Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Spaghetti

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Olive Oil Walnut Garlic Spaghetti

What a fantastic combination of flavors for this favorite meatless pasta dish. Olive oil, walnuts, garlic, and your favorite pasta.

For our family, this is a traditional dish for our meatless Christmas Eve dinner. But, you don't have to wait a whole year to enjoy this flavor-filled pasta dish. This makes a perfect quick and easy meal for any meatless day on your menu.

Walnut Olive oil pasta sauce


This one is so quick and easy you could have it on the table in 30 minutes or less. So, it's perfect if you worked all day and want a meatless meal.

In a 12-inch pan Saute' the olive oil, garlic, and walnuts over medium to low heat. Saute' until the walnuts are toasted and browned.

Start and cook your favorite pasta. We always use spaghetti.

When the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it and add it to the Saute' pan. Toss together until all is mixed well.



Add your Romano or Parmesan cheese and enjoy. There are some options to add if you like them. I'll mark the options in the ingredients.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 lb. Spaghetti or your favorite pasta
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (Optional)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (Optional)
Garnish with Freshly chopped parsley (Optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Romano or Parmesan Cheese 

Instructions:
  1. In a large pan add the olive oil and heat over low heat.
  2. Add the garlic, and chopped walnuts. This would be the time to add the pepper flakes and lemon zest if you choose.
  3. Saute' until the walnuts are toasted careful not to burn.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the saute' pan and toss. 
  5. Garnish with parsley if you like and serve.
As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.





How to Oven Roast Chestnuts

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How to Oven Roast Chestnuts

Chestnuts are one of my favorite seasonal snacks, especially during the Holidays. Chestnuts are in season from about September to January making these little beauties very popular during the Holiday season.

No, you don't really need an open fire to roast chestnuts. Oven roasting chestnuts is really a very simple process.

Choosing the right chestnut is also easy. Look for the larger shinney chestnuts and heavier by weight. These will be what I call the meatiest.

How to Oven Roast Chestnuts:

  1. Using a sharp knife carve an X in the rounded side of the chestnut. (I wear a glove so I don't cut a finger off)
  2. Place them in a bowl or pan and fill with water. Soak them for 30 to 60 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Place the chestnuts on a cookie sheet cut side up. I used my 10-inch cast iron skillet to roast mine.
  5. Bake the chestnuts for 20 to 25 minutes. You'll see the cuts peel back.
  6. Remove and cover for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then peel the hard shell and the tough brown skin off and enjoy your chestnuts.
Enjoy your chestnuts with a nice glass of red or white wine. Serve as an appetizer or snack at your next party.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!


Pecan Cup Cookies

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Pecan Cup Cookies

There is no way it's Christmas without these pecan cup cookies on the cookie tray. Growing up I really don't remember a Holiday without pecan cups.

Whenever someone in the family was getting married, my grandmother, mother, and aunts would all be busy making cookies. And, these pecan cups were always one them.

These are really easy to make and oh! so good. You don't have to wait for the Holidays to make these little treats. These are perfect any time of the year and are great with a cup of coffee or tea.

Easy pecan cups


This is Jamie pressing the dough into the mini muffin tin with our handy Norpro Tart Tamper.  This tool is so handy for pastries and tarts. Notice Jamie's festive "Christmas Story" shirt.

Pecan cup recipe

The mini muffin tin is filled and the pecan cups are ready for the oven.

Ingredients for the dough:

3 ounces Cream Cheese (Softened)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the filling:

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup chopped pecans

Instructions:
  1. Blend the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add flour and mix until dough forms
  3. Wrap and refrigerate to chill. (About 30 minutes)
While the dough is chilling let's make the filling. Then we'll get them ready for the oven.
  1. Mix brown sugar and butter.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until blended.
  3. Now stir in the pecans.
  4. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and press into your mini muffin to form a cup.
  5. If you are using the tamper have some flour handy it prevents the tamper from sticking to the dough.
  6. Fill the cups evenly with the filling.
  7. Bake on center rack at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
This recipe yielded about 18 pecan cups. We always double the recipe 18 is not enough for me.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!

