Monday, January 27, 2014

Silver Dollar Pancakes

What's for breakfast this morning? Breakfast is my favorite meal. Not only because it's so simple to make, but also because we have so many choices. Whether it's something sweet like these delicious silver dollar pancakes from my friend Marie over at the English Kitchen or muffins or cake or eggs...which I can eat at any time of day or night!  

 Silver Dollar Pancakes

2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups of buttermilk
5 tablespoons of oil
more oil and butter for greasing the pan

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda and salt together in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy in another bowl. Whisk in the buttermilk and the oil. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the liquid ingredients all at once. Stir until just combined, without over mixing. The batter will have small lumps.

Heat a griddle pan or heavy skillet over medium heat until a drop of water skips across the surface. Lightly grease with some butter and oil. Using a ladle, spoon batter onto the griddle in scant 2 tablespoon measures, leaving a few inches between each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and the edges are dry, with golden brown bottoms. Flip over and cook for about 30 to 45 seconds longer until golden brown on the other side. Keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Repeat to use up all the batter. Serve hot with butter and plenty of real Maple Syrup!
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The Law Of Mirrors

It has taken me a long time to fully accept this and apply it in my own life. I read it on a regular basis and it makes perfect sense and it brings me comfort when someone brings me pain.

When people insult you, don't take offense and don't take it personally, but do listen carefully to their words. They are telling you the exact qualities that they actually possess. It's called the "Law of Mirrors" and it says that one can only see what's in themselves, regardless of whether it is actually reality or not.

Therefore you must release the need to defend yourself or even try to explain that you are not whatever insulting comment they have thrown at you. Instead evaluate all of their insults and realize that this is who THEY are.

Then you simply need to decide if a person with those qualities is someone you want in your life.

~Doe Zantamata

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Custard Filled Horns

Who doesn't love creamy custard filled horns? And now that you can buy puffed pastry in the grocery store, they are easier than ever to make. My Mom used to make these for Christmas and decorate them with colored sugar. Sometimes she filled them with whipped cream and strawberries. I love them with custard. I have included a link for a set of horn molds in case you need them to make this wonderful dessert! 

 Custard Filled Horns

1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry), thawed
10 metal cream horn molds (metal cones)
1/4 cup whole milk
course sanding sugar or Turbinado
White chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease cream horn molds. Place sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a pastry wheel or a knife, cut the puff pastry sheet lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Beginning at the tip of the cream horn mold, fold the end of the dough around the tip. Wind the pastry strip around the mold, overlapping the layers slightly to almost cover the mold. Repeat with remaining molds.

Place the pastry-covered molds seam side down on the prepared baking sheets. Brush each pastry horn lightly with milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until golden about 15 minutes. Transfer pastry horns to wire rack and let cool on the molds. Remove the baked pastry from the molds and place on the rack to cool completely. Line another cookie sheet or baking sheet with parchment paper. Once horns are cool, dip the bottom of each one into white chocolate and lay on parchment paper to cool again. Then drizzle chocolate back and forth over horns. Chocolate will harden.

Custard Pastry Cream

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups whole milk or half-and-half (half milk/half cream)
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. In a bowl, whisk together milk and egg yolks. Whisk milk mixture into sugar mixture. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and optional liqueur. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then refrigerate until cold.

To assemble the cream horns:

Transfer the pastry cream or whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain or star tip. Insert the tip into pastry horn and pipe in the pastry cream to fill. If you don't have a piping bag, fill a Ziploc bag with the cream and squeeze it down to the bottom of the bag. Snip off the corn and squeeze into horns.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

*** NOTE: You can also fill with chocolate pastry cream. Just add 4 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate to the hot pastry cream as it comes off the heat. Stir and allow to sit for 2 minutes, then whisk it in until smooth.

