The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Welcome!

I was reviewing my blog stats today, and noticed that I've had quite a few international viewers (including quite a few from Germany today).  I just wanted to say WELCOME to my blog, and ask you to please stop and leave a comment when you're here.  I'd love to hear from you!
Blessings,
--Faithy

Steph's Pecan Bars



HOWDY friends…I recently found this recipe by Steph over at PlainChicken.com and couldn’t wait to try it.  I decided that our church potluck dinner last weekend would be a great testing ground, so I threw together a batch.  They were so easy and delicious; I had to share the recipe with you as another possible Easter treat idea.  If you like pecan pie, you’ll love these!!

I made the mistake of sampling them when they came out of the oven…still warm (just to make sure they were good enough for my friends of course).  They were so yummy, I actually considered eating them all myself instead of sharing.  Thankfully, good sense, and my Christian spirit prevailed. 

Anyway, here’s the recipe (with my usual adaptations).  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  If you do, click here to stop by and let Steph know how glad you are that she shared this delicious recipe with us!  And take a few minutes to browse her site while you’re there.  Looks like she’s got lots of other goodies you may want to try as well.



Wish you could smell these!
  
Pecan Bars



1 (8 oz) can of refrigerated crescent rolls (I used fat free ones and you really couldn’t tell!)

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup sugar (I used Whey Low as usual)

1/2 cup corn syrup (I used light corn syrup, but dark would probably be yummy too!)

2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted (I’ve been having trouble finding my usual Smart Balance Butter Blend sticks, so I used unsalted butter)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg, beaten (I used 1/4 cup of my usual HEB Real Egg)

  
Heat oven to 350°F.

Unroll dough and press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9x13-inch pan.  Firmly press perforations to seal.  (I had to work a bit to stretch the dough to fit the pan without tearing it up, but I managed.)  Bake 8 minutes.  (After I baked the dough, I found one spot where the perforation came apart and left a hole in the bottom, but I just ignored it.)

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients.  Pour filling over partially baked crust.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Cool completely, about 1 hour, and cut into bars.  (I must admit, I cut into it for my sample piece after only about 10 minutes…I just couldn’t wait!) 

The recipe was a hit at the potluck.  (You can always tell when folks ask for your recipe!) 

Please forgive the quick pictures.  I’m definitely going to make some more for this weekend’s big Easter BBQ.  I’ll try to get some better ones then.

I’ve also got a couple more recipes I want to share with you all before Easter, if I can find the time.

Gotta get hoppin’…
Blessings,
--Faithy

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Hoppy" Easter...

This is the day that the Lord has made…I will rejoice and be glad in it!!


Howdy!  Just "hopping" by to share another link for one of my favorite Easter recipes..."Bunny Bread".  This one takes a little time, but it's very simple and a GREAT crowd pleaser.  The kids especially love it, and it's a great one to let them help you with.  So...grab a kid and get cookin'!

I hope you'll give it a try, and if you make it, please share your pictures, and your thoughts.
"Hoppy" Easter my friends!
Blessings,
--Faithy

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blueberry Cream Muffins



Okay…just dropping in for a sec, ‘cause I just had to share another of my favorite recipes, in case anyone is looking for something easy & delicious to serve on Easter morning.  I found the base recipe for this in an issue of Taste of Home magazine years ago, and have been making my adapted version regularly ever since.

I hope you and your family will enjoy it as much as we have.  It goes together very quickly, and never fails to please.  Give it a try!

Blueberry Cream Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (if you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can use all-purpose for the full amount) 
1 cup Smart Sugar (as usual, feel free to substitute an equal amount of regular sugar or your own favorite sugar substitute) 
1 teaspoon low sodium baking powder (or regular baking powder if you don’t have this) 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1-1/3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I’ve also used blackberries, raspberries, and mixed berries - all with delicious results!) 
1/2 cup HEB Real Egg (or 2 actual eggs, beaten) 
1 cup (8 oz.) fat free sour cream (plain Greek yogurt also works well) 
1/2 cup canola oil (or your favorite cooking oil) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well.  Add berries and toss lightly to coat.

In a separate bowl (or large measuring cup), combine the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla.  Whisk well to mix.  Gently stir into dry ingredients, just until everything is moistened and mixed in.

Fill greased muffin cups (you can also use paper-lined muffin cups if you prefer) about 2/3 full.  I use a large cookie scoop (an ice cream scoop would work fine as well).

Bake at 400°F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until muffins pass a “toothpick test”.

