Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Potatoes

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 pounds red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Spread bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake until brown and crispy, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool before crumbling; set aside.
  • Line a slow cooker with aluminum foil, leaving enough to overhang to wrap the potatoes on top, and coat with nonstick spray. Place a layer of potatoes evenly into the slow cooker. Top with cheese, Ranch Seasoning and bacon, repeating 2 more times and reserving 1/2 cup cheese.
  • Cover potatoes with aluminum foil and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover and cook until melted, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with chives.

Caramel Apple Cheese Cake Bars


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (use brick-style, lite okay)
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 2 cups small dices apples (from about 2 med apples, peeled and cored; I used 1 Fuji and 1 Gala)
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned-whole rolled oats (not quick-cook or instant)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 of 1 stick), softened
1/2 cup+ (salted) caramel sauce, for drizzling (homemade salted caramel, or storebought; use a thick caramel sauce and not thin, runny ice cream sundae topping)
ice cream, optional for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang and spray with cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. Crust - In a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present.
  3. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, hard-packing it with your fingertips in an even, smooth, flat layer to form a crust. Bake for 14-15 minutes, or just until set (set a timer). Remove from oven; set aside. While crust bakes, prepare the remaining layers.
  4. Cheesecake - In a large bowl (same one used for crust is okay, just wipe with a paper towel), add all ingredients and beat with a hand mixer (or whisk vigorously by hand) until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes on high power; set aside.
  5. Apples - Peel, core, and dice apples and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toss well to combine; set aside.
  6. Crumble - In a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cut in the butter with two forks. Keep working until mixture is combined and pea-sized crumbly bits are present. If necessary, add an extra tablespoon or two of flour or oats for preferred consistency if mixture is loose.
  7. After removing pan with the crust layer from the oven, pour cheesecake mixture over the crust, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
  8. Lightly and evenly sprinkle the apples.
  9. Evenly sprinkle with the crumble mixture. It looks like a lot, but it sinks some while baking.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (I baked 48 minutes), or until crumble topping is just set and very lightly golden browned. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.
  11. Caramel - After 30 minutes, evenly drizzle with (salted) caramel sauce. Allow bars to cool, in pan, on wire rack for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Cover with foil if cooling overnight. Don't slice bars too early because you'll have a literal hot mess and bars will likely fall apart. Prior to slicing, lift bars out using foil overhang, slice, and serve. Bars will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Optionally serve with ice cream.

Caramel Apple Dip

By Life in the Lofthouse
  1. 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  6. 3 medium green apples
  7. 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  8. 2 Tablespoons water
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, caramel topping and vanilla. Beat with an electric hand-mixer until smooth. Add the 1 cup marshmallow fluff and beat on low speed until combined.
  2. Cut apples into slices. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and water. Toss apple slices into the lemon juice mixture. (This will prevent apples from turning brown quickly) Drain.
  3. Serve by dipping apple slices into dip. Enjoy!

Sausage and Dried Cranberry Stuffing


·        12 cups toasted and cubed bread
·        1 pound bulk pork sausage
·        ½ stick butter, melted
·        2 onions, chopped
·        5 ribs celery, including celery leaves, chopped
·        1 Tb dried sage
·        1 tsp dried thyme  
·        ½ tsp poultry seasoning
·        1 cup dried cranberries
·        1 tsp turkey flavored “Better Than Bouillon”
·        Salt and pepper to taste
·        2 eggs, beaten
·        3 cups turkey stock 


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Toast the bread until golden, about 15-20 minutes.  Chop into cubes, transfer into a large bowl. 

In a skillet, sauté the sausage until brown.  Drain off grease and add the sausage to bread bowl.  In same skillet, using 1/2 stick of butter, sauté the onion and celery until soft.  Place sautéed vegetables in bowl with sausage and bread. 

Add the seasonings, cranberries, and Better Than Bouillon, stir until combined.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.  Add the eggs and slowly add the broth until the mixture is just moistened.  You may not need all of the broth. 

Pour into a greased 9 x 13” baking dish.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the center is warm and the top is lightly toasted.


