Monday, October 31, 2011

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I am so excited to begin posting my Holiday Recipes. I usually make the same Thanksgiving and Christmas feast every year. Basically because they have already been perfected and are delicious! But also because everyone in the family is all about traditions and if I did try to change it up, they’d have my head!
I have the best Holiday memories as a child! They all involve spending time with family. When I was a little girl we would go to my grandparent’s farm in central Nebraska. There was always snow, Christmas music, decorations and lights, fun and games, lots of laughter, snow angels and forts, long walks in the cold, sitting by the fire, bedtime stories and goodies and lots and lots of amazing food! The house was full of aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, parents, grandparents and neighbors. My grandmother always presented an amazing feast on a lovely formal set table. I still don’t know how one woman did it all!
The memories we make today aren’t the same, but just as precious! Superman and I both go crazy over the Holidays and love creating a magical experience for our little family! With keeping in mind the real reason we celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Ah, sweet potatoes….you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. In our family it’s pretty much divided evenly…well, especially if you open a can throw them in a dish with butter brown sugar and marshmallows. But since I have been making these lovely Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes, I’m seeing more converts!  Sweet Potatoes are healthy for you and very flavorful…give these a good try!

(6 – 8 servings)

4 small – medium sweet potatoes, washed and dried
1 cup sour cream, I use fat free
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
Handful pecans (optional)
Handful mini-marshmallows (optional)

Heat oven to 400. Poke the sweet potatoes with a fork a couple of times and then set on the rack in the oven and bake for 1 hr. When done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool enough for you to cut them in half length-wise and scoop out the sweet potato goodness while leaving the skin in tact. In a small bowl combine the sweet potato insides, the sour cream, maple syrup and cinnamon. Spoon or pipe into the hallowed potato skins and top with pecan or marshmallow and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 15 minutes or until the pecan or marshmallows are golden brown.


Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chicken Enchilladas

WARNING: Your skinny jeans will not fit the day after eating these! But they are so good!
If you're not familiar with chilies...don't let the green chilies scare you away...they are not hot at all...they just provide a nice little kick. My 3 year old Princess and 5 year old Warrior eat these up like crazy!

Mine are served up with cilantro rice, re-fried beans, sour cream, guacamole, and balsamic reduction.

3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese, room temp
12 small flour tortillas
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 - 7oz can green chilies
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour

Heat oven to 350. In a medium saucepan add butter and flour and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and milk. Allow to thicken slightly, turn heat off and add green chilies and paprika. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine chicken, chopped onion, cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1 cup of the sauce. Mix well. Stir the sour cream into the remaining sauce.
Scoop 1/4 cup chicken mixture on top each tortilla and roll closed. Place the sealed side down in a 9x13 pan.  Pour the sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle whith the remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

I'm just going to be honest with you...loosen your belt and enjoy!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting

The best Pumpkin bars ya every had? Yep, right here! The cinnamon browned butter cream cheese frosting takes the cake! If you never ate frosting by the spoonful yet, you will today! You're not seeking for a hint of pumpkin flavor, their bursting with it! Plus their moist and soft. And did I mention the frosting? Oh, I did?'s...let's just say... OH MY! These babies are good!


1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 cup flour
1 ½ cup sugar
¾ cup oil
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cloves

Cinnamon Browned Butter Frosting
½ cup butter
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
3 – 4 cups powdered sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon

Heat oven 350. In a small bowl combine flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. In a another bowl, whisk eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin and mix well. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until well combined. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake about 30 minutes.

Now for the amazing frosting! In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Continue to let butter cook until golden brown and a light nutty aroma. Allow to cool. Once it’s about room temp, beat with cream cheese, cinnamon and powdered sugar and spread over cooled bars. Refrigerate for easier cutting.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Quiche

Pictures are awful...Recipe is divine!

One of my favorite party foods is spinach artichoke dip. Especially my sweet friend Kendra's recipe! But can you eat it for breakfast? Quiche! Genius! Why I haven't seen it before? It's amazing! Go ahead...give it a try!


1 prepared pie crust
9 oz frozen spinach, thawed and juice squeezed from it
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup swiss cheese, chopped or shredded
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 glove garlic, miced

Heat oven to 350. Evenly spread spinach, artichokes, cheeses and garlic in the prepared pie crust. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and milk. Pour into pie crust. Loosely cover the quiche with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until eggs are completely cooked.
Slice, serve and enjoy!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Everyone needs a good go-to sugar cookie recipe! Especially with Christmas around the corner. I made these star cookies as part of the Warriors Super Mario Birthday Party. In half of them I baked them with a lollipop stick and used them as toppers for the cupcakes! They turned out super cute!


