Andes Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark2

Another month in the Leftovers Club! My partner this time was Angela at Mind Over Batter. Head over to her blog and check out her delicious recipes! I can’t wait to try the Banana Maple Caramel Corn.  In honor of Christmas, I made peppermint bark. This is too easy and too good not to make. Who doesn’t love Andes mints? I used to stuff my pockets with them when I was leaving Benihana’s (totally normal).  Anyways, when I spied Andes peppermint crunch on the shelves, I couldn’t wait to use it to make peppermint bark! It’s less crunchy than normal peppermint bark because of the creamy nature of Andes mints, which I loved as a different twist! Peppermint Bark Peppermint Bark7 Peppermint Bark4Peppermint Bark6 Peppermint Bark1

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Andes Peppermint Bark

What you need:

  • One package chocolate almond bark
  • One package vanilla almond bark
  • about 3/4 bag Andes Peppermint crunch

What to do:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper; set aside. Melt the chocolate almond bark in a double broiler (or a pot of boiling water with a glass bowl on top). This should take about 10 minutes or so. Once melted, pour chocolate onto cookie sheet and spread until smooth. Let cool for at least an hour (you can put it in the fridge or freezer to expedite the process).
  2. Repeat steps to melt the vanilla almond bark. Once chocolate bark is cooled, pour vanilla bark over and spread until smooth. Sprinkle with Andes peppermint crunch. I used about 3/4 of my bag. Tweak as you like!
  3. Let cool for 1-2 hours (or overnight). Break into pieces and enjoy!

Check  out everyone else’s recipes this month!leftovers-logo1

Reeses Pieces Cookies

Reeses Pieces Cookies1

Time to get rid of your fall colored candy! Because as of Friday, it’s everything red and green around here. I still had some Reese’s Pieces left over from my fall bark, and I was craving something sweet (let’s be real, this isn’t really a craving, but a constant state for me), so I whipped up some cookies! These were so good!! I like my cookies a little on the rawer side, but Sam likes his more done (house divided y’all). This batch was more to my liking-gooey and soft.Reeses Pieces Cookies5 Reeses Pieces Cookies2 Reeses Pieces Cookies3 Reeses Pieces Cookies6

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Recipe for Reeses Pieces Cookies

slightly adapted from good ole Nestle

What you need:

  • 2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks…yep), softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 34 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Reeses Pieces

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy
  2. Add eggs, one by one, and beat well after each egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chip and Reese’s pieces.
  3. Roll into balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes.

Neiman Marcus Bars

Neiman Marcus Bars4

This my first month in the Leftovers Club! I was so excited to make and get some goodies from other bloggers. I decided to make one my mom’s best recipes. I have no idea why they are called Neiman Marcus bars. They always have been called this so N.M. bars they shall always be to me. Maybe because they are pretty and rich? Just roll with it. These yummy bars are like chess squares on steroids. I was so happy to send them to Aly at Cooking in Stilettos (check out her yummy blog!) so I would stop eating them. Aly sent me these DIVINE double chocolate cupcakes. If you’re a chocolate lover (and who’s not, right?), check out this recipe!Neiman Marcus Bars5Neiman Marcus Bars1 Neiman Marcus Bars3   Neiman Marcus Bars6Neiman Marcus Bars 7Enjoy, and join the Leftovers Club! It’s so fun!leftovers-logo1

Check out what other yummy things the other members of the Leftovers Club made by clicking on this link!

