Monday, January 9, 2012

ham and cheese quiche {winner!}

Ham and Cheese Quiche from Beckie:

3 eggs, beaten
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1 cup grated swiss cheese
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup chopped ham (leftover or deli ham is best!)

Mix all ingredients. Pour into a GREASED pie or cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes (if recipe is doubled, cook for 1 hour.)

*Can be made ahead - I double for a thick quiche in a 9x13 glass pan.

oatmeal breakfast bars.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars from Jenn:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats
2/3 up packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
Desired filling (I use cooked fruit or jam)

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup of the flour mixture. Press remaining flour mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Spread with desired filling. Sprinkle with reserved flour mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 25.

Apple filling

Peel, core and chop 2 medium apples. In a medium saucepan combine apples, 2 T sugar, 2 T water, 1 T lemon juice and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer 8-10 minutes, or until apples are very tender.

tyler's upside-down apple french toast.

Tyler's Upside-Down Apple French Toast from Jocelyn:

Prepare the night before or at least 3 hours in advance

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 T water
3 Granny Smith apples
Cinnamon, to taste
1 loaf French bread, sliced 1 1/2 inches thick
1 1/2 cups milk
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Nutmeg, to taste
Creme Topping (recipe below)
Sliced almonds, for garnish

Combine butter, brown sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat on medium until bubbling, stirring frequently. Place in a 9x13 pan and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. Slice the apples. Place the slices in rows, close together (overlapping), on top of the sauce in pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Place the slices of bread on top of the apples. Mix together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour over bread. Sprinkle with a little nutmeg. Cover and refrigerate. Bake at 350 for approximately 60 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top. Serve upside down. Spoon the sauce in the pan over the French toast. Serve with Creme topping and garnish with almonds. Serves 6.

Creme Topping

1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Whip on high until thickened. Place 2 T of topping on top of French toast.

peanut butter baked oatmeal.

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal from Shauna:
*via pinterest/

3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (can use 1/4 cup with good results)
1 cup milk
2 T butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together and stir well. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. If you like it a little crunchy on top cook for a few minutes longer.

Can serve with butter, or with milk, fruit etc poured over top. Also good to pack in lunches.
If you wanted to dress it up you could add chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

strawberry mango yogurt smoothie.

Strawberry Mango Yogurt Smoothie from Kelly:

1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 cup low fat greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups apple juice
a few scoops of Flax seeds

Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth.

cinnamon roll cake.

Cinnamon Roll Cake from Brittany:
via pinterest, the girl who ate everything and cooking up north (and my mother-in-law)

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter, melted

1 cup (2 sticks) real butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 T flour
1 T cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped pecans, optional... measure, then chop

2 cups powdered sugar
5 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In an electric mixer combine flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla. Slowly stir in melted butter. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and pecans until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the spoonful and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.

Place powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

lemon cranberry scones.

Lemon Cranberry Scones from Shalee:

3 cups flour
1 1/2 T baking powder
1 T lemon zest
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks cold butter sliced in pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup cream
1 egg
1 T lemon juice


2 T sugar
1 T lemon juice

Stir the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and beat on low for a couple minutes, or until course meal forms. Mix in nuts and cranberries. Add the cream, egg and lemon juice. Mix on low until all dough is moist clumps. 

Turn out on a lightly floured board and gather dough into a ball; divide in half, and press or roll each half into a 5 or 6 inch circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until golden. Mix the glaze ingredients together and brush warm scones with glaze.

Serves 12

baked oatmeal.

Baked Oatmeal from Jenni:
*recipe addapted from

3 cup oats (not quick-cooking)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup craisins, raisins, dried cherries or other dried fruit
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted (you can substitute applesauce for 1/4 of the butter if you want)
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and Craisins. In a smaller bowl, mix together the milk, butter, vanilla and eggs. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and whisk to combine. Pour into a deep 9" pie plate or an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately with a splash of warmed milk. Serves 8.

Monday, January 2, 2012

french cocoa. {winner!}

French Cocoa from Lauren:

5 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
4 cups heavy cream

Bring chocolate, sugar and water to a rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring continually. Let chocolate mixture cool to room temperature. Once cooled, fold chocolate mixture into whipped cream (already whipped, no sugar added). If chocolate mixture is too sold to fold into cream, blend 1/4 cup of whipped cream into mixture, then fold chocolate into cream. Refrigerate until use.

To use:

Pour 1/2 cup milk into mug. Microwave for one minute. Add three heaping tablespoons of chilled cocoa mix. Stir. You may need to warm mug for 15 seconds more.

Bon Appetit!

mushroom croustades.

