Thursday, December 17, 2015

Red Velvet Brownies

Found this recipe on Pinterest.  You can find it Here



  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.
  2.  Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition. Gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  3.  Bake at 350° for 44 to 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours).
  4. When brownies are cool make frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Lift brownies from pan, using foil sides as handles; gently remove foil. Spread Cream Cheese Icing on top of brownies, and cut into 16-20 squares. Garnish, if desired.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Smothered Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

Jud is always complimentary of my cooking, but sometimes he grades it over the top. This is one of those meals.  Easy and quick make for a great combination.  I bought a family pack of these pork chops so we will be eating left-overs for a couple more times. You can find the recipe Here

Printable Version

Mushroom Gravy Smothered Pork Chops 

 6-­8 large pork chops, bone in 1½ 
 2 cups Italian style bread crumbs 
freshly ground pepper, to taste 
1 tbsp of ground sage (I usually don't measure this out ­ I just go by taste)
Vegetable oil 
2 (10 oz.) cans reduced sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup 
1 cup milk 


1. Pre­heat oven to 425°F. 
2. Season the pork chops with sage and ground pepper. 
3. Coat the chops with the bread crumbs making sure that all sides are covered. 
4. Heat some vegetable oil in a large pan. 
5. Once the oil is hot enough (Med. Heat) fry up the chops so that they are browned on each side. 
6. Once browned lay the pork chops on a baking sheet lined with a couple layers of paper towel to help remove any excess fat. 
7. Once they have all been browned and set on the paper towel lay them in a large rectangular baking dish or casserole dish. It's fine if the pork chops overlap some. 
8. In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl combine the condensed soup with the milk. Make sure it's well combined. 
9. Pour the sauce evenly over the chops. 
10. Bake the chops in the oven covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Recipe by Dishes and Dust Bunnies at /m ushroom ­gravy­sm othered­pork­chops

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Toffee

Years ago, I was teaching Kindergarten and one of my students gave me some toffee for Christmas. I got the recipe and made it several times.  I found this recipe this year and it is not quite as good, but it is pretty darn close.  And sooooooooo much easier. You can make it start to finish in about 45 minutes, and that is counting being in the freezer for 30 minutes. I used Graham cracker, but I'm sure the salty/sweet combination of the saltine crackers would be awesome. I cut this recipe in 1/2.

50 saltine crackers or graham crackers
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cubed
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 1 cup M & M's, chopped nuts, or sliced almonds (as you can see, I chose the pecans)
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and then line the pan with saltine crackers.

Place the butter and sugar in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat. Stir until the butter is melted. Once the butter has melted, bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly.

Once it is nice a bubbly, remove pan from heat and pour evenly over the crackers. Spread mixture with a knife, however it doesn't have to be perfect. Try to move quickly during this part so the toffee doesn't harden.

Place pan in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes. The mixture will spread evenly over the crackers as it bakes.  Remove pan from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the toffee while it is still hot. Let the chocolate chips melt for a few minutes and then spread the chocolate all over the toffee with a spatula. Sprinkle with M & M's or nuts. Place in the freezer 30 minutes. Break pieces off the foil and place in a container. It will stay fresh 1-2 weeks. I took mine out of the pan with the aluminum foil still under the toffee. I used a big knife to cut mine into 1 1/2" strips and then cut the strips into 3" pieces. Some of them broke, but it worked well.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie

I used several recipes to make this chicken pot pie, but the pie crust came from Here

For the Filling:

In a saucepan cook 2 potatoes, and 2 carrots until tender. I had some left-over green beans and some frozen peas that I threw in after the potatoes and carrots were fork tender. 
To a skillet add 1/4 cup of melted butter and 1/2 of an onion chopped. Cook this until the onions are soft. Add 1/4 cups of flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and about 1/4 cup of milk.  Cook until thick.  Add the cooked   vegetables and onion mixture. Add 1 rotisserie chicken chopped into bite-size chunks. You can either put this mixture in a pie shell and then add the filling and then top with another crust, or you can put the filling in an oven proof dish and top with the crust. I like this method because I am eating less crust.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  1. To make the dough for the pie crust, mix 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut 2 sticks chilled unsalted butter into pieces. With a pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons ice water; work with hands until dough comes together. If dough is still crumbly, add more ice water a tablespoon at a time (up to 4 more tablespoons). Do not overwork.
  3. Divide dough in half, and flatten halves into disks. Wrap disks separately in plastic; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  4. To form the pie shell, roll the dough on a floured surface into a 14-inch round. Wrap around rolling pin and carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate.
  5. Fit gently into bottom and side of plate. Use kitchen shears to trim dough to a 1-inch overhang; fold under, and seal to form a rim.
  6. Crimp rim with fingertips and knuckle. Repeat with remaining dough; wrap each with plastic, stack and freeze