Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the broth and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.


    Jam Kolaches

    1/2 cup butter, softened
    3 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup strawberry jam
    1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar           
    Beat butter or margarine and cream cheese in mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour gradually, beating well after each addition.
    Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut into 2-inch circles. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon jam into center of each circle. Fold opposite edges together, slightly overlapping edges.

    Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

    Caramel Toffee Pecan Fudge

    This recipe is so easy. I am not a fudge person but I figure anything with caramel and toffee has got to be good. :o)

    3 cups Milk chocolate chips
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    7 OUNCES Kraft's Caramels ( Used the caramel bits) (1/2 BAG), I melted in microwave with 1T. heavy cream!!!
    1/2 cup, coarsely chopped pecans (I TOASTED them in the oven 350 for a couple of minutes!!! ADDS AWESOME FLAVOR!)
    1/2 cup toffee bits
    1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the white chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth.

    2. Pour into a 9x9 dish lined with nonstick foil.

    3. Pour the melted caramel over the fudge and use a knife or spatula to marble throughout the fudge. Scoop some of the fudge from the bottom on top of the caramel so it's mixed well from top to bottom.

    4. Add chopped pecans and toffee bits. I swirled them through just a drop.

    5. Chill for at least an hour. Cut into squares and enjoy

    Candy Cane Fudge

    2 (10 ounce) packages vanilla baking chips
    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
    1 1/2 cups crushed candy canes
    1 dash red or green food coloring

    Line an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil.
    Combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes.
    Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares.

    Marshmallow on a stick

    Disneyland has something like this and I love them. When I seen these on Danielle page I knew I was going to have to give them a try. So I figure I would make them for Christmas.
















    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Doctor Who

    Today is my son Jacob's 16th birthday and he is big into Doctor who. So much so he is taking acting classes so he can be the next Doctor Who. One of the cake decorators (Jessica) where I work made this cake for him. She did such a wonderful job. She even put his red high-tops on the cake.  This has got to be the best cake ever!! Thanks Jessica!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Autumn Beef Stew

    This is a Rachael recipe. I have never made a recipe of hers that was bad. My boys did not care for the potatoes and said there was something different about them. I did not tell them there was parsnips mixed with them, I just said there was cheese in it. :o)

    2 bulbs garlic
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
    Salt and pepper
    1/4 to 1/3 pound bacon (not too smoky in flavor), cut into lardons (fat matchsticks) I did not use bacon in mine.
    1 stick butter, divided I only used 1/4 of a stick and a little more olive oil
    2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
    Flour, for dredging plus 2 tablespoons
    3 carrots, sliced in 2-inch chunks on an angle I wished I used more
    2 apples, such as Honeycrisp, peeled and chopped
    2 to 3 ribs celery, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 fresh bay leaves
    2 to 2 1/2 cups cloudy organic apple cider
    2 cans beef consommé
    Herb bouquet, a few sprigs each of thyme, parsley and sage tied together with kitchen string
    2 1/2 pounds (about 5 potatoes) russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    2 to 3 large parsnips, peeled and cubed
    1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar, shredded
    1 cup whole milk
    Freshly grated nutmeg I did not add nutmeg
    1/4 cup chives, finely chopped I added parsley on top of mine.

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut ends of garlic bulbs to expose cloves. Drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and roast to tender, 40-45 minutes. Remove garlic and reduce heat to 350°F.

    Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon then remove and reserve. Pour off some of the fat out of the pan and add a couple of tablespoons butter.

    Pat meat dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and add to hot pot in batches. Cook to crispy and deep brown. Add more butter as needed, 2 tablespoons at a time. Reserve browned meat with the bacon.

    Add carrot, apple, celery, onion, bay, salt and pepper to the pot and partially cover. Cook to soften vegetables for a few minutes then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Stir a minute then add cider, consommé, the roasted garlic cloves and stir to combine. Add reserved beef, bacon and herb bouquet to pan, bring to a boil then cover and transfer to oven. Braise meat for 2 hours, until very tender and the sauce has thickened. Let stand 20 minutes while you cook potatoes.

    Boil potatoes and parsnips in salted water until tender. Drain and return to hot pot; mash with 2 tablespoons butter, cheese and milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir in chives.