Mushroom Croustades from Jocelyn:

48 very thin slices of bread
4 T soft margarine, room temperature
4 T butter
3 T finely chopped green onions
1/2 lb mushrooms, very finely chopped
2 T all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 T minced chives
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Cut a 2 1/2 inch circle from each slice of bread. Lightly spread softened margarine on both sides and press into 1 3/4 inch mini muffin tins. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until bread is lightly toasted. Cook. Store in airtight container overnight or freeze until ready to use.

In a 10-inch skillet, melt butter. Add green onions and cook over moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, add mushrooms and cook 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle flour over mixture, stirring to blend return to heat. Pour in heavy cream, stir and heat to boiling. When thickened, simmer and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and add parsley, chives, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper. Cool. May be refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

Fill shells just before baking. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes before serving. Make ahead and freeze, cook for 20 minutes.

buffalo chicken dip.

Buffalo Chicken Dip from Michelle:

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
3 shredded chicken breasts
approx. 1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (found by Tabasco at store)
Shredded cheese (mexican blend or cheddar jack)

Spread brick of cream cheese in bottom of a 9x13 pan. (You can heat it in the microwave for a bit to soften it). Spread 1/4 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing over it. Then add shredded chicken breasts that have been mixed with Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Use about a cup pouring it on until it's thouroughly coated. Spread that over the top. Then add another 1/4 cup ranch/blue cheese dressing. Then add a layer of shredded cheese. Bake in oven until cheese is slightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips. 

tips for a great cheese platter.

Tips for a Great Cheese Platter from Jenn:

Selecting the Cheese
  • Try to include a variety of textures and flavors. Most cheese belongs to one of four basic categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. For a good variety, choose at least one from each group. Some examples:
     Aged: Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat Gouda
     Soft: Constant Bliss, Camembert, Brillat-Savarin
     Firm: Manchego, Mimolette, Parmigiano-Reggiano
     Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce, ValdeĆ³n, Stilton
  • You can also try selecting cheeses by the type of milk used (cow, goat, sheep). This will ensure a range of different flavors on the plate.
  • Serve at least one familiar cheese.
How Much Is Enough?
  • For a party in which cheese is the main event, plan on buying 3 pounds for 8 people, 6 pounds for 16, or 9 pounds for 24. If cheese is one of many items being served, plan on buying 3 to 4 ounces per person.
  • Offer a selection of breads, including sliced baguette, bread sticks, and crackers in all different shapes and sizes. It’s a good idea to vary taste and texture among the breads as well as the cheeses.
  • Jarred condiments and vegetables are quick and fuss-free. Try sweet preserves or honey, tart chutneys, and spicy mustards. You can also add artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and caponata. If you have a bit more time, prepare caramelized onions, which complement most cheese plates.
  • Various other sweet and salty items can work as well. Try cured meats such as prosciutto and salami, or candied nuts and pistachios. Assorted seasonal and dried fruits can include figs, cherries, apples, and pears.

Serving Tips
  • Separate strong-smelling cheeses. If you want to serve a pungent, stinky-socks cheese, place it on a separate plate so it doesn’t overpower more delicate ones. 
  • Set out a separate knife for each cheese, especially the soft varieties. Soft cheese spreads well with a butter knife; firm cheese might require a paring knife; and aged cheese often requires a cheese plane.
  • Remove the cheese from the refrigerator an hour before serving―cold mutes flavor.
  • Spread out the spread. Place the cheese platters and the other nibbles on several tables to avoid guest gridlock.
  • Label each cheese so you won’t need to recite the names all evening. If you like, also jot down a few poetic adjectives describing its flavor. 

bacon wrapped sausages.

Bacon Wrapped Sausages from Randi:

1 pkg Lil Smokies (I used the turkey ones)
1 package bacon (I use turkey bacon)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Heat the oven to 375. Cut the bacon in half long ways and 3rds short ways. Wrap each sausage in a bacon piece and secure with a toothpick. Lay out on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

chocolate peanut butter cup cupcakes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes from Brittany:

Chocolate Cake

1 milk chocolate cake mix

Follow directions on cake mix substituting buttermilk for the water. Bake in mini cupcake pan.

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 oz heavy cream
1/4 cup peanut butter

Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Pour it over the chocolate in a medium bowl. Whisk until the chocolate melts, then whisk in the peanut butter until it's all incorporated and smooth. Dip tops of cupcakes in ganache and allow to set.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

*may need to add milk if frosting is too thick.

Pipe onto cupcakes dipped and set in ganache and top with the new mini reese's peanut butter cups.

*recipe adapted from here and here