©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Turkey Cookies

I know everyone saw these on Facebook and Pinterest.  Since Miss V is in Middle School they typically don't have a harvest party.  I really needed and excuse to make them so I made them for our Alpha Class.

I do have to say, I had a problem with the cookie dough.  It was incredibly dry and the first batch were obviously to small for regular sized peanut butter cups.  So I made another batch and used my ice cream scoop and it actually broke.  I guess I will have to buy another one at Publix.

You can find the original recipe at Imperial Sugar.  For the frosting, I used
8 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
10 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Gel food coloring

Combine all ingredients except food coloring in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and stiff, 4-5 minutes.  Tint with your favorite colors.

I did run to Sweetbay and picked up a couple packages of Snack Size Peanut Butter cups.  If I make them again, I am NOT using that cookie recipe!  I will stick to my favorite Rolled Butter Cookie recipe.


Apple Dumplings

So one night Miss V and I were watching Trisha Yearwood's show on Food Network and she served up these yummy looking Apple Dumplings.  Miss V said that we HAVE to try those.

2 Granny Smith apples
1 lemon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 canned buttermilk biscuits
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel, core and slice the apples vertically into 8 slices each. Squeeze the lemon into a bowl of water and add the apple slices to keep from turning brown.

In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup water, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the butter and vanilla. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat.

Separate each biscuit into 2 layers. Wrap a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching the biscuit slightly to overlap, and seal on the bottom. Place the wrapped slices, sealed-side down, in a 9- by 12- by 2-inch casserole dish. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the apple slices. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the wrapped apples. Bake until golden brown, 35 minutes.

To me they were just ok, kind of to doughy for my liking.  Miss V loved them!


Chocolate Coconut Cookie Cups

So I saw this on Pinterest and I knew this would be a great little dessert.  You can find the original recipe at She Wears Many Hats.

16.5 ounce Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough (I made my own sugar cookie dough, I just don't like the taste of those pre-made dough)
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted according to package directions
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease or spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

Form 48 cookie dough balls, about ¾” round each, and place each in a mini-muffin cup.

Bake at 350°F for 15-17 minutes.

Let cool about 2-3 minutes, then using the edge if a knife, gently slide tip around each “cookie cup” to
release from muffin tin. Place on cooling rack to finish cooling.

Once cool, dip each “cookie cup” top in chocolate, letting excess drip.

Before chocolate hardens, top with toasted coconut.

Here is the cookie dough recipe that I used
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine or butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Using fork or pastry blender, cut in 1 cup margarine until mixture is crumbly. In small bowl, beat eggs. Gradually add sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, beating until light. Add to flour mixture in large bowl. Stir by hand until dough forms. (If necessary, knead dough with hands to mix in dry ingredients.) Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 hour for easier handling.

I actually just made this in my mixer by creaming the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Then dry ingredients.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these for Alpha and they were a huge hit.

This recipe comes from a mom at Miss V's school.

2 eggs
1 16 oz can Pumpkin (2 cups)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups flour
1 bag (12 oz) chocolate chips
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp milk
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cloves

Mix together in bowl. Drop spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 min. Cool on rack. Cookies stay soft after cooling.


No Bake Cookies

I needed to make some sort of Cookie for an event at Miss V's School and was quickly running out of time, so I made yummy no bake cookies but put them in a 13x9 pan.

2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons cold coffee
1 cup peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Company Dark Chocolate Dreams)
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal

Spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter, milk and cold coffee. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal.

Pour hot mix into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.  Let cool and then cut into squares.

Oh these were so yummy!

Balsamic Chicken

I pinned this idea recently and made it on Monday night.  You can find the original recipe at Blackbird Ideas.

I do have to say the recipe is a bit choppy and confusing.  So that I why I am thinking mine turned out like a gelatinous mess.  It tasted good if you didn't actually look at the "glaze"

2-3 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter, softened
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 cup of chicken stock (this wasn't in the original list of ingredients but further down in the instructions and comments)

Preheat oven to 375.

Preheat a skillet over medium  high heat and add olive oil.

Coat the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place in the heated pan.

When the chicken is brown on one side (about 4 minutes), turn the chicken breasts over.  Let cook for another couple of minutes until nicely browned.  Place the chicken on a cookie sheet and place into the oven.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes.

Add garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute then add balsamic vinegar.  Stir with a wooden spoon and scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Then add the chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a boil.

Then, mix the butter and the flour together in a separate bowl. Add the butter/flour mixture to the pan and whisk. Let the sauce come to a boil and continue to whisk the sauce until it thickens up approx 1 or 2 minutes. Then, pour the sauce over the chicken and serve! you see the problem?  That whole last paragraph.  I think is wrong.

