slow cooker turkey taco soup

Ok...  back to the Thanksgiving Leftovers topic.  Because I can't be the only person that still has a bunch of leftovers, right?  Right?!

Remember I told you we cooked 2 turkeys in 2 days?

Well, in case that didn't make it clear for you, we have a lot of leftover turkey!

This hearty crockpot "stoup" (as Rachael Ray would call it!) is definitely more than just a soup...  it is an entire meal in a bowl!

In the words of my husband "I don't even need crackers for this soup!"

Give this a try with some of that last leftover turkey!  (Or feel free to use raw or cooked chicken if you're out-o-leftovers!)

Slow Cooker Turkey Taco Soup Recipe

3 cups chopped or shredded leftover turkey (or chicken, or raw chicken!)
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 can cream-style corn
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (4oz) diced green chiles or jalapeños
1/2 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Dump all the ingredients into the slow cooker.  Turn on LOW and cook for 6-8 hours or longer!

Serve with chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole...  whatever you like on your tacos!


super-creamy stove top mac & cheese

I know I make macaroni & cheese a lot...  but what can I say.  We love homemade mac & cheese around here!

I have several versions that I shuffle around depending on my mood, the rest of the dinner plans and how much work I want to do...

They are all easy, but easy in different ways.

This version is a super creamy stove-top mac & cheese that has so much flavor...  I really do think it is my favorite of all of them!

But of course none of us agree, so try them yourself and decide!

And if you've already tried any of these...  let me know!  Which one is your favorite?

Super-Creamy Stove Top Mac & Cheese Recipe
adapted from Food Network
Servings:  6-8, depending on accompaniments!

1 pound penne pasta (or other short pasta)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup flour
2 - 3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4-3/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (to taste)

Boil the pasta according to the package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain the noodles and set them aside.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until very soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly, and continue to stir and cook until light golden brown, smooth and pasty.  (Congratulations!!  You just made a roux!  Aren't you proud of yourself?!)  

Stir in the chicken stock (start with 2 cups, add more if you need it at the end!) until you have a smooth sauce and simmer a few minutes until thick.  Stir in the heavy cream and then the cheese until melted.  Season, to taste, with salt & pepper and chipotle chili powder.

Gently stir in the pasta, adding a bit at a time of the reserved pasta water if needed, until the sauce is creamy and the noodles are coated to your liking.

(You can stir in some leftover cooked ham at this point, if you have any, like I did...  it's so good together!)


peppermint Oreo truffles

These Peppermint Oreo Truffles are so fun and festive!

With only 5 ingredients, and just a few minutes of your time, you can enjoy these luscious goodies and have plenty to share!

Try these.  Really.  Please...  I'm begging you.

Ok, maybe I'm not.  But just do it.  You'll be happy you did!

(Or at least, your family will be happy you did!)

I threw this batch together super-quick and so they are quite...  rustic looking.  :o)

Normally I would be a little more careful and dainty with my dipping process.

Either way, they still taste great!

Peppermint Oreo Truffles Recipe
adapted from Kraft Foods

1 (16.6oz) package regular Oreo cookies (not double-stuffed)
6 regular-sized candy canes, unwrapped and finely crushed
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Place all the Oreo cookies in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until they are finely ground.

Set aside a few tablespoons of the crushed candy canes and then dump the rest and the block of cream cheese into the food processor.  Continue to pulse until the mixture is well combined and smooth.

(You can do this in a mixer or by hand, of course...  I just find that the food processor makes the quickest work of it!  If you're not using a food processor, crush up the Oreos in a ziploc bag before mixing!)

Place the mixture into the fridge to firm up a little for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper.  Take the truffle mixture out of the fridge and scoop and roll equal sized balls, placing them onto the tray as you go.

Once your tray is full, place the truffles in the freezer to chill for at least an hour or up to a day.

When you're ready to coat, carefully melt the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in the microwave, stirring well every 30 seconds, until smooth.

Drop each truffle into the melted chocolate and coat evenly with a fork, gently tapping off the excess chocolate.  Place the now-dipped chocolate truffle back on the tray and immediately sprinkle with a pinch of crushed candy canes.  Repeat until all the truffles are dipped & sprinkled!

