Sunday, January 31, 2010

Premium Stuffed French Toast

butter, optional.

Take first slice of warm French Toast and spread generous layer of cream over it. Butter top side only of second slice of French Toast and place on top of first slice. Dust with powdered sugar. Top with Fresh Berry Sauce. Enjoy!

*for my french toast mixture, I use about 6 eggs, 2 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk together and now you are ready to dip your bread and cook over heated griddle. about 4-6 servings.

Fresh Berry Sauce

I use this "sauce" over pancakes, waffles, french toast, crepes, shortcake, ice cream, etc.

1 C fresh berries
1/4 C sugar, more or less to taste

(If using strawberries, it helps to quarter them first.)

Add berries and sugar to bowl. Using a potato masher (or "heel" of plastic cup) lightly mash berries and sugar together until you reach desired consistency. The sauce should still have plenty of berry chunks in it.

Vanilla Cream Filling

I use this filling on fruit pizza, for Premium Stuffed French Toast, as a cream layer in a trifle, in crepes, on strawberry shortcake, and sometimes in place of frosting on a cooled cake.

1 1/2 C cold milk
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened

Pour milk into small mixing bowl. Whisk pudding mix into milk until well blended. Refrigerate five minutes. Next, beat in cream cheese, a little at a time. Beat until well blended and creamy. Chill until ready to use.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fruit Pizza

I prefer this pudding base as opposed to the more common "frosting" base. It's more of a fruit tart this way too! I like that I can reduce the sugar & fat by using SF pudding mix, low fat milk, & fat free cream cheese.

1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 C cold milk
1 - 8 oz cream cheese, softened
Fruit- fresh strawberries, blueberries, black berries, kiwi, mandarin oranges (drained), etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray pan with cooking spray. Divide the cookie dough into equal sized "blobs" and space even on cookie tray. Using rolling pin or palm of hands, start to work the dough together, forming one large cookie crust. The more you work with it the easier it will spread. Once the crust is spread to the edges, place pan in oven and bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely. In small mixing bowl combine pudding mix and milk. Let set up about 5 minutes. Add chunks of cream cheese and then beat until smooth and creamy. On cooled crust spread cream topping. Arrange fruit into any desired pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Cold Veggie Pizza

*Not to be confused with a "Vegetarian Pizza". This is merely a light crescent roll based, vegetable topped snack, appetizer or even lunch! We love this at our house for a nice light meal. We might pair it with something like soup or little smokies. Of course we always finish up with "Fruit Pizza!"

2 packages refrigerated Crescent roll dough
1/2 C sour cream
1 - 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
chopped veggies (broccoli, onion, peppers, carrots, etc.)
3-4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)
1 C Shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack Cheese

Let cream cheese set at room temperature. Preheat oven according to package directions (usually 375). Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray. Unroll crescent roll dough and place on pan. Using fingertips, gently work dough triangles together to form one big crust. Using fork, lightly punch holes about an inch apart all over crust (to prevent air pockets). Bake crust 10-12 minutes or until a light golden brown. Be careful not to overbake. Let cool completely before building your "pizza". In small mixing bowl combine sour cream, cream cheese and seasonings. Spread over cooled crust. Top with chopped veggies and then bacon and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve cold.

Mac & Cheese Toast

Found this lovely little shaker jar of "Macaroni & Cheese, Cheese Topping" on sale for a dollar like forever ago. I bought one. Didn't know if I'd ever used but, for $1...

I discovered, that it has a good long shelf life! I finally opened that bad boy up the other day for a very cheap version of Texas Toast! My kids LOVED it!!!

Sliced Bread
Butter or margarine
Garlic Powder
Mac & Cheese, Cheese Topping

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Place single layer of bread slices on pan. Butter top sides of bread generously. Dust lightly with garlic powder, followed by a sprinkling of the cheese topping. Place in warm oven. Check after about 10 minutes. Should be lightly toasted. Serve warm.