♥♥ If you need a good price on Pastry Horn Molds check out this price that Amazon makes available to Welcome Home fans. Click on this link and get a set of 6 for only $5.66. This recipe makes 10 so you might want to pick up two sets. Remember anything you buy at Amazon through Welcome Home using our special code will support the NO KILL advocacy group who save the lives of dogs and cats in this country who are being killed unnecessarily while waiting in shelters for a new home.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

♥ Humanity

A question was once asked of a great man. "What surprises you most about humanity?" And his reply was profound.

"Man. Because he sacrifices his own health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. He is so anxious about the future that he doesn't take the time to enjoy the present. And the final result is that he doesn't live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived."

~The Dalai Lama

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♥ Lemon Creme Cookies

If you love lemon, you'll love these cookies.  A sweet little cake-like cookie filled with creamy lemon goodness! 

Lemon Creme Cookies

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. lemon extract
1/4 tsp. orange extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/3 cups. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Lemon Filling

1 stick butter, softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream together 1 stick butter with sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating between additions. Beat in extract. Beat in flour and salt until fully incorporated. Dough should be the consistency of a soft clay – workable with some stretch, but not runny. Put dough through a large frosting tip into a rosebud. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until tops are just beginning to turn golden brown, then remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

In a medium bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar a half cup at a time, beating to fully incorporate between additions. When frosting is stiff but workable. Add lemon juice and beat until incorporated. Test for flavor, adding more lemon juice if necessary. Add more powdered sugar until frosting hold soft peaks. Pipe frosting onto cookie bottoms and then press another cookie evenly against the center to create a sandwich. Pipe a dot of frosting on top of each cookie. Enjoy!

Photograph property of ©Welcome Home 2014

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♥ Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies
Pinch kosher salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, melted

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 11 x 7 inch pan.
Stir together crushed cookies, salt and melted butter. Press into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Beat cream cheese for 2-3 minutes until softened and fluffy. Add in sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in eggs and extracts on low speed until incorporated, scraping sides and bottom of bowl as necessary. Pour batter into pan. Use an offset spatula to spread evenly.

In a small bowl, stir preserves and lemon juice together until preserves have loosened. Place into a piping bag or freezer zip top bag. Snip corner pipe lines onto batter. Use a knife or offset spatula to swirl preserves lightly.

Bake the bars for 22-26 minutes, or until set. The bars will still jiggle a bit when pan is shaken, but should not be wet.
Cool on a wire cooling rack until cooled, then cover and transfer to refrigerator for at least one hour before cutting and serving.

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♥ Citrus Potpourri

I love to mix different things to make my own potpourri and simmer it in my slow cooker or on the stove all day. There is nothing that smells more fresh and clean. 

Citrus Potpourri

2 whole oranges, cut into pieces
4 sticks of cinnamon, broken into 3 pieces each
1 tablespoon whole cloves
water to cover

Add orange, cinnamon, and cloves to pot to simmer on top of the stove or in your slow cooker. Then add water until pot is almost full. Monitor water level frequently, adding more water as needed. Store in the refrigerator each night and it will last you for about a week.

You can add other things to the brew as well. Sometimes, I throw in a couple of slices of lemon. You could also add cranberries, nutmeg, pine needles, or whatever you like. Experiment with it and let me know what you try!
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♥ Homemade Meatball Subs

Sometimes I like to make meatballs ahead of time so that I can use them for spaghetti and other pasta dishes. Today I made Meatball Subs. Sometimes I like to just serve them with rice and call it a meal. 

Meatball Subs

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon of milk

Marinara Sauce (or use your favorite store bought brand)

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes, with their juices
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

For the sauce: In a large pot, warm the olive oil at low heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the basil. Pour in the tomatoes with their juices, bring the sauce to a boil, and then add the salt. Simmer on low heat for at least an hour. The sauce will thicken as it simmers. At the end of cooking time, stir in the balsamic vinegar.

