Peppermint Bark

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This is so embarrassingly easy that it hardly counts as a recipe.  I’ve had several people ask me how to make it so I decided to put it here.  I usually only make it around Christmas and I have no idea why as it would be great any time of the year and I can find the ingredients all year long.

I use CandiQuik for the white chocolate.  There are many different brands of candy coating and any one of them will work.  CandiQuik looks like this:

candiquik

It comes in vanilla and chocolate.

Here is another version of bark that I made a couple of years ago ~ Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

1 pkg vanilla CandiQuik
1 bag hard, round peppermint candy

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Unwrap the peppermints and place in a ziplock bag. Smash all the peppermints in the bag with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until all the pieces are small.

Melt all the CandiQuik according to the package directions. At this point, I dump the melted chocolate into a bowl and then dump in the peppermints and mix well.

Pour over the parchment paper and let harden. If it seems to be taking a long time to harden, place in the refrigerator until hardened.

Break up into pieces with your hands.

Easy peasy!

Happy Cooking!

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Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole

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I saw this recipe in my news feed last week posted by Cupcakes and Crinoline and I knew right away that I was going to bake it for Easter brunch!  It was the right choice and we all loved it.  It has made it’s way onto my permanent brunch list of recipes.

The cinnamon rolls that the recipe calls for were a bit hard to locate but I finally found them ~ they are different than the usual Pillsbury  cinnamon rolls we throw in a pan and bake.  These  are rolled up like homemade cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

To get this delicious recipe, click on this link ~ Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole.

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

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Oh my ~ these are delicious!  I know red velvet everything is big right now and I don’t usually follow trends but this recipe sucked me in.   I actually made them around Valentine’s Day and I put the recipe aside and forgot about it until I downloaded the pictures and there they were.

I chose to try this recipe because it made the brownies from scratch ~ no boxed brownie mix was involved.  I am trying to stay away from boxed mixes especially since it’s so easy to bake from scratch without all the preservatives.  I also liked that it didn’t use a whole bottle of red food coloring like so may recipes do.  Be careful when using it because it turns everything red.  The only thing I did different from the recipe was to leave out the nuts.

Brownies 1

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownies:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

Brownie layer: Melt the butter either on the stove top or in the microwave and pour into a large mixing bowl. In order, add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions. In an small bowl, whisk the eggs and stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour until combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Save 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside. Pour what’s left into the prepared pan.

Cream cheese layer: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Gently spread this mixture on top of the brownies mixture in the prepared pan.

Using a spoon, drop the remaining cocoa batter over the top of the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife or a skewer, drag it through the cream cheese layer and the dropped batter to create a swirl effect.  Try not to mix in the brownie layer on the bottom as much as you can.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 8 servings

Adapted from Food Network

Brownies 2

Brownies 3

Happy Cooking!

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Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

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Something I  made when we had a few friends over before Christmas was this bark.  I saw the recipe on King Arthur Flour and it looked so delicious to me that I had to try it.

It’s easy to make even though it may not look that way.  Just make sure to follow the steps and yours will turn out great, too.

The recipe called for semisweet and white chocolate but I used the packages of chocolate and white bark that you can buy in the grocery store. They melt easily and then harden back up easily and they taste good.

Chocolate, Pecan, Cranberry Bark

Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup toasted pecans
1 pkg chocolate bark, melted
1 pkg white chocolate bark, melted

In a small bowl, mix the cranberries and toasted pecans together and set aside.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate bark according to the pkg directions. Spread into an oval on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and let set.

Melt the white chocolate according to the pkg directions and carefully spread over the chocolate layer. Before the white chocolate sets, sprinkle the cranberry and nut mixture over the top and press in lightly.

Let the chocolate harden for several hours and then break into chunks. If you are having trouble getting the chocolate to harden, put the pan in the refrigerator until hard.

Makes about 24 pieces.

Happy Cooking!

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Rum Cake

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This was a favorite of ours years ago and I decided it was a good time to bring it back.  It’s very easy to make which is a plus!

