Tag Archives: pecans

Strawberry Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Strawberry Salad

Here is a great summer salad that you will want to make with all the fabulous strawberries that we have now.  These flavors from strawberries, mandarin oranges, and avocados  just go together to make a fantastic combination that I would not ordinarily put together.  And the avocado in this salad  oh my! If you are looking hard to see the avocado you won’t.  I served this salad to my book club last month and in the hustle and bustle to make a photo without holding up serving the food I forgot to add the avocado.  But, don’t you leave it out thinking that it will be just as good without it.  It won’t be!  You’ll miss that buttery flavor.  Trust me.  I love this Cinnamon vinaigrette.  It is a lovely salad dressing and a snap to make.   I really cannot believe that today is July 1.  In 30 days school starts and I must get busy on my To Do list which is absolutely nothing!  Enjoy your summer.

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Filed under Salad, salad dressing

Oatmeal Cookies with White or Semi-sweet Chocolate and Pecans

Oatmeal cookies

Last week my students made oatmeal cookies and I will have to say they were fantastic!  If you have ever made cookies from scratch you know it is so easy to mess them up!  It makes it doubly hard to keep everything straight when there are five  to six students working on the same recipe.  As the instructor, I step back and watch.  I’m not the type to get in the kitchen with them.  Mistakes are great tools for learning!  Questions like these will be floating through the classroom as they are busy in their kitchens:

  • Did you measure the soda?
  • How much sugar do we add?
  • Do we use all purpose flour or self rising?
  • Hey, I don’t think you packed the brown sugar!
  • Do we cook these at 325?

Of course they all have a recipe in front of them and a planning sheet that should have  their specific jobs listed.  Plus two days before I have shown them how to make the cookies and use all of the equipment.  How did they do?  Out of 24 kitchens only 2 groups made some kind of mistake with their recipe which resulted in very flat cookies and another group  had pale clumps that did not spread at all.  For me, that is a very good baking day!

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Filed under Cookies

Caramel-Pecan Brownies

Brownies are the easiest cookie to make, but they are also the easiest to wreck.  It is very hard to judge doneness so many cooks including myself *ahem* will overcook them.  Most of the recipes will be done when they start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  This recipe has a gooey caramel center so it is harder to judge doneness.  Just watch carefully and be ready to pull these out.  When I read the recipe and saw that you cooked one layer for 25 minutes, added caramel and more brownie mix and cooked for an additional 30 minutes I said no way!  The recipe fooled me.  It is a fantastic moist and chocolatey brownie.  One of the best I have ever had.  Try these and you will never make brownies from a box again and you may even throw your old recipe away.  They won the taste test with about 42 of my best tasters!

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Dream Bars

One of my best childhood memories is my hometown bakery.  My sister and I would stop by on our way home from school almost everyday.  I had quite a few favorites such as huge butter cookies, cream horns dusted with powdered sugar, and date nut bars.  All of the above were enjoyed with a Tab or a big cup of coffee depending on the season and the weather.  I have been searching for the recipe to make the perfect date nut bars and this one is pretty close.  The bottom layer is similar to a shortbread cookie and the top layer is a mixture of dates, coconut,  and nuts.   Delicious!    Sorry, but I’ve got to run.  I brought home school work which is calling my name.  I have about 400 papers that are graded, but have not been put into the gradebook.    So I am off to do my real job!

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Chocolate Toffee Bark

Here is another one of those recipes that I must have been buried under a rock for part of my lifetime.  It has been out there forever, but I’ve never had it.  Last weekend we got together for one of our family luncheons and Ken my sister-in-law brings in lots of goodies.  This being one of them and I just had to nibble before lunch and oh my!!!  This stuff is fabulous!  Then I was blown away when she told me the base was saltine crackers.  Unbelievable!  I knew right then and there that I would have to make it and I am not a candy lover, but this is really good.

