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These cookie bars are addicting! So good, especially warm out of the oven! Sadly, Robby can’t eat these due to some gut issues but his friends had no problem diving into them. This makes a 13 x 9 baking dish so it’s great for a party or a bunch of hungry boys! I’m thankful Robby’s friends took these out of my hands as these were really, really good and I did not want to eat them all myself! These would also be good with some chopped pecans or walnuts. Next time I know I have a few extra growing boys around I will make another batch with the nuts!

 

INGREDIENTS
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) package health English toffee bits

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In your mixer, or a large bowl and hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour, baking soda and salt mix again until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and toffee bits.
Press the batter into a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes and serve if eating them warm, otherwise let cool completely at room temperature before cutting. This will serve between 18 and 24 depending on how big you slice them.

Enjoy!

This recipe can be found at www.cozycountryliving.com

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I have seen this cake floating around on Pinterest for sometime now.  I pinned it a couple weeks ago and decided to make it as it looked like the perfect summer cake with the mandarin oranges and the pineapple. This cake goes together very simply. This is perfect for any summer gathering you may be having. I shared this with my parents as well as a couple neighbors and we were all in agreement that this is a delicious cake.  I think Jim liked it the best! You all know that I’m not a baker and it’s my least favorite thing to do in the kitchen but I will make this cake again! If I can make it, I know all of you can too!

INGREDIENTS
1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 can (11 ounce) mandarin oranges, NOT DRAINED
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

FROSTING
1 can crushed pineapple (8 ounce), NOT DRAINED
1 package (3.5 ounce) instant vanilla pudding
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl beat the cake mix, oil, oranges-not drained, eggs and sour cream until well blended.
Evenly divide the batter into the 3 prepared pans. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Mine took about 18 minutes. Let cool in the cake pans for 20 minutes, then turn the cake pans upside down onto a cooling rack and let the cakes cool completely.
To make the frosting beat the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer or handheld blender until stiff peaks form.  In a separate bowl combine the crushed pineapple, not drained, and the instant pudding powder, mix until combined. Add the whipped cream into the pineapple/pudding mixture and stir to combine.
Place the first cake layer down on your serving platter frost the top of the fiRst cake, add the second frosting on top and finally add the third and final cake layer and frost the cake completely on the top and sides. Serve right away or store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

 

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We loved these jalapeño bites! Spicy from the jalapeño and the “hot” sausage cooled slightly with the cheese…with a crisp bite from the bacon! I made two versions, one being bacon wrapped with two kinds of cheese and the second version was gluten and dairy free without the bacon.  Robby did not want the bacon on them. But for Robby’s version I used a gluten and dairy free cheese.  I made 20 bites (10 jalapeños) and let me tell you both plates were empty in record time.  We liked them so much I went to the store the next day and bought more jalapeños. The sausage makes a lot so I had plenty of the filling and bacon left. The filling is also great on nachos or even on pizza. This will be on made many times at my house, even when we hit the road camping! The filling can be made ahead and I would crisp and crumble the bacon and just put the crumbles on top for a camping version.  All you would need to do is assemble them, place on a baking sheet and grill until they are heated through! Our family likes spicy food so I use the hot sausage, but you can use the regular sausage as well.

NOTE – one jalapeno will give you two stuffed portions. I made them twice buying 20 jalapeños in total. Depending on how many you want you can purchase as many jalapeños as needed using all of the filling or using the filling for other yummy things!

INGREDIENTS
jalapeños
1 package Jimmy Dean HOT sausage
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Bacon- I used a half slice bacon per sliced jalapeños
NOTE – If making them dairy free/gluten free use dairy free, gluten free cheese. I used Daiya brand.

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet, set aside. In a large frying pan fry the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked, crumbling the sausage as it cooks through. Drain any fat from the pan and add both cheeses, cook melting the cheese and mixing it into the sausage making cheeses goodness! Remove from heat and set aside.
Slice the jalapeños in half, using a spoon remove the ribs and seeds from the middle of the jalapeño, do this for each one. To fill, simply fill each jalapeño half with a spoonful of the sausage mixture and wrap 1/2 of a bacon slice around the jalapeño. Do this for each one and place on your prepared baking sheet with the baking rack. When all of the jalapeños are filled and wrapped bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until bacon is cooked through and lightly crisped. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Enjoy!

 

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Jack & Kelly

Tucker’s Restaurant just came to Dover, NH and I am excited to tell you about this new breakfast and lunch restaurant! Tucker’s has three other locations that my adorable niece Kelly and her guy Jack have been to. They love it and before the Dover location opened they were telling me about their favorite dishes. Kelly’s favorite dish is one of Tucker’s specialties, the banana bread French toast, house baked banana nut bread grilled in French toast batter and topped with fresh bananas, honey maple glazed walnuts and whipped cream!  How amazing does that sound?This is definitely on my need to order list!

Jack’s favorite breakfast is also one of their specialties, the Southwest Sunrise Skillet with two fresh eggs scrambled with onions, piquante peppers, pepper jack cheese, herbs and spices served over crispy hash browns topped with fresh sliced avocado and a drizzle of chipotle sauce. This is served with gluten free bread or the bread of your choice! After hearing all of this I could not wait for the Dover location to open! Thankfully it was only a week till the opening, and I was able to go for their grand opening event that they had prior to the official opening day to the public.

