Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

6 Tbsp. butter or margarine, divided
38   NILLA Wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/4 cups)
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 squares  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2 large bananas, sliced
1 pkg.  (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1-3/4 cups cold milk
1 cup  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

MELT 4 Tbsp. butter; pour into medium bowl. Stir in wafer crumbs and sugar. Reserve 2 Tbsp. for later use; press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.
MICROWAVE chocolate and remaining butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended. Drizzle over bottom of crust; top with bananas.
BEAT pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min.; pour over bananas. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with COOL WHIP and reserved crumb mixture just before serving.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Focaccia Bread & Pizza Dough

This recipe is wonderful!  I can't normally do bread, but I can do this! Just follow the directions and it'll turn out great!  I also use this recipe for pizza crust and it turns out perfect!  See final note on how to alter the recipe for pizza crust.

1 pkg yeast or 2-1/4 t
1-1/8 c warm water
2-3/4 c flour
1 t salt
1 T Italian seasoning
1 T olive oil

Toppings: (these are just ideas, top with what you would like best)
Onion - chopped
Tomatoes - sliced and salted
Olives- sliced
Parmesean cheese

You'll also need 1/2 c olive oil.
1) Dissolve Yeast in 1/4 c warm water and let sit until it starts to bubble
2) Combine flour, Italian seasoning, and salt in kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook. (or you can start in a food processor)  Slowly add water/yeast mixture to flour and mix slowly until it comes together.  You may need to add a little flour or water to make it the right consistency.  (If using food processor, you will need to take it out and knead it by hand after adding yeast/water.  Use as little flour as possible)  Knead or mix until dough is round and soft, but a little sticky.
3) Coat a big bowl with 1T olive oil.  Put dough in bowl and turn over so all sides are covered in oil. Seal with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubles. (To speed this part, I usually preheat my oven to 170, and once it gets warm, I turn the oven off and put the dough in)
4) Coat bottom and sides of pan. ( I use a pizza pan, you can also use a jelly roll pan or 9x13) Deflate risen dough and press into pan.
5) Press dough evenly on pan.  If dough will not stretch, let it rest for 30 seconds and try again.  Press veggies into dough and seasonings you wish to use.  Let rise uncovered for 20 minutes. Preheat over to 425. Put baking stone in if you have one (I don't use one and it always turns out fine)  Dimple the dough with your fingers by pressing on it. Sprinkle with salt, then bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pan and bake 20 minutes more.

Pizza Crust:
If you wish to use this as pizza crust, follow the recipe through point 4.  (I usually leave 1/4 of the dough out for bread sticks, just roll it out on a separate pan, but don't roll it too thin. top with olive oil, garlic salt, and cheese and bake along with the pizza)  Once the dough is pressed into the pan, you can top with sauce, and any pizza toppings you wish.  Brush the exposed crust with olive oil.  Bake at 425 for about 15-20 minutes, or until it starts to brown on top.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

1 Brownie Mix for 9x13, prepared as directed

Cookie Dough:
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c br sugar
1/2 t salt
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 c flour

Glaze: (instead of making a glaze, I just put 1 c mini chocolate chips into the cookie dough)
1 c chocolate chips
1 T veg shortening.

Mix together Cookie Dough ingredients and spread evenly on top of cooled brownies.  If doing the glaze, melt together chocolate chips and shortening.  Spread evenly over bars. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easy Cake Mix Banana Bread Recipe

1 box Betty Crocker® cake mix (See below for different variations)
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
4 mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans. Select your favorite banana bread recipe from the list below. In large bowl, beat all ingredients together (including those specific add-ins mentioned in the ingredient descriptions below) until well mixed. Pour batter loaf pans. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean.

Variations and Tips
  • Chocolate cake mix, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Yellow cake mix, 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Cherry chip cake mix, 1 jar maraschino cherries (sliced in half), 1/2 cup chopped almonds. Top cooked and cooled loaf with a drizzle of hot fudge sauce and a dollop of whipping cream.
  • Butter pecan cake mix, 2 cups butterscotch chips.
  • White cake mix, sprinkle the top of loaves with 1/4 cup of cinnamon-sugar before baking.
  • Strawberry Cake Mix, 1 cup frozen strawberries (thawed, drained, and chopped).
  • Spice Cake Mix, 8 ounces cream cheese mixed with 1 egg and 1/2 cup sugar. Spread half of the prepared cake mix into loaf pan. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of the cake mix. Swirl the remaining cake mix on top of the cream cheese layer.
  • White Cake Mix, 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped, 1 cup shredded coconut.
Freeze overripe bananas until you have enough to make a loaf of this luscious banana bread. Just pop them, peel and all, into the freezer. They can stay there for up to 3 months!

