Monday, January 16, 2017

Coconut Crusted French Toast

Take your every day french toast to the next level and dip each egg slathered slice in shredded coconut.  Trust me, your taste buds will thank you...
You can serve this with any array of toppings you'd like; we opted for fresh berries, toasted almonds and extra coconut.  I'm pretty sure some whipped topping made it on there as well.  Divine.

Coconut Crusted French Toast
3 eggs
splash milk
6 slices bread of choice
2 c. coconut

In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs and milk.
Pour coconut onto a plate and spread out evenly.
Dip each slice of bread into egg mixture and coat both sides.
Remove and let excess drip off.
Lay one side of the egg dipped bread into the coconut and press to adhere.
Place on greased skillet or grill, and cook over medium low heat until both sides are cooked and coconut is toasted.
Serve with desired toppings.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Roasted Garlic

I use a lot of roasted garlic for this salsa recipe, as well as this spaghetti sauce.  And so I will occasionally stockpile a bunch of this in my freezer to cut down on time when making them.  But aside from large batch garlic recipes, there are several everyday uses where these deliciously caramelized cloves come in handy.
I usually puree them in a blender and freeze in mini ice cube trays - making them easy to add a punch of delicious garlic flavor to just about anything.  Use to replace chopped garlic in any recipe, or throw them into soups or stews, or sauces.  You can add a few cubes to some softened butter and spread over bread or toast for the best garlic bread of your life.

Roasted Garlic
Method from Our Best Bites

olive oil
tin foil

Take a head of garlic, and cut the pointed tip off, about 1/4 of the way down (you want to expose the actual cloves).
Place each clove on a piece of tinfoil, cut side up.
Drizzle with olive oil, letting it seep down between the cloves.
Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Wrap the head of garlic up in tinfoil, securing it at the top.

Place all of your tinfoil garlic heads into the oven, directly on the rack.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes (time depends on the size of the head of garlic).
Garlic is done when it is soft/squishy when squeezed.

Remove from oven and let cool.
Unwrap from foil and squeeze each clove out of the head.
Use within one week if storing in the fridge, or freeze for future use.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Balls

This is basically a smore (with lots of additional goodies) that has been squished together to form a ball, and for whatever reason it is one of those rare delights that is only made at Christmas time... at least in my family.
This is a great addition to your plethora of holiday treats, even if it is too late for Christmas Day.

Christmas Balls
Recipe from Sandy Bishop

1 lb. mini marshmallows
2 1/2 c. chopped nuts
2 1/2 c. coconut
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 c. chopped dates
2 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

Pour all ingredients except graham cracker crumbs into a large bowl.
Wet your hands and mix thoroughly.
Roll into small balls and then roll each ball in crumbs, coating the outside (be sure and keep your hands wet through the process).
Store in an airtight container.
These will store for quiet some time - the longer they sit, the better they are!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sugar Cookie Candy Cane Cookies

These festive cookies are a great addition to your Christmas treat arsenal.  The lack of frosting makes this a lighter alternative, which we love, but you'll still get a punch of peppermint flavor from the actual cookie and candies sprinkled on top.
You can use whatever sugar cookie recipe you like the best, including store bought, but I love the one included here.
Sugar Cookie Candy Cane Cookies
Recipe idea from Country Living

2/3 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 tsp. salt
4 c. flour
pink food coloring
crushed candy canes

Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs and mix between each.
Dissolve baking soda in the milk and add to the creamed mixture.
Add peppermint.
Slowly add flour and salt while mixing.

Divide dough into 2 equal halves.  
Set one half aside and return remaining half to the mixer.
Add 5 drops of food coloring and mix to combine - you may need more or less depending on desired color.

Place dough balls in a bowl and cover.
Chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Remove from fridge and knead each half individually until dough softens.
Form several 1-2" balls from both colors.
Take individual balls and roll them out into long ropes of equal length.

Take one rope of each color and twist them together.
Wrap one end over to make a candy cane shape.
Place cookies on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until just browned on the bottom.
While still hot, sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces on cookies and press down lightly to indent.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dry Taco Soup Mix {Meal in a Jar}

Aside from the convenience of having these lining your pantry shelves for a quick and delicious dinner any time, recipes like these also make for the perfect gift, as well as for camping / backpacking / 72 hour kit food options.  Just switch out the glass jar for a ziplock bag if you plan to hit the hills.

Shelf life on these jars are 1 year.  If you have a food saver with the ability to seal a mason jar lid on dry goods, it will last much longer (upwards of 15 years if kept in a cool, dry place).

You can use any brand of freeze dried or dehydrated food here, but I've included links to the products that I use personally.  Click here to find out more about how you can earn these products for free or half off.

Dry Taco Soup Mix {Meal in a Jar}
3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. tomato powder

In each quart mason jar, add the ingredients in the order listed.

To make the soup:
Add 7 cups of water to a pot and turn on high heat.
Dump entire contents of jar into the water.
Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, or until beans are fully cooked.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream, if desired.
Makes about 10 cups of soup.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pretzel Buttons

These cute mini treats are easy to make, taste scrumptious, and are cute and festive.  You can swap out the colors of M&M's to make them more appropriate for any holiday; pink and red for Valentines day, pastels for Easter, red and blue for the 4th of July, or use chocolate kisses with orange candies for Halloween.

Pretzel Buttons
Recipe from g*rated

Square Pretzels
Hershey's Hugs (or Kisses)

Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat and line the sheet with pretzels.
Place a Hershey's on top of each pretzel.
Bake for 4-5 minutes at 200 degrees to soften the chocolate - they should look shiny and soft, but still hold their shape.  You do not want them to melt, so watch closely.
Press one M&M in the center of each hug, pressing down to spread out the chocolate.
Allow to cool completely before serving.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Garlic Cheese Breadsticks

Paired with your favorite soup, or in addition to a great pizza night, these garlic cheese breadsticks are sure to please.

Garlic Cheese Breadsticks
Recipe from Baked by Rachel

1 c. water
2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
2-3 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water and allow yeast to proof.
To your mixing bowl, add flour, salt and garlic powder.
Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the yeast mixture.
Mix or knead for 6 minutes.
Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Knead dough to remove air bubbles, and roll out to desired shape.
Place on a greased cookie or pizza sheet.
Melt butter and add in the minced garlic.
Use a pastry brush to brush garlic mixture over entire surface of dough.
Sprinkle with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is golden brown.