Chocolate Crackles

28 12 2011

So I am pretty sure that most people are in a sugar comma with all the sweets that they consumed during Christmas. I knew it was coming so I made sure to plan ahead. Instead of baking all my sweets I made a batch at a time and once they were gone waited a few days and made the next batch. This way my small little family of four didn’t consume quite as much and the cookies or treats didn’t go bad before we ate them all.  These are one of my favorites and my husband describes them as little brownies in the cookie form and rolled in powdered sugar. Super simple to make and chocolaty and chewy.


Chocolate Crackles

~ 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces

~ 1 cup brown sugar, packed

~ 1/3 cup salad oil

~  2 eggs

~ 1 tsp. vanilla

~ 1 cup flour

~ 1 tsp. baking powder

~ 1/4 tsp. salt

~ 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional

~ powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup)

1. Melt chocolate. Combine with sugar and oil. Add eggs on at a time; beat well. Add vanilla.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture. Stir in nuts. Chill dough.

3. Drop teaspoonful’s of dough in powdered sugar and roll to coat. Place on greased cookie sheet or baking mat. Bake at 350 oven 10-12 minutes. Cool on rack.

Makes 4 dozen.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Chocolate Crackles

Bacon, Cheese & Potato Soup

27 12 2011

I am a big fan of soup. A good bowl of soup can make my day so warm and especially during these colder winter months. I have a few favorite soup recipes but this one is one of the easier recipes. To save your self time you can use frozen southern-style hash browns. But we had several bags of potatoes at our house so I opted to use fresh ones. If you like your soup thinner just add a bit more milk to thin it out.


Bacon, Cheese & Potato Soup

~ 3 cups milk

~ 1 can condensed cream of potato soup

~ 2 cups shredded potatoes, fresh or frozen

~ 2 cups Cheddar Cheese

~ 4 slices bacon, cooked, and crumbled

~ 1-2 green onions, for garnish

Mix milk and soup in large saucepan. Stir in shredded potatoes. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese and bacon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with green onions, bacon, cheese, or sour cream.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Bacon, Cheese & Potato Soup

Cream Cheese-Bacon Crescents

21 12 2011

In my house I know that if I made anything with bacon or serve Crescent rolls it will be a hit. Combine them together with a bit of cream cheese and you have not only a great appetizer but a crowd pleaser as well.

These went together super fast and my kids loved them. When your kids will eat them you know you have a winner! These would make a great appetizer for a Christmas party, New Year’s Eve party, potluck, or just to have with your dinner! Enjoy!


Cream Cheese- Bacon Crescents

~ 1 tub (8 oz.) chive & Onion Cream Cheese

~ 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I just bout real bacon pieces)

~ 2 cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1. Preheat oven to 375o F.

2. Mix cream cheese and bacon until well blended.

3. Separate each can of dough into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise in half. Spread each dough triangle with 1 generous teaspoon cream cheese mixture. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle. Place point side down, on baking sheet.

4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Cream Cheese-Bacon Crescents

Grilled Carrots with Honey Balsamic Glaze

20 12 2011

My husband decided that he wanted to barbecue the carrots we got from our basket this last week. I was a but unsure about the end result because I have never had nor seen anyone barbecue carrots. This is now my favorite way to cook and enjoy carrots. They were so tender and the Honey Balsamic Glaze was incredible. You must give this a try!


Grilled Carrots with Honey Balsamic Glaze

~ 6 carrots

~ 1/8 cup Balsamic vinegar

~ 1/8 cup Honey

1. Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl, whisk to combine and then set aside.

2. Peel and trim the carrots. Then slice then in half horizontally.

3. Put the carrots in a ziplock bag and seal, leaving about an inch unsealed. Cook carrots on high in the microwave for 2 minutes, or until they are slightly flexible. This shortens their grilling time greatly.

4. Grill the carrots on a medium-high grill for 3 minutes. Flip then over, brush them with the glaze and continue grilling another 3 minutes. Remove from the grill and brush them with the glaze.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Grilled Carrots with Honey Balsamic Glaze

Thumbprint Cookies

19 12 2011

These are one of my absolute favorite cookies. I remember as a young girl making these to enter into Girl Scout Baking competitions. I would have to make them all by myself, with no help from an adult. They were so fun to make and the earned me a blue ribbon as well.