For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the pork and beef along with garlic, bread crumbs, eggs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, a couple of grinds of pepper and milk. Mix together well with hands. Roll into 1 and 1/2-inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Place the meatballs into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm them up slightly.

Heat a olive oil and butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, turning to brown all sides. They do not need to be cooked through. Add the meatballs and marinara sauce and stir gently. Heat over medium heat until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times during simmering.  Serve meatballs and marinara sauce into stuffed toasted sub rolls. Add Mozzarella or Provolone cheese on top and toast until rolls are warm and toast and cheese is melted.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014. 
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♥ Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sometimes I just get a craving for good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs with a nice tossed salad and some warm, fresh out of the oven, garlic bread. I have made my own sauce for years and it takes a little time and work. But when I don't have that extra time, I go to what I feel is the next best sauce to my homemade don't get all persnickety on me...but I love Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic and Onion Sauce in a jar. I love the texture and flavor in that sauce and have been using it more and more often. It has all natural ingredients and mostly the same ingredients that I use in mine. Try it and see for yourself.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 28 ounce can tomato sauce + 1 ½ cans water
2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions, oregano, thyme, and basil. and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, cook for one minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add canned tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer. Stir every 10-15 minutes for an hour. Allow sauce to continue simmer over low heat while you prepare the meatballs.


1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup ground veal (optional)
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs (4 slices, crusts removed)
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of your tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 extra-large egg, beaten
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place the ground meats, both bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and egg in a bowl. Combine very lightly with a fork. Using your hands, lightly form the mixture into 2-inch meatballs or smaller if you like bite size as shown in photo.  Melt butter and then add olive oil to large 12 inch skillet. Place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat, turning carefully with a spatula or a fork. This should take about 10 minutes for each batch you make. Don't crowd the meatballs. Remove the meatballs to a plate covered with paper towels.  Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve hot on cooked spaghetti and pass the grated Parmesan.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014.
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Friday, January 24, 2014

♥ Peanut Butter Bundt Cake

One of my many projects today was to make you my peanut butter bundt cake with vanilla glaze and peanut butter drizzle. This cake is so incredibly moist and delicious...f you like peanut butter you don't miss this one.

Peanut Butter Bunt Cake

1 cup plain yogurt
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and lightly flour your bundt pan. Using a fork or a whisk, combine the yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a fork or whisk. In the bowl of a mixer or a large mixing bowl, add the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter. Using a mixer, cream for about 3 minutes on medium-high. With the mixer on low, add a third of the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, then half of the wet mixture, then another third of the dry mixture, then the last of the wet mixture, and finally the last of the dry mixture. Scrape the sides of your bowl between additions.

Turn the mixer on medium-high and beat the mixture for about 1 minute. Scrape the batter into your prepared bundt pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way. 

Vanilla Glaze 

1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted                                                                           

1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Stir together sugar and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together butter, milk, and vanilla, and stir into sugar until mixture forms a smooth paste. Keep glaze at room temperature until ready to drizzle over cake. Before using, whisk until smooth.

Peanut Butter Drizzle

1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, 1 tablespoon milk and the powdered sugar. Drizzle over cake.

NOTE: For the cake in the photo I used a 2 small 6 cup bundt pans, which was a perfect size to share one and keep one. But you can make a full size cake using a 12 cup bundt pan. Here is the link for the 

Nordic Ware 2 Piece Non-stick Bundt Pan Set, 6 Cup & 12 Cup. It's on sale right now for only $20.50 for both pans while supplies last. Once this item is sold out, Amazon will stock it at regular price. Keep in mind whatever you purchase through Amazon through Welcome Home, you donate to the NO KILL Advocacy group to save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever home.

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♥ My Homeless Friend

"I Give Not Because I Have Much. I Give Because I Know What it's Like To Have Nothing."

