Friday, November 24, 2006

Mystery Pecan Pie

I had a good Thanksgiving so far...and it's only halfway over. Still got another dinner tonight at my folks' (along with my brother's going away party).

I made pumpkin cookies (which weren't least they were lowfat) and mystery pecan pie (first pie I ever made COMPLETELY from scratch...even the crust!). The pecan pie was so delicous...Hubby's uncle said, "Wow...I've never had pecan pie like that!"

I mentioned the pie to my brother-in-law (even showed him the cook book) on Tuesday night when he came over. On the night before Thanksgiving, he was hoping I would bake that pie since it sounded so good. He had some during the dinner! ;)

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Pillsbury bake-off cookbook from 1981. My mom had made this pie a lot when I was growing up...and it's one of my dad's favorite pies.

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The recipe page...looks really yummy. The pecan pie has cream cheese in it. That's why it's a mystery. :-)

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You can see what my mom wrote on the top "Very Good!"

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My very first pie from scratch. Definitely DELICOUS!!!!!

unbaked 9 inch crust (or prepared pie pastry)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

3 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 375F. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 egg; beat at medium speed until well blended. Spread in bottom of pastry lined pan. Sprinkle with pecans. In small bowl, combine all topping ingredients, beat on medium speed just until blended. Gently pour topping over pecans. Bake at 375F for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is firm to touch. Refrigerate leftovers. 8 servings.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pecan Pie Cookies (Land O'Lakes)

I made those cookies after seeing 'em on a mailing list that I subscribe to (Land o' Lakes mailing list). I made and brought 'em to my husband's side of the family's Thanksgiving dinner. Those were gone so fast and they've asked me to make those again this year. Those were a huge hit on Thanksgiving last year, and I thought I'd post 'em right before this wonderful holiday!

This picture was taken from the Land o' Lakes website (I saved it on my computer and uploaded here so I didn't steal any bandwidth :))

The flavors of pecan pie in a special thumbprint cookie.

Preparation time: 30 min Baking time: 8 min
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Cookie Ingredients:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Filling Ingredients:

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup LAND O LAKES™ Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all cookie ingredients except flour and baking powder in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in each cookie with thumb; rotate thumb to hollow out slightly.

Combine all filling ingredients in small bowl; fill each cookie with 1 rounded teaspoon filling. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. .

TIP: These cookies can be made ahead and stored in the freezer up to 3 months. Place cookies in containers with tight-fitting lids, separating layers with waxed paper.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash (cooked on the Foreman grill)

(keep in mind this recipe serves 2)

  • 1 nice zucchini
  • 1 nice yellow squash
  • Garlic salt
  • black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil

Wash the veggies. Slice up the zucchini and the squash into 1/2 inch slices (try to keep them all the same thickness). Put into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to coat well. This is also a good time to experiment with spices.

Preheat the George Foreman grill. Arrange slices on the grill and close the lid. Cook for about 5 minutes or to desired doneness.

Nice and simple sidedish. :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (Flourless)

I made those cookies for a co-worker’s birthday. The co-worker was a chocoholic...and also liked peanut butter. We had a very busy week at work, so I was pretty exhausted.

I decided on this modified recipe, because it only takes 20 minutes from start to finish, and I usually had all the ingredients on hand.

  • 1 cup peanut butter (preferably extra chunky)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350oF. Mix all ingredients. Roll into one inch balls and flatten. (Optional: sprinkle sugar or crushed nuts on top). Bake 10 minutes. Let cool for a couple minutes before taking them off the baking sheet (they break easily when hot).

That’s all there is to it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Simple Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie

This is the easiest cookie recipe that I know. I’ve got it memorized, so that whenever my husband and I are craving something sweet and yummy, we’d make this together.

Simple flourless peanut butter cookie

  • 1 cup peanut butter (preferably chunky)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Preheat oven to 350oF. Mix all ingredients. Roll into one inch balls. Flatten with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake for 10 minutes.

That’s all there is to it! And it’s gluten free! My dad can’t have anything with gluten, so this is a good cookie for those who have Celiac Disease or wheat allergies. It also tastes just like a regular peanut butter cookie, that you’d never notice there was no flour in it!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another favorite recipe that I made a few months ago. A good recipe for the chocoholic.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies

  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 1c flour
  • 3/8 c. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1c white sugar or 1/2 each of white and brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1c chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c chopped peanuts, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 F. While butter is melting (you can use a double boiler or just the microwave), combine flour, cocoa, soda and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside. In a larger bowl, blend butter, sugar, and egg until creamy. Stir in vanilla, then add dry ingredients. Fold in chips & nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes. Leave to cool on pan for 5 minutes (cookies will be soft out of the oven) before transferring to a wire rack.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Simple Beer Bread

Yummy. I originally tried this with a bottle of Guinness. Wasn't bad, but wasn't my favorite. The flavor was too overpowering. Keystone Light...not bad, but a bit too overpowering still. Then when I was in the mood for a quick bread, I only had a bottle left, which was a Zima XXX (lemon lime flavor). It turned out to be the best beer bread I ever had. My husband didn't care for the other beer breads I had made before, but he devoured the one made with Zima XXX.

This recipe is wonderful for beginners because it's hard to go wrong with this recipe. Just mix the dry ingredients and add beer. Stir...then bake.

I found this recipe through recipezaar.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (12 oz) can of beer (I used a bottle of Zima XXX)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (I used 1/4...thought 1/2 cup was too much)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients then add beer. Pour into greased loaf pan. Pour melted butter over mixture. Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes. NOTE: Make sure you put foil or something under the loaf when baking, because the butter bubbles over. :-p I learned my lesson. heh.

Also, use real butter, not margarine, because it really makes it taste yummy. :) It sort of makes the crust a little bit crispy. The crust is my favorite part of this bread.

Monterey Chicken Bake

This is one of my favorite recipes. My husband often requests this one. I came across this when I was looking for something to do with my boneless skinless chicken breasts. The original recipe asked for teriyaki sauce and other additional ingredients that I didn't have on hand. I adapted it to barbecue sauce and other ingredients and it tasted really good. I passed the recipe on to friends and it was a huge hit!


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 to 6 slices of bacon
  • barbecue sauce (works better if thick)
  • 8 oz. shredded monterey jack cheese
  • *2 or 3 each green onion stems
  • large bottle of hidden valley ranch dressing
  • McCormick Grill Mates barbecue seasoning (to taste)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly spray bottom of medium to large baking dish with regular cooking spray. Chop green onion stems into shallots - as much as you desire.
  • Fry bacon on stove until crispy. Lay flat on paper towels to absorb grease. After 15 minutes, crumble bacon and set to the side.
  • Brush both sides of chicken breasts with barbecue sauce. Lay chicken flat in a shallow baking dish and season with the barbecue seasoning. Flip and season opposite sides.
  • Let chicken set for 10 minutes. Brush each chicken breast with barbecue again. Pour Hidden Valley Ranch dressing over each chicken breast, covering thoroughly.
  • Place crumbled bacon pieces over chicken in dish. Add shredded Monterey Jack cheese (make sure to completely cover the chicken with cheese) and shallots over dish.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes uncovered. Chicken is done when middle is no longer pink. Enjoy!!
I usually serve this with mashed potatoes and broccoli with cheese sauce.

Ooh. First food blog

I had been thinking of starting my own food blog, especially after enjoying reading other food blogs. I love to cook, but sometimes I get in a rut. We'll see if I'm able to keep this blog up.

The reason why I came up with this name...I love monkeys and we're all like monkeys, right? Sometimes monkeys make a huge mess...and when I'm doing big cooking projects, I make a big mess in my little kitchen. :-)