Category Archives: Sweets

German Kuchen Bars

Every once in awhile you come across that recipe that you make again and again because people wow over it. This is one of those recipes. If you grew up with any sort of German heritage, you have had kuchen. This is unique that it is in bar form and not in pie form. To me this is a super easy one to make to feed many people. Try different fruits or fillings. My favorite is peach but I think raspberries or blackberries would work as well. I received this recipe from my husband’s aunt Betty. She is a fabulous cook and I treasure each of her recipes. Thanks for sharing Betty! 

Kuchen Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups flour

Custard:

  • 2 cups cream
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • ½ cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix and spread in a 10 x 16 greased jelly roll pan and arrange fruit on top of the dough. May use apples or canned peaches. If you use canned peaches, drain off the liquid. Add custard. Top with a little sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees until custard is set and no longer runny. 40 minutes

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

• Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you! 

• Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.

• MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings!

• For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

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Million Dollar Cookies

I first had these cookies at my grandma’s house probably 35 years ago. I think the recipe was one of my aunt’s not sure but all I know that when I take a bite of these cookies I am back in my grandma’s small kitchen in Hebron, ND. Where I would wash the dishes with scalding water….if you weren’t burning your hands the water just wasn’t hot enough! This is the same grandma whose famous caramel corn recipe I make. That is a recipe I don’t give out. You may have to bribe one of my cousins or sisters to give it to you…..because I am not talking about that one!

For a quick cookie fix I love the fact that they have shortening in them, because I don’t have to wait for the butter to soften. I can have these cookies mixed and out of the oven within 20 minutes.

What you need to know about these cookies is that they have anise (the flavor of black licorice) seeds in them. The last time I went to buy anise seeds, they were out so I bought anise flavoring instead. The flavoring worked just as well. The three foodies in my house love these cookies. The two food fussies, passed on them…..their loss.

Million Dollar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. anise seed

Directions:

  1. Make into balls; flatten with glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

• Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you!

• Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.

• MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings!

• For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

Leave a comment

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4th of July Menu Ideas

 

Another holiday and another reason to eat! The plan should be to plan the day before and set things out when it is time to eat. Don’t spend the day cooking, spend the day celebrating! Well let’s just cut to the chase and give you a few of my favorites and what I plan on making this weekend.

 Bean and Hamburger Hotdish

(This is a great one to put in the slow cooker to simmer away all day)

 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound bacon – cooked
  • 1 pound hamburger – cooked
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large can pork and beans or 2 16oz. cans
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can lima beans (drained)
  • 1 can butter beans (drained)
  • 1 large can Bush’s baked beans
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 Tablespoon vinegar

Directions:

  1. Mix and add to beans and hamburger mixture. Put in slow cooker for as long as you wish on low or in oven at 300 degrees for 2 hours. May need to add a bit of liquid from the drained beans if it is getting dry.

Vegetables Vinaigrette

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 6 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dill weed

Directions:

  1. Chop vegetables and mix vinaigrette and let sit for several hours before serving. Toss before serving.

Select Deli Salad:

  • 1/2 pound dry rainbow rotini cooked and drained
  • Jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 5 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 1 cup fresh cauliflower
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup diced Monterrey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Directions:

  1. Prepare rotini and drain. In large bowl combine rotini and remaining ingredients, toss to mix. Cover; chill and toss before serving.

Beer Marinade for Beef

(I always had this as a kid with t-bones, it is yummy)

 Ingredients:

  • Can of beer
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 4 Tablespoon marmalade
  • 2 minced garlic cloves

Directions:

  1. Simply mix and marinate with meat of choice and then grill meat to desired doneness.

Dirt Cake

(an olide but goodie)

 Ingredients:

  • 1 package crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 16 ounces of Cool Whip
  • 2 packages instant chocolate pudding
  • 3 cups milk

Directions:

  1. Blend together the cream cheese and the 3/4 cup powdered sugar.
  2. Mix the pudding and the milk.Blend in with cream cheese mixture and Cool Whip.
  3. Put a layer of crumbs, then pudding the another layer of crumbs. Let stand for 4 hours in a cold place.

 To Joyful, Simplified Living,

 MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/ .

• Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/  to learn about how Melissa can help you! 

• Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.

• MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings!