This recipe comes from the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook. This is a cookbook that I remember my mom cooking from as a kid and when I got married she got it for us as well. Lots of great recipes inside, but again this is my favorite.


Thumbprint Cookies

~ 1/2 cup soft shortening

~ 1/4 cup brown sugar

~ 1 egg yolk (save the egg white for later)

~ 1/2 tsp. vanilla

~ 1 cup flour

~ 1/4 tsp. salt

~ 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

~ 1 egg white

~ favorite jelly (I use raspberry)

1. Preheat oven to 375 o F.

2. Mix together thoroughly shortening, brown sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Sift together the flour and salt and then stir into the mixture.

3. Roll into 1 inch balls. Dip in slightly beaten egg whites. Roll in finely chopped nuts. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Quickly press thumb gently on top of each cookie. Return to oven and bake 8 minutes longer.

4. Remove from oven and place in each thumbprint a teaspoon full of jelly then cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen 1 1/2 inch cookies.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Thumbprint Cookies

What was in those baskets on December 17th

18 12 2011

This was our last basket of 2011. Due to the way the holidays have fallen over the next few weeks Bountiful Baskets won’t run again until January 7th. So make sure to get on and get your basket on January 2nd. I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and we will see you in 2012!


This weeks basket had corn, carrots, celery, butter lettuce, potatoes, avocado, pears, watermelon, grapes, bananas, and oroblanco grapefruit.

If you are looking for a warm soup during these colder months try the Corn Chowder. It will use your corn, potatoes, and if you have frozen bell peppers from previous baskets. If you still have some carrots left over try Cracker Barrel Baby Carrots.

I am a big fan of potatoes and prepared in almost any form so try Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Parmesan Roasted Potatoes, Onion Roasted Potatoes, Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Cheesy Potato Cakes or my favorite Smashed Hot Potatoes.

The Butter lettuce works great for making lettuce wraps and they also will use some of your carrots. These are always a hit in our house.

For the avocado you can make Guacamole or this awesome black bean, corn, and avocado dip. Both would be great at any holiday gathering.

Happy Holidays!

Simmering Spices

16 12 2011

I love the smells of the holidays. Cinnamon, baking cookies, allspice and cloves, a fresh Christmas tree. All things that make my house smell yummy and festive. I have seen many people post about making simmering spices of the years and I have always wanted to give it a try. But when you aren’t home much there wasn’t much of a reason. This year was the year and I was so happy I did it. It made my house smell great and it was very simple. You just through all the ingredients in a pot, cover with water and simmer on your stove.


~ 8 black peppercorns

~ 6 whole allspice

~ 8 whole cloves

~ 2 cinnamon sticks

~ 1 whole orange peel

~ water

Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Add water as needed throughout the day.

Teriyaki Pineapple Turkey Burgers

14 12 2011

I was recommended this recipe by Healthy Moms Kitchen and since I had a pineapple from my basket this week I made a few changes and had a great meal. The original recipe comes from The Food Network. Instead of using a can of pineapple slices I sliced my pineapple and followed the recipe as is.


Teriyaki Pineapple Turkey Burgers

~ 1 can Pineapple Slices

~ 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

~ 2 lbs. ground turkey or chicken

~ 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

~ 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

~ 8 hamburger buns

~ 8 slices Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese

1. Drain pineapple, reserve 1/2 cup of juice. Reserve 2 pineapple slices for snack or other use.

2. Stir together teriyaki sauce and reserved pineapple juice in small bowl.

3. Mix together ground turkey, ginger, bread crumbs and 1/4 cup teriyaki mixture. Shape into 8 patties

4. Grill patties, brushing with remaining teriyaki mixture, until brown and cooked through. Place pineapple slices on grill and cook until lightly golden brown.

5. Serve burgers on buns with cheese and pineapple.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Teriyaki Pineapple Turkey Burgers

Squeeze Santa’s Cheeks for a Kiss . . .

