto
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Cracked Pepper, to Taste
  • 4 Oz. Fresh Mozzarella, Cubed
  • 8 Pieces of Prosciutto, Sliced in Half Lengthwise into Strips
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F).

Cut the ends off of the zucchini and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. One zucchini will yield about 15 pieces. Place the slices onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the zucchini with the olive oil using a pastry brush and season with the pepper. Place a cube of fresh mozzarella on top of each piece. Wrap each zucchini and mozzarella piece with a strip of prosciutto. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted. Serve immediately. Makes around 15 pieces.

Enjoy!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Summer...


After organizing our house and posting a few recipes on this here blog, my girls and I visited my in-laws in southern Oregon, then flew down to southern California to visit my family. It was a great way to end the summer and get some last minute fun in before my girlies started their new school last week.

Hence, my lack of posting. I'm finding it a little difficult getting back into developing recipes. I promise that I will get back into the swing of things... soon!

While visiting my in-laws we went blackberry picking. It was so much fun! All we had to do was walk down the street from their house and start plucking away. Very Little House on The Prairie.....

..... so loved that show growing up.




Don't those blackberries look luscious!?!




The best part was watching my youngest picking berries with her grandparents, aunt, and cousins. She had such a blast!




This wasn't the only bowl of berries we picked.... we had another one full to the brim.




Look at the delicious result... this Blackberry Cobbler was fab! You can find recipe here. Try it!




Once home in California, my dad, sister, and nieces went to our city fair with us. I hadn't attended in years, with all the moving around and what not.




What a great way to say goodbye to summer and our fun filled day... a ride on the Ferris wheel. 




I couldn't go home without seeing a Dodger game! Once again, it had been years since I'd been to one.




We stayed for the fireworks and watched them standing on the grass in left field. It was totally worth battling the traffic out of the parking lot! I've been to many games in my childhood, but never stood on the field.

I hope the end to your summer was as fantastic as mine. Now, on to Fall!....

.... and some tasty and savory treats!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chocolate Fondue Truffles...




So, what to do with left-over chocolate fondue?

The day after placing the chocolate fondue in the refrigerator, it solidified. I was scooping it out into cups to microwave for my girlies to dip fruit into.

Not as much fun as eating it from a fondue pot.... and honestly, I really didn't want to break it out again.

Sorry, but sometimes a girl just doesn't want to have to do the dishes.

Anyway, I had a brilliant idea! Why not roll the chilled fondue into truffles? I mean... does it really matter how I get my chocolate fondue fix.....

..... um, not really.

So, to make them even more indulgent, I decided to roll my fondue truffles in chopped macadamia nuts, chopped Reece's Pieces Baking Chips, and Toll House Mini Chocolate Morsels. Anything goes here, really.

Coconut would be fab, but I seem to be the only coconut lover in my household... and I didn't want to seem too selfish with these babies.

If, at anytime, you have left-over chocolate fondue... don't throw it out (gasp!)... chill it and make some decadent truffles. It's totally worth it.


Chocolate Fondue Truffles

  • Chilled, Left Over Chocolate Fondue
  • Chopped Nuts, Baking Morsels, and/or Candies of Your Choice
Using a melon baller, scoop the chilled fondue and roll into 1 inch truffles. Roll the truffles in the nuts, morsels, and/or candies you have chosen, covering completely. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. Remove just before serving. 

Enjoy! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream...

 


It's been a long time, my friends!

At last, we are settled here in Oregon... and I've finally got my derriere in gear and decided I better start posting some recipes... right?

With missing two full summer months of blogging, I needed to get in at least one ice cream recipe for you.

My girls love, love, love strawberries and cheesecake... not to mention ice cream. So, this trio seemed the way to go. Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream... YUM!

A bonus to this recipe...... you don't need an ice cream maker... yay! I love making ice cream using this method. It's super easy. For reals.

It's so, so, so nice to cook and bake after going about 6 weeks without being able to. I mean, at first it's great to have a break, but then it gets a little old.

Please say you'll try making ice cream this way... you won't regret it.

I promise.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

  • 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Can (14 OZ.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 6 OZ. Fresh Strawberries, Diced
  • 8 OZ. Cheesecake, Crumbled
Begin by chilling a large stainless steal or glass mixing bowl and your mixing beaters in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Pour the whipping cream into the chilled bowl and beat on high with the chilled beaters until stiff peaks begin to form. Gently fold in the strawberries and the crumbled cheesecake. Slowly fold in the sweetened condensed milk.

Pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container. I've found that covering the top of the ice cream with parchment paper helps so that the ice cream does not develop freezer burn. Freeze six hours or overnight. Makes 6 1/2 cups of ice cream.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post on I'm Lovin' It at Tidy Mom.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Aloha, Hawaii...


 

I know... totally didn't post the past few weeks... and I said I would at least once a week, even with all the chaos of a move. I'm sorry about my absence from the blog.

I had a couple of great appetizer recipes I wanted to make for you, but after all the birthday excitement here, and now we need to prepare for the movers this next week, it's been really hard for me to do any cooking for recipe posts.

I did, however want to drop you a note that I will be away from So Domesticated... just for a little while. It will probably be about a month until we have all of our household goods back on the mainland, so I'll be without a computer, and we do not currently own a laptop... gasp!

I will be posting updates on my Facebook page, once we get to Oregon, since we will be staying with my in-laws for a bit.... and my husband has a fancy phone... so I'm sure I'll be able to update from that as well.

Thank you for popping in here and all your wonderful support! I'll see you all back on the mainland!


Aloha,
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