 For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Fast Meals, Grill, Main Dishes, Pasta, Salads, Slow Cooker, Sweets

New Direction And 4 New Recipes

So if you subscribe to my 365 Clever Cookbooks blog you may be wondering why no new posts. Well, let me tell you, life got in the way. Simply stated my life in the last three weeks involved 2 great vacations and not a lot of time to cook home cooked meals. But isn’t that the problem with all of us…..too much to do and not enough time. Normally I would just suck it up and get it done however I had a second problem. The second problem was it just wasn’t fun for me anymore. The blogging every day of new recipes, the trek to the library, the cooking because I felt I “had to” just got to be too overwhelming. So I took a break, told my children, announced it on facebook and listened to everyone’s reactions. The most important reaction was from my children, they were disappointed. My youngest and middle, who are the fussy eaters wanted me to keep going. I said, “but you never ate what I cooked”. The response was simple and profound, “but we liked you making it and trying just a bite to see if we liked it”. Wow….blow me over with a feather. I did not expect that at all!

So I have had a week to regroup and this is what I came up with. I will cook like I have always done and just post my recipes. Sometimes you will get photos, sometimes you will not. But the important thing is, I will post recipes that our family loves. What I would love from you is to help me along the way. Do you have some recipes that your family goes ape wild over, if so be a guest blogger for me. Write a blog post and I will post it to share with all my friends. Because lets face it, we all need help in figuring out what is for dinner!

So back to the basics; I am a creature of habit and they way I search for recipes is simple, online. That is the source that I will go back to. It is part of my mission of getting less dependent on recipes found in books and on cards and ones found on-line. I love to search my favorite sites for new and inspiring recipes. So back to my habits of finding a good one online and less on the trek to the library….where frankly I was going to run out of cookbooks!

Here is what I made this weekend with the complete recipes for the ones out of my recipe book and the links from the ones that I found on the internet:

Cafe Rio Pork Salad (my adaptation as I have made it much simpler than the version I had found online)

Cafe Rio Pork Ingredients:

  •  pork roast, one that is great for shredding
  • 1 cup of chunky salsa
  • 1 can coke
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Place pork in crock-pot. Mix together ingredients, salsa, coke, brown sugar and put on top of pork. Cook for 6 hours on low. Shred pork with forks, taking out the fat. Leave it on low until ready to serve.

 Creamy Tomatillo Dressing Ingredients:

  •  1 packet hidden valley ranch buttermilk dressing
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. of light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup  tomatillo salsa
  • ¾ bunch fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime (about 2 tsp.)

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in the blender. Refrigerate.

 SERVING:

 There are two options for this, either serve it as a salad or eat it as a taco. I eat it as a salad and my younger two boys eat it as a taco. For the salad I add whatever fresh vegetables I have around the house such as tomatoes, peppers,cucumbers and avocado. I don’t even add cheese as I think the salad has enough flavor and you really don’t miss having the cheese. For some who are making the tacos, they may like cheese.

 Lemon Thyme Bars

Ingredients:

  • Butter, for greasing dish
  • Flour, for dusting dish

Bar Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (I have lemon thyme that I grow every year just for these bars)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, thyme and salt. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 stick of butter and powdered sugar on high-speed until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Using damp fingers, press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes until golden. Cool for 30 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice and powdered sugar together until smooth. Spoon the glaze over the cooled crust. Allow the glaze to harden, at room temperature, for at least 1 hour.
  4. Using a metal spatula, remove the crust from the pan. Cut into 1 1/2-inch square bars and arrange on a serving platter or store airtight in a plastic container at room temperature.

The Pioneer Woman Taco Pizza

The Pioneer Woman Red Velvet Cake with The Best Frosting Ever

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

  • Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you! 
  • Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.
  • MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings!
  • For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Main Dishes, Salads, Sweets

Toasted Almond Bundt Cake With Raspberries

Day 151: Picnics: Delicious Recipes for Outdoor Entertaining

May 31, 2011

When was the last time you went on a picnic? What is stopping you? It doesn’t need to be fancy it just needs to happen. When my kids were little we would grab some sandwiches or grab a pizza and find a spot in a park. It is more about taking the time to just do it. If you want to make it fancy, you can. I will provide some recipes in the next couple of days that would be fun to take on a picnic. Most food, if you think about it can be taken on a picnic.

But in case you were wondering what to take on a picnic? Did you know that they have cookbooks that are made just on that topic. It isn’t hard to find food to take on a picnic, but this cookbook is a fun reminder of what you can take. You will find more than 45 recipes in this pint size cookbook to help get your picnic brain going.  

The Ruling: It is a dessert….do you think someone didn’t like it. You know better by now don’t you?

