Monday, November 26, 2012

No-Bake Biscoff Cookies

Cookie Butters.. Have you tried them? Do you like them? Or is Peanut Butter the only one for you? I absolutely adore Trader Joe's Cookie Butter, there is a special place in my cupboard for that insanely addicting spread. I finally tried Biscoff, and while it is good, I will have to say it did not win my affection. 

I bought the Biscoff to satisfy my curiosity about it's taste, but also to make these No-Bake Biscoff Cookies from Chef In Training. Truckin' Man is absolutely in love with these and thinks they are the best ever. I certainly can't argue when a recipe this simple makes him so happy!  And, it works as great portion control for me when he loves our sweet's as much as he loves these. I get to put them in the truck, save one or two back for me, and away the sweet's go. I am set and ready to make the next treat!

Cookie Butter

No-Bake Biscoff Cookies  

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. milk
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Biscoff Spread
2 1/2 c. rolled oats
2 t. vanilla

In a large saucepan melt butter, milk and sugar, stirring, until it reaches a rolling boil. Let it boil 1 minute.
Remove from heat. Stir in Biscoff Spread, oats and vanilla until well mixed.
Place spoonfuls of batter on parchment or waxed paper.  Let cookies set up. Store in airtight container. 

Sharing at:
Foodie Friends Friday
Weekend Potluck

(Source: Chef In Training) 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Seasons are Changing for the Chickens

The temperatures are dropping, and our free range chickens are having to make some changes to their lifestyle and diet. The endless supply of bugs and other treats they loved, are coming to an end. They are resorting to climbing the wood pile for the little insects to make them happy.

The ground is freezing, the puddles are now ice. 

The ladies are unaware of the dangers that lurk beyond the yard, and will wander into the woods to scratch away the leaves in attempts to find more bugs!

Since we have let the ladies be completely free range, we are having to make some changes. We had a large barn door we would just swing open for them every morning and let them do their thing. With winter weather coming, we have to keep the cold and snow away from that door. So, our awesome friend that has been helping out around the farm, built a little ramp for the ladies to go through an old window.

They will adapt to their new diet. They are happy chickens and still come running to see me when I get home... Should be a busy winter!

Sharing at:
Clever Chicks Blog Hop

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stuffed Garlic Bread

One year blogging? After looking back, my first post was on November 16, but it just doesn't seem possible. This really has grown to more than I ever expected, I didn't know if anyone other than my parents would read what I put out here! I have made great friendships through every path my blog takes. Amazingly awesome foodie friends.... learning and sharing with so many on my new venture of raising gardening friends are so motivational and keep me moving! But, my biggest focus is food. I love it. You love it. We are just all a bunch of foodies! Besides meeting such amazing people, the inspiration from you all is HUGE! The recipes shared, techniques shared... I just love it and everyone out there so much :)

Since this is my one year anniversary, I wanted to make something special for ya'll. I haven't made this in such a long time, but it's one of my favorites. I got this recipe years ago... Back when Emeril still had his show on the Food Network. Yikes.. when I pulled up the original recipe off their website, it is dated as 2001! It's a forgiving recipe too...If you are missing one ingredient, just substitute something else in.

Stuffed Garlic Bread  (Source: Emeril Lagasse- Food Network)

1 loaf French or Italian bread about 22-inches in length
12 T. unsalted butter, softened
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. grated parmesan
1 1/2 t. Essence, recipe here
2 t. minced garlic
1 T. finely chopped parsley
1/4 t. salt
1 T. olive oil
3/4 lb Italian sausage, removed from the casing
1 c. thinly sliced yellow onion
1/2 c. thinly sliced green bell pepper (I used red)
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 T. chopped garlic


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Cut the bread in half lengthwise. Lay the two halves of bread cut-side up on the lined baking sheet.