12 12 2011

As I was digging through a box of ornaments I discovered a bunch of older ornaments that I had gotten over the years from family members. I found one in particular that my grandma had made me that was a Santa. Attached to him was a tag that read “If you squeeze my cheeks I’ll give you a Kiss. . .” Once you squeeze Santa’s cheeks his mouth opens up to reveal a Hershey’s Kiss.


I thought that this was a super cute idea and so after looking mine over I figured out how to make them. Now I am in a hurry to get enough made for my daughter’s preschool class. She is super excited to hand then out at school. They don’t require much and they go together with out much of a headache.


First you need the plastic canvas. I was super surprised to find it at the only store in town, the local Wal-Mart. Once you have the plastic canvas you need to have 3 squares that are 10 by 10.


Start by taking one of your 10 by 10 squares and using white yarn stitch diagonally from top to bottom. I also leave a pretty long tail at the beginning so that I can use that later to stitch the pieces together. When you are done the front and the back should look the same. Side note: I used a tapestry needle so that the yarn was easier to get through the holes.


Put that piece to the side and now we are going to work on the back of Santa’s head. To do this you will again use white yarn and stitch diagonal over half of the plastic canvas. Since you are working diagonally you will get a zig zag pattern


Next get some red yarn and stitch across the top of the white in the opposite direction. Again I left a long tail once I was done so that I could use it to stitch the pieces together.


Now it is time to work on the final piece, Santa’s face. First I start off with white and stitch 3 high along the bottom of the square.


Then using some flesh colored or tan yarn stitch along the middle.


Next use red yarn and stitch along the top for his hat. After I got done with the hat I run my yarn under the back and do the mouth and nose before finishing off my thread.


Now for the eyes. A little bit of black yarn for the eyes.


To do the puff on the top of Santa’s hat I just made two stitches that I didn’t pull all the way tight. After they were secured I then messed with them a tried to pull the yarn apart a bit.


So now you should have three pieces that like like the ones above. Now comes the fun part, stitching them together.


I start with the red part of the hat. Place the back and front of Santa’s head wrong sides together and using the tail you left out begin stitching them together. Once you get all the way around weave your yarn under on the wrong side and secure.


Now it is time to start stitching on the bottom of Santa’s head. Using the tail that you left stitch the back of Santa’s head to the all white piece. Make sure you only stitch those two pieces together and not stitching the front together.

_DSC2218 So that you don’t have rough edges from the plastic canvas finish the mouth off by stitching around the edges. Make sure you don’t stitch these together or else you won’t be able to open Santa’s mouth. Once your done run your yarn under the wrong side and secure.


Now that your done, all you have to do is stuff with Kisses and squeeze Santa’s cheeks for a Kiss!


Below is the printable tags to attach to the top of Santa’s head. Happy crafting!

Squeeze Santa’s cheeks Tag

What was in those baskets on December 10th?

10 12 2011

This was our first week at a new site and things ran so smooth. We really do have a great group of volunteers that are awesome. This week we also had a group of new volunteers that were a big help! Thanks for all you do to make this work in our community.


This weeks basket had bananas, pears, avocados, apples, lettuce, grapes, asparagus, butternut squash, cucumbers, bell peppers, and a pineapple.

I was super excited to see asparagus in my basket this week. It is one of my favorite veggies. My two favorite ways to prepare it is Oven Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus. Another great dish is Balsamic Asparagus Chicken. This recipe isn’t for those of you who aren’t fond of Balsamic Vinegar.

Apples are something that my house goes in cycles with. Sometimes they are devoured in a few days, other times I have to get creative with how I prepare them. This fruit dip recipe is a great way to eat apples. You can also try making Baked Apple Crisps or Pan Fried Park Chops with Glazed Apples.

We got so many bananas in our basket this week that I will defiantly have to make some banana bread with a few of them. Both the Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread and the Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, and White Chocolate Chip Bread are delicious.

Some other great recipes to use up some of your bountiful basket are Greek Chicken Wraps, Greek Salad, Chipotle Shredded Pork Enchiladas, Tomato and Basil Bruschetta, Guacamole, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Taco Salad.

Remember that next week will be the last week for bountiful baskets this year. Then there will be a 2 week break and we will be up and running the first Saturday in January. Enjoy your basket and let me know what your making.

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