 My Homeless Friend

There is a homeless man that walks along a major highway in my town. I have seen him walking that same stretch of highway for more... than 10 years now. He doesn't beg. He just walks along the road with his old torn backpack strapped to one shoulder as the other strap is broken. He is so worn and tired and so cold during the winter months, but he never begs for a thing. I sometimes pull over and hand him a few dollars for a cup of coffee or I buy him a Burger King sandwich or breakfast if I see him during that time of day. I visit him frequently and he has become my friend. Not in the sense that you might think. For you see, he has never spoken to me.

For all the years that I have been visiting him, he has never acknowledged me. He doesn't give any eye contact and he never says a word. I see him walking along that major highway, and I pull over on the shoulder just ahead of him. He continues to walk with his head down. He will not come up to the car window or even stop walking so you have to time your stop just right in order to hand him anything. He keeps his head down at all times and he never speaks.

One day, I saw him walking in front of a gas station while I was pumping gas. Afterwards, I went inside to pay and asked the gas station attendant if he knew anything about the homeless man. He said he did. I asked if he could talk or if he was just shy. His answer broke my heart. He said the man was scared. He said that many years ago he actually did talk to the man and learned just how hard his life really was. He told me that the reason he keeps his head down and will not give you any eye contact is because he lives in fear.

He said there were many times when cars pulled next to him and spit at him or threw bottles at him. He said that one time a car stopped and called him over to give him food. As he stood there, the teenagers inside threw hot scalding coffee in the mans face and then drove off laughing. He has been doused with gasoline and a lit match caught his coat on fire. Another time, he was beaten and robbed of his food and blankets. He said the man has learned to hide his basic essentials under an underpass down the road and he never carries them with him. He no longer stops or speaks to anyone. He is alone and afraid and has no one. But he has me.

I became his friend a long time ago and twice a week I make him up a homemade meal with a jug of lemonade and take it to him. I have to search for him at times but it has become my weekly ritual and just a part of my life.

Last Christmas, I wanted to give my old friend a special present. So, I stopped at the Burger King that he walks past on that same stretch of highway and I bought some gift cards that would last him a while. Then I went next door to Costco and bought a brand new super sized backpack and I filled it with juice packs and some small canned goods like Vienna sausages and Spam. I added some crackers and cookies and some snacks like beef jerky and Slim Jims. I added some hand and foot warmers and 3 pair of heavy wool socks and some warm gloves and a wool cap. I put some chap stick and a pair of sunglasses to protect his eyes. Finally, I put a daily prayer and inspirational book inside along with some magnified reading glasses just in case he needed them. I wrapped the filled backpack in a soft wool blanket and tied a warm winter scarf around it.

I set out last Christmas Eve to find him, and as I drove along the highway I felt such a sense of excitement and joy. It was so cold and windy that day and at first I couldn't find him. I thought maybe he had found shelter from the cold and I looked under the underpass and he wasn't there. But after driving up and down that same stretch of road for about an hour, there he was on the opposite side of the road. I hurried and did a quick U-turn and slowed down the car so that I wouldn't scare him. He walked towards the car staying to the far side of the shoulder, with his head down as if I wasn't there. I rolled down the window and waited as he approached the side of my car.

"Sir, I am not going to hurt you. I will never hurt you. I have seen you walk this road for a long, long time and I am ashamed that I haven't done more for you, but tonight I would like to share the spirit of Christmas and give you this gift of love." 

He reached out and took the blanket wrapped gift and just kept on walking. He didn't say a word. He never looked up. He never made eye contact. He just kept on walking with his head down. My eyes filled with tears of both joy and sadness as I sat there and watched him continue his journey from my rear view mirror. And then it happened. As he got a little farther down the road, I watched as he just stopped and fell to his knees with his hands raised in prayer to the heavens above. He lifted his new gift in the air above his head as if to give thanks and glory to God. And then he stood up, turned and looked directly back at my car, nodded his head and continued his journey.

I will leave this world knowing that I may have impacted some lives in my time here on earth, but none like this man who needed so much love on that cold and windy Christmas Eve.

