Christmas S’more Bars

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These bars were the stars of the cookie exchange today. You can make these any other time of the year by substituting Small Hershey Bars for the m&m’s

3/4 cup Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
Box of Graham Crackers
Marshmallows
Red and Green Mini M&M’s

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350

Melt butter and Sugar in a saucepan over medium, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly.

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and then place graham crackers over the entire bottom of the pan.

Pour sugar mix over the graham crackers and bake 5-7 minutes until sugar mix is bubbly

cover with as many marshmallows as you’d like and return to the oven for 2-3 more minutes until marshmallows are gooey

sprinklw m&m’s over the entire pan evenly and let cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the bars to a cooling rack using the parchment paper to move. Allow to cool completely and then cut into bars.

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Carmel Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

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Holy Goodness. I got the idea for these off of pinterest but took a couple of different recipes and merged them together for this amazing treat.

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
3/4 cup Butter, melted
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed tight
1/2 cup White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
1 heaping cup of Milk Chocolate Chips
1 cup carmels, unwrapped and diced
1 cup broken pretzels – plus a few extra broken pieces for garnish before baking
Sea Salt or Coarse Kosher Salt

Unwrap carmels and cut into quarters (or smaller if you have the patience) with a butter knife. Place carmels in a bowl and refridgerate until ready to use.

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 325
In a small bowl mix together Flour, Baking Soda and salt and set aside
In a mixer cream melted butter, brown and white sugar until well blended
Beat in Vanilla, Egg & Egg Yolk until light and creamy
Slowly add in Flour mixture small amounts at a time
Remove from mixer and stir in Chocolate Chips, Carmel pieces and pretzels
scoop rounded tablespoons of mixture onto baking sheets. stick a few extra pieces of broken pretzel into the top for looks and sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of coarse salt.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, cool on cookie sheet until they are stiff enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Paula Deen’s “Iconic Horse Race” Pie

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Ingredients
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels, melted
1 cup sifted self-rising flour
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pecans
2 (9-inch) deep dish unbaked pie shells or 3 (9-inch) unbaked regular pie shells
Ice cream, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine eggs, sugar, and melted chocolate in large bowl. Add flour and mix well, stirring in remaining ingredients except for pie shells. Bake 50 to 60 minutes.

Ranch Dressing

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I’m a Ranch Dressing Freak and I hate it out of the bottle. Because of that I eat most of my salads at restaurants, as opposed to making good salads at home. So I’m especially grateful for Ree Drummond the Pioneer Woman for this delicious recipe. I ate a salad at home everyday this past weekend, it was just that good!

This is straight from her website:

Ingredients
■1 clove (to 2 Cloves) Garlic
■ Salt To Taste
■1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley
■2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives
■1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
■1/2 cup Sour Cream
■ Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
■ 1 tsp White Vinegar
■ 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
■ Fresh Dill
■ Cayenne Pepper
■ Paprika
■ Tabasco (optional, To Taste)

Preparation Instructions

Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoons of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.

In a bowl combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.

Jalepeno Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

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-Jiffy cornbread mix (milk and egg as package calls for)
-1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
-1 tablespoon minced jalapeno (more or less to taste)
-1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles (if there’s liquid in the can, drain it)
-1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-2 packets of Splenda
-pinch of salt and pepper

1.Spray Cast Iron Skillet with cooking spray and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
2.Mix the egg, milk and jiffy mix in a bowl until incorporated
3.Fold in the remaining ingredients and pour into the skillet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until knife comes out clean.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

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This pie is just wonderful. It looks beautiful and it tastes great. FYI: Strawberries need to marinade overnight and the pie needs to 4 to 6 hours to set up.

-3 quarts of fresh strawberries, hulled & marinaded (Marinade recipe below)
-1 deep dish pie crust
-2 cups reserve strawberry marinade
-1 3oz package of strawberry jello
– 1/2 cup corn syrup
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-Whipped Topping

Strawberry Marinade
-1 cup sugar
-4 cups water
-1 pinch of salt

The night before
-Boil all ingredients until sugar is completely dissolved and let cool.
-While that is cooling, wash and hull the strawberried. You can either leave the berries whole or cut them in half.
-In a large glass bowl, pour the cooled marinade over the strawberries and refridgerate overnight.

The day of
-Prepare your crust according to directions on the package (for an extra kick, i brushed the crust with butter and sprinkled sugar on it before I baked it.)
-Drain the strawberries, reserving 2 cups of the marinade
-In a saucepan combine, cornstarch with 1/2 cup of the reserved marinade, stir well until all cornstarch is dissolved.
-Add the rest of the marinade, corn syrup, sugar, lemon juice and jello and bring to a boil to thicken
– Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and let cool at room temperature for 45 minutes.
-Meanwhile, arrange the strawberries in the pie crust. You want to mound them up in the center so that you have a nice tall pie. If you sliced the berries in half, make sure to keep the sliced side down.
– When the Glaze has cooled down for 45 minutes drizzle the glaze all over the pie and make sure to let it get into the open spaces between the strawberries and refridgerate for 4 to 6 hours
-serve with whipped topping.

Tips: I actually put the whole pie and the tin pie pan that the crust came in, in a bigger pie plate, the glaze did drip over the sides a little, but the pie plate caught all the overflow.

Sweet and Spicy Chipotle Chicken for Tacos or Sandwiches

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When it’s too hot to turn on the stove we normally grill … but it’s been 110 degrees all week and who wants to stand in front of a 400 degree grill in that mess. So I pulled out the good old crock pot today and made some delicious chicken. This is probably my new favorite recipe.

1 onion
4-6 Chicken Breasts
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can of Cherry Coke Zero
1/4 cup of Brown Sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar)
1 tablespoon of Cocoa Powder

Quarter the onion and spread it out around the bottom of your crock pot, lay the chicken breasts over the onions and throw in the chopped garlic. Dump in the can of chipotle peppers and the brown sugar, cocoa and pour in the can of cherry coke.

set on low for 4-5 hours. When done carefully pull out the breasts and shred with a fork

I served this with sour cream, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes and flour tortillas. Delicious.