This is the same Bacardi Rum recipe that was in every magazine in the 70’s and can now be found in almost every community cookbook published.  It’s a winner!

I just filled up the middle with fresh fruit but otherwise made exactly as the recipe states.

A Rum Cake

Rum Cake

Cake:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pkg yellow cake mix ~ DO NOT add ingredients on the box
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum ~ I used spiced rum

Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum ~ I used spiced rum

Grease a 10 inch tube pan or a bundt pan and sprinkle pecans over the bottom of the pan.

Mix together the cake mix, pudding, eggs, water, oil. and rum. Pour over the nuts in the prepared pan.

Bake at 325º for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Invert onto a serving dish. I did it a bit different. I inverted onto a cookie sheet until it was glazed and then I carefully moved it to my serving plate.

For the glaze: Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in the water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the rum.

Brush glaze over the top and sides of the cake. Allow cake to absorb the glaze. Repeat until glaze is used up.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

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Cinnamon Roll Casserole

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I forgot to mention in my last post that the picture of my daughter was taken by my friend, Ann, who I think missed her calling as a photographer. She took some great pictures!

I also wanted to mention that my picture of Zippy seen here can also be seen on Touch of Home Petsitting Blog!  That picture always makes me laugh.

I found the recipe for this breakfast casserole on Pinterest and it’s from The Dishy Decorator and we loved it.  It’s really more like a cinnamon roll French toast.  It’ perfect by itself but adding bacon or sausage and fruit would round it out.  It also couldn’t be easier to make.

Cinnamon Roll Casserole

1 tbsps melted butter
2 cans Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (8 in a can)
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup real maple syrup

Heat oven to 375º and pour melted butter into a 13×9 glass baking dish.

Separate rolls from the cans and cut each roll into 8 pieces and place in dish over melted butter.

In a small bowl, mix eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla until well blended and pour over the top of the rolls in the dish. Sprinkle with pecan pieces and drizzle with the 1/4 cup syrup. I did not use the pecans and I just eyeballed the syrup and it worked out fine.

Bake 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove metal tops from the icing and heat in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds at 50% power or until the icing is pourable.

Drizzle over the top of the cooled rolls.

Happy Cooking!

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast with Blueberry Syrup

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As a rule, I am not a fan of French toast but I have really started to like these overnight French toast recipes.  I think I made this one for Christmas breakfast for Mr. Meat Eater and I and we really enjoyed it.

I always use Challah bread for these kinds of recipes ~ it soaks up the liquids nicely and it’s a bit sweet.  King’s Hawaiian bread would work nicely, too.  I used frozen blueberries for both the casserole and the syrup and they worked perfectly.

I found the recipe on a blog called Real Mom Kitchen ~ it’s a very cute blog with some great recipes so check it out when you have a chance.

Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast with Blueberry Syrup

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

French Toast:

12 slices bread, cut into cubes ~ I used challah but King’s Hawaiian would work
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut in cubes
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) ~ I used frozen and probably about 1 1/2 cups ~ do not defrost
12 eggs
1/3 cup real maple syrup
2 cups milk

Arrange 1/2 of the bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over the bread cubes and top with remaining bread cubes.

Mix together the eggs, milk, and syrup. Pour over bread cubes and cover the pan with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

Bake, covered, at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden.

Top with sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Syrup:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsps cornstarch
1 cup blueberries ~ I used frozen but fresh is fine ~ do not defrost
1 tbsp butter

Cook water, sugar, and cornstarch together until thickened. Stir in blueberries and simmer for 10 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve over the french toast.

Happy Cooking!

Bourbon Pumpkin Tart and Some Commentary

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Before I get to the recipe, I am aggravated today by a fellow blogger who has seen fit to take others photos (not mine as far as I can tell), put HER watermark on them, and claim them as her own.  It’s people like her that give ALL bloggers a bad name ~ especially those who use lots of pictures.  I wrote a comment on her latest post where she calls what she is doing “recipe sharing” and since it won’t get approved, I’ll post it here, on my FB page and my personal FB page:

“Photos are the intellectual property of the photo taker. You have used other people’s photos from food.com and claimed them as your own ~ even so far as putting your watermark on them. You CANNOT do that. Every blogger knows this. A recipe cannot be copyrighted BUT any verbiage that is unique to the recipe CAN be. Again, every blogger knows this. Really, you might want to read up on copyrights in regards to photos and recipes. Screen shots have been taken and will be passed on to the proper people. I will be copying and pasting this to my blog and FB page since I doubt this will see the light of day on your blog.”

This annoys me to no end.  I have no problem sharing my pictures with anyone that asks.  They aren’t that great but I did take the time to make the recipe and photograph it.  I’m really beginning to wonder if this certain blogger is making any of these recipes or just passing them off as if she did.  I wouldn’t trust anything she puts on there.   I won’t give her any publicity by naming her but I’ll be happy to pass along her blog addy if you want to check to make sure she is not stealing anything that you have posted. Email me at a_recipe_a_day at yahoo dot com.

On to the recipe ~ I found this recipe on Pinterest ~ which if you haven’t been there, you should.  You will need an invite so just email me at the above address and I’ll send an invite (I’ll need your email address).  I am hopelessly addicted to it.  The original recipe came from The Pastry Queen and it was posted by Smells Like Home.

This is the best dessert I have made in YEARS!!  I did not use a tart crust but you could certainly use your favorite.  I used a Pillsbury ready made crust and just cut it up to fit my rectangle tart pan.  Next time, I would leave off the streusel.  It doesn’t add anything and really doesn’t look very appetizing.

Bourbon Pumpkin Tart

Filling:
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup bourbon

Streusel:
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Line your tart pan with the dough. Place tart pan on a cookie sheet for ease in getting into and out of the oven.

Pour pumpkin into large bowl and whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until it is well mixed. Add sugars, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and flour and whisk for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the heavy cream and bourbon. The filling may seem a bit runny but it’s fine.

To make the streusel put all ingredients EXCEPT the butter into a food processor bowl. Cut up the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture in the bowl. Pulse until the mixture looks crumbly.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the prepared tart crust. Spoon the topping evenly over the pumpkin mixture.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the filling is set.

Let cool at least one hour before serving.

Serve warm or at room temperature. It also tastes good cold.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Makes 6-8 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

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I am a huge Pinterest addict and I found this recipe there.  It is wonderful and meets my criteria of being easy to make.  These are going to be on my Thanksgiving table instead of my usual sweet potato casserole. They are even good as leftovers warmed up.

This is a Martha Stewart which I typically don’t like but I knew when I read it, that it would be great.

Bourbon Sweet Potatoes

3 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark, whichever you have)
2 tbsps bourbon
salt and pepper
3 tbsps butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350º.

Place potato wedges in a 9×13 pan and add the brown sugar and bourbon and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake until potatoes are glazed and tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, tossing them every 30 minutes.

Stir in butter before serving.

Makes about 6-8 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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Recently, I found a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls on King Arthur Flour’s website and decided to try them.  I made them in my bread machine but the recipe says you can make them by hand, mixer, or bread machine so it is a real versatile recipe.

When I was ready to add the cinnamon before rolling, I thought there was really too much so I only used half.  After baking, I wish I had used the whole amount so they would have had more a cinnamon-sugar taste so be sure to use the entire amount even if it looks like too much.

Another trick I learned from this recipe is to make sure the rolls are completely cool before adding the frosting and it won’t melt into the rolls and it will look really pretty.  I wish I had realized this before, LOL!

The rolls are absolutely delicious and I hope you try them!

I am just going to post the link to the recipe since there are some great tips included with the recipe ~ KA’s Pumpkin Rolls  I hope that you give them a try if you like to make yeast breads ~ they would be great for the holidays!!!

Happy Cooking!