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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Pulled Pork Enchiladas with Creamy Cheese Sauce

    We LOVE pulled pork around here.  I usually make it by braising it inside, but my dad and brother both have smokers and love to smoke whole pork butts.   Either way it is delicious and when you are cooking a whole pork butt at a time there is plenty of leftovers.  I love using leftovers.  It is one of my talents.  Matt always laments the fact that not many of our "leftover" dinners make the blog, because they are some of his favorites.  When he asks what is for dinner and my answer is "I'm working on it" or "something I made up" he gets excited.  Of course he likes what I make for the blog too, but it is always fun to get creative and go a little crazy.  It is just hard to recreate when I am using up bits of things from the fridge and pantry.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Blueberry Muffin Baked Oatmeal


     This baked oatmeal is definitely more decadent and sweet than my other baked oatmeal recipes.  Sometimes you just have indulge a bit!  (Good thing that almost never happens around here right?!)  Either way, I put a whole pint of blueberries and some oatmeal in here to make you feel better about it.  It has my favorite baked oatmeal texture inside with a delicious streusel topping and a quick glaze to remind you of your favorite blueberry muffins.  I think you are going to love it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Raspberry Cocoa Pavlova


     After making a couple of batches of Minions Baked Custards, I found myself with extra cream and egg whites on hand.  Now, I am not one to waste such tasty ingredients, especially if they lend themselves so well to a delicious dessert.  My immediate thought was pavlova!  I have to make a pavlova!

    I mean, that was your first thought too, right?!

    It should have been, this was delicious!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hot Chocolate Mix Ice Cream - A Guest Post by MiMi


     We host Pops' receptionists and their husbands each year for a Christmas celebration.  They take such good care of things at the office and we appreciate them so much.  I like to come up with an extra special meal for their Christmas party.  This year, I decided to make one of my favorite meals, turkey casserole.  When you have such a good dinner it seems like you should serve a special dessert to go with it.  None of them are big sweet eaters and I knew that they would be full from dinner so I decided on ice cream and cookies.  When deciding on flavors for dessert I was still quite excited about the hot chocolate mix and white hot chocolate mix that we made for hot chocolate week. I chose to make this hot chocolate mix ice cream and white hot chocolate mix cookies.  You can only imagine how thrilled I was when the one husband who never takes dessert saw what I was serving and wanted some.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Top 15 Posts of 2015


    It is always fun to see which posts get traction.  Some of them really surprise me and there are a few recipes that really are winners and for whatever reason nobody clicks on them.  Part of it is due to timing, some has to do with my lack of photography skills and I think some of it is just dumb luck.  Either way, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of the most clicked posts of 2015!

Drum roll please....

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cocoa Whipped Cream


     After MiMi made maple whipped cream, it got my wheels turning.  Fresh whipped cream is so good on its own, but just imagine the different things you can do with it to make it customized to your dessert!  This cocoa version has a nice subtle chocolate flavor.  It is super fluffy and not too sweet.  It is a perfect garnish for you favorite chocolate dessert, berries, hot cocoa or just about anything!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Slow Cooker White Chocolate Peanut Butter Nests



     MiMi has been busy candy making for Christmas.  If you didn't see slow cooker peanut clusters and read the poem she wrote, you really need to check it out! She also made these beauties.  If you can't tell by now, we are all big fans of chocolate, peanuts and peanut butter!  I haven't had a chance to try these yet, but I can't wait to head to her house this afternoon and have one.  I hope you all get to have some special time with your family and friends these next few days.  Have a very merry Christmas!

Slow Cooker Peanut Clusters and A Christmas Poem by MiMi



'Twas the week before Christmas, when in MiMi's house
She had a dusting of flour all over her blouse.
The sweets in her sunroom just weren't quite there,
There are traditions to keep to show my family I care.
With cookies and candies my loved ones want fed,
"I must get these baked," to her husband she said.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Great Turducken Feast of 2015 #CookingWithKC #WordlessWendesday

I don't know why I felt the need to add the year to the title.  This is our only Great Turducken Feast to date, but you never know when we might have another so I wanted to differentiate! :-)

