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3-2-1 Microwave Carrot Cake




Ingredients

Carrot cake box mix
Angel food cake box mix
2 T Water
Jar or Mug

How to make it : 



In a large ziplock bag, mix together the two cake mixes really well. Scoop 3 tablespoons of the cake mixture into a jar or mug, add in 2 tablespoons of water and stir to combine. Microwave it for 1 minute. Take out and let cool for a few minutes. Eat plain or decorate to your liking. I used cream cheese frosting and sprinkles.

Easy Cheese Danish




Ingredients:

2 cans ready to use refrigerated crescent rolls
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:



Preheat oven to 350* degrees and grease a 13X9-inch baking pan. Lay a pack of crescent rolls in the pan and pinch the openings together. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg together until smooth. Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls evenly and then lay the second pack of crescent rolls on top of the cheese mixture and brush with egg white. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Top with glaze after cooling for 20 minutes.

Kitchen Notes:
I have made this danish using low fat cream cheese and splenda (sugar substitute) and it was delicious! Also, the amount of filling the original recipe calls for makes a VERY heavily filled danish. I have halved the filling using 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 whole egg, and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and it was still very good. If you use the half filling method, bake for closer to 30-35 minutes.

Cheesecake Crescent Rolls~YUM




Ingredients

2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
Cinnamon
Sugar

How to make it



Unroll and spread 1 of the cans of crescent rolls on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (or 8 x 8 if you want to cut the recipe in half). Combine softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Spread over crescent roll layer. Unroll and layer remaining crescent rolls over cream cheese layer. Melt your butter and spread over top of crescent rolls. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes in 350F oven until bubbly and slightly browned. Drizzle with a little honey if you like. Let cool a bit, slice and eat.

CREME OF COCONUT CAKE



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Ingredients

1 box yellow butter cake mix
1 can creme of coconut
1 can Eagle Brand milk
8 oz. Cool Whip
1 pkg. frozen coconut (thawed)

How to make it 



Bake yellow butter cake mix by directions on box in 13x9x2 pan. While cake is hot, pierce with fork. Combine can of creme of coconut and can of Eagle Brand milk and pour over cake. Cover and refrigerate. When cake is cool, spread with 8 ounces of Cool Whip and a package of frozen coconut (thawed). Store in refrigerator

Cowboy Lasagna



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Ingredients

1. 1 lb of ground beef
2. Minced onions - 4 tbsp
3. Worcestershire sauce - generous sprinkling
4. Parsley - roughly 3 tbsp, divided
5. One can of tomato soup - 10 3/4 ozs
6. One can of corn - 15.25 ozs
7. Dried ground mustard - 3 tsp
8. One package of tater tots - 32 ozs
9. Salt and Pepper to taste
10. Mozzarella cheese - roughly 4 cups

Directions



1. Brown ground beef with spices - drain.  Add can of soup and can of corn, simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. In a greased 9x13 baking dish, arrange tator tots in single layer.  Cover with 2 cups of cheese.  Pour ground beef mixture over top and cover with remaining cheese and 1 tbsp of parsley.
3. Place in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Chewy, Fudgy Triple-Chocolate Brownies




Ingredients

5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 T cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (5 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour

How to make it



1.  Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 350.  Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Fold two 16-inch pieces of foil or parchment paper lengthwise to  measure 8 inches wide.  Fit one sheet in the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan.  Fit the second sheet in the pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  In a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Whisk in the cocoa until smooth.  Set aside to cool.

3.  Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds.  Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture; then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spread into the corners, and level the surface with a rubber spatula.  Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.  Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil or parchment handles and transfer to a cutting board.  Cut into squares.  (Do not cut until ready to serve; uncut brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 5 days)  Makes 64 1-inch brownies or 16 2-inch brownies

Home Made Donuts ala Krispy Kreme




Tangzhong

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water

Dough

2 1/2 cups All purpose flour
4 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup tangzhong