No Bake Chocolate Rum Balls

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No Bake Chocolate Rum Balls

These no-bake chocolate rum balls are for sure a crowd pleaser. For the last several years I haven't made these for the Holidays. But, this year we pulled out the recipe for these little treats.

These are no-bake and oh! so easy to make. I had these finished in about 30 minutes. The rum flavor really comes through after a day or so in the refrigerator.

Rum Ball Recipe



This recipe calls for Vanilla Wafers ground pecans or walnuts, baking cocoa, and powdered sugar.

I mixed all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and then added the liquid ingredients.

No hand mixer or stand mixer needed here. Just work everything together with a large fork or wooden spoon.

Following you'll find all of the ingredients and directions to make these little beauties.




Ingredients:

1 cup ground pecan or walnuts (I used pecans)
2-1/2 cups Vanilla Wafers (Almost a whole box)
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 cup rum (I used just a little more)
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons water

Instructions:
  1. Add all dry ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Add rum, honey, and water and mix until all combined.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls and then roll in more powdered sugar.
  4. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
I yielded about 30 of these chocolate rum balls minus the ones that I ate along the way.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!

To grind the pecans fine enough I used my handy Hamilton Beach Mini Food Chopper.

Easy Monster Cookie Recipe

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Easy Monster Cookie Recipe

Cookie week continues at our house with this easy monster cookie recipe. here is another favorite festive cookie Jamie makes every year.

These cookies are made with oatmeal and peanut butter and there is no flour added. These cookies will be gluten-free only if you use the gluten-free oatmeal.

Jamie makes these festive by using the red and green M&Ms. These cookies are a treat any time of the year and oh! so easy to make.

Making Monster Cookies

Tyler is helping by rolling the mixture into large balls and placing them on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Easy monster cookie mix

On the cookie sheet and ready for the oven. Tyler used about 2-heaping tablespoons each to rolls these out.

Easy Monster Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 stick butter (8 tablespoons softened)
1-1/2 cups peanut butter creamy or crunchy
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups old-fashioned oat or quick oats 
1 cup M&Ms
1- 11.5oz. chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl add eggs, brown sugar, and white sugar.  Mix well, using a hand or stand mixer.
  2. Add baking soda, vanilla, salt, peanut butter, and butter. Mix until you have a creamy mixture.
  3. Now add oatmeal, M&Ms, and chocolate chips. Stir until combined you'll have a sticky dough.
  4. Use heaping tablespoons to form balls and place them 2-inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes. the move them to a rack to cool.



Festive Monster Cookies


These monster cookies are cooling right out of the oven. The recipe yielded about 3 to 4 dozen cookies depending on how large you make them.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!


Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies

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Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies

This is cookie week in our house. We spend most for the week making all of our Christmas cookies. Jamie makes these amazing cinnamon-sugar cookies every year for the Holidays.

But, you don't have to wait for the Holiday's to make these crispy chewy easy snickerdoodle cookies. These cookies are a hit any time of the year. I just love the aroma that fills the house when these are in the oven.

Snickerdoodles are very similar to sugar cookies. What sets them apart is the cream of tartar in the recipe. And, these are so easy to make.

Snickerdoodles

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Then toss them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Place them on your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper about 2-inches apart and bake.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Let cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet. Then Jamie places them on the table to cool. And, you'll find me right behind her eating them as the cool.

Easy Snickerdoodle Cookies:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar (To toss 1-inch balls in)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (To toss 1-inch balls in)

Instructions: 
  1. Mix together the 1-1/2 cups sugar, the eggs, butter, Crisco, and the vanilla. 
  2. Add the flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Mix until a ball of dough forms.
  4. Mix the 1/4 cup of white sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  5. Form 1-inch balls or a little bigger if you like and roll in the sugar-cinnamon mix.
  6. Place on the cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees on the center rack for 10 minutes. 
We yielded about 48 wonderful snickerdoodles from this recipe, minus the ones that I ate as they were cooling off.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!



Cake Mix Pumpkin Squares

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Cake Mix Pumpkin Squares

These cake mix pumpkin squares are another one of our Holiday favorites. You really don't have to wait for the Holiday's to make this bite-size dessert.

