Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Karo Lite Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

During the holidays I make a boatload of pecan tarts. If I make them and take them to work, or they are left at the house, they are quickly devoured.  It's one of the staples in my holiday baking.

When I saw Karo had a recipe for Lite Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, I figured I had to try it.  It contains chocolate (another one of my favorite things) and pecans and I was curious how the lite Karo syrup would be.

I whipped these up for dessert yesterday and I was surprised that they weren't overly sweet, despite having a cup and a half of sugar and the lite Karo syrup in it.

The picture doesn't really do them justice.  The recipe says to let them cool for 2 hours and I just couldn't wait so I cut into them after about 45 minutes.  It also calls for a cup of chocolate chips and I had just about 3/4 c, so I'd recommend adding a full cup if your as big a chocolate fan as I am.

I'm going to make these again and TRY and wait the 2 hours to let them cool completely before cutting into them.  I think they'll be a nice change, and a lot less time consuming this Thanksgiving than making pecan tarts.

Fleischmann's Easy Italian Herb Focaccia Bread

Earlier this week while waiting for "Sandy's" arrival, I made up a pot of spaghetti sauce so just in case we lost power, we'd have one last hot meal.  And what goes better with spaghetti than bread!

I've never baked any sort of homemade bread.  I've used the pre-made bread mixes in my bread machine, but as far as using yeast, I'm a total newbie.  To be honest, yeast has always made me really nervous.  Is my water the right temperature, will the dough rise enough, if at all?  I have always thought it was just too much work, and boy was I completely wrong!

One of this months Allrecipes assignments was to prepare a Fleischmann's recipe and on that list was a recipe for Easy Italian Herb Focaccia Bread.  It looked simple enough.  I had all the ingredients except for the Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast so I picked that up early Monday morning, while everyone else was at the grocery store stocking up on much needed supplies.

Once home, I gathered all my ingredients and then started to heat up my water to just the right temperature.  After a few attempts, I finally got the water to the right temperature, just between 120-130 degrees.  After pouring it into my bowl of flour and yeast mixture I held my breath and crossed my fingers that this would not end up a complete mess.

And it wasn't!  The yummy results are pictured below:

I was really surprised at how easy this was to make and how delicious it was with our spaghetti dinner. From now on, this is definately on my go to list of things to make.  

I 'mostly' followed the recipe, the only changes I made was that I added garlic powder and italian seasoning to my flour mixture and used it as well for the topping.  The recipe also only calls for 1 teaspoon of salt, but in my opinion, I felt like it could have used a little more.  I added a sprinkling of salt to top of the bread once it came out of the oven (only after trying it first) and that seemed to do the trick.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pillsbury Breakfast Quiche To-Go

I love a good breakfast, but during the week I don't have the time or the motivation to make anything.  My son, the broody teenager that he is, will make cereal if he feels like it but if he had his way, I'd be slaving over a hot stove every morning for him.

Since were up so early, trying to get ready for school and then sending the hubby off to work, I wanted something that was quick and easy that we could just grab in the morning, but that was a healthier option than a Toaster Strudel or Poptart.  That's where Pillsbury's Crescent Rolls came into the picture!

I found a recipe for Pillsbury's Breakfast Quiche To-Go on Allrecipes using Crescent Rolls and with some minor alterations, we had a delicious and fast breakfast!

The recipe calls for Garlic Butter Crescent Rolls, which I used, and they added a nice yet not overpowering garlic flavor to the quiche.  I used chopped spinach, added drained (but not marinated) artichoke hearts and instead of mozzarella cheese, I used swiss cheese.  I left out the onions because I am not a fan lol.

I will be using this recipe again in the future because there is so much opportunity to change things up a bit.  I'm thinking ham and swiss, broccoli and cheddar, you could add loose sausage or any variation of vegetables to this recipe and it would be really good.  I'm also going to make a batch using an egg-white substitute to see how those turn out as well.

There are so many options with this recipe, and because its so easy to whip up, I know I'll be making these again.  A lot.

I tend to have more spare time in the evening to cook so I'm thinking if I make a batch of these one night I can store them in a container (once cooled) and then just zap them in the microwave in the morning for a hot breakfast treat!

Find Pillsbury's Breakfast Quiche To-Go on

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pillsbury Marmalade-Glazed Asian Meatball Cups

Tonight was one of those nights.  I had no idea what to make, although I had a few options, boneless-skinless chicken breasts or an oven-roasted chicken, but after having chicken last night, I sure wasn't feeling it tonight.

So instead, tonights dinner was Pillsbury Marmalade-Glazed Asian Meatball Cups made with a roll of Butter Flake Crescent Rolls.  Super easy and really tasty!

They're more of an appetizer, but with a side of rice and some oven-roasted asparagus, it made for a terrific meal!

These little cups of yumminess took no time at all to prepare, and who doesn't love quick and easy?  I know I sure do!  I had Crescent rolls in our fridge already and while I normally make my own meatballs, tonight I wasn't feeling up to it, so I used a bag of some store bought one's that I had in the freezer.  Mix up a few ingredients for the glaze - some marmalade, some plum sauce and a little chili sauce and heat it up in the microwave and your practically done.  

For the Crescent rolls, once you pop the tube (and why does that always scare me a little?) don't unroll it.  Just leave it on your cutting board as just a rolled tube of dough and then take your knife and score it so that you have 12 fairly equal slices of Crescent dough.  Then just slice the dough and set that aside for a minute.

Spray your regular sized muffin tins with Pam (or something similar) and then just drop one piece of dough into each cup.  Using your fingers, create an indentation in the center of the dough for your meatball to sit in and then spoon some of the glaze mixture over the meatball and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  

The recipe says to cook for 10-15 in a pre-heated oven at 375 but I found these were done in about 12 minutes.  Let them cool for a few minutes before removing from your muffin tins and you've got a pretty, quick and easy, and especially yummy appetizer that takes no time and very few ingredients.

I know I'll be making these again with the holiday season upon us!