Sunday, May 22, 2016

Not Your Mom's Rhubarb Crisp

I think it's finally Spring here!!  We've had the strangest Spring, cold weather and lots of rain!  In the Midwest, we look forward to the fresh produce that is Spring, rhubarb, asparagus and radishes!

Tim planted an asparagus patch this Spring!  Which means in three, yes three years we will have asparagus.  I can't wait, asparagus is my favorite vegetable!

Last year, Tim planted a rhubarb patch, like the asparagus it takes a few years to get going.  Our friend, the landscaper,  brought me a huge bag of rhubarb from his garden.  In anticipation, I'm sure, of his annual rhubarb pie.  Isn't the color beautiful???

Growing up, I remember rhubarb stewed on the stove with a little sugar added.  My Dad loved it, me not so much!  As an adult, I've grown to maybe not love but like rhubarb.  I almost always make some form of rhubarb crisp or jam.  Looking for something different this year, I found this recipe for
Rumchata Rhubarb Crisp.  If you're not familiar with Rumchata, it's a rum cream made as an authentic replica of the best Horchata you have ever tasted. It is made from scratch using real ingredients — rice, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Watch out, though, it's way too good and a little bit can go along way, if you know what I mean.

If you're looking for a new take on a crisp, give this one a try!  I think I may give this a try with the apples in the freezer, for a kicked up apple crisp.  Yum!!

Rumchata Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
Recipe Courtesy of Dairy Carrie
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups sliced rhubarb
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup Rumchata.
Start off by preheating your oven to 350. Get out a 8×8 baking dish and smear a little dab of butter on the sides and bottom.

Chop your rhubarb up into medium size pieces. 

Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oats. Melt the butter and add the vanilla and add it to your bowl of dry ingredients.  Mix it all together. It’s going to be crumbly. Take half of your mixture and press it into the bottom of your pan. You want to pack it down pretty well.

Place the chopped  rhubarb in a plastic bag and add the cornstarch. Toss the rhubarb around so it’s coated with the cornstarch. Put your rhubarb in the dish.  Pour the Rumchata over the top of the rhubarb.

Bake for 55 minutes until golden brown and bubbly!  Delicious by alone, topped with whipped cream or ice cream. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cake Mix Snickerdoodles

I love to bake!  However, sometimes after working all day, I just don't have the energy for baking.  I've discovered recipes using a cake mix as a base.  Cake mix recipes save time and are often just as delicious as those made from scratch.  

These Snickerdoodles were no exception, in fact, they may be better than some scratch recipes I've tried.  The original recipe calls for a white cake mix.  I used a yellow cake mix, the only difference I think is the color.  If you're looking for a quick cookie recipe or one to make with the kids or grandkids, give this one a try!

 Cake Mix Snickerdoodles (Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker)


1 white cake mix (I used yellow)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick cookie sheets). Mix cake mix, butter and egg in large bowl with spoon until dough forms (some dry mix will remain).
  • 2 Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Roll balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 3 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam

For May's edition of Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned Micha, the blogger behind Cookin' Mimi.  She says, "The food you will find here on Cookin’ Mimi is exactly what I cook every day. It’s a mix of traditional Southern food, good old American home cooking, and my favorite ethnic inspired dishes."

After browsing Micha's blog, I settled on this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam.  If you haven't made freezer jam, give it a try!  It's easy to make and who doesn't love homemade jam on their toast??!!!  I found this recipe intriguing, I love the idea of pineapple upside down cake in a jam.

This jam is a beautiful color and is a tasty addition to any morning breakfast.  I'm also thinking I will give this a try as a glaze for grilled chicken.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam
Recipe Courtesy of Cookin' Mimi

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons Instant pectin
  • 2 20 ounce cans crushed pineapple in pineapple juice- drained
  • 1/4 cup diced maraschino cherries
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 1/2 pint freezer jars or containers
  1. In a large bowl stir together the sugars and the pectin. Mix until well blended.
  2. Add the pineapple, cherries, and vanilla. Mix for three minutes.
  3. Ladle into clean freezer jars, leaving about 1/2 inch head space. Add lid.
  4. Let sit until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  5. Label and refrigerate or freeze.
  6. Refrigerate for 3 weeks or freeze for up to one year.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pineapple Casserole

Looking for a different side dish to go with ham?  This pineapple casserole pairs beautifully with ham or even alongside a baked chicken.  There's a variation of this recipe that add cheddar cheese.  What do you think?  Despite the great reviews, I couldn't bring myself to try it!  The dish reminds me of bread pudding.