I may have to try this recipe again....BUT after cooking the garlic add the butter and flour to make a roux.  Then add stock and vinegar.   Let it thicken a bit and then pour over the chicken.

I served this with baked potatoes and roasted Butternut Squash.

Chicken Parmesan

Yesterday on the way to school, Miss V and I were talking about what I could make with chicken and she said Chicken Parm with fresh bread.

Well I didn't have enough time yesterday to make bread, but did make the Chicken Parm last night.

Jarred Marinara 

4 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/4 pounds total) (I used 3 breasts and slightly pounded the thicker part)
Salt to taste 
2 eggs
6 tablespoons dry Italian bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs and a bit of Italian Seasoning and Garlic Powder 
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan 
4 to 5 teaspoons olive oil 
1/2 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese or sliced mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cutlets with the salt. Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan on a plate. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip each piece into the egg, shaking off excess, and then press both sides into the breading to coat. 

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (in batches, if necessary) and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken, in 1 layer, to the baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the chicken then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Miss V wanted ruffled pasta, so I that is what I served this with.


Chewy Chocolate Cookies with Mint M&M's

I kind of combined a few different recipes and came up with this.  I love the combination of mint and chocolate and just had a couple bags of Mint M&M's in my baking cabinet.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups of Mint M&M's (a bag and half)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add butter and sugars to a large bowl, turn a hand mixer to medium speed and beat until creamy, light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time until well combined.  Add vanilla

In a separate bowl,sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

With the a mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The cookie batter will become very thick. You only need to mix until everything has combined.

Stir in the Mint M&Ms.

Drop cookie dough by medium cookie scoopfuls onto cookie sheets.  Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until the cookies have puffed a little and the tops are dry.

Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

When these are warm they are gooey like brownies.  These also came out great!

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

I pinned this yummy looking cooking months ago and couldn't find the Sno-Caps.  Well the other day I was at Walmart need the electronics section where they have the big display of boxed candy and I spotted Sno-Caps!  Woo hoo, I bought two boxes.

The original recipe came from Sally's Baking Addiction.

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup SNO-CAPS

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla.

On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky.

Using a medium cookie scoop drop balls of dough onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Do NOT bake them longer than 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool for 3 minutes on the cookie sheet then transfer to cooling rack.

This made about 28 cookies.  I should have placed a couple Sno-Caps on top of each scoop of dough so that you could have seen them.  These also came out great!

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

I love Iced Oatmeal Cookies and I saw this on Pinterest.  You can find the original recipe at Mother Thyme.

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 350.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Place oats in a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds until course.

Mix oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside.

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy.

Add in eggs one at a time then vanilla extract.

Gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop dough and place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms to being to turn light brown.

Cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Mix the confectioners sugar and milk until smooth.  I used a medium gladware round bowl.

Quickly dip the tops of the cookies into the glaze and let excess drip off.

Place back on wire rack until glaze sets.

Store cookies in an airtight container.

These came out really well!

Impossibly Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Well after the just "ok" chicken and broccoli pies, I went back to the Betty Crocker site yesterday and decided on another version.  I picked the Impossibly Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies.  I did do things a bit differently from the original recipe and it worked for me.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (I actually  had a leftover cooked breast that I chopped up)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion until soft, about 5 minutes and add poultry seasoning and cook for about 1 minute add chicken broth; heat to simmering. Add frozen vegetables, cooked chicken, salt and pepper. Heat until hot, stirring occasionally until almost all liquid is absorbed. Cool 5 minutes; stir in cheese.

In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken mixture in each muffin cup.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve

(Mine only baked for 25 minutes and were perfectly done)

This version is so much better and the flavor of the poultry seasoning is perfect.  I will definitely make these again!

Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash

Yesterday I needed to bake up an acorn squash and wanted something different.  Usually I make it with butter, honey and cinnamon.

Well I found a great recipe from Sunny Anderson on Food Network.  I halved the recipe since I only had one squash.

1 acorn squash, sliced in 1/2, seeds removed
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (love using fresh)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Assemble acorn squash on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of butter and brown sugar in each half. Add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg in each and season with salt. Bake until golden and tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, basting flesh of squash several times.

Mine only took about 50 minutes and they were perfectly roasted.

I really enjoyed this and definitely make this again.


YCA at Home?

So I was checking an email address that I use for online purchase/spammy type of stuff.  Well this morning this caught my eye.


