Finger Licking Good Garlic Parmesan Knots–So Easy!

I have found the most delicious and the easiest recipe for garlic knots ever!  When I saw this recipe posted by Georgia from the blog The Comfort of Cooking I knew it was a keeper.  Georgia is one of my favorite bloggers.  Her recipes are useful and are usually easy to make, and you can always bet they are delicious.  I go to her site when I need inspiration. 

Now, I’m telling you these knots are great, and boy did they inspire me! They are delicious served as appetizers, with a big bowl of pasta, or with grilled chicken and a Greek salad like the one I had for dinner last night.  The best part about this recipe, nearly all of the work has been done for you.  You simply need a can of buttermilk biscuits.  I used an off brand, but did buy the jumbo size biscuits.  I think I paid a total of $1.19 for the can.  A small price for such a huge hit!

I adapted Georgia’s recipe ever so slightly to accommodate my tastes. 

Finger Licking Garlic Parmesan Knots

1 can of jumbo biscuits

3 tbsp. butter, melted

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. Italian seasoning

a pinch of dried parsley

1/2 tsp. parmesan cheese

a pinch of salt

Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small dish, add melted butter and seasonings; mix ingredients until blended.

Roll each biscuit into a rope about 6” long and tie each one into a knot.  Brush each knot with about half of the butter mixture and bake until light golden brown (about 10 -12 minutes).  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush each knot with the remaining butter and serve.

If you like flaky rolls loaded with garlic and parmesan flavor, and you like no fuss and inexpensive, then these knots are calling your name.

Advertisements

Simple & Sweet Shortbread Cookies

Somehow, January has nearly slipped right by me.  It wasn’t until today that I realized we will soon be entering the ever so cold month of February, (as if it hasn’t been ever so cold already) and soon Cupid will arrive with his love potion filled arrows.

Last year, in honor of what is suppose to be one of the most romantic days of the year, I made several delicious treats leading up to the big day.  I kicked off the celebration with Strawberry Kiss Cheesecakes.   Then came the Chocoholic Cupcake, the Marshmallow, Peanut Butter, and Cake Truffles, and let’s not forget the Valentine Cream Wafer (Heart) Cookies.  

I decided to start this years celebration off with one of my most favorite cookies ever.  The Simple & Sweet Shortbread Cookie.  These cookies are melt in your mouth perfect.  Butter, sugar, flour, a pinch of salt and a touch of vanilla.  That’s it – so simple, so sweet!

SIMPLE & SWEET SHORTBREAD COOKIES

2 sticks of butter, room temperature

1/2 c. granulated sugar

a pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

Powdered sugar for rolling

Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, add butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Cream ingredients together; add flour.  Continue to mix ingredients until everything is blended.  Form dough into a ball. 

Place a dough on a piece of parchment paper that is coated with a light coating of powdered sugar.  Roll dough out until it is about 1/4” thick. Use more powdered sugar if needed.  Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter.  Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet about 1 1/2” apart.  Bake for about 8 minutes.  Do not over bake.  They will firm up after removing them from the oven.  Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before moving them.

If you want to spruce your cookies up, roll the edges in a thin butter cream icing and then coat the edges with some colored sugar.   

I couldn’t resist sneaking this cute little (like new) tea cup from Teavana into this picture.  I found it at a local thrift store for 30 cents.  That’s my kind of bargain!

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about romance.  It can simply be about kindness.  Make a batch of these delicious cookies, pair them with a pretty tea cup or coffee mug, and give them to someone that’s deserving this Valentine’s Day.

I’m planning on sharing my cookies at one of my favorite hangouts – BeBetsy.  Make sure you check out their great site because there is something there for everyone.

Independence Day, Simply Vanilla Ice Cream, and More

Tomorrow is Independence Day, and at this point, I have no idea how we will celebrate it.  I’m not usually a big plan in advance kind of girl.  I’d much rather act on spontaneity.  Last minute barbeques, campfires, a trip to the lake, and road trips are so much for fun when they aren’t over-thought. 

Regardless of what we might decide to do on the 4th, I am sure of one thing, we will need to eat.    I’m thinking that this Bacon, Ranch, and Onion Dip will get the party started.  I’ve made this before, but it’s worth mentioning again, especially since I just made a bowl of it.