3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 Tbl Vanilla
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well, scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure they get mixed in well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, cover and chill in the refrigerator. I like to chill my dough before working with it, it makes it easier. I usually make the dough the night before and bake it the next day.

Heat oven to 350. flour a clean working space and flatten one of the cookie dough balls onto the surface. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough about 1/4" think. cut into desired shapes and bake on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie.

4 cups  powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temp
5 - 7 Tbl milk
1 Tbl vanilla
food coloring

In a large mixing bowl cream butter. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and one Tbl of milk at a time. For a piping consistency make the frosting a slightly thinner with more milk. For a spreading consistency make the frosting slightly thicker with less milk. Frost cooled cookies.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The warrior turned five on this past Saturday. I still can not believe that my sweet little guy is five. I am so thankful to be his mom! I just wish that my days with my kids would slow down, I love to savor every precious moment with them.

Anyway, the birthday warrior knew exactly what kind of cake he wanted. My Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Filling, and chocolate frosting.


1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
3 - 4 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly beat in cocoa powder and powdered sugar. You can add milk tablespoon at a time to adjust the consistency of the frosting or adjust the amount of powdered sugar.

This is a great recipe because you can pipe it or spread it.



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Super Mario Party for a Warrior

The Warrior turned 5 last week and we celebrated the exciting occasion with a SUPER MARIO birthday Party! It's hard to find Mario Bros stuff but we had a ton of fun and the kids loved the theme! The Birthday boy and his friends are still talking about the party! And with over 20 kids...I'm still recovering! It was so worth it though!


60 brown balloons filled with chocolate gold coins!

Yoshi's Egg's Filled with more candy!
Bouncy House!
Even a couple moms and dads tried it out...too bad I didn't' get any pictures of it!
I was horrible at getting pictures taken this party...with over 20 kids running around...I was a little preoccupied!  NOT PICTURED - Crescent Wrapped lil Smokies
White Chocolate Cupcakes and Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Stars Sugar Cookies and Coin dipped Oreo Cookies
Havarti and Gruyere Roast Beef  Sliders
Chicken and Broccoli pockets
Fruit, potato chips and French Onion Dip
Veggies and Dill Dip

  The 'Stache!

Happy Birthday Warrior! I'm glad you had the best day!

Apple Crisp Cheesecake Bars

 These sweet and savory desserts are the perfect combination of cheesecake and apple crisp! No more trying to decide which desert to try…here you have two in one! Thank you Jo for letting us and at least 40 of our friends come pick apples at your beautiful place! You are the sweetest most generous gal I know! This was dessert #1 from the apple picking!

2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup frozen butter

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped
3 Tbl sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg

Crisp Topping
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup quick cooking oats
½ cup butter, room temp
1 tsp cinnamon

Heat Oven to 350. Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix flour and powdered sugar. Grate (just like you would shred cheese) frozen butter and mix it in with the flour mixture, with your fingers, until well combined (Or you can add all 3 ingredients to a food processor and mix well). Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese for about 1 minute then add the sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add eggs one at a time mixing well between each add. Pour over the crust.

In another bowl, add chopped apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon over cheesecake mixture.

Crisp Topping
I just use the empty apple bowl and add all the crisp ingredients and combine with a fork or my fingers. Sprinkle over the apples.

Bake 40-45 minutes. Refrigerate until completely cool.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Haystacks

Don't these just look like fall and trips to the pumpkin patch and hayrack rides? I think so too! And I was lucky to find White Chocolate M&M's to use as my mix-in! Perfect little treat for the kids! I'm sure the Princess's preschool teachers were happy about all tiny chocolate fingers in the class!



1 cup Chocolate Chips
1 ½ cups Butterscotch Chips
1 bag Chinese Noodles
1 cup mix-in (M&M’s, marshmallows, peanuts)

Pour both chips in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 30 sec increments until completely melted.
Add noodles. Stir until the noodles are completely coated.
Add “mix-in” and stir. 

Scoop 1 TBL balls onto waxed paper or parchment paper until set. 
Lick fingers and enjoy!