Showing posts with label secret recipe club. Show all posts
Showing posts with label secret recipe club. Show all posts


Butter Pecan Nuggets, ABK's Christmas Cookie Extravaganza and The Mighty Wind of 2011

Do you like my Looooong title?
Three items to cover in this post. You remembered this blog (besides being a cooking blog) is also my lame attempt at journaling, right?
First. This in my December Secret Recipe Club post. This recipe comes from Shelby, author of:
"The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch".  Shelby  records some of her food adventures for posterity sake. I'm not sure what her hubs name is, she only refers to him as "Grumpy".  My kids thought this was very funny. Anyway, Shelby's blog is filled with yummy looking dishes, but since I was looking for a cookie to start off our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza week, I chose her "Butter Pecan Nuggets". Oh my. Great choice. I love a variety of textures and flavors on my Christmas cookie tray, so this cookie fits the unique shape category.  So cute. It looks like a little cookie package. The dough is all wrapped around the pecan half inside. Drizzled with a little icing and a few festive sprinkles, this cookie is a keeper!  Really simple. Only a few ingredients. I know you are going to love it. Do you still believe me every time I tell you that?
Second. The second annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza. All week. Christmas cookie recipes. You're gonna love this too.

Dozens of trees down in our cemetery. 
Third. If you live in Utah, unless you are living in a cave, you heard about or experienced the 100 mile per hour winds last Thursday. Our little community weathered the storm last week.  Trees toppled over, fences gone, power out, semi trucks blown over. So many trees gone. Like an old friend passing. So sad.

The tennis court survived, but the trees are history.

Neighborhood trees down...
  Twenty million dollars worth of damage. It looked like a war zone. Right here in Btown. In the end, the most remarkable thing to me was not the damage, but the outpouring of service from people in the community. There have been a steady stream of volunteers working to clean up the trees and debris since the winds died down Thursday afternoon. The buzzing of chain saws has been constant.  A job that would have taken weeks to clean up has been done in a few days.
Good job Btown. I love you.

Miracle workers!

Butter Pecan Nuggets
Grumpy's Honey Bunch
print recipe

3/4 cup pecan halves
1 cup butter
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4-5 teaspoons half and half or cream or milk
colored or clear sugars

Spread pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Toast in a 325 oven for about 12-15 minutes or til golden. Remove and cool.

In a medium saucepan, combine butter and brown sugar. Heat and stir til butter is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool.

Stir in flour til well mixed. Shape into 3/4 inch balls. Press a toasted pecan half into each ball and enclose nut in dough to form an oval. Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or til done. Remove and cool.

Stir together powdered sugar, almond extract and enough cream or milk to make of drizzling consistency. Place frosting in decorating bag and cut at the very tip to make a small hole. Drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with colored sugar. Yield: 40 nuggets.


Spicy Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup

My Secret Recipe Club assignment this  month comes from Indian-Leigh at A Vegan Obsession.
Now I'm sure I am about as far as anyone can possibly get from being a Vegan. How in the world would I find a recipe to cook on this site??  I looked and looked.  In the end, I went with a soup recipe. This one sounded interesting. Coconut milk and butternut squash. Both ingredients I love.  It's not a lot different from my all time favorite Butternut Squash soup recipe, except for the coconut milk. I used a carton of coconut milk, but think if I made this again, I would definitely use a can of lite coconut milk, and 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. I think canned coconut milk has a much better and richer flavor than the coconut milk in a carton.
Any who. If you are a vegan, and you are looking for a change from typical recipes for Butternut squash soup, give this one a try. Oh, if you are a vegan, or cooking for a vegan- you will love India -Leigh's blog! Make sure to stop by and take a look around.

Two more days for our fun cookbook giveaway! Check out this link to register.

