Friday, February 27, 2009

Coconut Pie!

Coconut pie! Ahhh...such a sweet sound to my ears!


I have had this recipe for years! It is so easy and it tastes so good. I make this pie for Thanksgiving every year, it is to be expected :-)


I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!



Easy and Amazing Coconut Pie


2 cups milk

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1/4 cup butter/margarine

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 -2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut

1/2 cup Bisquick


Preheat oven to 350*.

Spray 8-inch pie plate with butter spray.

Mix all ingredients, except for coconut, in a large bowl with a whisk. (For about 3 minutes)

Pour mix into pie plate.

Sprinkle coconut over the top.

Bake for 40 minutes. Top will be light brown.

Eat warm or refrigerate for 3 hours and serve!




Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pineapple Cookies



Pineapple anyone?


These sweet, luscious fruits are one of my favorites! I like to eat pineapple freshly cut into chunks, I like to cook with it (ever have a sweet ham baked with pineapple on top? Yum) AND I like to bake with it!

Here is a recipe for soft pineapple cookies!

Soft Pineapple Cookies

1 package spice cake mix
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut(optional)


Preheat oven to 350*.
Line cookie sheets with no-stick foil.

In a large mixing bowl place half of the cake mix along with the pineapple, 2 tablespoons of reserved juice, oil and egg.
Blend with an electric mixer on med high for 2 minutes or until blended and no lumps from cake mix remain.

Stir in the remaining cake mix with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets.
Sprinkle cookie tops with coconut and press gently into dough (optional).

Bake 10-13 minutes or until set at edges and just barely set at center when lightly touched.

Cool about 1 minute on cookie sheets.
Transfer to cool.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Secrets of Tea!

Do you drink hot tea? Well, guess what, it could be good for you! Tea can help our bodies in lots of ways. Now, I am not saying it is the "cure all" for all sickness' or anything like that.... but is can help our bodies in many ways!

In this article, I am going to touch on just a few types of teas that can be good for us.


Green, Oolong, Black Teas

Out of these 3 teas, green has the most helpful properties because it is the least fermented out of the three. After green comes Oolong and then black tea.
Green tea can help with health and immunity. It can also help keep your gums and teeth healthy! It may also help you breath easier if you have congestion / asthma. It does contain caffeine, so it can also be a stimulant.
Oolong and Black teas are more fermented and may help in the same areas as green, they are just not as strong, medicinally.

If you want to have a cup of green tea, it is said that you should not add boiling water to the tea, for you are not cooking it, just steeping it. After you add your hot water, let it steep for about 2 minutes. It is said if you let it sit too long, it may start to get bitter.

Green Tea

Add your hot water to your tea bag
You can drink it plain with nothing added or you can add a bit of honey for sweetness.
Often, I like to add milk to my tea. It seems to give it a creamy feel when I drink it.

Tea

There are 2 main forms that you can buy tea. You can purchase tea bags or you can purchase loose tea. If you decide to go with loose tea, you will need a special tea pot. It looks like a cute little tea pot, however inside, there is a mesh holder for you to place the loose tea. You put your hot water into the pot and then place the holder with the loose tea inside the pot. Let the tea steep for about 2 minutes and then pour it into your mug!

Here is a short list of several teas that may help with certain things:

For Cough: Anise, Elder, Peppermint
For Diarrhea: Bilberry, Raspberry
For Fatigue: Astragalus, Ginseng, Milk Thistle
For Gas: Anise, Catnip, Cinnamon
For Immunity: Echinacea, Ginko, Ginseng, Green
For Kidney Health: Cranberry
For Nausea: Ginger, Peppermint, Spearmint
For Sinus Congestion: Bayberry
For Stress: Catnip, Ginseng, Kava Lava
For Urinary Tract (infection): Bilberry, Cleavers, Cranberry
For Weight Control: Alfalfa, Dandelion, Ginger, Papaya

This information came from: 20,000 Secrets of Tea, written by: V. Zak

Tea is more available now than ever before. Often, you can find it at the grocery store! However, some of the more rare varieties, you may have to find at a specialty herb shop.