And then there are those fat slices of my Sinful Midnight Cake resting peacefully in the freezer; right next to a quart of this Simply Vanilla Ice Cream that I made.  So, I’ve got an appetizer and dessert covered.  Hey, it’s a start!

This ice cream requires no cooking or eggs.  And it’s delicious!  I found it in a booklet that came with my Crofton ice cream maker.

Simply Vanilla Ice Cream

2 c. heavy cream

1 c. whole milk (I use skim)

3/4 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix milk, cream, sugar and vanilla.  Stir until sugar has dissolved.  Follow the instructions that came with your ice cream maker.

Do you have plans made to celebrate Independence Day? Or are you like me, flying by the seat of your pants?

Happy Fourth of July!!!

FV

personalmulticreatebutton_zpse46a7f36

blitzed-on-pinterest2

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake – A Vintage Style Dessert for Glamping

When we finally get to go glamping (soon I hope) I’m going to make vintage style desserts and fresh perked coffee on our adventures.  

This dessert is perfect for glamping because it’s quick and easy to throw together, calls for common ingredients, and bakes in less than 30 minutes.  I’m so excited that one of these days I’ll be able to bake in my little gold vintage oven.

This recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of one of my favorite liquors – Kahlua.   I promise the flavor is subtle and it won’t overwhelm you. 

Kahlua Chocolate Chip Cake

Grease a 9×13 pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1 c. margarine, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tbsp. Kahlua

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl,  cream together margarine, sugars, and eggs.  Beat in baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, Kahlua, and flour.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.  Allow to cool before cutting.

This cake is moist and doesn’t crumble easily.  You really don’t even need a fork for it.  That’s a good quality if you want to cozy up in front of a campfire and eat your dessert. 

Do you have a favorite dessert you like to make when you’re camping (glamping)?  How about crockpot desserts, ever tried one of those?   Also, I’d love to know what you consider a good vintage style dessert.

FV

personalmulticreatebutton_zpse46a7f36

weekend-potluck-buttong

Don’t feel guilty, we’ve all done it.

cookies 004

Sugar cookies can be time-consuming to make from scratch; sometimes we just need a cookie that is quick and simple to make without any hassle.  That’s when you buy a mix.

Now,  just force those guilty thoughts that you’re cheating if you use a mix out of your head.  We’ve all resorted to using a mix from time to time.

I happened upon this Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix in the Dollar Tree and I immediately saw a lot of potential in this little bag.  How can you go wrong when you buy a dozen and a half cookies for a buck?

And just because you’re using a mix doesn’t mean you can’t spruce your cookies up a bit with some food coloring, homemade buttercream icing, and some bright-colored Sixlets.

candy 090

candy 033

cookies 011

I used milk in the cookie mix instead of the water the directions called for.  I also added green food coloring to the batter to give the cookies the St. Patty’s Day theme I was shooting for.  I  dropped the  batter onto the cookie sheet instead of rolling the cookies out which saved even more time, and look how decorations can trick you into forgetting your cookies started out as a mix. 

These cookies were delicious and no one even questioned that they weren’t made from scratch.

cookies 131

Sixlets are a nostalgic candy.  What candy most says nostalgia to you?

 

Guilt Free Mini Pies

I use to get Kraft Food & Family magazines (when they were free).  I loved them.  They were loaded with great recipes and enticing photo’s.  The recipes were simple too.  Somewhere along the way Kraft started charging for these magazines and it (sadly) disappoints me.   Fortunately, I still have all of my original issues so I can refer to them.

Last night I was looking for low-fat, low-calorie recipe.  For inspiration I dug out my old issues from Kraft.   I didn’t need to search beyond the issue that was on the top of the pile (Summer 2007). 

Although a lot of recipes jumped out at me, the one that I decided on was called “Flat Bottom Fruit Pie”.  It looked so fresh and inviting.  Just what my diet ordered.

Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone so I adapted this recipe to actually make a healthier version.  Once you read the recipe you will see how easy it is to interchange ingredients to satisfy just about any taste.

Here is my adaptation.  I must warn you this is a fast and easy one.  If you are looking to spend hours in your kitchen this one isn’t for you. 🙂

You will need:

1 refrigerated ready to use pie crust

1 tsp. of cinnamon & sugar (3/4 tsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon) I used King Arthur Vietnamese cinnamon – my absolute favorite! 