Glaze

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp water

Directions



Make the tangzhong by mixing the flour and water and heating it while stirring constantly until it forms a sort of paste.  You know this when swirl lines form as you stir.  Set this aside and let it cool.  I like to put it in a bowl and cover the top with cling wrap placed against the mixture so that a 'skin' doesn't form as it cools.
Dump all the ingredients for the dough into a mixer with a dough hook attachment (or you can use a bread machine like she does in 365 degree Oven) and knead for about 15 minutes until it can be stretched to form a window pane.  I set my Kitchenaide to about 3.
Transfer to a greased bowl and let rise for 45 minutes, then punch down and let rise for another 30 to 45 minutes.
When the dough is done, roll it out into a rectangle onto a floured surface until its about 1/2 inch thick.
You can use a large circle cookie cutter (365 recommends a 3 inch circle) to cut a large circle and a smaller one to cut the 'donut hole'.  I just used one of these because I had one.
Use a flat spatula to place donuts on a floured parchment sheet, making sure the donuts are not touching one another since they will expand. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. I'll explain why I recommend using parchment paper instead of just any floured surface later.
Make the glaze by mixing all the ingredients together.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a pan to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) since this is ideal for deep frying.  In my case since I don't have a thermometer, I tested the oil for the proper 'hotness' by dropping a bit of the donut dough into the oil.  Its hot enough when the dough floats right back up in all its golden brown glory after a few seconds (about 4 to 5 secs).  If your dough burns then its too hot. Now for the reason I like placing the donuts on parchment is so I can cut out each section with a donut on it and use the parchment to 'pick up' the donuts and drop them into the oil.This way, I don't disrupt the donut's shape.  Or you can always use a flat spatula again to pick them up and drop them into the oil.
Lower a few donuts at a time into the hot oil and fry for 30 to 45 seconds until golden brown.  Insert a chopstick (or barbecue stick into the hole and flip over to fry the other side for another 30 to 45 seconds or until golden brown. Remove and place on a rack to cool. If you're worried about excess oil, put a paper towel over the cooling rack to absorb excess oil.
When its cool enough to touch, dunk donut halfway into the glaze to coat. Place on a clean rack or a plate and let it cool for five more minutes just until the glaze sets.  Serve with a hot cup of coffee and enjoy! 

A few other things:
Like she said in 365 degree Oven, its best to make these just before you want to eat them so that they are fresh but I discovered that you can keep the unrolled dough in the fridge over night and just roll it flat next morning and cut out your donuts then.  You might have to let them rise longer than an hour before the donuts are fluffy enough to cook though.  Otherwise it still tastes the same.

If you don't like the glaze then you can roll them in granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon or you can add sprinkles to them after you glaze them.

Lemon Butter Baked Shrimp




Ingredients :

1 lb. raw shrimp, cleaned, peeled and deveined
8 Tbs. butter (1 stick), melted
3 cloves garlic, minced (my addition)
1 packet of Good Seasons Italian all natural seasoning
1 1/2 lemon, sliced into circles
1 Tbs. dried parsley leaves
1 tsp. black pepper, ground

How to make this recipe :



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with minced garlic, and pour into a 9×111 inch glass casserole dish, spreading it all over the bottom of the dish.
Arrange the lemon slices on top of butter, forming a single layer.
Arrange the cleaned and deveined shrimp on top of the lemon slices.
Sprinkle the Italian Seasoning over the shrimp.
Sprinkle the parsley flakes and pepper on top of that.
Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake




For the Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour (updated 25 March)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (I prefer buttermilk with the lemon)
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Buttercream

1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Finishing

2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves stirred vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable
About 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

Getting Ready

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake



Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Buttercream

Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.
During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

To Assemble the Cake

Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half.
Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.
Spread it with one third of the preserves.
Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream.
Top with another layer, spread with preserves and buttercream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover).
Place the last layer cut side down on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top.
Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.

Serving

The cake is ready to serve as soon as it is assembled, but I think it’s best to let it sit and set for a couple of hours in a cool room – not the refrigerator. Whether you wait or slice and enjoy it immediately, the cake should be served at room temperature; it loses all its subtlety when it’s cold. Depending on your audience you can serve the cake with just about anything from milk to sweet or bubbly wine.

Storing

The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.

