Friday, October 9, 2015

Vanilla / Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everybody has their favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Goodness, there are sure plenty of recipes to try til you find what is your personal favorite. These happen to be mine. They have a package of pudding added to the dough. What I like even better is the chocolate pudding added to make them double chocolate chip. Mmmm.

Cream together:
1 c. butter/hard margarine
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1- 4 serving pkg of instant vanilla pudding (or chocolate...;-)!!
Sift together:
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
Combine the ingredients, stir in about 1 c. chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. They must just be turning a slight color and look slightly under baked if you like them to be soft and chewy.

They girls whipped up two batches, one vanilla and one chocolate, and they turned the chocolate into a cookie cake and decorated it into a volley ball.....clever girls, and it looks great!
In order to make it into a cookie cake, just put the dough into a greased pizza pan and bake it for about 20 minutes. Let it cool completely and decorate it according to the occasion. It makes a good alternative to a birthday cake for a kids party.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pumpkin Surprise

The pumpkin pie consistency of this dessert really is a surprise. It's easy to make and a great alternative to pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving meal.

  • 1 Box yellow cake mix (without pudding)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) melted butter
  • 4 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 large can (29oz.) of pumpkin puree 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can evaporated milk (12oz.)
  • 3-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix and beat all ingredients except the cake mix, walnuts & butter.
  3. Pour into 9 x 13 greased pan.
  4. Mix cake mix with the walnuts.
  5. Sprinkle this mix evenly on top of the mix already in the pan.
  6. Drizzle the melted butter on top of this mix.
  7. Bake 60 to 75 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm or cold topped with whip cream or ice cream.
  9. Serves 12-16

The original recipe called for 1-1/2 cups of sugar. I cut down the sugar to 1 cup and substituted brown sugar for the white. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice you could use 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon cloves.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Orange Banana Bran Muffins

Mornings, coffee and muffins...I like 'em all.
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 orange, grated rind and juiced
  • buttermilk as needed
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts OR pecans (optional) 
  1. Cream butter, sugar and eggs until well combined
  2. Stir together flour, oat bran, baking powder and baking soda. 
  3. Grate rind off the orange. (try not to get any of the white pith as it adds a bitter taste)
  4. Cut orange in half and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. 
  5. Add buttermilk to the orange juice until liquid equals 3/4 cup.
  6. Mash bananas. 
  7. Add the dry ingredients, liquid mixture and mashed bananas to the creamed mixture. Stir just until mixed, and no dry ingredients are seen. Add nuts if using.
  8. Place batter into well greased or paper lined muffin tins, filling right to the top. (making 9 large muffins)
  9. Bake in 375ยบ oven for 25-20 minutes. Allow to rest in pan muffin tins for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pumpkin Waffles with Steamed Cinnamon Apples

If you love waffles like I do, you will find any excuse to tweak your regular recipe and this one may just be your perfect start to a Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup cooked pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
Steamed Apples:
  • 2 - 3 apples, cored and sliced thinly ( I use Gala with peel on)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Cook apples with butter, sugar and cinnamon on low/medium heat, stirring often,  for about 5 - 10  minutes, until tender. Keep warm on low heat.
  2. In the meantime, preheat waffle iron.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  4. Add buttermilk, pumpkin and eggs
  5. Beat with hand mixer until well blended. Let batter sit for one or two minutes.
  6. Scoop up (without stirring batter) about 3/4 cup batter and spread on hot waffle iron, leaving room to spread. (amount may vary depending on what kind of waffle iron is used) 
  7. Cook each waffle until waffle iron shows done. Carefully lift lid and remove waffles to rack in warm (200 F) oven until ready to serve.
  8. Serve with apples and a drizzle of maple syrup. Yields 5-6 round waffles
Also very good served with Judy's warm caramel bananas

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 - 3 medium bananas
Melt butter in saucepan, add sugar stirring until melted.
Stir in sour cream and cook one minute. 
Stir in sliced bananas and serve.

