Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cheeseburger Pickle Pie

I know you are reading this right now because you saw the title "Cheeseburger Pickle Pie" and you thought - whaaaaaaaat? pickle pie?
Pickle pie.
But, let's not forget the cheeseburger part.
The delicious, melty, cheesy, burgery part...which just so happens to go amazingly well with the pickle part.
I don't even like pickles but I looooove this pie. It definitely needs the pickles to make it something special. Sue, on the other hand, is part pickle. I'm pretty sure she has vinegar in her veins.
Anyway, I made this pie years ago and just about forgot about it until I was going through my old recipe album. I'm not even sure how I came up with this.....I'm pretty sure it would have been out of desperation and lack of ingredients...
One of those surprise-it's-delicious-because-you-weren't-expecting it kind of things.
I love those.
Oh, by the way, use regular dill pickles for this. None of those fancy mustard pickles or sweet pickles or whatever else they have. Dill. Pickles.
Cheeseburger Pickle Pie
1 cup white flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
4 Tbsp cold water

1 lb hamburger
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Sprinkle salt
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup pickle juice
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup chopped pickles
2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
To Make Pastry: In a medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles tiny peas. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork after each addition. Mix lightly just until pastry comes together. Pat into bottom and up side of an 8 inch pie pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
To Make Filling: Crumble ground beef into a large skillet and saute over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add onion and garlic. Continue to saute until beef is no longer pink. Drain grease from mixture, if any.
Sprinkle beef mixture with salt and 1/4 cup flour. Stir in pickle liquid, milk, pickles, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Spoon mixture into pastry shell.
Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
 Bake an additional 15 or so minutes, until pastry is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Don't tell me you aren't at least a little bit curious about what this tastes like.
Let me give you a heads up...
It. Is. Crazy. Good.
Like, convert-the-pickle-haters good.
Be sure to visit Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons and My Turn (for us) for some fabulous links!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Caramel Graham Squares

When I first made these they reminded me of our Easy Layer Bars. They certainly look similar.
But, that being said, they are quite different in taste and texture.
If you are looking for something simple that will blow away your taste testers then this is the bar for you. It is soooo ooey gooey amazing!
Plus, it only takes about 5 minutes to put together.
The way I figure it....the only way to lose with this bar is if you DON'T make it.
I started with the recipe on the box of graham crackers and went from there.
Caramel Graham Squares
35 whole graham crackers
4 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup Skor bits
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13 X 18 cookie sheet with tinfoil. Lightly spray the tinfoil with cooking spray.
Line the cookie sheet with the whole graham crackers.
Sprinkle the mini marshmallows over the crackers.
In a medium saucepan, stir the butter and brown sugar over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar has dissolved. (I let it just come to a boil.) Remove from heat. Evenly pour the caramel sauce over the marshmallows.
Sprinkle with the coconut, almonds, Skor, and chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for 15 - 18 minutes. Until nicely browned.
Remove from heat and let cool on wire rack. (I find carefully running a butter knife around the edge while the toppings are still warm helps to prevent it from sticking to the tinfoil too badly.)
When completely cool, use tinfoil to lift the square off of the pan, and cut into squares and serve.
Doesn't get much easier than that!
This is definitely easy to tailor to your personal preferences too. Switch up the toppings to your own favorites - butterscotch chips, pecans, white chocolate, blah blah blah.
The marshmallows make this especially addictive.
Who doesn't like ridiculously gooey, caramelly, chocolaty goodies?
Crazy people, that's who.
Be sure to check out The Mandatory Mooch and Adorned From Above for some great links!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Small Batch Cookies (2 versions)

