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Monday, December 24, 2012

Loaded Potato Salad

Oh  my goodness! Can I  just tell you how amazing this potato salad looks and tastes? Ok, ok, so I only took one small bite, but it sure was yummy!! In fact, as I am typing this, I realized that I should probably go get my grand daughter's bib to wear so I won't ruin my keyboard with drool. Just looking at the picture makes me want to run to my fridge, yank open the bowl of potato salad and dig in with a HUGE fork! Fortunately my will power  is kicking in and I will stick to my diet. I am sure my family will thank me tomorrow for not eating it all, so they can enjoy it all for themselves. If you loved loaded baked potatoes, then this certainly will become your new favorite potato salad.

4 large Russet potatoes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup freshly chopped chives, divided
8 strips of bacon (6 for the salad and 2 for topping) cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
Serves 4 - 6

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together mayonnaise, and sour cream. Add cheddar cheese, half of the chives, 6 pieces of crumbled bacon,  salt and pepper. Place in the fridge for a bit. Meanwhile, peel and cube your potatoes in to bite size pieces. Put in a large pot, cover with water, and boil about 20 minutes. Don't over boil or they will end up too mushy.

When potatoes are ready, drain and let cool completely. Put potatoes in a large bowl and add the sour cream mixture. Top with remaining chives and remaining crumbled bacon.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chocolate Covered Coffee Toffee

It's actually pretty funny that just a couple posts ago, I shared how I have taken on a new healthy living lifestyle and here I am posting another sugary, yummy post! Honestly, I am not eating any of these goodies, but I am sure enjoying creating them for all our friends and family during the Christmas season. This one should be a hit, because come on...who doesn't like toffee? Dipped in chocolate? With coffee? See...you are drooling now huh? Well if you can stop drooling long enough to head on into your kitchen, you are probably going to want to make this candy.







* Original Recipe found here: Chocolate Covered Coffee Toffee

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp molasses
3 tsp instant coffee powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound milk chocolate melted

1. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.

2. In a medium sized sauce pan, place a candy thermometer. Bring all the ingredients, excluding the chocolate, to a boil over medium low heat. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until the thermometer reaches 275°

3. Stir constantly until the thermometer reaches 315°. Remove it from the heat and stir until very smooth, just a few seconds.

4. Pour the toffee onto the prepared cookie sheet.

5. Using a spatula spread the toffee out into a large rectangle. try to keep it as even as possible. Work quickly because the toffee will set fast.

6. Using a pizza cutter, score the toffee into bite sized pieces. This might take a few times going over and over it as the toffee hardens.

7. Allow the toffee to sit until it is room temperature and then break apart the pieces.

8. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler until perfectly smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Drop a piece of the toffee into the chocolate. Using a spoon, make sure the toffee is covered with chocolate on all sides.Use a fork to remove the toffee from the chocolate. Shake the candy over the bowl to gently remove the excess chcocolate. Scrape the edge of the fork on the bowl of chocolate as you remove the candy. Lay them on waxed or parchment paper until they set up.


9. You will have a bit of chocolate left over so you can add some decoration to the tops if you wish by scooping the leftover chocolate into a baggie. Clip a very tiny hole in the corner of the baggie and drizzle the chocolate onto the tops of the toffee.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lemon Meringue Dip with Pie Crust Dippers


What's not to love about heart shaped "pie crust dippers" dipped in a lemon meringue dip? If you answered "NOTHING" than you are 100% correct. I have not had any sugar in my diet now for almost 5 months, so I can't honestly give you my opinion of this, as I am not having any. But I can tell you that my hubby loved it and I think I gained 5 lbs just smelling it and looking at it. I'm hoping that all the family that will be together tomorrow will also love it!


*Original recipe found here: Lemon Meringue Pie Dip



14 oz
can sweetened condensed milk
3 lg
eggs, separated
1/2 c
fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp
 light corn syrup
a pinch
cream of tartar


1. Whisk egg yolks and juice over medium heat in small saucepan, heat and stir until custard like. This will take about 5 minutes.
Place this mixture in the refrigerator to chill. 

2. In a mixer bowl whisk egg whites, corn syrup, and cream of tartar on high until stiff peak form. Set this aside to use later.

3. Remove yolk mixture from fridge and whisk in the sweetened condensed milk. Blend well. Pour into a pie dish.

4. Using a spoon, pile and spread meringue on top of lemon sauce.Use the back of your spoon to pull up some of the ends of the peaks to make it pretty. 