I went to the pre-opening event with my good friend Leanne. We arrived at about 10 am to a crowded parking lot so we knew everyone had already heard about this gem! Tucker’s was certainly buzzing with activity when we walked in. We were each promptly seated with a menu.  Every pre-opening is a little different but this opening allowed you to order anything off the menu all free of charge! I have to say it did take us some time to decide as everything looked and sounded amazing.  I am a sucker for a good Benedict because I don’t make them at home. To my surprise they had my all time favorite Benedict, a Sausage Benedict.  Once I saw that my choice was made! It’s a pretty straight forward dish…English muffin, all natural sausage patty, poached eggs and of course that creamy delicious Hollandaise sauce! It was absolutely cooked perfectly and the sausage had some really great flavor. I most definitely will be back for that again! Let’s not forget those crispy hash browns on the side, those were just as tasty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leanne had a cup of coffee and the “Mitch” breakfast sandwich. This sandwich is made with north country smokehouse Canadian bacon, hash browns, fried egg, melted Vermont cheese on grilled sourdough.  Delicious, right? I think our conversation slowed way down at this point as we were loving our breakfast. Leanne and I both liked the fiesta dish ware they have as well.

Tucker’s has some other great breakfast choices, some of the usual menu items and some a little different.  They have a Brisket Benedict with chimichurri sauce or how about a Mediterranean Omelet with mushrooms, piquante peppers, tomatoes, grilled spinach, feta, cheddar and calamata olives. I told you about a couple of the specialties that Kelly and Jack love but another option are their homemade biscuits and gravy.  That’s another dish I don’t make at home but one that Jim enjoys now and then! They also have many gluten free options as well as gluten free toast.

Although we went for breakfast, they are open for lunch as well and after checking out that menu I know we will be going back for lunch as well. Lots of great sandwiches, wraps, soup and salads to choose from, not to mention mac and cheese and couple different types of grilled cheese. If you are looking for something a little healthier they have a couple of quinoa bowls to chose from as well.

Find them online or on Facebook where you can see all the menu options, locations throughout NH and times of operation. If you have a location near you, get there you will not be disappointed! Thank you to my breakfast date Leanne and of course to Kelly and Jack for all of their input and sharing their favorite dishes with me!

https://tuckersnh.com/

Enjoy!

 

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Recently Jim and I took the train into Boston with our niece Becky and her significant other Adam. We planned to spend the day eating and drinking our way through Boston.  Both Becky and Adam love food and great places as much as we do. Becky and Adam have been to Haley.Henry a number of times as Haley grew up with Adam! They love it so they could not wait to take us there, and boy are we glad they did!

I think this is going to be one of the strangest restaurant reviews I have ever written so stay with me. Are you wondering why a restaurant review would be strange?  Well, let me tell you, this was an amazing place, but it took me way out of my normal comfort zone! Haley.Henry has some things we all enjoy at a wine bar and some other not so traditional foods that will keep your taste buds guessing! I’ll start with the easy part!  The laid back comfortable vibe is a great welcome into the restaurant;  the music and rustic decor make this easy to settle in and get the afternoon going.
When we arrived Haley was there to greet all of us and once the introductions were done, we were seated.  Becky ordered the cheese and charcuterie board (you can order the boards separately and you get a choice of 3 or 5 options for each board).  This board was just amazing. The choice of cheeses and paper thin sliced meats were so tasty.  There were some sweet and salty nuts and a hazelnut butter that was insanely good…lick the plate good! All of this was served with a side of various kinds of warm bread.

I’m so excited to tell you about Haley.Henry.  I’m getting ahead of myself already!  We ordered wine, that was recommended for each of us.  Becky and Adam shared a bottle of red wine. I had that beautiful pink wine you see and Jim was the “party pooper” of the bunch and order a beer at a wine bar! We still love him!

Jim and Adam also shared a few oysters before the cheese and charcuterie board came out! Becky and I held out for all the delicious meats and cheeses to come!  Sounds pretty good right? Nothing too strange or out of the box? The next couple plates that came out I will have to say I have never tried before, so this is where it went out of my comfort zone, in a good way! Don’t be scared!
Next up was the smoked eel in olive oil with tender sweet rolls, salt, aioli, lemon and ruffled chips.  Yes, ruffled chips put it all together and oh my, sweet, salty, crunchy and bring me back for another one! So good, I was not sure what to expect but it was absolutely delicious. I would order that again any day, but like I said it was far out of my usual food zone! We also had the smoked oysters. I did not try those as I found myself going back for the eel and the amazing cheese board!

We had such a fun time meeting Haley and her staff and enjoying the impeccable food and service, we smiled and laughed all afternoon while enjoying so many flavors and tastes! As we were starting to slow down and think about walking back to the train station, Haley came out with some lamb tartare for us to taste as she was making it to post on Instagram. How could we possibly refuse more amazing food? Not this group… even though we were all stuffed, we could not help but try it. Sadly I missed the picture but lamb tartare with capers, garlic, harissa and mint? Come on…of course it was soooo good!

Before we left Haley, brought us each a small bottle of bitters, again something I have not had except in a mixed drink, never straight. It’s unique and packs a little punch! Jim really enjoyed it. I’m on the fence with that one! What an experience we had at Haley.Henry Wine Bar. Check them out at 45 Province Street in Boston, on line at http://www.haleyhenry.com/#home, Facebook and of course Instagram.
Haley.Henry is closed on Sundays so be sure to check out the hours and times so you can enjoy some amazing flavors. I can’t leave without mentioning Haley.Henry has been rated one of the top new restaurants in Boston in 2016, a couple weeks after we were there. Haley was going to be doing an event for the James Beard Foundation.
Don’t be intimidated by tinned fish, embrace something new and get to Haley.Henry!

Enjoy!

 

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