    Serve stew in shallow bowls with potatoes alongside.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn

    I seen this recipe on 100 days of real food and thought I would share it with you all. It looks really yummy and I hope to get the chance to make it before Christmas, if not I will be making it after. If you make it come back and let me know how you liked it. Also pop on over to her page and check out her recipes. Glazed Popcorn MixIngredients
    • 4 cups plain popcorn (about ¼ cup of kernels)Hint: We use “The Popcorn Trick [1]” for easy plain popcorn
    • ¾ cup raw cashews
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • ½ teaspoon dried cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Parchment paper recommended for baking
    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
    2. In a small pot over low heat melt the butter and honey together. Mix in the cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
    3. Put the cashews in an extra large mixing bowl. Coat them with about a tablespoon of the butter/honey mixture.
    4. Spread the coated nuts onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 6 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, in the same large bowl evenly coat the plain popcorn – minus any unpopped kernels – with the remaining butter/honey mixture.
    6. After the cashews have been in the oven for 6 minutes, take out the tray, add the popcorn to it, and mix it all up together. Stick the tray back in the oven and set the timer for 4 minutes.
    7. After 4 minutes open the oven and stir or shake the mixture around on the baking sheet. Set the timer for 2 more minutes.
    8. Once again open the oven and stir/shake the mixture so there are no hot spots that could get burnt. Set the timer for 1 more minute at which point the mixture will once again need to be checked/stirred.
    9. Repeat the process of checking/stirring the popcorn mixture every minute then take it out of the oven once it turns a dark brown (it can burn easily toward the end!). My total bake time was 6 minutes for the nuts then an additional 7 or 8 minutes once I added the popcorn.
    10. The popcorn and nuts will be slightly wet right out of the oven, but will harden as they cool

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Candy Cane Cookies

    I had a very special little visitor come over today. Mommy and Daddy both had to work so he got to come over to Papa and Grandma's to play. We have not seen him in over a week so he was so excited to come over. When Noah and his Mommy (my daughter Kim) came in the house he was so excited to be here that I went to give him a
    big hug and a kiss and you know what he did? He ran right pass me yelling..."Uncle Jacob!!" yep, he was so excited to come over to play with Uncle Jacob. LOL Now you understand why I made the cookie dough, yes to bribe him. LOL When that stops working I pull out the books. :o)
    Noah loves sprinkles so much that I bought two huge new bottles a few days ago so we could bake cookies. I will admit his cookies tasted really good with all that sugar.
    1 cup butter
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon peppermint extract
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    red food coloring (I just pour it in, I like it dark red)
    peppermint candy canes, crushed
    white and red sugar for decoration


    In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, white sugar and confectioners' sugar. Beat in the egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts. Combine the flour and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Cover or wrap dough and chill for at least one hour.
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees  Grease cookie sheets. Divide dough into halves. Color one half red by mixing in the food color. Roll a small amount of each dough into a 2 inch long worm. Roll them together in a twisted rope and curve the end like a cane. Place onto prepared cookie sheets.
     Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. In a small bowl, mix together the crushed candy cane and remaining white sugar. Sprinkle on top before baking.
    We also made some thumb print ones and added hugs to the center as soon as they came out of the oven.

                                                                                             These are my favorite ones.

    Focaccia Bread

    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon white sugar
    1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 pinch ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 cup water
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
    1 cup cheddar

    In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
    When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and jalapenos slices.
    Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011


    I know it has been awhile since I posted anything so I hope this makes up for it. I love toffee, it is one of my favorite....well caramel is also a favorite.
    So a lot has been going on at my house. We got a new puppy. It has been a year and a half since we had lost Mia to cancer. We had gone to the animal shelter for the past year just looking. We have gone in private rooms to spend time with puppies and see if they where a good match for us. Well about two months ago we went in and to make a long boring story short we came out with Khloe. Well her nae was not Khloe at the time. The very has no idea what she is, we see dachshund for sure in her, they think maybe Cocker Spaniel, maybe some beagle and even some cattle dog. Yep she is a mess. But we love that homely little thing.
    Then my son joined the Air Force and left on the 15th of November and I have gone back to work. Trying to get use to working, keeping up with the house and keeping my photography business alive. I love working and the hours have been great, once I get use to the hours and 4 hours sleep a day I will be back to my normal self and hopefully blogging and working on recipes more. This might be the Christmas we all lose weight. :o) I was saying working is like going to a gym that pays me to workout. I love the job and work with some really sweet people.
    So back to my toffee. I was thinking about toffee and what to do differently with it. I love nuts and Coconut but  some of my family members do not like either, I was not willing to leave all of it off so I left the coconut I was going to toast off.
    4 cups butter
    4 cups white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    1 cup white chocolate
    2 cup chopped almonds   
    2 cups chopped Macadamia nuts        
    In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a medium/dark amber color (don't let it burn, if you smell it the it will be too late)  and the temperature has reached 285 degrees Stir occasionally.
    While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil put half the nuts on the foil lined pan.               

    As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate and white chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate, and press in slightly.
    Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.