Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars

I've noticed a lot of sugar cookie bar recipes, but they make a huge amount.  Since I am always just baking for my husband and me, I came up with my own recipe in a small size.  Instead of a cookie sheet pan, this fits in a 9x13 baking dish.  Perfect for just a few.

1/2 C. Butter
1 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixer cream butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat eggs, and add. Mix well.  Slowly add your dry ingredients until well incorporated.
Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and spread out your dough so it's about 1/4 inch thick.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top is very lightly golden.  Let cool and frost.

Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 C. Butter
4oz. Cream Cheese
1 tsp. Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
2-4 C. Powdered Sugar
1/2 Tbsp. Milk

Mix all ingredients together until creamy.  Add food coloring if desired.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bacon Egg and Cheese filled cups

Can I just say first off that I am not a bacon fan.  My husband is though, so that's why I experimented with this little recipe.  I am more of a sausage girl myself, but every once in awhile I will cross the white line and try a really crispy piece of bacon.  This recipe is that white line.  

School has started again and I needed a recipe to make for breakfast that can cook while my husband is in the shower getting ready and then he can take it with him on the walk to school (I know, we're such multitaskers in this family).  

I couldn't think of anything other than toast with egg, but that just didn't tickle my creative fancy, so the Bacon Egg and Cheese filled cup was created!  (I'm tapping myself on the back right now as I know you are applauding my success.)

I promise you, this one is a winner and the whole family is going to LOVE you, once you make it for them.

12 strips of THICK Bacon, cut in 1/2 width-wise
6 Eggs
12 tsp. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then pull out your trusty muffin pan.  (The one with 12 holes).
Spray your muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.

Then you are going to line outer edge of each cup with 1/2 a slice of Bacon until the entire cup is surrounded.

In a little bowl combine 1 egg, a dash of pepper, and 2 tsp. cheddar cheese.  Beat for just a few seconds until well combined.

Slowly pour 1/2 the mixture into a cup, and the remaining 1/2 in another cup.  (You can always use 1 egg per cup, I just chose to 1/2 them.)
Sprinkle the top with a little salt and pepper and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

When you can see that the top of the bacon is sizzling, and the egg is cooked, turn the broiler on high for 1-2 minutes.  You want the egg and bacon to be crispy.

Pull out of the oven, let sit for just a minute, and then scoop them out and send them out the door with those hungry tummy's.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Knock Off

Hey everybody!  It has been awhile since I've posted and I'm SOOOO sorry about that.  I have been moving this past month into a new home and haven't been doing much cooking lately.  I finally got things settled this week and was able to make my first homemade meal in my new house, and I think I came up with a pretty good soup you are all going to love!

If you have ever had the soup, salad, and bread sticks, at Olive Garden, I'm sure you have tried their Zuppa Toscana soup.  It is by far my favorite, and for years I have wanted to try to make it.  Being that a lot of my pans were packed up and I only had my soup pot, I thought it was a great time to try.  This soup is their creamy, sausage and potato soup.  It's the perfect winter soup, but considering I love soup all the time; I could eat this on a 90 degree day.  Anyway, here is my version of the Olive Garden's amazing soup.  I hope you all like it!

1 lb. ground Mild Italian Sausage
3 Russet Potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 lb. Bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 cups Swiss Chard, chopped
28 oz. Chicken Broth
1 quart Water
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp. Chicken Boullion
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Basil
1 tsp. Parsley
1/4 tsp. Pepper

In a skillet cook your sausage. Remove sausage and in the drippings cook your garlic and onion until translucent, drain and set aside.
In a pot combine your chicken broth, water, chicken boullion, spices, potatoes, and cream.  Let cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat.  Add in remaining ingredients, except swiss chard.  Simmer on medium to low heat until potatoes are soft. About 30-45 minutes 
Once the potatoes are soft, add the swiss chard and let simmer for 30 minutes. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with some thick, crusty bread, and your set.  Enjoy!