Let me be the first to admit...I have a problem.
A cookie problem.
I love cookies. Or should I say - cookies love me. There isn't a cookie out there that doesn't whisper to me as I walk by.
"Psssst....hey Jo, over here. You know you want me. I'm so tasty. Come oooooooon... one bite won't hurt!"
Cookies just don't play fair.
Well...I'm pretty sure I have found a solution. Small batch baking. can't eat an entire million dozen cookies if the batch only makes 6. Yes, you can still eat 6 BUT that's better than a million dozen.
Plus, it only takes about 25 - 30 minutes from start to finish for the entire thing. I find making cookies tends to be a several hour affair as I have to scoop the dough, bake the cookies, scoop more dough, bake more cookies, blah-blah-blah until the million dozen has been finished.
I'm sharing 2 recipes today. One for Chocolate Chip Skor Cookies and one for Oatmeal Craisin Almond Cookies. You decide which is your favorite. :)
Chocolate Chip Skor Cookies (small batch)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp beaten egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup Skor bits
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars. Whisk in melted butter until smooth. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of egg (break the egg, mix it with a fork, measure out 2 Tbsp) and the vanilla.
Whisk in baking soda and salt.
Stir in flour until just combined. Stir in Skor bits and chocolate chips.
Scoop 6 large spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 for 15 - 20 minutes. Edges will be brown and center appear a little under cooked.
OR, you can try this Oatmeal Craisin version....
Oatmeal Craisin Almond Cookies (small batch)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp beaten egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup craisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars. Whisk in melted butter until smooth. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of egg (break the egg, mix it with a fork, measure out 2 Tbsp) and the vanilla.
Whisk in baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Stir in the flour and oats until just combined. Stir in craisins and almonds.
Scoop 6 large spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 for 15 - 20 minutes. Edges will be brown and center appear a little under cooked.
There you have it. Chocolate Chip OR Oatmeal Craisin. Why not make both? I whipped up both of these in about 40 minutes.
These are soft and chewy just like their bigger batch cousins. You want to watch you don't over cook them or they will be crispy. Unless, of course, you like crispy cookies.
And, feel free to change the chocolate chips and Skor bits OR craisins and almonds to your favorite. Milk chocolate, M&Ms, white chocolate, raisins, pecans, walnuts, etc...etc...
Visit The Rustic Pig and Love Bakes Good Cakes for some creative and fun links!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guinness Candied Bacon

Ever have those conversations where you ask questions like; If you were stranded on a deserted island and only had 3 food items to eat, what would you choose? OR If you were facing your last meal, what would you have?
You know, the really important questions.
I've decided that Guinness Candied Bacon is my new answer to those questions. (Okay, to round out my 3 for the island I would also pick Pierogies and Our Chocolate Cake.)
We all know that bacon is the candy of the meat world so, by officially making it "candy" candy we are just setting the universe right.
It is a little fussy to make as it takes about 30 - 40 minutes of basting every 10 minutes BUT
it is totally worth it.
Oh my goodness....I can't even explain how worth it this is.
Our family went to town on these bad boys on their own but I think you could add these to a burger for good effect too.
I used Guinness beer as I was trying to St. Patrick's-Day-them up but I am sure just about any beer would work. I just wanted to add, I didn't invent this recipe but, as it is all over the internet, I'm not sure who to credit. Several breweries have it listed on their websites - with good reason. I never buy beer - not a fan - but I will to make this!

Guinness Candied Bacon

1 lb bacon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Guinness beer

Preheat oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil. Place a cooling rack on top of the tinfoil. Lay out the bacon on the cooling rack. (I had to do 1/2 lb of bacon at a time.)

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. While bacon is in the oven, prepare your Guinness syrup by whisking together the brown sugar and beer until smooth.
Remove bacon after 10  minutes and baste with the syrup. Flip bacon over and baste the other side. Return to oven for 10 more minutes.

Repeat this 2 or 3 more times - until bacon is crispy and/or you have used up the Guinness syrup.

See that burnt mess? That is why you need the tinfoil on your cookie sheet. Clean up takes 2 seconds this way.
Remove the bacon to another, clean cooling rack to cool. (If you leave it on the sticky rack it will stick and fall apart when you try to remove it!)

Just look at that sticky, crispy, bacony deliciousness.
Granted, not the healthiest choice but..hey...what can you do...bacon just makes everything better.
Even candy.
P.S. - Thick cut bacon works best BUT you can totally use the thin stuff too. The photos above are just regular, thin bacon strips as that is what I had on hand.

Be sure to visit Carol's Chatter for tons of fun foody links. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Inside Out Cheesy Sloppy Joe

Ever see a photo of food and just know that you have to try it?
I saw a similar recipe to this back in November over at Love Bakes Good Cakes and ever since I have been itching to try it. Jamie's version was more of a bacon cheeseburger but I changed it up a bit so it was more sloppy Joe-ish.
Her photo had me drooling immediately.
I'm not sure why I waited so long to make it. It really is not too hard to put together and it is delicious. Plus, if you have any extras you can freeze them for later. All it takes is a minute or two in the microwave and they are good to go.
I was thinking these would be perfect for a picnic lunch.

