Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grilled Bananas with Milk Chocolate

It doesn't get much simpler. Take you favorite milk chocolate candy bar, we went with a bar with nuts, and slit a banana down the middle. Stuff banana with chocolate. Let grill for just a few minutes. Whipped cream would take this to the next level, but even without it is absolutely delicious.

Grilled Bananas with Milk Chocolate
Serves 6

6 large bananas (don't use overly ripe bananas)
1 large bar milk chocolate, with or with out nuts

1. Slit bananas down the middle, leaving peel on. Stuff with pieces of chocolate.

2. Grill for a few minutes. When chocolate starts to melt, they are done! Serve with whipped cream.

Source: Adapted and inspired from Steamy Kitchen

{Linking up at these blog parties. Be sure to check them out!}

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Toasted Almond Cocktail

Toasted Almond Cocktail
Makes 1 serving


1 part Amaretto
1 part Coffee liqueur
2 parts Cream

Traditionally bartenders just add the ingredients one after the other over ice. I prefer to add all three ingredients to a shaker, shake very well and then pour over ice.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bread Nugat

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Just a quickie recipe that is super delicious and easy to throw together on a weekend morning. Enjoy! Ready for the recipe?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bacon-Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves

Is this a Southern thing? A retro thing? I don't even know, but I think it would be good.

Bacon-Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves
12-16 servings

12 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
2 c. mayo
2 tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 c. toasted slivered almonds
Strawberry preserves

1. In bowl, combine all ingredients except strawberry preserves. Mix well. Press mixture into a 7-cup ring mold that has been lined with plastic wrap extending over the edges. Refrigerate overnight. Unmold and place cheese ring on a serving platter. Place glass custard bowl filled with strawberry preserves in center. Spread cheese mixture on wheat thins and top with strawberry preserves.

Source: Not 100% sure but I believe it is from an Ann Lund cookbook

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bocci Ball Cocktail

Bocci Ball Cocktail
Makes 1 servings

1 1/2 oz. Amaretto
6 oz. OJ
club soda (if desired)

1. Fill a highball glass with ice. Add amaretto and OJ. Stir. Splash club soda on top (optional).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Carrot Pineapple Cake




It was delicious, let me tell ya. We omitted the pine nuts and almonds, which I would have liked actually, but my mom was not having any of that nut action, so we skipped them. Very moist, very delicious.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

Upside Down Pineapple Pound Cake
Makes about 8 servings

Pound Cake Mix (or you could find a recipe for sour cream pound cake and make it from scratch)
*Plus any eggs, oil, etc needed to prepare the pound cake mix
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 stick melted butter (Use a whole stick if you want it extra yummy)
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar (eyeball it)
1 can pineapple rings, or fresh
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

1. Prepare the pound cake mix according to box instructions. Add sour cream and stir until incorporated.

2. Preheat oven to box pound cake instructions. Add butter and brown sugar to baking pan. Pop into oven for a minute to melt. Remove from oven and stir to combine.

3. Add pineapple rings to bottom of pan. Add pound cake batter on top.

4. Bake according to recipe instructions on the pound cake box. Serve with whipped cream.

Recipe from my mom!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

North Woods Inn Red Cabbage Salad

Photos by a_sorense & Burger Baroness
North Woods Inn Red Cabbage Salad
4 servings

½ head red cabbage
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp onion powder

1. Shred half of the cabbage finely and the other half coarsely. Place in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together vegetable oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, seasoned salt, black pepper, and onion powder.

3. Toss the dressing with the cabbage.

4. Scrape the salad with the dressing into a zip-top bag or covered container and refrigerate at least 48 hours or until cabbage turns deep red, softens a bit, and flavors meld. It’s even better after 4 or 5 days.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

North Woods Inn Buttermilk Blue Cheese Salad

Photos by a_sorense & Burger Baroness

North Woods Inn Buttermilk Blue Cheese Salad
Serves 4

For the Dressing:
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese

shredded iceberg lettuce, 1 head

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Chill at least 3-4 hours to let flavors meld.