Classic Oven-Baked Chex Mix


     Chex mix is anther one of my family's Christmas staples.  My grandma used to make huge tubs of it for when we were all around.  My mom makes it every year too.  My brother Clint can eat his weight in it.  My brother K.C. says chex mix is his favorite Christmas cookie! ;-)  I remember getting out the chex mix pan and making it every year.  You bake it, stirring every so often until it is just right.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Buckeyes


     By now you know that my family runs the chocolate and peanut butter fan club.  Ok, maybe not officially, but we might as well!  We love this combo in sheet cake form, ice cream, cookies, pie, puppy chow, crazy delicious layered desserts, and even as playdough and acorns! But buckeyes are one of our favorites.  We only make them at Christmas time, so it gives us something to look forward to.  MiMi has made them in bar form before too, which is quicker and just as delicious.  However I think the real thing is more fun.   After all, they look just like buckeyes!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Peanut Butter Roll-Out Cookies


     When the idea for a cousins' cookie day turned into cookie weekend, I knew I had better take advantage.  With MiMi and Emily on board, the possibilities were endless.  When they left Saturday night, we made plans for them to come back and help me decorate the gingerbread cookies we had made that afternoon.  Little did they know that Sunday morning I would wake up and bake a small batch of sugar cookies and these peanut butter beauties as well.  You know how the old saying goes, if you have help coming to decorate, make more cookies!"

    Oh, that's not a thing?

     It should be!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

MiMi's Microwave Peanut Brittle


     This is always one of our favorite Christmas candies.  MiMi says this recipe was in the book that came with their very first microwave back in the '80s and it has been a staple ever since.  She never likes doing anything that requires a candy thermometer, so this is the perfect kind of candy recipe for her.  It seems like this one is really a favorite treat of my brother Clint and Paw-Paw.  We all love it, but those two go crazy for it!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bacon Fig Tartlettes



     This takes sweet and savory to a whole new level.  It is a perfect two bite appetizer that is easy to grab off of a buffet line and will delight your guests with a flavor they have never had before.  The sweet figs, tangy goat cheese and salty bacon make for a great balance of flavors.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Minions Baked Custard

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MinionsMoveNight  #CollectiveBias


     The little guy in our house is OBSESSED with minions.  I mean really obsessed.  It all started with a YouTube video of them singing the banana song.  It was the first thing that was on the television that caught his attention.  He is the only grandchild on my side of the family and I am one of six kids. So he is the center of attention when we all get together and he normally gets what he wants.  So there was a stretch of time where we saw that video a lot.  He didn't know what they were called, just that they kept saying "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-na-na."  So he started calling them ba-bas. We all followed suit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fall Quinoa Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Kale


     I actually made this for Thanksgiving, but I haven't had time to post it until now!  I was so excited about hot chocolate week that I just couldn't wait.  But now I would like to share this with you.  I feel like every once in a while I need to post something healthy so you guys don't think I ONLY eat sugar.  I could see how you might think that is the case, but we do eat a veggie every now and then,  I promise!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Cocoa Cake



     There is nothing quite like the combination of fudge and peppermint.  For some reason it is especially good this time of year.  Whether it is peppermint ice cream with hot fudge or hot cocoa stirred with a candy cane, it is a classic flavor that always put a smile on my face.  I have been experimenting with making cakes from scratch lately and have been having a lot of fun doing it.  So, I thought I would make a cake using this combination.


     There is plenty of white chocolate buttercream sandwiched between two layers of fudgy chocolate cake and topped with crushed candy canes.  You are going to love this cake!  My friend Alli from Tornadough Alli is on vacation this week, so I am sharing the recipe over there.  I hope you hop on over and check it out!



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Maple Vinaigrette


      A special occasion salad requires a special occasion dressing.  I wanted to make something fresh, fun and full of fall flavor for a Thanksgiving celebration.  I knew my salad was going to have apples, cranberries, fall spiced walnuts and quinoa so I wanted a dressing that would take that fall flavor mix just a bit further.  Of course maple syrup and apple cider vinegar came to mind and a dressing was born!   Just wait until you see the salad it went on.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fall Spiced Walnuts


     I love spiced nuts.  There is something about the slightly sweet, slightly spicy crunchy nuts that make the irresistible.  I was making the gingerbread skillet roll and thought it would be fun to use a similar mix of flavors on some walnuts for a fall salad.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies

 

