Saturday, September 26, 2009

High School Tailgate Party

Last night was the first home football game for my daughter's high school so we decided to celebrate with a little tailgate party. It was also my mom's birthday, so that was even more reason for us to get together. My daughter is a cheerleader, so she didn't get to hang out with us too much before the game, but I was able to get this photo of her and my mom before she had to report for cheer duty. Don't they look good together in their black and white.
I took the tailgate as another opportunity to make cupcakes. I love cupcakes....they are so cute and fun to make. I'm also into making cupcake toppers, so I personalized these with the team name and colors. I found the little footballs at Kroger - I thought they would be perfect for this celebration.

I also decided to make hot wings for the first time ever. I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman and knew they had to be good. They were really easy to make. My daughter's boyfriend said they were really good and he consumes hot wings on a regular basis. He even ate the leftovers today, so I guess he was telling me the truth and not just trying to be nice - ha ha. I'm not going to post the recipe because Pioneer Woman has a really good tutorial. Give them a try at your next football won't be disappointed!

I wanted something sweet and crunchy, so I also made this Chex Mix with candy corn and Halloween colored M & M's. It was really tasty. There was none left after the tailgate, so I take that as a sign that it was a successful recipe! All my guests brought lots of yummy dishes too, so we were all full by the time the game began. The tailgate was a lot of fun and the Knights won, which made the evening even better! Hope you'll try some of these recipes at your next football party.

Halloween Chex Mix
8 oz. white chocolate baking bars, coarsely chopped
4 cups corn or rice Chex cereal
2 cups bite-sized pretzels (I used Snaps)
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup candy corn
1/4 cup Halloween M & M's
In a large microwavable bowl, microwave chopped baking bars uncovered on High 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
Gently stir in cereal, pretzels and raisins until evenly coated. Stir in candy corn and m & m's.
Spread on waxed paper or foil until cooled and chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
Break into chunks. Store loosely covered.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Have I told you how much I love chocolate chip cookies? Well you know what's even better? Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, warm right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream on top ~ yummy!
I made this last night after my daughter came home from cheerleading practice saying "I need chocolate!" I understood her pain, believe me I've had plenty of days when I thought I needed chocolate. Actually, I think that's pretty much every day for me, so I was more than happy to whip up this pie for both of us. Here's the recipe so that you'll have it for those days when you need some chocolate too.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 - Frozen Pie Shell (thawed)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter; set aside.
Beat 2 eggs in a mixing bowl until foamy. Mix in sugars and flour. Slowly stir in butter and then chocolate chips. Pour mixture into an unbaked pie shell.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped topping.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

This is the easiest recipe in the world and it is often my go-to dessert when I have to take a dish to a picnic or some other type of gathering and I'm running short on time. It is quick and easy, but oh so yummy too. There are so many variations that you can make of this dessert. Sometimes I use chocolate cake, chocolate pudding and crushed candy bars instead of the fruit - talk about a chocolate explosion - delish!! The trifle bowl shows off all the yummy layers and makes a nice presentation, so be sure to make it in one of these bowls if you have one.
Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
One French Vanilla or Yellow Cake baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan
(prepare as directed on cake mix box)
1 large Box Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 1/2 Cup Milk
1 - 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
Sliced Strawberries
Bake cake as directed in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cool cake completely.
Mix pudding and milk with a whisk for 2 minutes; set aside.
Crumble 1/4 of the cake on the bottom of your trifle bowl. Next layer half of the pudding onto the cake. Spread half of the cool whip over pudding and top with fresh strawberries.
Follow with another layer of crumbled cake, pudding, cool whip and strawberries.
Since you only use half of the cake, you can freeze the other half to make this again another day or you can just grab a fork and dig in like I do most of the time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Parent's Farm

I stopped by my parent's farm on Sunday afternoon for a little visit, but they surprised me by not being at home. I decided to just hang out a little and enjoy the sights and smells of the country. My mom has been canning a lot lately, guess she is a little behind on her tomatoes. I just couldn't resist taking this photo! Of course I couldn't help taking a couple of these delicious, red beauties either - think she'll miss a couple?

My mom has such pretty gardens. I definitely did not inherit her green thumb. She even comes over to my house and plants my flowers for me - what a great mom she is! She doesn't even mind if I help my self to a little bouquet when I come over. These zinnia's will look so pretty on my kitchen table. Now that I have shown you where I get my garden veggies and flowers, I guess I'll go on back home now. Thanks for visiting with me! I'll post a new recipe soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

I have been wanting to make bread with my pink mixer for quite some time. A few Sunday's ago I was home alone for a while, so I decided why not? The dough hook attachment made kneading so easy - it did all of the work for me! I think it turned out really well and will definitely make it again. I gave the second loaf to my Mom and Dad, because that's just the kind of daughter I am - ha ha, but you could freeze it if you like.
Honey Wheat Bread
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur brand)
1 T vital wheat gluten
2 packets of rapid rise yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
In large bowl (preferably a KitchenAid), add the 3 cups flour, wheat gluten and yeast. Stir. Add in warm water and stir until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes.
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 T lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)
1 T salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups whole wheat flour
Mix the oil, honey, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture after the 10 minutes. Mix until combined. Add in the additional flour and mix. Now knead the dough for 10 minutes with the dough hook. When it is done divide the dough into two loaves. Make sure they are even. Shape them into loaf form. Place the dough into 2 loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After the loaves ahve risen, bake them for 30 minutes. They should be golden brown. Let cool before slicing, if you can wait.