Deliciously Easy Pecan Chocolate Toffee

This Pecan chocolate toffee is one that I had to put away for a few years, but was so happy to bring it back into my holiday backing.  I find it rather sweet, but others really love it!

Here is my Pecan Chocolate Toffee recipe:

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup of Sucanat (you can use brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon of Brown Rice Syrup (corn syrup is a substitute)
1 cup finely chopped pecans  (however almonds work well too!)
1/4 cup chopped pecans for topping
12 ounces chocolate chips or chocolate bars

Line a 15X10X1 inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and lightly spray it.

Heat butter, sucanat, brown rice syrup and 2 Tablespoons of water in saucepan. Heat over medium heat to melt butter. Increase heat to med-high and add a candy thermometer. Cook mixture about 12 minutes until golden brown and temp reaches 300 degrees. Do not stir, remove from heat, carefully add the 1 cup of chopped nuts.

Quickly pour toffee onto prepared pan and spread to edges.  Let stand in pan for 30 minutes on wire rack.

Melt half the chocolate chips in microwave or on your stove top. Be sure to not burn it. (Like I did this morning!) Or you will have to do it again.

Spread the chocolate over the toffee and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and flip, using another sheet of parchment paper.  Once it is flipped, melt the other half of the chocolate and spread it on the top, adding the 1/4 cup of chopped nuts.  Refrigerate another 20 minutes.  Using a good knife, cut into 2 inch pieces.

Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.

A perfect gift for neighbors or just for unexpected guest who stop by to visit during the holiday season!

BLT Panini


There is nothing so yummy as a hot BLT Panini made on whole wheat bread.  Not to mention that it takes hardly any time to make these for the whole family. Serve with a vegetable tray and dip and you have a great dinner… or even a lunch!

Here is how I make mine BLT Panini:

2 slices of whole wheat bread, buttered on one side
2 slices of cheese
3 pieces of bacon
2 slices of lettuce
1 slice of tomato

Layer it this way for the best results: buttered bread, slice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, lettuce, cheese, buttered bread. Be sure that the butter is facing out, so the bread will not stick to the panini maker.

Slice in half and serve warm!

 

Tuesday’s Deliciously Easy Recipe: Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is so delicious and very easy to make. This time of year, it is a favorite for our family.

Here is the recipe:

2 batches of air popcorn – approximately 10 cups of popped corn – set aside in large bowls

2 1/4 cups of sucanat (or brown sugar)
9 TBS butter
9 TBS Brown Rice Syrup (or corn syrup)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, add ONLY the sucanat, butter and brown rice syrup. Stir continually on medium heat, until it comes to a boil (several good bubbles). Boil for 5 minutes WITHOUT stirring.

REMOVE from heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Stir well, being aware that the mixture will grow when the baking soda is stirred in, so be sure to use a big enough pot.

Spray a spatula with Pam and pour a portion of the caramel onto the popcorn. BE CAREFUL, the caramel is extremely hot!  Stir it and mix it, coating as much of the popcorn as you can. BE CAREFUL!  Yes, I know I said it twice, but I have been burnt a few times, so I want to save you the pain!

Once it is all coated, pour it onto a GREASED pan.  Bake for 12 minutes at 300 degree.  Immediately put it in a container that has an airtight cover. As you pour it into the container, be sure to use the spatula to separate the popcorn, so it doesn't stick together.

Cool and serve!  Store leftovers in an airtight container. This taste good for days, so enjoy it and share it!

I have a HUGE batch going to New York with us and I know my family will think this is a ‘good thing'!

Joyfully,

Dollie

 

Deliciously Easy French Toast

I have been making french toast since before I was a teenager, so imagine my surprise when I learned what I had been missing in my recipe from an episode of the Dick VanDyke show. You heard me right! Our family was all snuggled together watching one of our favorite family shows and the next thing you know a painter that practically moved in with Rob and Laura began to make breakfast. You guessed it, he was making french toast. He shared his secret ingredient of ‘vanilla extract'!

Not long ago, I decided that I was going to change up my nearly 30 year old basic recipe and flavor it up some. I also decided to add a twist that my sister, Brenda taught me when I watched her cooking at a young age. Needless to say, my family loves it!

Here is what I do:

  • 7 eggs (to feed 6 people, some of which that can't seem to get enough french toast)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp sucanat (brown sugar works, too) with cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • dash of real salt

Mix this thoroughly and using an organic sour dough bread, I dip it in the mixture and then cook a few minutes on one side. Then I flip it over, and cook a few minutes on the other side. I serve it warm with maple syrup!

Joyfully,

Dollie

Crockpot Beef Stew

Crockpot Beef Stew

My family just loves beef stew, maybe not as our favorite but it is high on the list of autumn meals, that naturally move into winter meals as well. I though some of you would enjoy learning about my favorable and healthy crockpot beef stew that is easy to prepare and promised to be a hit it in your family.

Here is the recipe:

2# of stew meat
4-6 large potatoes, diced and peeled (you can keep the skins on for extra fiber!)
2-3 cups of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
1/2 cup of diced onion
1 box of beef or chicken broth
1 teaspoon of real salt
1/8 teaspoon of Pepper or to taste
2 tablespoons of onion soup mix
1 tablespoon of Simply Organic Grilled Seasoning Steak Marinade
Water to fill the liquid to the top

Crockpot Beef Stew

Place of of these ingredients in the crockpot, stir well before closing the lid. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-6 hours. This is freezable, so don't be afraid to make a large crockpot for a smaller family than ours.  I serve this with freshly baked whole wheat bread and it fills us perfectly!