Ham and Cheese Sliders


·         12 Hawaiian rolls, split
·         12 slices of deli ham
·         6 slices of deli provolone cheese, halved
·         4 Tb butter
·         1 Tb brown sugar
·         1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
·         1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
·         ¼ tsp poppy seeds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil.  Assemble the sandwiches with a slice of ham and a half slice of cheese on each roll.  Place the assembled sandwiches close together on the baking sheet.
In a small bowl combine the butter, sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.  Microwave until the butter is just melted, about 30-60 seconds.  Add the poppy seeds and stir until combined.
Drizzle the butter mixture evenly over the sandwiches. Keep in the fridge over night.  Bake in the oven until the cheese has melted and the butter mixture starts to caramelize, about 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 – 8 ounce bag of toffee bits
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 recipe CARAMEL DRIZZLE

  • Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter until creamy. Add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Stir in toffee bits and pecans.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake until a wood pick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean, 75 to 85 minutes.
  6. Cover top of cake with foil to prevent excess browning if necessary.
  7. Let cake cool in pan for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. NOTE: Don’t freak out if some of the cake sticks. Mine did too. It’s because this cake is so moist. GOOD NEWS! We get to cover all the imperfections with yummy caramel!
  9. Spoon Caramel Drizzle over cooled cake.
Caramel Drizzle:
  • 1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.
  2. Reduce heat, and SIMMER for 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla.
  4. NOTE: Make sure you drizzle the caramel while it's still HOT. When cooled the caramel does somewhat harden.
This recipe is from The Taste of the South’s Southern Cakes Magazine.

Monday, August 18, 2014

1/2 a recipe

Cherry Limeaid Float

  • 1/4 lime
  • 10 maraschino cherries
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 2 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  • Limeade to fill the glass, about 1 cup
  1. Layer ingredients in a glass and enjoy! Top with whipped cream and garnish wit a lime slice and cherries, if desired top with whipping cream.

Twix Mousse Brownies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1⅓ cup flour
Shortbread Truffle Layer
  • 1 (10 oz.) box Lorna Doone's Shortbread Cookies
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
Caramel Layer
  • 14 oz. bag of caramel cubes, unwrapped
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
Chocolate Layer
  • 1½ cups milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup semi-sweet milk chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well. Add salt, cocoa powder and flour and stir to well combine. Do not over mix.
  3. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes.
Shortbread Truffle Layer
  1. Place cookies in a food processor until fine powder. Mash in cream cheese and sugar until mixture is well combined.
  2. Gently press shortbread truffle evenly over cooled brownies.
Caramel Layer
  1. Place caramel cubes and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted, stirring in between each increment until melted and smooth.
  2. Evenly pour over shortbread truffle layer.
  3. Place in fridge to let it cool.
Chocolate Layer
  1. Combine chocolate chips and shortening together in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until melted and smooth.
  2. Evenly spread over the top of cooled caramel layer.
  3. Let set up in fridge before cutting into.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Almond Joy Bars

This is a mash-up of the Almond Joy and Mounds Candy Bars. We’ve taken our Coconut Macaroon Cookie Mix and used it as a filling for a bar anchored on a buttery sugar cookie crust. Spread a thin or thick layer of chocolate on top and you have something very close to a candy bar. These bars freeze well if you can keep them on hand.
Recipe Courtesy of: Love’n Bake®


For the Cookie Crust:
2cups all-purpose flour
1/4teaspoon salt
3/4cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3/4cup granulated sugar
1large egg
1teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Coconut Filling:
6cups (1 ½ pounds) American Almond Products Vanilla Coconut Macaroon Cookie Mix
1cup boiling water
2cups (12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
1Tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. To make the Cookie Crust: Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil so that it overhangs the edges by 2 inches on each side. Butter the foil. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir the flour and salt together.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well mixed. Scrape down sides of bowl.  Add the flour mixture. Blend on low speed until just combined without over mixing.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or slide it into a plastic bag. Refrigerate for 1 hour until firm.
  5. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough into an even rectangle the size of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan. Use any leftover scraps of dough to patch any tears in the dough.
  6. Bake until the dough is set and lightly golden but not browned, for about 16 to 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to cool.
  7. To make the Coconut Filling:While the crust is baking, combine the coconut macaroon mix in a bowl with the boiling water.  Stir with a spatula until moistened.  Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.
  8. Spread the coconut filling in an even layer over the warm crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake until lightly golden on the edges but still moist, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Melt the chocolate and vegetable oil in a small bowl over simmering water.  Stir until smooth then spread the chocolate over the cooled baked macaroon filling. Allow to cool completely.  Use a long chef’s knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry to portion into small 1 x 2-inch bars.
Note: Ghirardelli, Wilton and other manufacturers make chocolate wafers for melting that can be used as a coating on these bars.  We used 12 ounces of chocolate when we coated the bars.