No Empty Chairs: "Stout Hearts" around the Table

No Empty Chairs. . . "Stout Hearts" around the table.

Wanna Be A Stout... Eat, Don't Pout.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

-preheat oven to 350
-grease cookie sheets
-in a large bowl, cream together shortening, brown sugar and white sugar
-mix in pumpkin, egg and vanilla
-sift all dry ingredients and then stir into the creamed mixture
-stir in the walnuts
-drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets

Penuche Frosting

3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 c milk
2 c powder sugar

-in a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 3 T of butter brown sugar
-bring to a boil and cook and stir for one minute or until slightly thickened
-cool slightly, then stir in milk and beat until smooth.
-gradually stir in 2 cups powdered sugar until frosting has reached desired consistency.

-spread on cooled cookies

Pumpkin Truffles

This recipe uses some gingersnaps and some graham crackers, both sprinkled on the tops and inside the truffle. You can probably tell that the ones with darker crumbs on top is the one with gingersnap crumbs.

Pumpkin Truffles

• 2½ cups white chocolate chunks
• 1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs, plus more for garnish
• 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
• 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, plus more for garnish
• 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Pinch of fine salt
• 2 ounces cream cheese, softened

• Melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate in the microwave for about one minute -- Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning
• Transfer to a large bowl
• Add gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, zest, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth
• Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover and chill until just solid enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours.
• Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper

• Melt remaining 2 cups chocolate and transfer to a small, deep bowl.
• Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture into a ball in your hands, then drop into the chocolate
• Working quickly, gently spoon chocolate over to coat
• Using a small spoon or fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, shake off excess and transfer to prepared sheet tray
• Dollop a bit of extra chocolate on any parts that remain exposed, then sprinkle a few gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs over the top
• Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture and chocolate, then chill truffles until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil (I used ½ cup oil, ½ cup applesauce)
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
In a medium bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin with mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir into the pumpkin mixture until thoroughly combined.
Spread the batter evenly into an ungreased jellyroll pan. Bake @ 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool before frosting.
To make the frosting, cream together the cream chesse and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, beating until mixture is smooth. Spread evenly on top of the cooled bars.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I made these today! They are so good and were such a hit! Thanks to my friend Yvonne for this awesome recipe.

Click here for Brookies.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Peppermint Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies

These are really yummy!


• 1 cup butter, softened
• 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
• 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup cornstarch

• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
• 2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
• 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

1. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in extract.
3. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
4. Shape into 1-in. balls.
5. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
6. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
7. Remove to wire racks to cool.
8. In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy.
9. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, extract and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth.
10. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies.
Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

I got this recipe from, but after making it once, I made several changes that I thought worked better, so below is my version!


· 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

· 1 lemon, quartered

· 4 teaspoons garlic powder, divided

· 2-3 garlic cloves

· 2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

· 4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

· 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I used a little less)

· 1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta

· 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream

· 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)

· Fresh grated parmesan cheese


1. Squeeze lemon over both sides of the chicken breasts and season both sides using 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 40 minutes @ 350° (or just sauté in a skillet, until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside).

*I used chicken from the freezer that I had already cooked and chopped. I just squeezed some lemon juice over it, sprinkled it with lemon pepper and garlic powder, and heated in a skillet.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the remaining 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes. Then drain remaining liquid. (*I just used the pan lid to drain the excess liquid).

3. Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta, along with the cream and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rice Krispy Treats

These are practically a staple item at my house. We all LOVE them!! I'm sure everyone knows how to make them, but I still wanted to add them to the blog.

3 T butter or margarine
6 cups Mini Marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies

In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add rice krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. Pour and press into lightly greased 9x13 pan. Cool, cut, serve, and enjoy!

A Little Side Note:
Since we make these so often, we like to change it up a bit sometimes.

When pressed into pan, sprinkle some chocolate or butterscotch chips on top. Put in the oven to broil for just a few minutes (long enough to make the chips melty, but not to burn the top). Pull pan out of oven and smear the chips into a frosted-like top coating. Cool and serve!

Sometimes I also add a few scoops of peanut butter to the melting marshmallows. Makes them so yummy!

GG's Jiffy Potatoes a.k.a. Funeral Potatoes

This is Grandma GG's recipe and she calls it Jiffy Potatoes. Most people call this dish Funeral Potatoes, but I didn't want to call them: GG's Funeral Potatoes. That sounded bad.

2 lb bag of Frozen Hashbrowns
1 can Cream of Potato Soup
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1 can Cheddar Cheese Soup
1 small carton (8 oz) of Sour Cream
1 chopped Onion (optional)
2 cups of Buttered Bread Crumbs

Mix all the soups together in a large bowl. Stir in the sour cream and onions. Fold in frozen hashbrowns. Put in 9x13 greased baking pan, top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, 15 minutes.

To make the bread crumbs, I broke 3 pieces of bread into small pieces and put into a small bowl. I melted 4 tablespoons of butter and poured it over the crumbs. Using a fork, I mixed it around to make sure that all the bread was coated with the melted butter.
I tweaked this recipe ever so slightly. To see GG's exact recipe, click HERE.
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