5.Turn your broiler onto high. Place in oven and broil 1 to 2 minutes until meringue is slightly browned. Refrigerate to chill.

7 Up Pie Crust Dippers:


*Original recipe found here: Pie Crust Dippers
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup Ccrisco
5 Tbsp ice cold 7-up

1.Stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 

2. Add the ice cold 7 up, gradually to the flour mixture, then blend together until moist.
Place pastry in plastic wrap, flatten slightly. Chill 30 minutes.

3. Remove from fridge and roll out like you are making pie crust on a flour dusted surface or between 2 pieces of waxed paper to about 1/8 inch thickness. Using your favorite small cookie cutter, cut out the shapes. (Or you can cut into circles or strips)

4. Spray cookie sheet with Pam or use parchment paper and place the cut out dough pieces. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for bout 6-12 minutes or until golden. (This really varies from oven to oven. The original recipe said 5 minutes, mine took almost 12)
Cool completely before using so that they are crisp.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Flip Flop Nutter Butters

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am on a new wellness journey to good health and weight loss. This might answer your question as to why I have not been "blogging" lately. I am on a whole new nutrition and health plan that includes ONLY natural and organic foods. That being said, I stopped blogging because I haven't been able to make anything terribly exciting lately with my limitations in the food department as of now. But good  news...I feel fantastic and it's working! When I can begin to add some foods back, I will start blogging some good eats again. :)

Doesn't this make you wonder why I am posting a recipe for cookies I just made? We have an end of summer, family BBQ to attend tomorrow. I pondered whether or not I should make a dessert, but I decided in the long run, that temptations will always be in my way, so I better start learning how to resist them. I made these cute little summer cookies to take tomorrow and NO, I did NOT eat a single one. Not even a crumb!! *Thank you...Thank you* (I would take a bow, but if I did, I just might be tempted to pick up one of those cookies in my mouth on the way back up!)   ;)

1 pkg Nutter Butter cookies
1 tub store bought white frosting
Food coloring (I used gel color as it's easier to mix)

These are super easy to make. Lay out all your nutter butters in a single layer on a cookie sheet or foil. Place small amounts of white frosting in a few separate bowls. Using food coloring, dye each small amount of frosting the color you would like to decorate your cookies with. Using a small round tip, pipe the colored frosting onto each cookie to resemble the straps. Continue with each color using a new bag or cleaning the bag in between colors. **(It might be easier if you just use baggies and snip the corner off to decorate these, then you can just throw  away the bag...no muss, no fuss. But I was out of baggies!) Change the tip to a small flower tip if you want to put the flower at the top of the flip flop. If not, it looks just as cute without one! Make sure you let the frosting completely harden before you try to store the cookies, and they must be stored in a single layer.
**Recipe Source: http://www.paisleypetalevents.com/2011/07/24/surfs-up-summer-party/

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Asparagus Gratin

As a kid, I despised asparagus. Hated it beyond words. I thought it was the most foul looking and smelling food imaginable....besides meatloaf, but that's another story for another day. Well as a grown up, I have actually learned to like asparagus. I like it steamed, broiled, grilled, just about any way you can fix it. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this is my absolute new favorite way of eating it. Cheesy, creamy, just the right amount of salty and boy oh boy, you have a wonderful new way of having asparagus as a side dish. Well honestly, I could eat this as a meal, but the hubby always says "gotta have meat to make it a meal" and as much as I disagree with that statement, I always try to keep the hubby happy. After 29 years,  yes, I can still say that! :)



Recipe Source:
http://apronappeal.blogspot.com/2011/06/asparagus-gratin.html


2 pounds thin asparagus
3 cups water
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler to high. Line broiler safe baking dish with paper towels. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and set both stalks and ends aside.
Bring water to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus ends and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook covered, for 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove asparagus ends and discard. Add asparagus stalks to skillet, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, 2-4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to paper towel lined baking dish. Pour asparagus water into liquid measuring cup. If liquid does not read 1-cup mark, add water until it does. Melt butter in now empty skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in reserved asparagus water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Off heat, stir in ½ cup Parmesan and Monterey jack until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand for 5 minuets. Remove paper towels from baking dish. (most of the moisture should have been retained from the asparagus into the paper towels. Drizzle sauce over the asparagus and top with remaining Parmesan. Broil until cheese is golden and asparagus is tender, 4-8 minutes. Serve.