Playing Around

Since lemon is such a friendly flavor, feel free to make changes in the preserves: other red preserves – cherry or strawberry – look especially nice, but you can even use plum or blueberry jam.

Fresh Berry Cake

If you will be serving the cake the day it is made, cover each layer of buttercream with fresh berries – use whole raspberries, sliced or halved strawberries or whole blackberries, and match the preserves to the fruit. You can replace the coconut on top of the cake with a crown of berries, or use both coconut and berries. You can also replace the buttercream between the layers with fairly firmly whipped sweetened cream and then either frost the cake with buttercream (the contrast between the lighter whipped cream and the firmer buttercream is nice) or finish it with more whipped cream. If you use whipped cream, you’ll have to store the cake the in the refrigerator – let it sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Peppermint Bourbon Walnut Fudge




Ingredients

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, plus 1 tablespoon, melted
3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon peppermint extract

How to make it :



Lightly coat an 8x8x2-inch nonstick baking pan with the melted butter, then line with plastic wrap.
Combine the remaining butter, sugar, cream and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to completely dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat down (so the mixture does not boil over) and continue to boil while stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 230 F, about 6 minutes. Use a digital thermometer for an accurate reading.
Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate and stir carefully with a whisk. Stir until the chocolate has melted and been completely incorporated. Add the walnuts, bourbon and peppermint extract and stir with a rubber spatula until incorporated. Pour the fudge into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with the spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
To serve, remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Flip the pan upside down on top of a cutting board. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut into pieces of desired size. Store in tightly sealed plastic container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
The fudge will retain the peppermint flavor for several days if stored in the refrigerator. For long-term storage (up to several weeks), freeze the fudge in a tightly sealed plastic container to prevent dehydration and to protect it from refrigerator or freezer odors.
Makes 3 pounds.

FRIED RICE WITH SHRIMP




Ingredients

Fried Rice with Shrimp
2 cups of cooked rice cooled (or day old rice works well too)
1 lb shrimp, head peeled, but tail on
¼ of a big white onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
½ tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of sugar (optional)
2 tablespoon of oil for frying
5 chilies, chopped
3 tablespoons of fish sauce
½ of a lime
1 bunch of green onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup yellow corn
½ cup fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS



"Stir fry sauce" ingredients together in a cup (soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar) until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons oil, then add 2 minced garlic cloves and chili. Stir-fry 30 seconds to release the fragrance, then add shrimp and stir-fry until shrimp turns pink about 2-3 minutes.
Add onion, chopped bell pepper, corn and remaining garlic and continue stir-frying 1-2 more minutes.
Add rice and drizzle the stir-fry sauce over. Use a large flat utensil to perform a scooping motion to fry the rice another 2-3 minutes, or until sauce is well distributed.
Push rice aside to clear a space in the middle of your pan. Add 1 teaspoons of oil, then crack in the egg. Quickly scramble egg, gradually combining it with surrounding rice.
Remove from heat, stir in the green onion and basil. Taste-test the dish for salt balance and adjust. At this point you can add 2-4 teaspoons more fish sauce, to adjust the flavor as needed.
Serve immediately and ENJOY!

Fried Rice Recipe




Ingredients

3 Tbsp. butter, divided
2 eggs, whisked
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
4 cups cooked and chilled rice (I prefer short-grain white rice)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3-4 Tbsp. soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tsp. oyster sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

Instructions : 



Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. 
Add egg, and cook until scrambled, stirring occasionally. Remove egg, and transfer to a separate plate.
Add an additional 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and heat until melted. 
Add carrots, onion, peas and garlic, and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. 
Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion and carrots are soft. 
Increase heat to high, add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter, and stir until melted. 
Immediately add the rice, green onions, soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using), and stir until combined. 
Continue stirring for an additional 3 minutes to fry the rice. 
Then add in the eggs and stir to combine. Add the sesame oil, stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Easy Big Fat Yeast Rolls recipe




Ingredients

1 cup warm water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. softend butter (or non-dairy equivalent)
1 egg, beaten
3 1/2-4 cups flour

How to Make It



Put water and yeast in large mixing bowl and add next 4 ingredients. Beat with dough hook until well blended. Add 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour and mix until soft dough forms (should not be sticky). Put out onto floured board and knead a few times until smooth. Place in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place approx. 45 minutes. Punch down and turn out onto floured board. Shape into 12 rolls and place in greased 13x9 in. baking pan. Let rise again about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush tops of rolls with butter (or equivalent).