Happy drinking!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nemo Bars

These bars are fabulous! I first tried them several years ago at my neighbor's house. Here sister in law made them. It was love at first taste, for me. I immediately got the recipe and make them often. They take a bit of time to make, since they do consist of 3 layers. But let me tell you, they are WELL worth the effort!

The original name is Niamo bars, I believe that is the correct spelling. But, I renamed them: Nemo Bars (like the little clown fish in the "Finding Nemo" movie...don't ask me why :-)



Nemo Bars

Bottom Layer

3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs

In a pot over low heat, melt butter, sugar, cocoa and vanilla.
Remove and add graham crumbs.
Line a 9x9 baking dish with no-stick foil and place mixture in the dish.

Middle Layer

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 pack vanilla instant pudding
3 tbsp. milk

Combine all ingredients.
Beat for 1-2 minutes.
Spread mixture over bottom layer.
Put in fridge 30 minutes.

Top Layer

6 ounces, semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. butter

Melt together in a pan over low heat.
Spread over middle layer.
Put in fridge 30 minutes, minimum.

Remove bars from pan by lifting out the foil by its edges.
Cut and enjoy!
Keep refrigerated.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cheesecake Bar

I learned something new yesterday. I got an email from Prepared Pantry and they were introducing what is called a "cheesecake bar". I thought this was very interesting. Have you ever hosted or attended a cookie exchange? Well, this cheesecake bar concept reminds me of that. What you do, is invite over some family and friends and have several different types of cheesecakes prepared. Just as you would an ice cream sundae bar, have several toppings ready for your guests to add to their cheesecake.


I'm thinking this sounds like a lot of fun!


I also make cheesecake bites. They consist of a regular cheesecake, including crust, rolled into balls and are covered with milk and white chocolate, then are topped with colored sprinkles! They are heavenly!

You can go to http://www.tastenc.com/ if you are interested in placing an order. However, at this time I can only serve the Raleigh, NC (and surrounding) area.




Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Limes, Limes, Limes

Limes. My guess is you either like them or you don't! Over the years, I have acquired a taste for the tart fruit. I have done some experimenting with them in baking as well.
Here are 2 recipes that I have tried, both of them contain the flavor of lime:



Lime Thumbprint Cookies
(adapted from one of my many cookbooks)
These cookies are a perfect mix of sweet and tart, all put into one!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1-2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
powdered sugar

Filling

1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. lime juice (I use bottled)
1 egg yolk
2-3 drops green food coloring

Pre-heat oven to 325*.
Line cookie sheet with no-stick foil.
Cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
Add flour and salt.
Roll into 1 inch balls. Place about 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.
Using your thumb, make an indent in the center of each cookie.
Spoon 1/2 tsp. of filling into the center of each cookie.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Easy Key Lime Pie
(Also adapted from one of my many cookbooks)

3 eggs, separated
1 can, 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
2-3 drops green food coloring (option)
1 unbaked pie crust
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1/3 cup sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325*.
Beat egg yolks. Then, add in milk and lime juice.
Stir in food coloring and pour into crust.
Bake 30 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Turn oven temp up to 350*.
In a clean mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tarter to soft peaks.
Gradually add sugar, a little at a time.
Beat until stiff, about 4 minutes.
Spread over warm pie. Spread to the edges (prevents meringue from shrinking).
Bake 15 minutes.
Cool for about 1 hour, chill at least 3.
Store in fridge, covered.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Book Review... The Perfect Blend



I just finished this book and it was one of the BEST I have read in a long time! I got so wrapped up in the story that I had a hard time putting it down once I would start reading.

Basically, it is about a woman who wants to open her own coffee shop and call it, "Higher Grounds". Her loan application is denied and she is informed that if she takes a class offered by the bank, they may reconsider her application. So, she does. She learns a lot more than she signed up for by taking the class.

This book was funny and inspiring. A definite MUST read!

