Tag: recipes for a crowd

Broccoli Cheese Spread

Broccoli Cheese Spread

Broccoli Cheese Spread is such a simple recipe but it’s so amazingly good. You absolutely need this quick and easy appetizer recipe in your arsenal. I mean could there be a more classic combination than broccoli and cheese? I don’t think so! Just try it […]

Pizza Pasta Salad

Pizza Pasta Salad

Pizza Pasta Salad is the summer side dish your whole family will agree on! Loaded up with all of your favorite pizza toppings, this hearty salad tastes just like your favorite pizza. We’re always in need of new summer side dishes that pair well with […]

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I’ve never met a cookie that I didn’t like and these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are no different. I’ve gotta warn you though…they pack a wallop of flavor and are highly addictive. Just like the ones Grandma used to make, this delicious cookie is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and oh so satisfying. Jam packed with sweet brown sugar, spicy cinnamon, hearty oats, chewy raisins, and crunchy pecans, this trusty standby is something that everyone can agree on. Fill up the cookie jar and watch them disappear!

Here’s all you’ll need: shortening, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, old-fashioned oats, raisins, and pecans. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies ingredients list

And I haven’t even told you the best part yet. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are easy peasy to make! Let’s get started…so we can get snacking. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars. Yep, both of them. I start with a hand mixer set to a low speed and then gradually increase to medium until the mixture is soft and fluffy.

Shortening, white sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl mixed together with a hand mixer.

Next beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Then blend in the vanilla extract as well. I told you this was simple!

Eggs and vanilla are added to the bowl with a hand mixer.

Mix in the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and blend until well combined. Then add in the flour, half a cup at a time until just combined. I like to add my ingredients this way instead of mixing the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and adding them all at once. Anything to save a dish or two and it always works out just fine for me. Our cookie dough base is looking pretty delish already!!

Cinnamon, salt, baking soda and flour are added to the bowl to form a soft, sticky dough.

You’re going to need a little muscle for this next part! Ditch the hand mixture and stir in the oatmeal, raisins and pecans by hand. A wooden spoon works best because the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie dough will be thick and sticky. And doesn’t it feel more nostalgic too?!? Make sure to mix it up really, really good. We’re shooting for a little bit of oats, raisins and pecans in every bite! Feeling nutty enough? Of course you can skip the pecans if you’re not into that sort of thing.

Wooden spoon with a glob of cookie dough.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Just a heads up…these babies spread…..A LOT!!!! I find that I get my best baking results with parchment paper as opposed to cooking spray. If you want to elevate your cookie game, I highly recommend trying it!

A cookie scoop is another great tool to have handy. I typically use the 1 or 1.5″ size for cookie baking (unless I’m making some giant, monster sized cookies). This one simple tool will keep your cookies uniform in size, which means they’ll all bake at the same rate.

And one more super simple tip for perfect cookies every time is to rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking. I always use the top and middle racks in my oven, never the bottom. And then halfway through baking time, I swap positions. So the cookies that were baking on the top rack get bumped down to the middle rack and the cookies that were baking on the middle rack get moved up to the top. I also rotate the baking sheets so that the cookies that were in the front of the oven are now in the back and vice versa. This helps all the cookies to bake evenly.

So anyways, now that you’ve got my best tricks up your sleeve, back to these Oatmeal Raisins! Flatten the balls slightly with the back of your hand, the back of the wooden spoon, or the back of a baking cup. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10-11 minutes. The cookies will be just beginning to brown. If the middles still look a little soft, that’s ok. They’ll be fine. Just trust me on this. It’s better to under bake this recipe than to over bake it.

1 inch cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet.

You can let them sit on the baking sheet for one minute (at the very most) or remove immediately and cool on wire baking racks (the countertop will work too). The cookies will be very soft so be sure to use a spatula. OMG, don’t they look delightful?!? Full disclosure, I’ve already made Oatmeal Raisin Cookies twice this week!! Are you a classic cookie addict like us? Don’t forget to try our Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies or Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies!!!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Happylifeblogspot.com #cookies #oatmealraisincookies #oatmealraisin #bakesalerecipes #dessert

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

March 19, 2019
: 4 dozen cookies
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract.
  • Step 2 Mix in the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and blend until well combined. Then add in the flour, half a cup at a time until just combined.
  • Step 3 Stir in the oatmeal, raisins and pecans with a wooden spoon. Mix well.
  • Step 4 Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them at least 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. These cookies will spread! Flatten the balls slightly with the back of your hand.
  • Step 5 Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10-11 minutes. Do not over bake! The edges will begin to brown but the middles will still be a bit soft.
  • Step 6 Cool on wire baking racks and enjoy!

