Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Chocolate lovers, come on in!!!  These are so good!  I'm trying so hard not to eat them all!  I found this recipe in our family cookbook, and my cousin shared this recipe.  Don't know why I haven't tried these before!

* 1 bag of large marshmallows
* 1 3/4 cups flour
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (Hershey's)
* 1/2 cup oleo (used unsalted butter)
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 large egg
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

* 2 cups confectioner's surgar
* 5 T unsweetened cocoa
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 3 T soft oleo (butter)
* 4-5 T milk

1.  Sift together the following:  flour, salt, baking powder, and unsweetened cocoa. 
2.  Cream together:  butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla.
3.  Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients. 
4.  Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, and press 1/2 large marshmallow, cut side down, on top of each cookie.  Bake 2 more minutes.  Cool, cover with frosting.

1.  Stir ingredients together until smooth, beat.  Frost cookie to hide marshmallows.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

This is going to be a LONG one...most of them came from the Pioneer Woman's website...lots of yummy food!  My brother joked with me that I went all out, making everything from scratch...but used Heinz Homestyle turkey gravy (runs to the corner in embarrassment)...hahaha.  I also bought the cranberry sauce/relish from The Fresh Market, and it is worth every penny...I could eat it right out of the container!

Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes
  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • ¾ cups Butter
  • 1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • ½ cups (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half (we used 1/2 cup)
  • ½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt (we used 1 tsp)
  • ½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper (we used 1 tsp)
1.  Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

2.  Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.

3.  Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.

4.  Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Stuffing

This stuff was AMAZING...after making this and eating it, I can't go back to boxed stuffing.  No way.  This is worth making from scratch!

  • 1 whole Pan Of Cornbread (PW's Cornbread Recipe)
  • 1 loaf French Bread, Somewhat Crusty
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 cups Celery, Chopped
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Basil
  • ½ teaspoons Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • Salt To Taste

1.  Chop the cornbread and loaf of French bread up into 1-inch cubes. Spread them out on two baking sheets and let them dry for approximately 24 hours.

2.  Warm up a large skillet over medium heat and add one stick of butter. When it’s melted add the onion and celery and cook for a few minutes until onions are almost translucent. While it’s cooking chop up any fresh herbs you will be using.

3.  Add 4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add ½ a teaspoon of basil, ½ teaspoon of ground thyme, a few teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary and ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley. Stir until combined.

4.  Place all of your dried bread cubes into a large bowl and mix them up a bit. Gradually ladle the broth mixture into the bread, tossing lightly as you go. Keep gradually adding the broth mixture, tasting as you go and adding more seasoning and herbs if needed. Add salt carefully. You don’t want to over salt your stuffing. If the mixture is not quite moist enough add a bit more chicken broth and stir.

5.  Either stuff the bird and bake according to directions or place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Pioneer Woman's Butternut Squash Puree

Next to the stuffing, this was probably my favorite dish!  Love, love, love!  My brother, who is pretty much anti-vegetables, loved this too!  I actually made this the Monday before Thanksgiving, froze it, then pulled it out to thaw in the fridge on Wednesday evening.


  • 1 whole Butternut Squash
  • 2 Tablespoons (to 4 Tablespoons) Maple Syrup
  • ½ sticks Butter
  • 1 dash Salt
1.  Start by slicing one butternut squash clean in half. Scrape out the seed and membranes with a spoon. Place both halves, face down, on a baking sheet and pour a little water into the pan, about a cup. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Remove from the oven.

2.  Cut ½ stick of butter into pieces and throw into a mixing bowl. With a spoon, begin scraping out the flesh of the squash from the skin and place in the bowl on top of the butter. Don’t miss a scrap of it!

3.  Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. With a potato masher, mash the squash until the large chunks are gone. Add a dash of salt. Place this mixture into your blender or food processor and give it a whir until it’s pureed.

Pioneer Woman's Dinner Rolls

This were so good!!!  I'm not going to lie, they were a lot of work and time-consuming, but they were oh-so-good! 

  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 9 cups Flour
  • 2 packages (4 1/2 Tsp.) Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt

1.  Pour 4 cups of milk into a stock pot or Dutch oven. Add one cup of sugar and 1 cup of vegetable oil. Stir to combine. Now, turn the burner on medium to medium-low and “scald” the mixture/lukewarm (between 90 and 110 degrees).

