GREEN BEANS and BACON

This recipe for green beans is fast, super simple, sweet and FULL of bacon, in other words, it is delicious!!

Double the recipe and it makes a GREAT potluck dish.....it's super tasty even at room temperature (be prepared to share the recipe!!!)





GREEN BEANS and BACON


2 pounds frozen green beans (thawed)
1/2 pound bacon, fried crisp, drained and crumbled
1/4 cup of butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup of soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Thaw the green beans and drain if there is any extra liquid.

Fry the bacon until it is almost crispy, drain well, then cut into pieces. Recipe calls for 1/2 pound, but I've been known to use a whole pound on occassion. 😏

Heat the butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, pepper and garlic powder. just until the sugar is well dissolved.

Place green beans in a ungreased baking dish, top with crumbled bacon, then drizzle the soy-brown sugar mixture evenly over everything.

Bake in pre-heated 350 oven (uncovered) for 40 minutes.


ENJOY !!!
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MONSTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

I make these cookies for Christmas; individually wrapped, these BIG COOKIES make nice thank you treats for teachers, the mail man, the UPS man, etc.

The flavor of this chocolate chip cookie the best I've ever found, with tons of chocolate and walnuts.  This recipe makes about 24 HUGE 5" cookies.



1/2 cup rolled oats 
2  1/4 cups flour
1  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1  teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup regular white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 eggs
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts chopped

Put the rolled oats in the food processor and process until you get a fairly fine powder. In a bowl, mix the oat "powder" with the flour + baking soda + salt + cinnamon and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the room temperature butter, sugars, vanilla and lemon juice until it is smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and mix until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Dough is going to be very stiff, so a stand mixer works well for this.  

Add the chocolate chips and nuts and mix until well combined.  CHILL THE DOUGH FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR.

Each cookie takes a little less than 1/4 cup of cookie dough. I use my ice cream scoop to measure them out.



Roll the 1/4 cup of cookie dough in your hand and place six cookie dough balls on every large cookie sheet (at least 5" apart).  Bake in pre-heated  350 degree oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes. My standard electric oven takes 16 minutes exactly.

Let the baked cookies sit on the hot cookie pan for about 3 minutes before you move them to a cooling rack (the cookies will fall apart if you try to take them off of the cookie sheet too soon).

Once the cookies are completely cooled, I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then freeze them in a freezer zipper bag until I'm ready to give them away.



They are completely delicious!!!


ENJOY !!!
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FIVE STAR CARROT CAKE

This is, by far, the best carrot cake ever!! It is sweet, moist, flavorful and it stays fresh tasting for days. It is full of sweet carrots, raisins and pineapple and it is absolutely excellent for a crowd, it also freezes well!!!

Directions below are for a 10" layer cake OR 36 cupcakes.

I like to make cupcakes because we are "empty nesters" and I can just take a few at a time out of the freezer, rather than a whole layer cake.

Sorry about the bad photo........I was in a hurry (as always). 





FIVE STAR CARROT CAKE

4 cups grated carrots
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup crushed pineapple (squeezed dry)
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1½ cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans

If you are making a layer cake, lightly spray two 10" baking pans with vegetable spray, and line the bottom with parchment paper, then spray again. See note about baking pans at the end of this recipe.

If you are making cupcakes, it takes 36 cupcake papers. Preheat your oven to 350.


Mix shredded carrots and brown sugar and set aside at room temperature for 1 hourAfter 1 hour, stir in the raisins and set aside. The sugar will draw a lot of liquid out of the carrots and it will all look soupy.........ignore that and DO NOT DRAIN!!!

Beat eggs until they are light colored and foamy (about a minute or so at high speed), gradually beat in the white sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir in pineapple.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon...mix well.  Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, making sure everything is moistened before you add more flour.

Stir in the carrot-raisin mixture as well as the nuts.

Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes if you are baking two 10” layers. Test for doneness by inserting a dry toothpick into the center of the baked cake. If it comes out clean when you take the toothpick out, the cake is done.

If you are making cupcakes, bake at 350° for 21-23 minutes. My standard electric oven takes 22 minutes.  Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting: 
(1) 8 ounce cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup UNsalted butter   (room temperature)
1½ teaspoons vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar


Beat room temperature cream cheese and room temperature Unsalted butter  until it is sooth and creamy.  Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) along with the vanilla.  If the frosting seems thick, add a tablespoon or so of milk and beat again.



ENJOY !!!


Note about Cake Pans: I ALWAYS bake with light colored aluminum pans. If you have dark pans (or glass pans), you have to reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees...because if you don't, the cake can burn. I've never had that problem when I cook with light colored aluminum pans.
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