So please give to those who are in need. Please don't judge them or question their motives or think twice about who they are or might be. Just give from the kindness of your heart and know that it could be you one day. And don't make excuses.  I hear so many stories about how people don't give for fear that the person isn't really homeless or that the person will just buy alcohol or drugs. Alcoholism and drug addiction is a deadly and fatal disease and I can assure you that they don't want to be in the situation they are in. They have no choice and without that fix they can have seizures and convulsions and die. But if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then don't give money. Give them food or clothing.

Please give to those who have nothing. It will make such a huge difference in your life and God will truly bless you for helping and sharing your blessings with one of his less unfortunate children.

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♥ Dutch Apple Pie

I love the way my house smells right now...apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar....yum. This is my Mom's old recipe she used when it was apple season and she wanted a change up from your typical American hot apple pie. I always loved this one. 

Dutch Apple Pie

Pie Crust (Or buy a pre-made refrigerated pie crust)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

In a food processor, briefly pulse flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Don't over mix.

Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over dough; press to shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough to a 14-inch round with a floured rolling pin. Wrap dough around rolling pin, discarding paper; unroll over a 9-inch pie plate (opposite). Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate (do not stretch dough).


5 1/2 cups peeled cored sliced cooking apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fit pie crust into pie plate and trim off edges. In a large bowl, mix sliced apples, lemon juice, both sugars,flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. pour into crust.

Prepare topping:In a medium bowl, with a pastry blender or a fork, mix flour, both sugars, and butter until coarsely crumbled. Sprinkle evenly over apples.

Bake at 375 for 50 minutes. (If your crust gets too brown early on, cover the edges of the pie crust with tin foil and continue baking)

Photograph is the property of ©Welcome Home 2014
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Roast Beef Wraps

Today it's just a simple wrap for lunch. Fresh tortillas with lots of Deli style sliced Roast beef...topped with lettuce, tomato and a new mayonnaise that compliments this wrap so well!

Roast Beef Wraps
1 flour tortilla
Kraft Chipotle Flavored Mayonnaise...
Deli style roast beef, thinly sliced
cheddar or pepper jack cheese
thin tomato slices

Heat the tortilla for ten to fifteen seconds in the microwave.
Spread the chipotle spread lightly on the tortilla. Place lettuce on top of the spread. Add the beef and cheese. Add the tomato slices. To fold the wrap, fold in the sides of the tortilla and then roll from the bottom up. Cut the wrap in half.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014.

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Corn Flake Meatloaf

When I was growing up I remember my Mom using Corn Flakes for a lot of different recipes. But the one I remember most was her meatloaf. Not sure what the magic of Corn Flakes is, but this is one of the best meatloaves you'll ever make. So... much more moist and lighter than using bread. Try it and let me know what you think. I love this simple recipe! Look in the comments for more photos of my dinner tonight! Yum!

Corn Flake Meatloaf (Also known as Amish Meatloaf)

2 pounds ground beef or chuck (80% lean)
2 1/2 cups crushed Corn Flakes (or use crushed Ritz Crackers)
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar

Meatloaf Glaze:

1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (it makes the glaze sticky so it stays on the meatloaf, but you can leave it out if you want)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, crushed Corn Flakes or crackers, onion, eggs, evaporate milk, 3/4 cup ketchup, and 1/4 cup brown sugar until blended.

Do not over work or pat down. You want to keep the mixture lose. Using a buttered baking dish, mound meat mixture into a loaf shape. Bake for 1 hour or until cooked through. Add the ketchup glaze half way through cooking. Let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serve.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

♥ Chocolate Dipped Coconut cookies

I went chocolate dipping crazy today! I dipped just about everything I could find. This is one of my favorite coconut cookies and today I thought, "Why not dip that too?" Wow! A wonderful combination of flavors. Reminds you of a Mounds candy bar! 

