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Monday, February 20, 2017

Dark Choclate Caramel and Pretzel Bark



  • I made this back in December as part of my goodies I give to friends.  It's really tasty and will satisfy a quick chocolate craving.  Has just enough satlyness to it too.  

  • 24 salted pretzels
  • 24 caramels, unwrapped
  • 14 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped and divided ( I would recommend a great-quality eating chocolate like Lindt or Ghirardelli)
  • 6 Tbsp coconut milk or heavy cream


Directions:
  1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with wax paper.
  2. Melt 10 oz of chocolate and 2 Tbsp coconut milk in double boiler or in microwave until smooth.
  3. Melt caramels and 2 Tbsp coconut milk in double boiler or in microwave until smooth.
  4. Spread the melted chocolate in a ¼-inch layer over the wax paper. Press the pretzels down into the chocolate firmly. Drizzle the melted caramel over the pretzels. Place baking sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  5. Melt remaining 4 oz of chocolate with 2 Tbsp coconut milk in double boiler or in microwave until smooth. Drizzle lightly over cooled bark, then return to freezer for more 5 minutes.
  6. Chop into chunks and serve. Can be sealed in an airtight container and stored at room temperature for 7-14 days.
Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things You L♥ve.
Donna

Monday, February 13, 2017

Apple Pecan Spice Cake



I made this back in December, as usual for work.  I had some apples that I needed to use to went searching.  I found this recipe and it looked and sounded very yummy.  I made a few changes which I will note in red in the directions.  Please read it first then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

without the cream cheese icing


Ingredients
3 cups Granny Smith Apples, chopped into small pieces (see below)
1 1/2 cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 cup pecans roughly chopped
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese frosting, room temperature
¼ cup butter, softened
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup golden brown sugar
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Peel and slice apples, place in a skillet with butter and sugar.  Add some cinnamon, about 2 Tbl and 1/4 cup brown sugar.  Cook until you have a mixture that looks syrupy.  Cool then chop the apples for the batter.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine apples and sugar. Stir in oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. In another mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture. Add milk and stir until just combined. Add chopped pecans.
  5. Pour into prepared 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and continue to beat until smooth scraping down sides when needed. Add vanilla and brown sugar. Beat for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy and the sugar has dissolved. Spread evenly on top of the cake. Refrigerate after frosting.
Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things You L♥ve.
Donna

Monday, February 6, 2017

Cranberry Orange Short Bread Cookie




I made these cookies to have after Thanksgiving dinner but instead we had so much dessert I saved them and then baked them on Sunday and took them to work.  I will probably made this cookie during the Christmas Holiday's.  It's an easy recipe to put together and yields a wonderful cookie.  Give them a try.


 2½ dozen cookies
Ingredients
½ cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
¾ cups sugar, divided
2½ cups all purpose flour - spooned and leveled, not scooped
1 cup butter, cubed (and cold)
1 tsp almond extract
zest of 1 orange
1 to 2 tbsp of fresh orange juice (otional)
additional sugar to coat cookies before baking if desired

  • Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine cranberries and ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor and process just until the cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour and remaining sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter. You want very fine crumbs.
  5. Stir in extract, cranberries and sugar mixture, orange zest and orange juice (optional).
  6. Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball. Work the dough until it comes together.
  7. Shape dough into a log about two inches in a diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or up to 72 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 325F.
  9. Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inch thick.
  10. Place about a half a cup of sugar in a bowl and coat the cookie slices with sugar.
  11. Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or just until cookies are set. Do not over bake.   Usually they take about 12 minutes, depends on your oven.
  12. Let cookies cool for several minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack. Let cool completely.
  13. Store in airtight container for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


thanks for taking time to stop by, have a great week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things YOU L♥ve.
Donna

Monday, January 30, 2017

pineapple banana bundt cake




I made this into a bundt cake instead of a loaf.  Was really good and a big hit.  I had some pineapple that
I needed to use and it was time to make my Monday work treat.  This was a recipe for 2 loaf bread but as you can see I went the cake route.
The bananas, buttermilk, and coconut oil help the cake stay fluffy, springy-soft, tender, and ridiculously moist. The pineapple dominates the flavor profile and this is more pineapple-banana than banana-pineapple bread.The coconut oil is hardly detectable, perfect for those who don't love coconut. The ingredients are whisked together in minutes without needing a mixer and in just one bowl. The recipe makes two medium-small loaves, perfect for gifting or freezing.  This was a work treat..oh imagine that!!!!


