Sunday, December 30, 2012

Forgotten Cookies

I'm so excited to share these amazing cookies with you.....this is a recipe we got from my husbands Grandma Leveritt and they are his all-time favorite cookies!  They are called "forgotten" cookies because you put them together and then forget about them....really!  After you prepare the cookies you place them in a pre-heated oven and turn it off.  The hard part is waiting until the next morning to take them out of the oven.  Don't worry about the egg whites not cooking all the way.....the pre-heated oven takes care of it, and you are left with a light and fluffy cookie in the morning! 
One thing I will say about these cookies is that it is important you beat the egg whites to the right consistency.  So, the point is, if you are using a hand mixer try to use your whisk attachment on it....if not it will take a good while to beat the egg whites until they are "stiff" enough.  If you have a Kitchen Aid, like I do now, use the whisk attachment, turn it on high and walk away for a minute or two.  When you return you will have light and fluffy egg whites!  And the most important part....don't forget to turn off the oven when you put the cookies in!
Betty Sue's Forgotten Cookies

You will need:
-2 egg whites
-pinch of salt
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup chopped pecans
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
*Pre heat oven to 350.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
*In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer (on high) until a stiff peak forms (egg whites will be pretty fluffy looking)
*Add sugar and beat again.  Add vanilla and beat again for about a minute.
*Gently stir in pecans and chocolate chips.  Try not to stir them too hard so they will stay fluffy. 
*Drop by spoonful onto parchment paper and place in the oven.  TURN OVEN OFF AS SOON AS YOU PUT THE COOKIES IN!
*Leave cookies in the oven overnight for at least 8 hours
Note:  I've doubled this recipe before and had to use 2 baking one on the center rack and the other on the rack underneath, and it works just fine! 


Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

I decided to take a night to post a few of the holiday treats I've made over the last few weeks, and wanted to start out with these scrumptious little muffins I found on Southern Living's site.  These muffins are really easy to make, you don't even need a mixer!  The original recipe called for more pecans and a layer of crushed pecans on the bottom of the muffin cups, but I decided to skip that step and cut back a little on the pecans.  I also decided to use mini muffin liners, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, instead of putting the batter straight in the muffin tin.....some of the reviews mentioned people having a hard time getting them out of the pan, so muffin liners sounded easy and mess free to me!  I've made these muffins twice so far and both times I have doubled the recipe....just double all of the ingredients and it will make approximately 48 mini muffins.  I highly recommend doubling the recipe because these little muffins will be gone fast! 
Pecan Pie Mini Muffins
adapted from Southern Living
You will need:
-1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
-1 cup chopped pecans (I used two 1/2 cup baggies of pecans found on the baking isle....used one bag of pecan chips....and one bag of chopped pecans)
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-non stick cooking spray
-mini muffin liners
*This will make approx 24 mini muffins.  I use a tablespoon measuring scoop to measure out the batter and it fits perfectly into the muffin cups. 

*Preheat oven to 425.  Line 2 (12 count) mini muffin pans with liners.  Spray liners with non stick cooking spray.
*Combine first 5 ingredients into a large bowl.  Make a well into the center of the mixture.
*In a small bowl stir together melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Add to brown sugar mixture and stir until just moistened and incorporated. 
*Use a Tablespoon measuring scoop to fill each muffin cup.  Place muffin pans on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes in the pans, then pop the muffins out and let them finish cooling on a wire rack. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Perfect Home Made Brownies

One night recently I had a brownie craving.  Honestly, most nights I have a brownie craving.....this night though, I acted on it.  I didn't have a boxed mix on hand, so I got on pinterest in search of an easy home made recipe that I could make with what I already had in my pantry and stumbled upon this.  I will never buy boxed mix again.  And I'm not knocking Betty crocker or Duncan Hines because they are good....but these are great.  The best thing....they take 2 minutes.  Really, the site I found them on actually has a video posted of them making them with a timer set, in under 2 minutes.  Now this lady was moving freakishly fast, but it can be done!  I highly recommend using a better quality chocolate (I had Ghirardelli), it makes a big difference. 
You will need:
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-3/4 cup flour
-3/4 cup cocoa powder
-3 eggs
-3/4 cup butter, melted
-1/2 tsp salt, if using unsalted butter
-3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
*Preheat oven to 325.  Line a 12x8 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper overlapping the sides.  (Once brownies are cooled you will use this to remove them from the dish. 
*In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs, melted butter, and salt.  Mix by hand with a wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are incorporated.  Don't over mix. 
*Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour batter into dish and gently spread it out.
*Bake for 30-40 minutes (Note:  the original recipe used a 13x9 inch dish and a shorter baking time.  I like my brownies thicker so I opted for a smaller dish, but increased the baking time.  Whatever you choose, test it with a toothpick until it comes out clean)
*Once they have cooled for a few minutes carefully lift brownies out of dish using parchment paper and let cool, or if you are like me start slicing!