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Pizza Pinwheels

Pizza Pinwheels

If you’ve never made Pizza Pinwheels then you’re truly missing out! This bitesize, crowd pleasing appetizer is totally irresistible, super easy to make and tastes just like pizza. Loads of pepperoni and mozzarella are wrapped up inside a tender, flaky crescent dough crust. These mini […]

Sweet and Tangy Macaroni Salad

Sweet and Tangy Macaroni Salad

Are you ready for a macaroni salad with a twist? Tired of bringing the same old boring salads to parties and potlucks? Prepare to be amazed by our Sweet and Tangy Macaroni Salad! This super creamy salad is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. It’s one […]

Quick and Easy Loaded Totchos

Quick and Easy Loaded Totchos

What happens when you combine tater tots and nachos??? You get Totchos!!! Our all new Quick and Easy Loaded Totchos recipe are the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. This delicious spinoff recipe swaps tater tots for tortilla chips and then smothers them with all your favorite nacho toppings. Loaded Totchos will be the life of your next party! They’re perfect for snacking or to serve as an appetizer but also filling enough to be the whole meal. Everyone will love this hearty quick fix!

Here’s all you’ll need: tater tots, ground beef, taco seasoning, water, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, taco sauce, and sour cream.

Loaded Totchos ingredients list #totchos #tatertotnachos #cincodemayo #tatertotrecipes #mexicanrecipes

First cook the tater tots according to package directions or until golden brown. I like mine nice and crispy crunchy so I cook them a few minutes longer than the package directions! Who’s with me on that crunch?

Cook tater tot according to package directions. #totchos #tatertotnachos #cincodemayo #tatertotrecipes #mexicanrecipes

Meanwhile in a large skillet brown the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Crumble the meat as it browns. Then drain any excess grease from the pan. I like to use  90% lean beef or higher because the meat doesn’t shrink down as much during cooking. You could also substitute ground turkey or chicken.

In a large skillet cook and crumble beef until no longer pink. #totchos #tatertotnachos #cincodemayo #tatertotrecipes #mexicanrecipes

Add in the taco seasoning and water. If you buy your taco seasoning by the packet you can toss in the whole thing. Or if you love Taco Tuesdays as much as we do and buy your seasoning in bulk, then you’ll need about 3 tablespoons. Bring to a boil and cook for about two minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

Stir in the taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. #totchos #tatertotnachos #cincodemayo #tatertotrecipes #mexicanrecipes

Now here’s the wild and crazy fun part! Cover your tots!! Load those babies up!! Layer on the ground beef! The cheddar cheese (or taco or Mexican blend)! Throw on some of that shredded lettuce!! Drizzle with taco sauce and then add a big ole dollop of sour cream!! Go nuts!! This recipe is so easy and I love that it can be modified to suit everyone’s tastes. Skip the lettuce and add beans. Plop on some guacamole! I’m giving you permission to play with your food!

Layer on the ground beef, cheese, lettuce, taco sauce and sour cream. #totchos #tatertotnachos #cincodemayo #tatertotrecipes #mexicanrecipes

And there you have it…Quick and Easy Loaded Totchos!!! Don’t they look delicious??? Your Cinco de Mayo party just got a whole lot better!!! De Nada! Don’t miss our Beer Margaritas coming later this week!!

Loaded Touches by Happylifeblogspot.com #totchos #tatertotnachos #cincodemayo #tatertotrecipes #mexicanrecipes

Quick and Easy Loaded Totchos

May 2, 2018
: 6
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 cups frozen Tater Tots (one whole 28 oz bag)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning (3 tablespoons)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • any additional nacho toppings of your choice
Directions
  • Step 1 Cook the tater tots according to package directions or until golden brown.
  • Step 2 In a large skillet cook and crumble the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink.
  • Step 3 Stir in one packet of taco seasoning (3 tablespoons) and 2/3 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cook for two minutes or until thickened.
  • Step 4 Top tater tots with ground beef, cheese, and shredded lettuce. Drizzle with taco sauce and add a spoonful of sour cream. Enjoy!!

