Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Sugar Cookies

I know I said I was only going to post on the 10th, 20th and 30th of each month......but that was just for new recipes. It doesn't mean I can't post quick ideas, tips or pictures in between, right? Right! So......

My Mom and I made Easter Cookies today.

Here are some close-ups of some of my favorites.

And lastly, one of the ears broke off on one of our bunny cookies so I tried to make it look like one if his ears was flopped down over his face.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stuffed Crescent Wreath

At one of the first Pampered Chef parties that I hosted, the consultant that came made a Chicken Holiday Wreath. It was good and I have held on to the recipe ever since but never made it. This last Christmas my husband and I were hosting a family get-together and I wanted to make something different and off I was rummaging through my stack (literally.... I really to organize it) of recipes, pictures, ideas, books, notes and magazines looking for something to catch my eye. I came across the original recipe for the Chicken Holiday Wreath and decided to give it a go. I changed a few things around to suit our tastes better and what follows is my version. Here is a link to the original Pampered Chef Chicken Holiday Wreath if you want to take a look or give it a try. I was unable to find it on Pampered Chef's website (the recipe is from a while ago) but was able to locate it on a site called Recipe Goldmine and it is the original recipe.

This recipe makes a great starter course and works really well for get-togethers when you have all little things or appetizers to eat instead of one big meal.

I started off by shredding one chicken breast and placing it in a bowl and finely chopping one small carrot, half of a red bell pepper and 1/2 cup of broccoli.

I added all of the veggies into the bowl with the chicken and added a can of cream of celery, shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

I then opened two cans of crescent rolls and separated the dough into 8 triangles per tube (16 total). I laid 8 of the triangles out into a half circle, slightly overlapping, on a pizza stone with the wide end facing in.

I laid the other half out in the same manner then pressed the dough together to seal the seams.

I spooned half of the chicken mixture onto the wide end of the crescent dough. We will come back to the other half of the chicken mixture later.

I then took the "pointy" end of the crescent dough and wrapped it over the chicken mixture and tucked it under the bottom side. Don't worry about having gaps in the dough along the top, you want the filling to peek through.

I placed it into a 350 degree preheated oven for 25 minutes.

The second half of the filling can be saved to make other wreath (especially handy during parties or family holidays) OR ......

You can make a pizza with it! I took a thin crust, store bought pizza dough, lightly brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled it with garlic salt. I spread the leftover filling onto the dough and sprinkled the top with more cheddar cheese. I followed the baking directions listed on the package for the pizza crust.

Stuffed Crescent Wreath

1 pre-cooked chicken breast, shredded
one small carrot, finely chopped
half red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup broccoli (fresh or frozen), finely chopped
10.5 oz can cream of celery
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls
salt and pepper

Mix chicken, carrot, pepper, broccoli, cream of celery, cheese and sprinkle of salt and pepper together in a bowl. Very lightly spray a round pizza stone with non-stick spray. Open tubes of crescent dough and separate into triangles. Going in a circle, lay out triangles of dough around the pizza stone, slightly overlapping with the point of dough hanging over edge of pizza stone. Press dough together to eliminate seams and seal dough together. Spoon half of chicken filling onto wide end of crescent dough going in a circle. Fold over points of crescent dough over top of filling and tuck underneath in center of the wreath. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dirt Dessert

It's Spring! I know its been here for a while but it finally FEELS like spring. We hit 80 degrees here this weekend and it felt wonderful. So I thought this would be a perfect treat to a nice spring weekend.

I first made some chocolate suckers shaped like flowers. I used pink and milk chocolate candy melts and melted them in the microwave in 20 to 30 second intervals.

I used this sucker mold from Wilton to make my flowers. I first spooned a little chocolate into the center of each flower then used the end of a sucker stick to help me spread it around.

I added dots to some of my flower petals then set the tray in the freezer for a few minutes to set.

 Once set, I poured the contrasting color of chocolate into each mold and tapped it against the counter to even out the chocolate and get out any air bubbles. Then I set a sucker stick into each one.........

......and turned the stick to completely coat it. I then put them back into the freezer to set.

Next I made two flavors of pudding following the directions on the box.

I also made up some homemade whip cream.

After I had the whip cream made, I folded in a couple spoonfuls of the Devil's food pudding to make it chocolate also.

I placed a full package of Oreo sandwich cookies into a gallon zip top bag and crushed them up. I also had mini chocolate chips and gummy worms on hand.

Using my Pampered Chef Trifle Bowl I layered all of my ingredients like this starting with the bottom layer:

Half of the Oreo pudding
Gummy worms around edge of bowl
1/3 of the crushed Oreo cookies
Devil's  Food pudding
1/3 of the crushed Oreo cookies
Half of Oreo pudding
mini chocolate chips
Chocolate whipped cream
1/3 of the crushed Oreo cookies
Decorated top with gummy worms and chocolate flower suckers

And I was able to get the lid on top!

Whip Cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Place everything into a chilled metal bowl for easier whipping. Using a whip attachment, beat with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.