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Filed under Candy

Pineapple Pumpkin Bread

I have had enough of perusing all my magazines and cookbooks for the perfect dish for Thanksgiving.  I no longer want to see the inside of the grocery store.  I just want to enjoy my time at home with my family.  Why do I put all this pressure on myself to come up with this fantastic menu that’s going to knock everyone’s socks off?  My inner self or ego whatever you want to call it somehow thinks that I’m being  judged by some great food editors so I must out perform what I did last year! Why can’t I just keep it simple?  No, I  have to cook two turkeys.  One on the grill and another in the oven.  Why do I want to cook two desserts?  You’d think that I was running a restaurant where everyone gets to place an order.   This is going to stop this year.  There I have said it.  No more trying to find perfection.   What was wrong with the perfection that I made last year or the year before that?  I am sticking to my guns and making my tried and true recipes that will please everyone and not drive me insane!   Before I started blogging three years ago I did not have this problem, but now when I cook a dish I say to myself, ” Cook a new recipe that you will be able to blog about it.”   I can kill two birds at once.  Then the ultimate goes wrong as it did this past weekend.   Two of the recipes that I chose were complete duds.  I mean they were bad.  Both went into the garbage and I was back to square one at eleven o’clock on Saturday night and lunch was to be served at one on Sunday.  Serves me right.  I should do as I tell my students.  DO NOT try a new recipe when you are having guests.  So it is totally my fault.   You are my witness I have turned over a new leaf!!  And to make myself feel better about my kitchen disappointments  I got myself into the kitchen and whipped up my new favorite bread that is great for the holidays, but truthfully I love it all year-long.

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Filed under Quick Breads

Blueberry-Pecan Bars

A couple of weeks ago I had more than 7 cups of fresh blueberries in my refrigerator just waiting for me to make a decision on the outcome of their wonderful sweetness.  There’s just so many muffins, pancakes, loaf breads and just toppings for yogurt and cereal plus additions to salads, smoothies and just popping a handful in your mouth.  In other words, something new and exciting was needed.  I found it!  These bars are really good.  They are not too sweet and don’t over power the fresh flavor of the blueberries.  You can make them even more decadent by adding ice cream or some sweet whipped cream.  I found them delectable just the way they were!

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Filed under Bar Cookies

Pecan Praline Cake

I really do not know why I made this cake.  After being stuck in the house for four days I guess it was just a case of cabin fever.  Trust me on this one if you are watching your weight as I am make sure that you have more than two people to eat this cake.  Oh My Gosh!  It is so good!  It’s not one of those elegant dessert cakes that you might serve to get the oohs and aahs as you put it on the table, but I can bet you money that everyone that has just a taste of this cake is going to thank you. 

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Filed under Desserts

Meringue Cookies

In my recipe file are  recipes that I used in my food’s classes in high school and college as well as some that I have asked for from students. I found this recipe in that file.  I have never made it.  I did make it  out of necessity last week.  I hate looking through all the recipes that are out there on the internet.  There is something about the sheer numbers of recipes that just won’t let my brain function properly.  I have this same problem when I am shopping.  I don’t do well at sales where you have to go through rack after rack of clothes.  Big warehouse shopping is not my thing either.  The fewer choices I have the better I am at making a choice.  Just try googling meringue cookies and see what you get!  It is a massive number of  recipes, so after hours of trying to choose what I thought was the best one I gave up! And I’m glad I did because this one is good! Meringue can be tricky to make.  For the novice cook inexperience can lead to frustration.  After my students had such a hard time making their meringue a week ago I set out to try to make it easier to understand.  I also wrote a guest post for Dinner and Dreams  entitled “How to Make Meringue for Puddings and Pies“.  Check it out for the low down on meringue.  Continue reading

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Delicious Brownies

I really don’t know why these are called brownies.  They are more like blonde brownies than the normal chocolate brownies. And not even those for heaven sake.  They are full of butterscotch and marshmallows.  But you will never know the marshmallows are there.    Enough about the name.  I know you don’t really care about that.  It is the taste that you care about and you are going to love this little bar cookie.  It is just the perfect size to indulge in without feeling guilty unless you are like some I know and just keep indulging until half the pan is gone. They are easy to make.  In fact they are too easy.  Trying to use up the bag of marshmallows in my pantry I have made them 5 times.  Yes that is correct 5 times.  I love the recipe because you can whip them together in one pan in 10 minutes.  Bake them for 20 minutes.  Then comes the hard part.  Cooling.  You need a couple of hours for this.  They are really soft when they come out of the oven. You could just  eat them  right out of the pan with a spoon but try to restrain yourself because they are more attractive cut into little bars.

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Filed under Bar Cookies, chocolate chip, Cookies from scratch, Desserts