Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Appetizers!

Need another appetizer for this New Years Eve, or tomorrow's football game? Try these spicy
Buffalo Chicken Wings. They've been one of the most popular posts on my blog in 2010. You can cook them on a grill, or in the oven if you happen to be snowed in!
My all time favorite Cheese Ball is a winner. My daughter always requests this during the holidays. If you don't want to roll it in pecans, try chopped parsley.

These Baked Barbecue Meatballs are delicious. They are baked in a homemade sauce-bet you can't eat just one!

My Corn and Black Bean Salsa is also one of my most popular posts. Full of corn and beans of course, but also tomatoes, onion, peppers, cilantro, avocado and lime. This salsa is addictive!
If you need more ideas, please click here for other appetizers.
Happy New Year my friends! May each of you have a wonderful year.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, my friends, from our home to yours. Or rather, from our son's home where our granddaughter, is enjoying the boxes and paper as much as the gifts themselves. She was operating solely on adrenaline when we left; too excited to eat, or take a nap.
I hope each of you has had a blessed day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake from Paula Deen

Do you still need to come up with a dessert idea for Christmas, or like me, a pot luck dinner? We had our annual Christmas pot luck at our church on Sunday and I wanted to whip up something different, so I gave this Paula Deen recipe a try. I've got to tell you I almost backed out of making this when I saw the ingredient list, but decided it was a Christmas dinner after all! Who counts calories at Christmas? This gooey, decadent dessert was a great hit at the dessert table, with hardly a piece left!
I loved the gooey texture and creamy pumpkin flavor. It is really rich though, so rich that my kids didn't really enjoy it. So, I may not make this for my family again, however, the recipe will be in my file for future pot lucks! It is easy to assemble, tastes great and the gooey factor makes it rather decadent, especially when topped with homemade whipped cream!

The recipe has a very high 5 star rating on Paula' site. My photos don't do it justice, but when in a hurry to get to the dinner, this was the best I had time to do. I topped this Pumpkin Gooey butter Cake with whipped cream and dusted it with ground cinnamon. Let me know if you give this recipe a try. Now here's what you do:

Cake layer:
1 18 1/4 ounce package yellow layer cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons melted butter
1 16 ounce box powdered sugar (yup, you read that right)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg- I only used 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, the egg, and 8 tablespoons of melted butter. Mix thoroughly and pat into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
To prepare the filling, beat cream cheese and pumpkin together in a large bowl.
Add eggs, vanilla and butter and combine well. Now add the powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.
Spread filling over the cake mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a bit gooey. Over baking will also make the bottom layer too dry. Serve with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon if desired. Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

M & M Cookies

These M & M Cookies are almost a guaranteed favorite with kids of all ages. I made some of these cookies, and some Snickerdoodles, a week ago for our church Christmas program and they were a hit. I used the Christmas red and green colored M & M's so the cookies would be festive. I always keep a good handful of the candies out of the mix, and then poke them onto the cookies before they are popped into the oven. This insures that there will candies on the top. This recipe came out of an old church cookbook of mine, like some other of my favorite recipes. M & M cookies were always one of our kids favorite cookies, any time of year. I have other cookie recipes here. I hope you'll give them a try as they are crispy around the edges, but soft and chewy in the center. That's a winner!
Sorry for my blogging absence for the last couple of weeks. My husband and I went on a short trip to Branson, Missouri, and I've had trouble getting back into the swing of cooking regularly, with the trip and the lull after Thanksgiving. But I'm back now, just in time for Christmas. Only one week left! Are you all ready?

M & M COOKIES ( called Party Cookies in my cookbook)
1 cup butter- softened to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3/4 pound) plain M & M candies- I use the whole bag
In a large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together. Beat in the vanilla and the eggs. In another bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix together. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, about 1/3 at a time. Blend well after each addition. Stir in about half of the candies. Drop rounded tablespoons full of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Place several candies on each round of cookie dough. Doing this makes sure that each cookie will have M & M's on top. (But you can just dump all the candies in the cookie batter if you prefer).
Bake cookies in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on racks. Enjoy!