Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Maple Cupcakes

Here is a new cupcake our family tried...Pumpkin Maple Cupcakes.  The cupcake is a rich pumpkin flavor while the icing is a delicious maple flavor.  Someone mentioned to me that the frosting tasted like the frosting on a maple iced donut.   Yep, these are SUPER good...and how perfect for this beautiful, festive time of the year.  I actually added a little more maple flavoring....maybe an extra 1/2 to 3/4 tsp.

Dad: 8.5
Mom: 9
Jake: 9
Ryan:

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

Wow!!!  This dinner was EXCELLENT!!!!  I have always cooked my pork tenderloin in the oven with bacon wrapped around it to keep it moist.  I think those days may be over.  I cooked this Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin in the crockpot as directed and it was so delicious!  The glaze is amazing!  The pork just fell apart.  YUM!  Usually I have leftovers for lunch the next day...not this time.  My sister-in-law, Emily, has cooked this before and she serves it shredded over rice.  This is definitely a recipe that will be used often in our family!

Dad: 9
Mom: 9.5
Jake: 9
Ryan:

Chicken Crescents

The boys were hungry and wanted lunch....so being mom, I decided to feed them.  I found this recipe on pinterest and since I had the ingredients decided to try it.  These are Chicken Crescents.  They were easy to make and pretty good for a warm lunch.  I used a can of chicken which made it even easier.

Dad:  7
Mom: 7
Jake: 7.5
Ryan: 7.5

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chocolate Chess Pie

Since Thanksgiving is only a few days away, I thought I'd do a  post on a pie we tried over the weekend.  It's, Chocolate Chess Pie.  We had our annual early Thanksgiving dinner at my Mother-In-Law's home on Sunday.  My assignment was to bring pies.  I brought my usual Pumpkin Pie, and German Chocolate Pie, but I wanted to try something different.  I came across this one on Pinterest.  It looked wonderful and very simple.   As we cut into it I was nervous since I hadn't had a chance to try it first.  The outside had a nice crunch to it, but inside it was gooey and moist.  IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Everyone who tried it LOVED it!!!!  I highly recommend this pie.  It was so easy to make and was rich and delicious.

Dad: 10
Mom: 10
Jake: 9.9
Ryan: 9

Chocolate Chess Pie
(Recipe source: Apartment Therapy)
((Printable Version))

Ingredients:

Chocolate Gram Crust-
10-11 sheets gram crackers  (I prefer the "original", not the honey.)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder


Filling-
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate (or 3 tablespoons cocoa)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Directions:
1. For the crust: Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground.  Add the sugar and cocoa powder.  Give it another pulse.  Add the butter and combine until mixed. Press into a pie plate with the back of a spoon.

2. Chill for 20 minutes.  Bake in a preheated 325 degree F. oven for 15-20 minutes.  Cool for 20 minutes.

3. For the filling: Melt the butter and chocolate together.  Pour into a bowl and whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt.  When the crust has cooled for 20 minutes, poor the filling into the crust and bake in a 325 degrees F. oven for about 40 minutes, until the top is set.

4. Top with whip cream or a dusting of powdered sugar.  (optional)

Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa

This hot chocolate, Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa, is delicious!   I did change it a little bit.  First of all, the recipe calls for heavy cream.  I didn't want all the calories so I used half and half.  After trying this cocoa, I would just use milk.  No need to add all of those calories as it is plenty rich.   Second, we didn't cook it in the slow cooker for 2 hours, we wanted the hot chocolate, "Now"!  So, I just made it on the stove top in a heavy saucepan.  If you do that, make sure your saucepan is big, this recipe make a lot of hot cocoa!!

Dad: 9
Mom: 9
Jake: 8.5
Ryan: 7.5

Martha Stewart's Ramen Noodle Upgrade

We aren't big Top Ramen eaters around here.  When I saw this recipe, Top Ramen Upgrade, Top Ramen Upgrade I thought it might be fun to try....and heck, what's cheaper than Ramen?  It was fabulous!   It makes a terrific and very filling lunch, or you could cook several packages and use it as a side dish to dinner.  It was a hit with everyone in the family.  The Sriracha Chili Sauce it pretty spicy, so for us, I only used about 1/2 -3/4 of a teaspoon.  The first time I made this dish, I didn't have the Sriracha, so I substituted Tapatio Hot Sauce instead.  The outcome is almost the same.

