Jan 112012

We always spend Christmas Eve at my in-laws, and Honeybaked ham has always been on the menu.  This year, though, my MIL made these awesome baked sliders that someone had cooked for one of their bunco gatherings.
As much as I enjoy the Honeybaked ham, these were so very good.  They’re also fairly simple to make.  Below are the two varieties that we noshed on, but you could make these with pretty much any combination of cold cuts.  Please let me know if you try any other combos!
Baked Sliders:
24 rolls (dinner rolls, King’s Hawaiian rolls, whatever you like), split
12 slices honey ham (such as Honeybaked, cut fairly thick)
12 slices deli turkey (honey roasted, smoked, etc.)
12 small slices Swiss cheese
12 small slices Cheddar cheese
1/3 C mayo
1/3 C Miracle Whip
For the Sauce:
1 T poppy seeds
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 T dry minced onion
1 1/2 T yellow mustard
1/2 C butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a small bowl combine the mayo and Miracle Whip.  Spread the cut sides of all the rolls with the mayo mixture.
  3. Add one slice ham and one slice Swiss to 12 of the rolls.  Add one slice turkey (you may need to fold it up, or tear it into pieces and layer) and one slice Cheddar to the remaining 12 rolls.
  4. Cover each slider with the roll top; nestle the sliders into a large baking dish (you want them to be touching and cozy).
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients.  Pour evenly over all 24 sandwiches.  You may not use all the sauce.  The sauce should cover the tops; any extra sauce you can save for dipping or another batch.
  6. Let stand for at least 15 minutes (best if refrigerated overnight).
  7. Cover dish with foil and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese melts.  Remove the foil and return to the oven; bake an additional 2 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and starting to get crispy.
  8. Serve warm.
Sorry I wasn’t able to snag a picture; they were snapped up rather quickly!  As soon as I’m able to make a batch of my own I’ll update with a photo.
Do you have a recipe or food-related post that you’d like to share?  Please link up below!

Dec 152011

Tasty Tuesday is a day late this week, so I guess technically this is technically Tasty Wednesday.  I think that no matter what the day is, you’ll find these are pretty tasty.
Every year I do an assortment of Christmas baking for our family and friends.  I try to bake different things each year to mix it up a little.  This year Pinterest was a great source for inspiration.  I’m still elbow-deep in melted chocolate, so this will be Part One; next week I’ll share the rest of my confections and creations.
So far I have made…
Christmas Tree Brownies

Toffee-Pretzel Bark (from the Brown Eyed Baker)

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods

…and Chex Mix.

Are you doing any baking this year?  If so, what are you making?

Oct 052011

We’re getting a late blast of summer weather here (last week it was in the 40s and 50s; this week we’re supposed to have several days in the 80s) and we’ve been trying to enjoy it.  Today I took care of a handful of errands and then we took a nice walk.  By the time we were home and settled in for the night I wasn’t in the mood to get involved in a big, heavy meal (I had been planning chicken and dumplings).  No one could come up with a suggestion so I decided to fall back on a simple, quick and easy meal: individual homemade pizzas.  An added bonus is that because they’re individually-sized, everyone gets to customize their own to their own tastes.

I started with some dough that I had left from a batch of bread.  After I let it proof a little, I dusted my counter-top with cornmeal, rolled out the individual crusts and pre-baked them in a 475 degree oven for 4 minutes each on a pizza stone (if you don’t have a pizza peel, consider investing in one like this one; it makes it much easier to slide in and out of the oven).

From there we loaded them up with sauce, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and toppings (pepperoni, mushrooms, and some fresh oregano and basil for me; pepperoni and bacon for the hubs).  Turn the temperature down to 450 and put them back in the oven for  7-8 minutes each, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sorry that there is no “baked” picture to share with you; the batteries in my digital camera died and my stomach said that waiting for them to recharge wasn’t an option.

