Pecan Pie Balls

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 c pecans, toasted and chopped1 c graham crackers, crushed (vanilla wafers, Oreos can be subbed if you do not like graham crackers)
1 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp salt (if you can not handle the sodium, don’t use it!)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 c bourbon, brandy or spiced rum. non alcoholic version: use almond extract, rum extract, or any other that may suit your taste. add a little water/juice to equal the liquid amount.
1 tsp vanilla
7 oz dark chocolate bark. If you prefer white chocolate…go for it!
1 tsp coarse sea salt (optional)
DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine first four ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Add maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla.
  3. Use your hands to make sure all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Almond extract can be subbed for non-alcohol version… add water to equal liquid amount. You can also try non-alcohol rum flavoring.
  4. Form balls by scooping a tablespoon size amount of mixture.
  5. Roll in hands to form balls.
  6. Place balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 2 hrs. Tip: After all balls are made, roll balls again with slightly water damped hands. This will make balls smooth before dipping in chocolate.
  7. Melt chocolate bark in a double boiler or microwave per directions on package.
  8. Dip frozen balls into chocolate.
  9. Then place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  10. Optional: Sprinkle a few grains of coarse sea salt on balls before the chocolate sets.
  11. These freeze well. Take out of the freezer and let sit for 15 minutes. They are also good frozen!
    Last Step: Don’t forget to share!

Marshmallow Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
9-10 marshmallows
12 c. popcorn.,
Ingredients

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
9-10 marshmallows
12 c. popcorn.

Directions:

Microwave brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes.
Add marshmallows.
Microwave until melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Pour over popcorn.

Easy Caramel Apples

Do you love caramel apples but hate trying to eat them?

Try it this way! Hollow out your apples, (you can balance the apple halves in a muffin pan) fill will melted caramel, let the caramel harden and cut into slices!

To make the best caramel apples at home, you need the right sort of caramel for dipping—pale gold, so you can still taste the nuance of your favorite apple, but with plenty of toasty depth and a hint of salt to temper its sweetness.

This caramel’s thick enough to generously coat each apple, but tender, so you don’t have to worry about dislocating your jaw with every bite.

INGREDIENTS:
granny smith apples
caramel
INSTRUCTIONS
Cut your apples in half. Remove stems.
Hollow out each half by coring and shaving away some of the inner apple. (I use a muffin tin to help balance.)
Fill with warmed caramel. (You can use homemade or you can use store-bought and microwave it in 15 second intervals until warmed.)
Let the caramel cool and harden. Once completely cooled, cut apples into slice and serve.

Easy Christmas Cake

THIS CAKE IS A RICH, DARK, MOIST FRUIT CAKE, VERY FLAVORFUL AT CHRISTMAS. TRY ICING WITH ALMOND PASTE FOR A MORE FESTIVE TOUCH. THIS RECIPE IS STARTED IN OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER SO AS TO LET IT MELLOW BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS.
I remember very well my mother storing her fruit cake in an old butter churn that belonged to my grandmother and great grandmother. I wish that I had that old crock.

Make your own Christmas cake with our easy Christmas cake recipe. This simple, all-in-one recipe makes the perfect fruit base for your festive treat. This hearty Christmas cake will serve between 14-21 people and will take around 3hrs to prepare and bake. It’s well worth making this classic Christmas cake in advance so its got plenty of time to absorb all of the flavours from the mixed fruit and brandy. And if you’re trying to be good this Christmas, you’ll be glad to know that a slice of this mouth-watering fruit cake works out at only 242 calories per serving – yes, really! This tasty Christmas cake has been tested in the GoodtoKnow kitchen and is certainly a favourite. Once you’ve mastered this recipe you can get decorating with your chosen topping, be it traditional fondant and marzipan or royal icing or if you’re looking to keep it simple, don’t decorate this cake at all and serve glazed in a light drizzle of honey, golden syrup or warmed apricot jam.

After being faced with the reality that I’m going to have to start thinking about Christmas trees, house decorations, food and presents pretty rapidly, I decided to get going with my first festive tradition – the Christmas cake.

I’d always been a little intimidated when it came to making Christmas Cakes, I think it was a combination of so many ingredients and the length of time these cakes can take to bake. However this Christmas Cake recipe changed all of that and each year I make a minimum of six of these little gems to give to family and friends.

However don’t be alarmed if you haven’t started making Christmas Cakes this year, this cake still tastes amazing when cooked and eaten within a couple of days.

