Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monkeying Around

On Christmas morning I usually make a breakfast casserole, but this year we decided to keep it simple and so I made Monkey Bread. OMG!!! Monkey Bread is only the best, most awesome, most delicious food ever!!! Seriously, if you have never had Monkey Bread you have no idea what you are missing.

I made an orange and vanilla flavored Monkey Bread. It is so simple. Seriously, you could go out right now and buy the ingredients and have some uber yummy Monkey Bread in about 30 minutes!!

You take the refrigerated biscuit mix and cut each biscuit into quarters.

Then take a box of instant vanilla pudding and add orange zest and 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon. Roll the biscuit pieces in the dry mixture.

Place the pieces into a greased round cake pan. Next melt 2 tbsp. of butter and drizzle over the pieces. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Mmmmmm....pull apart and enjoy some sweet, gooey, goodness. Go ahead, monkey around!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Scalloped Oysters. Yummy!!!

Sorry I've been MIA lately, but I've just been busy with the holiday and parties to attend. :) And I don't get a really great wireless connection at my mom's house and so sometimes I am limited.

We always go to my brother's house in DC on Christmas and I am always requested to make the Pecan Pies and Scalloped Oysters. If you are not a seafood person, then this is totally not for you. And if you are a seafood person, but not oysters then this is not for you too! :) But, if you are like me and love oysters then read on. Ha!

I love this dish and am not sure why I only make it a couple of times a year and only for holidays. It would be great any old day of the year. It's really that good. Pinky swear! :)

I went ahead and took an actual picture of the recipe for you, but will break it down with photos too.

You first have to crush some 1 cup of saltines. I simply put the saltines into a zip lock bag and then take a rolling pin over them. It makes it easy and a simple clean up.

Next you melt a stick of butter in a skillet and then add in the cracker crumbs and 1/2 up of bread crumbs.

Then spread 1/2 of the mixture over the bottom of a dish. I usually use a baking dish, but lately we seem to lose them or forget them at my brother's house and so I just bought a handy disposable one.

Then place the oysters over the crumb mixture and the rest of the cracker mixture over the top of the oysters. Then mix together the drained oyster juice (okay that may sound a little yucky) and 1 tbsp. of cream and a dash of Tobasco sauce (I like it hot and so I add more than a dash) and then drizzle that over the oysters.

Cook it in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes and then OMG!! yummy goodness!! It is seriously that good!!! And flavor is unbelievable. It overwhelms your mouth. Mmmmm....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Aunt Clarissa Young's Pecan Gems

My Great Aunt Clarissa (I used to call her Tissie because I couldn't say Clarissa when I was little and the name always stuck with me) used to make these yummy Pecan Gem cookies. They are actually like mini (really really little) pecan pies, but they have a whole lotta yumminess to them! :) My mom and I decided to make them tonight.

You start out by making your own crust from scratch. Yep, you heard me right, from scratch! It is actually really easy, you just take 1 stick of butter, 3 tablespoons of cream cheese and 1 cup of flour. Mix that together with a fork and then pinch it into little balls.

You take the little balls and put them into mini muffin pans and spread them out and up the sides of the muffins cups so it looks like a crust.

Next you mix together one tablespoon of melted butter with 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 1 egg. Bring this to a boil and then remove and let cool a little. Add in 1 cup of chopped pecans.

My mom has this antique nut chopper and I love it. You put the nuts in and move the handle up and down to chop the nuts. Hey, who needs a food processor when you've got this great gadget???

Anywho, add the chopped pecans into the mixture and then place a spoonful into each muffin pan. put into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 250 degrees and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Take them out and let cool and then walluh....OMG!! yumminess!

You should really make these because they are so good and really simple to make. Seriously, it only took us about a 20 minutes total to make 24 of them. And oh my gosh they are so worth it. The problem is that they are so tiny that you just keep popping them into your mouth and it's hard to stop. But if you like pecan pies or someone you know does then you've got to make these. They are fab-u-lous!!! My brother, Todd, in Alaska is going to be so jealous that we made these. Ha! Ha! But my mom just said she is going to mail him some.

Let me know how they turn out! :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

OMG!!! Prindable-licious!!!!!!!!