Joyfully,

Dollie

How to Make Beans in Your Crockpot

How to Make Beans in Your Crockpot

Dry beans are so easy to cook, with a few tips (my earlier attempts proved horrible, but I have perfected the process) and can save you a lot of money, while you provide healthy nutritious beans to your family's diet.  These tips are easy and only take a few minutes to do each step!

I have several crockpots, so I do bulk amount of beans, but if you only have one, this works great you will just need to do it more often… if you eat beans like we do!

Step 1: Fill your crockpot half way with the dry bean of your choice.

Step 2: Fill your crockpot to the top, with water. Soak the beans for 6-8 hours. I do this overnight!

Rinsing Beans

Step 3: After the 6-8 hours, rinse the beans thoroughly. I drain them in a colander.

Step 4: Return the beans to the crockpot, adding water to the top.

Step 5: Cook on 8-10 hours on Low heat or 4-6 hours on high.

Step 6: Drain and returned to crockpot AFTER IT IS TURNED OFF to cool.

Beans in freezer bags

Step 7: Place beans in plastic bags that are labeled and freeze them.

To use the frozen beans, remove from freezer and place (still in freezer bags) in a bowl of cold water or place in the refrigerator a day before using.  This is an easy way to save some great money on your food budget!

Joyfully,

Dollie

Deliciously Easy Taco Soup

Deliciously Easy Taco Soup

This is my family's favorite soup and we eat a lot of soup, so you will want to take notice of this easy recipe!  I love it because it is FULL of nutrition and so EASY to make, especially when  you use your crockpot or quickly throw it together for a 30 minute meal.

Deliciously Easy Taco Soup

Here is the Deliciously Easy Taco Soup recipe:

2# chicken (I have used raw tenderloins in the crockpot or cooked shredded chicken on the stove)
2 cups of cooked black beans or 1 can
2 cups of frozen corn or 1 can
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce
1 box of chicken broth
1/2 cup of taco seasoning

Deliciously Easy Taco Soup

If doing in a crockpot, add liquid first and mix in the seasoning, then the solid foods. Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. To reiterate, I have only used raw chicken when using the crockpot.  Stir it together and cook.  Serve warm, with mexican cheese and sour cream! (my family loves it this way, but I do not like sour cream!) I serve chips on the side!  Try using Way Better Snacks for a healthy chip!

This is a great recipe to freeze!

 

Deliciously Easy Maple Granola

Deliciously Easy Maple Granola

I just purchased a large amount of organic rolled oats and I wanted to make a batch of some yummy granola but I just was having a hard time finding something that appeals to all of my family.  Some of us likes nuts, others don't. Some of us love coconut, others tolerate it. Some of us enjoy raisins while others avoid them. Concluding that with all of these differences, we can add what each individual one likes by providing a favorable and healthy basic granola, I forged ahead with creating my own recipe that I know our family will absolutely LOVE… and so will yours!

Deliciously Easy Maple GranolaHere is the recipes:

8 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of olive oil (any oil will do) or butter (our family likes butter best)
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup (corn syrup is an option)
2 tbs of maple flavoring (like the syrup isn't enough, right!)
a dash of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Deliciously Easy Maple Granola

In a large bowl, mix the oats with the seeds and set aside. In a saucepan, add the oil or butter, syrups, flavoring and cinnamon stirring on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Let boil for about 2-3 minutes. Pour the liquid onto of the mixed oats and seeds, thoroughly coating all of it before placing it on a large greased baking pan or two.

Back for 20 minutes, stirring at 10 minutes. Let completely cool and store in airtight container.

Joyfully,

Dollie

Deliciously Easy Granola Bars

Deliciously Easy Granola Bars

Here is a recipe that you will absolutely love and make again and again. It is easy, cheap, healthy and delicious!

1/4 c butter
1/4 c honey
2 tbsp brown rice syrup (or corn syrup)
1/3 c sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 c rolled oats
1 c Rice Krispies
1/2 teas vanilla
1/2 c choc. chips
(optional: substitue 1 cup of rolled oats for 1 cup of sliced almonds)

Mix oats, rice cereal and almonds in a bowl. Set aside. In small pot melt butter, honey, syrup and sucanat until boils. Reduce heat and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour into dry ingredients. Transfer to a lightly greased jelly roll pan, pressing mixture into the pan firmly.

Bake at 250 degrees for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle chips on top of hot pan and let sit for 10 minutes or longer. With a spoon, spread the softened chocolate across the top of the pan. You could top these bars with nuts, coconut or dried fruit, as well as add these to the dry ingredients.

Cool completely, cut and store in air tight container.  This is a freezable recipe!

Joyfully,

Dollie

Whole Wheat Waffles

To make my own version of wheat waffles, you need to have freshly milled flour (you may need to work with the recipe if you use store bought) made from Soft White Wheat Berries.  You can really use any kind but why I chose to use this flour is because it is lighter and makes perfect biscuits and such, so I have found that my family prefers it when I use this flour because of the lighter taste.

The Recipe:

3 cups of Soft White Wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of Real Salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of oil
4 eggs
2 cups of plain kefir, yogurt or 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of buttermilk powder
1 cup of chocolate chips, blueberries or any other items of your choice

Mix with a large spoon until well mixed together. Pour 3/4 cup of batter into a hot waffle griddle that has been sprayed.  Cook until the waffle is done, or golden brown. Serve warm. You can freeze these or keep them refrigerated for up to 3 days and warm up when serving.

Joyfully,

Dollie

Black Bean Salsa

Black Bean Salsa

Manoah ‘smiling' to Black Bean Salsa

Talk about one of those easy recipes!  Make at least one hour before serving and refrigerate.

1 can of drained corn
1 can of drained black beans
1 jar of your favorite salsa

Mix together, refrigerate and serve. It can be frozen, but it has lasted for several days and tasted great!

Joyfully,

Dollie