Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Eggstavaganza Blog Hop Winner!

Congratulations to June Manning for winning the Easter Blog Hop Giveaway (thanks to random.org).   Your gift certificate has been emailed to you!  Thank you to all for participating and Kathy for hosting!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Maple-glazed Sour Cream AND Spudnut Doughnuts

I have many fond memories of my Grandma Marks.  She lived in Mountain Home Idaho.  Grandpa delivered milk and dairy products to the town and they had a huge walk-in freezer, accessed outside that held all of their dairy products, and some popsicles that we would raid when we came to visit.  Driving up, I always remember seeing her white wooden fence out front and even though the drive was only four hours, with eight kids in the car, we were always excited to get out of the van.  The back door entrance to her house walked right into her kitchen where Grandma would always have warm maple glazed doughnuts waiting for us as we arrived.  And stocked in her pantry was always some sugar coated cereal just for us.  I loved playing Scrabble and Yahtzee with Grandma and I always enjoyed her food.  I don’t know what inspired me today to make grandma’s maple doughnuts, but I share the recipe with you.  I know not all of you have the same memory, but perhaps you can relate with a memory of another comfort food.  Today, as my kids walked in the door from school with doughnuts sitting all over the counter, we reminisced about sweet Grandma Marks and enjoyed our yummy maple doughnuts.
Sour Cream Doughnut
I’m sharing with you two doughnut recipes.  One is my Grandma’s original spudnut doughnut recipe, the other is a sour cream doughnut.  I let my neighborhood all taste test the doughnuts and the verdict is, everyone liked both.  The sour cream doughnut is more cake-like, whereas the spudnut doughnut is more light and airy.

Grandma’s Spudnut Doughnuts

When frying, make sure your oil is just the right temperature.  I found it takes about 2 minutes of frying per side for the middles to not be doughy.  If your doughnuts burn before 2 minutes, your oil is too hot.  I tested with the doughnut holes until I had just the right temperature.


1 cup milk
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup water
1 cup cooked, unseasoned mashed potatoes
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
3-4 cups flour

Scaled milk and cool to lukewarm.  Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 tsp. of sugar.  When it gets foamy, add to milk.  Combine next five ingredients and beat well.  Gradually add in flour to make a soft dough.  Make sure not to add too much flour.  The dough shouldn’t be a sticky mess, but too much flour will make your doughnuts dense.  Roll out to 1/2” thickness and cut with a doughnut cutter, if you have one.  I don’t.  So I improvised with a large cup I had and a washed out prescription bottle to cut the inner hole.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and cover.  Let rise for at least one hour.  Then fry in oil.  Drain well on a paper towel.  While still warm, but not hot,  dip in maple glaze.

Maple Glaze:
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
1 lb. powdered sugar

In a saucepan, melt the butter.  Add milk and brown sugar, heat until just bubbly  Take off heat and add flavoring.  Add powdered sugar until desired consistency.  You want it thin enough you can dip the top of your doughnut in, yet not runny.

Sour Cream Doughnuts:
3 1/2 cups flour
1 TBSP. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
12 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup melted butter (unsalted)
1 cup sour cream

Using an electric beater, beat sugar and eggs until thick (about 5 minutes).  Beat in vanilla, butter and sour cream.  Gently fold in dry ingredients.  Dough will be slightly sticky.  Cover; set in fridge for 2 hours.  Remove and roll out to 1/2” thick.  Cut your doughnuts as described in the spudnut recipe and fry.  Let drain on a paper towel and when still slightly warm, dip in maple glaze.

ENJOY!  (Just probably not TOO frequently!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Autism Awareness Month

Thank you for joining me in the Autism Awareness Month Blog Hop.  Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.  It has had a 600% increase rate in the last 20 years.

The winner of this giveaway will receive a $15.00 Amazon Gift Certificate!

To enter, please fill out the form below:

To learn more: autismspeaks.org

Thanks to Kathy for hosting!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

This is a very simple, yet tasty Shrimp Scampi recipe.  Perfect for a quick meal and it even tasted great the next day.  I served this with a classic caesar salad, roasted asparagus and garlic parmesan biscuits.

1/8 cup olive oil
1 lb. frozen cooked large shrimp (run under cold water to thaw)
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
5 TBSP. butter (unsalted)
3/4 lb. angel-hair pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Bring salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta.  Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet heat oil until hot.  Saute garlic and red pepper flakes.  Add wine, salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.  Add shrimp.  Add butter, stirring until melted.  Remove from heat as soon as shrimp is warmed all the way through.  Serve over pasta.

This post is a part of:  Fresh Bites Friday and Gnowfglins, a Comfy Kitchen and Good Cheap Eats

Classic Caesar Salad

I love a good salad.  Here is a yummy version of a classic caesar salad.  When tasting the dressing, it may taste a tad mustardy, but leave it.  It tastes heavenly mixed on the salad.  I made homemade croutons with the salad, which tasted heavenly.

1 large egg
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
3 TBSP. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 pinch salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
1 tsp. capers
3/4 tsp. dijon mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce
green onions
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
croutons (recipe to follow)

In a pint jar, mix the worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, anchovy, mustard and capers in a bowl.  In a small sauce pan, bring water to boiling.  Take your egg and place in the boiling water for 45 seconds to coddle the egg.  Remove and cool slightly.  Crack egg into your jar.  Whisk until smooth.  Now for adding the oil.  DO NOT JUST DUMP.  SLOWLY add the oil in a steady stream while constantly whisking.  If you add the oil too quickly, the dressing will separate.

