Dessert · Every Day Feasts · Recipes · Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Bars

At last month’s noon and evening General Membership meetings, I was standing in the back next to the most delectable looking and smelling plate of desserts. They were so tempting that when it came time for this blog post, I immediately knew what I was going to make – Peanut Butter Bars from Everyday Feasts! My husband is a sucker for anything with peanut butter and chocolate, so I knew they would be a well received treat! These are perfect served with a nice glass of cold milk. (In a Junior League cup of course!)


For the bars: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.


Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour and oats and mix well.


Spread evenly in a 10 x 15-inch buttered baking pan.


Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown and set in the center. Spread the peanut butter over the warm crust. Let stand until cool.


For the icing: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa and milk and mix well.


Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth. Spread over the cooled peanut butter layer.

Chill, covered, for several hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!





1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened                            1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar                                              2 eggs

2 tsps. vanilla extract                                                2 cups flour

1 cup rolled oats                                                           1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter

Chocolate Icing:

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter                                            6 tbsps. cocoa powder (I used dark!)

½ cup milk                                                                    1 lb. confectioners sugar



Holiday Raspberry Cookies

During the holiday season, I love to bake as gifts for family, friends and coworkers. Everybody loves to receive a tin of beautiful, jewel colored cookies and the Holiday Raspberry Cookies from the Savor the Seasons cookbook are the perfect cookie!

20161217_110926Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the margarine in a mixing bowl. Beat in the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until blended.


Sift the flour into the mixture and mix well. Roll or pat the dough on a floured work surface. Cut with a cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread preserves over half the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.




2 cups (4 sticks) margarine, softened

5 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Raspberry preserves

Confectioners’ sugar

Capture the Coast · Dessert · Uncategorized

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites

November starts off the holiday season in our home. We already have Christmas music blaring and I can’t wait to start shopping for gifts! To kick off the holiday season, I made Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites for our local Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. These delicious little nuggets are full of Christmas spirit and are small enough to not feel too guilty eating. The mix of semisweet mini chocolate chips with peppermint is the perfect blend to get you in the mood for the holidays!
The first step of baking these scrumptious treats is to make the graham cracker crust. I couldn’t find chocolate graham crackers so I added 2 tsp of cocoa powder to the original graham crackers, butter, and sugar mixture. After blending the ingredients, I pressed the crust into the mini muffin tins and baked the crust for 5 minutes just so it comes together.
Once the crust is nice and hard (don’t burn these!), then it’s time to add the cheesecake filling. I combined the crushed peppermint candies, softened cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg and sour cream in my mixer. I mixed it until it was well blended. Then I stirred in the mini chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Pay attention to how much extract you put in because you don’t want your treats tasting like toothpaste! Yuck!
After pouring the peppermint chocolate chip cheesecake batter into the already cooked graham cracker crust I baked them until they were crackly on top. In my oven, it took a little longer than 15 minutes, but I just kept checking to make sure they were still doing ok. When they were no longer jiggly, I pulled them out of the oven to cool on a wire rack. Once they were all cooled, I popped those little suckers out of the muffin tin and topped them with cool whip, chocolate sprinkles and crushed peppermint candies. They are super cute and perfect for a dessert buffet or holiday party!
8 chocolate graham cracker rectangles, crushed (1/3 package)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
6 peppermint candies
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup whipping topping
6 peppermint candies, crushed
2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and the butter in bowl. Press a heaping teaspoon of the crumb mixture in the bottom of each miniature muffin cup coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 5 minutes. Process 6 candies, the cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, the flour, egg and sour cream in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Pour in the prepared crusts. Bake for 15 minutes or until small cracks form on the tops. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Top each cheesecake with 1 teaspoon of the whipped topping. Sprinkle with the crushed candies and chocolate sprinkles.
Yield: 2 dozen

Bunco Jumble

Bunco Jumble

This is a delicious sweet and salty snack that you can be creative with to make your own. Feel free to add mini cookies, graham cracker bears, popcorn, candy corn or pecans. The possibilities are endless!

1 box mini Ritz peanut butter sandwich crackers 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
12 oz bag mini pretzel sticks or twists
1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz package mini or regular M&M’s chocolate candy

Combine the sandwich crackers, peanuts, and pretzels in a large roasting pan.

Heat the sugar, butter and for syrup in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the vanilla and baking soda.

Pour over the cracker mixture, stirring to coat well.
Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes.
Remove to waxed paper to let cool completely. Add the chocolate candies. Break up the mixture into small pieces as necessary.


White Chocolate Party Mix

White Chocolate Party Mix

This is a great dessert for a party favor. Change the coloring of your packaging and M&M’s to reflect the season you are celebrating.

1 pound white chocolate

3 cups rice Chex cereal

3 cups corn Chex cereal

3 cups Cheerios cereal

2 cups pretzel sticks

2 cups dry-roasted peanuts

1 (12-ounce) package “M&M’s” Chocolate Candies

Melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring frequently. Combine the cereals, pretzels, peanuts and chocolate candies in a large bowl. Pour the white chocolate over the mixture slowly and stir gently until evenly coated. Spread the mixture on waxed paper and let stand until cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.




