That’s Italian!

Supreme Bagel Pizzas

2 plain bagels, split

1/2 cup pizza sauce

20 pepperoni slices

3/4 cup diced fully cooked ham

1/4 cup real bacon bits

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Place bagels on a baking sheet. Spread with pizza sauce. Arrange five slices of pepperoni on each, covering the bagel hole with one slice. Top each with ham, bacon, green pepper and cheese. Bake at 400° for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 servings.

Cheesy Breadstick Dunkers

1can (11 oz) refrigerated breadsticks (12 breadsticks)
1/3cup finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (1 1/3 oz)
1/4cup real bacon bits
2tablespoons Parmesan dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll dough on ungreased cookie sheet; do not separate. Top dough evenly with cheese, bacon bits and bread crumbs.
  • 2 Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into 12 long strips. Serve warm.
  • http://www.pillsbury.com

 

Spaghetti and Meatball Stoup

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 bag of frozen meatballs
  • 1/2-3/4 pound spaghetti, broken into thirds, depending on how “noodle-y” you like it
  • Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO, garlic, bay leaf, onion and carrots and sauté five minutes or until softened. Season with a little salt and pepper, then add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock. Cover pot and bring to a boil.Add the meatballs. Stir the broken spaghetti into the pot and cook seven minutes more. Season stoup with salt and pepper to your taste and serve. Pass grated cheese at the table for topping.
  • http://www.RachaelRay.com

 

Italian Cream Sodas

Homemade Italian Cream Sodas: Butter with a Side of Bread

  • 1/2 cup Club Soda
  • 3 TBSP Torani Syrup {our favorite combo was Raspberry Vanilla- 2 TBSP Raspberry to 1 TBSP Vanilla}
  • 1 TBSP Half & Half
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream and a cherry for the top!
To make one serving: Add ice cubes to glasses. Measure out about 1/2 cup Club Soda  and pour into each glass. {If you have larger glasses, you can double all of the ingredients.}
Add the syrup to the soda. Just before serving add the 1 TBSP of Half & Half to the soda/ syrup mixture. This is the fun part- as the cream seeps down it makes a really cool design on the glass. Try and not shake the glasses around too much so that the design is preserved- serve with whipped cream and a cherry on top, as well as something to stir with prior to drinking. It’s fun to admire the cool swirls of the syrup and cream, but encourage everyone to give it a little stir before drinking so that all the flavors meld.

 

Glitter Grapes

1 pound of green seedless grapes, pulled from the stems and rinsed
1 3-oz. package of Melon Fusion Jell-O (NOT prepared) or Jolly Rancher Watermelon flavor or Jolly Rancher Green Apple
Water

Rinse the grapes under water until all are clean and wet. Spread the gelatin mix on a plate, about 1/3 at a time. Place a handful of grapes on the plate and gently roll each grape in the gelatin powder until it is covered. Place the coated grapes into a bowl and repeat the process with the remaining ingredients until all of the grapes are covered. Place the bowl and let set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, until the gelatin is set. The colder these are, the better they taste!

http://www.puresugar.net

 

Slumber Party Cookie Pizza

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting or 2 cups frosting of your choice

Red, black, white, green and yellow gumdrops

1/4 cup white baking chips

In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pat onto a greased 14-in. pizza pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown; cool.

Spread frosting to within 1 in. of edge. Using a sharp knife, cut red gumdrops into 1/4-in. slices. Cut black gumdrops into slices and cut a hole in the center. Cut white gumdrops lengthwise, then into mushroom shapes. Cut green gumdrops into slices and place a small piece of red gumdrop in the center. Dice yellow and more green gumdrops. Arrange all gumdrop shapes over frosting. Melt white chips; place in a pastry or plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the corner; drizzle over pizza. Yield: 8-10 servings.

A Patriotic Summer!

Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs

 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated original or buttermilk biscuits
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef, cooked or 16 frozen (thawed) cooked meatballs
1 block (8 oz) Cheddar cheese, cut into 16 cubes
16 slices bacon
  • Long toothpicks or skewers
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 1 Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each biscuit in half; press with hands into circle about 3 inches in diameter.
  • 2 In center of each biscuit round, place 2 tablespoons cooked ground beef (or 1 meatball) and 1 cube of cheese. Wrap dough to completely enclose beef and cheese; pinch seams to seal.
  • 3 For the Fried Version: Wrap each stuffed “bomb” with 1 bacon slice; gently secure loose bacon with toothpick by inserting it through bacon and halfway into “bomb.” In 3-quart heavy saucepan or deep fryer, heat oil to 350°F. Fry stuffed “bombs” 4 to 5 minutes or until dough is golden brown on all sides. Place on paper towels to cool. Repeat with remaining “bombs”. Serve warm with ketchup and mustard, if desired.
  • 4 For the Baked Version: Heat oven to 400°F. Place bacon on foil-lined cookie sheet with sides. Bake about 8 minutes to partially cook bacon. Wrap each stuffed “bomb” with 1 slice partially cooked bacon slice. Place bacon wrapped dough 2-inches apart on two foil-lined cookie sheets with dough seam side down. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ketchup and mustard, if desired.  http://www.pillsbury.com/

 

Patriotic Drink

  • Ice cubes
  • Cranberry juice
  • Wild Berry flavor Gatorade Fierce
  • Diet 7-Up

How to make it

  1. Fill a clear glass with ice cubes. Pour the drink with the most sugar (check the nutrition label) into the glass. For our red, white, and blue recipe, start with the cranberry juice.

  2. Very slowly add a beverage that contains less sugar — in this case, Wild Berry flavor Gatorade Fierce. Be careful to pour it onto an ice cube — not directly into the other drink — to keep them from mixing.

  3. Use the same technique to add a layer of Diet 7-Up.

 

Brownie {& Fruit} Kebabs

Yield: Makes 16-20 kebabs (depending on how big you cut the brownies and how many brownie pieces you thread on the skewer)
• 9X13-inch pan of Brownies (chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes)
• 1 pint blueberries, washed
• 1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
• Large marshmallows
• Hot Fudge Sauce for drizzling, if desired
• Bamboo/wooden skewers
1. Alternate threading brownies, fruit and marshmallows onto wooden skewers. Drizzle with hot fudge sauce, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. http://www.melskitchencafe.com

 

Pop Rocks Sugar Cookies (based on this recipe from the King Arthur Flour site)

1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) butter
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, to taste
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, again beating till well-combined. The mixture may look a bit curdled; that’s OK.
Add the nutmeg, flour, baking soda and salt to the wet ingredients, and beat until the mixture forms a cohesive dough.

Divide into three parts, mixing one part with blue food coloring (a lot!), one part with red (also a lot) and leave one part plain. This way, you can have a mix of red, white and blue.

At this point, you’ll want to break into those Pop Rocks. I put a nice little handful of red (strawberry) and blue (raspberry) into the corresponding balls of dough (you could do a mix in the white dough).
Drop the dough in round blobs onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. They should be a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball, a bit smaller than a golf ball. Using a cookie scoop (or, if you have one, a small ice cream scoop, one that will hold about 2 level tablespoons of liquid) makes this task extremely simple. Leave about 2 inches between the dough balls, as they’ll spread as they bake.
Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 12-14 minutes, or when they are just starting to brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack. While you’re waiting for them to cool, you’ll want to take a small bowl and mix the leftover pop rocks with whatever red, white and blue sprinkles you’ve got around. Once cool, either top with a generous dollop of frosting or put a dollop between two cookies for a sandwich. If you’ve just frosted the top of the cookie, apply sprinkle mixture to the top or dip it into the bowl if the frosting consistency allows for it; for the sandwiches, you can dip the sides in the bowl so that they pick up the sprinkle mixture.

Sprinkle mixture
I used two half-pouches of Pop Rocks (what was left after I folded some into the dough) and a mix of some other red, white and blue sprinkles I happened to have around.  http://www.cakespy.com

 

 

Wild Side Sundaes

4 pkgs. (4 serv size) jello gelatin, 4 different flavors/colors 4 c. boiling water
2 c. cold water
1 8oz tub cool whip, thawed (I think that a 12oz would be better)

 

Dissolve each package of gelatin completely in 1 cup boiling water in separate bowls. Stir 1/2 c. cold water into each bowl of gelatin. Pour each mixture into separate 8 inch square pans. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until firm. Cut gelatin in each pan into 1/2 inch cubes. Layer gelatin cubes alternatly with whipped topping in sundae glasses. (I used a different color on each layer) Garnish top with dollop of coolwhip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 16 servings. (servings depends on the size of glasses you use). Source: Just for Kids

