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November 2012

BBQ Turkey Crostini Appetizer

Looking for something different to make from Thanksgiving leftover turkey? Try this tangy BBQ turkey crostini. It's super easy to make and only requires a few basic ingredients. Best of all, this tasty appetizer is ready in less than 30 minutes.

The BBQ turkey crostini appetizer is perfect year-round. If you don't have leftover turkey, a good alternative is packaged turkey meat chunks, smoked turkey legs, or use chicken or pork instead.

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BBQ TURKEY CROSTINI APPETIZER

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Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

6 slices Farmer's Bread
1-1/2 cups Turkey meat, chopped
1/4 small Red Onion, diced
2/3 cup BBQ Sauce (try this homemade sweet and tart BBQ sauce)
4 slices cooked Bacon, chopped
6-8  slices Sharp Cheddar Cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Add turkey, onion, and BBQ sauce to a small skillet. Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble. Stir frequently.

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3. Place bread slices on ungreased baking sheet. Top each slice with 1/4 cup BBQ turkey mixture.

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4. Add 1-2 tablespoons chopped bacon.

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5. Top with cheddar cheese. If bread slices are long, you might need to break cheese slices into smaller pieces to cover the entire crostini.

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6. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese bubbles and begins to turn brown.
7. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to serving dish and enjoy!

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OXO "Be a Good Cookie" Spatula Review

As a member of the OXO Blogger Outreach Program I receive products to try out and share my opinion about. Last week, I received the OXO "Be a Good Cookie" spatula which helps raise awareness and funds for my favorite charity, Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

I was introduced to OXO while organizing the Team Logan Bake Sale event for Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Gretchen Witt, founder of the non-profit, works for OXO and the company developed the "Be a Good Cookie" spatula to help raise funds her organization. 50% of the proceeds of each spatula sold go toward pediatric cancer research.

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There are many things I like about this spatula. First of all, it is relatively small which makes it ideal for lifting cookies, as well as the perfect size for kids. Secondly, the head is flexible; making it easy to lift cookies from baking sheets even when they are close together. Also, the handle includes a soft, non-slip grip that keeps it tight in your hand.

The spatula head is made from stainless steel. On the front, the words "Be a Good Cookie" is etched on the steel, while the back reflects the website address. The head is coated in orange silicone so you'll never have to worry about the words rubbing off.

The OXO spatula is designed specifically for cookies, but it can be used for other types of cooking. It's great for flipping eggs and dollar size pancakes and is ideal for stir-fry prepared in a wok. It is also perfect when cooking sticky foods, such as teriyaki glaze, because of the non-stick coating. At only $7.99, this spatula is a great bargain and makes a great gift for all your baking friends. Click here to order your "Good Cookie" spatula from OXO.

To give the OXO "Good Cookie" spatula a good workout, I whipped up a batch of my favorite Orange Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookies. These cookies are small and dense, yet packed with flavor. Best of all, they are incredibly easy to make!

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ORANGE VANILLA CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

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Yield: (30) 2-inch cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 8-10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 vanilla beans, pulp only
2-1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chip morsels

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Using a grater, scrape orange zest into small bowl.

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3. Scrape pulp from vanilla beans and add to orange zest.

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4. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, granulated and brown sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add egg and mix well.
6. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well-incorporated.
7. Stir in orange zest, vanilla bean pulp, and chocolate chips.
8. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

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9. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks until completely cooled.

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Enjoy these Orange Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookies with a steaming hot cup of coffee or cocoa and a great book such as "Those We Love Most" by Lee Woodruff. I received this book as a gift from Cookies for Kids' Cancer after answering a question on their Facebook page.

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The author has dedicated this book to Gretchen Witt's son, Liam, who is the inspiration behind the organization. "Those We Love Most" is an amazing story about the trials and tribulations of a family caused by secrets they kept and is a MUST-READ!

Interested in raising funds for Cookies for Kids' Cancer? Consider hosting a holiday cookie swap. Currently, GLAD is donating $1 per cookie exchanged to the organization. This is a fantastic way to complete your holiday baking while helping out a good cause.  Click here to learn how to host a Cookies for Kids' Cancer bake sale.


Mom's Super Easy Homemade Yeast Rolls

One of my fondest childhood memories is my mom's homemade yeast rolls. She would make an enormous batch a few times each week. Most were made into dinner rolls, but some were transformed into the most amazing cinnamon rolls served for Sunday brunch.

When mom passed away, I inherited her recipe collection. I've made many of her favorite recipes over the past few years, but always shyed away from yeast rolls. Honestly, I've never been able to master anything made with yeast.

For some reason, I started craving mom's homemade yeast rolls and couldn't stop thinking about them. So, the other day I opened her cherished recipe box and pulled out the recipe. I was determined to conquer my fear of yeast and vowed to replicate mom's goodness. I am happy to report that her recipe is super easy and the rolls were light, crisp, and ever so tasty!

Homemade-yeast-rolls
MOM'S HOMEMADE YEAST ROLLS RECIPE

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Yield: 12 rolls + 1 supersize roll
Prep Time: 15 minutes + rise time
Bake Time: 11-13 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup granulated Sugar
1 cup hot Water
1/8 cup warm Water for yeast
1 package active-dry Yeast
3 cups all-purpose unbleached Flour

DIRECTIONS:

1. Put oil, salt, sugar and hot water in large mixing bowl and mix together.

2. In a small bowl, add yeast to warm water and let dissolve.

3. Let water cool, then add yeast and flour with oil, salt, and sugar mixture.

4. Using a dough hook, mix ingredients until combined.

5. Lightly spray hands with cooking oil and roll dough into a ball. Return to mixing bowl and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

6.Lightly spray muffin tins with cooking oil. Punch down dough ball, then separate into 2-inch balls. Place two balls in each tin.

7. Let rolls rise for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until double in size.

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8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until medium golden brown.

NOTE: I had extra dough and decided to make a supersize roll instead of dirtying up another muffin tin for 2 rolls. I used a 10-inch souffle dish and it turned out perfectly!

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Calling All Bakers - Now Casting CBS Baking Show

Have you dreamed of being a celebrity baker? Do you want to strut your baking skills and show the world your amazing baked goods? Can you whip up impressive cupcakes, breads, cakes, or pastries? If so, you should seize the moment and audition for the new CBS Baking Show Competition!

CBS is NOW CASTING NATIONWIDE AMATEUR BAKERS for a fun new BAKING COMPETITION SERIES!

Amateur skilled bakers will compete against one another in baking challenges that will test every aspect of their baking skills. At the end of the competition, one baker will ultimately be crowned the winner. The series follows the trials and tribulations of the competitors – young, old, from every background and every corner of the United States – as they attempt to prove their baking prowess.

We are seeking all types of non-professional bakers from across the country, whether you're an athlete, teacher, trucker, or retiree, as long as you have the zest for baking, we want to hear from you!

APPLY TODAY: http://cbsbakingshow.com/