Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crock-pot Apple Butter

Happy 1st official week of Fall!  This past week we made apple butter, apple jelly, and marshmallow fluff to prepare for the upcoming holiday seasons.  Today's recipe is super simple and one of my favorites.  Do you have any favorite fall recipes?  If so, please share!

{ Crock-pot Apple Butter }


3 lb apples- I used Honey Crisp, but original recipe calls for Granny Smith
4 cups sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg


Peel, core, and chop apples until equals 3 lbs weighed.  Place in crock-pot.  Should fit in a 6 qt. or larger crockpot.  Add sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir until mixed through.  Cook on high for 3 hours.  Reduce crockpot to low heat and cook an additional 6-7 hours.  Make sure you stir throughout the day or you may burn it.  About 10 minutes before butter is done, wash your jars in hot, soapy water.  When done rinsing put directly into a heated 300* oven to get nice and hot for about 10 minutes.  Boil your lids (must be new, cannot be used or may not seal properly).  Remove hot jars from oven, put hot butter in hot jars, put lids and rings on, and screw tight.  Then flip for 1 minute and then flip upright and wait for the ping. 

Cover with a towel over night and  make sure you let sit for 24 hrs.  Yum!

Here is the link to original recipe:  http://www.ehow.com/how_4734966_crock-pot-apple-butter.html
Any questions, just ask. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{ Zucchini Bread Sandwich Cookies }

Good morning friends!  It's been a while...  Sorry for the laps in blogging.  Did you plant a garden this summer?  We did, but ours didn't do so great.  One crop that seems to always survive, though, is the zucchini.  We have tried a few different new recipes this summer with the zucchini and this one turned out great.  I actually found this recipe in an old issue of "Martha Stewart Living" magazine.  It's kind of a variation on a "Little Debbie" cookie.  I hope you enjoy!  My kids all loved and I think my husband liked too.

Zucchini Bread Sandwich Cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated zucchini
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (We didn't add these due to nut allergy)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used reduced fat)
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted (I'm lazy and don't sift)


1.  Preheat oven to 350*.  Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl.  Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.

2.  Beat flour mixture into butter mixture.  Mix in zucchini, oats, and walnuts.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

3.  Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.  Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack.

4.  Beat together remaining 1/2 stick butter, the cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar until smooth.  Spread 1 heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of 1 cookie, and sandwich with another cookie.  Repeat with remaining filling and cookies. 

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

{ Bread }

Oh how I loooooove bread!  And butter.  REAL butter!  For years I never made homemade yeast breads because the thought of kneading dough scarred me.  Over kneading, under kneading, adding too much flour, not enough flour!  All of those reasons have deterred me over the years.  Thankfully not long ago, 2 people put their scientific and culinary skills together and wrote an amazing cookbook.  A few years after that, they added another cookbook that revised their original recipe into a healthier version.  The original book is "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes Per Day".  I LOVE THIS COOKBOOK!  This book has revolutionized the art of bread baking.  It is so unbelievably easy!!  Another bonus in baking your own bread is the cost.  At less than 50 cents per loaf, it will definitely save you some "dough"!  Also, isn't it nice to be able to actually pronounce the ingredient list in the food you are eating?  I am going to give you a link to their youtube video because the first batch I made was easy, but had I seen this video 1st would have been even easier!  Plus the authors are the ones in the video and they help you realize how easy this recipe is.

Now that you've seen the video and realize just how easy it is, here is a link to both cookbooks.  I love them both and have made several recipes from each.  I even made the pita bread in the first book and it was so easy and so tasty! 

Both books found on amazon.com

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Big Ol' Mess!

Do you like it hot and spicy?  If so, this is a recipe for you!  This is a recipe my husband found in a Marlboro (yes, the smokes) cookbook at the fire station.  It really has a kick so be prepared.  We love jalapenos here on the "Miller Ranch" so it has become one of our new favorites.  Speaking of jalapenos, I will be so excited when our jalapenos are ready for harvesting out of the garden.  We canned "jalapeno salsa" a few years ago that was soooo good and I can't wait to share the recipe with you this summer.  Anyways, on to the recipe at hand~
{ Big Ol' Mess }
12 ounce jar of sweet & sour sauce
1 green bell pepper, chopped & seeded
3 jalapenos, chopped & seeded
1/4 cup Tobasco sauce
1 pound smoked sausage, diced
1 small onion diced
6 cups prepared white rice
Preheat oven to 350*.  Combine all ingredients, except white rice, in bowl and stir until combined.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and cover.  Bake for 45 minutes.
While "Mess" baking, make rice per package directions.  Serve "Mess" over prepared rice.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Buttery Coffee Cake

Good Friday afternoon!  Yea, Blogger is finally back up!  Sorry to keep you waiting for a new recipe post.  Between my personal schedule being hectic this past week and then Blogger going down, it's been a while, so "HELLO"!

