Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Awesome crock pot recipe!


Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
(from therecipecritic.com)


1 T Vegetable Oil
6-7 Boneless Chicken Breast 
3/4 Cup honey
3/4 Cup soy sauce
3 T Ketchup
2 cloves garlic crushed (I used 1 1/2 T minced garlic)
1 T fresh ginger root (I used 1 T dry ginger)
1 20 ounce can pinapple drained with juice reserved (I didn't use the pineapple)
2 T cornstarch
1/4 c water

Mix together and pour over chicken.  Cook on low for about 4-6 or so hours.  Easy!

I've made this twice in the last month because our family liked this dinner so much.  So glad to have a bunch of great slow cooker recipes.

Surprising great choc chip cookies using Bisquick



Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup crisco
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups Bisquick
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Beat crisco and sugars till creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat till thoroughly combined.
  2.  Gradually add Bisquick; mix till thoroughly combined. Add chocolate chips. 
  3. Using cookie scoop, Form cookie dough into Tablespoon-ish sized balls. Place on cookie sheet. 
  4. Bake at 350 for about 9 min.  
I get bored with making the same recipes over and over.  When I saw this recipe using Bisquick, I was very curious and decided to try it.  These are the best tasting cookies I've ever had straight out of the oven.  The next day they were a bit hard, but the microwave helped bring them back to life.  These are more puffy cookies than flat and chewy, which I am happy about.  Give them a try!  

Caramels



Homemade Caramels
(from notjustahousewife.com)
  • 2 cubes of Butter (1 cup) I like to use salted
  • 2 cups of Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Light Corn Syrup
  • 2  14oz cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Directions:
Before you get started get a bowl of ice water ready and set next to the stove.

  1. In a large heavy bottom saucepan melt the butter. Add the sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk.
  2.  Stir constantly on medium high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Turn down heat to medium. Continue to stir constantly to avoid scorching. If it does start to scorch, turn the heat down a little. 
  3. Stir until it starts to get a little darker. Check to see if it is done by spooning a little of the caramel into a bowl of ice water.  
  4. Continue to check the caramel until it is the consistency you want (mixture forms a soft ball- took about 15 minutes or so of constant stirring). When it is right, remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  5.  Pour into a greased pan. I use a cookie sheet. Let completely cool before cutting and eating. It takes a few hours for it to completely cool and set up. The longer you wait the better.
Delicious and easy!  Just make sure you keep stirring!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake



Creamy Swiss Cheese Chicken Bake
(from melskitchencafe.com)
*Serves 4-6
INGREDIENTS:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4-6 chicken pieces, excess moisture removed after thawing if frozen)
6-8 slices Swiss cheese (about 4-6 ounces)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Hot, cooked rice for serving
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season on each side with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken breast pieces in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Layer the Swiss cheese slices over the chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread this mixture over the chicken and cheese. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is hot and bubbly. Serve over hot, steamed rice.
Really good flavor, kid-friendly, easy...great to whip up quickly for dinner!  The sauce ends up tasting a little like alfredo sauce, which my kids love, so that was a bonus.

Healthified (mostly) Pumpkin Bars- still delicious!



Pumpkin Bars
(adapted from Paula Deen)
Bars:
  • 4 eggs (I subbed ground flax seed for 2 of the eggs)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Icing:
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened (1/3 less fat is great)
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan for cake size or cookie sheet with sides for the bar cookies.  Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.  Mix at low speed until combined. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars. We like them refrigerated- better the next day and day after...if they last.
These are great! I really think since the icing is so rich and good it doesn't hurt anything to try to make the base healthier.  Especially when the taste is so good in the end!  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Monte Cristo Sandwich, healthier version



  • Monte Cristo Sandwich

butter in pan for frying
2/3 cup water
1 egg
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 slices white bread
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices turkey
4 slices ham
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting
berry preserves to dip (optional)

Directions

  1. Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper; whisk into the egg mixture until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Assemble sandwiches by placing one slice of turkey on one slice of bread, a slice of ham on another, then sandwich them with the Swiss cheese in the middle. Cut sandwiches into quarters, and secure with toothpicks.
  3. Dip each sandwich quarter in the batter so that all sides are coated.  Fry in a pan with enough butter to keep from sticking.  Cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove toothpicks and arrange on a serving tray. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Serve with favorite berry preserves. 

I haven't had one of these famed sandwiches served in Disneyland, but I have heard enough rave reviews that we had to try them.  Were they loved at my house for dinner?  No question- they had powdered sugar on them after all!   