2. Add dressing to shredded iceberg lettuce and serve.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kiddo Update - Spring 2011

Every so often I like to do an update of what my kids are up to. The time has finally come! While Jam Hands is primarily about food, I do have some readers from way back (all the way back to 2005) who have seen my kids since they were born.

Mr. Jack  - Almost age 2
Likes: Italian Food, especially pasta bakes with meat and cheese. Bolt and Finding Nemo. His favorite person is Dad. He likes running, climbing, bouncing, and is always on the go. It is exhausting to keep him out of trouble.

Dislikes: Wearing his glasses. Being told no. Holding still for any length of time at all. Not into fruit at all.

Favorite thing to do which he is not supposed to: Pushing buttons on the TV, computer. I can tell him 20 times to stop doing it, but he keeps on doing it. Running on the couch, which I have told him a million times is for sitting on only, not standing, not running, etc. He gives me a heart attack every time he accidentally launches himself off of it.

Miss Violet - Age 3
Likes:  Fruit and Carbs. This girl is a carb-o-holic! Not so much a fan of protein, it is a constant battle to get her to eat anything besides fruit, yogurt or carbs. Currently very interested in animals, robots (Futurama is a favorite, and she calls them Yo-bots), the alphabet, and vocabulary. Her favorite person is Mom.

Dislikes:  Bedtime. Being told no. Getting anything "gross" on her hands.

Favorite thing to do which she is not supposed to:  Teasing her brother with a toy he can't reach. Refusing to eat food. She does this all the time.

Quick Note:

Last week I featured a back log of recipes I've made but never posted as I didn't have pictures of them. I finally said enough is enough. So although they don't have pictures (darn it!), I'm posting them anyways because it would be a shame to not share them. Most of them are coming from my baby shower from my little girl. I cooked for about 20-30 people and made everything myself. It was very hot, very time intensive, and it was so much fun. Some day I'll put together a post with links of the menu I served for those looking for party food ideas.

North Woods Inn Garlic Cheese Bread




This is one of my very special, very secret recipes. When I was young my parents would take me to the North Woods Inn restaurant in California. With your meal you get a basket of garlic cheese bread, and a big family size bowl blue cheese salad and red cabbage salad. The cheese spread can also be added to a baked potato and put under the broiler.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cherry Cream Cheese Tarts


I made these Cherry Cream Cheese Tarts for my baby shower when I was pregnant with my little girl, Violet. They were a last minute addition that are very quick to make and taste great.


On a side note, I must have been totally crazy for that baby shower. I cooked all the food myself, while I was about 7 or 8 months pregnant, and it was 100 degrees in the summer. It was exhausting, but it was a lot of fun to make all that yummy food. You don't get a lot of opportunities to cook for that many people, so I enjoyed it.


The vanilla wafers are simply placed in the bottom of a muffin liner and ta-da, you have your crust. Feel free to play around with the flavor of the pie fillings to suit your tastes. I love cherry but blueberry would also be great.


Cherry Cream Cheese Tarts
12 servings

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
12 vanilla wafers
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling or other pie filling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of muffin pan. Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, 1at a time, beating well after each addition. Lay a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each muffin cup. Spoon cream cheese mixture over wafers. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow tarts to cool completely. Serve with cherry filling on top, or pie filling of your choice.

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake




Another recipe from my baby shower, and boy is it a good one. This recipe for Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake is awesome! Normally I am not the biggest fan of blueberries but this is one exception.

I would recommend making it to day before, reserving the blueberry juice in the fridge until you are ready to glaze the cake. This gives the pound cake a little extra time to moisten and develop the flavor.



Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake
16 servings

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 (16.5 ounce) can blueberries, drained, juice reserved
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding mix and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in water, oil, eggs and cream cheese. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Stir in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a plate and cool completely.

