My Fiesta: Liz McIlvain

Staff Picks Liz FB

Liz McIlvain, President HLC Inc.

Favorite Fiesta colors: Sapphire and Marigold.  Lapis and Poppy from our current lineup.

Favorite Fiesta items: I love a lot of the vintage pieces, such as the Onion Soup, Comports, and Stick Handled Coffee Service and Cups.

Of our new post-86 items, I really like the new Bistro Bowls, the 9×13 Rectangular Baker, and the new Covered Casserole.

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Most used Fiesta items: To name a few, I use my Luncheon Plates daily, as well as Square Mugs and the Rectangular Baker.

Fiesta item I have the most of: Definitely Dinner Plates.

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Go-to recipe for entertaining: Cheesy potatoes for a crowd.  I have several delicious dip and appetizer recipes and everyone loves my pulled pork.

Liz's Cheesy Potatoes
A cheesy hash brown casserole, perfect for entertaining.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs frozen hashbrowns
  2. 1 (16 oz) container sour cream
  3. 1 (10-1/2 oz) can cream of chicken soup
  4. 1 generous cup shredded cheddar cheese
  5. 1/2 stick butter, melted
  6. 1/2 cup chopped onions
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon pepper
  9. 2 cups crushed potato chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle crushed potato chips on top.
  4. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until hot and bubbly.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Favorite foods: Everything! From Italian dishes to grilled fresh fish and veggies.  I look forward to going to the beach and being able to eat fresh seafood, especially crab claws.

Best kitchen tip: Cleaning up as I go when making certain recipes, instead of waiting until the meal is finished to clean the pots and pans I’ve used.  Sometimes, unfortunately, that’s impossible and I’m left with a mess to clean up.  Then I recruit my husband!

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Favorite Fiesta items to give as a gift: I love to give friends the Rectangular Baker (one of my most favorite items), but I also love giving our new Covered Casserole.  Both items are so useful when making family recipes and sharing with friends.

Favorite holiday: Although the work it entails can be massive, I do love Christmas and the whole ritual of preparing for family gatherings, baking, and giving. Over the years, my daughters and I have created our own baking tradition at Christmas time.  We make several different types of delicious cookies, place them on a plate (usually the newest color of Fiesta) and then deliver them to close friends and family.

Favorite memory of Fiesta: Believe it or not, when I was growing up, my mother didn’t use Fiesta in her kitchen.  She liked Homer Laughlin’s Swirl shape and that’s the dinnerware we ate from for years.  But, we did have several Fiesta Chop Plates and when my dad would grill out, dinner would be served on the colorful Chop Plates!  My favorite was the bright yellow plate!

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Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread Recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe
(Pane di Pasqua all ‘Uovo)

We all have our traditions, and of course holidays bring out those traditions more than ever. Holiday recipes are some of the most beloved traditions in every family. The tastes, the smells. Just thinking about it takes us back to grandma’s kitchen!

With Easter just around the corner, we’ve decided to share an Italian Easter Bread recipe that’s been a secret for generations. But we feel such a close bond with you, our Fiesta friends, that we feel compelled to share it with you. However, this recipe comes with a fair warning. It’s not for the faint of heart: be prepared to set aside about half a day to prepare it. Trust us when we tell you, it is so worth it!

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

But really, the waiting and preparation is all part of the fun when you turn it into a family group effort. They’re the moments you’ll cherish forever. 

So tie on your Fiesta apron strings, bring out your Baking Bowl Set and get ready to make a family tradition. It’s Easter Bread time!

With the colorful eggs and sprinkles in this recipe, it really is quite Fiesta-y. We like to coordinate the sprinkles with the color of the eggs and our Easter tablescape. For a Fiesta enthusiast, it’s kind of a dream come true.

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

After you dye your eggs, it’s time to activate the yeast and get to the bread baking. If you’ve never made bread using active dry yeast, don’t be afraid! It’s not nearly as daunting as it might seem. 

After some mixing, setting and rising, the next “challenging” moment, if you haven’t done it before, might be kneading the dough. If you don’t have an experienced aunt nearby who can show you the art of kneading dough, a simple look up on YouTube will have you well on your way. 

