Vickie’s Kitchen Delights

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and enjoyed all the snow we had! It was beautiful but so cold!
I had the misfortune of falling two weeks before Christmas and broke my big toe in three places. I had vertigo for more than 3 weeks so bad that I could not even drive. I was so dizzy! This is the worst I have ever had it and I would not wish it on my worst enemy!
But I am over it for the time being and all my trees are down, and most decorations are put away. I also had a birthday on Jan. 1 and was the first baby born 70 years ago! Whew I cannot believe I am 70, but life goes on!
This month I have a hodge podge of recipes I want to share with you.
The first recipe is for Creamy Tuscan Sausage Pasta. This is a one pan wonder and perfect for a busy night taking less than 20 minutes to prepare.
The Sheet Pan Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Garlic is so good to serve with beef, chicken or pork. They are delicious!
The Easy Apple Dump Cake is quick to prepare with only five ingredients but tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen.
The Moose Tracks Cookie Bars are gooey and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
The Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake is delicious using a boxed chocolate cake mix and Dr. Pepper Cherry soda. This is a very moist cake with a delicious pink buttercream frosting.
My little ditty I leave you with this month is: “New Year’s Resolution”:
Laugh a Little Louder, smile a little Bigger, love a Little Deeper, pray a Lot Harder and Walk Through Life a Little Slower!”
See ya all next month!
Easy Apple Dump Cake
2 – 20-ounce cans apple pie filling
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 package vanilla or white cake mix
10-12 tablespoons butter
Optional toppings: vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and caramel sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 pan. Spread apple pie filling evenly in the pan.
Then spread brown sugar and cinnamon over the top of the apple pie filling evenly. Pour the cake mix over the top of the apple pie filling.
Place tablespoons of butter on top of the cake mix, distributing them out evenly.
Place the baking pan in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top layer is golden.
Garnish with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and caramel sauce or your choice of toppings.
Notes: You can place the butter pads over the cake mix, or you can melt the butter and pour it over the cake mix. Ensure you have an even distribution.
Sheet Pan Brussels Sprouts
with Bacon
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
4-5 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and rinse the brussels sprouts. Peel the loose, outer leaves. Trim the end, then cut the Brussel sprouts in half.
Heat a skillet on medium heat and slowly cook bacon pieces until fat is released, but bacon is still soft and not crisp yet.
Remove skillet from heat and add minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and stir until combined.
Place Brussels sprouts piled in the middle of the sheet pan. Pour bacon oil mixture onto the brussels sprouts. Gently toss until the sprouts are evenly coated with bacon oil.
Spread Brussels sprouts into one even layer on the sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, then gently toss and mix the sprouts.
Bake for another 20 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are tender and bacon is crisp. Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed and serve warm.
Moose Tracks Cookie Bars
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons softened butter or 1 and ½ sticks
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
¾ cup peanut butter cups chopped or mini peanut butter cups
1/3 cup hot fudge warmed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a medium size mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, sift flour with salt and baking powder. Add the flour mixture into a larger bowl to make the cookie dough. Chop up the peanut butter cups and fold them into the dough.
Line your baking dish with parchment paper. Drop dough onto baking sheet and spread out to fill the entire sheet.
Microwave the jar of hot fudge and pour it randomly on top of the cookie bars. Use a toothpick to swirl the fudge around in the cookie dough.
Bake cookie bars in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, let cool, and serve once they have reached room temperature.
Creamy Tuscan Sausage Pasta
8 ounces penne pasta, uncooked
1 pound ground sausage
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups spinach chopped
½ cup sun dried tomatoes
Bring a large pot to boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
In a large skillet add the sausage and cook and crumble until it is no longer pink. Set aside on a plate.
Add the heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese. Whisk over medium high heat until it starts to thicken.
Add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and let it simmer until the spinach starts to wilt.
Add the sausage back to the pan and add the pasta and stir until heated throughout.
Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix only using the dry mix
1 ½ cups Dr. Pepper Cherry pop
1 jar of maraschino cherries with no stem. Remove 24 cherries from jar and set aside saving juice
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar plus 2 more cups if needed
1 container of chocolate shavings or I took 2 Hershey bars and shaved them
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with Pam baking spray and set aside.
Using a mixer, mix the cake mix and soda until combined. Cut the cherries in half and mix into the batter.
Pour the cake batter into the 13×9 pan. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
Cherry Frosting:
Using a mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and cherry juice until combined and stiff. If the frosting is thin, add another cup of powdered sugar.
Scoop the frosting onto the cooled cake and smooth evenly onto cake. Sprinkle the chocolate shavings onto the frosting and add a few cherries.
Place into the fridge for an hour to allow the frosting to harden before cutting! Delicious!