4. Make Glaze: In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons reserved juice from the blueberries. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Friday, March 18, 2011

Party Pinwheels





If you are in charge of bringing an cold appetizer to a gathering, these Party Pinwheels are a delicious option. Make sure to let them chill to develop the flavors before cutting and serving.

Party Pinwheels
Makes about 20 servings


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 4 (12 inch) flour tortillas, flavored tortillas if you prefer
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, and green onions. Spread this mixture on each tortilla. Sprinkle red pepper, celery, black olives, and cheese (if you'd like) over the cream cheese mixture. Roll up the tortillas, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil.

2. Chill 2 hours or overnight. Cut off ends of the rolls, and slice the chilled rolls into 1 inch slices.

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fluffy Fruit Dip

This tasty fruit dip is for all the adults out there. It would be great for a bridal shower. Next time I think I'd cut down a bit on the amaretto just a tad. Either way it is delicious. 


Fluffy Fruit Dip
Many servings

2 (3 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the vanilla pudding mix, milk and amaretto liqueur. Beat in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

Source: Allrecipes

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pan Fried Onion Dip


It is hard to go wrong with an Ina recipe. I don't think I've made a recipe from her that I haven't enjoyed. This recipe for Pan Fried Onion Dip is one of my favorites. Caramelizing the onions adds a ton of flavor and depth. Serve with your favorite dipping chip or cracker.

Pan Fried Onion Dip
12 servings

2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise, not light

1. Cut the onions in half and then slice them into 1/8-inch thick half-rounds. (You will have about 3 cups of onions.) Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.

2. Add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes until the onions are browned and caramelized. Allow the onions to cool.

4. Place the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.

5. Add the onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe from Ina Garten

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Milky Way Pain Au Chocolat


I saw this amazing recipe for Milky Way Pain Au Chocolat on Diary of a Crazed Mommy and I knew I had to try it out and share with you lovelies.

The chocolate glaze really isn't necessary -- this is pretty rich all on its own. Although, if you are a hardcore chocolate addict, I say go for it. I actually preferred this room temperature rather than piping hot. Either way the soft, gooey, chocolaty Milky Way tastes great.

Milky Way Pain Au Chocolat
Makes 4 servings

2 Milky Way Bars (2.05-oz.) bars
1 container Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbs. milk
1 Tbs. butter

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Chop the candy bars into 1/4-inch slices.

2. Break open the crescent roll container. The dough will be in two halves. Unroll dough and divide on the middle partition, taking care not to tear the diagonal perforations. There will be four rectangles of dough.

3. Place all four rectangles of dough on the cookie sheet with the narrower edges toward you. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped candy bars on top of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border on both sides and a one-inch border on the end farthest from you.

4. Roll up the dough like a sleeping bag, beginning with the edge closest to you. If the diagonal perforations tear when rolling, gently pinch them together.

5. Repeat with the remaining three rectangles. Space them two to three inches apart. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden.

6. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips, butter and milk and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the Pain Au Chocolat and serve warm.

Recipe courtesy of The Candy Bar Cookbook

Monday, March 14, 2011

Easy Pizza Wontons and Easy Pizza Nachos

Not a recipe exactly...but a darn good idea.

Easy Pizza Wontons -- Or, Easy Pizza Nachos!
Serves 2

1/2 package wontons
1 package pepperoni
1 package mozzarella cheese
1 bottle pizza sauce
oil for frying

For the Wontons:

1. Lay out a few wontons at a time and leave the rest of the package covered to discourage drying out. Add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling to each wonton. Be careful not to over fill. Wet all edges of the wonton with water and seal, forming a triangle.

2. Heat oil to medium-high. Fry until browned on both sides. This is a very quick process -- about 15 seconds on each side, approximately. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a side of pizza sauce.

For the Nachos:

1. Heat oil to medium-high. Fry wontons until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Top with cheese, sauce and pepperoni. Microwave until melted and gooey.

Recipe by me. Submitted for Made By You Monday.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Corndog Muffins

I felt like trying out a silly little recipe this evening, so corndog muffins it was! I made a few changes. First I cut the recipe in half, only using 1 small package of corn muffin mix and 4 hot dogs. Second, I cut the hot dogs into small pieces.