Store the truffles in the fridge, in an airtight container.  The peppermint flavor comes out even more after several hours of being in the fridge!

 “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.” 


perfectly moist convection oven roasted turkey

I know, I know...  calling something perfect is pretty bold.  But this really is the best, juciest turkey I have ever made.  And there just isn't any better way to say it!

I used my convection oven for the first time this Thanksgiving.

No, I didn't get a new oven...  I've just never used the convection feature on my oven before.  Why?  I dunno.  It's just foreign to me, I guess.

And now I'm wondering...  Do you use a convection oven?  And if so, why do you like it better than your regular oven??

Ok, back to the turkey.

This turkey was amazing.  Plain and simple.  Juicy, tender...  full of flavor.  And the 20-pound beast was cooked in less than 3 hours!  YaY convection!!

Of course, cooking a turkey varies a bit depending on how big it is, but mine was close to 20 pounds (as many of them are!) so we'll use that as our base.  If you're turkey's smaller, start checking for doneness earlier, and if it's bigger, give it a bit more time!  (Rocket science, eh?)

Anyways...  I know this is a little late for the big day, but if you're like me and you tend to stock up on turkeys while they're cheap (.89 cents a pound anyone?), try this out!

Oh, and if you don't have convection on your oven...  raise the end cooking temp to 350º and expect the turkey to take a bit longer!

Perfect Convection Roasted Turkey Recipe

1 20-lb turkey, thawed
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 large onions, quartered (skin on is fine!)

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Set the rack into your roasting pan and put it by the sink.  (If your roasting pan doesn't have a rack, you can use several balls of aluminum foil or halved onions to keep the turkey from sitting in it's juices).

In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter and poultry seasoning until combined;  Set aside.

Remove the neck & innards (ewww...  I hate that word!) from the turkey and rinse the whole turkey in cold running water, inside and out.  Set it into your roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels.

(Ok, now this is the gross part:)  Slide your hand in between the skin and the meat on the breast of the turkey, loosening the skin all over.  Take the butter mixture and spread it all over in between the skin and the meat, and on top of the turkey, rubbing it in all over and using every last bit of it.

Sprinkle the salt all over the turkey and inside the cavity.  Place the onions inside the turkey cavity.

Place the turkey in the preheated 400º oven for 20-30 minutes, until nice and golden brown all over.

Lower the heat to 325º (on your convection - roast setting).  Place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely on top of the turkey covering the breast and top of the legs.  Cook for another 2 hours...  checking the temperature every once in a while at the end (using a meat thermometer in the deepest part of the breast, not touching bone!) until it reaches 165º.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil to keep warm (and finish cooking the last 5 degrees from carry-over heat) while you heat up everything else for the meal.

Carve and serve with all the trimmings!!

Disclaimer:  I sincerely apologize for not bringing this to you before Turkey Day...  I just couldn't cook another turkey, since I'm cooking two in two days this week!  But, now you have it for Christmas and you can bookmark it for next year!


ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers...

A few days ago, I posted this question on my Facebook page:

What are YOUR favorite uses for leftover turkey?

I got some great responses, and since most of us are up to our eyeballs in leftovers at the moment, I thought I would share them with you here!

Amanda - Good ol plain turkey sandwich with mayonaise & (somtimes) cranberry sauce! Somtimes simplicity is just good!!! :)

Kellie - I was going to say the same.... love turkey sandwiches!

Tami - I mix the turkey in with some cream of something soup, then layer everything in a pyrex baking dish and top it off with a weave of puff pastry... stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole.. YUM.

Amy - Hot turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing. So, basically, all the leftovers together again. :)

Kimberly - For sure hot turkey sandwiches ... but I want to know what your ideas are ... yours are probably way better!!! :)

Carrie - Turkey divan. I reminds me of my childhood...

And my favorites:

Slow Cooker Lemony 'Turkey' Noodle Soup

Betty's Best Hot 'Turkey' Salad

'Turkey' Broccoli Casserole

Slow Cooker Buffalo 'Turkey' Chili

Creamy 'Turkey' Baked Flautas

& Turkey Dinner Shepherd's Pie!