Savor the Seasons · Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread
This recipe was a hit at a friends baby shower recently! It has just the right amount of sugar and pumpkin to leave you wanting another bite! I love the miniature loaves for sharing with family and friends! This versatile recipe can be served at breakfast or dessert.

What you’ll need:
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 10oz package peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, water, oil and eggs in a mixing bowl and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture gradually, beating constantly until blended. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Pour into three greased and floured 5 by 9 inch loaf pans or seven greased and floured miniature loaf pans. Bake 55 to 70 minutes for the standard loaf pans or 45 to 65 for the miniature loaf pans. You will know they are done when you can insert a tooth pick and the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.

Yield: 3 large loaves or 7 miniature loaves


Every Day Feasts · Uncategorized

Morning Granola

Morning Granola

Everyday Feasts

Pg. 69

Almonds, toasted oats, and sesame seeds combine to make a healthy and not-too-sweet cereal. For breakfast, it can be topped with yogurt and berries, or you might even find yourself sneaking into this all day long!

5 cups oats (not quick-cooking)

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the oats in a large baking pan for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let stand until cool. Combine the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, almonds and sesame seeds in a large bowl and mix well. Add the oil, corn syrup, and vanilla and stir until the dry ingredients are coated. Spoon into the baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned, stirring often. Let stand until cool, stirring occasionally. Serve with cold milk, soy milk, or yogurt and fruit. Store in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. You may add dried cherries, raisins or your choice of nuts if desired.

Make a double batch to save time!


Savor the Seasons · Uncategorized

Brownie Mint Squares

Tis the Season! These brownie mint squares are the perfect dessert to bring to any holiday party or cookie exchange.  The prep is a bit more than your average brownie mix but the result are SO WORTH IT. People will be talking about these treats for many Christmas’ to come! The mint layer on top is what really sets these above the rest. Of course following the cookbook recipe for this layer is the way to go, however for those events that you just don’t seem to have the time I do have a little shortcut in mind ☺

What you’ll need:

For the brownies:

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I recommend Bakers brand chocolate bars)

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

For the mint layer:

½ cup (1 stick) butter softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1.4 cup crème de menthe

¼ cup (1/2 stick butter)- Yes that’s 3. 5 sticks of butter total!

1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

3 tablespoons water

For the brownies; heat 1 cup butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter and chocolate are melted, stirring frequently.

Let stand until cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the chocolate mixture with the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.

For the mint layer:

Mix ½ cup butter, the confectioners’ sugar, crème de menth and half-and-half in a bowl. Spread over the brownie layer. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Heat ¼ cup butter, the chocolate chips, and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter and chocolate are melted, stirring frequently. Pour over the mint layer. Refrigerate until chilled. Cut into small squares to served! (I sprinkled peppermint flakes on top to add a little extra holiday cheer☺ )


If you’re short of time it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these tasty treats, skip the instructions for the mint layer and use andes mint chips instead, just pour on warm brownies immediately after taking them out of the oven. Spread melted chocolate evenly on the brownies. Refrigerate until a hard layer forms then cut and serve!



Savor the Seasons · Uncategorized

Best Ever Ginger Snaps

Best-Ever Ginger Snaps  (pg 116, Savor the Seasons).  The ingredients are fairly simple and include the following-

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Best-Ever Ginger Snaps, you preheat the oven to 350 degrees and combine all
Ingredients except the butter and molasses; the butter is ‘cut into’ the flour mixture and then molasses are added.  This forms a dough, which is then rolled into 3/4-1 inch balls and those are covered in sugar.  The dough balls are then baked for 12-15 minutes or until brown.  These are delicious and not too sweet; they’re perfect for holiday parties (can be used for Thanksgiving and Christmas) as well as fun cookie exchanges during the holidays!


Sassy Salsa….get ready to add some kick to your next party

Looking for a healthy appetizer to accompany your next BBQ or summertime party? Well, we’ve got you covered. The “Sassy Salsa” recipe from The Life of the Party is just what you’ve been missing! This recipe uses fresh ingredients along with cumin and lime juice to give it some kick. It’s easy to prepare and inexpensive to make.

Simply combine the beans, corn, cilantro, green onions, red onion, lime juice, oil and cumin in a large bowl and mix well. Add the salt and paper. Chill, covered, for up to 24 hours. Stir in the tomatoes, avocado and green chills immediately before serving. I used Rotel canned tomatoes that had chiles in them for some extra kick. You may also add hot sauce to taste if desired, though I thought the lime, cumin and chiles was a perfect blend of flavor alone. Serve with corn chips or crostini. I served mine with blue corn chips, which was delicious. How easy was that?!

The recipe makes about 6 cups but I added in extra corn and avocado to make even more. This recipe is very easy to double for any large gathering and easy to make ahead for those like me, battling a busy schedule.

2 (15 -ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (16 -ounce) can corn, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon cumin

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped avocado

1 (4-ounce) can green chiles (optional)

Hot sauce (optional)


Combined ingredients. Next step is to let it chill and then add tomatoes, chiles, and avocado
Combined ingredients. Next step is to let it chill and then add tomatoes, chiles, and avocado
Getting read to add the last ingredients. I let the mixture chill overnight before adding in the avocado, tomatoes, and chiles.
Finished product! Ready to be served with some chips or crostini.