Favorite Taco Salad


Favorite Taco Salad
(from sixsistersstuff.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans or black beans
  • 1 cup (about half a bottle) Catalina salad dressing (I used a lite dressing)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • Tortilla chips
  • Your favorite taco toppings: cheese, tomato, avocado, olives, sour cream, salsa, etc

Directions: 
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and drain excess fat. Stir in the taco seasoning, chili beans and Catalina dressing. Add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 
Set out meat mixture, lettuce, chips, and all other taco toppings. Let everyone assemble their own salad. Top with salad dressing of choice.


We have made this several times over the summer and it hits the spot every time.  All the kids like it, it isn't as spicy as other Mexican dishes due to the more sweet Catalina dressing.  Our new taco salad of choice.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cake Batter Puppy Chow



 Cake Batter Puppy Chow
Makes 6 cups

  • 12 ounces white chocolate candy melts or white chocolate chips (though candy melts are more "melty" thus easier to work with, I think the chips taste better)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups white or yellow cake mix (powdered- funfetti is extra fun with the added sprinkles)
  • 2 tablespoons colored sprinkles
  • 6 cups rice chex cereal

1. In a double boiler (or the microwave on 50% power) melt the white chocolate until smooth and runny.
2. In a small bowl, combine cake mix, powdered sugar, and sprinkles and stir to combine. Set aside. 
3. Measure out the 6 cups of cereal into a large bowl, drizzle the chocolate all over and use 2 forks to gently toss the cereal to coat each piece. 
4. Once cereal is completely coated in white chocolate, dump the cake mix/sugar mixture on top and gently toss again with the forks to coat each piece. 
5. Spread out on parchment paper to cool completely then store in a gallon ziplock bag for later (if you have the self-control!) or enjoy right away!



I am not really a cake batter crazed fan- there are many out there, I know, but I was still interested in trying this recipe because I'm a fan of white chocolate and cereal- like these blizzard bars.  And hello- these were awesome!  Sugar overload, definitely, but a great snack treat that seems okay because it is made out of cereal!  Easy, easy to make, and addictive.  Not overbearing on the cake batter flavor at all.  

Twix Ice Cream Cake- Easy




       next time I'll post a real pic

TWIX ICE CREAM CAKE
Recipe By: Holly Lofthouse from life-as-a-lofthouse.com)

  • 1 (1.5 quart) vanilla Ice cream, slightly softened
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of caramel sauce
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:  In a 9x13 glass dish spread out the ice cream evenly. 
Cover and place in freezer. Freeze to set for 2 hours.
While the ice cream is setting start making the cookie topping. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars in a medium
 bowl. Stir in vanilla and flour until well mixed. Spread dough into a
 foil-lined 8x8 baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or slightly golden.
 Remove from heat and let stand until completely cooled.

Once Ice cream is all set and cookie topping is completley cooled,  
take ice cream out of freezer. Pour the caramel sauce evenly over 
ice cream. Break apart the cookie topping into big chunks and 
sprinkle evenly over caramel.
Melt chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Heat at 30 second
 intervals until melted. Stir and then drizzle over the cookie 
topping. Re-cover and place back into freezer for 6 hours or 
overnight to completely re-freeze. 
Slice into squares and serve! 

Nothing to dislike about this ice cream cake!  It was so good with that 
cookie dough-twix layer on top of the ice cream with the hardened
 melted chocolate chips.  Divine!  I wonder if I  should double layer 
the cookie part- one on the bottom of the pan, one on the top of the 
ice cream.  Next time.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Easy summer wrap/picnic idea



  • Party Pinwheels, or Turkey Cream Cheese Wraps
  • (from allrecipes.com) 

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 4 (12 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • deli turkey (optional- if you want a meal, not appetizer)

Directions

  1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, and green onions. Spread this mixture on each tortilla. Sprinkle red pepper, celery, black olives, and cheese (if you'd like) over the cream cheese mixture. Roll up the tortillas, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil.
  2. Chill 2 hours or overnight. Cut off ends of the rolls, and slice the chilled rolls into 1 inch slices.

These are addictive little snacks!  You can also make them an easy picnic/summer meal by not cutting them up and making individual wraps.  You can use chive and onion cream cheese too, to save time. Use whatever veggies you like or have on hand. Very versatile and easy!

A great way to change up your tuna sandwich



Darra's Famous Tuna Waldorf Sandwich Filling
(recipe from allrecipes.com, pic from rebeccabent.com)



  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (6 ounce) can oil-packed tuna (mine was water packed)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 4 large croissants
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder, salt and pepper. Add tuna, shallot, apple, walnuts, celery and pickle relish and toss until all ingredients are coated with dressing.
  2. Lightly toast the croissants. Split in half, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of the croissant and fill with tuna salad. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese and the top half of the croissant. Serve with a dill pickle and potato chips. 