1 package of Jell-O Sugar Free Cheesecake Pudding (and 2 cups of non-fat milk)

Fresh Blueberries

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Unroll pie crust, take a round cookie cutter and make cut outs.  (Hint – once I made the initial cutouts I rolled out the remaining dough and made several more to prevent wasting the dough.) 

Lay the cutouts on a baking stone.  Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar mixture.  I didn’t use the entire teaspoon but feel free.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

While the crusts are baking mix up your pudding. 

Let the crusts cool, and put the pudding in the refrigerator to thicken for 1 hour.

Once the crusts are cool and the pudding is thick put your mini pies together.  Top with fruit and low-fat whipped cream.

These are so versatile.  If you don’t want to use sugar-free pudding you can use regular pudding.  You could also sprinkle the dough with a cocoa and sugar mixture. Can you image these made with chocolate pudding, and topped with fresh raspberries?  Vanilla pudding and fresh peaches?  Or,  how about white chocolate pudding with cherries and chocolate drizzled on top?  The list of possibilities is endless, and these are guilt free. 

More modified Kraft recipes to come!

The curse of the marble cake

   

(Not) the cursed marble cake

Everyone has baking stories.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Undoubtably, if you bake, you’re going to experience wins and losses.  For me, when something turns out great I love to share the recipe, tastes of it, and hear feedback.  When it turns out bad, well frankly, I don’t like to talk about it.  I don’t want to be reminded of my in-competencies, the time I wasted making it, and most of all, the wasted ingredients.  But this story has to be told.  

It all sounded so easy.  There was a simple request  made for a marble cake.  No problem.  I’ve made a lot of cakes over the years and it couldn’t get any easier, it wasn’t like I was being asked to make a cake for TLC’s tv series Cake Boss. 

 I probably should have heeded the first sign of trouble when it presented itself.   It came when I  had a hard time finding a recipe that suited my tastes for a marble cake.  All of the marble cake recipes I found called for orange extract, or flavors that I don’t associate with a simple yellow/chocolate marble cake.  To make things easy on myself  I decided to make a yellow cake and marble it.  All went well until I was passing the cake pans into the oven and it dawned on me that I had left out the baking powder. 

Okay, a couple of curse words might have escaped me at that moment.   I was left with two choices,  throw the cake batter out and start over, or pour the batter back into the mixing bowl, add the baking powder, and serve a light-colored chocolate cake along with an explanation.  Needless to say I opted for the later choice. 

The second warning presented itself after I took the cakes out of the oven.  Baking powder dots speckled  the tops of very thin cakes.  What in the world? I was slightly worried the cake might taste bitter because the baking powder appeared on top but  I ignored that nagging feeling I had.  Never ignore nagging feelings… 

A persistent person by genetics, or nature, I  was convinced I could turn this disaster around.  My next plan of attack, mix up another batter of marble cake and use it as one large middle layer.  I could triumph – I was sure.  The cake would have a light chocolate layer on the top and bottom with a marble layer in the middle.  Brilliant! 

And yet, another warning…  By now you’re probably asking yourself what’s wrong with this girl…  As the middle layer of the cake was cooling I found a recipe for a soft chocolate frosting.  It tasted delicious but didn’t make nearly enough for two layers, let alone three.  Worse, it wasn’t a soft fluffy frosting like I had wanted, it was more like a ganache without cream.   As you can probably imagine I was a little more than frustrated.  Still trying to convince myself things would be okay I shifted the middle layer into position and as I did the top of the cake stuck to my fingers – a good time to taste I thought.   Disaster! !  The cake tasted like baking powder.  It was bitter just as I had suspected.  There was no way I could serve this, and without further thought I picked up all three layers and delivered them to their final resting place – the trash!   

Other than a batch or two of burnt cookies I’ve never had to resort to (the trash) before .  There was no question  I was cursed.    After all I had been through with this dreaded cake one important fact remained – I still had to have a cake for a planned celebration.  This time I resorted to what I knew.  I dug out a chocolate cake recipe I’ve made a half-dozen times and I found a great recipe for an irresistable cream cheese peanut butter icing.  I’m sure you will be relieved to hear (after all this) the chocolate cake  turned out heavenly, and was a huge success.  Now, here’s the kicker, while I was trying to write this post about the curse of the marble cake my laptop went down.  How strange is that!