Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Retro Recipe: Stayabed Stew from the 60s

This is a Great Easy Lazy Day Beef Stew Recipe that I found in an old Cookbook.

Just place all ingredients in a covered casserole and bake for 5 hours on 275 degrees.

Stayabed Stew

1 Cup carrots - sliced
1 potato - cut into chunks
2 pounds of beef- I used an arm roast- cut into chunks
1 onion chopped
1 bayleaf
Seasonings of choice- salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian herbs
I added several garlic cloves roughly chopped
1 can tomato soup mixed with a half of can of water

Baking: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

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We Loved This!!

11/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 Cup sugar
1/3 Cup butter, melted
3 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened (lower fat Neufchatel cheese can be used)
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 Cup mini chocolate chips, divided
1 tsp. flour

Preheat oven to 300°. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, COCOA, sugar and melted butter and press evenly in the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth. Add the eggs and VANILLA; mix well. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips with the flour to coat. Stir into the cream cheese mixture. Pour into the pan and top with the remaining chocolate chips. Bake at 300° for 60-80 minutes, until the cheesecake is set and not jiggly in the middle. Turn the oven off, crack the door, and cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let stand until the pan is cool to the touch. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Once chilled, remove from pan by running a thin knife around the pan edge, and then carefully remove the spring form.

Prep. time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 60-80 minutes
Serves: 16

Monday, February 20, 2012

Creating: Vintage Wedding Cake Centerpiece

I loved using bits and pieces of vintage trims and ribbons from my stash of supplies to create this Faux wedding cake centerpiece. I Layered cream and white papers, paint, ribbons, and trim to cover hat boxes and then arranged them to look like a a wedding cake. The little note card on top is one of many that I found in a discarded box full of vintage greeting cards and wedding cards from probably the 40s to the 70s.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells
1 (12-ounce) box uncooked jumbo pasta shells
2 cups chopped cooked chicken or canned chicken breast
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15oz) container ricotta cheese
1 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
11/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (26oz) jar prepared spaghetti sauce

1. Cook shells according to package directions. Be careful not to overcook them or they will tear easily when trying to fill them. Drain and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease two 9x13 baking dishes.

3. In a large bowl, combine chicken and all the rest of the ingredients except mozzarella and spaghetti sauce. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella. Spoon into shells. *Tip: For easier filling, fill a gallon ziplock baggie with the filling and snip a quarter size hole off the corner of the bag. Then you can just pipe the filling into the shells.

4. Spread half of spaghetti sauce into prepared baking dishes. Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. If you are freezing one of the 9x13 prepared pans, freeze it after this step. Include a baggy of the remaining mozzarella for when you cook it.

5. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

Makes 8-10 servings.
original recipe Paula Deen

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Tic Tac Toe Valentine Cookies and Tags

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i just love this little Close to my Heart Stamp set, and the cookies to match were so fast and easy to put together.

coca-Cola Cake

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Coca-Cola Cake

The one and only Coca-Cola® combines with rich chocolate and vanilla in this delicious cake.

24 servings

Make the icing a day ahead of time, and keep at room temperature.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) mini marshmallows

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 cup Coca-Cola, not diet

2 1/3 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 extra large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 cups (4 sticks) butter

1/2 cup Coca-Cola, not diet

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup cocoa powder, sifted

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted

1 1/4 pounds powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 325F.
To prepare cake, melt butter in saucepan, add marshmallows and stir until melted. Add chocolate and stir over low heat until melted. Add Coca-Cola, then set aside and let cool 10 minutes.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Place sugar, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat on low until combined. Add half the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, then the remaining flour. Scrape down sides of bowl after each addition.
Scrape into 2 (8- or 9-inch) cake pans. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool on wire racks. When completely cool, slice each layer in half horizontally to make 4 layers.
To prepare icing, cream butter in bowl using a mixer until smooth. Add Coca-Cola and vanilla. Mix on low speed until blended. Add cocoa powder and chocolate. Mix until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time on low speed. Keeping mixer on low speed, beat until smooth. Icing is best if made one day ahead.
Place 1 layer on a plate. Ice top. Repeat with remaining three layers and ice sides.

Bow Tie Pasta and Spinach Salad

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Bow Tie Pasta and Spinach Salad

8 C. spinach, torn in pieces
8 C. bow tie pasta cooked and cooled
1 bunch green onion, chopped fine
1/4 C. parsley, chopped
1/4 C. salted sunflower seeds
1/2 C. red and yellow peppers, chopped
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or use canned chicken breast

1/2 C. oil
2/3 C. soy sauce
2/3 C. rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. pepper
red pepper flakes to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 C. sesame seeds
drizzle of sesame oil

Combine dressing ingredients and stir in chicken. Place in a
covered non-metal container or a Ziploc bag and put in
the fridge overnight. Combine the dressing and chicken
with the remaining ingredients when ready to serve.
Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top .

Saturday, February 04, 2012

snowy day desserts

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies

2 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch fine sea salt (optional)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 1 & 1/2 tablespoons fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9″x 13″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add both sugars and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle top of dough with fleur de sel.

Bake 30-35 minutes, until center is set and top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.

Black Bottom Brownies


6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
1 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly butter a 9″x 13″ baking pan. Line with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture into egg mixture, whisking to combine. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly.


16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 2 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Pour cheesecake mixture over brownie layer. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.

Bake for 1 hour & 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting into bars. Store brownies in refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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