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Recipe for Neiman Marcus Bars

yields 2 dozen bars

What you need:

  • I package butter cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup butter, melted and divided
  • 1 package powdered sugar
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup melted butter at medium speed until blended.
  2. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9×13 pan.
  3. Beat remaining 2 eggs, remaining 1/2 cup melted butter, powdered sugar, and cream cheese at medium speed in a separate bowl until creamy. Pour over batter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

Fall Bark

ImageToday is a happy day. My sister-friend Olivia Pope is on TV tonight and I’ve been munching on this all day:Fall Bark3

We had some friends over last night to play cards and I wanted to make some yummy fall treats. This fall/halloween bark was chock-full of all of my fav fall sweets. Fall Bark1I also whipped up an apple cider drink and had some scarecrow mix that my mom gave me (similar to this) to snack on while playing spades.apple ciderFall Bark 5Goodness that Oreo is calling my name.Fall Bark WhiteFall Bark ChocI decided to make both white and semi-sweet chocolate. Fall BarkThis stuff turned out so cute! I especially loved the peanut butter m&m’s and the double stuffed Oreos. Fall Bark2I am just now recuperating from Sam and my roadtrip to see the Lumineer’s in Memphis Tuesday night (We didn’t get home until 1am!!!! Way past our normal 9:30 bedtime).

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The concert was so good! Not as good as Needtobreathe (Sam said NTB made the Lumis look boring!!), but they were still very good. You know how at most concerts, the musicians go into or very close to the crowd to sing a song? Well, I’ve always wanted to be the person who got to be right next them and look how close we were!!Image

I touched his leg! (I’m not creepy, I promise). Also, we had a celeb sighting. Check out which Grizz player likes the Lumineers:
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He is such a tall man!! Sam is 6’4 and he came up to Marc’s shoulder blade! We love Memphis, so it was so great to see some great music and eat some great food (Central BBQ pizza? I think yes).ImageImageImageConfession: sometimes I tell myself I’m a gladiator when I feel overwhelmed by my upcoming board test. If y’all don’t watch Scandal-I think it’s the best show on TV right now! SO GOOD. Happy Thursday gladiators!

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Recipe for Fall Bark*

adapted from here.

What you need:

  • 1 package of almond bark
  • 16 whole graham crackers (I threw in some chocolate grahams that made the bark extra decadent)
  • Pretzels
  • Peanuts
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Mini-Reeses Pieces
  • Peanut Butter M&M’s
  • Chopped Oreos
  • Candy Corn
  • Whatever you want to throw on it!

What to do:

  1. Melt your almond bark over a double boiler (just place a glass bowl over some simmering water and voila! You’ve got a double-boiler). Stir until smooth and let cool for about a minute.
  2. Arrange graham crackers so that they are touching and fill up a rimmed cookie sheet. Pour melted chocolate on top and spread until smooth.
  3. Sprinkle on all of your toppings and press down lightly with the palm of your hand to ensure that they will stick. Place in fridge for 20-30 minutes or until set. Break bark apart and serve on platter.

*I doubled everything so I could have both white and dark chocolate bark.

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Despite the fact that it’s getting chilly outside, I’ve got this ice cream I made a couple of weeks ago on the brain. The custard style ice cream was delish! We have been ice cream making fiends this summer, and this recipe I think was my favorite-the creaminess was unreal! Butter Pecan Ice CreamButter Pecan Ice Cream-it is well.Butter Pecan Ice Cream-it is well.

Alright, I’m off to study and prepare for the Lumineers concert tonight-eek!

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Recipe for Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

recipe adapted from here

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 1.5 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

What to do:

  1. In a small skillet, brown pecans until slightly browned, stirring constantly for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Combine brown sugar, half and half, and whipping cream and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; remove from heat. Pour hot mixture into eggs, whisking constantly. Return custard mixture to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally until mixture coats back of spoon-around 3-5 minutes.* Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.
  3. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instruction. For my handy-dandy CuisinArt, I left the ice cream in the freezer for about 30 minutes. I then transferred it to a bowl and placed it in my freezer for about 2 hours before serving.

*Custard-style ice cream is done when you can draw your finger down a coated spoon and can see a clear line.

Skillet Apple Pie

Fall Decor-It is well.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like fall around here and I don’t hate it. Last night we had some friends over for dessert and games and I couldn’t wait to make a fall-ish dessert. I’m always intimidated to make pies, but this one was super easy!

