Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Owls

The kids and I made these Hallowen Owls on Monday night. Start with your favorite carmel popcorn recipe (our favorite can be found in the candy section of this blog). Add lifesaver & gumdrop eyes, candy corn beak, fruit roll-up wings and chocolate licorice eyebrows and horns. Very cute and yummy too.

BBQ Chicken

I found this great new Crock Pot Recipe for BBQ Chicken. We had BBQ Chicken breasts with baked potatoes on Sunday, then on Monday night, I shredded the leftovers, added more BBQ sauce, bought some rolls from Shirley's Bakery and made sandwiches. Two meals in one.
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz.) bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use K.C.Masterpiece Original)
3/4 cup coca cola
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dr. Egan's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c. butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. oatmeal
2 1/4 c. flour
2-3 cups chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Add all dry ingredients except oatmeal. Blend in oatmeal. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden brown.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gourmet Caramel Apples

My mom's apple trees are packed right now and I have been so excited to try a new caramel recipe I found. These are divine! If you have never made caramel before, DON'T be afraid, but DO go buy yourself a candy thermometer. You need one for this recipe.

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup corn syrup (I use Karo)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large measuring cup, mix the cream and milk. Pour 1/3 of it into a large pan and add salt, sugar and corn syrup. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes until the mixture turns a pale beige. Turn up the heat and had 1/2 of the remaining milk/cream mixture. Boil for about 15 minutes more. Then add (a little at a time) the rest of the milk mixture (keep it boiling if you can) and insert the candy thermometer. Continue boiling and stirring until the mixture reaches about 230 degrees (firm ball stage). Flavor with vanilla and stir well.

For basic caramels:
Pour mixture into a greased pan and allow to cool and harden. I usually line my pan with waxed paper and spray it well with Pam beforehand. After it has set, you can turn out the square of caramel, peel off the waxed paper and then cut it in squares. It's fast and easy to wrap the caramels using small squares of waxed paper. You can also buy caramel wrappers at candy supply stores, but they are expensive.

For caramel apples:
Keep the caramel mixture in the pan and immediately begin dipping your apples (the caramel will cool and get thicker and thicker as you go). My secret for keeping it from running off the apple is that after dipping it, I hold it for a few minutes before setting it down. I continue turning it upside down and then right-side up as I see the caramel sliding up and down. Once it begins to set, you can place it on greased waxed paper.

For Over the Top caramel apples:
Dip in chocolate (white or milk), roll in nuts, sprinkles, mini-m&m's, etc. Our favorite is to dip in melted white chocolate and then roll in cinnamon/sugar.

Quick Praline Muffins

I found this great Gooseberry Patch cookbook at Cracker Barrel (40% off right now) and I'm LOVING the recipes! Here is an easy muffin recipe that Taylor and I whipped up last night for Kaycie and her friends to munch on while they watched movies.

3 T. brown sugar, packed
1 T. butter, softened
1/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
3 ripe bananas
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups pancake mix

Stir the brown sugar, butter and nuts together in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and set aside. Stir in egg, sugar and oil until well blended. Add pancake mix and stir until just moistened (don't over-stir). Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle 1 tsp. pecan mixture on top of each muffin. Bake at 35o degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden. Makes 1 dozen.

Lemon Pound Cake

One of my favorite magazines is Everyday Food. Whenever I go to the mailbox and see it there my heart does a little flutter. It's tiny and well organized and is FULL of excellent recipes. I keep a pack of mini sticky notes by my side as I read it and I tab the recipes that I want to try. This lemon pound cake came from the May 2007 issue.

2 sticks butter, softened (no substitutes)
3 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 T. finely grated lemon zest
2 2/12 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream

Grease and flour 2 medium sized loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and lemon zest. In another bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low beginning adding the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream. Mix in 1/3 of the flour, then half of the sour cream, then another 1/3 of the flour, then the rest of the sour cream, then the rest of the flour (whew). Pour the batter equally between the two prepared pans. Bake for about 55-65 minutes or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check it after about 40 minutes and if it is browning too quickly, tent it with tinfoil. Cool and remove from pans.

Glaze: Mix 2 cups powdered sugar with 2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice. Drizzle over the top of the cakes.