Almond Joy Brownies

Here I was minding my own business. Eating a relatively health snack while I surf. Only to come across this recipe! OH MY GOODNESS!

Cook AZ I Do

Almond Joy Brownies

If you like Mounds or Almond Joy candy bars, you are going to love this recipe!  It tastes like a mounds candy bar ran into a brownie, only better because the chocolate on top of the coconut layer is so thick and dark.  They are extremely rich so a 9×13 pan will go a long way.  I highly advise eating some, and then getting them out of the house immediately by sharing them with your friends and neighbors because they are very addicting. Plus your neighbors will love you for it.  Your friends will be friends for life, and your neighbors will never want to move away once you give them one of these brownies!:)

Even though this recipe has 3 layers, it is pretty simple to make. The top ganache layer is just melted cream and chocolate chips.  The heavenly middle layer is a mixture of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar.   And, for the bottom layer you can use…

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Every month we get a newsletter from our energy co-op.  It is around 7 pages with helpful hints on saving energy, what is going on in the community and charitable donations.  I will leaf through it and read an article that may catch my attention.  The very first thing I do is look on the back cover for the monthly recipe!  Recipes are sent in from other readers and printed on the last page.

The cheesecake is from the March 2014 issue.  There is no name listed as to who sent it in but I sure am glad they did!


  • 4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick (8 ounces) margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar, divided (3/4 cup and 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts, coarsely chopped, divided (1 cup and 1/2 cup)
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 1.2 tablespoons juice of fresh lime
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter


  1. To make the crust: In large bowl, place graham cracker crumbs, margarine, 3/4 cup of the sugar, eggs and 1 cup of the chopped peanuts.  Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.  Press mixture into a greased 9-inch pie pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  2. To make filling:  In large bowl, whip cream cheese and remaining sugar with an electric mixer for about 4 minutes or until fluffy.  Add vanilla, zest of lime and lime juice.  Beat at medium speed for about three minutes.  Fold in peanut butter.  Beat for three minutes or until light and fluffy.
  3. Spoon mixture into baked pie shell; use spatula to smooth filling.  Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  Freeze overnight.
  4. Thaw for one hour before slicing.  Sprinkle each slice with remaining chopped peanuts.

Ham ‘N Cheese Quiche

I don’t think you can go wrong with a quiche.  They are easy, good, freeze well and people seem to love them.  You add a nice salad and you have dinner.  Add some fruit and you have a good hearty breakfast.

Ham ‘N’ Cheese Quiche 

Yield: 2 quiches (6 servings each)

2 pastry shells (9 inch)
2 cups diced fully cooked ham
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
4 eggs
2 cups half and half cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. Line unpricked pastry shells with a double thickness of heavy duty foil.  Bake at 400 for 5 minutes.  Remove foil, bake 5 minutes longer.
  2. Divide ham, cheese and onion between the shells.  In a bowl, whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper.  Pour into shells.  Cover and freeze for up to 3 months.  Or cover edges with foil and bake at 400 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
To Use Frozen Quiche:  Completely thaw in the refrigerator.  Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking as directed.

Notes:  Super easy and quick!  I have wanted to use shredded swiss and see how it tasted but have not done it yet. 

Creamy Chicken Casserole

This is an easy recipe.  I got it from Taste of Home, Fall Freezer Meals, October 27, 2010.  I love how it makes two so I can freeze one.  It helps a lot on those busy nights where you just don’t want to cook.  Yet for some reason the people in your home want to eat!  😉
Creamy Chicken Casserole  Yield: 2 Casseroles (5 servings each)
4 cups uncooked egg noodles
4 cups of cubed cooked chicken
1 package (16 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
2 cups milk
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Drain noodles; add to chicken mixture.
  2. Transfer to two greased 8 inch square baking dishes.  Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months.  Cover and bake remaining casserole at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through.
To Use Frozen Casserole:  Thaw in refrigerator overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Cover and microwave on high for 10-12 minutes or until heated through, stirring twice.
Notes:  Make sure you use a microwave safe pan!!  I used the disposable pans before reading the reheating directions.  Not a big deal I just threw it in the oven and baked it.  Instead of the frozen peas and carrots I have used frozen mixed vegetables.  Good either way.