 

Easter Delights

Easter Egg Hunt Cookies

· 2 ½ cups flour

· 1 teaspoon baking soda

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1 cup Crisco (I used 1/2 cup Crisco and 1/2 cup butter)

· ¾ cup white sugar

· ¾ cup brown sugar

· 1 teaspoon vanilla

· 2 large eggs

· 24 mini Cadbury Eggs  

Optional:

· Green frosting

· Jelly beans or M&Ms

 

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Cream Crisco/butter, white and brown sugars, and vanilla in the bowl of your mixer. Add eggs one at a time.

3. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients. The dough will start to pull away from the bowl of the mixer.

4. Using about a tablespoon of dough wrap a mini Cadbury egg so it is completely covered. Place the cookie inside a greased mini muffin tin.

5. Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes or until golden. ***IMPORTANT*** Let the cookies cool in the pan for about 10-12 minutes until you can “twist” it out. Using your fingertips gently try to twist the cookie to remove it. If the cookie seems too soft like it will break apart wait 2 minutes and try again. If your muffin tin is greased the cookie will lift out whole after about 10-12 minutes. But do not let your cookie cool completely in the tin or it may adhere itself to the pan and then you will have to scrape it out.

6. Let cookies cool completely, top with frosting and jelly beans or M&Ms.

 

Croque Monsieurs (Ham and Cheese Croissants)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 8 croissants
  • Dijon
  • 8 ounces honey ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

Halve and toast the croissants, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 4 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the croissant with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot. (from The Barefoot Contessa)

Easter Bunny Biscuits

Refrigerated biscuit dough or you can make your own

·         Raisins or currents (for eyes and nose)
·         Slivered almonds (for whiskers)

Each bunny takes 2 refrigerated (or home-made) biscuits. Simply cut one in half, shape slightly and pinch onto the top of the whole biscuit to make the ears. Add raisin/current eyes and nose, and some slivered almonds for whiskers. Bake according to directions on the biscuit package (or below) and there you go! Bunnies for breakfast! Serve with your favorite fruit, jam or jelly. littlecookfromtheprairie.blogspot.com

Calla Lily Tea Sandwiches

Makes about 4 dozen
1 (5.2-ounce) package garlic and herbs cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
48 slices white bread
Paprika
2 carrots, peeled
Garnish: green onion

1. In a small bowl, combine cheese, cream cheese, walnuts, red pepper, and black pepper. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Using a 2 1/2-inch cutter, cut 48 rounds from bread. With a rolling pin, roll each bread round to 1/8-inch thickness.
3. Spread about 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture on each bread round. Sprinkle center with paprika, and fold bottom of prepared bread round over, pinching end to seal. Cut small pieces of carrot, and place in center of each sandwich for flower stamen. Garnish with green onion tops to form stems, if desired.  http://www.southernladymagazine.com

Bunny Cream Puffs

2bunnycreampuffs

  • Cream Puffs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Land O Lakes Butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Land O Lakes All-Natural Eggs
  • Filling
  • 1 (3.3-ounce) package white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • Decorations
  • Large marshmallows
  • Decorator sugar
  • Toothpicks
  • Vanilla-flavored candy-coating (almond bark), melted
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Black string licorice, cut into thin 3/4-inch strips
  • Small round pink candies, such as mini candy-covered chocolate pieces
  • Powdered sugar, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Combine water and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat 4-7 minutes or until mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to low; stir in flour vigorously until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in 1 egg at a time until mixture is smooth.
  2. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 3 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Pierce each puff gently with fork to allow steam to escape. Cool completely.
  3. Prepare pudding mix, using 1 1/4 cups milk, as directed on package. After pudding is set, gently stir in whipped cream. Cover; refrigerate up to 4 hours or until serving time.
  4. To create bunnies, cut off cream puff tops. Cut large marshmallows crosswise into 3 pieces. Dip cut-sides into decorator sugar for ears. Using toothpicks, attach sugared marshmallows into top of cream puff for ears. Use melted candy coating to attach chocolate chips for eyes.
  5. Just before serving, fill bottom half of cream puff with 1/3 cup filling. Press licorice strips for whiskers and pink candies for nose into filling. Place decorated cream puff top over filling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

It’s Dr. Seuss’s Birthday!