Enjoy those leftovers everyone!!  I hope you had an amazing T-day!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

I hope you all have a beautiful day surrounded by family, and full of love and blessings overflowing!

I wish we could all celebrate together.  How fun would that be?!

love & hugs,

We've never decorated for the holidays the day after Thanksgiving, but I know many of you do...  So, will you be doing this tomorrow?  

Or will you be joining all the Black Friday madness??


easy pumpkin roll with cinnamon cream cheese filling

I have been afraid of pumpkin rolls forever.  Why?  I have no idea.

Just the thought of taking a perfect cake out of the oven and then trying to roll it up, I guess.

But that shouldn't be scary, so much as exciting!!

Maybe it was the fear of failure, keeping me from making a pumpkin roll for company?  Maybe.

So, today I decided to make a pumpkin roll cake for fun.  For me.  For no one else to judge if it didn't turn out and I threw it away turned it into a trifle.

And you know what?  I'm so glad I did!  

And you know what else??  It was easy!

I can tell you one thing for sure...  this is not the last time I will be making a pumpkin roll cake.

Pumpkin Roll Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling
adapted from My baking addiction and Libby's
10-12 servings

for the cake:
1/4 cup powdered sugar (for dusting the towel)
3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup pumpkin purée
for the filling:
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Line a 10x15" jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and then spray with baking spray.  Sprinkle a clean tea towel with powdered sugar.  Set pan & towel aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice & salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla & sugar until thick & creamy.  Add in the pumpkin and mix to combine.

Stir in the flour mixture and spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when touched.  Immediately (with oven mitts...  it is hot!) loosen the edges of the cake and turn it out onto the sugared towel.  Peel off the parchment paper.

Roll up the cake & towel together fairly tightly, starting with a narrow end.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

In another medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter & vanilla until smooth.

Carefully unroll the cooled cake (removing the towel) and spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cake, coming to about 1/4" away from the edges.  Reroll the cake, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

This cake can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days, or wrapped well in plastic and foil - in the freezer for several weeks!

If frozen, remove one hour before serving to thaw.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon and serve!


toddlers & trees... [a tip!]

Here's a trick for those of us with grabby little kiddos constantly underfoot...

Put your pretty, sparkly, too-hard-not-to-touch Christmas Tree...

Up on a table!!!


Our wonderful 7-foot tree is up on a 3 foot tall table...  keeping *most* things grab-free and this (slightly OCD) mommy very happy!

(Also...  those are Bjørn's nativity sets under the tree.  Just in reach for him and they help distract him from the tempting decorations above!)  

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet?  Or am I the only one?


perfect baked caramel corn

I'm re-posting an old recipe today, because the post I had planned didn't happen.

And, because you need to make this caramel corn.  You really, really need to make it.

Trust me.

Make this caramel corn today.

You can thank me later!

This is not originally my recipe...  it has been in my family for years and we have all enjoyed making and eating it!

Seriously the BEST caramel corn you've ever had!  (If I do say so myself...)

Oh, and by the way...  Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!!!

Baked Caramel Corn Recipe

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup popcorn kernels, air popped (about 6 quarts)

Preheat the oven to 250ºF.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly, and then let it boil without stirring for 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.  Gradually pour the hot caramel over the popcorn, stirring well until well-coated.

Spread the caramel corn onto 2 greased rimmed baking sheets and place them both in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, take the pans out, stir the caramel corn and rotate the sheets (top to bottom) and bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven and let cool before breaking into small chunks and storing in ziploc bags!  (This caramel corn freezes really well!  Perfect make-ahead holiday gifts!!)

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Exchange sponsored by kerrygold.


extra-moist sour cream pumpkin bread with cinnamon butter

I have been looking for a great pumpkin bread recipe for years now.  I just haven't spent the time nailing down the best one...  until now!

This flavorful, moist pumpkin bread is perfect as is, and even better with a little spread of butter (or for an extra special touch, make some whipped cinnamon butter!).

It's also is a nice change from our usual banana bread that stocks the freezer...  so I am planning on making quite a few loaves of this to freeze for easy treats to pull out this winter!

(Just a quick side note:  Quick breads like this freeze wonderfully!  Just cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and then foil and place in the freezer.  When you need a loaf, pull it out before bed and set it on the counter and it will be perfectly thawed and ready to serve in the morning!)

