Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chex Scotcheroos

These bars are INSANELY good.  We took them to a friend's house for game night, and everybody had thirds and fourths.  Be prepared to give out the recipe!

6 cups Rice or Corn Chex
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Grease a large round bowl and pour the cereal in. Set aside. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside.
In a pan on the stove, combine the corn syrup and sugar. Stir over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter. Immediately pour this mixture over the cereal and fold in. Pour into the 9x13 pan.
In a microwaveable 4 cup measuring cup (or other microwave save dish) combine the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, and vanilla. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring very well after each interval, until it is completely melted and smooth. It should take about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Pour over the bars. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before cutting.

Cheese Ball

Everybody tends to break out their favorite cheese ball recipe during the holidays.  This is our favorite version, from our friend Sarah Feil.

1- 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
3 green onions, finely chopped
4 to 5 black olives, chopped, or 1 small can chopped olives, drained
garlic powder, to taste
chopped walnuts

Beat cream cheese and butter together until combined.  Fold in remaining ingredients except walnuts.  Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.  Just before serving, unwrap ball and roll in chopped walnuts to coat.  Serve with your favorite crackers and/or fresh vegetables. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

April's Pancakes

Lately, Heather and I have tried to cook from scratch a little bit more.  It does take a tad bit more time, but it isn't too bad if you plan ahead just a little bit.  We realized that it was expensive buying all different kinds of convenience foods and mixes to make things, when we really had all the from-scratch ingredients on hand anyway.  Not only does cooking from scratch save money, but also makes you feel like you're eating a little bit healthier too, with less preservatives, additives, salt, etc.  Heather's sister April introduced us to these pancakes.  They are SO easy, and now we can push the cart directly past the Krusteaz pancake mix at Costco with confidence.  Also, this recipe makes about a dozen pancakes, which is PERFECT for our family.  No more wasted leftover pancakes!

1-1/2 cups flour (feel free to use whole wheat flour!)
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons oil
2 eggs, separated
1-1/2 cups milk

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, oil, egg yolks, and milk.  With an electric hand beater (or exceptionally strong arm) beat egg whites in small bowl until soft peaks form.  Gently fold egg whites into batter.  Pour batter by 1/4 cup-fuls onto hot greased griddle. 

Makes about 12 pancakes

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cranberry-Cashew-White Chocolate Chip Cookies

We first had these cookies last Christmas at Heather's Parent's house.  They are SO delicious!  And yes, we give you permission to call these "healthy" cookies, because they have fruit in them!

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (10-12 ounces) white baking chips
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup dried cranberries

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla. 

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in the chips, cashews, and cranberries. 

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield:  4-1/2 dozen

Source:  Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2012