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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monster Cookies :)

This weather, woke up to more snow today, grrrrrr is making me feel like a monster or a bear, that's for sure.  No sun yesterday, no sun today.  Frankly, even I am getting tired of complaining about this weather.  I realize it is getting me nowhere.  Tomorrow is April 1 so lets all keep our fingers crossed and hope for Spring to actually spring!  It will be more than FBM (fine by me!).  Since I appear to be in a monster mood today - decided may as well take out the monster cookie recipe and see if I can dirty up my clean oven......yesterday's cherry pie, let's just say it decided to ooze out of its pretty little crust and create mayhem!  But thats to the oven cleaning itself, its sparkly clean again  :)  This Monster cookie recipe was given to me by a friend - if you don't want to use everything in you kitchen cupboards to create monster cookies, this recipe is for you, it yields about 3-4 dozen depending on how big you make them.

Monster Cookies
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. peanut butter ( I use creamy)
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda
4 1/2 c. quick cooking oatmeal
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips (I add these but you don't have too!)
1 c. m & m's

Mix all together.  Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.  Bake 10-12 minutes @ 325 degrees.

Once we eat these - we won't be in such a monstrous mood - not saying you are - but I seem to be.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup - enough said :)

Well, spring has definately sprung in these parts, quite frustrating for sure.  My hubby, who happens to be having a birthday today, is getting mighty tired of hearing me whine about:
1.  spring not appearing
2.  snow not melting and possibly more snow coming
3.  no sunshine
I think thats all - ha!  For his birthday I am baking a cherry pie which I can't really post here because really, cherry pie is only making the crust and dumping in 2 cans of cherry pie filling - I can't help it it's his favorite!
I do make my crust from scratch however, there is really no other way to do it, it's so much better!  If you want my easy, peasy pie crust recipe let me know!  So, we are actually going out for some pizza for supper but we both need lunch for the next few days so in the crock pot today I have the above-mentioned soup.  Here is the recipe!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup
1 bag (32 oz.) frozen southern style diced hashbrowns
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery (or in my case I used dried celery flakes)
1 carton (32 oz.) chicken broth
1 c. water
3 tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
1 8 oz. bag shredded cheese, you pick the flavor you like
1 c. cubed ham (already cooked) I buy this already cubed too

In your crock pot, mix potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water, and I added a few dashes of pepper.  Cover.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  In a small bowl, mix flour into milk, stir into the potato mixture.  Cover and cook 20-30 minutes until mixture thickens.  Stir in cheese until melted.  SERVE!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pasta for supper tonight!

Wow, I can't believe it has been 11 days since I have posted a blog update.....Time has been flying I guess, I wish the SNOW would be melting out of my yard as fast as time seems to be moving along.  Sounds like it won't be melting much this week though.  Since I last posted, my daughter Jessica and her hubby Jesse left Minnesota winter behind and headed to San Diego, CA to begin a new adventure in their lives.  They have moved there!  I was looking at ticket prices today (online) as I do want to go visit and soon  :)
Back here in Minnesota I received a new Gooseberry Patch cookbook in the mail today - it's called Best Ever Cookies, I received a free copy because a recipe I submitted was chosen and published in the book!  Fun!  I love those cookbooks (most cookbooks really).  The recipe I am posting here now, though, is not that recipe, but instead a pasta recipe that I just whipped up for supper tonight. (since I am off to BP to work over supper!).

Lemony Penne & Broccoli
8 oz. Penne Pasta (cooked according to directions on box)
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced garlic
1 pound fresh broccoli
1 can Cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
Juice & zest of a lemon
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. shredded parmesan or romano cheese
1 c. reserved pasta water

*Cook pasta according to directions ( I actually used the whole 1 pound box).
While pasta is cooking, in a skillet, saute 2 tbsp. oil and garlic until golden.  Add broccoli and 1/3 c. water to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Stir in the beans and heat through.  Add lemon juice and zest and red pepper flakes.  Add contents of the skillet to the cooked pasta and add the remaining 2 tbsp. oil and 1c. reserved pasta water.  Stir in the shredded cheese.  Serve!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Windy Weekend & Carrot Cake :)

It's a windy, windy day here in Morris, MN - so windy in fact that it is causing significant blowing & drifting and school was let out at 10:30 this morning.  Tonight the winds are supposed to shift from South to North and then tomorrow we are on tap for 50 mph winds for the whole day - oh joy, (NOT), however, we here in Minnesota can't complain today after all that has happened and is continuing to unfold over in Japan.  My heart goes out to them.  I am happy that this weekend Heather and Grant are coming home from college and get to spend all of next week here as they have spring break.  Tomorrow we get to see Jessica and Jesse as they make their farewell tour through Glenwood and Morris.  They will be hitting the highway next Saturday on their new journey to San Diego, California.  I for one, cannot wait to get on a plane and go visit them there  :)  So beware, Jesse, the MIL (Mother-in-Law) will be coming to visit!  In honor of Jessica coming to see us this weekend I am whipping up her favoritest cake and it happens that it will be her half-birthday on Sunday so we can even call it her half-birthday cake!  Here is the recipe:

Carrot Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 c. finely shredded carrot
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Pour into a 9 x 13" greased cake pan, (or if you are adventurous, use 2 round cake pans and make a layer cake!) Bake @ 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool thoroughly.