Dad: 8.5
Mom: 8.5
Jake: 9
Ryan: 7.5

Monday, November 12, 2012

White Chocolate Topped Gingerbread Cookies

Oh man, these White Chocolate Topped Gingerbread Cookies were AMAZING!!  Everyone who really knows the Timm Family, knows we are cookie connoisseurs!  We love to find the best recipes and also come up with our own.  Well, this cookie is a HIT!  It was chewy and delicious!  This would be a terrific cookie to serve during the holidays.  YUM!

Dad: 9.5
Mom: 9.5
Jake: 9.5
Ryan: 9
 Jake's friend, Josh, who was at our home rated it a 12 :)

Peachy Keen Bars

This is a Peachy Keen Bar.  It was delicious!  Jake was concerned it would taste like peach cobbler, which isn't his favorite.  It didn't taste like peach cobbler (which I actually love).  It was super easy, yet it tasted and looked like it took a lot of time.  I highly recommend this dessert!

Dad: 8
Mom: 8.5
Jake:8
Ryan:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

This picture isn't great since I took it with my phone and I don't have a fancy phone.  This is a Cookies and Cream Cupcake.  I got this recipe from Yourcupofcake.com  This darling college student, Lizzie, makes the most amazing looking cupcakes, so I decided to try a recipe.  After making these cupcakes, I am so excited to try many of her other recipes.  The comment from my husband was "I think these are the best cupcakes I have ever tasted."  Here are the ratings:

Dad: 10
Mom: 10
Josh: 9
Jake: 8.5
Ryan: 8

Chile Colorado Burritos (in the crockpot)....

Chile Colorado Burritos (smothered beef burritos in the crockpot)....yum!  This recipe I got off of Pinterest and came from Food Pusher It was delicious!!!  Definitely a recipe that I will make again.  I used my own homemade enchilada sauce and not the canned kind which this recipe calls for.  That's just my preference since it's easy to make enchilada sauce and is way better than the canned kind.  Here are the ratings:

Dad: 9
Mom: 8
Jake: 7.5
Josh: 7.0
Ryan: 8.5

So, this recipe rated really well!  Here is my Enchilada Sauce Recipe:
1/4 C. Oil
2 Tbls. Flour
2 Tbls. Chili Powder
1 8 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
1 C. Water
1/4 tsp. each-Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Salt and Salt to taste.
    Heat oil on med. high.  Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to med. and cook until lightly brown stirring constantly (this only takes maybe 2 minutes).  Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water and the spices until smooth.  Cook over med. heat for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake....

     This is Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake.  I found it on Pinterest and it was pinned from the website, savingmoneylivinglife.com.   It smelled delicious and we were all excited to try it.  The scale is from 1-10, 1 being horrible and 10 AMAZING!!!!  Here are the ratings for this recipe:
Dad: 7 (when dipped in enchilada sauce)
Mom: 7.5 (when dipped in enchilada sauce)
Jake: 7.5 (when dipped in enchilada sauce)
Ryan: 6
    I would probably make it again but I would add sun dried tomatoes.  I think it would give it just that extra little flavor to make it an 8.  I was able to make it in the morning and refrigerate it until just before dinner when I threw it in the oven.  That is a bonus since many afternoons I don't have time to make a big meal.  This meal really does need some extra flavor though.  We found that it tasted better when we dipped it in enchilada sauce.  So, bottom line. it looks good, smells great, but needs more flavor.  It's pretty plain with what the basic recipe calls for.
     Jake is 17 and Ryan is 14....Ryan is also an extremely picky eater, so anything that rates over a 4 is probably pretty good!  Sometimes Josh will also have a rating.  He is 20 and has moved out, so only sometimes will he participate in our ratings.