Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Grandma's Frozen Strawberry Pecan Sandie Dessert

My beloved Grandma Hutch recently passed away at the age of 97. She lived a long and beautiful life. She was the last of my living Grandparents and her passing in the same year that I will give birth to my first baby is surely not a coincidence. In honor of my Grandma, I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite recipes of hers. Grandma made this Frozen Strawberry Pecan Sandie Dessert especially for me all throughout my childhood. 
I have always loved strawberry desserts but this one, because it was made with love by my Grandma, is very special to me. When my Mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago we made it together and reminisced about the wonderful woman my Grandma was and how much we will miss her. This recipe will be one that I will make for my children and someday  for my grandchildren and when they eat it I will share with them memories of my loving Grandma Hutch.
Grandma's Frozen Strawberry Pecan Sandie Dessert
Printable Version
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is best)
1 10 ounce container of frozen strawberries, thawed slightly in the refrigerator
3 egg whites
1 8 ounce container of Cool Whip
1 package of Keebler Pecan Sandies
4 tablespoons melted butter
Crush 2/3 of the cookies and mix them in a large bowl with the melted butter. Press them into an even layer in the bottom of an ungreased 9X13 pan. Beat sugar, lemon juice, strawberries, and egg whites for 8 minutes on high speed. The mixture will become thick and fluffy. 
Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over the cookie crust in the pan and spread with a spoon. Crush the remaining cookies and spread over the strawberry fluff. Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight and serve frozen to eat.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homemade French Onion Dip

I had been eyeing this dip from Pinterest for a while because it was touted "the best chip dip ever". When my Mom and brother came to visit a couple of weeks I decided it was time to whip it up. It is a homemade, much much better, and highly addictive version of the French Onion dip that comes in a tub from the grocery store. I loved that it could be made ahead of time and tasted great the next day too. Make sure you have a big bag of Ruffles on hand for this tasty snack.
Homemade French Onion Dip 
Printable Version
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup sour cream
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives (we don't have these in Okinawa so I used green onions)
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Wait until oil is heated through and add onion and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until caramelized and brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Combine sour cream, goat cheese, and chives in the bowl of a food processor and add onion mixture. Pulse until combined, about 10 pulses. 
Taste and add salt and pepper as desired, pulsing to mix in seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with potato chips or crudites. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

I don't know why it never dawned on me to make Nutella Rice Krispie Treats before. Rice Krispie treats are one of my favorite desserts and adding in a cup of Nutella takes them to a whole new level. Anything with Nutella makes me happy and these are one of the easiest crowd pleasing desserts I've ever made. I served them when we had friends over for dinner and everyone from the two, three, and five year old to the adults gobbled them up.

Nutella Rice Krispie Treats
Printable Version
6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal
1 bag mini marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup Nutella

In a large pot melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in marshmallows until creamy and mostly dissolved. Add in the cup of Nutella and continue to stir until fully incorporated with the marshmallows. Remove from heat and stir in Rice Krispies. Spread into a 9X13 pan (a trick I use is spraying a ziplock snack size bag with cooking spray to pat and smooth it down). Cut into bars and serve. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hot Chicken Salad

I made this hot chicken salad last week when I wanted a taste of home. This is one of my Mom's recipes that I ate growing up. I'd never tried making it myself but knew that hubby would enjoy it - mostly because it's topped with crushed potato chips! It's a simple and filling casserole that has a nice balance of texture and flavors. 
Hot Chicken Salad
From My Momma
Printable Version
2 cups (2 whole chicken breasts) cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup grated onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup crushed potato chips
Mix everything together in a large bowl except for the almonds and chips. Spread in a 9 inch baking pan and top with chips and almonds. 
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

I am one of those people who would rather eat the cookie dough than the cookies. These brownies not only allow you to do this, but they are one of the most decadent and rich desserts I've ever made. 
Egg-less cookie dough on top of a brownie made from scratch - seriously does dessert get better than this? They are so sweet and rich that you will want to share them to make sure you don't eat them all yourself! Keep the leftovers in the fridge - they are best a little chilled. 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
From Dame Good Eats
Printable Version
For the brownies:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the cookie dough
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8X8 inch pan. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted remove from heat and add sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Blend together. In a separate bowl mix together flour, cocoa, and salt. Add dry mixture to the wet and mix well. Pour into greased pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. 
Allow to cool for about one hour. Meanwhile for the cookie dough combine the butter, sugars, milk, and flour until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough on the cooled brownies. 
Chill the brownies overnight or until cookie dough is firm. Cut into bars and serve.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Skinny Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting

Aren't these meatloaf cupcakes the cutest? I saw them on Pinterest and then realized they came from one of my favorite cooking blogs, Gina's Skinny Taste. I modified the recipe from Gina's a bit because I didn't have zucchini or fresh thyme, but they still turned out great. My favorite part was the mashed potato frosting. They are a fun, unique way to eat your meat and potatoes.

Skinny Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting
From Skinny
Printable Version
Makes six cupcakes
For the Meatloaf Cupcakes
1.3 pound lean ground turkey 
1 cup grated zucchini, moisture squeezed out and patted dry (I omitted this)
2 tablespoon onion, minced
1/2 cup season breadcrumbs (I used a combination of Panko and seasoned)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 egg
1 tablespoon kosher salt
For the Mashed Potato Frosting 
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon cream cheese
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon light butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon fresh thyme or chives 

Put the potatoes in a large pot with salt and enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return potatoes to pot. Add garlic, sour cream, and remaining ingredeints. Using a masher or blender, mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with foil liners (I just used large cardboard muffin liners). In a large bowl mix the turkey, zucchini, onions, breadcrumbs, ketchup, egg,and salt.
Place meatloaf mixture into muffin tins, making sure they are flat at the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Pipe the mashed potato frosting onto the cupcakes, peel from the muffin liners and serve. 


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