    I just love sugar cookies.  I like to make them. I have been having fun decorating them.  I love to eat them too!  I wanted something a little bit warmer this time.  Something with a little more depth of flavor.  So I replaced half the sugar in my go-to sugar cookies with brown sugar and added just a bit of cinnamon.  The results were exactly what I was going for.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fudge Dipped Crescent Cookies - A Holiday Tradition

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #SendHallmark #CollectiveBias


     For me, the holidays are all about tradition.  Don't get me wrong, it is fun to change things up a bit and try new things. There are just some things you HAVE to have in order to make it Christmas.  For me, two of those things are Hallmark and Christmas cookies.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gingerbread Skillet Roll with Egg Nog Glaze


     Now that it is Christmas time, I just knew that I needed to make a new skillet roll.  Adults and kids alike love the idea of a GIANT  cinnamon roll.  But Christmas morning has to be extra special.  So, I took the signature flavors of the season and married them into on of my favorite treats.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hot Chocolate Gift Basket #HolidayFun


      Wasn't hot chocolate week the best?  I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Though Jax might have enjoyed it more than anyone!  He is starting to think hot chocolate and marshmallows are just part of everyday life.  Poor kid, this blog is going to have him so confused!  He thinks we should take pictures of all of our food and he thinks having snowman and reindeer marshmallows is just normal.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hot Chocolate Fudge - A Guest Post By MiMi


     I have really enjoyed hot chocolate week on Cooking With Carlee.  Since I have tried to create a different fudge recipe for each special occasion this year, I decided to create a Hot Chocolate Fudge to celebrate the end of this week.  To make it even more of a challenge for myself I decided to incorporate the two hot chocolate mix recipes that we created.  When I was in my cabinet looking for the white chocolate chips I came across some Andes peppermint crunch baking chips and decided to include them for a Christmasy twist.  They add a light peppermint flavor as if you stirred your cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Rudolph Marshmallows


     I don't know about you, I have really been enjoying hot chocolate week!  These cute little Rudolph marshmallows are a perfectly giftable treat to go along with all of the hot chocolate.  They are perfectly snackable too if you just can't give them away!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Jumbo Marshmallow Snowmen, Perfect for Your Hot Chocolate!


     I think hot chocolate is one of those special drinks.  All that smooth, sweet and creamy warmth in a mug just feels like a smile.  So why not go ahead and give it a smile?!  I just love dressing it up and making it feel just that little bit more special.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Homemade Honey Cinnamon Marshmallows


     MiMi and I have been talking about making homemade marshmallow for quite some time now.  We keep getting excited about the idea of them, but never follow through. When MiMi sees mention of a candy thermometer and passes a recipe up.  I have just been busy making other sweets for this event or that blog group, so I never have the time and need for sweets at the same time!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Turning Your White Hot Chocolate Into a Snowman Gift Jar


    After making a few batches of white hot chocolate, it only seems right to share the love. Certainly a plain jar of hot chocolate goodness would be gift enough.  But why not make it a little extra festive?  A snowman just makes it that much more fun!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Homemade White Hot Chocolate Mix


     I hope you guys are enjoying hot chocolate week as much as I am.  Drinking a nice warm mug of hot chocolate is one of my favorite ways to hide from old man winter.  He and I don't get along. We were kind of friends when I was a kid, but we are no longer chums.  In fact, I would prefer that we weren't even acquaintances.  But alas, I live in the Midwest and as long as that is the case I will have to deal with him.  Oh well, at least that means hot chocolate.

Monday, November 30, 2015

How to Turn a Jar of Hot Chocolate into Rudolph


     Now that we have made enough Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix to give to everyone, it is time to make it feel like more of a gift.  What better way than to turn the jar into Rudolph?  This is so easy and super cute.  With a couple of pipe cleaners and a couple of eye balls your jar goes from blah to fab in just a coupe of minutes. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Look Whooooo's Having a Baby! Ro's Baby Shower


     Look who's having a baby!  It's our friend Ro!  She and her husband, Chris, are in our close group of friends.  As soon as I heard she was pregnant, I knew I wanted to help throw her shower.  Luckily Sarah and Amanda were happy to help.  We are so excited for them and had a great time planning her shower.  

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

This hot chocolate mix is easy to make and is so creamy and delicious.  You can put it in jars to give as gifts or just keep in on hand for yourself!