In a small mixing bowl combine the butter, olive oil, grated Parmesan, Essence, garlic, parsley, and salt and mix well. Spread the butter mixture evenly onto the two halves of bread. Place on the baking sheet and bake until just starting to get bubbly but not brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up with a large wooden spoon, until cooked through and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Add the onions, peppers, and red pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the sausage back to the pan, and stir well. Spread the sausage mixture evenly over the bottom half of the bread and cover with the top half. Wrap in aluminum foil and return to the oven to warm through and for the flavors to blend, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove bread from the oven, slice and serve immediately.

Sharing this recipe @:

Foodie Friends Friday
Weekend Potluck

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Banana Nut Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel

It's been a crazy couple weeks here. We had our first snow, it was pretty, then I wrecked my car. Not so pretty then. No damage to me... Yeay! The car is still waiting for the body shop and the insurance company to determine it's future. So, I switched over to my winter driver (which I should have been driving anyway), the brakes went out on that after work one night, and I got to carry groceries home. Again, no damage to me, and none to my jeep, but really?  My nerves are getting pretty rattled, and I can't get anything done when I can't get anywhere!

One of my days stuck home, I was going to make banana muffins with my VERY ready banana's. Enough of making the banana's wait another day already. I head for my killer muffin recipe and get ready to rock out some muffins. Nope, they call for a cup of oil, and I could at most get a third cup out of the bottle. Nothing is easy this week! I remembered a recipe I had bookmarked a long time ago, and pull that up. I didn't remember them being such a healthy muffin, but what the heck, at least I had all the ingredients for this recipe. O.M.G. They were one of the best muffins I have ever made! I don't think they surpassed my "unhealthy" banana muffins, but they really were super good. The recipe makes a dozen, and for the two of us, that lasts a couple days, but even that very last muffin was still moist and tasty.

Give 'em a shot, they can turn a bad week all around!

Banana Nut Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel (Source: MyRecipes)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 c. milk
3 T. canola oil
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 c. chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

6 T. regular oats
5 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. light brown sugar
2 T. butter, softened
1/4 t. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°  Combine 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine banana, milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; fold in walnuts (optional). Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.

To prepare streusel, combine oats, 5 T. flour, 2T sugar, butter and 1/4 t. cinnamon. Blend with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel over muffin batter. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Store in air tight container.

Sharing this recipe at:
Weekend Potluck

Friday, November 9, 2012

Beer Bread


I have always loved bread, most carbs in fact. If you were ever to offer me a choice between a biscuit and a piece of chocolate, I would take the biscuit.  Lucky for me, Truckin' man is the same way. Or unlucky? We always have so many carbs around. We crave them!

As far as baking breads, I am new to it. Back in the day, I would make fresh breads, but it was always from a mix. Well, except for banana bread, that one I have always managed on my own. Beer bread is one that was always from a mix too. I would get the mixes from the at home party places. Since I have moved away from the mixes and started making so many things from scratch, I have a HUGE problem with expiration dates. I pulled my last Beer Bread mix out of the cupboard last week, and couldn't remember when I bought it, and there was no expiration date on it. After staring at the box long enough, I remembered that I bought it before my girlfriend became a consultant for the company, so out the door that mix went. Next step, surfing for a recipe for Beer Bread.  I quickly settled on one from My Baking Addiction. It is such a simple recipe, I am wondering why I was buying the expensive mixes all those years?

Give it a shot. Use a beer you like. I used some Pumpkin Ale from Blue Moon. I was curious to see if the pumpkin flavor would come out more in baking, than it did in drinking. It did not. But, it did make a delicious beer bread!

Beer Bread 

3 c. self rising flour**(see note below)
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. kosher salt
12 oz. beer (Blue Moon was my choice)
2 T. melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8x4 inch loaf pan. In large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and beer.  Mix well. The mixture will be very thick. Pour into loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes.

At the last three minutes of baking, remove from oven, brush the top of the loaf with the melted butter and return to oven for the final three minutes of baking.

**Note: If you don't have self rising flour, you can make it.   Directions can be found here, or below.
  1. Using a dry measure, measure the desired amount of flour into a separate container.
  2. For each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Mix to combine.

