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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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This week I have a couple recipes for your Fourth of July barbecue or any of your summer gatherings! The first one is this berry/Lime crostini. So easy and easily can make a couple dozen depending on how thick you slice the bread. The bread can be toasted in your oven or lightly grilled. I used a combination of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, but these would be great with strawberries too, or any combination your family likes. These take no time to make and should be served immediately.

INGREDIENTS
1 French baguette, sliced on a diagonal 1/4 – 1/2 inch
Whipped cream cheese, about 1 Tablespoon per bread slice
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – or your choice of berries
Honey to drizzle
Zest of 2 limes

DIRECTIONS
Place your bread slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven on broil, keeping the oven cracked open slightly, DO NOT WALK AWAY…these toast up very quickly! Or place the bread slices on your grill and lightly toast one side. Remove from oven or grill. Top each slice with about 1 Tablespoon of the whipped cream cheese covering the bread slice, top with berries, drizzle lightly with honey and zest lime over the top. Do this for each slice and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

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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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This simple side dish is so easy to put together and full of great flavor. This dish is best made the day before you want to eat it so it’s perfect for parties when you have so much to do. It’s also a reasonably healthy side dish. This is one of my husbands favorite side dishes. You can change out the chopped parsley for cilantro and if you want a little more heat, add a diced and seeded jalapeño. As you can see it’s easily adaptable to the flavors you like!

INGREDIENTS
1 pound Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can (15 ounce) black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
Chopped parsley or cilantro to top

Tortilla  chips for serving
Large Fritos for serving

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl add the first 7 ingredients and mix. In a small bowl add the olive oil, sugar, chili powder and salt. Mix well and add to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Top with chopped parsley or cilantro. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

 

This recipe comes from tablefortwoblog.com

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