Green Eggs and Ham
 
  • Pretzel sticks
  • White Candy melts (can be found at Michael’s or other craft store)
  • Green M&Ms
  1. Place pairs of pretzels onto a cookie sheet.
  2. I’ve done these two ways and I think I prefer the 1st way but do whatever is easier for you: 1)Place one white candy melt on top of each pair pretzel sticks and put cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes. Once out of the oven press M&Ms onto white chocolate.2)Put white chocolate melts in a ziploc bag and microwave for 30 second intervals until melted. Cut the corner of the bag with scissors and pipe chocolate onto pretzel sticks in the size of a nickel. Press M&Ms onto white chocolate. Let the white chocolate harden before removing from parchment paper.

Source: adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

 

Cat in the Hat Lunch

Hat Base: Turkey Sandwich, cut to shape.  
Hat Stripes:  Fruit Roll-up cut, but you could use Fruit By The Foot
Face and Ears:  Mozzarella Cheese cut to shape.
Eyes: Sandwich meat cut into 2 ovals.  Chocolate chips with tips cut off for pupil.
Nose: Chocolate Chip
Whiskers: Carrot sticks slices smaller.
Mouth: Edible food pen to draw on the cheese
Tie: Remainder of the Fruit Roll-Up!
 
 
2 quarts lime sherbet*
2 liters Sprite, 7-Up or Ginger Ale
1 (46-ounce) can pineapple juice
Maraschino cherries or frozen strawberries, optional, for a little red color
Pineapple sherbet, optional, to add to top for extra flavor and color (see photo)
Green food coloring if you want more color!

DIRECTIONS:

In a large punch bowl, add 2 quarts of lime sherbet.  Pour the Sprite/7-Up/Ginger Ale over the top and then add pineapple juice.  Add in cherries or strawberries, if using.  I topped mine off with some pineapple sherbet for extra pineapple flavor and color contrast!

*If you can’t find lime sherbet, substitute rainbow sherbet or lemon sherbet and add some green food coloring until you reach the green color you desire.  You can also get creative and find other ways to make it green – green Hawaiian punch…green apple soda, green apple Crystal Light, etc.  Enjoy!

 
 
 
 
Cat in the Hat Fruit Kabobs
 
Giant Cat in the Hat Fruit Kabobs | Preschool Powol Packets
Green Eggs and Ham
 

Ingredients

  • Pretzel sticks
  • White Candy melts (can be found at Michael’s or other craft store)
  • Yellow or Green M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Place pairs of pretzels onto a cookie sheet.
  2. I’ve done these two ways and I think I prefer the 1st way but do whatever is easier for you: 1)Place one white candy melt on top of each pair pretzel sticks and put cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes. Once out of the oven press M&Ms onto white chocolate.2)Put white chocolate melts in a ziploc bag and microwave for 30 second intervals until melted. Cut the corner of the bag with scissors and pipe chocolate onto pretzel sticks in the size of a nickel. Press M&Ms onto white chocolate. Let the white chocolate harden before removing from parchment paper.

Notes

Source: adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/03/twist-on-green-eggs-and-ham.html#0wbr6ybu7fFLuT3g.99

Green Eggs and Ham
 

Ingredients

  • Pretzel sticks
  • White Candy melts (can be found at Michael’s or other craft store)
  • Yellow or Green M&Ms

Instructions

  1. Place pairs of pretzels onto a cookie sheet.
  2. I’ve done these two ways and I think I prefer the 1st way but do whatever is easier for you: 1)Place one white candy melt on top of each pair pretzel sticks and put cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes. Once out of the oven press M&Ms onto white chocolate.2)Put white chocolate melts in a ziploc bag and microwave for 30 second intervals until melted. Cut the corner of the bag with scissors and pipe chocolate onto pretzel sticks in the size of a nickel. Press M&Ms onto white chocolate. Let the white chocolate harden before removing from parchment paper.

Notes

Source: adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

Read more at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/03/twist-on-green-eggs-and-ham.html#0wbr6ybu7fFLuT3g.99

Valentine Recipes for Moms!

Roasted Eggplant Salad with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese

serves 4

2 large eggplants, about 2 pounds
Kosher salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and divided
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and put in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and set aside while making the marinade.

Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, smoked paprika, and cumin. Dab away any extra water that has beaded up on the eggplant and toss with the marinade. Stir in the garlic. Spread the eggplant on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment and slide onto a rack placed in the center of the oven. Roast at 400°F for 40 minutes, or until very tender and slightly browned. (Stir every 15 minutes and check after 30 minutes to make sure it isn’t burning.) Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Whisk together the lemon juice and soy sauce. Return the eggplant to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice mixture. Stir in the parsley leaves, smoked almonds, and most of the goat cheese, reserving a little.

Spread the finished salad in a serving bowl and sprinkle the reserved goat cheese crumbles and scallions on top.

Faith Durand is the executive editor of The Kitchn, and a cookbook author. Her latest is a celebration of all things pudding: Bakeless Sweets: Pudding, Panna Cotta, Fluff, Icebox Cake & More No-Bake Desserts

 

Spicy Chipotle Barbecue Sausages

From the kitchen of SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl

  • 1 14-oz package of Hillshire Farms Lit’l Smokies
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves or jam
  • 2 chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

 

In a large pot, mix all ingredients. Heat to boiling over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Mix in water if sauce is too thick. Serve on platter with sauce poured on top or served on the side.
*Yields: 6-7 servings

 

 

Red Velvet Dirt Cake
Recipe adapted from Pinch my Salt

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack. All the cakes to cool completely before assembling the trifle.

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup half and half
1 cups dark chocolate, chopped

Warm the half and half in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to almost boil, but don’t let it boil. As soon as is it really hot, remove it form the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until melted and allow it to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once it has cooled (at room temperature), it is ready to be used in the trifle.

Mascarpone Whipped Frosting
Recipe inspired from Recipe Girl. Who wouldn’t be inspired by her amazing trifle pictures, gorgeous!

8 ounce mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
*If you don’t have mascarpone, sub all cream cheese, so a total of 12 ounces.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in whipping cream. Continue whipping until mixture resembles soft whipped cream. This took about 10 minutes.

Trifle Assembly
Arrange a single layer of red velvet cake chunks on the bottom of the trifle dish. Spoon about 1/3 of the ganache on top of the cake cubes, then spoon about 1/3 of the mascarpone frosting onto the ganache. Sprinkle the frosting with mini chocolate chips. Repeat layers until you run out of room in your dish (which took 3 layers for me).

 

I garnished with some crumbled red velvet cake and a little sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. It was super pretty and even more tasty!

Valentine’s Treats

Valentine Puppy Chow

White
  1. 1 cup white candy wafers
  2. 3 tbs. vegetable oil
  3. 5 cups rice Chex cereal
  4. 1 cup powdered sugar
Jelly
  1. 1 cup red (vanilla flavored) candy wafers
  2. 3 tbs. vegetable oil
  3. 1/4 cup strawberry jelly
  4. 1/4 cup Duncan Hines strawberry cake mix
  5. 5 cups rice Chex cereal
  6. 1 cup powdered sugar
White (Directions)
  1. Measure out the 5 cups of rice Chex cereal. Place the cereal in a large bowl and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl place the white wafers in the microwave for approximately 1 minute. Stir white wafers with vegetable oil until smooth. Pour over rice cereal and gently fold until covered. Gently stir with powdered sugar until covered evenly and there are no clumps. (set aside)
Jelly (Directions)
  1. Measure out the 5 cups of rice Chex cereal. Place the cereal in a large bowl and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl place the red wafers in the microwave for approximately 1 minute. Stir red wafers with vegetable oil until smooth. Once smooth mix in jelly and cake mix. Pour over rice cereal and gently fold until covered. Gently stir with powdered sugar until covered evenly and there are no clumps. (set aside)
  2. Combine both cereal mixtures and enjoy!

 

Valentines Twinkies on a Stick

https://i0.wp.com/www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/twinkie31.jpg

You’ll need Twinkies and lollipop sticks. You can usually find lollipop sticks at your local craft store.  Sometimes there are two sizes, and you want the longer ones.

You also need white almond bark or candy melts.

Melt the candy coating according to package directions.  Unwrap Twinkies, and dip the sticks about 1/3 of the way in the melted candy.  Insert the sticks in the Twinkies and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  When all of Twinkies have sticks in them, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes.  This is going to make the sticks stay in the Twinkies instead of sliding out.