Note: I used cupcake liners, sprayed with Pam, which was a mistake. Use a good non-stick muffin pan instead.

You can serve these with a little yellow mustard or ketchup if you'd prefer. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Dip




Wow this stuff is addicting. I just ate both those apples and am now wondering what I could possibly dip in this incredibly yummy pumpkin dip. Hmm...cookies? I'd better go try.

This would be perfect for a party alongside a tray of apples and misc. fruits to dip with. Better yet, it is kid friendly and a Cooking Light recipe!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baby Bluebird Cupcakes

Do you have an upcoming Easter party to attend? How about a baby shower? These Baby Bluebird Cupcakes would be a perfect, and completely yummy addition!

If you are making these for a baby shower, you could very easily make the chicks pink for a girl, or stick with blue chicks for a boy. They do require a bit of work, but nothing is technically advanced. Practice making the chicks, and the beaks, on a piece of wax paper first and you'll get the hang of it in no time. Ready for the recipe?

If you are in a serious time crunch, you could use either a white or chocolate cake mix to make the cupcakes. I promise I wont tell anyone.



Crazy-Addictive Diner Sliders

I came across an awesome food site the other day, The Culinary Sherpas. What I instantly was in love with was their cooking videos. And to be totally honest, I also loved all the tattoos. The site isn't pretentious, or puffed up to sound ultra "foodie." Real people, real food, and you can really learn a lot if you pay attention. Check em out!

I watched a great video at The Culinary Sherpas featuring Crazy-Addictive Diner Sliders. They truly are addictive!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Smith and Wesson Cocktail

Without a doubt this is my favorite alcoholic beverage. The amounts are a little hard to nail down. I just eyeball it when I make it and it always turns out great.

Pay attention to the instructions and the pouring order. The reason for this is that if you were to add the soda at the very end, it foams up the milk/cream and leaves a nasty residue all over your glass. You want to pour the soda over the ice, let it settle then gently add the remaining ingredients. The result is a smooth, bubble free cocktail that tastes amazing.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chili and Lemon Chicken Burgers

A juicy piece of chicken breast marinated in chili flakes, lemon, and garlic is fresh and totally delicious. To make it extra special, brush the buns with butter or olive oil and grill in a skillet until lightly browned. The result is a healthy burger that is perfect for summer: light, fresh, and juicy.

The key to chicken is to not overcook it. Once it is too dry, the flavor is totally gone.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Marshmallow Fruit Salad






I had this delicious fruit salad a lot growing up. A typical 5 Cup Fruit Salad is very similar, but this fruit salad utilizes fresh strawberries and bananas, and omits the coconut. Totally delicious and comforting.

I am using my best guess on amounts for this recipe. Please use your best judgment and increase or decrease the fruit amounts listed to suit your tastes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Extra Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Katie from the now defunct Good Things Catered came up with this recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, which utilizes a package of vanilla pudding mix, giving the bread a lot of moistness and great flavor. It is my new favorite recipe for banana bread.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Calico Beans




Normally I am not a bean eater. I have texture issues with them. That being said, I loved this. Sweet, savory and smoky. I am not certain what combo of beans I used, I think I substituted 2 cans white beans for the kidney beans and pork and beans. Just use whatever beans you like.

This soup was to die for when paired with Cornbread Supreme. In fact, there is no way I'd make this dish without also making a batch of Cornbread Supreme. I was eating leftovers of both for a few days it was so good!

Note: when I was given the recipe a temperature was not indicated for the oven. I would say anything from 350-425 should be fine. Really, you are just heating everything through, so there is some leeway.

Cornbread Supreme

Cornbread Supreme. Oh Lordy. I think we've made this dish 4 or 5 times in the last two months. It is so gooooood. Especially with Calico Beans. Mmm. I think I may have to make it again this week. I'm getting cravings...Mmm.