Friday, February 28, 2020

Monster Cookies























It's an Oatmeal cookie, chocolate chip cookie and peanut butter cookie all wrapped into one delicious chewy scrumptious treat!  This is my favorite cookie!  Especially warm, just out of the oven, with a cold glass of milk! Make them as large as you want....I make mine smaller because I like them thick and chewy. I use a tablespoon to scoop my cookie dough.  Notice these have no flour in the ingredients so you don't want to over bake them.  Take them out a little early and they will continue to bake while in the pan cooling.

Monster Cookies


1¼ cups chunky peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated white sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups quick cooking, 1-minute oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's

½ cup caramel bits



























Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using a hand mixer mix  together the peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until creamy.  Mix in eggs, vanilla extract, and oats. Next, stir in baking soda, salt, oatmeal, chocolate chips, M&M's, and caramel bits until blended.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a fork dipped in cold water. Skip this step if you like a thicker, chewier cookie.  Press a few extra M&M's into the top of the cookies if you’d like.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not over bake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.  Cookies will continue to bake while cooling in  the pan so be careful not to over bake in the oven. Place cookies on a  cooling rack to finish cooling.  Enjoy!



















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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cheesy Camp Fire Potatoes






















I call these my camp fire potatoes.  Not because I camp. I am not a camper.  My idea of camping would be at a 5 star hotel preferable in the penthouse suite overlooking the ocean.  But if I was a camper and I wanted the perfect side dish, I would serve this with whatever I was cooking up over the camp fire.  

I guess you could call cooking out on the grill the closest I come to camping. And when I’m making chicken, steak, fish or any other dish, this is my favorite side dish to serve.  It takes only a few minutes to make these when you use the pre-packaged little microwavable potatoes.

Cheesy Camp Fire Potatoes

1 package of microwave ready potatoes*
5 slices of bacon, cooked and diced
1 cup cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure your potatoes are all roughly the same size whether you are using pre-packaged microwavable or fresh baby potatoes from the produce section. 

Place potatoes on a microwave-safe bowl or plate and cook on high for 3-4 minutes until tender when you test them with a fork or knife.

Preheat the grill or if using the oven preheat it to 350 degrees.  Lay out 3 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil to make your packet. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.





















Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice a single layer on to the foil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with cheese and bacon.  





















Repeat layers two more times until all potatoes, cheese and bacon are used. Fold up the sides of the foil and pinch the top closed. Place on grill, cover and cook for 10-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and the cheese has melted. Open foil and serve!























NOTE:  There are different varieties and brands of microwavable potatoes. Or you can buy baby potatoes and microwave them but make sure they are all about the same size.
















*These potatoes can also be baked in the oven for roughly the same amount of time at 350-400 degrees.
























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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Fried Chicken with Pecan Honey Glaze























Do you ever get food cravings?  I mean real cravings for that certain food that you just can't stop until you drop everything you're doing and go make it.  That's what this is....your ultimate food craving.  I think about this chicken a lot. I dream about this chicken.  I mean there's something about crunch and sweet that sets off cravings like nothing else.  Make it once and you'll know what I mean.


Fried Chicken with Pecan Honey Glaze

1 quart buttermilk (4 cups)
1 frying chicken (3-4 lbs.), cut up into 8 pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 tablespoons onion powder
11/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil or shortening

Rinse the chicken and pat completely dry with paper towels.
Pour 1/2 the buttermilk (2 cups) into a shallow bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat well. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Set up your dredging station with three shallow bowls. Place the remaining 2 cups of buttermilk in one bowl. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, garlic and onion powders, paprika and cayenne and divide the mixture into the other two shallow bowls. Season both bowls generously with salt and pepper.























Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and drain off buttermilk.  Then pat it dry with paper towels. Dredge the pieces a few at a time in the flour mixture and then shake off excess. Then dip each piece of chicken into the buttermilk and again shake off the excess buttermilk. Finally, dredge the chicken a third time into the second shallow dish of flour and shake off excess. Set chicken pieces on rack until ready oil is hot enough to fry.

Add about 3 inches of cooking oil to a heavy skillet…add no more than half way up the sides. Fry the chicken over medium high heat working in batches of 3-4 pieces at a time. Using tongs, turn the chicken pieces in hot oil for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through. I like to cover my chicken half way through this cooking process.
Remove chicken from the oil with tongs and move to a rack lined with a paper towel to drain; repeat to cook the remaining pieces.






















Pecan-Honey Glaze

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 cup honey
1 cup coarsely finely chopped pecans

To make the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the honey until well blended. Bring to a simmer and add the pecans. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle the glaze over the hot fried chicken and serve.
























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Monday, February 10, 2020

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells























I remember the first time I ever made stuffed shells. I was young and I wanted to make something special for a new boyfriend I wanted to impress. I remember seeing the box on the grocery store shelf and thinking, how cool are these?  I can probably stuff these with something!  And then I read the box and learned that this is a traditional Italian recipe that's been around forever. I made the recipe with extra spices and a lot more cheese and they turned out great.  My guest was very impressed. And I was too! 

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 (12 oz.) box uncooked jumbo pasta shells
15 ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 egg
1 (26 oz.) jar Ragu Chunky Tomato, Onion and Mushroom
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package directions for al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.























In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, Romano, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, egg, salt, pepper, and parsley.  Set aside.














Coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Not too deep just about 1/3 cup will be fine.  Fill each shell with the cheese mixture and place open side up, in a single layer, in prepared pan. Pour more sauce over the stuffed shells. I like just a little sauce but you can add as much as you want.













Loosely cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
During last 5 minutes of baking, remove foil and sprinkle more Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top if desired. Bake 5 more minutes. Serve with crusty Italian bread.













For Crockpot:  Follow the same directions as above. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours on high or 3 hours on low OR until hot all the way through. 













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