Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

OK, here's my first post on this blog. This is the recipe I always share because I really like it...but most of all, it's easier than any other recipe I've ever heard of.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Cup Peanut Butter (I like a good brand over a generic brand)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg

Mix ingredients together. Cook for 8-10 minutes at 350. Let cool before eating or else they will crumble a lot. ENJOY!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Awesome Easy Cheese Ball

My friend made this for Bunco and I loved it, so I got the recipe. I have made it twice in two weeks for parties at our house and people gobble it up. And it takes like five minutes to make. Suh-weeet!

2-8 oz packages of cream cheese (16 oz total)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 tablespoons red onion
2 tablespoons celery
3 tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
1 bag of chopped walnuts
Crackers of your choice (wheat thins go well, or any party cracker)

Chop the onion and celery into a small dice and cut up the parsley. Let the cream cheese get to about room temperature (just easier to mix that way). Throw the cheese, parsley, onion, celery and ranch dressing in a bowl and mix 'er up.
Now it's time to form the cheeseball. This is how I do it, but I'm sure there are other ways that work just as well:
Get a piece of tinfoil and spread probably half the bag of nuts on it. Then spoon the cheese mixture (in some sort of roundish shape) on top of the nuts. Place your hands underneath the foil and lift it-with the nuts-around the cheese and start forming a ball. Use leftover nuts to fill in any holes or extra spaces so that the entire cheeseball is covered in walnuts.
Stick the cheeseball in the fridge to firm up a bit and then set it out about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve.
GUYS especially loved this, so it would be great for Superbowl parties or game nights.

Homemade Marshmallows

.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Line 9 x 9-inch pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil it. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water. Soak for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, add in the vanilla extract beat to incorporate.
Scrape marshmallow into the prepared pan and spread evenly (Lightly greasing your hands and the spatula helps a lot here). Take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and press lightly on top of the marshmallow, creating a seal. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, combine equal parts cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with scissors (the best tool for the job) or a chef’s knife. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Twice baked potatoes

One of my goals for the new year is to cook a lot more often and try new recipes. As a result, I'm hoping you'll see an increase amount of content on this blog from me. 

Tonight for dinner I made twice baked potatoes and steamed broccoli. I had also planned on making a steak for Jason, but I forgot to get it out of the freezer yesterday to start the thawing-out process. Oops! Anyway, Jason loves twice baked potatoes, and they're not hard, but for some reason I've only made them once since we've been married so today I decided to change that. Here is the recipe I used, it's a real winner!

4 Yukon Gold potatoes (higher nutritional value than your traditional russet)
1 cube butter
1/2 cup sour cream
bacon bits (fake ones for us)
1 cup shredded cheese
black pepper
seasoning salt

Bake the potatoes naked (sans foil) on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for an hour. When the potatoes are done cooking, cut them in half.

In a mixing bowl combine butter (easier if you've pre-sliced it), sour cream, bacon bits and the insides of the potatoes. Smoosh around with a potato masher, mix up in a mixer. Then add the cheese, a pinch (or more) of pepper and a dash (or more) of seasoning salt and mix. 

Spoon the mixture into the potato shells then put a little pile of cheese on top of each stuffed potato. Put them back into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.