     From hence forth this week shall be known as hot chocolate week!  Hip hip hooray!  As I run around the house decorating for Christmas, there are two things that MUST be present.


  1. Christmas music
  2. Hot chocolate

Friday, November 27, 2015

Brownie Batter Frosting - A Guest Post by MiMi



     I had some bananas that were getting a bit soft.  My first thought was banana bread but then I decided I needed a dessert.  Carlee has made Di's Banana Cake several times so it must be a hit.  I decided to make that and change it a little by trying a new frosting.  I had just created a Brownie Batter Ice Cream recipe so I had some brownie mix left.  What a great way to top banana cake.  I like a thick fudgy frosting so that is what I made.  It is thick, rich and yummy.

-MiMi

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Marshmallow Sweet Potato Bake - A Guest Post by MiMi



     My mom made sweet potatoes like this every year.  It's just not Thanksgiving without them.  I've made them other ways too, but always have to make these in addition to them if I do.  Some things are non-negotiable at Thanksgiving. Stove Top stuffing has to be served for my boys.  Kristie must have green bean casserole, Carlee is all about mashed potatoes and gravy and Chloe must have these sweet potatoes.  It's egg noddles for me.  I called my mom to make sure I got this just right.  I know when I asked for the recipe that she would say to get out THE cookbook and look.  She didn't have to tell me she meant the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  Before we were finished with the next sentence I had it out and the recipe was there.  We make a few changes to that recipe and it suits us perfectly.  I hope you enjoy it too.

-MiMi

The Most Delicious Acorns You've Ever Tasted

These are the tastiest acorns you have ever had.  Peanut butter oreos and cream cheese made into the cutest little acorn treats.

       I'll start this with the disclosure that I have never eaten any other acorns.  That being said, I am still pretty sure these are THE MOST DELICIOUS ACORNS!  They have to be.  There is no way they aren't.  I mean really, think about the ingredients:
  1. Peanut butter Oreos, I mean really.  They took the most iconic chocolate cookie and put peanut butter in the filling.  It HAS to be good.
  2. Cream cheese just makes everything better.
  3. Chocolate.  'Nuf said!
  4. A little bit of pretzel cause chocolate and pretzels are meant to go together.
  5. Sprinkles because they make everything special.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Fudge - A Guest Post by MiMi

With just 4 ingredients and a couple of minutes you can have this perfectly fall fudge.  Great for Thanksgiving, fall movie night or just because!
      Today is Tuesday and Thanksgiving is Thursday and I told Carlee that I would create another easy fudge recipe for the holiday.  I also happen to be the dessert committee for our large family gathering.  Oreo Acorn Balls done.  2 -3/4 Old Fashioned Honey Maple Pecan Pies in the refrigerator along with a Pumpkin Slab Pie.  Flourless chocolate cake and Reese's peanut butter cookies ready to go too.  I just have a few finishing touches left to do and the dessert part of my contribution will be done.  And just now I remember my promise to Carlee.

No problem.

I got this.

Orange Cranberry Sauce


     I just love the color of fresh cranberry sauce!  It always has such a vibrant magenta jewel tone.  Plus I love the magic of taking tart berries and making them into something so special.  It is fun to watch them pop and have the whole thing thicken up right in front of your eyes.  I also love the combination of cranberry and orange.  They were just meant to go together! The cinnamon stick adds just a little flavor and makes it smell wonderful while it is cooking.  This whole combination definitely screams holiday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Classic Yellow Half Birthday Cake



    Somebody super cute and very special had a half birthday recently!  MiMi always made us half birthday cakes when we were kids, so I wanted to carry on the tradition.  Any excuse for cake, am I right?!  I did think in moderation though and really only made a half of a cake, rather than making a "half" cake that was really just twice as tall.  Though the thought did cross my  mind!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mascarpone Frosting