Supper Skillet

1 medium onion chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 bell pepper or other veggies as desired
4 medium red potatoes, chopped and steamed
salt and pepper to taste
other seasonings as desired (basil, chili powder, smoked paprika, etc.)
1 C shredded Cheddar (or cubed Velveeta)
3-4 eggs, prepared to liking

Lightly spray skillet with cooking spray. Saute onion and garlic. Add meat and brown, stirring often. Add in other chopped peppers or vegetables, and continue to stir fry over low-med heat. Steam potatoes in covered microwave-safe dish or in microwave steamers bags. Add to skillet, along with additional seasonings, stirring occasionally. Add cheese and stir frequently to melt. In separate frying pan, prepare eggs as desired (scrambled, sunny-side up, etc.) You can either serve eggs over the skillet or fold in.

*shown here with Mac& Cheese Toast

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seasoned Potatoes (EASY)

First of all, let me just say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE these handy steamer bags for the microwave. Both GLAD and ZIPLOC have them, and for me, with my busy schedule, I think they are worth every penny. My kids can also use them to "cook" their veggies.

4 or 5 medium red potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 packet Onion Soup Mix (Lipton works, but I get these generics for $.29 a piece)

Wash and cut potatoes into bit-sized pieces. Place in steamer bag. Add about 2 Tbsp olive oil. Seal bag and turn several times to coat well. Open bag and sprinkle soup mix over potatoes. Reseal bag, and toss again to coat. Place in microwave and heat following times on bag.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Magic Bars

Ok - so I was over visiting A Duck in Her Pond recently as she was posting her version of these...what she calls "Hello Duckies". She knew that I have been sort of feeling down in the dumps lately, so she said I should make myself some of these little bars of ooey-gooey-goodness. That is one smart duckie, I tell ya!

I think almost everyone has their own variation of these bars. Some are called 7-layer bars (7 ingredients), other call them "Hello Dollies"/"Hello Dollys", and some - like me - call them "Magic Bars." Some people use walnuts, some peanuts, others pecans, whereas I prefer slivered almonds or chopped macadamias. You could substitute peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch, etc. And finally, the other main difference I notice is that some recipes call for the milk to be spread over the crust while others are poured on last.

No matter how you make these luscious little goobers, they are ALL good. Really - you can't go wrong - as long as you don't burn them! lol!

Okay, Okay... enough torture. Without further adieu... Magic Bars!

1 pkg Graham Cracker Squares, crushed (about 20 squares), a little more if desired
1/2 C butter, melted (1 stick)
1 C chopped nuts
1 C flaked Coconut
1 C Chocolate Chips
1 C Butterscotch Chips
1 - 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 lightly with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. In bottom of pan mix together graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Work and spread to form crust. Then add a single layer of all remaining dry ingredients, spreading them evenly throughout. Finally, top with sweetened condensed milk; spread evenly and press down with fork. Bake at 350 degrees 20-25 minutes or until top is slightly golden. Let cool before cutting into squares. Store in airtight container.

*For thin bars (as seen here) use 9x13 pan. For medium bars use 8x10 and for thick bars, 8x8.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dress-Up Brownies

Don't get me wrong... fudge brownies are awesome -- especially when I can buy the mixes of the Family Size on sale for $.99! But sometimes, even brownies can use a little "dressing up". Try these for a special occasion or party. So simple and yet they look "fancy" (if a brownie can ever look as such).

1 brownie mix
eggs, oil, water - according to package directions
creamy white frosting or Glazed Icing

Mix and bake brownie mix according to package directions. Let cool. If using store-bought frosting, heat in microwave about 15 seconds and stir well. Otherwise, follow Glazed Icing recipe above. Using a knife, drizzle the glaze in a criss-cross pattern over brownies. Let set. I like to cut these into big squares, and then again diagonally. Enjoy!

p.s. = my middle son says these remind him of "brownie oreos" - lol!