NOTE:  The recipe is supposed to make 12 regular-sized muffins but I usually have enough batter left for an additional dozen mini muffins.  (Kids love ‘em!)   

NOTE #2:  These muffins freeze well, and the batter can easily be doubled or tripled to make as many as you’d like.  Just be sure to cool them thoroughly before you freeze them.  I usually just pop them into a zip-top freezer bag.

If you try them, feel free to experiment (like I did) and let me know which flavor is your favorite!
Gotta run…

Blessings,

--Faithy

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A country toast to St. Patty's Day...

Happy St. Patty's Day to ya my friends!!  It's a beautiful spring day here in Zig Zag (although it would be even more beautiful if it would ever rain!).  J

I’m spending the afternoon (well most of it anyway) working in the yard with my hubby, brother-in-law and my darlin’ pups.  We’re enjoying the beautiful weather, yet working up a bit of a sweat, so we decided it’s the perfect time for our first batch of lemonade for the season.

I’ve posted the recipe before, but I thought I’d re-post the link (click here) and say “CHEERS” to you all, while wishin’ ya a special “Sonday” filled with blessings!  (I even added a slice of lime & a green glass in honor of St. Patrick!)

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I hope you can spend it with your family and a tall glass of lemonade!
Blessings, 
--Faithy

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cranberry-Orange Waffles



HOWDY friends!  Thought I’d drop by to post one more recipe before I get too busy with Easter preparations to do it.  I came across a version of this recipe years ago in a cookbook called Gifts from a Jar:  Holiday Treats.  I’ve made it many times, but never actually put it together in a gift jar like they recommend.  It’s really good, so I wanted to share my adapted recipe with you so you can try it, and tell me what you think.
 

1 jar Faithy’s Favorite Cranberry Waffle Mix (see recipe below)
1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have any buttermilk, you can substitute 1 Tbsp. vinegar plus enough skim/fat free milk to make 1 cup - stir well and let stand for 5 minutes before using)
1/4 to 1/2 cup orange juice (you can substitute skim/fat free milk if you don’t have any, but the orange juice really adds a nice flavor)
1/4 cup HEB Real Egg (or 1 actual egg, beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons Smart Balance Butter Blend sticks, melted (or real butter)
Powdered sugar, butter, maple syrup or your favorite jam

Preheat waffle iron, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour waffle mix into a large bowl and stir until well blended.  Whisk together buttermilk, 1/4 cup orange juice, egg and vanilla.  (I like to do this in a large measuring cup, so it’s easy to pour into the dry ingredients when it’s ready!)  Add liquids to dry ingredients and still until just moistened.

Stir in butter.  If batter is too thick, add additional orange juice, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
 
Pour about ¾ cup batter onto waffle iron (you may need more or less depending on your waffle iron - check the manufacturer’s directions for recommended amounts).  Close lid and bake until steaming stops or waffles are brown and crispy.

Serve hot with toppings of your choice.  (My favorite is the powdered sugar…I think it goes perfectly with these!!)

NOTE:  You can keep waffles warm in a preheated 200°F oven.  Just place them directly on the oven rack in a single layer.  If you really want to do it right, you can heat your plates on another rack until time to serve.

ANOTHER NOTE:  These waffles freeze very well.  Just double the recipe so you’ll have some leftovers.  Then you can just pull them out and pop them in the toaster for a quick and easy breakfast!

Faithy’s Favorite Cranberry Waffle Mix


1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (if you don’t have any whole wheat flour, feel free to use all-purpose for the entire amount - however, if you don’t have any, you SHOULD get some to keep on hand - it adds a delicious flavor as well as a nutrition boost)
1 teaspoon fresh orange peel (you can use dried, but the fresh is SOOOO much better!)
1/2 teaspoon low sodium baking powder (or regular baking powder if you don’t have this)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup Smart Sugar (as usual, feel free to substitute an equal amount of regular sugar or your own favorite sugar substitute)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit of your choice - I think I’ll try dried cherries next time)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

For a pretty gift, layer ingredients (in the order listed above) in a 1-pint canning jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Lightly pack down ingredients before adding each additional layer, then cover the top of the jar with fabric and attach a gift tag (with directions on how to make them) with a pretty ribbon or some raffia.

(I haven’t ever actually done that, but I’m sure I will one day.  If you try it, please send me a picture with your feedback!)

Hope you and yours survived the recent time change, and are well and happy as we approach Easter!

Blessings,
--Faithy