Inside Out Cheesy Sloppy Joe

1 recipe BREAD DOUGH
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 can (213 ml/7.5 oz) pizza sauce (OR about 3/4 of a cup)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper
5 slices processed cheese, cut in half

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large fry pan, cook beef until no longer pink. Add in onion, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, pizza sauce, and spices. Cook and stir until onions are soft.

Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare bread dough. You want to be at room temp or just a little bit warm so it won't affect your dough.
Prepare bread dough as per recipe to the first resting point. After it has rested 15 minutes, cut dough into approximately 10 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball. This is when you can even up the sizes if need be. (IE: if one ball is too big, pinch some off and add it to a smaller one. No need to be exactly exact, just as close as you can get.)

Flatten each ball into a flat disc a little bit bigger than the size of your hand. Place 1/4 cup of the beef mixture in the center and 1/2 a slice of the cheese on top.

Lift the side of the dough together and pinch to seal. Gently shape back into a circle shape and place, seam side down, on prepared cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 375.
Cover dough and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes until doubled in size. (I usually set it on top of the oven)

Bake at 375 for 30 - 40 minutes. Bread should be browned on top and sound hollow when tapped.

Serve warm.

You could probably get away with using any bread dough recipe you like....for that matter...even store bought dough. I'm not sure how many you would get with a different recipe but, using my bread dough, you get 10 large, soft, ooey gooey, cheesy buns.
Be sure to pop over to Love Bakes Good Cakes to see Jamie's version.
Oh, yes, and you can use "real" cheese if you prefer. I use the processed cheese slices (or, as I call them - "plastic cheese" slices) because they seems to melt better inside the bun.
I was going for as gooey as possible here. :)

Visit Memories By The Mile and The Rustic Pig and Carole's Chatter for some great links!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bailey's Cheesecake Mousse

I started out trying to create a single serving no-bake cheesecake for St. Patrick's Day.
My experimenting lead to this cheesecake-tasting-yet-more-like-a-mousse dessert.
I was pretty happy with the taste and I am love with the smooth and creamy texture.
 If you enjoy Bailey's Irish Cream then I just know you will enjoy this mousse.
I still count this as a single serving recipe but, technically, there is enough here to serve 2 people, especially if you are serving it as a dessert.
I had it for my dinner so I ate it all.
I'm an adult.
I'm allowed to eat dessert for dinner if I want to.
Bailey's Cheesecake Mousse
1 1/2 Tbsp oreo cookie baking crumbs
4 Tbsp cream cheese, softened (0 fat)
1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt (0 fat)
2 Tbsp icing sugar
splash vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
3 Tbsp Cool Whip (0 fat)
Press oreo crumbs into the bottom of a serving dish/bowl. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, Greek yogurt, icing sugar, vanilla, and Bailey's until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip.  
Spoon gently over crumbs.
Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Sprinkle with a few more oreo crumbs and a few Skor bits (if desired).
Pretty, right?
I was fairly happy with the nutritional info too (using Myfitnesspal):
Calories - 338
Carbs - 43
Fat - 7
Protein - 10.
Not something you want to indulge in on a daily basis or anything...but still not THAT bad. I used non-fat yogurt, cool whip, and cream cheese but believe me, this does NOT taste "light".
Not bad for my first St. Patrick's day experimental recipe, if I do say so myself.
Visit My Turn (for us) and Blissful And Domestic for some great links!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

So, back in June last year, Sue and I were honored to guest host over at Heatherly Loves. We shared Sue's Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole with her readers.
I figured I would post the recipe and photos here on our blog as, for some reason, the photos didn't show up on Heather's blog. 
Plus, it's a really, really tasty dinner dish that is worth sharing again! 
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
6 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 ½ cups cooked ham, diced
8 slices Swiss cheese


4 ½ Tbsp butter
4 ½ Tbsp flour
3 ¼ cup milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp paprika


1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
6 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp seasoning salt
2 tsp dried parsley


Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken and ham evenly in dish. Cover with Swiss cheese slices.

Prepare the sauce - 

 Melt butter in a large pot. Add flour to form a roux. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Continue to whisk until sauce starts to thicken. (About 2 – 3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, mustard, paprika, and salt & pepper. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole.

Prepare the topping

- Combine all ingredients (bread crumbs, butter, seasoning salt, parsley) and sprinkle over casserole.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 – 55 minutes. Top should be golden brown. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
You can see why I wanted to share the photos, right?
Soooooo yummy!
It's chicken cordon bleu sans the effort!
Be sure to check out The Mandatory Mooch and Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons for some fantastic links!