Today's recipe is a new favorite of mine.  I made this coffee cake last weekend for our Mother's Day brunch and it was a huge hit!  How can a recipe with 3 sticks of butter in it not be good?!  Did I mention there are also 2 sticks of cream cheese and a few cups of sugar.  This is definitely a treat, but well worth it.  I hope you enjoy as much as we did. 

Buttery Coffee Cake



1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


2 (8 oz. packages) cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened


Preheat oven to 350* and set oven rack on lowest setting.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. 

Cream butter with sugar for 3 minutes.  Add eggs and sour cream and mix an additional 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat well until combined.  Batter will be thick.

Spread half of the batter in prepared baking pan. 

In another bowl, cream together all filling ingredients until smooth, then carefully spread over the cake batter.

Spoon the remaining cake batter over the top of the cream cheese filling.  It will be more like dotting tablespoons of batter on top of the filling.

Mix all topping ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over cake.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until middle feels set.

It is sooooo good.  I cannot wait for you to try because I know you will love!

 Original recipe can be found at food.com

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies

These are my all time favorite cookie.  Or at least they are my favorite that I actually bake.  I have a few other favs, but none of which I make.  I found this recipe online back before Christmas and have baked numerous times since.  I also just realized when I baked these this morning that I could make them egg free for my son.  There is zero difference in taste between the recipe with egg and the egg substitute I used in this recipe.  I was really excited they still tasted as good because now I won't have to bake 2 separate batches.  Yea for less mess!  Do you have a favorite cookie, if so, send the recipe my way, I would love to try!  Have a great Tuesday!

White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon brandy/vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (my favorite are Ghirardelli)
1 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Egg Substitute:

1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 tablespoon water (can add 1/4 tablespoon more if too dry)
1 tsp baking powder

Mix together and add in place of 1 egg in any baked recipe.  Wouldn't recommend in baked good that require more than 2-3 eggs. 


Sunday, April 24, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

Ahhh, German Chocolate Cake.  This is my dad's favorite cake.  His birthday was at the beginning of the month, but he and my mom came to lunch today, so we decided to celebrate a little late with this rich dessert.
This cake is not difficult to make, but definitely isn't a cake you can throw together quickly, so keep that in mind if you decide to bake.  I never liked this cake as a child, but now that I make it and can chop the nuts super small, I actually really love it!  I am not a huge fan of nuts mixed in my food.  Love them alone, but don't want them in my food until pulverized to little pieces.  This way I can still add the flavor without the interruption of the big nut in every bite.  Weird, I know!  Anyways, I use the recipe from the "Better Homes And Garden" cookbook.  It is one of my favorite cookbooks and without a doubt, I use almost every week.

German Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients:

3 eggs
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 4-ounce package sweet baking chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk/sour milk

Frosting Ingredients:

1 egg
5-ounce can evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans


Separate eggs.  Allow egg yolks, egg whites, and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour 2- 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.  Set pans aside.  In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a small saucepan combine chocolate and 1/3 cup water.  Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted; cool.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined.  Scrape sides of bowl; continue beating for 2 minutes.  Beat in egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (about 1 minute total).  Beat in cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla.  Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture; beat on low speed after each addition until combined. 

Thoroughly wash the beater.  In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold egg whites into the batter.  Spread batter into the prepared pans.

Bake in a 350* oven for 20-25 minutes for 9-inch pans, 25-30 minutes for 8-inch pans, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean.  Cool cake layers on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove cake layers from pans; cool thoroughly on racks.  Spread cold coconut-pecan frosting over the top of each cake; stack the layers.

Frosting Directions:

In a medium saucepan slightly beat 1 egg.  Stir in one 5-ounce can evaporated milk, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup butter.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.  Cover and cool thoroughly.

*I actually double the frosting recipe so I can frost the sides of cake as well.  Per the cookbook, they just frost the bottom layer, then put top layer cake on, then layer the top with frosting.  I usually have frosting left over when I double the recipe.  I put the extra frosting in a bowl and sit with a spoon and eat each and every last drop of the frosting.  I then wash down with a big mug of coffee. 

The "Better Homes & Garden" cookbook can be found at amazon.com or your local library.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mocha Walnut Wonder Muffins

"Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed, but chocolate makes it worthwhile."

Today has been long...  I have a trying 2-yr old (almost 3) little man that has really been a wreck lately.  He is making us slightly crazy.  Of course this has nothing to do with the recipe I am sharing today, but it was a good excuse to bake something chocolaty!  I bought the "Morning Food" cookbook a few years back because we love breakfast food.  This cookbook has recipes for everything from muffins to eggs to breakfast cookies!  I have tried several recipes and have loved them all.  I love a good cup of coffee with something chocolaty and this recipe ties both flavors into one muffin.  The added health benefit is that half of the flour in this recipe is whole wheat.  I imagine you could even tweak the flour ratio and use more wheat then white if you don't mind a grainier texture.   I also used crushed pecans in place of the walnuts the recipe called for.  I'm sure walnuts would be great too, I just didn't have any on hand.  I hope you have a great week ahead!