If the white candy coating has set up a bit, melt it again in the microwave.  Remove Twinkies from freezer and coat completely in the melted candy.  Tap off the excess, and place back on wax paper lined baking sheet.

Once all the Twinkies are coated, drizzle with additional melted candy melts of your choice.  I used red, pink, and dark chocolate.  You can drizzle with a fork, or put the melted candy in a disposable piping bag with the tip cut off and squeeze it over the Twinkies in a zig zag motion.

Place the pan back in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes until the candy is set.

confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

sugar free pink licorice ♥

To make this sugar-free licorice, combine seven packets of  sugar free strawberry kiwi gelatin powder ( this is what makes it pink! ) and 3/4 of a cup of sugar substitute ( I use Stevia brand)  in a coated nonstick saucepan. Add 1/2 a cup of cold water and stir until the mixture is semisolid and spongy. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the mixture is melted.   The consistency should be similar to thick maple syrup or molasses.

Pour the candy into the prepared baking dish, and shake it back and forth so that it is in an even layer. Place the baking dish in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator, and, with a thin spatula or other thin kitchen implement, remove the candy in one piece from the baking dish onto a flat surface. With kitchen shears, cut the square of candy in half, and then cut each half into 1/4-inch wide strips.  You may if you want twist the strips at both ends to create the traditional licorice spiral. Allow to sit at room temperature until slightly hardened, and serve. ♥(European cutie blogspot)

HEART SHAPED PIZZAS

Start with frozen bread dough, thawed. Roll out to form the pizza crust and shape into a heart. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Put all your favorite pizza toppings on and then cover with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min.

 

 

Valentine Treats

Strawberry & Chocolate Nachos
Recipe by ourbestbites.com

–Tortillas, melted butter, and cinnamon sugar – brush melted butter onto tortillas, cut into wedges, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake at 350 for 10 min.
–Diced strawberries tossed with granulated sugar and left to sit for 10 minutes.
–Melted chocolate chips, ganache, or hot fudge
Sweetened Whipped Cream, whipped cream from a can, or Cool Whip

Place Cinnamon Chips on a platter and top with diced strawberries.  Drizzle with melted chocolate and top with whipped cream.

 

Chocolate Bowls with a Balloon

You’ll need a bar of chocolate and small balloons. After filling the balloons with the amount of desired air you’ll be ready to melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, you must let it cool slightly. Simply dip each balloon and let the chocolate harden before peeling the balloon off. Slowly let the air out of the balloon. Fill with pudding or whipped cream and garnish with fruit or candy.

Oreo Sugar Cookie Parfait

backforsecondsblog.com

Serves

1

Prep time

5 minutes

  • 1/2 cup sugar cookie pieces
  • 1/3 cup buttercream frosting
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 Oreos
  • sprinkles

Directions

In a small bowl mix the yogurt and the frosting together until smooth and creamy. Spoon 1/3 of the frosting mixture into a glass. Add 1 chopped oreo and 1/2 of the sugar cookie pieces and another 1/3 of the frosting mixture. Sprinkle with one more chopped oreo and the remaining sugar cookie pieces and frosting. Top with the last chopped oreo and sprinkles if desired.

Christmas Treats

Mini Shepherd’s Pies

1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup chili sauce or ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/4 cups mashed potato flakes
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup crushed potato chips
Paprika, optional

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat

is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until tender;

drain. Stir in the chili sauce, vinegar and salt; set aside.

 

In a small saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Pour into a

small bowl. Whisk in potato flakes until blended. Beat in cream

cheese until smooth.

 

Press 1 biscuit dough onto the bottom and up the sides of each of 10

greased muffin cups. Fill with beef mixture. Spread potato mixture

over beef. Sprinkle with potato chips; press down lightly.

 

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle

with paprika if desired. Serve immediately, or cool before placing

in a single layer in a freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to

2 months.

Yield: 5 servings.