Note about oiling waffle irons: I've heard it said that you train your waffle iron in regard to oiling it. I don't normally oil mine as I don't wipe the inside after I use it. So do whatever you usually do.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Shrimp and Pesto Pizza

This simple Shrimp and Pesto pizza has become our new favourite.  It is easy to put together with the ingredients in the freezer and pantry.  

Make pizza dough ahead and portion it to freeze or store in the refrigerator for up to one week. 

We make this pizza on our Big Green Egg while we are camping or else on a pizza stone in the oven. Either way, it is a pizza you are bound to make again and again.

Pizza Dough  (enough for 3 - 4 pizzas)
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt  (if using fine grained table salt, reduce to 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
  • 5 cups flour
  1. Combine all ingredients but flour in a large bowl.  Add flour and stir together with a spoon and then use your hands when stirring gets too difficult.  Knead gently for a few minutes until all the flour is incorporated.  
  2.  Cover the dough lightly with plastic wrap in a large bowl.  Allow the pizza dough to rise for two hours and then refrigerate.  Be sure that the dough is covered with plastic wrap and a lose lid and none of the dough is exposed to air.  
  3. The pizza dough is ready to use after 24 hours.  You can use it after the first rise but the dough consistency and flavour is better when the dough has had a chance to age. 
  4. If after one week you have not used up all the dough, portion off the dough you have not used into freezer bags and freeze.  Simply thaw and roll dough out and top and allow to rise for an hour before baking.
  5. To bake, preheat oven or BBQ to 500 F.  Preheat pizza stone for 20 minutes and transfer topped pizza onto hot stone quickly with a pizza peel (sprinkled with cornmeal) or simply shape dough onto a pizza pan and top.  
Shrimp and Pesto Pizza
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 450 grams / 1 lb. frozen raw shrimp, peeled and tails removed (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  1. Combine mayonnaise,  Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic. Spread evenly over shaped pizza crust. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
  2. Arrange shrimp and small spoonfuls of pesto evenly over mayo base. 
  3. Bake or grill about 15 minutes.  Shrimp should be opaque and the crust should be lightly browned around the edges. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bread for the Journey

We often say, "I'll believe it when I see it."  But God says just the opposite...that we will see it when we believe it.  

True faith is finding certainty in uncertain territory. We step forward...toward what is not fully known or seen.  That is why it is called faith.

There are times we can't see what the road ahead looks like.  In may look like we are stepping off at the deep end. But faith is visualizing the future. It's believing it before it can be seen.  It is that first step into the unseen that proves we have faith. As we move forward we will see God open the way.

I was challenged by Hebrews 11:1 some weeks back...and have been thinking about it since.  If you are like me...fear often wins over faith.

Here's the challenge for me (and maybe for you) start moving even if I can't see what lies ahead and trust God!  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pie Crust Video Tutorial and Easy Peasy Apple Pie

Today's recipe post is brought to you by Anneliese and Lovella.

Is making a pie crust still a mystery for you?  Anneliese is showing just how easy it can be in her video at the bottom of this post along with a quick single crust recipe for you to try with Lovella's easy peasy apple pie.

I posted this recipe a long time ago on my personal blog long before MGCC was started.  I want to share it with you today because it is an easy pie everyone can make.  If you don't have time to make your own pastry, purchase a frozen crust and put this pie together in minutes. Apples are never better than this time of year so take advantage of this delicious pie.

  • 1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
  • 4-6 apples, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Fill unbaked pie shell with wedges of apples arranged in a concentric circle.
  3. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and drizzle evenly with whipping cream.
  4. Combine streusel ingredients with fingers or pastry cutter and drop evenly over apple filling.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes on bottom rack, reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue baking for 45 - 60 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  6. Let cool on wire rack and serve with ice cream.

Note from Anneliese:
for this single crust pie I mixed

  • a little less than 1 cup flour (14 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, 
  • 1/3 cup shortening 
  •  2 1/2 Tbsp cold water
When mixing a double crust, I like to use half butter and half shortening or lard.