Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms vs. Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms

My mom makes the BEST stuffed mushrooms, but her recipe calls for bacon so I haven't been able to eat them since I changed my diet.  Over the last year and a half, I have craved her stuffed mushrooms so I decided I had to create my own version.  I have to say I'm very happy with the recipe I came up with!  :)

I'll start with my mom's amazing recipe...



Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

1 16 oz. package of large, white mushrooms
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
6 strips fried bacon, crumbled
1 small chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wipe mushrooms with a damp towel.  Remove mushroom stems and reserve about 1/3 of the stems.  Place the mushroom caps on a large greased cookie sheet.  Fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove the crisp bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel to cool.  Chop the reserved mushroom stems, and then saute them in the bacon grease along with the chopped onion until tender.  Pour the sauteed mushroom stems and onion into a bowl with cream cheese. Crumble the bacon and add it to the cream cheese mixture along with salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  Once combined, spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
  

My Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms


1 16 oz. package large, white mushrooms
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wipe mushrooms with a damp towel.  Remove mushroom stems and reserve about 1/3 of the stems.  Place the mushroom caps on a large greased cookie sheet.  Chop the reserved mushroom stems, and then saute them in olive oil over medium heat along with the chopped onion and chopped jalapeno.  Saute until tender.  Pour the sauteed mushroom stems, onion and jalapeno into a bowl with cream cheese.  Add liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Once combined, spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and bake for approximately 20 minutes.


Monday, January 20, 2014

A Chocolate Lovers Dream Cake - Triple Chocolate Cake with Caramel Icing

As I've mentioned, Luke has a major sweet tooth!  Sunday afternoons are usually when I bake.  I find baking to be very therapeutic.  There's something about baking that always makes me feel better...even when I don't eat whatever I've baked.

Yesterday, I wasn't planning on baking anything because I'd spent the day running around, but Luke asked me to "please bake something".  So I made it easy on myself and used Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix, and I must say, it's delicious!  I added Heath English Toffee Bits to the cake mix.  YUM!

Triple Fudge Cake  

I beat the 1 1/4 cups water, 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 3 eggs into the cake mix as instructed on the cake box, and then stirred in about 3/4 cup of Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips and a bag of the Heath English Toffee Bits.  I poured the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish and then baked the cake as instructed on the box.

While the cake cooled, I started on the caramel icing.

Caramel Icing:

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Then whisk in the brown sugar.  Once incorporated, add milk and continue whisking until it comes to a boil.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool.  Once cooled, pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla extract.  Beat until combined.

I got the idea for this icing from the cooks.com website.  I added a little more of some of the ingredients to make it the way I wanted it to taste for this cake.

This is a thin icing but it's delicious.  It runs down the side of the cake...close enough to the way Luke wanted it.  He actually asked me to poke holes into the cake and then pour the icing over it.  I told him that wasn't necessary. ;)

This is how it turned out!




So YUMMY!!!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Sausage Biscuit"

As I've mentioned, I'm a pescatarian so sausage biscuits are not an option for me anymore.  I had always loved sausage biscuits, sausage balls, chili with sausage and dips with sausage so sausage is something I've actually missed.

One of my friends has high cholesterol (it runs in her family) so her doctor recommended that she limit the amount of meat she eats which has actually helped lower her cholesterol.  One afternoon, I was explaining to my friend that I had found alternatives to most meals/meats but I had not found an alternative for sausage.  Thank goodness for my friend!  She asked me if I'd tried the Morning Star Farms Original Sausage Patties.  I told her I hadn't tried them because I'd thought they'd be awful.  She told me I had to try them because they taste just like a real sausage patty and the texture is even like an actual sausage patty.  She was so right!!!


The "sausage patties" are such a treat for me!  For breakfast this week, I'm eating one "sausage patty" on half of a toasted, buttered whole wheat bagel.

The sausage patties are so easy to cook.  Just spray the skillet with cooking spray, then place the frozen sausage patty in the skillet and brown both sides.  Once both sides are browned, it's ready to eat!   I highly recommend you give these "sausage patties" a try.


Monday, January 13, 2014

There's nothing like homemade hot chocolate...

The weather was miserable here on Saturday.  It was so rainy.  It was one of those days where you just want to curl up at home in front of the fireplace, drink something warm and watch movies, and that's basically what we did. Of course, we included our dog, Izzy.   


I don't know the last time I had homemade hot chocolate.  I found this recipe online and it's truly amazing!  I don't think I can ever go back to hot chocolate mix now because this hot chocolate has me spoiled!  I got the recipe from this website www.momables.com and I've included the recipe below.


***I put a dollop of Kraft's Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme on ours which made it extra heavenly!***
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk (Dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture boils. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla; stir well. Serve immediately.



Friday, January 10, 2014

Chocolate Meringue Pie...delicious!

My grandmother (my Memaw) doesn't want a cake on her birthday...she wants Chocolate Meringue Pie.  I have to say, this pie is DELICIOUS!!