If you look to the right of this blog, you will see an Amazon.com link, where you can buy this book for $.01 plus shipping! It is worth the few dollars if you ask me. :-)

Please let me know what you think :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hershey Pie

Doesn't chocolate make everything better? Need a pick me up, have chocolate! Need something sweet, have chocolate! Feeling blue, have chocolate! I have a recipe for one of the richest pies I have ever tasted! A friend of a friend gave me the recipe several years ago!

Hershey Pie

6 regular sized Hershey's chocolate bars
2 containers of cool whip (thawed)
1 chocolate graham crust

Melt chocolate in a double broiler.
Take off heat.
Add 1 container of cool whip.
Fold cool whip into chocolate. It will be of a mouse like texture.
Place mouse mixture into crust.
Top with cool whip and refrigerate.

Start with a small slice! This is RICH :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Get Creative with Brownies!

Do you like brownies? I like brownies! When made correctly, they are so moist, rich and chocolaty! Yum! I have experimented with some different ingredients to add to my brownies. I have taken a basic brownie and made it into a unique creation, time and time again. I am going to give you some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

Add these ideas to your favorite brownie recipe. Sometimes, I like to use a bag or boxed brownie mix (but ssshhh...dont tell anyone).

Coffee Brownies:
Add 2-3 tablespoons of instant coffee to your brownie mix prior to baking.

Extra Chocolaty Brownies:
Add 6-12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips to your brownie mix prior to baking.

Fruity Brownies:
Add 3-4 tablespoons of strawberry or raspberry jam to your mix prior to baking.

Mint Brownies:
Add (to taste), Andes mints (chopped) to your brownie mix prior to baking and/or melt them on top after baking and before cooling.

Reeses Brownies:
Mix 3/4 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl. Pour 1/2 of your brownie mix into your baking dish. Crumble peanut butter mixture over the brownie layer. Top with remaining brownie mix. It may not cover all of the peanut butter mixture, but that is OK!

Nutty Brownies:
Add chopped walnuts, peacans or your favorite nuts to your brownie mix prior to baking.

Marshmallow Brownies:
Add 1 cup of mini marshmallow to your brownie mix prior to baking. And/or cover brownies with mini marshmallows after brownies are baked, but before they cool. After the mini's melt a bit, spray a spatula with butter spray and spread mini's over the brownies. (Or you can leave them whole.)

Chippy Brownies:
Add 6-12 ounces of butterscotch, vanilla or cinnamon chips to your brownie mix prior to baking. You can use any kind of chip you like!

You can even mix and match add ins! Say you are craving a chocolaty, coffee brownie with nuts sprinked on top. Go for it and let me know how it turns out!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Apple Crackers

OK, my son gave these scrumptious creations their name...apple crackers!

I got creative the other night and made these. They taste like mini apple pies and are so good! The only tip is, you have to eat them warm to get the full effect of all of the flavors.




Apple Crackers


1 apple

wheat crackers (bite size)

Shredded cheese, I used a jack, colby and mozzerela mixture (cheddar woud be good as well)

Pepper



Preheat oven to 350*.

Line a jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet) with foil, then crackers.

Cut up the apple into thin, bite size pieces.

Place 1 piece of apple on each cracker.

Sprinkle crackers with cheese.

Sprinkle with pepper, just a little bit.

Bake for 5-10 minutes on top rack. Keep a close eye on the crackers, when the cheese is melted, they are done.

Remove from oven and enjoy!


Remember, these taste best when eated warm!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Win Chocolate!




I have a friend who writes a terrific blog. She is having a basket of chocolate give-a-way! All you have to do, is click on this link and leave a comment. The directions and details are all there for you!






Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I have an Idea.....




Hello, all! I have an idea! How about you tell me what you would like to have a recipe for? I have tons of recipes in my archives. Some I have tried, some I have not. I am willing to post what you tell me you want to see :-)


I have: desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, bars, (and the like). I also have main dishes, crockpot dinners, sides, salads, appetizers (and the like).


I enjoy crockpot dinners. I get them started in the morning, or at least by lunch time and "bam" they are ready at dinner time. Yesterday, I made a crockpot beef stew. I had a meeting last night, but when I came home, the boys ate it all up! (I'm guessing it is that good)
Happy Eating :-)


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