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One more recipe before I crash but more to come later!

Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 c. butter, soft

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 c. chocolate chips

1 c. butterscotch chips

1 c. peanut butter chips

1 1/3 c. flaked cocoanut

1 c. chopped pecans (or your choice, cashew or peanuts are good too)

In a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish, melt margarine in oven.  Sprinkle crumbs over margarine and press into pan.  Pour milk over crust.  Top evenly with remaining ingredients in layers.  Press down and let set for a few hours before cutting into small squares (too rich for large squares)!  Give me a glass of cold milk and I can hardly stop myself from eating the whole pan!!

Magic Cookie bars uncut

Magic Cookie bars uncut

Magic Cookie Bars cut and ready to eat.

Magic Cookie Bars cut and ready to eat.

 

Taking a break tonight and. . .

thought I would share a recipe from the weekend with the granddaughter.

SIMPLE CHOCOLATE TREAT

12 oz chocolate chips

12 oz butterscotch chips

2 T. peanut butter

2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Melt chips in double boiler, stirring often.  This will seem dry and clumpy.  Add the peanut butter and stir well.  The peanut butter heated in the chips makes it real creamy and soon very workable.   Stir well and add nuts and mix well.  Drop by teaspoon full on wax or parchment paper.  Cool until chips set up again.  Really good.

Variation:

Use peanut butter chips in place of butterscotch chips.

Use pretzels broken up, peanuts, cashews, anything salty in place of the pecans or walnuts.

These variations make for quick batches and it looks like you’ve slaved over them!  🙂

Chocolate peanut pretzel candy

Chocolate peanut pretzel candy

Cooking with the granddaughter!!

Saturday afternoon found me in the kitchen with my special young’un!!  First we went to the local IGA and picked up some baking supplies and junk food to hold for the day.  I’ve never seen any kid hold as much as she can and she’s a beanpole!!

When we got back home I boxed up some of the goodies I had prepared the night before and that morning and then I put her to work making Lemon Crunchies.  This was the first time I had made them but hey are so yummy and Victoria enjoyed them baked as much as she did in the dough stage.  They have just a hint of lemon and must be watched carefully so as not to overcook.

Lemon Crunchies

Lemon Crunchies

While Victoria was putting these together I made some Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Clusters and some Preacher cookies.  The Clusters are very easy to whip up and you get the sweet and salty kick!

Chocolate peanut pretzel candy

Chocolate peanut pretzel candy

 

Delicious preacher cookies

Delicious preacher cookies

 

Victoria’s attention was held very long by the sweets we were trying to prepare.  Her attention was taken by a new coon dog that PaPa had on loan.  She was a pretty dog, Plott/Black & Tan cross, 8-months old and scared of her own shadow.  Victoria was convinced she was a dog whisperer and could calm Miss Katie down and PaPa would have a wonderful new pup to train.  Well, dog whisperer she wasn’t and she was very disappointed.  Katie went back to her previous home today and Victoria  and PaPa are searching for a new trainee!!

Back to the cooking/baking!!  Here’s few of the other Christmas goodies I’ve prepared so far but have a lot more to do:

Miracle Peanut Butter Cookies

Miracle Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Magic Cookie Bars cut and ready to eat.

Magic Cookie Bars cut and ready to eat.

 

Cocoanut Joys

Cocoanut Joys

 

Gingerbread dusted with Confectioner's sugar

Gingerbread dusted with Confectioner’s sugar

 

Cheater's Quickie-Pretzel, rollo candy, topped with a pecan half.

Cheater’s Quickie-Pretzel, rollo candy, topped with a pecan half.

 

 

That’s all for now but hope to make two recipes a night through this week.  Enough sugar to get me though the holiday rush!!  🙂  Recipes to follow during my Christmas break from work and hope to add those Thanksgiving dishes I didn’t get posted when I was “computer-down”.    Here’s my beautiful granddaughter to sweeten the post!!

Victoria - Summer 2012

Victoria – Summer 2012

 

New breed of farmer!

New breed of farmer!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

I just want to wish everyone a very blessed Thanksgiving!  My home computer is still down and the reason I haven’t posted or responded to your posts.  Hopefully back up soon and playing catch up!!

I am thankful for my beautiful family, my friends, my job, the bounty God has provided us and I hope you all are as equally blessed as I am!!

Until next time!!

Thanksgiving dinner 2011-after everyone is finished eating.

Thanksgiving dinner 2011-after everyone is finished eating.