To Make this Recipe You’Il Need the following ingredients:

INGREDIENTS
2 (8 ounce) containers candied cherries
1 (8 ounce) container candied mixed citrus peel
2 cups raisins
1 cup dried currants
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
2 (2.25 ounce) packages blanched slivered almonds
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
6 eggs
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup apple juice
DIRECTIONS :
In a medium bowl, combine cherries, citrus peel, raisins, currants, dates, and almonds. Stir in brandy; let stand 2 hours, or overnight. Dredge soaked fruit with 1/2 cup flour.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease an 8x8x3 inch fruit cake pan, line with parchment paper, and grease again. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until light. Gradually blend in brown sugar and eggs. Mix together molasses and apple juice. Beat into butter mixture alternately with flour mixture, making 4 dry and 3 liquid additions. Fold in floured fruit. Turn into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan, and lift off paper. Cool cake completely, and then wrap loosely in wax paper. Store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

INGREDIENTS

For the bread:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 325°F and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
For the bread:
In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, and pumpkin puree with an electric mixer on medium until well combined.
Add the cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger, and salt, and mix until incorporated. Gradually add the flour and mix until just combined.
For cream cheese filling:
In a separate medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium until smooth and creamy.
Add the egg, sugar, vanilla and flour, and mix until smooth and well-blended.
Pour 1/3 of the pumpkin batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spoon the cream cheese filling over the batter and spread it out evenly with a rubber spatula. Pour remaining 2/3 of the batter over the top.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 65-75 minutes. (The toothpick might have some cream cheese stuck to it.) If top and sides are looking too brown, tent the pan with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter

Ingredient
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 pounds beef top sirloin steaks
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat with garlic powder and minced garlic. Set aside.
Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt and pepper.
Grill steaks 4 to 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. When done, transfer to warmed plates. Brush tops liberally with garlic butter, and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
Source : allrecipes.com

Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Ingredients
2 lbs chicken tenders
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1⁄2 cup butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all dry ingredients.
Line a shallow pan with foil.
Melt butter in a shallow dish.
Dip each piece in butter then roll in seasoning mixture and place in pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Source : allrecipes

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops Make a GREAT Appetizer!

Ingredients

6 slices of bacon, cut in half
12 medium-sized scallops (or 6 large, cut in half)
approx. 5 T butter, melted
as much garlic as you want (a few cloves), minced or pressed
salt and pepper
12 toothpicks


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lay the bacon out on a flat baking pan and bake it for about 10 minutes each side. You want it to really start cooking, but still be pliable. Remove from oven and lay on a plate to cool to the point that you can touch it without burning your fingers. Pour most of the leftover bacon fat out of the baking pan (strain and save it–it’s great for cooking everything, or making mayo out of (recipe soon). Add the garlic, salt and pepper to your melted butter. (You can keep some of this aside to pour over at the end.) Dip each scallop piece into the garlic butter. Thoroughly coat each one. Then wrap each scallop with a piece of the bacon and secure it with a toothpick (make sure toothpick goes all the way through the whole scallop and bacon on each side, so it doesn’t fall apart in the baking). Place each scallop onto the greased baking pan. Bake until scallops are done and bacon is starting to crisp a little (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from oven, arrange on plates and pour remaining garlic butter over all. These are also delicious with a chipotle mayo, for which I will try to get a recipe up soon.

Source : allrecipes.com

Quick & Easy Fruit and Dip

Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 cup pineapple juice
apples or strawberries or bananas or peaches or nectarines or plum


Directions
Blend cream cheese and marshmallow crème in mixer.
Slowly add ¼ C of juice.
Mix until well blended.
Cover and chill.
Cut fruit up into bite size pieces.
Dip the bananas and apples into the remaining pineapple juice to prevent the fruit from browning.
(Works as well as lemon but adds some sweetness to the fruit) To serve, arrange fruit on a platter around the dip.

Source: http://www.layersofhappiness.com/the-best-fruit-dip-ever/

Peach Pretzel Jello Salad

2 hours to prepare serves 8-10
INGREDIENTS
Crust:
2 cups pretzels, crushed
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Filling:
2 cans peaches, drained, peaches pat dry
2 cups water, boiling
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 (6 oz.) package peach jello
1/2 cup sugar


PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 400ºF, and grease a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine pretzels, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in melted butter, and mix thoroughly.
Transfer pretzel mixture to baking dish, and gently press into an even layer. Bake crust for 8-10 minutes, then set aside to let cool.
In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar, then gently fold in whipped topping.
Spread mixture over cooled crust, then refrigerate 1 hour, or until set.
In a large bowl, combine jello packet with boiling water and stir thoroughly until completely dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
Top the cream cheese layer of the cake with peach slices, then gently pour gelatin over cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate until set, 2-3 hours. Serve chilled, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from 12 Tomatoes