Greetings...

Greetings...
Welcome to my little space in the world-wide web. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit down and enjoy your trek. I am not sure what brought you here, but I am glad you came. I hope you find something you like and come back often to visit. Be sure to sign up on the right to recieve all updates via your email.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cookie Monster Cookies

Who wouldn’t turn into a cookie monster with these lying around on the kitchen counter? Click on this photo to get a better look. 


 
Can you feel your mouth watering? I mean really, look at all those nooks and crannies full of sweet, salty, crunchy, gooey, chocolaty, tantalizing flavors.  This cookie contains all of the characteristics you want in a cookie.
I took my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and swapped out the roasted walnuts for broken Potato Chips and Pretzels.   Anyone having the chance to try one these will not be disappointed.   They will go great with coffee, tea or a tall, cold glass of milk.    Eat them while they are warm or cold.   You could even serve them with a scoop of ice cream.  These will definitely bring out the Cookie Monster that lurks inside all of us.    

Chocolate, Potato Chip & Pretzel Cookies
(Yields 1 dozen x-large cookies)

Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup Pretzels, broken

¾ cup potato chips, broken
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle, cream together butter and sugars until well blended and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well incorporated, then add molasses.   In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, baking soda, until just combined.  Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet ingredients and mix until blended. Remove from mixer and gently fold in chocolate chips, pretzels and potato chips. Transfer dough to clean work surface and divide into 12 equal portions. Place each on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake in oven 12 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Let cool on rack and store in airtight container.

Beware of lurking Cookie Monsters.  I am sure there will be many sightings.  





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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Check out my Facebook page, click the like button and then view the Rafflecopter Giveaway at the top of the page for a chance to win this Vineyard Seasons Cookbook by Susan Branch....



Click the link below to be taken to my facebook page.  Good luck to all who enter.






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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Delicate and Tasty Pizzelle

This is another recipe from my mother-in-law, who was of full Italian decent.   When I married my husband I was introduced to all kinds of new and delectable flavors from the Italian tables that were set and served in East Utica, NY.  My in-laws were both born and grew up in Utica.  They went to school, got married, had children and settled in Utica before moving to our small town, just about 30 miles south east of Utica in 1974.  I however did not meet my husband until 1983. 

Let me get back on track here.  Pizzelle’s are a delicate and tasty waffle cookie that my mother in-law talked about on several occasions. It’s kind of a funny story. My mother-in-law never made these for me nor can I remember her making them after I was introduced and married in to the family.   Nope, she never made them while I was around, she may have made them before I came into the picture but not after.   She did however talk about Pizzelle Cookies and she even showed me her old Pizzelle maker that she had acquired from her mother or mother-in-law. I remember hearing about these cookies and how good they were but never getting any to try.  
 
So, who knew it would happen that one year I would get a gift card to Wal-Mart for my birthday or Christmas or something.  The important part was, I remember going to Wal-Mart and strolling through their kitchen and bath isles.  Searching for the perfect thing to spend my gift card on when wah-la, there it was.  Sitting all nice and pretty on the shelf was a small Magic Chef Pizzelle maker.   I think it sold for $19 or even less back then.    Anyway, I found it, picked it up, cashed out and went home and asked if I could have her recipe.    I have been making these delicate waffle goodies ever since.   I have even found many different recipes to try, but my family likes this recipe so much I always end up making this recipe.  
 

Pizzelle-Basic
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
½ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the Pizzele

Mix ingredients in order given.  Drop by teaspoon onto hot Pizzelle griddle. Keep a close eye they overcook very easily. Remove from iron and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Notes/swaps:

  •  If you’re quick enough you can mold these into bowls or tubes by shaping them while they are hot off the press.
  • Swap out the lemon flavoring for a flavor of your choice. 
  • They even make for a nice gift when packaged up all nice and pretty.   





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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No Baking No Brainer


This is one of many “NO BAKE” recipes that I keep in my recipe stash.   Who doesn’t love a recipe that is short, quick and resulting in something scrumptious?   Really you can’t go wrong by stirring something into melted chocolate or in this case a mixture of white chocolate and butterscotch.    



Texas Tumbleweed Candy

1 (12-ounce) package white almond bark
1 cup (6-ounces) butterscotch or peanut butter chips
1 (1-pound) package roasted salted peanuts
3 cups (about 4 1/2 ounces) potato sticks, plus more if desired

In a microwave oven or in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the bark and the chips together. Stir with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to combine.

Mix in the nuts and potato sticks, adding additional potato sticks if desired. Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper and cool completely.  Store the in an airtight container.
 




