Thursday, June 27, 2013

S'mores Stackers

Summer time seems synonymous with being outdoors and eating s'mores to me.  A campfire isn't always readily available but recreating the flavors is easy with these cookies.  They are basically a chocolate chip cookie with graham cracker crumbs added. While the cookies are still warm I spread them with some Marshmallow Fluff and sandwich two of them along with half a Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar. Yummm! Today I want to wish a very Happy 13th Birthday to our Luke! Love you!


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups Mini Hershey’s Kisses (or chocolate chips)
7 oz. jar Marshmallow Fluff
Hershey Bars broken in half


Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Add the chocolate and stir to combine.

Place large sized scoops (3 T) of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes and then turn over and place half of a Hershey's Bar on half of the cookies. Scoop a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff on top of the chocolate and top with a second cookie.

Adapted from Kevin and Amanda

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Provence Pork

This meal is big in flavor but not on preparation making it a great combination in my book!  If you don't eat pork, this works equally well with turkey.  The star is the Herbes de Provence* seasoning which can be found in most supermarkets these days.  Otherwise it can be ordered online from places such as Williams-Sonoma or Penzeys. The smell and taste of the seasoning will have you awaiting the timer on your oven. 


1 lb. pork tenderloin
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Herbes de Provence
1 tsp. kosher salt


Remove meat from refrigerator. Rinse and pat dry. Place on baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Pour olive oil over pork and rub all over tenderloin coating entirely. Sprinkle evenly all over with seasoning and salt. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. By the time your oven has preheated, the pork should have been sitting out for at least 20 minutes which is good - it allows for the seasonings to soak in a little and the meat to come to room temperature before baking. Bake for 20-30 minutes until cooked to proper temperature of 145°F internally. Remove from oven and allow meat to sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

*My favorite brand is from Williams-Sonoma (comes in a cute little french clay crock even). It is described as a blend of Italian herbs with fennel and lavender (don't be thrown by those last two - I promise this is an amazing taste if you've never had it before). 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cookie Cake

The birthday girl from yesterday took a treat in to school for her lunch table last week.  Instead of heading to the mall for a cookie cake, I made one instead. Of course I had to make two so that everyone at home could have some too, because when the smells of cookies baking waft throughout the house, people expect something to eat when they follow their noses into the kitchen. ☺


3/4 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. dark brown sugar
1/4 C. sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/4 C. chocolate chips or other mix in (M&M's, Reese's Pieces, Sprinkles, etc.)


Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 9" square pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla until combined. Slowly add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips (or other item of choice). Press dough evenly into prepared pan and bake for 16 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown. Do not over bake (you don't want to have to cut a cracker). Let cookie cool completely in pan. Frost as desired.

Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Birthday Buffet

15 years ago today we became a family of four (we have since added two more kids, but I'm talking about a specific date here).  Our second daughter was born in the wee hours of the  morning. She enjoys my baking and cooking and this year came up with a 4 page list (large font!) of potential menu items for breakfast, lunch and dinner the day of her birthday.
She also had an itinerary for the day in the 4 pages so it wasn't all food, but I joked with her that what food she did have listed was enough for a "Birthday Buffet" for a huge group not a family of 6 ☺. Her breakfast requests were my Crescent Cinnamon RollsMix-In Muffins with chocolate chips and Poppy Seed Bread.  I managed to have her narrow it down to Cinnamon Rolls since we will be having this S'mores cake later today. (I will post the recipe soon. )
Lunch was simple enough - French Bread sandwiches and fruit.  Dinner options were Chicken Parmesan, Meatball Subs, Meatloaf, Chicken Noodle Soup, Lemon Piccata Chicken, Pesto Pasta, Homemade Pizza, Pepperoni Roll and Steak Salad. We will have to see what we end up eating. Maybe this will be my menu plan for the week . . . Happy Birthday, Marshmallow! I love you to the moon and back ;)

Friday, April 26, 2013

French Style Bread

This bread is to good to eat and not difficult  to make. It does take some time, but you can do in between laundry or other things you're doing around the house. There is nothing like the smell of bread baking in the oven and the taste is hard to beat! Butter will melt on a warm slice of this bread and warm your mouth and heart when you take a bite.  If you have any leftover, it makes great toast or panini sandwich bread.


2 T. yeast
2 1/2 C. warm water
7 C. flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. salt
1 egg


In a large mixing bowl mix yeast, water and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add in 2 cups of flour and salt and stir together, then add rest of flour. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let rise until double (1 hour or so). Grease cookie sheet. Punch down bread and knead one minute. Divide in two. Roll each piece into a rectangle and then roll up jelly roll style. Place seam side down on cookie sheet and make several evenly spaced shallow cuts diagonally in the top of each loaf. Let rise until double (about 30 minutes). Before baking brush with egg wash. Place pan of hot water on lower shelf of oven. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until bread gives a hollow sound when tapped.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pumpkin Bread

I've been making this pumpkin bread for years. I've been eating pumpkin bread for even longer. My grandma made a glazed pumpkin bread that had a lot of spices in it. It was very good and perhaps another time I'll post that recipe. This recipe is subtle and more simple. It was requested by our oldest today for her birthday breakfast. She looks forward to the fall and being able to order a slice of Pumpkin Bread at Starbucks along with a Pumpkin Spice Latte (an ideal breakfast!). Happy Birthday, K! Love you ☺ 


1 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
2 eggs
1 C. canned pumpkin (puree, not pie filling)
1/3 C. water
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin and water until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together and slowly add to first mixture. Mix just until thoroughly combined. Pour into greased 9" x 5" loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blue Cheese Dressing

If you like blue cheese, you should try making this dressing some time. It mixes up in minutes and is so easy to make. We go through a batch every time I make it! (This is a favorite recipe in our house.) We like it as a dip for vegetables and homemade chicken nuggets as well (especially if covered in Buffalo Hot Sauce). If you don't have red wine vinegar, cider vinegar will work, it might taste a little more tangy. You may want to use half vinegar and half milk.


8 oz. sour cream
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
2 - 3 T. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper


Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Smash blue cheese as you mix dressing.  If dressing is too thick, thin by adding vinegar or milk one tablespoon at a time and stir until desired consistency. Store in refrigerator.