Hamburger Potato Cheese Casserole




Ingredients

5 large russet potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch thick 
2 -3 tablespoons chopped onions 
1 lb ground beef ( really lean is preferable) 
salt and pepper 
Cheese sauce (the same one I use for macaroni and cheese)
2 cups milk ( I use skim) 
3 tablespoons butter 
3 tablespoons flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper 
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
ketchup ( optional condiment) 

How to make it :



 I use a 2 1/2 quart covered casserole dish for this. This will stick unless you have a great non-stick baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350.
Brown hamburger and onion.
Place a layer of sliced potatoes in casserole dish, top with half of hamburger/onion mixture. Salt and pepper to taste (kind of depends on how salty your cheese sauce is - you can always salt it later if it needs it).
Repeat layering of potato slices and hamburger mixture (and salt and pepper if desired).
Make Cheese sauce:.
Melt 3 T butter in saucepan over med-high heat.
Add 3 T flour, and the salt and pepper. Stir quickly to blend.
Add 2 cups milk; stir with whisk to incorporate butter/flour mixture.
Reduce heat, stir till thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat and add shredded cheddar. Stir until cheese melts.
Pour cheese sauce over hamburger and potatoes in baking dish. Push potatoes around to let cheese sauce into all of the crevices so it's well coated.
Cover and place in oven. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, till potatoes are tender and top is browned. I like to take off the lid for the last 20 minutes or so to brown the top a bit.
Even with the leanest ground beef, this can get little pools of grease on top - I just spoon these off. It doesn't mean the whole thing is greasy - just cheesy.
My family members consider generous amounts of ketchup a necessary addition to this dish. I like it fine by itself (ok, maybe a spot of ketchup on the side).

Oven Hot Dogs




Ingredients:

8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1 can of chili
1/2 an onion, diced
cheddar cheese
mayonnaise
mustard
sweet relish

How to make it :



Preheat over to 350 degrees. 

1. Line inside of hot dog buns with mayonnaise and sweet relish. Evenly add mustard. Fill with hot dogs and squish into a 13×9″ baking pan.

2. Top hot dogs with chili, cheese, and diced onion. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Pound Cake




Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened
½ cup shortening (you can substitute butter if you want)
3 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (or any flavoring of choice)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

How to make it



Cream butter, shortening, and sugar until very light.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla and almond extracts.  Add flour alternately with milk.  Bake in lightly greased pan in 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Place dish towel over cake, turn oven off, and clet cake stand 10 more minutes in oven.  Remove from oven, take towel off, allow to cool, and turn on to a cake plate.
Chocolate Pound Cake: Add 4 tablespoons cocoa to flour and sift together.  Omit almond extract.  Bake at 300 for 2 hours.

Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Casserole - Low Carb Recipe




Ingredients

3 cups cubed chicken
16 oz (1lb) bag of frozen broccoli
1 med onion diced (about 1 cup)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cube chicken bouillon (or 1 tsp bouillon powder)
1/2 cup water (optional, I added this to help disperse the chicken flavoring but the water from the veggies as they cook also would suffice if the dish seems too watery to you)
1 Tbspn olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1/4 c sour cream
1 cup ricotta
Bacon Grease

Directions



Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole pan - I used left over bacon grease for added flavor, pan spray would be okay too (just maybe not as tasty ;))
Add broccoli, onion, chicken bouillon, water, olive oil and pepper to a medium frying pan. 
Cook covered for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
In a medium bowl mix the chicken chunks, garlic powder, sour cream and ricotta cheese together. Mix till blended.
After 10 minutes of cooking the veggies, pour the broccoli mix into the bowl with the chicken. Stir until blended. 
Add 1/4 c of the shredded mozzarella cheese to the mix. Stir.
Transfer your mix to the greased pan and spread evenly.
Add the remaining mozzarella cheese to the top and pop that baby in the oven!
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes. 
Once the top layer of cheese is browned a bit it should be done. 
If you like your broccoli on the softer side bake until the florets are to your liking.
Serve warm and enjoy!