Grease and flour your pans before pouring the batter in them and you’ll have a lot less of a mess to clean up afterward. To grease them properly, your pans need to be sprayed with a good layer of nonstick cooking spray, then tossed with 1/4 cup of white flour until all sides of the pan are coated with flour. Gently tap out any excess flour, and then your pans are ready for the batter and baking!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fancy Green Beans

These are delicious!  A favorite of many people who try them, and a great alternative for the boring beans!

  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans (or to make it easy, canned green beans can be used)
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
  • 1/2 cup thin onion wedges
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews
In a small bowl, stir together the teriyaki sauce, honey, and butter.
Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the lemon juice. Drop in the beans and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until beans are bright green. Drain the beans in a colander and then plunge them into the iced water. Drain again and set aside.

In a skillet, cook the bacon until very crispy, crumble and set aside. Saute the bell pepper and onion in the hot bacon fat for 2 minutes. Add the beans, cashews, and bacon to the skillet. Add the teriyaki-honey sauce and toss gently.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cake

4 squares BAKER'S Semisweet Baking Chocolate (or about 3/4 c chocolate chips)
1/2 c butter
1 cups plus 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar, divided
6 T flour
2 whole eggs
2           egg yolks 
HEAT oven to 425ºF.
GREASE  4 (6-oz.) custard cups or souffle dishes. Place on baking sheet. (I got my custard cups 4/$1 at Dollar Tree)
MICROWAVE chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM (50%) 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Add 1 cup sugar and flour; mix well. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; beat until well blended. Pour into prepared cups.
BAKE 14 to 15 min. or until cakes are firm around the edges but still soft in the centers. Let stand 1 min. Run small knife around cakes to loosen; carefully unmold onto dessert plates. (I just serve in the dish) Serve warm topped with remaining sugar. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blueberry-Almond Crème Muffins

 These are Delicious!! And they take little time to make!!
4 oz cream cheese (half of 8-oz package), softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds, finely chopped
1 can (16.3 oz) Flaky Layers refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
3 tablespoons Butter, melted
1/4 cup Blueberry Preserves (or any flavor you like, I used Strawberry and Apple)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray 8 regular-size muffin cups (2 3/4x1 1/4 inches) with No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2. In medium bowl, stir cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar, almond extract and vanilla until smooth and creamy; set aside.
3. In medium shallow bowl, mix almonds and remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
4. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Separate 1 biscuit into 3 layers. Brush 1 layer with melted butter. Firmly press layer, butter side down, into almond mixture, coating evenly. Place layer, almond side down, in bottom and up side of muffin cup. Fill with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture; spread evenly. Top with second biscuit layer; press edges of layers together. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of the preserves onto middle of second layer. Brush third biscuit layer with melted butter; firmly press, butter side down, into almond mixture. Place third layer, almond side up, on second layer; press edge of third layer into edge of second layer.
5. Repeat with remaining biscuits, refrigerating biscuits if dough becomes too soft to separate. Sprinkle any remaining almond mixture onto tops of biscuits.
6. Bake 17 to 27 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pan to cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tropical Strawberry Cream Pie

42 NILLA Wafers, divided
3 Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup  sugar
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
1 can  (8 oz.) DOLE Crushed Pineapple, drained
3/4 cup boiling water
1 pkg.  (3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1 cup ice cubes
2 cups  sliced strawberries
CRUSH 26 wafers; mix with butter until well blended. Press onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate. Stand remaining wafers around edge of pie plate.
BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup COOL WHIP and pineapple; spread over crust.
ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in ice until melted. Add strawberries; stir. Refrigerate 5 min. or until slightly thickened; spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Top with remaining COOL WHIP.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made! Enjoy!

1 c butter or marg
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg
2-1/4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat over to 375. Mix marg, sugars, vanilla and egg.  Add baking soda and salt.  Add flour, mix well.  stir in chocolate chips (and nuts if you'd like).  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 7-8 minutes.

**The trick to amazing chocolate chip cookies is not overbaking them.  I take mine out before they turn brown, right before they look done.  That way, they are nice and soft!

**With this recipe, cookies are amazing right away, but they don't stay fresh much more than 4 days (if they last that long) so I suggest freezing any that you don't think will get eaten right away.  Or maybe freeze them so you don't eat them all right away.

**With ministry, you always need something quick to make for last minute surprises.  I usually make several batched of this recipe and use a cookie dough scoop to scoop dough into a tupperware and then I freeze it.  That way, it's easy to take out when frozen, (it's impossible to scoop frozen dough) and you can make a few at a time so they're fresh when you want them!  Or, if you're like me, you can just pop some cookie dough whenever you get the craving!

