recipe

Buckeye Balls

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Buckeye Balls

Buckeye Balls are one of those holiday treats that you will always remember the very first time you had one. They are just so good, they will make a lasting impression in your mind. And if you haven’t had them yet, what are you waiting for?? They are amazing! The peanut butter balls are so soft and wonderful. The chocolate coating on the bottom goes so well with the peanut butter, they will melt in your mouth. And then you will want another!

Buckeye BallsMaking the peanut butter filling can be a bit tricky. Make sure you work the dough thoroughly. I use a Kitchen Aid and then use my hands to knead the dough a little more. When you make the balls, they might be very crumbly if you don’t mix the dough well enough. This is an all-hands-on-deck kind of recipe. I bring anyone who is home, in to help form the peanut butter balls. Otherwise, it would take forever.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (1-pound) box confectioners sugar
9 oz. (about 1½ cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp shortening

Buckeye Balls

Instructions:
1. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners sugar using a Kitchen Aid mixer. It will be dry and crumbly at first, but keep working it until everything is very evenly mixed.You may need to knead it by hand as well.
2. Form into 2 large balls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
3. Shape into tablespoon sized balls. Roll them in your hands to smooth. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
4. Refrigerate for about an hour.
5. In a small saucepan melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. When smooth, remove from heat.
6. Use a toothpick to dip each ball into chocolate mixture and place back on baking sheet.
7. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. (About an hour.) Use the back of a spoon to smooth over toothpick holes.
8. Eat. Share. Enjoy.

Buckeye Balls

Chocolate Fudge

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Chocolate Fudge

This is quite possibly the easiest fudge in the world to make. It’s simple, basic and only requires 5 ingredients. And only 4 ingredients if you don’t add the nuts. I happen to like nuts, but just didn’t have any in the pantry. This fudge is great to take to holiday gatherings, give as gifts, or just enjoy by yourself!

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
Dash salt
1/2 to 1 cups chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Fudge

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil.
2. Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat.
3. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
4. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Fudge

Red Velvet Cool Whip Cookies

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Red Velvet Cool Whip Cookies

My friend Amy gave me this recipe. She told me these cookies are amazing and she was right! They’re gorgeous too. Also, they’re super easy to make!

Ingredients:
1 package of Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 tub of Cool Whip
1 egg
Powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients together, using an electric mixer if possible.
2. Roll dough into tbsp sized balls and roll in powdered sugar.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
4. Enjoy!

Banana Bread

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Banana Bread

Is it just me or am I the only one that ends up with uneaten, over-ripe bananas every week? Most of the time they just end up being thrown away, which is such a waste. But when I have some extra time, I try to whip up a nice banana bread. This recipe is so basic, you’ll have all the ingredients on hand. The original recipe calls for only 2 bananas, but I would use 3 if you have them, for more banana flavor.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups self-rising flour
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
2 bananas, beaten lightly
2 eggs, beaten lightly
2 tbsp honey
Nuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 lb. loaf pan.
2. Mix the sugar, bananas, eggs and honey together until well mixed,
3. Add the flour, a little at a time. Mix until it forms a soft dropping consistency.
4. Spoon the mixture into loaf pan.
5. Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out of the center clean.
7. Leave the loaf to cool in the pan before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
8. Cut into thick slices and serve warm with butter.

Banana Bread

Pizza Pull-Apart Bread

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Pizza Pull-Apart Bread

Here’s a fun and different way to have a family pizza night. It’s just 7 basic ingredients and a quick, easy dinner for everyone. The kids will even have fun helping put this one together!

Pizza Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients:
  • 2 cans of biscuits
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 – 6 oz package of pepperoni
  • 1 small jar pizza sauce
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Pizza Pull-Apart Bread
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut biscuits into quarters
  3. Cut the pepperoni into quarters
  4. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and toss so that the oil is spread evenly on each piece of dough
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes  (TIP: If the middle is not cooked thoroughly leave it in another 5 minutes
    at a time until it is done)
  6. Flip over on to a plate while it’s still hot
  7. Serve with a small bowl of pizza sauce and enjoy!

Pizza Pull-Apart Bread

* You can add other ingredients, such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, sausage or whatever your favorite pizza toppings are! Play with different ideas, or even make a vegetarian pizza! Have fun and enjoy!

Concord Grape Swizzle

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Concord Grape Swizzle

I invented a new drink last night. I’m calling it the “Concord Grape Swizzle”. I think it has a fun little ring to it. My husband picked up a bottle of Swedish Hill Concord Grape wine for us to enjoy. We love our New York State wines, especially the nice sweet wines.

Concord Grape Swizzle

As I was sipping the wine, I thought, I wonder what it might be like if I added some bubbly ginger ale and a slice of lime? Both of which I just happened to have in the fridge. The result was a yummy, new favorite drink!

