Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Frosting

'Tis the season for all things pumpkin. I have slowly acquired a taste for baked pumpkin goods and this one may top them all. I made them for a small shin-dig we had here and out of the 5 cookies I made, this was everyone's favorite!

(You can find the original recipe HERE)

Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars for the cookies. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the pumpkin. In a medium bowl, sift together the baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, salt and flour. Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin batter and mix until combined. Drop the dough by large tablespoonfuls onto a lightly greased (or lined with parchment or silpat) cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

For the frosting, in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cream, brown sugar and salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla. Let the frosting cool to room temperature and stir in the remaining 1 cup powdered sugar. Spread the frosting over the cooled cookies.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

I found the original recipe at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but now can not seem to find it anywhere on that site! UGH. So here is what I printed out:

Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin
2 lb. boneless pork loin roast (I like the little ones from Costco)
1 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed (I always like to use a lot more than this)
1/2 c. water

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 Tblspn. cornstarch
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. water
2 Tblspon. soy sauce

In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub the spices all over the pork roast. Place the roast in a slow cooker and pour in the 1/2 c. water. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Near the end of the cooking time, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.
Remove pork from slow cooker, shred and place on a platter or plate. Drizzle the glaze over the pork and serve.

** I did not use a crockpot, but instead made a tinfoil envelope around the roast and cooked it in the oven at 300 degrees for about 4 hours--turned it on when we left for church and it was ready when we got home. (so I didn't need to use the 1/2 c. water)

The glaze was GREAT over the fresh steamed broccoli as well!

Chocolate M & M cookies

We are back into "Cookie Friday" mode, where I bake about 12 dozen cookies for the neighborhood kids on the first Friday of each month. This gives me the opportunity to try new recipes each month and let the kids be my guinea pigs! I randomly found M&M's on clearance at Randall's--huge bags for $2/each--so I decided to use those instead of chocolate chips in this recipe. They were really good!

You can find the original recipe HERE

Chocolate M & M cookies!
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 M & M's


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the M & M's. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Easy Ice Cream Cake

I tasted better than I thought it would. The flavors and textures mixed well and did not just taste like layered ice cream sandwiches and toppings. I did double layers and put it in a deep pan, then just cut the pieces smaller--it looked better that way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Angel Chicken Pasta

I was cleaning out my stack of recipes to try, and found this one. I printed it off the internet over 4 years ago!!! Glad I hung on to it, because it was a HIT with my family last night. And of course...super easy too.

Angel Chicken Pasta

6 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c. butter
1 (7oz.) dry Italian salad dressing mix
1/2 c. white wine (can substitute apple juice)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 oz. onion & chive cream cheese
1 lb. angel hair pasta

Melt butter on low.
Add dry Italian seasoning, blend in wine (juice), soup, and cream cheese.
Stir until smooth.
Arrange chicken breasts in 9 x 13 pan and pour sauce over the top.
Bake at 325 for 60 minutes (covered with foil for the first 30 minutes, then remove foil).
Serve over angel hair pasta.

Slow-Simmered Pork Chops

My friend Tauni brought this dish to me after Dane was born. It was SO good! When I asked her for the recipe, she said there really isn't one, but gave me these instructions. I was able to duplicate it, no problem. Super easy...super delicious!

Slow-Simmered Pork Chops
4-6 bone-in pork chops
salt & pepper
2 cans cream of mushroom soup

HEAVILY season pork chops with salt & pepper.
Melt butter in electric skillet and brown pork chops (at least 6+ minutes on each side)
Cover with water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Make sure pork chops are always barely covered with water--adding more as needed.
Simmer for 5+ hours, with lid on.
About 30 minutes before serving, add 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup.
Mix in pan and scrape bottom to get all the seasoned meat off the bottom.
(Serve with mashed potatoes!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these last month for "Cookie Friday." I love anything chocolate and anything mint, so these were a hit for my family!

Find the recipe HERE.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Salsa & Black Bean Chicken Nachos

This is one of those recipes that is so obvious and easy you wish you had thought of it yourself. Oh, and did I mention SOOO good?! All 3 of my kids asked me to make it again!

You can find the link HERE