Rita

Baking mode

I still am not able to get out and help with the firewood yet or hunt because of my pinched nerve but I was able to bake yesterday!  This probably isn’t good because I’m eating as much as I’m baking and not getting the exercise I need.  Here’s a few of the items that kept me busy.

 

Rollo, pecan, pretzel - so easy!

Rollo, pecan, pretzel – so easy!

This recipe is pretzels, rollo candies, and pecans.   On a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil, cover with pretzels in one layer.  Unwrap the Rollo candies (chocolate and caramel centers) and place one on top of each pretzel.  Place in 350* oven for about three minutes ( candies will get glossy).  DON’T leave in until they melt–mess!!  Take out of oven and press pecan half in center of chocolate and press down.  Cover all with with a pecan half!  Let cool!  I’m not very patient so I place them in the freezer for about five or 10 minutes to let the chocolate set.  YUMMY!!  Salty/sweet, my favorite!

pound cake ready for the oven

pound cake ready for the oven

 

My favorite pound cake recipe.

My favorite pound cake recipe.

Then while this was baking I mixed up a batch of peanut butter cookies and they are so good.  I love them with a tall glass of milk!!

Mixing up the best peanut butter cookies.

Mixing up the best peanut butter cookies.

 

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

 

They're so good!

They’re so good!

Classic peanut butter cookie recipe

Classic peanut butter cookie recipe

I think if you click on the pictures, they’ll enlarge full page so you can read the ingredients.

Cooler weather always brings out the baker in me.

I’ll post more of my Thanksgiving dinner recipes before Thanksgiving!  Enjoy!

What to do with all those tomatoes

Plum tomatoes

We seem to have an abundance of plum tomatoes this year and I’m trying to find new canning/freezing recipes for them.  On Friday I picked about 20# of the little critters and cleaned them up.

I pulled out an old recipe I had used when the kids were little and made 10 pints of spaghetti sauce.  The recipe ingredients were tomatoes (of course) which had been cooked and run through a sieve.  When I cooked them I didn’t use any extra water because I wanted the tomato juice and pulp only.  To the pulp I added sugar, salt, oregano, basil, garlic, onions, green peppers, and red wine vinegar.  I can’t tell you the exact amounts because I played with the ingredients until hubby liked the taste and consistency.  I started with 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup salt, oregano, and basil (remember this is 20 pounds of tomatoes).

Cooking it down!

I used four medium onions, four green peppers, four cloves of garlic (minced) and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar.  This smelled heavenly while cooking down but the taste was a little sour and bland so I added more of the first four ingredients until we thought it was perfect.  I cooked it down some more until it was pourable but a thicker consistency than tomato juice.  I poured it in the jars, put the lids on to seal and processed them in my pressure canner for twenty minutes.  They’re beautiful, don’t you think!!

Spaghetti sauce

10 pints of beautiful spaghetti sauce

Next batch will be canned as barbecue sauce.

Let’s eat. . .

 

Mac & Cheese

 

These are some of our favorite fall/winter side dishes.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

EASY MAC & CHEESE 

Small box of elbow macaroni (about two cups)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 dash black pepper

1 – 1 ½ cups milk

2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded ( 8oz)

Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Add butter over medium heat; stir in flour, salt and pepper; slowly add milk. Cook and stir until bubbly and most of milk is cooked off.  Stir in cheese until melted. Serve.

Easy Macaroni Salad

2 cups cooked macaroni, drained and cooled

Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 large tomato, diced

1 large cucumber, peeled & diced (cut out seeds before dicing)

1/2 cup diced green peppers

1/2 cup diced red peppers

1 cup diced onions

Combine dressing ingredients.  Stir into macaroni until well covered. Cover and chill.

Fried Potatoes

8 medium to large potatoes, peeled & sliced thin

2 large onions, peeled and sliced thin

1 stick of margarine

2 tablespoons of  cooking oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

In large iron skillet, on medium heat, melt margarine with oil and let sizzle just a little.  Add onions and then potatoes.  Cover.  Turn with spatula occasionally until potatoes are tender and golden.  Serve and eat!!  So good!!

Baked Apples

8 – 10 large cooking apples, peeled, sliced

1/2 – 1 cup of brown sugar

1 stick of margarine, sliced thinly

Place apples in baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and margarine slices.  Place in microwave and bake until juices are bubbly.  Cool and serve.  Great for a snack with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!!

New recipe – Snacking food

Tennessee Trash/Puppy Chow – ummmmmmmmmm!