I haven't had tuna in a while because it's not really that exciting.  Well, this recipe impressed me, and I will make it again.  I didn't even have tuna, shallot, or swiss cheese and the flavor still came out great.  The apple and walnuts (or pecans) added a great flavor along with the subtle curry taste.  Yum!  


Easy, kids like 'em, Whole Wheat Pancakes



Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes
(from makeandtakes.com)
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat berries (or 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola or other flavorless oil, or melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (or sugar)
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Butter and maple syrup, for serving

Instructions:
Place milk and wheat berries into a high-speed blender (such as a Blendtec, Vitamix, or Bosch). Blend for 2-4 minutes, or until the wheat berries are completely broken down. The mixture will be thick. Add the remaining ingredients and blend to combine.
Heat a griddle or non-stick skillet until very hot. Grease with melted butter or oil. Pour a small amount of batter onto the griddle or pan. Let cook for about 1 minute and flip with a thin metal spatula. Cook on remaining side for another minute or two. (The pancakes cook quickly because the batter is thin, and will be very light in texture. Each side should be golden brown. Adjust the heat as necessary.) Repeat with remaining batter
Yields 12-14, 6-8″ pancakes.
These were so easy to make.  My kids didn't care that they were wheat, because who really notices when sugary syrup is poured over top of them?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

S'mores Cookies- winners



Gooey S'mores Cookies
(from kevinandamanda.com)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (7 full graham cracker sheets)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Mini Hershey’s Kisses (or chocolate chips/chunks)
  • 1 cup Jet Puffed Mallow Bits (if you can't find these regular mini marshmallows will work, try cutting them in half)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, use a food processor or blender to crush 7 graham cracker sheets into 3/4 cup fine crumbs. In a separate bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Add the chocolate and marshmallows and stir to combine.
Place 1.5 tablespoon sized scoops of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

These are really great cookies.  They taste a lot like my S'mores Bars recipe, but these are in cookie form, obviously.  I love the way the graham cracker addition to cookie dough.  It tastes so good.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Steel Cut Oats in crockpot overnight



Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 3/4 cup water (I subbed in some apple juice for some of the water)
  • Optional toppings:  fresh fruit, milk, nuts, raisins etc.

1.  Spray an oven safe dish (mine is corningware and it is about 1.7 quarts) that fits into your 5-7 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. (Inside the bowl, not the bare unit) 
2.  Place all ingredients inside dish and stir to combine.
3.  Place dish directly inside slow cooker insert.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 7-9 hours.
4.  Remove dish carefully and serve with desired toppings.


365daysofcrockpot.com likes using the dish inserted into the crockpot because this way you don't lose a lot of the oats from sticking to the crockpot dish, all cooked and crusty.  This was a great breakfast, adaptable to whatever you like in your oatmeal.  Why steel cut oats?  More fiber and longer to digest than regular oats, keeping you full longer are a few of the reasons.  They are nuttier than normal oats and a different part of the oat with a different shape.  It's worth trying them!

Potato Salad recipe for summer



Perfect Potato Salad
(from melskitchencafe.com)
Dressing:
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (I use Best Foods/Hellmans Light Mayo with great results)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced dried onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

Salad:
  • 5 pounds potatoes (I prefer to use red potatoes or yukon gold potatoes because I like their firm non-grainy texture)
  • 1 cup sliced olives (obviously fine without, too)
  • 10 hard-boiled eggs*, diced

DIRECTIONS:
Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender or in a bowl and give it a whirl or whisk until all ingredients are combined.
For the salad, peel, dice, and boil potatoes until tender but not mushy (I cut my potatoes into bite-size pieces and boil for about 8-10 minutes). Drain potatoes well and pour into a large bowl. Add sliced olives and hard-boiled eggs. Pour dressing over warm potatoes until desired “dressing-level” is reached. I usually make this salad the night before and I pour a thin coating of dressing over the potatoes, olives and eggs while they rest in the fridge overnight. Before serving the next day, I add the rest of the dressing and mix until it looks just right.
*For perfect hard-boiled eggs, place eggs in a deep saucepan; cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 14 minutes. Transfer to an iced water bath; let cool completely. Unpeeled eggs can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
I only had 4 potatoes so I kind of just took my ingredients down several notches without thinking too hard or measuring and it all worked out and was delicious.  So that means this is a very fool-friendly recipe!  I also microwaved my potatoes and then peeled them.  Super fast this way!  Just make sure not to overcook!  The dressing is very tasty- it is an addictive potato salad that doesn't feel too heavy and seems healthy too.  I'll make it many times throughout the summer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The best pancakes and syrup ever, must-try!



Yogurt Pancakes with Homemade Syrup
(from favfamilyrecipes.com)



For the pancakes:
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 - 3 c. plain Mountain High brand yogurt (or 2 c. buttermilk)
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 c. all-purpose flour

Mix all ingredients. If it seems too thick, add milk a little at a time until it reaches a good
 "pancake batter" consistency.

