Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Bars (or Cookie Bites)

Chocolate Chip Bars, Grandma's Recipe
 Good morning y'all! It's so great to have a new post for you, and I've got a lot more on the way I promise ya. Normally I'd make apologies for my absence from the blog and I truly did miss blogging. But honestly there was no way around it, life sometimes grabs you by the horns and things start to change and you have to learn to adjust in a completely new way, and well I guess that's what's been going on over here. We're getting ready for the arrival of our little girl in really just 15ish weeks (YIPES!!) and I've been doing some slight catering on the side which I do enjoy however I think that adventure needs to wait a little longer until this Momma doesn't have a little person blocking her way to the kitchen counter... haha! But it has been an adventure!

A few weeks ago I got a late night craving for these chocolate chip bars my Grandma used to make. My boys wanted Ice Cream, which if you follow me on Facebook you already know I've become lactose intolerant this pregnancy and Ice Cream is just not an option for me anymore (though I do still crave it!). So I decided to whip up a batch of these little treats and that just started a whole new adventure...

Just a few days later my Brother In Law asks me if I could cater the desserts for his house warming party. As much as I love my BIL I admit I had to think about it, right now anything like that requires a lot more energy and even time than I have most days. But I did agree, and pretty soon my brain starting working overtime. I came up with several ideas of things that would be good, gave him a list (which I did have to change due to a lack of fridge space) and he chose his favorites... Everything on the list... haha! Luckily for me there was only 4 things on that list. But right at the top was "Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites" and my plan was to experiment using the recipe for these Chocolate Chip Bars, and scoop the batter into mini muffin pans and go from there... Guess what?!? IT WORKED!!! They were a HUGE hit, especially with the little kids as they could so easily grab a handful and wolf them down long before the parents realized it... haha! Just kidding! But really, one of the comments I got were "Where did you get these, they look like they were store bought but taste homemade..." now I don't know about y'all but when the people in my family say that something looks like it was bought in a store that means it looks too "perfect" to have been made at home, which is a high compliment. So I'd say overall, even with the first batch of Mini Brownie Bite (recipe coming soon!) failing, 48 hours in the kitchen baking, very swollen feet and sore back... It was all worth it in the end. The party was a success, and my desserts were gobbled up before lunch was even served. (But don't ask me to cater anything for the next week... I'm pretty sure my feet still hate me!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites, Grandma's Recipe adapted by The Farmers Wife

Ingredients: makes 1 large jelly roll pan, or roughly 56 cookie bites
1 Cup Shortening
3/4 Cup White Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Cup Water
2 2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
6 oz. Chocolate Chips (I used mini chocolate chips for the cookie bites)

Directions:
Pre heat your oven to 350F degrees, and lightly grease your pan (or mini muffin cups, I used the Baker's Joy with flour in it, worked GREAT!). In your mixer, cream together the shortening and sugars until smooth. Then add the eggs, salt, baking soda, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Once smooth add in the chocolate chips. To make bars, spread evenly in a large jelly roll pan, this may require using your hands, and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. To make cookie bites, scoop about 1 oz. of dough into each well, and bake about 12 minutes or until golden. Let cool in pan a few minutes and serve. *These will keep for a few days if in a airtight container.*

Review:
Obviously I love these, I grew up on them and have now gotten my Hubby and Son completely hooked, as well as the rest of my In Law family. And I have to say I almost like them as cookie bites more than anything else, the texture was spot on and with the mini chocolate chips there was more chocolate per bite... YUM! 5 stars.

Happy Baking!!


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Friday, February 3, 2012

Kim's Casserole ~ Homemade Hamburger Helper

Kim's Casserole, Family Recipe

 Hey y'all! It feels good to be back to posting somewhat regularly! My hubby got me set up with our old laptop so that I can blog while he's working at home now! YAY!!! lol! Today's recipe is a family classic from my childhood and I'm pulling it from the archives as I've recently re-made it and changed it up a bit!

