Peanut Butter Lover’s Day: Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

peanut-butter-cookiesFebruary is almost over! We’re excited — not just because we’re that much closer to warm weather and sunshine, but because we’re one day closer to Peanut Butter Lover’s Day! That falls on March 1, so we’re making anything and everything we can with peanut butter! Today we kept it simple and made our best peanut butter cookie recipe.

peanut-butter-cookiesPeanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky is fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Bowl of granulated sugar to roll your cookie dough in (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375℉.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt (you can use a fork). Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl fitted to a stand mixer combine, the brown sugar, butter and peanut butter. Using the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together the ingredients until they are well-combined. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until it’s smooth. Reduce the mixing speed to low. Slowly add the dry ingredients until it’s all incorporated. peanut-butter-cookies

Scoop the batter into 1” balls. Roll each ball in the bowl of sugar so they’re coated with sugar. Place each ball on a cookie sheet about 2” apart. Smash down each ball with a fork twice so it makes hash marks.

peanut-butter-cookies

Bake for 7 minutes. Let stand for about three minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack. Makes about 34 cookies.

These are classic peanut butter cookies — they’re perfect the way they are but you can add your own twist to them by adding chocolate or butterscotch chips. And if you’re a serious peanut butter lover, you can add peanut butter chips!

Enjoy your peanut butter cookies! Check back with The Lakeside Collection for more recipes, ideas and products for all your favorite quirky holidays!

peanut-butter-cookies

Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Treat: The Blondie

BlondiesJanuary 22 is National Blonde Brownie Day! The blonde brownie is also known as a blondie. They’re similar to brownies in how they’re made, only the recipe doesn’t call for chocolate. According to foodtimeline.org, blondies don’t derive from brownies at all — it evolved from gingerbread bars. However, they are as versatile as brownies — you can find them with all sorts of sweet embellishments: butterscotch, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, caramel, walnuts, coconut — just about anything you think would be delicious in a dessert. Some people take it to the extreme with Oreo blondies or birthday cake blondies — there’s even a recipe out there for Roasted Strawberry and Goat Cheese Blondies — but anyway you make it, it’s moist, dense and rich just like the brownie — and it’s way better than a cookie!

At The Lakeside Collection, our favorite blondie recipe includes white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. It’s very simple — only seven ingredients (five if you make it without the nuts and white chocolate) Although we’re making blondies to celebrate National Blonde Brownie Day, it’s our favorite Valentine’s Day treat. Blondies

Blondies

  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375℉.

In a bowl fitted to a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to cream together the sugar and butter on medium speed until it’s well-combined. Add vanilla extract and eggs one at a time and mix until it’s creamy and smooth. Slowly add the flour and mix well.Blondies

Turn the mixer down to low speed and add white chocolate chips and nuts. Spread mixture in a 9”x9” baking dish. Bake the blondies for 40 minutes or until the edges are dark brown and the top is golden brown. For extra measure, stick a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Let cool completely before cutting.

Blondies

Of course, you can make blondies any day of the year — not just National Blonde Brownie Day or Valentine’s Day — they’re a perfect dessert for just about any occasion.

Blondies

 

4 Ways to Use Cranberries

CranberriesIt’s November and here at The Lakeside Collection we’re excited about the holidays! While we’re whittling down our gift lists, food and decor are coming together simultaneously — and some of those items are interchangeable, for instance: the cranberry. When they’re ripe, they’re the deep red we think of for holiday decor and winter warmth. They are also native to North America and, according to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, the Pilgrims learned how to use cranberries for food, dyes and medicine from Native Americans — which may be why we see them on our Thanksgiving tables every year. Cranberries are versatile and festive little fruits. Here are 4 ways to use cranberries this holiday season:

Cranberry Sauce If you have only served cranberries from a can for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, you don’t know what you’re missing with homemade cranberry sauce — and it’s just as easy as opening a can.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice.

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let bubble (about 5 minutes). When the cranberries have popped, remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool. This recipe can be made days ahead of your dinner and it can easily be doubled, tripled or cut in half.

Stringing cranberries and popcornGarland Cranberries are very hearty. If you buy them fresh, they can sit in your refrigerator for months after the holidays without spoiling. This makes them great for garland. In addition to the cranberries, all you need are dental floss and a sewing needle. They’re easy to make: tie a big knot at the end of the floss, thread the needle and string the cranberries together. The garland can be as short or long as you want to add holiday flair — use them to decorate the tree, dress up the mantle or brighten the bannister. If you want to add contrast, add popcorn to the mix — alternate between a piece of popcorn and a cranberry. If you’re doing this as a project with kids, don’t let them eat the cranberries. Though they are beautiful little fruits, raw cranberries are extremely tart.

Floating Candles Cranberries float. Putting them in a bowl with water isn’t like putting other fruit — like grapes — in a bowl of water. Though they seem very dense, they sit on the surface of water just like a raft. This makes them the perfect accompaniment to floating candles. All you need are hurricanes or clear glass containers, cranberries and floating candles. Fill the container (about half-way) with water, add a handful of cranberries and then arrange the candle in the cranberries. The cranberries should last about a week. If you have bigger candles you want to use, you can use the cranberries as a base to hold the candle without the water.

Cranberry Bread The holidays mean family will be visiting or you will be visiting family with lots of meals — including breakfast. This a an easy quick bread that’s great for breakfast that’s not too sweet and goes well with coffee (it can also be made into muffins).