For the syrup:
1 cup white sugar
1 cup plain yogurt (we like the Mountain High brand)
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring first four ingredients to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, reduce

 to a simmer and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Add baking soda and
 vanilla. Remove from stove and serve over pancakes, waffles or
 french toast. (The syrup will be thin-- this is normal. After it cools off
 a bit it thickens up. Store any extra syrup in the fridge for
 later use.)
**The baking soda will make it boil high so make sure you use

 a large pot.***

I've had this recipe bookmarked forever because I don't make pancakes
 that often. But the addition of yogurt in both the pancake and syrup was
 a different enough idea that I was intrigued, and I was amazed!  The
 pancakes were definitely pancakes, but more moist.  They even taste 
good plain.  The syrup is simply amazing and even though I'm not sure 
how healthy the recipe is with the butter and all, the yogurt balances it all 
out with its protein and bacteria!  

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars


Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars
(from melskitchencafe.com)
  • 1 3/4 c. flour (I used 1 c. white, 3/4 c. wheat flour with great results)
  • 3/4 t. soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks



Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.  Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla till fluffy and add dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate chunks.  Press into greased 9x13 pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until light golden brown.  You can also double the recipe and press into 11x17.


I tried these at my neighbor's house and she used 3/4 c. wheat flour, and it was really good!  Makes it a little healthier, and the kids and I don't even notice.  I also shaved off a tablespoon or two of butter.  The pan was gone in no time.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chicken and Artichoke Soup



Chicken and Artichoke Soup
(cucinafamiglia.blogspot.com)
  • 4 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans cream of celery soup (I used all cream of chicken, what I had)
  • 1 8 oz jar of artichoke hearts, chop finely
  • 1/2 box sliced mushrooms (I didn't have these and still good)
  • 1 can diced green chilies (I skipped to make kid-friendly)
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1 pound pepper jack cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Poach chicken, then shred (or if you freeze your shredded chicken, this works great for it). In your stock pot, saute onion in a little olive oil. Add chicken. Then add cream of celery, cream of chicken, half and half, mushrooms and artichokes. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted.  

We enjoyed this thick and creamy soup.  We'll make it again!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Coconut Caramel Cookies


Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel

(from bakerchick.com)
Makes 54 cookies
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • 44 small soft caramel candies (12 oz.) 
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Flaky Sea Salt (good, though optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugar with  mixer
 on medium speed until it is pale and fluffy, then add vanilla. 
With mixer on low, add flour a little at a time 1/2 tsp salt and
 beat to combine. Using plastic wrap, press dough together to
 make it a bit flat, and roll into 1 1/4-inch balls.  (I recommend 
doing all the rolling before you start the dipping.) 
Using a spoon, dip each ball into the beaten egg, let excess egg drip 
off, and then roll in coconut. (I had to use my fingers/the spoon to
 help make sure all the dough balls were covered 
evenly with coconut. Don't worry if you get messy!)

Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheet and press an indentation
 of your thumb into each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove
 sheet from oven and re-press indentations (I used the handle of a spoon).  
After that, put the sheet back in the oven and bake for another 9-10
minutes or until golden. Let cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.
 (Cookies will be hot- do this quickly!)

For caramel: Place unwrapped caramels and heavy cream in a small 
saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels 
have melted and the mixture is smooth, 4-6 minutes. 
Spoon caramel into the indentations of each cookie and sprinkle with sea salt. 
If the caramel starts  to harden, rewarm it on low heat!
 (Store in airtight containers for up to 2 days.)

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Feb 2012


These cookies weren't that hard to make, though prep time is a bit longer!  
They turned out well, so I was happy.  If you like coconut and a buttery
 shortbread cookie, topped with caramel, then you'll want to try these.

Another vanilla ice cream recipe.

Vanilla Ice Cream
(from allrecipes.com)



  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream and the half and half. Gradually whisk in the sugar until blended.
  2. Whisk in the vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until very cold, at least 3 hours or as long as 3 days.
  3. Whisk the mixture to blend and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Eat at once or transfer to a covered container and freeze up to 8 hours.

I am still figuring out my ice cream ingredients, trying to see how using different-fat ingredients changes taste and texture of ice cream.  Our family loved the vanilla ice cream recipe we have on here that used straight milk (though it doesn't freeze that well- it's a little icy), and this one is more delicious.  I used 4 c. half and half, no cream.  Next time I'll use the cream to see if it freezes better.  It's wonderful straight out of the ice cream maker, but it is a little icy when it freezes.  But it is SO yummy fresh.  I love how easy it is to make ice cream.