Mocha Walnut Wonder Muffins


3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup strong black coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup cocoa (sifted, then measured)
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts/pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup mini chips)


Preheat oven to 375* F.

Combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla, and set aside.

Sift the rest of the ingredients, except for the nuts and chocolate chips, into a separate bowl.  Add the nuts and chocolate chips, and stir.  Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix quickly, just until blended.  Please do not dawdle and do not over mix (the cookbook states this not me).

Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for about 20-25 minutes (only took 20 minutes in my oven), or until done.  Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin.  When it comes out clean, the muffins are done.

I actually think this is a great muffin, but you could probably frost with a yummy coffee flavored frosting or just a plain white butter-cream frosting if you wanted a twist on the traditional chocolate cupcake.

The cookbook this recipe is found in can be purchased through amazon.com or possibly located at your local library.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Honey Bun Cake

Do you love cake?  I do.  In fact it is probably one of my favorite desserts!  Today's recipe is from the "Cake Doctor" cookbook.  Although I prefer to cook from scratch on most occasions, this cookbook is great for whenever you want something tasty, convenient, and easy.  If you don't already own, I highly recommend.  Of course, check out your local library to see if they carry and save a few dollars!  One of the reasons I love this cake is because it has honey in it which is one of my favorite foods!  Did you know honey is the only food that will never expire?  As in never ever!!  This is a great cake to bake for an after dinner dessert, but would be yummy served at a brunch as well.

Honey Bun Cake



1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable/canola oil
4 large eggs


1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Sugar Glaze:

2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted (I'm lazy and never sift)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Lightly mist a 9x13 baking pan with vegetable oil spray.  Can also use recipe as cupcakes or 2 8x8 cakes.  Just follow baking time on the cake mix box.

Place all cake ingredients in mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.  Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping sides down again if needed.  The batter should look thick and well blended.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out with the rubber spatula.

Drizzle the honey on top of the batter, then sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans (if using).  With a dinner knife, swirl throughout these ingredients to blend them slightly.  Place in oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger 38-40 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, place all glaze ingredients in a bowl and use wire whisk to combine until smooth.  Drizzle evenly over hot cake.  Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes more before cutting into squares.  Best served warm.

*Store this cake, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Or freeze it, wrapped in aluminum foil, for up to 6 months.  Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.


This cookbook can be found on amazon.com

Friday, April 8, 2011

Golden Rum Cake

This recipe hails from the same cookbook as the Mocha Rum Brownie Bites posted earlier in the week.  This cake is soooo good, BUT only if you like rum.  I warn you of this because the rum is definitely potent in every bite.  Although we like a cocktail every once in a while, we are not big drinkers.  I mention that because while we don't pour a lot of  liquor around these parts, I love booze in my food!  Anyway, on to the recipe...

Golden Rum Cake

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark rum

Golden Rum Glaze:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 or 10-inch Bundt pan. 

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. 

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, combine milk, vanilla, and rum.  Beat flour mixture and milk mixture into butter in three alternating additions.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 1 hour, or until golden brown.

For the glaze:  Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir in the sugar and 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in rum. 

Place cake on a serving platter.  Slowly pour glaze over top and sides until completely absorbed.  Dust with confectioners' sugar.


This recipe and a ton of other great boozy desserts can be found in the "Booze Cakes" cookbook on Amazon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sweet Maple Coffee

Three of my favorite things are coffee, half-and-half, and maple syrup.  Imagine my delight when I saw a recipe in Southern Living magazine that combined the three into a yummy deliciousness!  My friend, Lindsay, calls coffee that you fluff up with sweetness "Fluffy Coffee".
That is the perfect description for this sweet, creamy, maple treat.

Maple Coffee


2 Cups half-and-half
3/4 Cups Pure Maple Syrup
3 Cups Strong Brewed Coffee


Cook half-and-half and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated.  (Do not boil.)  Stir in coffee.  May top with frothed half-and-half, if desired.  Makes 6 cups.

Recipe from January 2010 Southern Living Magazine.

This was so good hot, I thought why not try it iced...  Soooooo good!  Because it made such a large amount, I stored the extra in the fridge to enjoy for a few days.  It was just as good the second day as the first.  You could definitely make this the day before serving to save on time.  I think this would make the perfect accompaniment for a brunch or even an after dinner party.  I also think a splash of Kahlua would be quite tasty in this drink.  Heck, you could probably add to vanilla ice cream and mix in the blender for a sweet treat!  

Enjoy your weekend!