Spicy Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup
adapted from A Vegan Obsession
print recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped about 2 cups
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into large chunks, about 5 cups
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
one can lite coconut milk (found in Asian section of grocery)
4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
slat and pepper

Place the onions in oil in a large stockpot on stove. Cook on medium high heat until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.
Place the squash into the pan along with the ginger.  Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring as needed.
Add all of the liquid. Add the chili powder and bring to a boil. Simmer until squash is soft, about 30 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth, or place into a blender in batches, blend until smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


Blueberry-Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

My October Secret Recipe Club assignment is: CRUMB, a blog written and photographed by Isabelle, a "thirty something from Canada".  Isabelle loves food. She loves cooking, eating, writing about and taking photos of food. She also loves collecting vintage cookbooks, talks about food almost non stop (her words) and even dreams about food. I think it's safe to say, Isabelle is a foodie. Too bad we don't live closer to each other, I have a feeling she would be a great lunch date!
Confession time. I totally forgot about this assignment until I checked my email Sunday night at 6 pm. Yikes! It was a crazy month. My dilema (back in September, when I received my assignment) about which of Isabelle's wonderful recipes I would try out, was changed to- what could I make in 5 minutes or less, and photograph before it was dark! Naturally, I turned to breakfast items. Isabelle volunteers at a local museum on Sundays and treats herself to these pancakes before heading off to her volunteer job for the day. I'm sure the oatmeal in the pancakes not only make the cakes more healthy, but more filling too. Thanks Isabelle! Great recipe.

Blueberry-Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from Crumb
print recipe

1 1/2 cups quick cook oats
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk and oats, let sit for about 5-10 minutes until oatmeal is softened.
After the oats are soft, add the eggs and oil, and whisk together.
In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix wet and dry ingredients together just until ingredients are incorporated, batter should be lumpy.
Fold in lemon zest and blueberries.
Heat griddle or pan to 350 degrees. Grease pan with butter or oil spray. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop batter onto heated and greased griddle. Let cook until bubbles start to appear, then flip pancakes ONE TIME. Let the pancake cook until pancake springs back when lightly poked in the middle. Do not pat the pancake down. Do not flip pancake more than once.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with  pure maple syrup and additional fresh or frozen berries on the side.

**Remember to enter A Bountiful Kitchen's amazing KitchenAid Stand Mixer giveaway sponsored by South Fork Hardware! Go here to enter!**


S'mores Cookies

Time for another installment of the SRC. Yahoo! I love this club. This month my recipe comes from  Mary at Giving Up on Perfect.  Mary blogs about her life in Kansas City as a wife to her high school sweetheart and mom of one adorable little girl. She's a recovering perfectionist who has "given up on perfect and is trying to accept that perfection is probably not attainable in this life".  Oh good, the pressure is off.  If only you could see my house, Mary. 

I loved the idea of S'mores cookies. Mary has a little thing with S'mores recipes (here's a link to her list of recipes). I think she had 4 or 5 on her blog.  Oh, useless fact, August 10th is National S'mores day. Every year. 
Want to be voted best mom on the block? Try out this recipe when your kids go back to school NEXT WEEK.  Yes, a week from Monday. That's when we start back.  
Not sure how I feel about that yet.  Maybe we should have lunch on the 22nd and talk :) 

S'Mores Cookies
adapted from Giving Up on Perfect blog
print recipe

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup Golden Grahams cereal
1  1/2 cup mini marshmallows
4 regular size Hershey Bars
9 large marshmallows, sliced in half

Preheat oven to 375.
Cream butter with sugars. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda, salt  and chocolate chips to mixing bowl. Mix just until all dry ingredients are incorporated, about 1 minute.   Fold in  Golden Grahams and mini marshmallows with spatula, do not use mixer.  Fold just until evenly distributed into batter.
With large cookie scoop, or spoon, shape dough into 18 balls (about the size of golf balls) place on parchment lined cookies sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Press down on each cookie a bit with the back of a large spoon or spatula.
Bake for about 7 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Place one half of a marshmallow on each cookie, put back in oven and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
Remove from oven again, slightly flatten and place 2 rectangles from a broken up Hershey bar on top of marshmallow.
Cook for an additional minute.
Remove from oven (for the last time), with a knife, spread the melted chocolate so it covers the marshmallow.

