Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

When I think of rhubarb, I think of the house I grew up in. Behind our house in Wisner, my parents had a rhubarb patch and apple tree. Unfortunately, our tree was struck by lightning so the apples it produced were not edible. I remember my mother sending me out in the summer time to pull rhubarb for recipes she would make. The recipe I remember the most was a coffee cake.

When we moved to Wayne, my Grandma Fletcher helped me plant a garden our first year. When we started, the only thing in the garden was rhubarb and Morning Glory flowers growing up the vine. I really wanted strawberries and pumpkins. I learned a few very important lessons. 1) I don’t have a green thumb. 2) You can’t grow strawberries right away. 3) Pumpkins take over and spread everywhere. My great uncle Bob would often come over and take our rhubarb to make jam. The blessing of course is that he would share it with us for providing the rhubarb.

As an adult, I occasionally find recipes I want to make with rhubarb. My dear friend Chuck even has a whole recipe book with just rhubarb recipes. A few months ago, I noticed they sold it in the freezer section at Hy-Vee. I picked up some rhubarb in hopes of making a few of those recipes.

During a recent trip to visit my family, my sister had the television on The Food Network. The Barefoot Contessa was making a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. It looked so good I decided to make it a few days ago. I wish I could capture the smell of this amazing recipe straight from the oven to share with you through my blog. I guess this beautiful picture will have to do until you cook it for yourself.

Strawberry Rhubarb CrispStrawberry Rhubarb Crisp by The Barefoot Contessa
4 c. rhubarb, chopped
4 c. strawberries, chopped
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 t. cornstarch
1/2 c. orange juice
1 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. oatmeal
12 T. (1 and 1/2 sticks butter), chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix rhubarb and strawberries with 3/4 c. sugar. Add orange zest. Dissolve cornstarch in orange juice. Pour into large baking dish (2 qt. oblong). Mix flour, salt, brown sugar, remaining granulated sugar, and oatmeal together. Mix in cubed butter. Sprinkle onto of fruit. Bake for 1 hour.

(Please note – I cut the recipe in half.)

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No Bake Cookie Dough

Did you used to lick the egg beaters as a kid? In my mother’s kitchen, that was a benefit to helping her make homemade chocolate chips cookie. Who knew back in the day that eating raw cookie dough was bad for you? The raw eggs put us at risk of getting sick from salmonella.

A friend of mine posted this recipe for a no bake cookie dough. Since it doesn’t have eggs, you can eat it raw. Without leavening agents (baking soda and baking powder), you can’t bake this recipe though.

I made this recipe for a talent show for Associate Appreciation Week at work. It was a hit with all my co-workers in attendance.

100_0957Eggless Cookie Dough
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. milk
1 c. flour
pinch of salt
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Mix together brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Add milk and slowly add flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate or freeze til ready to eat.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

This is one of my favorite days to celebrate – recognizing the people who keep our organizations running every day. This morning, I made Brown Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies. It’s a recipe a find from a link on the Bravely Obey blog (a dear friend of mine’s blog). I love snickerdoodles and I hope you also enjoy this yummy treat.

Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles CookiesBrown Sugar Snickerdoodles
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. brown sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. Greek yogurt

Rolled Mix
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and salt. In a pan, melt butter on the stovetop on a medium heat until it foams. In another bowl, mix together butter and sugars. Add and mix sugar, eggs, vanilla, and yogurt. Blend in flour mixture in batches. Refrigerate overnight. Make into balls and roll in cinnamon/sugar. Bake 8-11 minutes at 350 degrees.

Monster Dip

If you have followed my blog for awhile, you might know I love M&Ms. In fact, a eat a few of them out of my candy dish probably every day. One of my all time favorite cookies is Monster Cookies because it contains M&Ms. My mother makes them perfectly but mine never turn out quite as good.

A few days ago, I spotted this recipe on an old friend from high school’s Facebook page. I just knew I had to make it. Without eggs, you can eat the raw dish without having to worry about salmonella like you do when you sample uncooked cookie dough. I’ve tried this dip with Teddy Grams, pretzels, and apples. I liked it the best on pretzels. I think it might also be good on graham or animal crackers.

Monster Cookie DipMonster Dip
1 package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. peanut butter
2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 c. oats (less makes a smoother dip)
2/3 c. M&Ms
1 c. chocolate chips

Use a mixer to blend cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter until smooth. Add powder sugar, brown sugar, flour, and vanilla. Add oats. Stir in M&Ms and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until serving. It makes a large storage container full.