Toasted Almond Bundt Cake with Raspberries, pg 78

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup silvered almonds (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ½ cups (12 ounces) fresh raspberries, gently washed and dried
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:  

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. To toast the almonds, spread them on a baking sheet and put them into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned, taking care not to let them get too brown or burn.  Remove from the oven to a plate and let cool.  Put into a food processor and pulse until the almonds are just finely ground.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each until blended in.  Add the sour cream, vanilla, and almond extract and mix.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.  Fold the flour mixture into the egg and butter mixture.  When the flour is incorporated, fold in the almonds and then the raspberries.  Pour into the Bundt pan.  Bake for 75 to 90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  (it using individual bundt pans, start checking for doneness after 30 minutes.)  Dust with powdered sugar when cool.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

  • Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you! 
  • Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.
  • MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click hereto find out the latest offerings!
  • For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

 

Leave a comment

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Grilled Chocolate Raspberry Burritos

Day 146: Better Homes and Gardens Gas Grill Cookbook

May 26, 2011

Have you ever tried grilling dessert? I have made grilled pineapple, fabulous! So you can imagine that my curiosity was piqued with the title Grilled Chocolate raspberry Burrito. What is not to like in grilling dessert. Keeps the heat outside and the oven off.

I have a gas grill so a cookbook centered around the gas grill made sense to me. Cooking with a gas grill you can have more heat control and can have the grill ready to go in minutes. I could not find a picture of this cookbook on Amazon….so it must not have published very many copies. Easy to follow cookbook however. Reminds me of the ones that my mom had collected in the ’70s.

The Ruling: Surprise, surprise…we all loved it! We never would have thought of this on our own. Very simple to make! We had blackberries and substituted those in when we ran out of rasperries…they tasted great as well. Surprise your next dinner guests with this dessert, it will become your new favorite.

Grilled Chocolate-Raspberry Burritos, pg 77

Ingredients:

  • 4 8- to 9-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Stack the tortillas and wrap in a piece of foil.  Preheat gas grill.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Place foil packet on the grill rack directly over heat.  Cover and grill about 5 minutes or until tortillas are warm and pliable, turning packet once halfway through grilling.  Remove from grill (or wrap the tortillas in microwave-safe paper towels; microwave on 100% power [high] for 20 to 40 seconds.)
  2. Sprinkle the chocolate pieces and raspberries in the centers of warm tortillas.  Fold in sides and roll up.  Brush the burritos with half of the melted butter.  Place burritos on the grill rack directly over heat.  Cover and grill about 3 minutes or until the tortillas begin to show grill marks and the chocolate is melted, turning once halfway through grilling.
  3. Transfer the burritos to a serving platter.  Brush with the remaining melted butter.  In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the burritos.  Serve immediately.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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Filed under Grill, Sweets

Coconut Cake

Day 123: Atlanta Kitchens: Recipes from Atlanta’s Best Restaurants

May 23, 2011

Little known fact….I was born in Georgia….so maybe that is why I was attracted to the name of this cookbook? Have you ever had good Southern cooking? I mean really good Southern cooking. It is some of the best in the world, full of down home goodness and will fill your belly and make you feel all warm and fuzzy, like a big hug.

Atlanta is filled with fine eaterys and restaurant critic and food writer Krista Reese found some of the best recipes to include in her cookbook. I think if my kids would have seen the picture for the Vandross Burger they would have demanded that I make it. I will describe it as a bacon cheeseburger on top of a Krispy Kreme doughnut…..insane, right?! The cookbook is filled with homestyle comfort foods like fried chicken and  fried okra but also recipes for the fancier palate such as truffled white bean soup….yumm.

The Ruling: We made the coconut cake. All I can say is…..insane. Please come and get it out of my house before I eat the whole pan! It is a cross between Tre Leche cake and a pina colada! Make this for your next event that you have to bring a dessert….your friends will thank you….give it away as fast as you can so that your waistline can thank you too!

Coconut Cake, pg 202

 Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 (18.5-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 small very ripe banana, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • ½ (14- ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) tub Cook Whip
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (or ½ package) confectioners’ sugar
  • Shredded coconut, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven according to package directions and prepare one 9×13-inch baking pan or two 8-inch round pans according to the cake mix directions.
  2. To make the cake, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, pineapple juice, banana, and coconut extract in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Pour into prepared pan(s).
  3. Bake according to the package directions.  While the cake bakes, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla in a saucepan and heat until warm to allow the condensed milk to mix well.
  4. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven.  Poke holes all over the cake with a fork and pour the milk mixture over the cake.  Let cool in the pan(s).
  5. Invert the cake onto a cake dish if you are making a layer cake, or leave in the baking dish if you are making a sheet cake.
  6. To prepare the frosting, combine the Cool Whip and coconut extract in the bowl of an electric mixer with the butter and confectioners’ sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Frost the cake.  Sprinkle with coconut.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Sweets