Chipster-Topped Brownies




For the brownie layer:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 2/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

For the cookie layer:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips

How to make it :



Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan, line it with wax or parchment paper and butter the paper. Put the pan on a baking sheet.

To make the brownie batter: Put both chocolates and the butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stirring occasionally, heat just until the ingredients are melted, shiny and smooth. If the mixture gets too hot, the butter will separate from the chocolates. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until pale, thick and creamy. Beat in the salt and vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate and butter, mixing only until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then, still on low speed, add the flour, mixing only until it disappears into the batter. Using the spatula, fold in the walnuts, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.

To make the cookie dough: Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer in the cleaned bowl or with the hand mixer in another large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, add the egg and the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Still on low, mix in the chopped chocolate. Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls over the brownie batter an, using a spatula and a light touch, spread it evenly over the batter.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cookie top is deep golden brown and firm and a thin knife inserted into the brownie layer comes out with only faint streaks of moist chocolate. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.

When the brownies are completely cool, carefully run a knife between the sides of the pan and the brownies, then invert them onto another rack, remove the paper and turn right side up onto a cutting board. Cut into bars about 2 inches by 1 inch. (You can cut larger bars if you’re serving to cookie lovers with Texas-size appetites.)

Crock Pot Chicken and Stuffing




Ingredients

1(10.5) ounce can of cream of chicken soup (or use cream of mushroom soup, it’s less salty)
8 oz. sour cream
1 (6 oz.) box stuffing mix* (Stove Top & Pepperidge Farm are a few of my favs)
¾ cup water
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen green beans
3-4 large chicken breasts, salted and peppered if desired.

Instructions : 



Place the chicken on the bottom of the crock pot.
Mix together the soup, sour cream, stuffing, half of the water, and place over the chicken.
Place the string beans either on one side of the crock pot or over the stuffing. You'll want to mix the stuffing periodically if possible- I don't mind mixing the string beans in with the stuffing but if you'd prefer that they remain separate, place the string beans more to the side.
Add the remaining water during the cooking process as needed. I always use all of the water but crock pots cook slightly differently, so adding as needed is safer. If you're leaving for the day, add the remaining water when you return if you feel you need it.
Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 6-7
*No need to cook the stuffing mix prior to adding to crock pot
Notes
I like to try to mix the stuffing periodically if I can, just to keep it blended and to mix the moisture around. If the stuffing seems too moist for your liking, leave the lid off the crock pot for the last 30-40 minutes of cooking, or until your desired consistency is achieved. 

I love adding diced sausage, onions, and celery to my stuffing- even dried cranberries are delicious! You can also add onion tops toward the end of the cooking process- (YUM.) 

This meal is delicious with some whipped potatoes prepared on the stovetop!

7 Layer Punch Bowl Dessert




Bottom Layer
angel food cake, broken into pieces or poundcake
6th Layer
1 (3 ounce) boxes strawberry-banana Jello gelatin
5th Layer
3 -4 bananas, sliced round
4th Layer
1 can pineapple chunk, drained
3rd Layer
1 can mandarin orange, drained
2nd Layer
1 can fruit cocktail, drained
1st Layer
1 (3 1/2 ounce) boxes vanilla pudding mix
1 container Cool Whip
fresh berries ( to garnish) (optional)

How to make it



Prepare jello and pudding according to directions on box; put in fridge until set, about 4 hours.
Follow directions as above, using the cool whip and berries as top garnish.
Chill until served.
Serve in a punch bowl or glass trifle bowl.