Sausage and Cheese Mini Muffins

I discovered these awesome mini sausage cheese muffins on a few months ago, and am seriously addicted to them.  They perfect for breakfast on the go, game day snacks, or cute appetizers. I prefer to grab a couple in the morning and eat them on my way to work. The nice thing is that the recipe makes a ton, so I store mine in a large ziploc bag in the fridge, then when you need a couple, wrap them in a paper towel and stick them in the microwave for a few seconds.  I won't lie, I ate one was still pretty good:) 
You will need:
-1 lb. ground pork sausage (I used mild)
-1 tsp onion powder
-3 cups all purpose baking mix
-1 (10.75oz) can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup ( I used Campbell's)
-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-3/4 cup buttermilk (you can substitute regular milk and it works just fine)
*Pre heat oven to 375.  Spray a mini muffin pan very well with non stick cooking spray. 
*Cook sausage and onion powder in large skillet over med-high heat until no longer pink.  Drain and cool. 
*Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Stir together the soup and buttermilk.  Add to the sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. 
*Spoon into greased muffin tin, filling to the top.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool in muffin tin for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.  Store in refrigerator. 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Here's another slow cooker recipe for y'all.....I've been making good use of my crock pot the last few months!  I absolutely love being able to come home knowing that dinner is ready and waiting for us already, and this is one of those super easy "throw it in and turn it on" recipes.  The only thing you have to do is make the rice when you get home, which you can easily do the night before and reheat when you need it.  I made it when I got home, doesn't take long at all.  This picture doesn't do this dish justice, it's not the prettiest meal, but it's really good.
You will need:
-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 3 really big ones)
-1/2 large onion, chopped
-1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-1 (10.5oz) can cream of chicken soup
-1 (15oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
-1 (8oz) box Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions
*Place chicken breast in slow cooker.  Scatter chopped onion over the top.  Spoon cream of chicken soup over the top of that.  Put the lid on :)
*Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
*A few minutes before serving add cooked rice, cheese, and corn.  Stir well to combine and let it warm back up for a few minutes.  

Pancake Squares

This is just a quick and easy breakfast recipe I thought I would share....found it a while back on pinterest and can't believe I've never thought to do this.  I hate making pancakes for two reasons: 
1.)  I'm not good at making them....they come out looking funky
2.)  they take too long....I want to sit down with my family and eat, not stand by the stove all morning
Now, Kevin is an awesome pancake maker, but when he's not around or doesn't feel like making them, I will be using this recipe from now on.  Take a couple minutes to put it together, bake it, and cut it into easy.  I forgot to take a picture of the whole thing, but I used a 9x9 inch baking dish, and it was enough to feed our little family of four perfectly.
You will need:
-3/4 cup milk
-2 tablespoons melted butter
-1 large egg
-1 tablespoon sugar
-1 cup flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
*Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a square baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

*In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, butter, and egg.  Add sugar, then gradually beat in the flour.  Stir in baking powder and salt. 
*Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes
this recipe was found on

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Firehouse Spaghetti

Firehouse's our new favorite casserole.  It's kind of like chicken spaghetti, but spicy....and with beef, not chicken!  I got this recipe from my co-worker Jenny, who likes to cook like I do, and who described this dish as "man food".  Well, my man was sure happy with this recipe.  So was my little man!  Hunter has "casserole issues" sometimes and doesn't like things mixed together, but I told him that this is what the firemen eat, and he gobbled it right up.  I'm sure at one point a real fireman has eaten firehouse spaghetti, so technically it might not be a lie? 
 I used the original rotel flavors, and it gave it a nice kick....not too spicy for the kids though.  If you want is less spicy, use the mild rotel.  It also calls for 2 containers of Old English Sharp Cheddar Cheese, but you can easily interchange this for cheese whiz.  I used one container of Old English, and half a jar of cheese whiz. 
You will need:
-12 oz spaghetti noodles
-1 lb. ground beef
-2 cans rotel
-2 containers Old English Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I found it by the cheese whiz)
-2 cans cream of mushroom soup
-garlic (I didn't measure the onion or garlic, just finely chopped a little of each)
-shredded cheddar cheese (if desired for topping)
*Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 13x9 inch dish with cooking spray
*Brown ground beef, along with garlic and onion in a large skillet.  Drain fat from the beef and return to the skillet
*Meanwhile, cook spaghetti noodles according to directions (I always save a little pasta water before you drain the noodles, in case you need to add more liquid to the pasta)
*Add rotel, cheese, and cream of mushroom soup to the beef mixture in skillet and heat over med-low heat just to melt the cheese and soup a bit.
*In a large bowl place cooked spaghetti noodles.  Pour beef mixture on top of noodles and mix well.  You can add a little of the reserved pasta water if you need to thin it out. 
*Pour mixture into baking dish and sprinkle on extra cheese if desired.
*Bake for 20-25 minutes.