 Pineapple Casserole


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 10 slices white bread, cubed
  • 2 (20-oz) cans crushed pineapple, with juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 9" x 13" or 3-qt casserole dish.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together by hand or with a stand mixer. Add the eggs in one at a time. Use a spatula to fold in the bread and pineapple (plus the juice). Stir the mixture gently until just incorporated and then pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 1 hour until it is light brown and bubbly. Let the casserole cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sweet Potato Puff with Crunchy Topping

 As a kid, sweet potatoes were a tradition.  You know the ones, baked in the oven and topped with marshmallows.  My Dad would have them no other way.   I was never a fan!  Fast forward, a few years (okay more than a few),  I am a fan of sweet potatoes prepared this way!  Of course, these go perfectly alongside ham!  Don't wait for next Easter to give this one a try, it's worth having soon with or without ham!

Sweet Potato Puff with Crunchy Topping

2 large sweet potatoes, cubed (about 5 C)
2 T soft butter
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp Kosher salt flakes
1 T white sugar
2 T soft butter
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ C pecan pieces
2 T brown sugar
2 T panko bread crumbs
2 T white flour
2 T melted butter

1. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into cubes and place in a pot. Cover with water and boil until the sweet potato chunks are soft and will mash easily (about 20 – 25 minutes).

2. Drain sweet potatoes, add the soft butter, and mash. When completely smooth with no lumps, add the beaten eggs, white sugar, salt flakes, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until everything is evenly incorporated.

3. Coat casserole dish with a light spray of oil. Mound the sweet potato mixture into the dish and even the top with a spatula.

4. In a separate bowl mix the pecan pieces, brown sugar, panko bread crumbs and white flour. Drizzle the melted butter over top while mixing everything together until a nice crumble forms. At this point the sweet potato mixture and the crumble can be covered and refrigerated separately until ready for assembly the next day.

5. When you are ready to bake the casserole, sprinkle the pecan crumble evenly over the top and place the dish in the oven  (350 F). Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the sweet potato puffs up a bit and the topping is nicely browned.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Krackle Crunch Bars

It's the second Monday of the month and time for Secret Recipe Club.  This month, I was assigned Dena the blogger behind Oh! You Cook!, proving Kosher and Delicious are not mutually exclusive.
 Dena says "You don't have to be kosher (or even Jewish) to enjoy my recipes or musings."  She is also the author of The Everything Kosher Slowcooker Cookbook.

In search of a recipe for Tim's treat day at the office, these Krackle Crunch Bars caught my eye.  Knowing I had some rice krispies and a hersheys bar that needed to be used up, this was the perfect recipe.  If you're looking for an easy treat or something for the kids or grandkids to help with, give this one a try!  It's both easy and delicious.  These need to go to the office with Tim before I eat way too many!

Krackle Crunch Bars - Easy
Recipe courtesy of Oh! You Cook!
Yield: about 2 pounds

1 (24 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
2-3 cups Rice Krispies, depending upon how much crunch you like

Line a medium to large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Add chocolate chips to a 3-quart heat-safe bowl.  Dot with the vegetable shortening.  Nuke at full power for 1 minute.  Stir, then continue to nuke at full power for 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Fold in Rice Krispies. Pour and scrape chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet, using a spatula to spread out mixture evenly almost to the edges of the cookie sheet and to desired thickness. 

Place cookie sheet in fridge until chocolate sets up completely, about 1 hour.  Break up crunch bars into desired-sized pieces.

Serve immediately, or store in a tightly covered container at cool room temperature for up to a week.  You can optionally refrigerate or freeze up to a month.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Carrots Slow Roasted on Coffee Beans

Every once in a while, I find a really unique recipe to try.  Carrots roasted on coffee beans, that's pretty unusual.

If you like coffee, you'll love this recipe.  The carrots slow roast in the oven for 2 - 3 hours, filling the kitchen with a wonderful coffee smell.   The flavor of these was okay but they needed a little more spice.  I'd like to give this recipe another try and rub the carrots with cumin.

Carrots Slow Roasted on Coffee Beans
Recipe Courtesy of Splendid Table

  • 1 lb.  (no thicker than 1/2 in/12 mm in diameter), peeled
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup medium-roast coffee beans, preferably decaf

Preheat the oven to 225°F. Place a cast-iron skillet over medium heat to heat for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, olive oil, and garlic and toss until the carrots are slicked with oil and the garlic bits are distributed evenly. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Add the coffee beans to the hot skillet and remove from heat. Shake until the coffee is aromatic and the beans look a bit oily, about 3 minutes. Scatter the carrots over the beans in a single layer and cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of heavy-duty alumnum foil. Bake until the carrots are fork-tender and infused with coffee oil, 2 to 3 hours. 

Lift the carrots from the bed of coffee beans and serve immediately. Discard the coffee.

Store: for up to 3 days, covered in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in a low oven.