2.  Before the mixture boils, turn off the heat. NOW. Very important stuff here: walk away. Walk away and allow this mixture to cool to warm/lukewarm. The mixture will need to be warm enough to be a hospitable environment for the yeast, but not so hot that it kills the yeast and makes it inactive. I don’t usually use a thermometer, but if you’d like to, a good temperature is between 90 and 110 degrees. I usually feel the side of the pan with the palm of my hand. If it’s hot at all, I wait another 20 minutes or so. The pan should feel comfortably warm.

3.  When the mixture is the right temperature add in 4 cups of flour and 2 packages of (4-1/2 teaspoons) of active dry yeast. After the yeast and flour are nicely incorporated, add another 4 cups of flour. Stir together and allow to sit, covered with a tea towel or lid, for an hour. After about an hour it should have almost doubled in size. If it hasn’t changed much, put it in a warm (but turned off ) oven for 45 minutes or so. When it had risen sufficiently add 1 more cup of flour, 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder, 1 scant teaspoon of baking soda and about 2 tablespoons of salt. Stir (or knead just a bit) until combined.

4.  Butter 1 or 2 muffin pans. Form the rolls by pinching off a walnut sized piece of dough and rolling it into a little ball. Repeat and tuck three balls of dough into each buttered muffin cup. Continue until pan is full. Cover and allow to rise for about 1 to 2 hours.

5.  Bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 17 to 20 minutes.

Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole

This was good, but I think I may go back to the traditional one next year.
  • 2 pounds Fresh Green Beans, Ends Cut Off
  • 4 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/4 Inch Pieces
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ cups Whole Milk
  • ½ cups Half-and-half
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • ⅛ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Sliced Pimentoes, Drained
  • Extra Milk For Thinning If Necessary
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1.  Cut green beans in half if you like pieces to be a little smaller.
Blanch the green beans: drop them into lightly salted boiling water and allow green beans to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain beans once they’re cool and set aside.

2.  Add bacon pieces to a skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon for two minutes, then add diced onion and garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until bacon is done (but not crisp) and onions are golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into the pan and whisk immediately to evenly mix it into the butter. Cook for a minute or two, then pour in milk and half and half. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, while sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne then add the grated cheddar. Stir while cheese melts. Turn off heat.

4.  Add pimentos to pan, then add bacon/onion mixture. Stir to combine. Pour over green beans and stir gently to combine. Pour into a baking dish and top with panko crumbs.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and panko crumbs are golden.

Hey Virginia! Mine is Better!! Meatloaf

I made this last week to trial it out for our monthly freezer cooking get-together, and it was a hit!  So good!  It makes great leftovers...especially, meat loaf sandwiches (I like to top it with provolone cheese).  I found it on

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup

Savory Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in mixing bowl and pat into a 9" round pie plate and pat flat.
  3. Mix the "savory sauce" in a separate bowl and spoon over the meatloaf.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes (sauce should be bubbling).
  5. If frozen, thaw in fridge the day before, then bake as directed.

Chicken Taco Bake

One of my friends made this at our monthly freezer cooking session...and it was delish!  I topped it with some reduced-fat sour cream.

*2 c. cooked rice
*2 c. cooked shredded turkey or chicken
*1 can tomato sauce
*1 envelope taco seasoning
*1-2 cans refried beans
*1 c. grated cheese (freeze separately, and we added more)

TO FREEZE: In a 1-gallon freezer bag, place the cooked rice. In another bowl, mix taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Add shredded chicken and coat it well with tomato mixture. Add mix to the bag. Freeze. 

TO SERVE: After thawing, place rice and chicken mixture into a 9 x 13 pan. "Frost" with the refried beans. It may take up to 2 cans for that, especially if you want a good thick layer. Top off with grated cheese. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until hot all the way through and the cheese is nice and bubbly.

New recipes soon...

Have lots of new recipes I've tried out from Thanksgiving and a few freezer cooking sessions.  Now that school is pretty much finished for the semester, I plan to get them on here in the next few days  :)