Fran makes these a few time a year mostly for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year I wanted to post and share the pumpkin squares dessert with you. So, I made them under Fran's direction using the recipe that she has been using for years.

I have to tell you, these are so easy to make and so delicious. Bobby just can't get enough of them when we make them.

Cake Mix Pumpkin Squares are made in 3 easy steps

Step 1: Make the Bottom Layer

Pumpkin squares cake mix recipe

Step 2: Make the filling

Pumpkin squares using cake mix

 Step 3: Make the Topping


Pumpkin square recipes

Bottom Layer Ingredients:

1 Box Lemon Cake mix (Remove 1-1/2 cups for topping)
1 stick melted butter (I used salted but you can use unsalted)
1 egg beaten

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together using a fork. Then press and spread into a 9-inch x 13-inch greased glass baking dish. Bake the bottom layer for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then let cool.

Ingredients for the Filing:

1 can pumpkin (29oz.)
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons cinnamon

I mixed all of this together using our hand mixer. Then spread this over the top of the cooled bottom layer.

Ingredients for the Topping:

1-1/2 cup Lemon cake mix
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) I didn't use chopped nuts

Mix together with a fork until it is crumbly. Then spread the topping over the pumpkin filling. Bake this at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife comes out of the center clean.

Pumpkin squares dessert


Here are your cake mix pumpkin squares right out of the oven. Set this on a rack and let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator.

We cut these into 1-1/2 inch across the 9-inch width and 2-inches by the length of the baking dish, yielding 36 pumpkin squares.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy



Homemade Mozzarella Tomato and Basil Pizza

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Homemade Mozzarella Tomato and Basil Pizza

We don't have a very large yard for a garden. This year we did plant some tomato and pepper plants along the side of the house. We had some nice tomatoes on the plants after the deer ate the tops of our plants.

I decided to use my fresh tomatoes to make this easy homemade mozzarella tomato and basil pizza. The basil is also fresh from our herb garden.

It was later in the day so I wanted this to be ready quickly. I started by making the dough and using Fleischmann's RapidRise Instant Yeast.  I always have some RapidRise yeast on hand just for these quick recipes.

Ingredients for the dough:


3-1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 package of RapidRise Yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of light olive oil
1-1/4 warm cup water

Add the flour, yeast, and salt into a mixing bowl.
Add the oil and water.
Mix by hand until you have a nice soft ball of dough. For mixing, I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer on low speed until the dough was formed.

Set the dough aside and cover for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomatoes

While I waited for the dough I cut the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. I sliced five small tomatoes as thin as I could without slicing my fingers. Then I cut fresh mozzarella cheese into about 1/2-inch cubes. I used about 2-cups of cheese or 1/2 lb.

Fresh Tomato basil pizza

I greased an 11-inch x 17-inch pizza pan.  I spread the dough to the edges of the pan and layered my sliced tomatoes first.

I added 1 clove of minced garlic, sprinkled on some Romano Cheese, and Penzeys Pizza Seasoning. Next, I added the mozzarella and fresh basil.

Tomato Basil Pizza

I baked my pizza on the center rack at 450 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until the crust was golden brown. Jamie and the boys stopped over that evening and this pizza was gone in 30 minutes or less.

Homemade Mozzarella Tomato and Basil Pizza 

Toppings:

5 small fresh tomatoes (Sliced Thin)
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese (1/2 inch cubes)
15 to 20 fresh basil leaves
 A Handful of Romano cheese
3 tablespoons Penzeys Pizza Seasoning or (Italian Seasoning)
1 clove minced garlic

What's so great about pizza is that you can make it just the way you like by adding your favorite toppings. You can option pepperoni, sausage, peppers, mushrooms or whatever you like. I like it just the way I made this one. You really taste the fresh tomatoes and basil.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

This Penzeys pizza seasoning is a wonderful addition to your fresh or frozen pizzas. And, I don't know what I would do without my Norpro pastry and pizza dough roller. The small contoured edge brings the dough right to the edge of your pizza pan. Then just press with your fingers for a perfect crust.