My Memaw's birthday is on New Year's Day.  My mom usually hosts my Memaw's birthday dinner, but I hosted her birthday dinner this year so it was my turn to make the delicious pie.  This is one pie you've got to try! :)


Chocolate pie filling:
3 tablespoons cocoa
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 eggs, separated
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 baked pie shell

Melt butter over low heat and then add the cocoa.  Whisk until the cocoa dissolves.  Once dissolved, whisk in the flour and sugar.  Separate the eggs (reserving the eggs whites for the meringue), beat the egg yokes and then whisk into the mixture quickly (so the eggs don't scramble).  Slowly add the milk and vanilla extract while continuing to whisk.  Turn the heat up to medium heat and whisk the mixture constantly until the chocolate thickens.  Once thickened, remove from heat.  Let it cool and then pour the chocolate into the baked pie crust.

Meringue:
3 eggs whites
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
A pinch of cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
A splash of white vinegar  (the white vinegar helps prevent the meringue from shrinking)

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy.  Continue beating the mixture while slowing adding the sugar.  Beat until soft peaks form and the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in vanilla extract and the white vinegar. .  Spread the meringue over the pie.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the meringue is light brown.  Let cool before serving.  I actually like to refrigerate the pie overnight before serving to make sure it's set.

I hope you enjoy the Chocolate Meringue Pie as much as we did!!
Monday, January 6, 2014

Roasted Brocolli & Cheese Soup-2 times

So I decided to make some soup because it's cold outside.  I On Saturday night we were going to have some soup due to nasty cold weather.  We got home from church a little too late so we decided to cook it on Sunday.  This was one of the better broccoli and cheese soups I have had.  Since one recipe called for a little bacon I decided that I would make a pot for myself and a pot for Jamie so that we would have leftovers for lunch.  I'll call the Bacon Version BBBC soup (bacon, bourbon, broccoli, cheese soup). 

Thank you to Closet Cooking in helping us warming up our cold winter days. With the bacon version I changed it up a bit but for the exact recipe here it is.  http://www.closetcooking.com/2010/03/broccoli-and-cheddar-soup.html

So lets get started...

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees....
I used 1 head/bunch of Broccoli and cut them into bite size pieces and mixed with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Bake broccoli in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  While you roast the broccoli, chop a medium onion....

You will want to sautee the onion for about 5-6 minutes... If you are using bacon, I would leave enough grease to sautee the onion. If you have some drippings in the bottom of the pan, just add some bourbon to the pan to deglaze   If you are making it without the bacon, use olive oil to sautee the onion. Once almost completed with the sautee of the onion chop up a clove or two of garlic.  Mince finely and drop that along with a tablespoon or more of chopped thyme in the pot.  Cook for about a minute or until you smell the aroma.

Add 3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock to the soup.  I used chicken stock with the Bacon version for mine and vegetable stock for Jamie's.  Add the roasted broccoli and bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 min.  Then puree the soup (leaving a few chunks of broccoli for texture).  Once pureed, add cheese (I used Sharpe Cheddar Cheese), about 2 cups or so... I like A LOT of cheese so if you want your soup thick, then just throw it in.

I then added about 6-8 oz of milk and then a tablespoon of ground mustard (which is option).  I topped the Bacon version with bacon.  Jamie added some crackers but a nice baguette or a piece of bread will go a long way.

For the Bacon Recipe: Get 3 or 4 pieces of Bacon and fry it up... Crumble/chop it up however you like you bacon.

The Bacon Version...


The Veggie Version...


Friday, January 3, 2014

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I made Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies earlier this week.  Luke said they were "amazing".  I have to say I thought they turned out yummy too. :)

Several years ago, I found a recipe for Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies on the Food Network website.  Over the years, I've made those cookies several times, and they're delicious!  However, this time I decided to add a few couple of changes to the recipe, and this is what I came up with...

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey's Natural Unsweetened Cocoa)
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I use JIF)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Stir the flour, salt and baking soda together in a bowl.  Then in a separate bowl, using a mixer, mix the butter, both sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, peanut butter and cocoa together.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Once combined, stir the chocolate chips into the mixture.  For each cookie, drop about 1 to 2 tablespoons of dough onto a greased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.  This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.



  
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I love appetizers/snack foods on New Years Eve.  One of my favorite dips was the melted Kraft Velveeta cheese with rotel tomatoes and hot (spicy) sausage, but since I don't eat sausage anymore, I can't eat my favorite dip anymore.  I was craving that dip last night so I decided I had to recreate it, and I think it turned out pretty good!  ;)

Recreated Queso Dip

1 16 oz. pkg. of Kraft Velveeta cheese
1 can Original Rotel
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 bag of Tostitos (Crispy Rounds are my favorite)

I cut the Velveeta cheese in cubes and then dropped them into the crockpot.  Then I poured the can of rotel tomatoes and the rinsed black beans into the crockpot.  I put the lid on and turned the crockpot on high.  I stirred the dip every 10 minutes to make sure everything was blended together.  After about 30 minutes, the dip was ready to eat.

 
Enjoy!
 
Happy New Year!!!

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