I honestly don't know where this recipe originated other than my Mom making it fairly often when I was young because I just loved it, (hence it's named after ME! haha!) and it's an easy and cheap meal to throw together. I honestly kind of forgot about this recipe until last week when my little Sis-In-Law was perusing my blog and found it and decided it must be made the very next day for lunch. My little sous chef just adored this and ate it up, my Sis got seconds, and I (being pregnant and suddenly majorly craving this) ate a lot more than I'd like to admit... HAHA! It reminded me of my childhood, and really was just an all around comfort food and with all the stress of the last few months it really hit the spot. Now I know this isn't the most figure friendly meal I've ever posted, so if you're wanting that feel free to check out another recipe. But it is cheap, easy and a big time kid pleaser. And also when I make Mac and Cheese I use only half the butter recommended and always use lowfat milk too and so far my boys haven't noticed... ;-) Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 Lbs. Ground Sirloin (ground beef works too)
1/4 Onion, diced
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 boxes Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
1 can Tomato Soup
1-2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning (to taste)

Directions:
Cook Macaroni according to directions on package. Meanwhile in a skillet saute' onions and garlic in a little bit of Olive Oil. Once translucent, add the ground beef and 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning and brown, once cooked drain the fat. Add the beef to the cooked and prepared macaroni. Pour the tomato soup in the pot and mix. Add in the remaining seasonings (to taste) and stir. Makes about 6 servings.

Review:
This is a really easy dinner. Comes together really fast, and is a major kid pleaser. We had this a lot growing up, and for me it tastes like my childhood. It's fairly rich because of the soup, but it really is yummy! 3.5 Stars


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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Party Food!!

 Hey y'all! So I'm told there's this big football game coming up this Sunday... Something I heard about a Stuper Bowl... haha! I know, I know it's Super Bowl Sunday this February 5th... And while I will not be partaking of any football type activities as it is also my Birthday (I HATE when my b-day falls on Super Bowl Sunday.... UGH!) I know most of you out there will be. So to get you started on your menu plans, or to just give you some ideas here's my list of favorite party foods! I hope y'all have a fantastic weekend, and may the best team win (FYI I have NO idea who's playing... BAHAHAHA!!!)

 Party Food!!
(So you know there is a specific party food category on the site, and all of these are listed there too!)

Appetizers:

Pizza Bites (These are both man and kid approved, so if you have any kids coming to your party these are a must have!)

Pizza Muffins (A kid pleaser, but you can easily change the fillings for your party goers)

Corn Dog Bites (You just can't go wrong with these puppies!)

Bean Dip (Who doesn't love a good dip?!? teehee!)

Main Dishes:

Hoagies (You can mix these up so much to your specific tastes, and make several for all your guests! OR if doing a sandwich bar give my Spicy Mayo a try!)

Italian Beef (Easy, delicious, and feeds a crowd! Serve with little buns, or big ones)

Crock Pot Savory Chili (Because every football party requires some good chili!)

Pulled BBQ Beef (Simple yet very tasty and man approved game day food! And if you forget the buns here's a recipe for Hamburger Buns)

Balsamic Grilled Chicken (May sound girly... But totally man approved! My man couldn't get enough of this chicken!)

Tostada Pizza   (For a Mexican themed party day!)

Chicken Fingers (Served with a wide range of dipping sauces and your boys will be happy and messy for hours!)

Grilled Steak with Grill Seasonings (This was my Hubby's recipe he shared this summer, and with tips of the perfect grilled Steak and Burger!)

Sides:

Potato Salad (Simple, basic, total man food! Add in onions or pickles as you see fit, or put them on the side!)

Baked Beans (Staple for any game day party!)

Cheesy Mac (Who doesn't love a good Mac and Cheese?!?)

Lighter Loaded Mashed Taters (Shhh... Don't tell them it's diet!!)

Vanilla Fluff Fruit Salad (It's so good it could almost be a dessert!)

Seasoned Grilled Corn (It's super easy, and famously delicious!)

Seasoned Potatoes (Cooked on the grill so less clean up, and totally dude approved)

Desserts:

Cookie Pizza (I know this may seem more like chick food, but I'm sure you could get inventive and use the colors from your favorite team to make a design on your cookie!)

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Sugar Chips (A wonderful dessert, that's different from your typical variety!)

Grandma M's Chocolate Chip Cookies (Because everyone loves a good cookie)

White Raspberry Cake (Basically a Jell-O cake, where you can use whatever flavor of Jell-O you want to match your teams colors! And can use fruit on the top to make the team logo!)

Beverages:

Pineapple Mango Punch (This is guy approved, my man made up this concoction himself! Nice alternative to beer, cus I'm sorry but I hate that stink!)  

Hope you all enjoy your Super Bowl Parties, and that this helps with our menu planning for the big day! I personally hope to catch every chick flick possible and chill with my family all day! ;-)


Happy Cooking!

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