© Taste of Home 2013

Chocolate-Filled Meringue Snowballs

1/2
cup powdered sugar
1/2
cup chocolate creme-filled cookie crumbs
1/2
cup finely chopped pecans
1/4
cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
2
tablespoons bourbon or water
1
teaspoon light corn syrup
2
egg whites
2/3
cup sugar
1/2
teaspoon vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 250°F. Generously grease cookie sheets with shortening.
  2. In medium bowl, stir powdered sugar, cookie crumbs, pecans, chocolate chips, bourbon and corn syrup until well mixed. Shape 1/2 teaspoonfuls into balls; place on sheet of waxed paper. (If necessary, flour hands to shape balls.)
  3. In small bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Stir in vanilla.
  4. Drop balls 1 at a time into meringue. With spoon, coat well to form 1-inch balls; place on cookie sheets. Swirl top of meringue with spoon.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until meringue snowballs are crisp. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.
Makes 4 dozen cookies

 

Halloween Treats

Monster Cupcakes

Monster Cupcakes

1 box Cake Mix 
Colored Ice Cream Cones
Chocolate Frosting
M & M’s
Black Cookie Frosting
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

 

We started out by making our cupcakes in our cones. Fill the cones with prepared cake mix so that you have just a tiny bit over half way.  Make sure not to fill it more than that or the cake will over flow when baking.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes .
When cool, frost with Chocolate frosting. Top with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Design face with decorator frosting and M&M’s.
 
Pizza Mummies

Pizza Mummies

  • English muffins
  • Pizza sauce
  • Black olives
  • Scallions
  • Red or green pepper
  • Cheese sticks or slices

Heat the oven to 350º F. For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin (toast it first, if you like).

Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round slices of green onion or bits of red or green pepper for pupils.

Lay strips of cheese (we used a pulled-apart cheese stick) across the muffin for the mummy’s wrappings.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasty.

 

Melting Witch Pudding Cups

Melting Witch Pudding Cups

1/3
cup semisweet chocolate chips
 
1
teaspoon shortening
 
8
Bugles® original snacks
 
1
box (4-serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
 
4
cups cold milk
 
1
box (4-serving size) chocolate fudge instant pudding and pie filling mix
 
6
drops green food color
 
8
creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies or chocolate covered mint patties
 
8
pretzel sticks
 
1
tablespoon Fiber One® cereal or chow mein noodles, pieces broken in half
 
16
  gummi worm candies
 
 
 
 
  1. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening on High 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted; stir until smooth. To make tops of witch hats, dip snacks, one at a time, into melted coating, letting excess drip off. Place point up on cookie sheet. Let stand until coating is set.
  2. Prepare white chocolate pudding with 2 cups of the milk as directed on box. Prepare chocolate fudge pudding with remaining 2 cups milk as directed on box. Stir green food color into white chocolate pudding until well blended.
  3. For each pudding cup, spoon 2 tablespoons of the green pudding into bottom of 4-ounce clear plastic cup or serving dish; top with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate fudge pudding. Repeat with each flavor to form four layers. With handle of spoon, gently swirl the two top layers. Insert cookie in pudding; top with chocolate-coated Bugle® to resemble witch hat. Insert tip of pretzel stick into pudding with a few pieces of cereal sprinkled at the base to resemble a broom. Insert ends of 2 gummi worm candies into pudding and hang over edge to resemble the witch’s legs.
Makes 8 servings (1/2 cup each)
 

Cheese Eyeballs

Remove the wax cover from Babybel cheese.
Use gel food coloring to draw the blood vessels.

Cut olive into thin slices. Place olive slice on the cheese.

Fill the center of the olive with ketchup. Enjoy!

 

 

Jack-o-Lantern Fruit Plate

 

 

Monster Punch

Mix together 8 cups cranberry juice and 6 cups apple cider. Add ice and enjoy!

 

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
  • 30 flat-bottomed ice cream cones (see Note)
  • 1 (16-ounce) container chocolate frosting
  • 30 peanut butter cups, liners removed
  • Black decorating gel
  • 60 candy eyes, or small candies (see Note)
  • 60 small green candies

Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Cupcakes/Monster-Cupcakes#K81ufmldHh9DSMXS.99

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
     
  • Fill ice cream cones half-full with cake batter and place in muffin pans. Bake according to package directions for cupcakes. Let cool on wire rack.
     
  • Frost top of cupcakes and place a peanut butter cup (right-side up) on top of each.
     
  • Using black gel, attach candy eyes and draw a mouth on the bottom half of the cone. At the top of the cone, make stitches with black gel. For bolts, attach green candy to each side of cone with black gel. Cover loosely until ready to serve.

Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Cupcakes/Monster-Cupcakes#K81ufmldHh9DSMXS.99

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
  • 30 flat-bottomed ice cream cones (see Note)
  • 1 (16-ounce) container chocolate frosting
  • 30 peanut butter cups, liners removed
  • Black decorating gel
  • 60 candy eyes, or small candies (see Note)
  • 60 small green candies

Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Cupcakes/Monster-Cupcakes#K81ufmldHh9DSMXS.99

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
  • 30 flat-bottomed ice cream cones (see Note)
  • 1 (16-ounce) container chocolate frosting
  • 30 peanut butter cups, liners removed
  • Black decorating gel
  • 60 candy eyes, or small candies (see Note)
  • 60 small green candies

See Kid-Friendly Halloween Desserts
What To Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
     
  2. Fill ice cream cones half-full with cake batter and place in muffin pans. Bake according to package directions for cupcakes. Let cool on wire rack.
     
  3. Frost top of cupcakes and place a peanut butter cup (right-side up) on top of each.
     
  4. Using black gel, attach candy eyes and draw a mouth on the bottom half of the cone. At the top of the cone, make stitches with black gel. For bolts, attach green candy to each side of cone with black gel. Cover loosely until ready to serve.

Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Cupcakes/Monster-Cupcakes#K81ufmldHh9DSMXS.99

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
  • 30 flat-bottomed ice cream cones (see Note)
  • 1 (16-ounce) container chocolate frosting
  • 30 peanut butter cups, liners removed
  • Black decorating gel
  • 60 candy eyes, or small candies (see Note)
  • 60 small green candies

See Kid-Friendly Halloween Desserts
What To Do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
     
  2. Fill ice cream cones half-full with cake batter and place in muffin pans. Bake according to package directions for cupcakes. Let cool on wire rack.
     
  3. Frost top of cupcakes and place a peanut butter cup (right-side up) on top of each.
     
  4. Using black gel, attach candy eyes and draw a mouth on the bottom half of the cone. At the top of the cone, make stitches with black gel. For bolts, attach green candy to each side of cone with black gel. Cover loosely until ready to serve.

Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Cupcakes/Monster-Cupcakes#K81ufmldHh9DSMXS.99

LumberJack Foods

Big Pine French Toast

 Big Pine French Toast
4 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 30 min.
 
  • 8 slices french toast
  • 8 pork sausage links
  • Green colored sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 orange slices and fresh herbs, optional

Brown the sausage in skillet.
Cut French toast diagonally; place four slices, overlapping slightly,
on each serving plate for the tree. Place two sausages at the bottom
for the trunk. Sprinkle with sugars. Add an orange slice for the sun
and herbs for grass if desired.

 
 

Acorn Doughnut Holes


  • Heath Toffee bits
  • chocolate frosting
  • doughnut holes
  • pretzel sticks

Spread chocolate frosting on top 1/3 of doughnut hole,
Dip in heath bar, Stick  piece of pretzel stick into end.

 

Dirt Cake

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  • Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Gummy Worms
  • Other Things You’ll Need:
  • plastic cups
  • mint sprigs
In a food processor pulse the Oreo cookies until they resemble nice, rich topsoil. (You can also crush them in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin). Spoon the dirt (crushed Oreos) into the plastic cup about 1/4 full. Add a scoop of ice cream. Top with chocolate syrup and the remaining dirt.
“Plant” one sprig of mint in each cup. Add some gummy worms. Enjoy!

 

Tasty Bugs

Tasty Bugs Recipe
SNAIL
• Cut a thick vertical slice from a whole apple, just missing the core.
• Cut a celery stick that is about 1 inch longer than the width of the apple slice.
• Fill the trough of the celery stick with peanut butter or cream cheese, and set aside.
• Using the plastic bag filled with peanut butter, draw a spiral on both sides of the apple slice.
• Wedge the apple slice into the filled celery stick.
• Decorate the snail’s shell (the red band of apple peel) with NERDS.
• Add NERDS to one end of the celery stick to make his eyes.
• Don’t forget to add two carrot shreds for antennae!
 
CATERPILLAR
• Cut a 3 inch long piece of celery and fill the trough with peanut butter or cream cheese.
• Place two NERDS at one end of the stalk with two carrot stick shreds poking out behind them for antennae.
• Place NERDS down the length of the celery stick on top of the peanut butter at even intervals.
• Before placing the caterpillar on the plate, lay down four or five carrot shreds for him to rest upon. These will be his legs.