Instructions:
1. Fill a glass 1/3 full of Swedish Hill Concord Grape Wine (Use grape juice as a nice non-alcoholic substitute.)
2. Fill another 1/3 of the glass with your favorite Ginger Ale.
3. Add ice and a slice of lime. (I threw a few cranberries in too, just because.)
4. Drink and enjoy.

Cheers!

Concord Grape Swizzle

Turkey Noodle Soup

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Turkey Noodle Soup

I love a good crock pot soup. Especially on a day like today. There’s a big Nor’Easter heading our way, about to dump a foot of snow on us. Not that we aren’t used to a little bit of snow in Syracuse, but well, it’s still perfect weather for a good old fashioned bowl of soup!

I made a similar version of this soup not too long ago, except with chicken. The recipe is about the same, except that I substituted anything that was chicken, with turkey.

Turkey Noodle SoupIngredients:

1 fresh turkey breast (about 1 lb.)
4 cups turkey broth
1 cup chopped carrots, pre-cooked
1/2 cup pasta (I used Stelline pasta, pictured below. They are little stars.)
Salt, pepper and minced onion, to taste
1-2 cups additional water

Turkey Noodle Soup

Instructions:

Place turkey and turkey broth in crock pot and cook on medium for 6-8 hours. Remove the turkey, place in bowl to shred. Return shredded turkey to the crock pot. Toss in the carrots and pasta. Cook for another 30-45 minutes (or longer is fine). Stir occasionally. You may need to add more hot water, the pasta will soak up a lot of the water once it is added.

Turkey Noodle Soup

Serve soup with rolls or crackers. Enjoy!

Turkey Noodle Soup

Caramel Corn

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Caramel Corn

Do you say “Car-a-mel” corn? Or “Car-mel” corn? I say Caramel Corn. There’s an “a” there and it’s not silent. At least not in my world! However you say it though, it is mighty good. Caramel Corn is a family favorite from my husband’s side of the family. There was a recipe passed down for several generations. I’m not giving the secret family recipe away though! I found a similar recipe on Pinterest, and I am going to post that. I have actually found at least 20 different recipes for Caramel Corn while doing research for this post. They are all slightly different. However you make it, you will love it!

Ingredients:
1 cup unpopped pop corn (Use an air popper, it is SO much better.)
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanuts (optional)

Caramel Corn

Instructions:
Pop the popcorn, add peanuts now if you’d like them. (I highly recommend salted, roasted peanuts.) Set aside in a big baking pan. (I use my roaster pan, it’s perfect!) Melt the margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Then allow the mixture to boil, without stirring, for 4 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract.

Caramel Corn

Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn in the roaster pan, stirring to coat each kernel. Bake the popcorn for one hour at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes.

Caramel Corn

Remove the caramel corn from the oven. Pour it into a plastic container, a big one with a lid is preferable. Use a wooden spoon to stir the caramel corn, breaking it apart as it cools. Keep doing that every few minutes until they no longer clump together. Eat and enjoy. And store in an air tight container for the best taste.

Caramel COrn

Classic Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

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Peanut Butter Blossoms

Nothing goes better together than chocolate and peanut butter. The combination of these two amazing tastes combined into one, equals heaven. The Peanut Butter Blossom is my husbands favorite cookie. He went out last night to buy Hershey Kisses in hopes that I’d make them. So tonight, I obliged.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Ingredients:
48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
1/2 cup shortening (I use margarine instead.)
3/4 cup creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Additional granulated sugar(optional)

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet. 
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

* These instructions are on the back of the Holiday Hershey Kisses. 

Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Braid

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Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Braid

This afternoon, my husband mentioned that we should find something to do with the 2 packages of crescent rolls we didn’t use for Thanksgiving. So I went to Pinterest and there it was. The Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Braid. It was fantastic and not as difficult to make as I thought it would be. I would definitely make this again! It’s rich and creamy and perfect for a winter evening.

Here is my version of the recipe:

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped peeled potatoes
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. minced onion
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
4 oz. of cream cheese
2 packages (8 oz. each) of crescent rolls

Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Braid

Directions:
1. In a saucepan on medium high heat, combine the carrots and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter Turn the heat to low and whisk in the flour, salt, pepper, and minced onion. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Simmer until the liquid becomes thick. Add in the cream cheese and stir until well combined.

3. Add the vegetable-chicken mixture with the sauce. Mix well.

4. Take the crescent rolls and arrange in a flat rectangle and roll it out on the surface on which you plan to bake. Make sure all of the seams have flattened and are no longer seems. With a knife, cut 1 inch slits across each side, making sure to leave at least 2-3 inches in the middle. (See photo above for visual.)

5. Take your filling and spread it up and down the center. Starting with the end closest to you, take the strips and place them over each other, like you are braiding them. Continue to do this with each strip until you reach the end.

6. Seal any edges that you may see to prevent the filling from leaking out.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 or until the top is golden brown.

Chicken Pot Pie Crescent Braid

* The recipe that I got this from used crescent seamless dough sheets, I did not have those, so I adapted the recipe to the regular crescent rolls that I had on hand. They worked just fine.