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Speedy Kielbasa Dip

Speedy Kielbasa Dip

Typically March Madness means I’m outraged because I’m SO. Over. This. Snow!!! But this year’s a little different. We’re all about basketball right now here in Buffalo. Our hometown team, the University at Buffalo, pulled off a huge upset! If you know Buffalo sports, you know that […]

Banana Split Cake

Banana Split Cake

Every year I make my famous Banana Split Cake for my Grandma’s birthday. I’ve probably made it for at least the last 15 years without missing a birthday. I have alot of other cakes that I can make. And I’ve tried to convince her to mix […]

Frosted Fudge Brownies

Frosted Fudge Brownies

If you’re in need of the ultimate brownie recipe, then look no further! You’ve come to the right place. This rich, fudgy, frosted brownie recipe is the only one you’ll ever need. Really!! They turn out perfect every time….well except for the first time that I made them. Yep! Kitchen fails happen to the best of us. My hubby and I had just started dating and we were in that “playing house” phase. I wanted to impress him and make these delicious brownies for him and his friends and everyone would love me and we would live happily ever after….yada, yada, yada! Well the brownies turned out great and the frosting was soooo good too. The problem was I didn’t have time to let them cool long enough before frosting them! But being the go getter that I am, I went for it anyways and hoped for the best. Well…..it wasn’t my best! It was far from it. The frosting melted and turned into a hot mess. I tried cutting them. I tried freezing them. I tried everything I could think of to save them in the limited amount of time that I had to work with, but they were beyond saving (in my mind anyways!!). My hubby swore they were delicious and tried to convince me to bring them anyways (he’s so sweet), but I was so upset at that point that I burst into tears. Uh-huh!! Just like that Brad Paisley song Little Moments. Looking back now it all seems so silly but at the time it was a kitchen fail of epic proportions in my mind. We ended up leaving the brownies at home and the following week I attempted them again. I couldn’t let a little melted frosted defeat me! Well they were a HUGE hit and have been ever since!! I’ve probably made them 100 times. I ALWAYS get asked to share this one and it’s constantly requested for potlucks and parties. We basically bring them EVERYWHERE!! So to all of you newbie bakers out there….Keep trying! You got this! And sometimes fails make for better stories than successes anyways because we DID live happily ever after!!

Here’s all you’ll need: butter, baking coca, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, confectioners sugar, and milk. (and enough patience to allow them to cool!)

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. You can also do this in the microwave but I have a tendency to explode butter all over the microwave from time to time. Anyone else?!? I’m starting to feel like this blog post holds all of my deepest, darkest secrets!!!

Remove from the heat and stir in the 3/4 cups of baking cocoa. Cool and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer until well blended. I’m still getting used to this new hand mixer. I gotta confess, I kinda miss my old Cuisinart one! Still mourning it a little.

Blend in the salt and the baking powder. Then mix in the flour. I know what you’re thinking….I thought we were making BROWN-ies?!? But we’re about to get to that part!

Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The chocolate mixture doesn’t have to be 100% cooled. Obviously you don’t want it to be blazing hot at this point, but if it’s still a little warm, don’t worry about it. It won’t mess anything up. Mix until the chocolate and batter are completely incorporated. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl and the sides!

The batter will be thick and fudgy! Spread into a greased 13 X 9 inch baking dish. I like to plop it all in the middle and then work it out towards the sides. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I tend to lean towards the longer side. Usually I’ll check them at about 28 minutes but end up baking for the full 30. Remove from the oven and COOL COMPLETELY!!!! I’m laughing hysterically as I type that.

Meanwhile, let’s make this delicious frosting!! In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and milk. Now the recipe says to add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of milk. It depends on how thick you want the frosting. Rule of thumb: start with the smaller amount and work your way up. So I add 1/4 cup and mix, and then go from there. If I think it needs more then I add extra milk, about a tablespoon at a time, until I’m happy with it. Now also I sometimes cheat a little and use melted butter. It turns out fine that way too, and doesn’t give me so much cocoa blow back when I turn on the mixture. Since the melted butter is already a liquid, you’ll want to go with the smaller amount of milk.

Once the brownies are COOLED COMPLETELY!!!!!…….we can go ahead and frost them! Stressing the completely cooled part! Learn from my mistakes people!! So happy that I can laugh about it now. Spread the frosting evenly over the brownies. Yum. Yum. Yummy!!! Why do people even eat brownies without frosting??? I think it should be a rule that they HAVE to have it!!

Cut into bars before serving! Are you team frosted or unfrosted? What are your most memorable (and maybe most delicious) kitchen blunders?

Frosted Fudge Brownies

January 29, 2018
: 24
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FROSTING:
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the 3/4 cups of baking cocoa. Cool and set aside.
  • Step 2 In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer until well blended. Blend in the salt, baking powder, and flour.
  • Step 3 Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture. Mix until the chocolate and batter are completely incorporated.
  • Step 4 Spread into a greased 13 X 9 inch baking dish. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting!
  • Step 5 To make the frosting: In a large bowl, cream the butter, confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and milk. Now the recipe says to add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of milk.
  • Step 6 Spread frosting over cooled brownies. Cut into bars before serving and enjoy!!

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