Chocolate Dipped Coconut cookies

3 tablespoons butter at room temperature

2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add the coconut. Mix well so the coconut is well-coated with the butter. Beat the eggs with a mixer on medium speed just until blended. Add the sugar and beat on medium-high until the mixture is light-colored and fluffy. Combine the butter-covered coconut gently with the egg mixture and mix well.

Drop the batter (whatever size you'd like) onto the parchment-covered baking sheets and press down gently on the mound until it is fat. Keep about an inch of space between each cookie.

Bake for 7-10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the tops of each cookie with a pinch sea salt.. Slide the entire sheet of parchment with the cookies intact onto a wire cooling rack. Once they have cooled, dip each cookie into chocolate and let them set again on parchment lined sheets.

NOTE: As soon as they are cool, put them in an air-tight container otherwise they will lose their crispness.

Chocolate Dip

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted; stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie into melted chocolate. Place on parchment or waxed paper until chocolate is set.

Photograph is the property of ©Welcome Home 
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♥ Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

This is the only Chocolate Cake I remember my Mom ever making. This cake was so special and we always had so much fun making it. The recipe is written on one of the hundreds of little cards that she left me when she moved to Heaven. The note on the back of this card reads.......

"My little girl, someday you may not remember making this, but I hope you do. So much love goes into making this cake and it's your brother's favorite. We always have so much fun making it for his birthday. You can hardly wait to put the candles on it and you sit by the window and wait for him to come home to surprise him. I love that about you. I hope you always have that kind and generous spirit of giving to others and that you will remember this cake was always made with so much love. ~Mom."
My Mom's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (you don't taste it)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk (shake well before using), oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Then add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. You will not taste coffee in this cake. It enhances the chocolate only.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

6 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (optional but good!)

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature. Add butter to a large bowl and with an electric mixer on medium-high beat the butter until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 more minutes.

Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

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♥ Seafood Lasagna

I make regular lasagna a lot but for a real change up I sometimes put together a seafood lasagna that is delicious. Especially when I can find Halibut or crab meat on sale. I usually go with the fresh lump crab meat but any seafood you choose is just as good in this recipe. 

Seafood Lasagna

1 lb fresh halibut (or you can use Fresh lump crabmeat)
4 Tablespoons of Butter
4 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)
1/4 Cup chicken stock)
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
4 Tablespoons of Flour
2 cups of heavy cream or half and half
2 Cups of Parmesan Cheese (grated)
2 Cups of Mozzarella (grated)
16 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 egg
1 box Lasagna Noodles, cooked and drained
2 Teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 Teaspoon of Pepper (to taste)

Saute garlic in butter or olive oil until tender. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add the halibut and sauté until cooked. When done, flake the halibut into pieces. If using crabmeat, just saute lightly to warm being careful not to burn. Remove the seafood to a plate and set it aside.

In same skillet add chicken stock and lemon stir up any remaining bits on bottom of skillet. Simmer to reduce liquid by half. Then return the seafood back to the skillet and coat in liquid. Remove pan and set aside.

In another large skillet or saucepan melt butter and large sauce pan melt 4 Tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour and to cook for at least two minutes until flour cooks. Whisk in the cream and continue whisking to get rid of any lumps. Allow the sauce to thicken stirring frequently. Then add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste.

In separate bowl mix the the ricotta, spinach, egg, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella and a cup of the white sauce. Pour 1 Cup of the white sauce into the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking dish. Cover the sauce with a layer of cooked noodles in the baking dish.

Next pour half of the cheese/spinach mixture over the noodle layer. Then cover with a layer of noodles. Layer in all of your seafood from the pan, pour 1 cup of the white sauce over the seafood. Place a layer of noodles over this seafood layer. Add a layer of the remaining cheese/spinach mixture. Add a final layer of noodles on top.

Pour the remaining white sauce over the noodles. Top with 1/2 cup of Mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan sprinkled as the final topping layer. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until bubbling on the sides and 

golden brown on top, about 45-60 minutes.

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