Delicious Popcorn Balls

We made these popcorn balls coincidentally around Valentine’s Day and it was serendipitous.  They come together fast and are more forgiving than Rice Krispie treats that harden faster than you can stir!  The marshmallow mixture stays pliable for a while.

We made the popcorn in our air popper and had to make two batches.

We used unflavored peanuts – just plain works well here.  No one wants garlic/onion flavored popcorn balls.  If you do, I don’t know you anymore!

You can add toasted slivered almonds as well.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cooking spray
  • 14 heaping cups plain popped popcorn
  • 6 TBSP. unsalted butter
  • One 10.5 oz. package mini marshmallows
  • 2 TBSP. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped salted peanuts or toasted slivered almonds, optional but great
  • Sprinkles!  Red, blue and white for 4th of July?  Red and green for Christmas?  FUN!, optional

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove any un-popped kernels from the popped popcorn.  Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and add popcorn, set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add marshmallows, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and cook stirring, until marshmallows have melted and mixture is smooth, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn, along with peanuts (or almonds), if desired.
  5. Mix with 2 lightly greased rubber spatulas until popcorn is evenly coated.
  6. Using clean, greased hands, form mixture into 2 1/2 inch balls.
  7. Eat immediately or wrap each ball tightly in plastic and keep up to 5-7 days.

Old School Rice Pudding

The photos can’t possibly do this rice pudding justice, but it’s the best I’ve ever made!  I highly recommend making this at least 6-12 hours before you are serving it, preferably a day ahead of time.  When it’s fully chilled, the flavor really deepens and becomes perfectly sweet and creamy.  Just believe me!  I use homemade vanilla and I doubled the amount of vanilla I added.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3cup medium grain rice or 34 cup long grain rice
  • 1 1cups water
  • 1teaspoon salt (heaping)
  • 4 cups whole milk (I use 2%)
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • whip cream (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring rice, water and salt to a boil over med-high heat.
  2. Simmer covered until water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes).
  3. Stir in milk and sugar and cook uncovered over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently–especially towards the end of cooking.
  4. The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge-like consistency.
  5. DO NOT OVERCOOK or the pudding will be solid instead of creamy once cooled.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  7. Pour into a bowl or cups. (I use ramekins for a nice portion).
  8. You can sprinkle cinnamon on the top if you like.
  9. COVER with plastic wrap directly on surface “IF” you don’t want a skin.
  10. CHILL approx. 6 hours or more, preferably overnight for best flavor.  Serve with whip cream if desired.

Easier Garlic Cheesy Flatbread

I have posted another garlic cheese flatbread before, which involved making your own dough.  While it’s tasty, that recipe does have a bit of waiting and work involved.  Tonight I tried the same theory but with refrigerated pizza crust.  It tasted just as good, if not better!  Hooray.  So here is the recipe that saves a lot of time!

OLD RECIPE:  If you want to see my previous recipe, with the homemade dough, click here.  It takes longer, but if you don’t have refrigerated pizza dough on hand, it’s a great recipe!

You will find the refrigerated pizza crust near where your grocer keeps refrigerated biscuits and crescent rolls.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 13.8 oz. refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted/softened
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup+ shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese (add as much as you want!)
  • OPTIONAL but great:  Any Italian spices you prefer: basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Prepare your 17″ x 11″ baking sheet pan by putting aluminum foil on the bottom of it.  Lightly spray with any cooking spray like PAM so your dough doesn’t stick.
  3. Remove refrigerated pizza dough from packaging.  Use a rolling pin to roll to a suitable size to fit into the  17″ x 11″ baking sheet pan, previously mentioned.
  4. Spread melted or softened butter on the top of the raw dough.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella/Italian blend cheese.  Add spices if desired.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown and cheesy looks bubbly (and happy).
  7. Cut into slices and serve! 🙂

 

Blueberry Hill Bread -Cook For The Cure Recipe

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Here’s a fantastic blueberry bread that whips together quickly!  It features just a few simple ingredients.  Since you mix just until moistened, you can avoid using the stand mixer or electric mixer.  Highly recommended!

I got this book free via a promotion from ABT Electronics in Glenview, IL.  It’s a book called KitchenAid “Cook For The Cure” – Susan G. Komen.  Thanks, ABT!

Note: Frozen blueberries worked fine, I ran out of fresh.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter –(I used butter)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 8×4″ loaf pan.
  2. Combine buttermilk, egg, and oil in small bowl.
  3. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in large bowl.
  4. Stir in buttermilk mixture just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).  Do not overmix.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  7. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan 15 minutes.
  9. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Easy Bread Machine Rolls – Perfect for Thanksgiving! (And Eggless!)

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I finally found a bread machine recipe for fresh rolls that is eggless and easy!  Many bread roll recipes for the bread machine and regular baking involve eggs.  Thankfully, this one was very tasty and did not.  This is simple and uses inexpensive, common ingredients.  This makes about 20-24 rolls depending on size.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 4 cups flour (I weighed it – this equals about 500 g.)

 

Also needed:

  • Bread machine
  • Muffin pan (regular size) x 2 pans
  • Spatula
  • Pastry brush, etc
  • PAM spray

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place liquid ingredients in bottom of loaf pan – including canola oil, warm water, and milk.
  2. Add other ingredients: sugar, salt, and flour on top of the liquid ingredients.
  3. Add yeast at the very top – not touching the liquid ingredients on bottom.
  4. Select the dough cycle.  (My dough cycle lasted 1.5 hours).
  5. Monitor dough cycle in about 5-10 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the pan with a soft spatula, if necessary, to scrape the flour back into the dough. (See photo #6 to see how dry flour sticks to the side of the pan).  Add a tiny bit of warm water, if needed, to get that flour incorporated into the dough.
  6. Once the dough cycle has ended, take out and shape into rolls or balls.  Place balls into muffin cups sprayed with PAM first.
  7. Leave rolls in muffin pans on counter to relax the gluten – about 20 minutes.
  8. Bake rolls at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, or until golden.  (Mine took about 15ish minutes).
  9. Using a pasty brush, brush butter on top of finished rolls.

 

From Bakingforboys.blogspot.com

White Hot Chocolate

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I can no longer have amazing hot cocoa, coffee, and all those wonderful things.  With a very irritated I.C. bladder, I have to find another route to the joy of hot chocolate.  So I looked online and found this recipe from www.gimmesomeoven.com, and gave it a try.  I had the 2% milk and homemade vanilla on hand, so all I needed was the white chocolate.  I got a big bag of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips and gave it a whirl!  It’s creamy, whips up in about five minutes, and tastes Starbucks-like to me.

–Makes about four ample servings.  It’s a filling drink that is wonderful.  

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups of milk of your choice (or you can substitute heavy cream or half and half, or do a mixture).
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or white chocolate chips)
  • whipped cream or marshmallows for topping

 

TIP: Use real vanilla extract or homemade vanilla extract (click here to see my recipe).
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Stir together milk, vanilla, and chopped white chocolate in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer.  (Do not let it come to a bowl).  *I just got the mixture very hot, I didn’t simmer it. 
  3. Remove from heat and serve immediately.  Top with whip cream or marshmallows, if desired.