Again, a very simple meal, but great for those nights that you just don’t have the time or energy (or desire) to get to fancy or creative.  Plus it’s very healthy!
Do you have a recipe or cooking-related post you’d like to share?  Please link them up below!

Sep 272011

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My husband has a bit of a sweet tooth, especially when it comes to baked goods.  It’s not uncommon to hear, “You know what would really hit the spot?” followed by either peanut butter cookies, brownies or red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  That’s basically his way of saying “Any chance you might walk into the kitchen and then magically make something appear?”
I totally do not mind these requests since I love to bake, especially for him.  Every once in awhile, though, he asks for something a little bit different – like macaroons.  The first time he asked for them I had to go searching for a recipe; I wasn’t a huge coconut fan when I was younger so I hadn’t made them before.  I found one on Brown Eyed Baker that is fairly easy to make (if you don’t read her blog, you should; yummy!) and it has become my go-to macaroon recipe.

I was in a bit of a rush when I made these, so they’re not overly beautiful – but they certainly are tasty (they taste kind of like a grilled Almond Joy bar).  Generally I take my time and make them a little smaller which increases the prettiness factor.

Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 lg. egg white
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 325; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla and salt.  Stir in the coconut until well-combined.
  3. Drop dough by small tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined baking sheets.  Space the macaroons about 2″ apart.  With wet fingers, shape the dough into haystacks.  Continue to wet fingers as necessary if they start to get sticky or hard to shape.
  4. Bake one sheet at a time for 15-20 minutes, or until they turn a light golden brown.
  5. Cool on cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, until starting to set.  Use a metal spatula to move the macaroons to a wire cooling rack.  Cool for an additional 30 minutes, until they reach room temperature.
  6. Melt 8 ounces of the chopped semi-sweet chocolate (I did mine in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, but you can also melt it in a heat-proof bowl set over a bowl of barely-simmering water).  Once melted and smooth, add in the remaining 2 ounces of chopped chocolate, and stir until smooth.
  7. Holding the tips of the macaroons, dip the bottoms and 1/2″ up the sides of the macaroons.  Scrape off excess chocolate, and set back on the parchment-lined baking sheets to set.
Makes 24-36, depending on how big you make them.

Do you have a recipe or food-related post you’d like to share?  Please link them up here!

Sep 222011

(I do realize it’s Wednesday and not Tuesday; I apologize for getting this up a day late.)

I think my love of bread was born in my grandmother’s kitchen.
My grandmother is an amazing baker and one of her specialties is bread (her others include peanut butter fudge and frosted chocolate brownies).  I grew up spending weekends in the kitchen with her learning how to make bread from scratch.  She would make her bread and rolls in her “grownup” pans, and I would get to make my bread and rolls in little kid-size pans.

We made everything from white bread, oatmeal bread, dinner rolls and sweet, orange-glazed rolls.  It would take the better part of a Saturday, even though we started at the crack of dawn (pre-dawn, when she was baking without me underfoot; I don’t think my grandmother has slept much past 5 a.m. ever in her life).  But the payout was always worth it – the scent of bread baking is a gift from heaven.  We’d chat and bake and when they were all done, we would of course enjoy a slice or roll, fresh and hot – so hot they’d be dripping from the pat of butter that instantly evaporated on contact.  Once everything was cooled, she would portion every thing up, and then make her deliveries.  Family, friends, neighbors – everyone was a beneficiary of my grandmother’s kitchen.  We still are to this day.
Over the past few years “free time” has been one of those elusive things you know exists, but can’t quite find.  I don’t have entire Saturdays (or even an entire hour, some days) to bake.  There aren’t many short cuts with baking – or so I thought until a year or two ago I came across the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  If you love bread but just don’t have the time for the kneading and rising and rolling and rising – you’ll want to get this book.  You can mix bread in literally 5 minutes, toss the dough in the fridge and then pull enough out to make a loaf of bread any day that week.  It’s really quite awesome.

You’ll be the hero of your household, I promise! 

Do you have a recipe or food-related post you’d like to share?  Link it up below!