Notes:

  • I used reduced fat cream cheese and peanut butter.
  • I only used 1 1/2 c. oats and my recipe was fairly smooth.

Crepes

Last week, I was helping my undergraduate alma mater recruit students. Talking about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with students reminded me of my college days. I was what you would call a residence hall geek. As a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, I must educate you never to use the word “dorm”.

During my college days, I served on the Residence Hall Association, acted as a summer conference assistant, worked at the front desk for Harper-Schramm-Smith, cleaned windows for maintenance, and even did kitchen prep work in the dining halls one summer. As a resident hall student, I think breakfast was my favorite meal. I would get up at 7AM, pick-up a Daily Nebraskan, and head up for breakfast before my 8:30 class. One of my favorite breakfast recipes they served was Strawberry Crepes. Until now, I have never cooked crepes myself. I’m so bad at flipping pancakes that I made my mother buy me for Christmas one year a pancake cooker (like a waffle maker) that doesn’t make you flip them.

While hosting a Wildtree fundraiser for work last summer, I decided to buy a mix to make crepes. Recently, I printed off a recipe for Spiced Crepes with Strawberry Filling from Betty Crocker’s website. After my reminiscing about my college days, I decided to finally make this recipe – substituting the Wildtree mix for the Betty Crocker crepes recipe. I have to tell you, they tasted just as good as I remember.

100_0933Spiced Crepes with Strawberry Filling by Betty Crocker

Crepes
3/4 c. instant flour
1 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
3 eggs
3 T. butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vegetable oil

Filling
2 T. butter
2 & 1/2 c. strawberry halves
2 T. packed brown sugar
2 T. orange juice
1 T. red wine or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt

Topping
2 T. powder sugar

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt. In another bowl, beat together milk, eggs, butter, and almond extract with a wire whisk. Pour into center of dry ingredients and mix together. Pour about 1 T. oil into 6-8 in skillet and heat on a medium heat. Wipe out when hot and add 3 T. of batter. Swirl in pan and even out batter. Cook 30 seconds, flip, and cook 30 seconds more. Place cooked crepes on a plate seperating with waxed paper. When you have finished with crepes, move onto filling.

In a 10 inch skillet, melt 2 T. butter over a medium heat. Add strawberries and brown sugar. Cook until they start getting soft. Then, add orange juice, vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add 2 T. of strawberry filling to the inside of each crepe. Roll up and drizzle with a little more strawberry sauce. Top with powdered sugar.

Nutritional Information: (Makes six servings – two crepes per serving) 270 calories (130 calories from fat), 14 g. fat (6 g. saturated fat, 1/2 g. trans fat), 135 mg. cholesterol, 220 mg. sodium, 29 g. carbs, 2 g. fiber, 16 g. sugar, and 7 g. protein.

Notes:

  • This recipe does take about an hour from start to finish. I did the prep work on my strawberries before I made the crepes to literally go straight from cooking crepes to making filling.
  • The Wildtree recipe for crepes is easier and healthier. Just add water to mix and whisk. The first couple weren’t pretty but they got better the hotter the pan was. I also used a touch of butter instead of oil between cooking each crepe.
  • I used red wine vinegar in my filling. The might help with the smell when you first heat vinegar.
  • I used fat free Cool Whip instead of powdered sugar on my crepes.

Crunchy Chocolate Chip Muffins

In February, Kansas City was buried in snow. I’m not talking a little bit of snow. One week we got 14 inches on a Thursday morning and the following Monday night another 11 inches. Needless to say, I didn’t leave the house for a few days each time. One of my friends was joking on the internet about why the grocery stores were sold out of all the staples (bread, milk, and eggs). While I on the other hand, always have a pantry and freezer always stock with food. I was cooking up a storm before and after working from home.

This recipe is an oldie but goodie from Taste of Home. I came from one of those magazines my sister shared with me. The recipe was originally published in 2005.

Chocolate Chip MuffinChocolate Chip Muffin by Kelly Kirby
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. chocolate chips

Topping
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 c. chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix. Then add yogurt and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, powder, and salt. Add to mixture slowly. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

In a small, mix topping ingredients. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. This recipe makes one dozen muffins.

Note: If you don’t want to add the topping, I think the recipe would still be good for a chocolate chip muffin.

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

One of my friends and old co-workers loves red velvet cake. When I saw this recipe, it seemed like the perfect surprise thank you gift. You see, he asked his wife (another friend and co-worker) to give me a ride to pick-up my car from the repair shop. I truly appreciate the kind gesture and never forgot it.