2 cups of cut up baguette.  I use kitchen shears to cut into 1/2” cubes.  Put in a ziploc bag with minced garlic, a little salt and just enough olive oil to lightly coat.  Spread the coated cubes onto a baking sheet and bake at 400 until they are golden (about 10 minutes).

Roasted Asparagus

A quick, easy and healthy side dish.  When my kids were young, I labeled vegetables as items to help them get excited about eating them.  As they’ve gotten older, it still seems to stick.  When I serve broccoli, they still exclaim “yum, we are having trees for dinner!” or “can I please have more clouds? (cauliflower)”.  These, are our yummy palm trees!

1 1/2 TBSP. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp. regular table salt)

Wash asparagus and snap ends of asparagus off.  Some people peel their asparagus.  I don’t.  I like it just as is.  Take the asparagus and place in a ziploc bag with the olive oil and salt and shake to coat.  Spread out on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes depending upon the thickness of your stalks.

Garlic Parmesan Biscuits

This have a buttery crisp outer layer with a flaky middle.  A perfect compliment to any meal.  Time it right so that you serve them right out of the oven.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (I used yellow)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 stick butter, cut into 1/2” cubes
2 cups grated parmesan
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.  In a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add the butter.  Using your hands or a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal.  Stir in the parmesan and green onions.  Add the buttermilk and olive oil.  Stir until the mixture forms a dough.  Drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet in equal sized pieces.  Bake for 18 minutes until golden.

New York Cheesecake

I am a huge fan of cheesecake.  It’s one of those sinful pleasures I love to enjoy while on vacation.  I’m obviously NOT on vacation, but with the April snow and cold temperatures, I decided to take a vacation in my kitchen and cook me a sinful cheesecake.  The only complicated task about making a cheesecake is waiting 24 hours to eat it.  If you do not have the patience, or the willpower, then please choose another recipe!  However, if you can wait until tomorrow, you will LOVE this cheesecake.  You can make it with the traditional graham cracker crust, or use something differently.  Today, I used blonde oreo cookies, but it is really good with lemon cookies or even just a butter shortbread cookie.  I topped it with a simple raspberry sauce made with thawed raspberries and sugar (one bag frozen to 1/2 cup sugar) and then I made real whipping cream of course (pint of whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form, add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla).  TIPS:  over-mixing, over-baking and cooling too quickly will cause the cheesecake to crack.  So, with this recipe, wrap the bottom of your springform pan double layer of tinfoil.  Pour boiling water into a cookie sheet and set cheesecake on top.  Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.  It will not look done.  Don’t worry about it.  Just turn off the oven and let it sit there for 4-6 hours.  Also, make sure to grease the pan, because as the cheesecake cools, it will pull away from the side and if you didn’t grease the pan, this could cause cracking as well.  I actually made mine at 9:00 at night and I let it sit until I got up at 5:00 in the morning.  Then, transfer to the fridge and do not eat until that night.  You won’t be disappointed.  Yum!  I already want to make it again.

  • CRUST:
  • 2 cups crushed crumbs, your choice of cookie
  • 6 TBSP. melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar (only if using graham crackers)


  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature (this is important, so microwave to room temperature if they are cold.  This prevents over-mixing.)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of a greased springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Chocolate Turtle Bars

I needed to take dessert to some friends tonight and decided to make this yummy treat.  Anyone that knows me, knows how much I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter.  Well, chocolate and caramel definitely comes in as a close second.  These are tasty treats, perfect warm with ice-cream on top.  I love it warm because it makes the frosting and caramel center melt all over.  It’s seriously sinful and heavenly!  Try them and you will know what I mean.

1 german chocolate cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup oil
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 lb. bag caramels, unwrapped
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

1 stick butter, melted.  3 TBSP. cocoa, mixed with melted butter.  6 TBSP. evaporated milk and powdered sugar to desired consistency (1 lb. bag approximately) and 1 tsp. vanilla.


Combine and mix the cake mix, butter, water, oil and 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk.  Pour half of the batter into a greased and floured 13x0 baking pan.  Bake in oven at 325 for 20 minutes.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels and 1/2 can eagle brand milk.  Stir mixture, heating until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.  Spread over the baked cake layer with 1 cup chocolate chips and chopped pecans.  Cover with remaining batter and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.  Let cool slightly and frost with turtle cake frosting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Bars

Is there anything more heavenly than peanut butter and chocolate?  I never get to make these because two of my children have peanut allergies, but we had friends coming over for dinner and her addiction is peanut butter bars.  So, tonight, I made two desserts.  One for my peanut-free children, and this, for the rest of us.  These are SO yummy, you can’t stop eating until the pan is empty.  Literally.

Peanut Butter Bars
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cubes margarine/butter 
Cream together and then add the following: 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats) 
Spread in a texas sheet pan and bake at 350 for 8-10 min. or until sides are tan and it has raised up a little. Wait until completely cooled before spreading the peanut butter or the bottom will be too soft.  
Cover the top with the following frosting recipe:
  •  1/2 bag powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 heaping tbsp shortening 
  • dash of salt 
  • heaping tbsp of butter
  • heaping tbsp of cocoa
  • 2 tbsp hershey's syrup
  • milk to consistency 

Mix and frost when bars are cool.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop