CHOCOLATE PECAN TURTLE CLUSTERS

Chocolate Turtle Clusters are delicious homemade candies with walnuts, caramel and chocolate.

As much as I love Christmas and the New Year, one thing always drives me nuts when these magic moments go into the past: a look at my weight. I presume that most of you have the same problem, because who can refuse the sweet magic that is literally in front of you all the time during these ten days? And if you are a real fan of sweets – you have got yourself a problem This year, the holiday challenges were really serious. And how to keep your ideal weight when, day after day, you have treats like this on the table? First the beautiful Snowball Cookies , and after that the devine chocolate baklava from my good friend, and then Cannoli Cream Puffs for New Years Eve …and to end it all… Eclairs. Mission impossible!

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

Ingredients
2 1/2 C pecans
1/2 C butter (I use salted)
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of a 14 ounce can)
1/2 t vanilla
1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
1/2 t shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)

Directions

  1. Toss 2 1/2 cups of pecans into a large skillet. Toast them over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until they have darkened just a bit and smell fragrant and wonderful. Should only take a few minutes
  2. Find yourself 2 large cookie sheets. Line them with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. Arrange your pecans into clusters, three to a group works well. You want to leave some space (about an inch) between each cluster.
  3. Make your caramel (full tutorial with pictures found here). Place 1/2 C butter into a medium-sized sauce pan. Melt it over medium high heat. Add 1 C brown sugar, 1/2 C light corn syrup and 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk to the pan. Increase the heat just a bit and stir it continually. Cook and stir until it reaches 235-240 degrees. I generally remove it from the heat when it reaches about 234 degrees. It will continue to rise in temperature just a bit even without the direct heat, making the caramel just the right texture.
  4. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
  5. Carefully drizzle about 1 1/2 teaspoons of caramel over each nut cluster. You’ll want to work quickly, as the caramel will begin to set up. Be sure there is caramel touching all of the nuts in your cluster. The caramel works like glue, sticking the nuts together.
  6. In a microwave safe bowl pour 12 ounces of milk chocolate chips. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval.
  7. Add 1/2 teaspoon of shortening to the melted chocolate. Allow it to sit for a minute or two (so it can melt and make the chocolate chips more spreadable). Stir it all together.
  8. Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons of melted chocolate over the top of the caramel and nuts. Swirl it around along the top making a pretty swoop with your spoon.
  9. Allow the chocolate to set up. Once it has hardened and cooled you can serve them immediately, or transfer them to an air tight container.

CARROTS & POTATOES ROASTED W/ ONION AND GARLIC

My dad used to make something similar, he would use a jar of pearl onions, and half a jar of minced garlic, and add a little worcestershire, then throw it on the grill. Soooo yummy!

There’s something so comforting about potatoes. Mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, or roasted potatoes, they are all comforting.
When I was growing up, my parents would often make fried potatoes, carrots, and onions. It was a little bit time-consuming, you had to be involved in the cooking process – stirring the potatoes often so that they wouldn’t stick.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED
large carrots
white potatoes
onion
garlic
butter
salt & pepper
INGREDIENTS
5 large carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch slices (or use baby carrots)
4 medium white potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 medium vidalia onion, cut into eighths
2 cloves garlic, diced
6 tablespoons butter, melted
salt & pepper
DIRECTIONS:
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic with melted butter in 8×8″ square glass pan.
Season generously with salt and pepper, toss.
Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Uncover, stir and continue baking for another 30 minutes (or until browned to your satisfaction), stirring occasionally to lift bottom portions to top to allow to brown and crisp.

The Best Home Made Pancakes

Ingredients

3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar (see note)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar (I used 3)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions

Combine the milk and vinegar in a small bowl for 10 minutes to “sour”. This is an important step and it is called “soured milk” which is much different that sour milk. I guarantee you will NOT taste the vinegar in the final product. Set aside.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the soured milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter together. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until most of the lumps are gone, but DO NOT OVER BEAT!!The batter will be thick, don’t add any more liquid.

LET THE BATTER SIT UNDISTURBED FOR TEN MINUTES!!After 10 minutes, you will see bubbles in the batter, very important DO NOT STIR AGAIN.GENTLY dip out (don’t pour out) 1/2 cup of batter and place it on a buttered grill or frying pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake and then flip with a spatula and brown the other side.

Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake

Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake: Creamy cheesecake meets crunchy apple crisp. This decadent dessert is the best of both worlds!

When I think of my all time favorite dishes, they have:

a. A balance of flavors

b. Contrasting textures

c. Loads of sugar doesn’t hurt either

This recipe features amazing flavors. Rich brown sugar, spicy cinnamon, and tart apples. It reminds me a lot of my caramel apple cheesecake. Except, there’s also a great contrast between the smooth creamy cheesecake, and the crunchy topping.

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

Ingredients:

Graham/Oats Crust:

¼ cup brown sugar

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

¾ cup rolled oats

½ cup melted butter

Cheesecake:

2 8oz package softened cream cheese

2 tbsp corn starch

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

⅛ tsp ginger

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp cinnamon

Apple Crisp Topping:

¼ cup all purpose flour

¼ cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 medium to large apple, peeled and thinly sliced

Caramel Topping, if desired

Prep time 20 mins| Cook time 40 mins | Total time 1 hour

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a mixing bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, rolled oats, melted butter and brown sugar together.

Press inside the bottom of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.

Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.

Meanwhile in the bowl of your electric mixer blend together cream cheese, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cornstarch and vanilla.

Once well combined, pour on top of your graham cracker/oat crust.

To start your apple layer, arrange the thinly sliced apple on top of the cheesecake in a single layer.

Top with the Apple Crisp Topping. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes.

Once it’s done cooking, cool for 15 minutes, then refrigerate overnight

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Ever since I discovered noodles, I didn’t stop trying to come up with new ways to make them taste delicious and healthy! Last night, I served this beef stroganoff, it made me proud! I hope you like it!

I loooove this recipe! It’s hearty, rich, and unbelievably flavorful. And, the slow cooker does most of the work, making it a great recipe for those busy week nights. Chunks of beef are simmered all day with sliced mushrooms and chopped onions in a crock pot. Then, just before serving, egg noodles, sour cream, and dijon mustard are added. Too Good!
You’ll Need:

2 pounds of cubed stew meat.

2 cans of condensed Golden mushroom soup.

1 large diced onion.

2 tbsps of worcestershire sauce.

½ cup of water.

8 oz of cream cheese.

1 tsp of garlic salt.

Couple dashes of hot paprika (optional).

Noodles.

How to:

In the crockpot, place the mushroom soup, onion, worcestershire sauce, water, garlic, salt and paprika and mix all together. Add in the meat and mix to combine.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Once it’s cooked through, cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the crockpot. Mix to combine and let cook for 10 more minutes on high.

Cook the noodles and serve with the beef!

Simple, easy and delicious! I usually put the noodles and the beef mixture in one big dish and mix all together before serving. You can also add noodles to your plate and spoon the beef stroganoff over the top. But I like it mixed!

Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

YOU’LL NEED (FOR THE CAKE):
2 ¼ cups of all purpose flour.

2 cups of light brown sugar.

1 cup of peanut butter.

½ cup of butter.

1 tsp of baking powder.

½ tsp of baking soda.

1 ¼ cups of milk.

2 tsp of vanilla extract.

3 eggs.

YOU’LL NEED (FOR THE FROSTING):
½ cup of peanut butter.

2 tbsps of honey.

1 tsp of vanilla extract.

2 cups of powdered sugar.

4-5 tbsps of milk.

HOW TO:
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, peanut butter and butter using an electric mixer. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, milk, vanilla and eggs and beat on low to combine then on medium speed for 3 minutes until well blended.
In a greased and floured 10×15 cake pan, pour the batter and bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated oven to 350°.
Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before spreading the frosting over it.
To make the frosting, warm the peanut butter and honey in the microwave then add the rest of the ingredients and beat to smooth. Spread over the hot cake and sprinkle with 1 cup of mini chocolate chips.
Enjoy!

Easy, peasy and yummy! I personally use double the frosting with one cup of mini chocolate chips on top. The frosting makes the cake taste a lot better! Give it a try guys and let me know what you think.

CREAMY CHICKEN & RICE CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS
1 box Chicken-flavor Rice-A-Roni (6 Ounce Box)
1 can Cream Of Mushroom Soup (10 Ounce Can)
1 container Sour Cream (8 Ounce Size)
1 whole Rotisserie Chicken
1 container French-fried Onions (6 Ounce Can)
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare Rice-A-Roni according to package directions. While that is cooking, shred/cut up the chicken (I always use a rotisserie chicken, but you could use leftover chicken or some cooked and shredded breasts, whatever), removing meat from bones.
When Rice-A-Roni is done, add the can of soup and the sour cream, and stir to combine. Add the chicken and mix together. Spread mixture into a sprayed baking dish (9-by-13-inch pan), but you can use what you like for how thick you want it to be) and bake, uncovered, at 350 F for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven, cover with the french-friend onions and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and try not to eat the whole thing.

Easy Beef and Broccoli (With Carrots)

You Should Really Try This Amazing Recipe Tonight!

Ingredients:

Coating
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Main Ingredients
1 lb beef round steak / strips
4 cup broccoli
1 small onion
2 each carrots
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Sauce
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Coating: In a bowl, combine cornstarch, water, and garlic powder. Mix until smooth. Toss beef in this mixture.

Sauce: In a bowl, combine soy, brown sugar, ground ginger, corn starch, and water. Mix until smooth.

In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef is browned. Remove and keep warm.

Stir-fry brocolli, carrots, and onion in the remaining oil. Add the beef and sauce.

Cook about 3 minutes, continously stirring to ensure even cooking.

Serve over rice.

Best Fried Green Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS
4 large green tomatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
DIRECTIONS
Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.

Boil Potatoes And Slice Them. Arrange With Meatballs And Cheese And Bake For A Delicious French Treat

So much of modern American cuisine comes out of French cooking that it’s hard to overstate its influence. Although we may think of the legendary chef and TV host Julia Child as an All-American chef, Child’s signature influences were from French cuisine and how it could be translated to fit the American home. On the other hand, we may have the impression that French cooking is only for the high-minded chef or that it’s too complicated to pull off regularly. Fortunately, we’ve got a recipe for you today that proves that this is simply not true.

You may have never heard of this delicious recipe for Gratin Parmentier but it has gone hugely viral online. It includes many common ingredients combined in a creative way and once you make it, it’s sure to become a staple. Let’s get started!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:
THE DISH:
3 potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 white onion
1 package of ground beef
1 teaspoon of chopped parsley
1 pinch of paprika
1 large bag of shredded mozzarella
bechamel sauce
salt
pepper
BECHAMEL SAUCE:
5 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
4 cups of milk
2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Before anything else, we’re going to make a basic béchamel sauce for use later in the recipe! First, get a medium saucepan and melt your butter over medium-low heat. Add in flour and stir it all up until it gets smooth. Keep cooking your mixture until it all turns a light golden color, for about six or seven minutes.
  2. In the meantime, heat your milk in a separate pan until it’s almost at a boil. Once it’s hot enough, gradually add your hot milk one cup at a time to the butter, continually whisking the entire time until it’s smooth. Once all the milk is incorporated, bring the whole thing to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring it constantly. Season it at the end with salt and nutmeg and you’re good to go!
  3. Now that your sauce is ready, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Next, get a big bowl and throw in your package of beef along with your chopped parsley and paprika. Add a little bit of salt and pepper as well. Once all the ingredients are together, mix together all the ingredients until they’re evenly combined.
  4. Next, peel three potatoes and boil them until they’re semi-soft, around seven minutes. Once they’re ready, take them out and chop them into slices, arranging them around the bottom of a round glass baking dish. Lay one layer flat on the bottom and arrange another layer around the sides as well.
  5. After that, get your meat mixture and work it into ice cream scoop-sized meatballs—the entire thing should form about 15 meatballs. Next, arrange them on your slices of potato that you laid out earlier.
  6. Once you’ve got your meatballs placed together, use your remaining slices of potato to put walls between the meatballs so each one has its own compartment. Pour your béchamel sauce into each one of the “compartments” until it’s relatively full and top the entire thing with a thin layer of shredded mozzarella.
  7. Finally, throw the entire dish in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Once it’s done, you’ll have a deliciously cheesy and creamy French casserole-style dish that the whole family will love!
    As you can see, this recipe is very straightforward and offers nothing not to like. Still, we warn you: once you make this once, you’re going to keep coming back to it. Enjoy!