INGREDIENTS:

2 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (canola or vegetable oil, or browned or melted butter may be substituted)
1/3 cup buttermilk (1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream may be substituted)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, optional but recommended
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 large or 3 small ripe bananas)
1 cup pineapple, diced (I used frozen; mango, peaches, nectarines, strawberries or blueberries may be substituted)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray; set aside. (I have not tried it but I suspect you could bake as muffins, mini loaves, or in a Bundt pan, adjusting baking times accordingly).
  2. In a large bowl combine the eggs, coconut oil, buttermilk, sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, optional salt, and stir to just incorporate; don't overmix because the gluten will overdevelop and bread will be tougher. Stir in bananas. Stir in pineapple (if using frozen, just add it frozen, no need to thaw it first. If using fresh or canned, make sure it's well-drained or it could water-down the batter).
  3. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until top is golden and set, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (banana bread is gooey and it may not come out perfectly clean). If bread is browning too fast on the top, you may wish to lower your oven temperature to 325F in last 15 minutes of cooking, or tent the pan with foil; although I don't suspect this will be an issue. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Bread will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container or large Ziplock at room temperature (I wrap my fully cooled bread in Clingwrap, then I place it in a gallon-sized Ziplock). Second loaf may be frozen for up to 3 months. Optionally serve with Browned Butter Vanilla Glaze or Make Pineapple Butter rather than Strawberry Butter.
thanks for stopping by, have a great week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do All the Things You L♥ve.
Donna

Monday, January 16, 2017

oatmeal cranberry cookie

Just another work treat, they seem to really like having cookies to munch on so I'm always on a search for something new.  Of course the old stand by's they love too!  This is a simple cookie to make and you could say it's healthy...well come one it's got oats in it!  :)




  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons neutral flavored oil (canola, melted coconut, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats + ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup each: dried cranberries, chopped pecans, chocolate chips
  • **you can make these with walnuts and dried cherries**


Preheat the oven to 350.
In a bowl, combine butter, oil, and vanilla. Mash until butter is soft. Add in sugars and stir to cream them together, and then stir in an egg.
In a separate bowl, combine oats and hot water and let it sit for 5 minutes until oats are slightly softened. Add them to the wet mixture.
Add in flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, and stir to combine it all with the wet mixture. Add in your mix-ins (no more than 1 cup of total assorted mix-ins).
Refrigerate dough for at least 10 minutes.
Measure out tablespoon-sized cookies, and bake them onto parchment lined cookie sheets for 12 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden.
Let the cookies cool fully before removing them from the baking sheet

**do not skip step of letting oatmeal set or you could have very flat cookies**
Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the Time to do ALL the things YOU L♥ve.
Donna

Monday, January 9, 2017

Potato Lasagna



Someone posted this on FB and to me it looked so yummy and easy, so of course I had to make it.  It's so simple and yet so delicious.  The only thing I changed *seems I never really follow a recipe to a T have to always change something* ...so with that said I added steamed aldente broccoli.  Need a vegetable in the dish.


Potato Lasagna
Serves 4-5

INGREDIENTS
5 potatoes, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8-10 slices ham
7-8 slices mozzarella cheese
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Slice the peeled potatoes into ½ centimeter slices.
Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, tossing them to make sure they’re coated evenly.
Press a layer of potatoes evenly into the bottom of a greased, square baking pan.
Place half of the ham slices evenly on top of the potatoes, followed by half of the sliced cheese.
Follow with another layer of potatoes, then the remaining ham and sliced cheese.
Sprinkle the bacon and parsley evenly on top of the sliced cheese, and place one final layer of potatoes on top.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the potatoes, then press it into an even layer.
In a small bowl, mix the heavy cream and eggs. Pour on top of the shredded cheese.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cheese is a deep golden brown.
Cool slightly, slice, then serve!

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things YOU L♥ve.
Donna

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2 Cards

Been working on Christmas and Birthday cards.  I've been using my eclipse the past couple of
days trying to find some good fonts to make card front titles.  I found this font "back to black" on Dafont web site, almost all of their fonts are free and there are sooooooooooooo many to choose from.  The little trees in the "christmas Cheer" is from the font "christmas Time"



The Christmas card is very plain, I just wanted to get it on something so I could tell if I wanted to make more.

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things You L♥ve.
Donna
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