Curated just for you and your child, our twelve month program will take your child through a sequence of hands–on cooking lessons and fun activities, thoughtfully designed to build cooking skills to last a life time.  Each month your child will receive a sticker to place on their “Progress Tracking Poster” as they work toward the goal of becoming an official YCA Master Chef.  At the completion of the program, your child will be able find their way around the kitchen and through recipes with confidence.  They will also receive a specially embroidered patch commemorating their coveted “Master Chef” status.

As a member, each month a packet addressed to your child, containing specially themed recipes, lessons, and activities, including a special “secret ingredient”, is delivered to your door.

In addition to the monthly subscription packets, you will enjoy access to a members only website, where the joy and value of cooking the YCA Way is brought to life, including cooking resources, interactive activities, picture sharing, instructional slide shows, bonus recipes, cooking quizzes, and more!

Join YCA@Home and meet Culi, your child’s very own cooking coach, as he brings the exciting world of learning to cook the Young Chefs Academy way, to your home! Each monthly shipment is curated to provide a one of a kind culinary learning experience for your child.

Each month, you and your child will receive the following:

Recipe Booklet
Parent Connection Card
Culi's Capers Activity Sheet
Secret Ingredient
Skills Progress Sticker
Member Website Secret Password
The first month, members will also receive:

Official Young Chefs Academy Student Apron
Young Chefs Academy Multi-Measuring Spoon
YCA@Home Recipe Holder
Progress Tracking Poster
Introduction Letter

Now most of you know that Miss V attended classes at our local Young Chef's Academy from they day the opened until they unfortunately closed.  She went from Kindercooks to a full year in Jr. Chef's and attained her Master Chef Phase 1 status and has all the badges, she "graduated" on September 27, 2007.  She was so excited to be working on her Phase 2 when YCA closed.  She was very disappointed.  She loves cooking and her teachers Chef Shawn and Chef Terry.

Anyway...I did notice that with this home program she would work to getting her Master Chef status.  I emailed the company and asked what happens if the child already is a Master Chef from a physical location.  I then told Miss V about it and she sounded excited about it but had the same question.  She said she would think about signing up.  I think when she gets home from school I will show her the site.  I am pretty sure that she will want to sign up.  I also saw that you can purchase some of the apparel and tools online...YEAH!  She was bummed when she outgrew her YCA jacket and T-shirts.

Even though her face is blurred, you can see how happy and proud she is.  She was the youngest ever to graduate from the North Port YCA.


Mini Apple Pies with Streusel Topping

This also came from Pinterest and the original can be found at Center Cut Cook.

For the pies
1 refrigerated pie crust (or make your own)
2 cups Granny Smith Apples, finely chopped (about 2 cups apples)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar – packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
Unroll 1 refrigerated pie crust onto work surface. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out 12 rounds.

Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Place each round into the bottom of a muffin cup. The dough should just start to slightly go up the side of the muffin cup.

In a large bowl, combine finely chopped apples with 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

Divide this apple mixture evenly among the 12 mini pies.

With your food processor, a fork, or using your fingers, combine all of the ingredients for the streusel topping until crumbly. Divide this mixture evenly among the 12 mini pies.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Allow the mini pies to cool for 15-20 minutes before carefully removing them from the pan.

I did not get a good picture of this one.  I did have a couple around the edge of the pans that the streusel did start to burn, so watch the baking time.

Other than that, they came out great!

Mini Pumpkin Pies

I pinned this a while ago too.  I made it for our Alpha Class.  The original recipe can be found at Home is Where the Boat Is.

1 package refrigerated pie crusts
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven to 425°F.
Mix pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until smooth. Pour into pastry lined muffin cups to the top. Top with a pastry leaf if desired.

Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 20 - 25 minutes longer or until knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool 30 minutes in pan and remove to wire rack to cool for another  hour for pumpkin filling to set completely.

I did have a little filling leftover.

These came out great and of course I forgot to snap a good picture.  I quickly snapped this with my cellphone the night of class.


Impossibly Easy Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pies

I spotted this on Pinterest a while ago and thought it would be a great little dinner for Miss V to make.  The recipe is from Betty Crocker.

Chicken-Broccoli Mixture

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup Green Giant® frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Baking Mixture

1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.

In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add onion; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add broccoli, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until mixture is heated through. Cool 5 minutes; stir in cheese.

In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup chicken-broccoli mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken-broccoli mixture in each muffin cup.

Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve.

These were ok, but very bland.  Miss V thinks we could have used some spice/herbs for the chicken mixture and I think next time we make this version a little poultry seasoning would be great.

There are other versions that she would like to try.

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