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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Crowd Pleasing One Pot Meal

This is another delicious recipe from my mother-in-law.  It is an Old Italian peasant dish that can feed just a couple of people or a whole crowd by using some pretty standard staple ingredients from the kitchen.  I added some extra flavor layers by sprinkling on fresh or dried herbs.  I know you will like it if you try it.  

This recipe will be for 6 by you can adjust it by adding more or taking away for the number of guests at your table.  In this case, leftovers aren't a bad thing.
 

Chicken, Sausage and Potatoes
6 medium-large Potatoes (you can either leave the skins on or peel them)
1 can chicken broth
1 large onion, sliced
4 chicken thighs
1 link of your favorite sausage, cut into 5 inch lengths
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Salt
Pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
Poultry Seasoning
Ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Drizzle oil in bottom of oven proof casserole dish.  Wash, peel and cut potatoes into quarters (you can leave the skin on).  Place in a single layer in bottom of the dish.   Add sliced onions and garlic.   Sprinkle with spices.   Layer the chicken onto the potatoes skin side up.   Place sausages between chicken pieces on top of potatoes.  Again sprinkle with your favorite spices.   Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and ketchup.  Pour chicken broth in making sure you have enough to cover the bottom of the dish.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 45-50 minutes covered.  Remove cover and cook an additional 20-25 minutes, This will help to brown and crisp the chicken skin.  



Notes and Swaps

·         My mother-in-law always used a whole cut up chicken, but I find the thighs work really well in this dish and they cook more evenly.

·         Yes, you need to do the ketchup drizzle.  Believe me when I tell you it won’t taste at all like ketchup by the time you are done.

·         I leave the onions large enough people can pick them out if they don’t want them.

·         We prefer Dino’s sausage at our house but you use what you prefer.







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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Soup for Your Belly

There is nothing better than a bowl of warm and steamy soup on a dark, damp, rainy day.   Yes, you guessed it, it is raining here today.  I snatched this recipe up from my mother-in-law.    It is an Italian soup that uses penny pinching ingredients, which when mixed together make a most flavorful soup.   Be sure to have some crusty Italian bread for sopping up some of the wonderful broth.   This soup comes with an added bonus.  As you can see it takes only a few ingredients that couldn’t be easier to put together and cooked in about an hour.  

Greens & Beans Soup

1 large escarole cleaned and chopped
¼ lb. bacon
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
4 cans chicken broth
1 can cannelloni beans
Dash nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese for topping

Fill a large bowl full of ice cold water and leave it in the sink.   Remove outer leaves from escarole and discard them.  Chop the remainder of the escarole into bite size pieces.   Place into bowl of water in the sink.   Push down and stir escarole in the water repeatedly to remove the and grit that gets stuck in the lower part of the leaves.   Drain and rinse a couple of times.  Set aside.

Chop bacon into ¼” pieces. Sauté in large stock pan until bacon is almost crisp.  Add garlic, salt, pepper and onion sauté until translucent.  Add escarole, chicken broth and beans.  Bring to full boil for 15 minutes and then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with crusty bread and sprinkle of Parmesan.




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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Funeral Potatoes

So I can hear you asking, “What exactly are Funeral Potatoes”? They are a very yummy potato casserole that is shared with family, friends and neighbors when someone passes. It is very popular in the south. This Potato Casserole is a delicious combination of hash browns and creamy, cheesy goodness. The best part is there are never any leftovers. Oh wait! That is a bad thing. If you are making these as a casserole share, you better make two. One to share and one to keep.



Funeral Potatoes aka Southern Hash Brown Casserole
350 degree oven for 1-1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients
1 pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes (2 lbs.), thawed
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 small onion (chopped)
1 can 10 ¾ oz. cream soup (cream of chicken or cream of mushroom work very well)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup melted butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Thaw hash browns (or use refrigerator style hash browns).

In a large bowl, mix together hash browns, cheddar cheese, ½ cup melted butter, salt, onion, soup, and sour cream.

Stir until evenly mixed.

Spray a 9 x 11 or 9 x 13 inch pan or casserole dish with Pam or lightly grease the dish. This helps on clean up.
Pour mixture from bowl into pan and spread evenly with a spoon. Do not pack down tightly.
In a small bowl, mix together Corn Flakes and ¼ cup melted butter. Mix together and spread on top of casserole.

Place in preheated oven for one hour.    Until top is a golden crispy brown.   Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving,


Notes/Swaps
  • Why not try adding some chives or crumbled bacon
  • Use your favorite cream of soup, chicken, mushroom, celery or potato
  • Don’t have cornflakes, top with buttered bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers or crushed Potato Chips








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