Enjoy :)

Source: My Baking Addiction

Sharing this recipe at:
Weekend Potluck 
Foodie Friends Friday

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds are my number one reason for looking forward to Halloween every year. I absolutely love munching on them. And there are so many ways to make them. If you have never tried them, grab that last pumpkin you have decorating your outdoor step, and scoop out the seeds!

There are a bazillion recipes online with preparation methods, and recipes. They all start the same though, gut your pumpkin and clean the seeds. Get all those slimy stringy pieces and chunks out. Once you have all the chunks out, you are ready to start adding your flavors and making them tasty!  I like to spice them up, but also have just tossed them with olive oil, then give them a good sprinkle of kosher salt, and then bake.

Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
2 c. pumpkin seeds
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 t. Tabasco
1 t. cayenne
1/2 t. cumin
1 T. chili powder

Combine all ingredients.  Bake at 300 degrees for 70 minutes or until crisp.  

Sharing this recipe @
Farm Girl Blog Fest  
Foodie Friends Friday
Weekend Potluck
Clever Chick Blog Hop  
Backyard Farming Connection

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Roasted Sunflower Seeds

Gardens are a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. When I was planting everything in my garden this spring, I had little bit's of space left along some of the edges. I wanted to make use of all my space, but know that I have to draw the line somewhere on what I can maintain. That meant using my leftover space for fun and color. Enter Sunflowers! I have never planted a sunflower seed before, so I decided to try them.

We went to a local fair in July that had a massive field full of sunflowers... I was in love!

 Soon after the fair, my own beauties started showing off!

They grew to sizes, I would have never imagined!

My mom shared a blog recipe with me for oven roasting your own sunflower seeds, 
so I cut the heads off and brought them up to the house.

After getting the heads to the house, you hold the head over a large pan or bucket and run your fingers across, and the seeds just fall out.  The ones toward the center that don't come out easy, aren't ready. Just leave them, you want the ones that fall off the head.  To the experienced sunflower roasters, there is probably a better way of getting the dried flower remains off so you don't have to pick all the little pieces out of your seeds before preparing them. I don't know that trick yet, so it was a little bit tedious (annoying!) to me.  All in all it was fun, and they are tasty. Not sure if I would go through the work again, but if you have more patience than I do, it's probably worth it!

Roasted Sunflower Seeds ( Source: My little cottage in the making)

Clean sunflower seeds of all the little dried flower bits.  Next, give them a good rinse to wash away any remaining dirt.  
In a large bowl, dissolve about 1/2 cup salt ( I used kosher).  Add your sunflower seeds to the salt water. They will float, so set another bowl or plate on top of them to hold them down into the salt water. Let them soak for at least 8 hours, up to 24. When you are ready to roast them, drain them in a colander, but DO NOT RINSE! You want all that salty goodness to stay on them.

Place on cookie sheet in single layer. Roast at 300 degree's for 30 minutes. Stir them around half way through to prevent burning. At 30 minutes check to see if they are done. I ended up roasting mine for 20 minutes more (50 minutes total) until they were roasted to my taste.  

Sharing this @
Clever Chicks Blog Hop
Fresh Eggs Daily - Fall Harvest 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

November 1st... Allergies are finally leaving me, and I am feeling a little more back on my game. I missed decorating for Halloween, and have not been enjoying fall much until the last couple days. So, no more whining, time to get in gear and start enjoying my favorite time of year!!!

This week I made my first pumpkin treat of the season (told ya I am behind on everything!). Pumpkin Cream Cheese. This stuff is so dang good, it almost makes up for the fact that it's my first pumpkin adventure! Back in the city days, I would get a pumpkin bagel shmeared with pumpkin cream cheese from Einstein Bros. I just loved it, but again... that was back in the day. It was one of those foods that I just put out of my mind and learned to live without. Then... One day... On pinterest... You got it, I found Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread. Thank you for sharing, My Favorite Things!  

Pumpkin Cream Cheese (Source: My Favorite Things)

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. vanilla

Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours*

**Note: The closer you wait to the 24 hours, the more this will just "wow" your tastebuds!! 

Sharing this recipe at:
Treasure Box Tuesday