Speaking of winter...  We got our Christmas tree today!!  (And then went for a little drive up into the nearby hills to see some snow while we sipped on eggnog lattes and the boys watched Mickey's Christmas!)

Yes, I know it's a little early, but with our schedule the next few weeks it was either now or the middle of December.  And I'm ready for some holiday cheer around here!

Don't worry...  Thanksgiving will be thoroughly enjoyed around here...  even with Christmas decorations already up!

Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread (with Whipped Cinnamon Butter) Recipe

for the bread:
1/2 cup butter, melted & slightly cooled
1/2 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
for the butter:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Grease 2 large loaf pans (& 1 small one possibly...).

In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sour cream, eggs, sugars, milk, pumpkin & vanilla until well blended.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt & spices.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just fully moistened.

Pour the batter into the greased loaf pans, about 3/4 full.  (If you have extra batter, depending on the size of your loaf pans, pour it into a mini loaf pan or small oven-proof dish and bake it along side the others, checking it much sooner for doneness, of course!)

Bake for 55-65 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

While the bread is cooling, make the cinnamon butter.  In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, cinnamon & sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Serve along with the sliced pumpkin bread!


my favorite red wine risotto... baked!

I have been making this Red Wine Risotto with Peas for years...  using the classic, stirring constantly, for-what-seems-like-hours-and-isn't-even-possible-with-needy-little-kiddos-around at the stove method.

I knew there had to be an easier way, and after months of figuring, I've finally put the pieces together the way I want them!

I will still do this the old-fashioned way every once in a while, I'm sure...  because sometimes I make risotto just because I want to stand at the stove and stir something!  And because this baked version is not quite as creamy as traditional stovetop risotto.  But it sure is close and it sure is good!

When I'm really just craving the comfort, without so much tedious work, I will definitely be making my risotto this way from now on!!

Baked Red Wine Risotto with Peas & Parmesan Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Set aside the 1 cup frozen peas aside on the counter top to defrost.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium dutch-oven on the stovetop over medium heat.  Sauté the onions in the butter/oil for 5-10 minutes, until soft and translucent.  Stir in the garlic for a few seconds.

Dump in the uncooked rice and stir, toasting for a few minutes until just starting to get lightly golden brown on the edges.  Stir in the wine and cook until all the liquid is gone.

Pour in the chicken stock, cover tightly, and place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is just absorbed and the rice is tender.

Stir in the peas and most of the parmesan until just melted.  Serve with fresh chopped parsley and a bit more parmesan on the top!

(And in case you're wondering...  risotto heats up wonderfully for leftovers!  Just package into small containers and microwave or heat gently on the stovetop, adding a tiny bit more broth if it gets too thick!)


salted-caramel mocha pie, peppermint mocha pie... and a Torani syrup giveaway!

Salted caramel is all the rage lately, isn't it?  Everything from salted caramel candies to salted caramel mochas and hot chocolates...  it almost seems you can't find caramel without salt these days!

I'm certainly not saying that's a bad thing though!

Salt brings out the flavors in everything (which is why we use it in baking!) and especially does something amazing to caramel.  

This Salted Caramel Mocha Cream Pie is no exception!

I was recently sent 2 bottles of Torani flavored syrups to try out in some of my holiday baking...  Salted Caramel & Peppermint!  

I already adore Torani peppermint syrup in my hot chocolate, and for flavoring whipped cream (we all know how much I love peppermint & chocolate together!)...  

But the first thing I thought of when I saw the flavors was chocolate cream pies flavored with these fun flavors and matched up with delicious coffee liqueur!

Rich smooth, creamy chocolate with a hint of sweet, salty caramel or cool, refreshing peppermint...  these pies are a special treat, that's for sure!

I actually made two different pies at the same time, one salted caramel mocha pie and one peppermint mocha pie...  and they were both amazing and came together in no time!  

Try this recipe if you want an easy no-bake treat for the holidays.  Your guests will love you for it!

(The alcohol from in the pies is very minimal.  But feel free to substitute some very strong cold coffee instead of the coffee liqueur if you'd like!)