Pumpkin Bars




Bars:

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Icing:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions : 



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Southern Coconut Cake




Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake

For the cake:

5 large egg whites
½ cup of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
3 cups of cake flour
2 and 1/3 cup sugar
4 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter (8oz.) at warm room temperature
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 ½ cups of sweetened flaked coconut for garnishing cake

How to make it



1.      Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter the bottoms of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a parchment circle and butter the circle.
2.      Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the ½ cup of milk and the vanilla and whisk to mix thoroughly; set aside.
3.      In a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, beat dry ingredients well in order to break up any lumps. Add the butter and coconut milk on low speed and beat just to combine. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.
4.      Add the egg white mixture in 2 or 3 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Divide the batter among the pans.
5.      Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake taster inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. Then turn the cakes out and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
6.      To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on an 8-inch cake round. Cover this layer with 1 cup of the buttercream frosting. Spread it evenly all the way to edge of the cake. Then sprinkle ½ cup of shredded coconut on top. Add the second layer and repeat the process. Top with the final layer of cake and frost the top and sides of the cake.
7.      Place the remaining 1 ½ cups shredded coconut on a large baking tray. Pick up the cake and hold it on the palm of one hand over the tray. Using the other hand scoop up the coconut and press it to the sides of the cake. Continue with this process until the sides of the cake are covered. Set the cake on a serving plate and sprinkle any remaining coconut on top of cake. Chill cake for at least one hour to allow frosting to firm up a bit.
Cream cheese buttercream frosting
12 ounces of cream cheese slightly chilled
1 stick of butter plus 6 tablespoons of butter (7 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of confectioners sugar, sifted after measuring
2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
¼ cup of water
3 egg whites
1.      Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed until slightly fluffy and smooth. Add the butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Set aside at room temperature while buttercream is made.
2.      Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Continue to cook without stirring until the syrup reaches the softball stage 228 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
3.      Meanwhile, place the egg whites in mixer bowl and have the mixer ready to go. When the syrup is ready, turn the mixer on med-low and begin mixing the egg whites. Slowly add the hot syrup to the whites taking care not to pour onto the beaters, it may splash. When all the syrup is incorporated, raise the speed on the mixer to med-high and beat the egg whites until mixture has cooled and stiff meringue forms.
4.      With the mixer on low, begin adding the cream cheese mixture by the spoonful. When all is incorporated, raise the speed to medium and whip until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Oreo Cheesecake




Ingredients

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, divided
1/4 cup  (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup  sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup  BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
4 eggs

How to make it



PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Place 30 of the cookies in food processor; cover. Process 30 to 45 sec. or until finely ground. Add butter; mix well. Press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan.
BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Chop remaining cookies. Gently stir 1-1/2 cups of the chopped cookies into cream cheese batter. Pour over crust; sprinkle with the remaining chopped cookies.
BAKE 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift cheesecake from pan, using foil handles. Cut into 16 pieces to serve. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Tropical Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting




Ingredients

1 cup macadamia nuts (I recommend chopping these up or crushing them)
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1-1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
4 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
1-1/2 cups shredded peeled carrots
1-1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple or drained crush canned pineapple (this is one 20 oz. can)
1/2 cup sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperate (I used 4 packages)
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar (I used 2 cups)
1/4 cup heaving whipping cream (I used 1/4 cup + 4 tsp)
1/4 cup sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez (I used 1/4 cup + 4 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt (I used 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp)

To Make the Cake:



Preheat the oven to 350F. Arrange the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden and aromatic. Set aside to cool.
Place one oven rack one-third from the bottom of the oven and the second two-thirds from the bottom. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, and dust with flour (or spray with Baker’s Joy).
Stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut, and nuts in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, oil, carrots, pineapple, and cream of coconut. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Stagger the cake layers on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another. Set 2 layers on one rack and the third on the other. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cakes are done when they are golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on racks for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the racks and cool completely, about 15 to 20 minutes.
To Make the Frosting:
Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed about 1 minute. Add the whipping cream, cream of coconut, and salt; beat until combined.
Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and spread a thick blanket of frosting on top. Add the second layer, spread thickly with frosting, and top with the third layer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with an even layer of frosting. If you’re feeling energetic and there is frosting left over, use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to pipe a decoration around the top rim of the cake.
The cake can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 4 days. Let it cool in the refrigerator about 1 hour before covering, to ensure the frosting has hardened and will not stick to the plastic wrap.
Yield: 12-14 Servings.