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 to 6 c. powdered sugar
Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth and creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar until desired consistency.  Spread on cake!  Keep cake in refrigerator!
P.S.  There will be leftover frosting which I love to spread on graham crackers and eat.....we wonder why I never lose a pound - ha!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Apparently, Florida, or for that matter, Mother Nature has not been receiving my memos!  Woke up this morning to cloudy skies - I figured okay, its supposed to be in the 20's I guess I can deal with that.  What do we get instead?  How about snow flurries and then wind, coming like no other from the Northwest.  This is creating below zero windchills.  Haven't we had enough of these days yet, Ms. Mother Nature?  If Florida isn't listening to my pleas to share their warmth and sunshine, I now turn to you!  I have lived in Minnesota my whole life, this is not to say I am opposed to moving to another state, I just need to get my husband on board with that plan.  My daughter, Jessica, however, has gotten the smarts to get out of this state while the getting is good!  She and her hubby are moving to San Diego, California!  Yes, that is a LONG ways from her mom in Morris, Minnesota, and I won't lie to you and tell you that at first I did not cry at this news.  Because I assure you I did.  The news has now had some time to absorb and I am more okay with it, I figure she is the smart one.  I am thinking Skype may be in my very near future.  In the meantime, I am going to leave you with this recipe that I found in a cake mix cookbook, I just made these yesterday for my daughter to serve at her "going to sunnier lands" going-away party!  I must inform you they were super simple and tasty too  :)

Marbled Chocolate Bars
1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. milk chocolate chips
*Prepare the cake batter according to the package directions.  Pour into a greased 15x10x1 cookie sheet.  In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in 1/4 c. of the chocolate chips.  Drop this mixture by spoonfuls over the cake mix batter.  Cut through the batter with a knife to create a swirling effect.  Sprinkle the remaining chips over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Cool.  Cut into bars.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spread the warmth, please . . .

My mom happens to be in Florida visiting with my Aunt and Uncle - she called me just a bit ago to report that it was 85 degrees there and she went to the beach for "just an hour" so she wouldn't get fried by the sun.  Okay, I am jealous, I am aware of that, as she was talking with me on the phone, it was 2 degrees here and the snowplow was barrelling down my street to remove the drifts that were placed in the middle of the street due to yesterday's 30+ mph gale force winds that happened to sustain themselves throughout the day.  Now I am happy that Florida is basking in sunshine - hey, they are famous for it - but couldn't they share the warmth just an itty, itty bit?  We here in Minnesota have suffered through a long and cold and SNOW filled winter.....Florida has to be feeling just a little bit sorry for us by now?  I am not certain how I am going to now tie a recipe into this blog posting but since I have mentioned my mom and my aunt I will share a family recipe that you can stash until SPRING finally arrives and rhubarb starts popping up in the gardens  :)

Grandma Neva's Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. melted butter
*Mix this together and get a crumble.  Press 1/2 of the mintures into a 9 x 13" cake pan.  Cover with 8 c. chopped rhubarb
*In a saucepan combine:
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
4 tbsp. corn starch
Stir together and cook until thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 tsp. vanilla.  Pour over rhubarb.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble over the top and bake at 350 degrees for one hour!  **Extremely tasty eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Could we get a little breeze here?

Just wondering - could one day we maybe just get a little breeze instead of gale force winds?  My blue house number that is supposed to be visible for firefighters and such is totally buried in a drift of snow that just keeps growing and growing to mountain like proportions.  AND on top of it all, the weathermen on all the chanels I perused so far today have said that March came in like a LAMB?  Hello?  If this means the end of the month is going to bring us WORSE weather I am leaving this state once and for all!  In light of this I am feeling the need to bake and this is what I am planning to whip up (once I am done with work) for the day, that is!

Tangerine Pound Cake
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 tbsp. tangerine (or orange) peel
1 tsp. vanilla
5 eggs
1 c. milk
*Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom and side of a fluted tube cake pan (or 2 loaf pans).  Mix together your flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.  In another bowl beat the sugar, butter, peel, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer.  Beat on high speed for 5 minutes scraping the bowl occasionally.  Beat in the flour mixture alternately with milk on low speed, beating until just smooth after each addition.  Pour into pan (or pans).  If using a bundt cake pan bake for 1 hour 10 minutes.  If using loaf pans they take 55-60 minutes.

I have made this several times - it is yummy!  My son-in-law (who doesn't really like sweets) even likes this one  :)

**P.S.  IF we can ever find our way out of snowbanks to our grills - I saw a picture the other day of a sandwich - on a kaiser roll - a grilled chicken breast, topped with pepperjack cheese and salsa - YUM! (although I would use monterey jack on my sandwich - my hubby and son would love the pepperjack version!)