Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hello Dolly Bars

Once again, it's been forever since I last shared a new recipe.  I have tons of photos sitting on my computer waiting to be uploaded & shared.  One of these days I'll get to them all.

For our tailgate, I'm officially the "dessert girl" - obviously meaning that I'm responsible for bringing some type of sweet treat to share with everyone each week.  A few weeks ago, after a crazy week at work, I needed something fast & simple to whip up.  I turned to my new addiction - Pinterest.  I found several different recipes for Hello Dolly Bars (also known as 7 layer bars).  Most of the recipes were the same - more or less.  So, I took the necessary ingredients and went to work.  The result was oh-so-tasty!!  

Next time you need a delicious, but quick dessert, give these a try.


*  2 cups graham cracker crumbs
*  1 stick butter
*  1 cup chopped pecans
*  1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
*  1 cup butterscotch chips
*  1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
*  2/3 can sweetened condensed milk


1.  Place graham cracker crumbs in a zip-top baggie.  Melt butter and pour over crumbs.

 Close the bag and shake/massage the bag to combine the butter & graham cracker crumbs.

2.  Press the crumb mixture into the bottom on a 11x7 baking dish.

3.  Next, sprinkle the pecans, chocolate & butterscotch chips over the crust.

4.  Spread coconut evenly over the top.

5.  Last, drizzle 2/3 of a can of sweetened condensed milk over the entire thing.

6.  Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

 7.  Cool and cut into small squares (these babies are RICH).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Praline-Pecan French Toast

I always get excited when the first Fall editions of my magazines appear in the mailbox.  They're always full on tasty recipes and gorgeous fall decorations.  When my Southern Living arrived in the mail 2 weeks ago, I dogeared several recipes to try once the weather cooled down.  Little did a know that a couple days of cooler weather were just around the corner.  Hooray!!

So last Friday night, while The Hubs watched football, I pulled out my Southern Living and decided to try one of the fall recipes before the 100 degree heat showed back up.  
I couldn't resist the Praline-Pecan French Toast.  It's one of those breakfast dishes that you can whip up the night before and then bake in the morning.  It would be perfect if you're having company stay over.  Especially since it smells heavenly while in the oven.  

*Note: I only made a 1/2 recipe since only The Hubs and I would be enjoying this french toast.  However, I've given the full recipe measurements below.


  • 1 (16-oz.) French bread loaf
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 



1. Cut 10 (1-inch-thick) slices of bread. Reserve remaining bread for another use.

2. Stir together brown sugar and next 2 ingredients; pour into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

3. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. 

4. Arrange bread slices over pecans.

5. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and chill 8 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake bread 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. 

7.  Invert baking dish onto a serving tray, letting the brown sugar mixture pour over the french toast.  Serve immediately.

*Sorry for the poor photography.  It was really dark in my kitchen at 11pm while I was prepping this.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

I have but one excuse for my lack of blogging: Pinterest.  Y'all, I'm addicted!  That site just sucks you in.  The Hubs hates it because I'm constantly showing him things and saying, "I want in our next house!" or "Ooohh!  I need to buy this."  My goal this week is to catch up on the many blog posts I have recipes & pictures for, but have yet to type out.  

We'll start with Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.  

A couple of weeks ago, when The Hubs suggested we go to Central Market, they happened to be having their Hatch Chile Festival.  If any food could be made with hatch chiles, they had it.  One of the things they were sampling were these Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas.  The Hubs took one bite of the samples they were giving away and declared it delicious.  So, I snagged one of their recipe cards and told him I'd make them some time soon.  Much to my surprise - and delight - when I looked at the recipe card, it called for FOUR ingredients.  Four.  That's it.  These enchiladas just might be one of the easiest dishes I've ever shared.  

And The Hubs was right...they are delicious!


*  1 lb. shredded cooked chicken
*  1 can Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
*  2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese (or Mexican Blend)
*  10 - 6" tortillas, corn or flour


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, 1/2 cup Hatch Sauce and 1 cup of cheese.

2.  Spread 1 cup of Hatch Sauce in a 13"x9" baking dish.

3.  Place 1/4 cup of meat mixture in the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and repeat with remaining tortillas.

4.  Place tortillas, seam-side down, in baking dish on top of the Hatch Sauce.  Top with remaining Hatch Sauce and cheese.

5.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Serve immediately.

My Tid-Bits:

* Thank you Central Market for a great, easy recipe!

* The original recipe calls for flour tortillas; however, The Hubs & I both prefer corn tortillas.  I made the recipe with both to see which we like better.  Both were good, but we like the corn better.

* The number of tortillas you will use will depend on how full you make your enchiladas.  I used a heaping 1/4 cup for each.

* If you'd like to spruce these up a little more, serve with sour cream & chopped cilantro.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Central Market Pizza Dough

This past weekend, for the first time in who knows how long, The Hubs and I were at home all weekend with nothing to do.  And it was lovely.  Until Saturday afternoon when we got bored.  After nixing the idea of going to see "The Help" again,  The Hubs turns to me and says, "Hey, do you want to go to Central Market?"  Now you're speaking my love language!  YES!