     I know, I know, I've said it before... but frosting is my jam!  I love making frosting, using frosting, eating frosting!  So when a special little dude had a half birthday recently, I jumped at the chance to try a new frosting.  I had some mascarpone left over from the Charlotte Russe, so I was excited to give it a try as a frosting.  My first thought was to use it in place of cream cheese in a classic cream cheese frosting.  I decided to consult the internet first to see what those who have gone before me had tried.  It seemed as though everyone like mascarpone frosting with some ratio of mascarpone, heavy cream and powdered sugar.  I am not one to go against everyone, I figure if that many people say it is the way to go there must be something to it.  So, I picked amounts that made sense to me (mostly based on the measurements of the ingredients I had on hand) and it turned out beautifully!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pumpkin Gingerbread #TheCakeSliceBakers


     It's time for another round of #TheCakeSlice Bakers!  We started a new book.  I had a lot of fun finishing out The Southern Living Cake Book with the group.  Those cakes were a lot of fun, but I think this next book is going to be interesting.  It looks like it might push me to try a lot of new things.  So I am happy to see where it takes us and I hope you enjoy the ride!  So without further ado, I introduce you to our next book; Maida Heatter's Cakes.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Brownie Peanut Butter Pudding Delight - a Guest Post by MiMi




   Planning the menu for Carlee and Matt's birthday celebration was easy.  Carlee is great at letting me know what they would like for the dinner.  This year it was a taco bar, one of Matt's favorites.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Maple Banana Baked Oatmeal



     If you have spent much time here at Cooking With Carlee, you know that I love to cook with my little guy.  One of our favorite things to make is baked oatmeal.  He begs to make it sometimes, and who am I to say no to such a wholesome treat?  He gets so excited to create something tasty with me.  He has egg cracking, ingredient dumping and stirring down to a science.  He even gathers up some of the materials he knows we will need to make it.  First he carries his table and chairs into the kitchen, then he gets out the whisk and his pick of bowls.  Then we are ready to go to work! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Orange Cranberry Charlotte Russe


     You guys, isn't this dessert pretty?!  I think it is the perfect new treat for your holiday dessert table.  The cranberry sauce on top makes me think Thanksgiving, but isn't the color perfect for Christmas?  You should definitely plan to make it for both!

Want to know the best part(s)?  Don't worry I'll tell you!  Here are a few:

  1. It is no bake, so you don't need to jockey for oven space!
  2. It is sweet enough to be dessert, but it isn't sickeningly sweet.
  3. You can make it a day or two in advance.
  4. It has three kinds of fruit in it, and wholesome dairy.  So, it is practically a health food!
Are you convinced you should make it yet?  You definitely should be!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Matt's Favorite Roasted Potatoes


     We have tried roasted potatoes many different ways over the years, but we always come back to these.   The first time we had them was at MiMi's house probably about 7 years ago.  Ever since, they have been one of Matt's favorite potato dishes.  This is one of the few potato dishes he is willing to eat without drowning the potatoes in sour cream, cheese and bacon!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup


       Happy soup season to one and to all!  I love soup season.  I would celebrate almost daily during the fall and winter if I didn't share my dinner table with a soup scrooge.  The struggle is real, y'all!

       Luckily I can win him over with things like chili and ham and beans.  Hearty soups that eat like a meal are acceptable as long as I don't go crazy and try to make them too often!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blue Skillet Cornbread


     I just love soups during the fall and winter.  There are so many options and they warm you to the core.  I could eat just soup for dinner and be fine, but Matt needs a little something more to make it feel like a meal.  That is why I whipped up some skillet cornbread to go with our ham and bean soup. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Quick and Easy Duchess Sweet Potatoes


      Do you guys like sweet potatoes?  Matt could definitely go without.  He usually humors me if I make them, but skips them at Thanksgiving.  I, on the other hand, love them.  I love sweet potato fries, roasted sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole.  You name it, I probably like it!  I wanted to try something a little bit different, thinking maybe I would find the perfect thing to bring Matt over to my side.  So, I thought it would be fun to make a duchess potato version of sweet potatoes!  You get some slightly crunchy bits on the edges and soft, pillowy sweet potato on the inside.  What's not to love?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Warm Cinnamon Spiced Apples in the Slow Cooker


     This may be my new favorite side dish!  Of course it would be, it is a sweet side after-all!  But really, these apples are so easy and sooooooo good.  They come out soft and sweet with a little bit of cinnamon spice.  Jax and I could eat a whole batch, I am quite sure of it!  We did share a few with Matt, begrudgingly.  These sweet apples were perfect alongside a nice salty slice of ham.  What a fun fall meal!