-I used Golden Grahams instead of regular Graham Crackers, as called for in the original recipe. I'm going to be honest, although I absolutely LOVE Golden Grahams, I didn't like the way the cereal texture changed after baking. So next time, I will probably try regular graham crackers. 1 cup, chopped.
- I experimented with a whole large marshmallow on top, which I thought was too much marshmallow.
Also, no marshmallow on top, with out it, the cookie just lacked the "wow" factor.  I tried some with two squares of chocolate, swirled the chocolate, then pressed another square on top, so the Hershey name showed. I kind of liked the way it looked.


Chocolate Chip Cookie 'n Oreo Brownie Bars

Remember last month when I joined the Secret Recipe Club??  So much fun. This month my assignment was to cook something from Katie's blog: Betcha Can't Eat Just One.
Katie lives on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.  She is a mom of three who teaches preschool and also runs a daycare a few days a week. Lucky for us, she also finds time to BAKE.  
So, as I perused the recipes on her blog, I thought- this looks good, this too, oh this one. Then I clicked on this recipe. Oh my. Is summer over?  Is it necessary to put on a swimsuit again? You may want to just bookmark this and try it in October, when it's sweat pant season.  
Absolutely incredible. I mean, how does it get better than this? CC cookie dough, a layer of OREO'S (my favorite store bought cookie), caramel, and a layer of brownie dough? Serious sugar. 
Loved it. Thanks Katie. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie 'n Oreo Brownie Bars
Katie at Betcha Can't Eat Just One

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips, semi sweet
1 package of Oreo cookies
1 package of brownie mix (to be prepared as directed on the box)  Ghiradelli works well or, home made is always best try this recipe
dulce de leche or caramel topping
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Press the cookie dough evenly into the pan.
Now place the Oreo's on top of the cookie dough.
Spread or drizzle the dulce de leche or caramel topping on top of the oreos.
Prepare brownie batter as directed. Pour/spread brownie batter on top and smooth it around with a spatula.
Bake for  about 50 minutes. Bars are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out with a bit of a moist crumb attached. Remove from oven and let cool completely, about 2 hours.  
Cut into squares and serve. 

-I like using a home made brownie instead of the box mix. If using a box mix, I think Ghiradelli is the best mix. Katie prefers it as well. 
-You may use Double Stuff Oreo's for the "full strength" version. 
-As for the caramel layer, it's optional. You may use a good quality caramel topping such as Mrs. Richardson's or I love Tom's brand available online, or if you live in Btown, sold at Dick's Market and other local grocers.  OR, you can slowly heat a can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)  at a very low temperature, until the milk turns thick and caramel color. See directions and a few different methods for this here.  I used the sweetened condensed milk route, and think in the future, if I'm adding the caramel layer, I'll just use Tom's. 


Fresh Strawberry Banana Muffins

I've always wanted to be a member of a secret club.  Last month I signed up to join a Secret Recipe Club.  Here's how it works:
-Every month, I'm assigned a random blog.
-I keep it a secret (hence the name) until the designated post time and date, given to me by the organizer of the "Secret Recipe Club".
-I get to pick a recipe, any recipe from my assigned blog.
-I can make any adjustments to suit my needs (gluten free, fat free, kosher, additions, substitutions etc.)
-Someone else out there in bloggerland, does the same, using a recipe from A Bountiful Kitchen.

This month's post comes from Heather at "Join us, Pull up a Chair".
It's like summer in a muffin.
Loved it.

Fresh Strawberry Banana Muffins
Print recipe

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
2/3 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped strawberries

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs; blend well. Stir in bananas and vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda and salt to the sugar mixture, stir just until combined. Gently fold in strawberries.
Spoon batter evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 17-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Yields 12 muffins.