So off we went to one of my happy places.  It's also my land of impulse buys.  It never fails that I walk out with something I don't need or "just wanted to try."  This trip's impulse buy turned out to be one of my all time favorite Central Market purchases - Fresh Pizza Dough.  OH-MY-HEAVENS!  It is some kind of wonderful.  If you live anywhere near a Central Market, go get some today and make yourself a pizza.  You'll thank me later.

A couple of quick notes before I get to the process/recipe:  In this recipe, I talk about a pizza peel and a pizza stone. While these two items will help make you pizza especially perfect, they aren't a must-have.   If you don't have them, see the notes at the bottom.


  • Central Market Pizza Dough
  • Your favorite pizza sauce
  • Your favorite pizza toppings
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese 


1. A couple of hours before you're ready to make your pizza, lightly oil & flour a large bowl.  Take your dough out of the container and drop it into the bowl.  Allow it to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size. 

2.  At least 45 minutes before you're ready to bake your pizza, place your pizza stone on an oven rack in the lowest position in the oven.  Preheat to 500 degrees.

3.  Once your dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.

4.  Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten out the dough to a 9" to 12" round.  No need to be a perfectionist.

5.  Lightly dust your pizza peel with flour and carefully transfer the dough to the peel. Give your peel a quick jerk.  If the dough moves around on the peel easily, you're good-to-go.  If if sticks, take it off and add a little more flour.  Reshape the dough, if needed.

6.  Spread a layer of pizza sauce around the dough, leaving a slight edge.

7.  Top generously with your favorite toppings.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.

(Now come the dangerous/tricky part - hence there are no pictures.  I didn't have enough hands to take pictures and transfer a pizza to a 500 degree oven carefully at the same time).

8.  Leaving the pizza stone in the oven, line up the far edge of your pizza peel with the back of the stone.  Jerk the peel gently to get the pizza moving off the peel.  Once it starts to come off, carefully ease the rest of the pizza onto the stone.  Once it's on there, don't move it.  Let it be.  Your fingers will thank you.

9.  Bake pizza for 7 minutes for a perfectly crisp crust.  Using a large metal spatula (or 2), scoop the pizza off the stone and transfer to a cutting board.

10.  Slice.

11.  Enjoy!

My Tid-Bits:

* If you don't have a pizza peel or stone, you can just use two rimless baking sheets instead.  Put one on the oven to preheat and use the other just like you would the peel.  

* At our Central Market, we found the pizza dough in the prepared foods section in the refrigerated case with their pre-made salads.

* Note: This dough is ALIVE!  It will grow.  Even if you leave it in the refrigerator.  When it starts to ooze out the sides of the container (and it will) just give it a gentle push back into place.

* This dough would be perfect for an easy make-your-own-pizza party.  Just divide the dough into smaller, individual sized portions before rolling out.  

* Oh, and those hands slicing the pizza? They belong to The Hubs.  While my hands may not be dainty, they aren't that manly. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football?!

...Friday Night Lights starts tonight.  
...College Football kicks off in 6 days.  (WHOOP!)
...The NFL begins their regular season in 2 weeks.
I'd say football season is definitely here.  (And The Hubs and I could not be more excited for this season of Aggie Football). 
In honor of football season kicking off, I thought I'd share some ideas for watching parties & tailgating.
(Click the names to view the recipes).

Buffalo Wings

Easy Taco Soup

(Okay, you may want to save this one for later in the fall).

Old Bay Steamed Shrimp

 Yummy Corn Dip

Tortilla Chips & Scout Salsa

Reindeer Food

Pumpkin Ale Bread


Monday, August 15, 2011

Peach Crisp

Lately, every trip to the grocery store has found peaches in my shopping cart.  I'm trying to make the most of them while they're still in season and affordable.  (On sale for $0.87/lb at HEB this week for all you Texans that live south of DFW).

Last weekend, two of my three college roommates came to Houston for a girls weekend.  (The third currently live in Italia and couldn't make the trip, so Skype had to suffice.  We missed you, Court!).  

Everyone knows that no girls weekend is complete without lots of food to munch on while catching up on life, gossip, reality TV and old memories.  So before my friends arrived, I ran to the store to stock up on snacks and stuff to make a delicious dessert....Peach Crisp!  

This treat, which is very similar to the apple crisp I make every fall, has a sweet peach filling and oat crumble topping.  It's pretty much irresistible.  (The Hubs may or may not have dug into it before the girls arrived).


  *  1 Pre-made, frozen pie crust
  *  6 large peaches, peeled & cut into very thin slices
  *  1/4 cup + 1/2 cup brown sugar
  *  2 Tbsp + 1/2 cup flour
  *  1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  *  1/4 cup of butter (half a stick), cut into small pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the filling, place sliced peaches in a mixing bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

2.  Add 2 Tbsp. flour to the mixture and stir to combine.

3.  To make the topping, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour & 1/2 cup oats in a bowl.  Add in pieces of butter.

4.  Using two forks or a pastry blender, cut butter into sugar/flour/oat mixture until crumbly.

5.  Pour peach filling into the frozen pie crust.

Try not to eat the filling out of the pie.

6.  Spread crumble topping evenly over the peaches.

7.  Place pie on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until top is browned and filling is bubbly.

6.  Let cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.  Serve alongside a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.