Salted Caramel Mocha Pie & Peppermint Mocha Pie Recipe
adapted from she wears many hats

for the crust:
18 regular (not double-stuffed) oreo cookies
3 tablespoons melted butter
for the filling:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
2 tablespoons Torani salted caramel syrup or peppermint syrup

Place the 18 cookies in a gallon ziploc bag, remove the air, seal & crush with a rolling pin until there are only fine crumbs.  Pour in the melted butter and mix up until the crumbs all combined and moistened.  

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie plate and place in the freezer to set while you make the filling.

Melt the chocolate chips carefully in the microwave.  Stir every 30 seconds until smooth.  Place in the fridge to cool down a bit while you whip the cream.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form.  Slowly whip in the liqueur and syrup until just blended.  

Scoop the melted chocolate into the side of the whipped cream bowl and gently fold in with a spatula until completely incorporated...  being careful not to deflate all the whipped cream!

Spoon the filling into the chilled pie crust and place into the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Serve with lots of fresh whipped cream!!

Disclaimer:  I was given the Torani syrups free of charge, but my opinions of them are mine!  I have loved and used them for years... so I was thrilled about this SheSpeaks sponsored review opportunity!

Click here for more reviews on Torani's Salted Caramel Syrup and here for more reviews on their Peppermint Syrup!

And the giveaway...  [UPDATE:  The giveaway is now closed!  Coupons will be mailed ASAP.  Winners, I hope you enjoy your Torani syrups!!]

I have 5 coupons for a FREE full-sized bottle of Torani syrup!  And because I just love you all so much...  I will send the first 5 people to comment on this post one of the coupons!!  (Please leave your email in the comment so I can contact you for your address!)

And if you don't win...  here's a coupon code for 10% off your purchase at Torani.com!


Indestructibles books for baby [a giveaway!]

Oh I have such a fun giveaway for you today!!  Indestructibles...  perfect water-proof, tear-resistant and baby-durable books that your kiddos and you will love!

These amazing books can even be thrown in the washing machine!  Isn't that amazing?!

The best part about these books?  They look and feel like real paper!!

You know...  the kind that your kiddos inevitably reach for, even though they are climbing over a pile of the usual baby-friendly cardboard and squishy books!

Now the little ones can play with the same kind of books mommy & daddy do, without causing any damage!  Yay!

Indestructibles has offered to giveaway 2 of their fabulous books to one of my readers!

Plip-Plop Pond Old Macdonald Has A Farm!

If you'd like to buy one of these fabulous indestructible books...  click here.

But of course, it's so much more fun to win stuff...  so enter this giveaway!!

One mandatory entry:

* Leave a comment on this post, telling me what your favorite children's book is!

Two additional optional entries:

* Follow BOTH Sweet Anna's & Indestructibles on Facebook and come back and comment that you did.

* Share this post on Facebook and come back and comment that you did!

This giveaway will end at 11:59pm PST on Tuesday, November 22nd.  The winner will be contacted by email and announced on Facebook the next morning and the books will be sent directly from the publisher!

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this review.  The opinion herein are mine and mine alone!  (Well, and my kiddos...  but you know what I mean!)

UPDATE:  This giveaway is now closed!

And the winner is...  

#24!  Simone!!  Congratulations!  :o)  I know you'll love the books!!


cheater white chocolate raspberry cheesecake

Yep...  I said "cheater" White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake!!

Sometimes there just isn't time to whip up a fancy dessert from scratch.

I don't run into that problem often, but every once in a while I just can't get it together!  (You know, like when I've just gotten back from a long no-sleep vacation!)

So, for My Love's birthday the other day I bought a frozen cheesecake from Costco, and then doctored it up to resemble his favorite White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake that I would normally make him!

Of course it wasn't exactly the same...  but it sure was good and nobody was complaining!

Cheater White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

1 store-bought cheesecake
for the white chocolate ganache:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup good-quality white chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups raspberry freezer jam, or thawed and mashed frozen raspberries
fresh raspberries for garnish

Thaw the cheesecake according to package directions.  (We like our cheesecake still a bit frozen...  if you've never tried it that way, try it!)