Bread:156989366

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Crumble topping (optional):

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 TB cold butter, cubed
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. For the bread, combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Combine the egg and milk and add to the dry ingredients and stir until everything is moist but still lumpy. Gently stir in butter (do not over mix — it should still be lumpy). Fold in cranberries and nuts

For the crumble topping, combine all the ingredients and mix well. You can mash it with a fork, but it works best if you use your hands. It should resemble crumbly, wet sand when you’re done.

mini-loaf-pansGrease loaf pans — 9 ½” x 5 ½” loaf pans work great, but you can also use min-loaf pans. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the batter.

Bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness and turn if one side is browning faster than the other. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

With its luscious red exterior and tart, juicy interior, the cranberry is certainly the fruit of the holiday season. With all its flavor and beauty, it’s hard to get sick of the cranberry — but they’re only harvest in the fall so use them whenever and wherever you can now!

Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs

Deviled EggsWhile parents are getting their kids ready to trick-or-treat, egg lovers are gearing up to make deviled eggs! November 2nd is Deviled Egg and we’re celebrating by making delicious deviled eggs.

In most countries, deviled eggs are called “stuffed eggs” — but in the United States, we originally started calling them “deviled” as a reference to spices added to the yolks (pepper, mustard, paprika) in the classic recipe. Now “deviled eggs” means mixing the yolk with anything from minced crab to buffalo chicken — whatever you have a taste for, you can make a deviled egg out of it.

One of our favorite deviled egg recipes at The Lakeside Collection is Bacon Ranch Deviled Eggs and in honor of Deviled Egg Day, we’re sharing it with you!

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 teaspoons of Ranch dressing mix
  • salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • 4 good sized pieces of cooked bacon finely chopped for garnish (finely chopped)

Directions:

deviled_eggsCut the eggs in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the yolk of each egg white and place the yolks in a bowl. Refrigerate the whites on a platter. Combine the yolks with all of the ingredients except the bacon bits.deviled_eggs

Mash everything together with a fork. Stir and mash until everything is smooth. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to let the yolks absorb the dressing mix. Taste the yolk mixture to check the seasoning. If it needs more dressing mix, add a pinch at a time, stirring after each addition. To re-stuff the egg whites with the egg yolks without making a mess, use a plastic bag with the end snipped off like you would a pastry bag. Spoon the yolk mixture into the bag making sure there are no air pockets.

deviled_eggs

Squeeze about a tablespoon of yolk back into each egg half. Sprinkle each egg with bacon bits. Serve chilled.

The recipe can easily be doubled, tripled or cut in half and they’re easy to make ahead. Whether you need something to bring to a holiday party or you’re looking for a tailgating snack, this recipe is definitely a crowd-pleaser!

Enjoy Deviled Egg Day!

Homemade Craft Dough Recipe

play-dohToys are very different today than when we were kids — even in the last ten years, technology has made toys evermore complicated. But there’s one toy that will always stay the same: Play-doh. Tomorrow is National Play-Doh day so in honor of timeless toy, here’s a recipe for homemade craft dough: IMG_4650

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 c. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Food Coloring

Play-doh collage

  • In a large pot (a 4 or 5-quart stock pot), mix everything together except for the food coloring. Stir with a wooden spoon until it’s well-combined. It’s OK if it’s lumpy – it will work itself out during the kneading process.
  • Over low heat, cook the dough. Stir frequently. As it cooks, it will start to pull away from the sides of the pot and form dough – it takes about ten minutes, but the time may vary.
  • Remove the pot from the heat.

Play-doh collage2

  • Turn the dough out on a clean surface and knead it until it’s smooth.
  • Divide the dough into as many pieces for different colors as you want. This recipe yields about 44 oz. (almost 3lbs); for four colors, you can have about 1.5lbs for each color.
  • To color, drop the color on each ball and then knead it until the color is even. You may have to play around a bit with the amount of color you add. For vibrant blue, green and yellow, ten drops was enough, but to get a vivid red, more food coloring was required.

 

Store the dough in airtight containers or sealable plastic bags. They should last for several months. This is an excellent winter activity for when your kids are stuck inside.

play-doh pic

Labor Day Camping

This Labor Day weekend I will be heading up north for a weekend of camping and one of my favorite parts of camping is the food! I found this great camping recipe that is sure to please the crowd.

One of my favorite foods at home: Macaroni and Cheese!

An easy recipe that can be easily adjusted to your favorite cheeses.

Camping Macaroni and Cheese  (www.munchinwithmunchkin.com)

Ingredients:

2 cups macaroni (precooked and packed for trip)
½ cup milk
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup Gooda cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp. flour
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

This camper uses a cast iron pot and a small charcoal grill but I will be adjusting this to be cooked over the fire. Heat up the pot and melt the butter along with the milk. Slowly whisk in a tablespoon of flour at a time to create the cheesy sauce. Once complete add in cheese mixture and pasta, top with extra cheese and bread crumbs, then let cook for 5 minutes and your mac and cheese is ready to go!

Camping Macaroni and Cheese

Easy Dinner Ideas From Lakeside!

It’s back to school time again for your kids.  That means nights filled with football practice and dance recitals and little time to prepare dinner.  No worries though, we found a quick and easy recipe that can be made in 30 minutes or less!

Quick Chicken Parmesan

Prep: 5 minutes

Bake: 25 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)

2 cups spaghetti sauce

2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 package (8 ounces) spaghetti, cooked and drained (about 4 cups)

Directions:

1. Place the chicken in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top the chicken with the sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

2. Bake at 400°F. for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken and sauce with the spaghetti.