Skillet Apple Pie

An added bonus- we got to enjoy the apples as a centerpiece for a couple of days until it was time to use them!

DSC_0026Skillet Apple Pie

First, peel your apples-this part is a little tedious. I would recommend peeling them directly over a trashcan to minimize cleanup. The recipe calls for 4 pounds of apples. I used 9 apples and I had some left over. I think maybe 7 apples would do the trick.

Skillet Apple Pie

Then, just throw some sugar and cinnamon over your apples and stir until coated. At this point in the recipe, I couldn’t stop popping these sugar coated pieces of heaven into my mouth-treatyoself. Next, melt your butter (yes, that’s a whole stick-it’s fine) in your beloved cast-iron skillet over medium heat.

Skillet Apple Pie

Then, add the brown sugar while whisking constantly until dissolved.

Skillet Apple Pie

Skillet Apple Pie

Once dissolved, remove from heat and throw your pie crust right on top of the brown sugar mixture.

Skillet Apple Pie

Then pile on your apples. I was feeling pretty American at this point.

Skillet Apple Pie

Just top with the other pie crust, brush on your whisked egg white, and sprinkle some sugar for good measure.

skillet apple pie

Bake and serve with ample amounts of ice cream. My pie didn’t really retain its shape because I got antsy and did not let it cool long enough. Regardless, it was delish! Replacing the apples for our centerpiece-these little cuties:

Pumpkins-It is well.

Happy fall!

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Recipe for Skillet Apple Pie

Adapted from here.

Serves 8

What you need:

2 pounds of Gala Apples

2 pounds of Granny Smith Apples

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 (14.1 oz) package refrigerated pie crusts

1 egg white

2 tablespoons sugar

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Peel apples, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss apples with cinnamon and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.
  2. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and place 1 piecrust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over piecrust, and top with remaining piecrust. Whisk egg white until foamy. Brush top of piecrust with egg white; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 4 or 5 slits in top for steam to escape.
  3. Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly (you may cover aluminum foil to prevent excess browning during the last 10 minutes or so of baking). Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese FrostingWhat is one thing that will make throwing out a bad dinner and throwing in a frozen pizza better? Cupcakes! Especially the king that is piled high with rich, decadent cream cheese frosting. Sunday night I tried my hand at Pad Thai. It was truly awful. The fact that there was fish sauce in it should have tipped me off. Sweet Sam ate about half of it before asking if I would be offended if he stopped eating (at this point, I had already put the frozen pizza in because I had lasted all of three bites). Anyways, I was seriously doubting my cooking skills and was in need of a major food encouragement. Since yesterday was Maggie’s turned 19 (!!!), I had made these delicious cupcakes to take to Starkville for a little birthday happy (you can never have too much cake on your bday, or any day for that matter). Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese FrostingBy a stroke of shear genius (cough, another kitchen mishap-I’ll tell y’all what, Sunday was not my day in the kitchen), I doubled the recipe and got to keep lots for ourselves! Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese FrostingSprinkles make everything better. We got some mini-cupcake pans for a wedding gift, so I tried them out for the first time with this recipe.Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting These were so good! I had to refrain myself from putting the icing straight into my mouth. These are the perfect fall treat and I hope y’all enjoy them as much as we did!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingPumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe adapted from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run

Makes about 20 cupcakes (or 12 cupcakes + 20 mini-cupcakes)

Time: 1.5 hours including cooling time

What you need

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 2 stick butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease cupcake tins or insert liners.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the canola oil, egg, pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes for regular cupcakes (mini-cupcakes bake for 20-25), or until light and springy. Let cool completely before icing.
  5. To make frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla together until thick and smooth. Transfer icing into a pastry bag with a tip or a plastic bag with the tip cut off. Frost cupcakes and store in the refrigerator until serving.