Make the chocolate ganache:  Heat the cream in the microwave for about 60 seconds or a bit longer until very hot.  Place the white chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream over the top.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir well to melt the chocolate.  Stir in the butter and set aside to cool for a bit.

Assemble the cheesecake:  Place the cheesecake on a serving platter.  Pour the room-temperature white chocolate ganache over the top of the cheesecake.  Spoon dollops of raspberry freezer jam all over the top of the ganache and then take a knife and gently swirl the raspberry into the white chocolate.

Place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill and set the ganache until serving.  When you're ready to serve, arrange fresh raspberries on the top and serve with additional raspberry sauce and fresh whipped cream!


eggnog crumble coffee cake

This easy eggnog coffee cake is Christmas in a pan.  Seriously...  the whole house smells amazing and full of holiday cheer.

Eggnog, eggnog, eggnog!!

Have I told you how much I love eggnog?

I have??  Well, ok then!

This eggnog coffee cake makes me want to pull out all my Christmas music & decorations already!  Is it too early for that?  Nah...

Speaking of Christmas, this would be a great breakfast to make for Christmas morning.

Or a Thanksgiving weekend morning, if you have company staying with you like we will!

(I'm pretty sure I will be making this to serve one morning and Easy Caramel Pecan Rolls to serve the next morning!)

If you want to make this the night before, just get it all ready and into the pan and then cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge overnight.

Pull it out in the morning to warm up a bit on the counter while you preheat the oven and then bake as usual!

Eggnog Crumble Coffee Cake
adapted from Mandy's Recipe Box

for the crumble topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
for the cake batter:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup eggnog
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon rum extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Butter the bottom of a 9x13" glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together the crumble topping ingredients until well mixed.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter with a fork until well blended and smooth.  Beat in the eggnog, sour cream, eggs & rum extract until blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.  Stir this mixture into the wet ingredients until just blended.

Spread the batter into the greased pan and sprinkle the crumble topping mixture in little chunks all over the top.  Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!

Serve with a few pats of butter (because you know that never hurts things!), and lots of hot coffee!!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Chicago Metallic.  This week's theme is Holiday Baking!


Happy Birthday, Babe!

Yesterday was My Love's 40th birthday!!!

We had a quiet day, relaxing after our busy vacation...  and then a great dinner and visit from our good friends.

Complete with sushi, cheesecake and lots of candles!

I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday like I wanted, but:


Thank you for being My Love and my best friend.  Thank you for being such a great husband & daddy to our boys!  

We love you so much!!!  (Forever-Ever!)

Happy Birthday!


cookie dough no-bake energy bites

What??  These cookie dough bites are good for you?!  (Shhh...  Don't tell your kids!)

Full of natural ingredients...  these little no-bake bites are a great treat packed full of healthy energy.

Of course, I offered them to Bjørn as "cookie dough" (That's what they taste like!!) so he would try one...  he doesn't need to know any better and he loved them!

These yummy little bites were a huge hit in this house...  with me, a few friends, and both of the big kids.  We finished off the whole batch in about an hour of snacking!

(I love the extra coconut kick and healthy fats from the coconut oil, but if you don't have any - feel free to use more honey instead!)

Cookie Dough No-Bake Energy Bites Recipe

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened or unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup ground almonds, ground flaxseed, or wheat germ
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well combined.  You may want to use your [clean] hands for this...  it's much easier!! 

Once completely combined, roll the dough into small balls and place on a parchment or wax-paper lined baking sheet.  Chill in the fridge or freezer until completely set before serving... at least an hour. 

Store in tupperware in the fridge or freezer!

I'm home! I'm home! I'm home!!!

I don't know if I've ever been so excited to come home!

Now, don't get me wrong...  Hawaii was beautiful (of course) and we had a great time (of course!)...   but with one kiddo who decided he shouldn't sleep at all in Hawaii, which meant that mommy couldn't sleep at all in Hawaii...

I have never been so happy to set foot in my front door!

Also, I missed my kitchen.  So much.  I want to bake...  and bake, and bake, and bake!

Unfortunately, I have no groceries, so that might be a bit tough.

And these boys deserve a day off from being in the car.

So...  I might have to get creative.  But, I will bake today!

Happy 11.11.11 everyone!!

I've missed you!

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