**These make a wonderful dessert served HOT with a scoop of ice cream.  Who wouldn't love that?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cinnamon French Toast Bake

1/4 cup Butter, melted
2 cans (12.4 oz each) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
6 Eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup Chopped Pecans
1 cup maple syrup
Icing from cinnamon rolls
Powdered sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup, if desired
Heat oven to 375°F. Pour melted butter into ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces; place pieces over butter in dish.
In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in cream, cinnamon and vanilla until well blended; gently pour over roll pieces. Sprinkle with pecans; drizzle with 1 cup syrup.
Bake 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove covers from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle.
Drizzle icing over top; sprinkle with powdered sugar. If desired, spoon syrup from dish over individual servings. Serve with the additional 1/2 cup maple syrup.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Torte

1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped honey-roasted peanuts
1 cup butterscotch chips (or I would use peanut butter)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup chocolate-flavor syrup
Heat oven to 350°F. In ungreased 10- or 9-inch springform pan, break up cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. 
Beat in sugar and egg until well blended. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the peanuts. Pour over cooled crust; spread evenly.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave butterscotch or peanut butter chips on High 1 minute, stirring twice, until melted and smooth. Stir in peanut butter until smooth. Drizzle over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and peanuts.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes longer or until edge is set but center is still slightly jiggly. Cool on cooling rack 10 minutes. Run knife around side of pan to loosen torte; carefully remove side of pan. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
To serve, cut torte into wedges. Drizzle 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup onto each dessert plate. Place wedges over syrup. Store in refrigerator.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Easy Strawberry Cream Dessert Squares

1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup strawberry topping (from an 11.75-oz jar)
2 eggs
1 container (16 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 to 6 drops red food color, if desired
Fresh berries, if desired

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Press cookie dough evenly into bottom only of ungreased 13x9-inch pan. (If dough is sticky, use floured fingers.)
  • In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and 3/4 cup of the strawberry topping with electric mixer on medium-high speed about 1 minute or until well blended. Add eggs; beat about 2 minutes or until well blended and creamy. Spread evenly over crust in pan.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool 1 hour. Center will sink slightly as it cools.
  • In medium bowl, mix whipped topping, food color and remaining 1/4 cup strawberry topping. Spread topping mixture over cooled cream cheese layer. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until set. To serve, cut into 6 rows by 3 rows. Garnish each serving with fresh berries. Cover and refrigerate any remaining dessert.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Amish White Bread

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buttermilk Cornbread

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hawiian Chicken-Amazing!!

1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed and raw
1/2 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 (8 oz) can sliced or chunk pineapple,drained
reserve juice and add water to make 3/4 cup liquid
2 T vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cube chicken boullion
1 small green pepper, cut into bite size pieces (Optional)
1 small onion, cut into bite size pieces (Optional) 
White Rice for serving
Optional green onions for garnish

In medium fry pan combine sugar, cornstarch,pineapple juice, vinegar,soy sauce, ginger, and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened.
Add raw chicken, pineapple, onion and green pepper. Cover and cook on low heat until chicken is tender when pierced with fork. Serve with white rice.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Famous Carrot Cake

Use with cream cheese frosting recipe.

3 eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple with
1 cup raisins (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x12 inch pan.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well.
4. In a medium bowl, combine shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple and raisins.
5. Using a large wooden spoon or a very heavy whisk, add carrot mixture to batter and fold in well.
6. Pour into prepared 8x12 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour. Check with toothpick.
7. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Savory Parmesan Bites

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1   red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
HEAT oven to 350°F.
BEAT cream cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan with mixer until well blended.
SEPARATE dough into 8 rectangles; seal seams. Spread with cream cheese mixture; top with peppers and parsley. Fold each rectangle lengthwise into thirds to enclose filling; cut into 4 squares. Place, seam-sides down, on baking sheet; top with remaining Parmesan.
BAKE 13 to 15 min. or until golden brown.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cheesy Ham Bubble Bakes

1 pkg. (6 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Smoked Ham
3/4 cup  KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 can (12 oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 biscuits
HEAT oven to 350°F.
CHOP ham; mix with cheese in large bowl. 
CUT each biscuit into 4 pieces. Add to ham mixture; mix lightly. Spoon into 8 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. 
BAKE 20 min. or until puffed and golden brown. Cool 10 min. before removing from pan. Serve warm.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Skillet Potatoes with Bacon and Cheddar

4 slices  Bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1   onion, chopped
2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes (about 6), thinly sliced
1 cup  Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 Tbsp. Sour Cream
COOK bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, reserving 3 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels. Add onions to skillet; cook and stir 5 min. Stir in potatoes; cover. Cook on medium-low heat 20 to 25 min. or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
TOP with cheese and bacon; cook, covered, 1 to 2 min. or until cheese is melted.
SERVE topped with sour cream.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Breakfast Bake

1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Smoked Ham, chopped or 1 lb ground pork sausage, cooked and drained
6 eggs
1/2 cup  milk
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup  KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
HEAT oven to 350ºF.
UNROLL dough in 13x9-inch baking dish; press to cover bottom of dish, firmly pressing perforations and seams together to seal. Top with ham or ground sausage.
WHISK eggs, milk and pepper until well blended; pour over ham. Top with cheeses.
BAKE 25 min. or until center is set.