Yes, this post required that many exclamation points in the title. Ha! :) My mom and sister and I ordered the Mrs. Prindable's candy/caramel covered apples from QVC (love me some QVC, by the way). I've seen them on there many times and always wanted to order them, but never did. Until this year. My sister and I just couldn't resists any longer. We ordered a bunch and split them between her, my mom and I.

We got the milk chocolate/peanut butter ones, the sprinkles ones, and the white and milk chocolate ones. OMG!!! They are so fab-u-lous and so incredibly good!!! Mmmmmm.... You really need to go onto their website right now this very instant and order them because you have not lived until you've tried the Mrs. Prindable's apples!!! Seriously, listen to me, order them right now. You won't regret it!

Has anyone else ever ordered these?????????? Did you like them?????????

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm With Jared on This One

Tonight my mom and I went to Subway. I like Subway, but never think of going there. Why? I'm not really sure because it is good, it is healthy and it is pretty cheap. After eating too many chips and dip this past weekend (seriously, I had a ton!!!), I thought I would try to order something healthy. I went with one of Jared's favorites, the Black Forest Ham. I even got it on wheat bread. I really love the Italian Parmesan one, but decided to go with the wheat. I did get Lite Mayo and some provolone cheese which I probably should have done without, but c'mon give a sister a break. :) Then, I did my normal veggies: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives, pickles and hot pepper relish. Mmmmmm...Yummy!! OMG!! It was so good.

What is your favorite Subway sub and what fixins do you get on yours?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This Would be Great for Snow Cones

So, I arrived in Pennsylvania on Wednesday for the holidays and today this is what I awoke to.

We have 15 1/2 inches on the ground and it is still snowing like crazy!!! I love the snow and so I am a happy camper! It is quiet and clean and sparkly. As Lorelai Gilmore (aka The Gilmore Girls) once said "Everything is magical when it snows."

I know it would have been an excellent day for some baking, but after shoveling twice and then giving up I was too exhausted. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yummy Salads, Part Deaux

As promised here is a another OMG!! Nina amazing salad. Am I allowed to say it is an amazing salad, even if I'm being bias since it is mine? Ha! :)

Anywho, this salad had spring greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, goat cheese (OMG!!! YUMMY!), and avocados. I love, love, LOVE avocados!!!! They are really so cool. They are firm, but soft and green and full of yummy goodness! Mmmmmm. Plus, they make a mean guacamole, but that's for another blog on another day. :)

Seriously though, this salad was pretty fab-u-lous!!! I think the kicker was the avocado and goat cheese. They really went together perfectly. And I topped it off again with the Trader Joe's Thai Peanut Dressing. Man, that stuff is so darn good, I want to take a bath in it. Ha! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another Yummy Salad...Beets and Goat Cheese

So the other night I made this very yummy salad. OMG!!! So yummy! Even if you are not a salad person you will LOVE this one! I used a spring mix of greens and then added in mushrooms, and little niblets of corn, tomatoes, and red beets and goat cheese.

Mmmmm. I love goat cheese! I seriously could eat it every day. I love almost any kind of cheese really, but goat cheese is definitely one of my favorites. I also love red beets! My mom used to grow these in her vegetable garden and she would can them and so we grew up with them. Every picnic we would have pickled eggs and red beets. I know, it may sound weird, but oh so yummy! I love putting red beets on my salads. I also used that fab-u-lous Trader Joe's Thai Peanut Salad Dressing. That stuff is sooooooo good!

I may another yummy salad, which I'll blog about tomorrow so stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And the Winner Is......

Nicolle from Boyd's Crazy Mama!!!!! Nicolle is a great blog friend that is always so sweet in leaving me comments and I am so excited that she won the Quesadilla maker. Nicolle can you send me an email at and give me your mailing address and I will mail out your quesadilla maker. :) I hope you love it as much as me!!! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Latke Palooza

My friends Kim and John invited me over to the house tonight for Hanukkah and latkes. I am not Jewish and therefore, have never celebrated Hanukkah or had latkes. I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought they would be like fried hash browns. Instead, they were more doughy and like an oatmeal cake. You eat with either sour cream or applesauce over top. I had them both ways and they were really good. We also had rotisserie chicken and brisket. Mmmmmm. Everything was delicious!

