Tuesday, February 23, 2010

^High Altitude Baking^

Since we recently moved I have been having a hard time with getting my favorite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies to turn out:(  They are flat and hard!  My mom suggested it is from my change in altitude.  So I was excited when I came across a tip from Bakerella to check out this website....

I am around 5600 ft so I am definitely going to try adjusting this recipe and see if it helps.  Like she says, try out the original recipe first cause it may just work and if not then make adjustments.  My mom is at about 7000 ft so this will help her cookies as well...shhh don't tell her but her cookies are always flat!;)  Hope this helps some of you and a recipe that never turns out quite right!!

*Cake Mix Tips*

I LOVE using cake mixes from a box...especially for my cake pops!  But I am not a fan of how sometimes they just don't taste moist or as good as homemade.  So I got excited when I found this tip on a blog (sorry don't remember where I found it).

'I make wedding and other celebration cakes that people rave about and they all come from a box. My best secret is 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sour cream mixed in at the end of chocolate, yellow or other dense cake mixes for the moistest treat ever.
You can also throw in a small tub of any flavored yogurt with your white cakes, yellow cakes, butter cakes.
For filling or frosting try the same flavor of yogurt with cool whip or fresh whipped cream and a stabalizer. Add a layer of fresh fruit, another layer of pie filling or glaze = yummo.
Also if you think of ANY candy bar you love, you can't go wrong. Throw them in, layer them in or dissect the little guy to figure out its bits and peices and turn your cupcake into its little clone. Caramel, truffle or peanut butter centers, crispy chocolate, gnachey outsides. The world is yours!!!
I have personally been on a year long fast from sugar. Can you tell? I still bake it all for others and love to encourage them to enjoy so I can live vicariously:)'

Friday, February 19, 2010

•Scrumptious Soft Pretzel's•

I have been doing a little preschool with my kids each week and since our letter for the day was "P" we decided to make pretzels.  I found an easy kid friendly recipe and gave it a try...

Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 C warm water
1 pkg yeast (or 1 T)
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
4 C flour
Add sugar to warm water then sprinkle yeast on top. let it float for a min. then stir to dissolve the yeast. Let sit for 10 min. as yeast activates and starts to foam. Add salt and flour and knead 5-10 min; adding more flour as needed to reduce stickiness. Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll into snakes. Twist into pretzel shape and place on nonstick baking sheet.  Make an egg wash with one egg and 1T water, lightly beaten together. Brush pretzels with egg wash then sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Bake @ 425 for 15 min. or until lightly browned.  Serve with nacho cheese or brush with butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on them!:)
*For left over pretzels, brush with butter and sprinkle with parmesan and broil one minute. It makes a yummy treat.

I let the kids roll, shape and brush on the egg wash so our pretzels looked very "pretty!"  They didn't turn out as golden brown as I had hoped...I think it was from not enough egg wash, but they sure did taste good:)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

♥YUMmy Valentines Day Treats♥

So I have been slacking on my treat making and dipping this year.  I really wanted to make cake pops but time and exhaustion from this pregnancy has taken over. But the kids and I did spend an afternoon dipping a few tasty treats for our family and friends.  I turned our left overs into a festive Valentine center piece for a family party that we had:)
We dipped and sprinkled--
Oreo's - chocolate and vanilla ones
Rice Krispie treats that we cut into hearts
and since my husband is a HUGE fan of chocolate covered cinnamon bears I made him some of those (cinn. lips too)!:)  They took awhile and didn't turn out as pretty as I had hoped but they sure are YUMMY!!
Ingredients we used--
*Kroger Chocolate Almond bark
*Kroger Vanilla Almond bark colored pink (use paste not liquid food coloring)
*Valentine Sprinkles
*Sucker Sticks
*Wilton bottles for drizzling
*Anything you would like to dip:)
 My next task is to dip strawberries in our left over chocolate...all the stores were sold out but I eventually bought some and they are my favorite!!!!!  Next month I have some very yummy new treats I wanna try for St. Patty's Day....So stay tuned!


You are going to find that a lot of my recipes are going to be coming from the blog Our Family Treat...because she posts some really yummy ones, they are easy and my family is enjoying them:)  Especially this one!  It was so so easy (my kind of recipe) and a huge hit at our dinner table last night!!  Since the weather just isn't cooperating and we keep getting more snow it's great to serve warm, filling soup for dinner.  So try this one out, you won't be dissappointed;)

Tortellini Soup --
3 cans chicken broth
3 cans Progresso Tomato Soup
2 8 oz packages cream cheese
1 family size package of tortellini
1 tablespoon dried basil

Boil chicken broth. Then add tomato soup. Reduce heat. In a separate bowl, microwave the cream cheese until soft-for about 30 seconds. Remove and add about a cup of the soup. Whisk together to get the cream cheese all melted. Add cream cheese and tortellini to soup and let simmer for about 10 minutes-or until tortellini is cooked. Serve immediately!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

~Cream Cheese Vegetable Soup~

This soup is REALLY GOOD...a new favorite at our house:)  I found the recipe once again over at Our Family Treat!!  I just LOVE their blog and check it regularly for fun new recipes...check it out!

Cream Cheese Veggie Soup --
2 chicken breasts (shredded-I actually used some frozen chicken that I had cooked up in the crockpot with Italian dressing and it was so good!)
4 potatoes-peeled and diced
1 cup of carrots-diced
1/2 cup of celery-chopped
1/2 of an onion-chopped
1/2 cup milk
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour
1 8 oz block of cream cheese-softened
salt and pepper
Shred cooked chicken and set aside. Saute onion in a little olive oil. Then add carrots and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth chicken, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. In a bowl mix together flour and milk and then add to the soup. Then add cream cheese and salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 10 more minutes, or until cream cheese is all the way incorporated. Enjoy!

Tip: When it comes to chicken-I like to once or twice a month take a day and cook about 8 pieces in the crockpot in italian dressing. Cook it on low for 4-6 hours, then shred and freeze for when you need it.  (I have started doing this with my chicken too and LOVE it...I used it for enchiladas, chicken spaghetti, haystacks, etc. and it's delicious!!)

○POP UP Pancakes○

P.S. THESE ARE YUMMY!!  Huge, huge hit at our house:)  So easy!  My husband keeps ranting and raving about them!!  They remind us of crepes.  Try them...you won't regret it;)
I found these over at Make and Take and I think we need to have them for dinner next week:) MMMMMM

Pop Up Pancake Recipe – makes 24 muffins or fills a 9×13 baking pan
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
dash salt
Preheat oven at 400*
I like to blend all the ingredients in my blender. I have tried to whisk it or even use the electic mixer, but it seems to get the most smooth with a blender. Then grease your muffin tins or baking pan. My mom likes to bake these in a jelly roll pan.
Bake them for 15 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top. Use a knife to pry them out, hopefully they were greased well enough and should pop right out.
Now they are ready for toppings. I love syrup, powdered sugar, and fruit. You could even use fresh Strawberry Jam. We usually load it all on and dive in. What do you use to top your pancakes with? Maybe peanut butter or honey?