Italian Quiche

Italian Quiche 
Yield: 2 quiches (6 servings each)
2 unbaked pastry shells (9 inch)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
4 cups (16 ounces) finely shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Line unpricked pastry shells with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil.  Bake at 400 for 4 minutes. remove foil; bake 4 minutes longer.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Spoon sausage into pastry shells, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Top with onion and peppers.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and garlic.  Pour over peppers, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Cover and freeze one quiche for up to 3 months.  Cover edges of remaining quiche loosely with foil; place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
To Use Frozen Quiche:  Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw).  Cover edges of crust loosely with foil; place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
NOTES:  I have used hot sausage and it is really good!  Use deep dish pie crusts.  It is hard to get all the ingredients in the pie crust but they will fit!  I have baked both and taken one out just as it starts to set up, let it cool and then put it in the freezer.  We get at least 8 servings out of one quiche.
Recipe from Taste of Home, Fall Freezer Meals, October 27, 2010

Shrimp and Grits



Last week for dinner I made  Shrimp and Grits.  I have made shrimp and I have made grits.  Just never together!  The recipe is from Home Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine.  It is the March 18, 2013 issue and the recipe can be found on page 53.  Here is the recipe.

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Cheesy Grits (recipe follows)


  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and drain on paper towels, leaving as much drippings in pan as possible.
  2. Cook shallots and garlic in hot drippings over medium heat, stirring occasionally for a 4 minutes or until shallots are tender.
  3. Sprinkle shrimp with Creole seasoning.  Increase heat to medium-high, and add shrimp to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or just until shrimp are pink.  Remove shrimp from pan.
  4. Add wine, and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and parsley until well combined, and cook for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens.  Add shrimp, and cook for 1 minute or until shrimp are heated through.  Serve over Cheesy Grits.  Sprinkle with bacon and parsley.


Cheesy Grits



  • 2 (32 ounce) containers chicken broth
  • 2 cups quick cooking grits
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  1. In a medium saucepan bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat.  Slowly whisk in grits.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 12 to 15 minutes or until mixture is thick.  Stir in cream and cheese.  Keep warm.

Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts & Red Onion

I can not take credit for this recipe.   I found it in the Sam’s Club Magazine that was sent to me as the holidays were starting.  I will place a link for the recipe at the bottom of the page.

I made this at Christmas when my in laws were visiting.  My husband and son do not like Brussels Sprouts.  So I needed a different audience in order to make this dish.  It was a hit!

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup chopped asparagus (about one inch each)

2 cups brussels sprouts (halved)

6-8 strips of pre-cooked bacon, chopped into pieces


On medium heat, melt butter. Add diced onions and saute until translucent.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat, stirring often,  until onions, asparagus and sprouts are slightly browned.  You will need to turn the sprouts to ensure they do not overcook on one side.

Yields approximately 2-3 servings

My Notes:

  • I do not cut or chop my asparagus.  I snap my asparagus.  Here is a link on how to trim your asparagus.
  • I did not follow the recipe to the letter regarding amounts of food.  I bought fresh brussels sprouts and asparagus and just eyed how much was enough.  It is an easy enough recipe you can do this if you are experienced.

Here is the link to Sam’s Club Meals.

Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving Prep

Today I plan on doing some cooking.   There will just be the three of us tomorrow.  Just the way we like it.  Because at Christmas there will be an entire houseful with no room at the Inn and an overlap of families coming to visit!  So Thanksgiving gives us a holiday we can just be together.  Our son works retail so he needs the down time before his schedule explodes.  It explodes at 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night which does not make this Mother happy.  It is bad enough for people to have to go in at 2 or 3 in the morning to open early on Black Friday.  The fact they are crowding in on Thanksgiving is wrong!

With it just being the three of us I am not going over board with the food.  We got a turkey breast from our local butcher.  It is right around 6 pounds.  Enough for dinner with left overs.  My son will do the turkey and I will do the sides.  I think today I will go ahead and make the dressing.  Get the pearl onions ready for the peas.  Maybe mix up some apple salad.

I will try and remember pictures as we cook.  I am curious as to how the raspberry sauce will turn out.  Since my son is doing the turkey it is his decision as to how it gets seasoned.  He is one of the pickiest eaters I know.  However as an adult he has started playing around with spices and loves them!


Thanksgiving Menu

Turkey breast with a chipolata seasoning and a raspberry sauce


Mashed Potatoes

Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions

Glazed Butternut Squash and/or Carrots

Apple Salad (not a holiday for me without Apple Salad)

Dinner Rolls