To all of my Jewish blog friends, Happy Hanukkah! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Going Bananas Over This (and a giveaway)!!!

If you remember back to when I went home to PA for the Apple Harvest Festival and I had that wonderful crepe, you'll know why I loved this dinner.

Two nights ago I was stuck and couldn't figure out what to make for dinner. I decided to try something new. You know me and my quesadillas. :) Well, take one flour tortilla and spread some Nutella on it. Nutella is fab-u-lous!!! OMG!! So yummy! It is a chocolate hazelnut spread that you can find in your grocery store. I think it is in the peanut butter section. Have you ever had Nutella? Do you love it too???

Okay, back to the dinner. I think sliced up a banana and put that on top and then another flour tortilla on top. I then placed into my ever wonderful quesadilla maker.

Mmmmmmm soooooooo good. Really, really GOOD!!!!! Maybe it should be more of a dessert than a dinner, but who cares. It was just really good!! You must go and buy some today.

Because I am loving that quesadilla maker so much, I am going to give one away! leave me a comment telling me why you want to win one. You can also have your name entered twice by posting this giveaway on your blog and another time by following my blog! Let me know by Sunday night (12/13) at 11:00pm how many times to enter your name!! SO EXCITING!!!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Safe to Eat the Snow

I went to a Christmas Open House at my friend's this afternoon. Instead of the usual hostess gift of a bottle of wine or a box of Godiva Chocolates or flowers, I decided to make a cake to take along. I found this beautiful Snowball Cake in a Kraft email and thought it would be perfect.

It was really simple to make. Just take a greased mixing bowl and make a Devil's Food cake according to the box directions. Then mix together one block of cream cheese with 2 tbsp. of sugar and 1 egg. With the cake mixture still in the mixing bowl, put the cream cheese mixture on top in the middle. Then put the mixing bowl into a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Yep, it gets baked in the mixing bowl (just make sure your bowl is oven safe).

After it is done baking let it cool on a wire rack. In the mean time mix together with a wire whisk one 3.4 ounce of vanilla pudding, with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 1 cup of milk. Then stir in one container of Cool Whip and refrigerate until you are ready to ice the cake. When the cake is cooled, ice it completely and then take a bag of coconut and cover the cake.

OMG!! Yummy! And it so pretty! Everyone loved it and thought it was amazing. It was really so simple though. Go ahead and make it for your next party. People will think you are fab-u-lous!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bring the Java Cause this Cookie is Being Dunked

I am having my 2nd Annual Cookie Swap tonight. It's always a good time, but stressful. Of course, I waited until last night to make 6 dozen cookies and of course I didn't choose an easy (or cheap) cookie to make. Ha! Last year I made the Chocolate Whopper cookies, which are both time consuming and expensive. Especially when I had to make 2 six-dozen sets for two separate swaps. But, man they are so good and everyone loved them.

But, I digress. :) Well, this year, as I mentioned, I waited until last night to start my 6 dozen cookies. I made Double Espresso White Chocolate Dipped Biscottis. OMG!!! Yummy! Seriously, these give Nonni a run for her money. Ha! And I think there is definitely a learning curve because the second batch was much easier than the first.

First you mix together (I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer) 1 stick of softened butter, and a cup of sugar. Then add in 2 1/2 tsp. of baking powder and then 3 eggs. Next add in 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tbsp. espresso powder (I bought some of the Starbucks VIA packs which worked out perfectly). Then add in 2 3/4 cups of flour. Then stir in by hand 1/2 cup of hazelnuts and 1/2 cup of chopped chocolate covered espresso beans. That's it. It's really not too much.

Separate the dough into 2 separate loaves and flatten out to 11 inches long and 2 inches wide. Brush a combination of 1 egg white and 1 tbsp of water across the loaves and then sprinkle with 1 tbsp of sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely and then cut diagonally in 1-inch slices. Put back in the oven for 8 minutes, take them out and flip them and then put them back in for another 8 minutes.

Let them cool completely.

Melt white chocolate with 1 tbsp of shortening and then dip half of each biscotti into the melted chocolate and then sprinkle the chopped chocolate covered espresso beans over them.

Again, OMG!! Yummy! They are really fab-u-lous!

I can't wait for the party to start tonight. I hope everyone really loves them as much as I do!