In January, I shared a post from a friend on my Facebook wall. You may have seen it, if you “like” the post, you will receive the surprise at some point from me throughout the year. Four of my friends responded and I haven’t forgotten. I started with Nick in celebration of Kindness Week. I couldn’t think of a better time to repay the favor. Since his wife helped me with the surprise (as well as the ride), I asked him to be sure to share with Sara.

Nick, Sara, and my family all loved this recipe. Very soft and moist.

100_0904Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies from Pinterest (adapted from a Paula Deen recipe)
8-oz cream cheese, at room temperature (I used reduced fat)
1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 box red velvet cake mix
confectioners’ sugar

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Beat in the egg, then add vanilla. Beat in the cake mix until completely combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Roll the dough into balls. Roll dough balls in confectioners’ sugar, and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Four Ingredient Rolls

I love dinner rolls but I never bake them from scrath because I don’t like using quick rising yeast or a rolling pin. When I saw this recipe, it seemed simple enough to give it a try. Who know you could use 7-Up for making biscuits and keeping fruit fresh?

BiscuitsFour Ingredient Rolls on Pinterest
2 c. Bisquick
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. 7-Up
1/4 c. melted butter (a half stick)

Mix together sour cream and Bisquick. Add 7-Up. Sprinkle a cutting board and your hands with Bisquick. Pull apart and roll dough into nine pieces. Melt butter in a 8 x 8 glass baking dish. Place dough balls in dish. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Notes:

  • I used light sour cream and unsalted butter. I think it turned out fine. You could probably use Diet 7-Up as well.
  • I would suggest maybe adding some seasoning to the recipe like rosemary or garlic powder.
  • I also used the biscuit this morning to make an egg white breast sandwich.

Overnight Caramel French Toast

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my blog. I had the best of intentions to post but got caught up watching the Oprah interview with Lance Armstrong. As a celebration of one year sharing my favorites and testing new recipes, I thought I would share one of the best new recipes I’ve made in 2013.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from “Favorite Recipes – MS Forward.” I got this cookbook from my aunt Linda. Two of her daughters (Jenny and Jeanna) battle MS every day. Jeanna was one of the people who helped put this fundraising cookbook together. You know what I say, the best recipes come from cookbooks like this because people only share their best recipes. Hope you make this for your family on this long holiday weekend.

Caramel French ToastOvernight Caramel French Toast by Carol Hendrix
2 T. light corn syrup
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1 c. brown sugar
12 slices of bread
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

In a saucepan, combine corn syrup, butter, and brown sugar. Simmer til syrupy. Pour mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9 sprayed glass baking dish. Layer with six slices of bread. Stack second layer of bread on top. In a bowl, beat together eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt. Pour over bread. Cover pan and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Uncover pan and bake for 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Notes: This reheats well and doesn’t leave a messy pan.

English Toffee

While making a cookbook for my Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas (don’t tell them if you know them because they aren’t getting it til Christmas day), I asked my mother for my Uncle Ed’s Peanut Cluster recipe. My mother told me I also needed to include Grandma’s English Toffee recipe. I said, “I’ve never had Grandma’s English Toffee.” My mom said, “Oh yeah, she used to make it all the time.”

The other day I thought I would make this simple recipe. My sister said, “Good luck, English Toffee is hard to make.” I thought, that’s odd – I wonder when my sister made English Toffee. I started cooking it as realized Grandma instructions aren’t super clear. The sugar mixture was brown and boiling but didn’t really seem very thick. I figured it was hot enough to melt the chocolate though. I poured it out on the foil lined cookie sheet smoothed it out. I topped with chocolate bar squares and smoothed again with a cake knife. I refrigerated overnight and broke into pieces the next more. It’s really thin but that’s OK because this recipe is very rich. It will also make your hands a little greasy.

English ToffeeEnglish Toffee by Shirley Fletcher
1 c. sugar
½ pound butter (2 sticks of butter)
3 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla

Cook until hard crack, brown, and thick. Spread on cookie sheet and put 3 or 4 Hershey’s bars (I used 12 snack sized bars). Smooth it out. Sprinkle with pecans or nuts (optional). Cool. Once cool, break into pieces.

Notes:

  • My mother said you might only want to use half or three fourths of the cookie sheet. This will make your pieces a little thicker.
  • I used Country Crock so you might have different results with real butter.
  • I used my Paula Deen iron casserole dish. This works great for making things like fudge and English Toffee.