No Empty Chairs: "Stout Hearts" around the Table

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

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes - So Easy, So Fun, So Cool!

This is one of those recipes that yields a cool result with just a tiny bit of work.  That's my favorite kind!

Mix up a white cake mix following the directions on the box.  Don't forget to just use the egg whites.  Pour the ready cake mix into seperate bowls.  Add food coloring and stir.  Using a spoon, glop the mixes into the cupcake cups in random orders, layering the colors however you want.  Bake per the time on the box.  Let cool, frost, and enjoy! 

Here are some pictures showing the process:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
2 T. water
3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Andes creme de menthe (enough for each cookie-I used 3 packs)

In a large heavy pan, over low heat, melt the sugar, butter, and water.
Add chocolate chips and stir until partly melted, then remove from the stove and continue stirring until all chocolate chips are melted.

Pour into a large bowl and let set for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

With a mixer, beat eggs one at a time add some of the dry ingredients. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the chocolate mixture and then continue adding the remainder of the dry ingredients, beating just until blended. Cover bowl and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Using the small Pampered chef scoop to scoop up uniform sized balls of cookie dough, and then roll them into balls. Bake 10-12 minutes (cookie will crisp as they cool). Remove from heat and immediately place a mint on the top of each hot cookie. Allow the mint to soften, then swirl mint over the cookies.
This recipe makes about 80 cookies.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Merika's Miracle Cookies

Made these this week after work- knew I needed something to take to the ladies I VT on Wednesday, and also I signed up to take a dessert to someone on Thursday, and was feeding the missionaries on Friday. I made them smaller than usual so I would have plenty and could let the missionaries each take home a bag of cookies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Carrot Cake

This was a really heavy, dense carrot cake. I made it in a bundt pan and didn't frost it. Kirt really enjoyed it.

put these in a bowl-
3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

in another bowl-
1 c raisins
1/2 c chopped nuts

Take 2 T of flour mixture and toss with the raisins and nuts.

in another bowl-
2 c sugar
1 1/ c oil
1 tsp vanilla

then thoroughly beat 4 eggs
  1. stir in dry ingredients alternately with
  2. 3 cups finely grated carrots and blend until smooth
  3. add raisin-nut mixture and mix well
  4. pour into a greased bundt pan
Bake at 350 for 1 hour approximately.
Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, top with cream cheese frosting is you want to.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brown Sugar Bacon

I found this recipe on the McConkie Menu blog. Annalisa said when she made it her husband was in breakfast bliss. I wanted to know what "breakfast bliss" tasted like. It was terrific, and even though it was later in the day it was "bliss", no way it would still be around at breakfast!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Crock Pot -- Pot Roast

(this third picture doesn't do justice to how good this pot roast tasted)


2 1/2 pound boneless chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 c, plus 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic
1 pkg onion soup mix
3 cups water

  1. cut the chuck roast into cubes- I used my electric knife
  2. coat beef cubes with 1/2 cup flour- I put the flour into a plastic bag- added the meat, shook it up to coat it
  3. melt the butter in a fry pan on the stove then brown each side of each cube of meat (braise)
  4. drain off excess fat
  5. put the meat into the crock pot
  6. add the onions and spices and onions soup mix
  7. pour the water in
  8. turn the crock pot on to high
  9. cover and cook about 5 hours
To make gravy: dissolve remaining 1/4 c flour in a small amount of water ( use a bottle with a lid and put the flour and water in it, put on the lid and shake well)
Stir into the meat mixture, cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Raspberry Tapioca Salad

This is a tasty and very refreshing salad. This photo does not do it justice. Last time I made it it wasn't so red. I think today I used the large package of jello when I was supposed to use the smaller package. It tasted great though!

3 cups water
1 (3ounce) package of raspberry Jell-O
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
1 (3 ounce) package tapioca pudding
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

-In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
-Stir in the jellos and puddings with a whisk.
-Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly.
-Boil one minutes.
-Remove from heat and cool.
-Fold in raspberries, pineapple and Cool Whip.
-Put it all in one large bowl or individual bowls.
-Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Hawaiian Haystacks- a DIY dinner (Do-It-Yourself)

We like to serve food that allows people to tick and chose the items they like.(if you don't like onions, just leave them off)

This was Kirt's serving- it looks completely different from mine!

Everyone's does and that is the beauty of this meal. People can pick and choose from an assortment of toppings and customize the meal to their taste buds.

6 bone-in or boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, sliced
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans, cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup cour cream
1/4-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups cooked rice

Any or all of the following:
sliced almonds
celery, thinly sliced
grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Chinese noodles
green onions, chopped
green pepper, chopped
olives, sliced
pineapple chunks
mandarin orange slices
tomatoes, diced

-boil the chicken in salted water with the onion in a large pot
-remove the onion-dice the chicken, save the broth

-in a large saucepan, mix the soups, thin them with some of the broth
-add sour cream
-heat thoroughly, then add chicken and garlic powder
-add salt and pepper

To serve the haystacks, put rice on individual plates, then the chicken mixture and let everyone add the toppings they desire.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sponge Candy

What is chocolate on the outside with a sponge-looking, yellow, crunchy candy on the inside? I always called it “Sponge Candy” when I was a kid.
Basically it is a hard candy or toffee made with boiled sugar and corn syrup. After removing from the heat source, stir in some baking soda and some vinegar and it foams up and when it cools the insides resemble a sponge!

Sponge Candy
• 2 cups (1 pound) granulated sugar
• 4 tablespoons white vinegar
• 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
• 2 cups water
• 1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
• 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
• 1 (1-ounce square) unsweetened baking chocolate

Generously butter or oil an 8-inch square pan and then set it aside until needed.
1. In a large heavy saucepan, over medium-high heat, place sugar, vinegar, golden syrup, and water.
2. Be sure to use a large pan, because even though it looks like you won’t need one, you will when the sugar gets bubbling.
3. Gently heat the mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has melted.
4. Now, bring it to a boil, cover it and boil for approximately 3 minutes, and then uncover and boil until temperature reaches 285 degrees F. on a candy thermometer and the mixture turns a light amber color. FYI (285 degrees is hard-crack)

Remove pan from the heat source and stir in the baking soda, mixing it well to allow the bubbles to subside a little.

Don’t be alarmed
- but when you add the baking soda the mixture will bubble up quite a bit. Like I said before - Make sure your pot is big enough, or the mess when it bubbles over the sides will deter you from trying this recipe again- and that would be a shame, because you will love it.

The trick is to combine the soda without bursting the bubbles as little as possible. The baking soda is what gives it its light airy texture.

Quickly pour it into the prepared 8” pan (so that mixture stops cooking and doesn't burn – but DO NOT try to spread it around, as this will make all the bubbles disappear) and leave until it sets- it will harden as it cools.

After candy has cooled, cut or break into pieces. Sponge candy can be eaten plain, or you can dip it in chocolate (my personal favorite).

Directions for dipping in chocolate:

1. In a large micro-proof bowl, combine chocolate chips, vegetable shortening, and baking chocolate.
2. Microwave on HIGH 2 minutes. Using wooden spoon, stir until melted; remove from heat.

• Dip the sponge pieces into the melted chocolate, covering each piece completely.
• Place on waxed paper to cool.
• When cool, wrap each candy individually in wax paper, twisting the ends together, and store in an airtight container.

NOTE: I am serious about the airtight container. This candy draws moisture from the air and will become a sticky mess if you let it sit out too long.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pina Colada Cookies -

I found this recipe and wanted to try it out. I know Merika really likes coconut and pineapple so thought it would be good to share with her. I had to ask a friend from work where to get Pina Colada. I wasn't really even sure what form it would be in.
It is found in the frozen section of the store by the frozen orange juice.

When you put the frosting on it is supposed to be sort of runny and flow out over the cookie and cover the top- mine didn't on most of them.

When I make them next time I will color the cookie dough yellow as I think it will be a nice contrast to the white frosting.


2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, well beaten
5 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 T Pina Colada concentrate (non- alcoholic concentrate- available in the freezer section next to cans of frozen orange juice)

Blend the sugar, vanilla and butter together. (this is where I would add some yellow food coloring next time)
Add the eggs and mix well.
Slowly stir in the flour and baking powder.
Form into 6 balls, wrap each one in foil and put in the fridge for one hour.

Take out and deal with only one ball at a time:
Sprinkle powdered sugar on the counter and then roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out cookies with cookie cutter (I used a Pampered Chef 2 1/2" round cutter).
Place cookies on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, watch them so they don't over bake.

Frost cookies when cool.

Pina Colada Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp shortening
the rest of the can of Pina Colada concentrate

Mix the powdered sugar with the shortening and the Pina Colada concentrate to desired consistency. I wanted mine runny so I could put a blob in the center of each cookie and it would slowly spread out and run off the sides- to cover the top of each cookie. When the frosting was made I put it in a zip-lock bag and sealed it and cut off a corner of the bag to use it as a pastry or frosting bag.

By using the 2 1/2" round cutter I was able to get 6 dozen cookies with this recipe.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Garlic Knots

I absolutely fell in love with this recipe from Yvonne at Tried and Tasty!  You've got to try it.  I made a few tiny changes, but I think its all the same in the end.

6 - 12 Rhodes Rolls
2 tbsp melted butter
Garlic salt
Dried parsley

Thaw Rhodes Rolls.  Roll between your hands to make a 6 or 7 inch rope.  Tie in a knot.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Let rise until double in size.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Mix melted butter with garlic salt and parsley.  Brush onto knots. 

Chicken & Corn Rice a Roni

1 box of Chicken flavored Rice a Roni
1 can of chicken
1 can of corn

Prepare the Chicken Rice a Roni per the instructions on the box.  Drain the canned chicken and canned corn.  When the rice is done, stir in the chicken and corn.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

I often serve this with cornbread.  Click HERE to find the really yummy recipe at Tried and Tasty!
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