 

TENNESSEE TRASH

1/2 pkg pretzel sticks

1 jar(s) salted peanuts

1/2 pkg white almond bark

4 c corn chex cereal

4 c rice chex cereal

In large microwavable mixing bowl, melt almond bark. Heat for 60 seconds. Remove from microwave, stir. If needed, continue melting in 30 – 60 second intervals until completely melted. Stir until smooth.   In another large bowl, combine both cereals, pretzels and peanuts. Add candy and toss gently to evenly coat.  Pour coated mixture out on wax-papered cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 20 – 30 minutes to set.  Remove from freezer and gently break apart.  Store in air-tight container or tin. Enjoy!  WARNING:  HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!!

Seasonal recipes – Pumpkin

 I love to cook and wanted to share a couple fall recipes we like.  Hope you enjoy as much as we do.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

 Bars

4 eggs

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 cup canola oil

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin with a mixer until light and fluffy.

Pour flour, powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda into another bowl and mix.

Pour flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and mix until incorporated and smooth.

Pour the batter into the baking dish and level out the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the dish or frosting.

Frost the bars when they have cooled — To make the frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix until smooth. Add the sugar slowly until you reach the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla.

Summer Squash Casserole

2 lbs. (about 6 C.) yellow squash or zucchini

1 C. chopped onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 C. sour cream

½ C. butter or margarine

1 package herb seasoned stuffing (or 4 C. dry stuffing)

In a saucepan cook sliced squash and onions in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes. Drain. Combine soup and sour cream. Stir in carrots. Fold in drained squash and onions. Combine stuffing mix and butter or margarine. Spread half of this mixture in a 12 x 7 ½ x 2 baking dish. Layer with vegetable mixture and top with remaining stuffing mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until well heated.

More to come.  Enjoy!

Homemade Ice Cream

It has been so unbearably hot the last few weeks.  I’ve been shutting down the windows first thing in the morning and pulling the shades to keep the cool night air in and the hot out.  At sundown we open everything up again.  I’m doing very little cooking as well as hubby!  This kind of weather slows down the appetite which is a blessing for my belly and hips and we eat lots of salads.  And on that point, I have had a grand hankering for some homemade ice cream.  Peach preferably or cherry since I have both of those fresh from the market.  Anyway, hubby asked last evening when I was planning to make that ice cream and I told him as soon as he got the ice cream maker out of storage.  Within thirty minutes, we had everything out, cleaned up and ready to crank it up!!!  I was so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’ve included my recipe below and the next batch will have the peaches or cherries in.  I said next because I wasn’t sure the recipe below was our favorite so we decided to go easy the first time around.  The recipe card has been starred with some extra notes for the best darned homemade ice cream in the whole world, even if we did make it!!  Here’s the recipe:

Mix together the following and pour it into the ice cream can for process and follow your

ice cream machine instructions from here:

2 quarts heavy cream

2 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla

1/4 teaspoon of salt

Mix together until the sugar is dissolved & process.  If you are going to add fruit, puree it first and cut back on the cream & sugar a little or it will cause the can to run over!  This recipe made a full gallon for us and it’s divine!!

Did I say my belly and hips were being blessed by the heat??  NOT!!!!

Garden Harvest

I went to the garden yesterday morning and harvested this pan full of beautiful veggies.  I’m afraid we are going to have to start watering the garden this week from our pond.  The sun is bearing down and all of the garden is wilted by the end of the day.  We got a really late start planting this year because of the rain keeping the garden too wet to plow and then to plant.  Then the deer started eating the green beans again this year but we’re trying different things to deter them.  I save all of the thin bars of soap from the shower and hubby shaved them and scattered them through the beans.  That has stopped them for a few days but I read on another post that black trash bags tie to the fence was a good deterrent so I bout a cheap box and have the garden surrounded with them.  When the wind blows the bags blow up and out and I’m assuming that’s what scares them.  We will have a wonderful dinner from what I’ve already gathered along with some venison biscuits to top off the meal.  The following is the favorite at our house to prepare the squash:

Wash and slice one or two yellow squash or zucchini.  I slice them about a 1/4″ inch thick.  I dip them in a mixture of one egg, 1/2 c. milk,  salt & pepper, to taste. Then I dip them in seasoned flour until coated really well.  I then place them in a iron skillet that has one stick of butter that is melted and sizzling but not brown.  It takes about two minutes on one side, turn them over and fry the other side until golden brown.  Take out of skillet and place on paper towel and eat up.  They’re really crispy on the outside and sweet and firm on the inside.  Hubby even loves them cold!!

Enjoy your garden and share with family and friends!!