Easter Bread Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 5 eggs
  2. 2 packages active dry yeast
  3. 1/2 cup warm water
  4. 1/2 cup warm water
  5. 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  6. 3/4 cup shortening
  7. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  8. 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  9. 1 cup sugar
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 eggs
  12. 1 egg white
  13. 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups sifted flour
  14. 1 egg yolk
  15. 1 tablespoon milk
  16. Tiny multicolored candies
Instructions
  1. Lightly butter a Fiesta Pizza/Baking Tray.
  2. Dip 5 uncooked eggs in food dye to color (follow directions on package) and set aside.
  3. Soften 2 packages active dry yeast in ½ cup warm water (110 degrees F to 115 degrees F). Let stand 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile pour 1/2 cup warm water into a large bowl and blend in 1 ½ cups sifted flour.
  5. Stir softened yeast and add to flour-water mixture, mixing well. Beat until very smooth. Cover bowl with waxed paper and towel and let stand in warm place (about 80 degrees F) for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  6. Cream together until shortening is softened: ¾ cup shortening, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel.
  7. Add gradually, creaming until fluffy after each addition, a mixture of: 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt.
  8. Beat until thick and piled softly: 2 eggs and 1 egg white. Add beaten eggs in thirds to sugar mixture, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add yeast mixture, mixing well.
  9. Measure: 4 ½ to 4 ¾ cups sifted flour. Add about one-half the flour to yeast mixture and beat until very smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface.
  10. Select a deep bowl just large enough to allow dough to double. Shape dough into a smooth ball and place into a greased bowl. Turn dough to bring greased surface to top. Cover bowl with waxed paper and towel and let dough rise until doubled (about 1 ½ to 2 hours).
  11. Punch down with fist. Divide dough into two equal balls. Let stand covered for 10 minutes.
  12. Roll each ball out into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 to 1 ½ inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Place on the prepared Fiesta Pizza/Baking Tray. Place colored eggs into the spaces of braid. Cover loosely with towel. Set dough aside in a warm place until doubled.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  14. Brush bread with a mixture of: 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk.
  15. Sprinkle with tiny multicolored candies.
  16. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or more or until bread is golden brown. (Eggs will be hard-cooked.)
Adapted from Italian Cookery
Adapted from Italian Cookery
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

Fiesta Dinnerware Easter Bread recipe on the blog at www.alwaysfestive.com.

You’ll notice a lot of downtime during this process, which is perfect for family games or making Easter baskets. If you do end up making Easter Egg Bread a part your Easter family tradition this year, please share photos with us on Facebook and tell us about some of your Easter traditions too!

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Confetti Cake Cookies

Confetti Cookies Lapis Script
These clever cookies capture the flavor of birthday cake in a chewy cookie because, well, who doesn’t love a good cookie? The secret to this flavorful phenomenon lies in the mix.  We’ve incorporated equal parts of flour and cake mix to create a faux-cake cookie that will blow your mind.

fiesta confetti cake cookies

Chockfull of creamy white chocolate chips and colorful sprinkles, these buttery little cookies have the unmatched ability to coax out the inner kid in us all.  Try them out as a casual alternative to fussy birthday cakes or whip up a batch for the kiddo’s next sleepover.  These treats don’t require a special occasion to be enjoyed.

Confetti Cookie Dough

While you can certainly incorporate some semi-sweet chocolate chips into this cookie as well, we felt the white chocolate chips provided the truest birthday cake flavor.  Change up the sprinkle colors to coordinate with the season too!

Fiesta Confetti Cake Cookie Dough Balls

In order for these cookies to reach their full potential, you absolutely should let the dough chill in your fridge for at least 2 hours.  At that point, take the dough out and roll it into balls.  You can return the dough balls to the fridge for a longer rest if you desire or start baking them off.  Another tip to help these cookies turn out nice and thick is to shape them to be taller rather than completely round.

Fiesta Confetti Cake Cookies

Depending on how big you make your cookie dough rounds, you will end up with about 2 to 2.5 dozen of these tasty little treats, but be warned: they go fast!

Fiesta Confetti Cake Cookies Stack

 

Confetti Cake Cookies
Yields 24
A buttery drop cookie infused with birthday cake flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1-1/4 cup boxed vanilla cake mix (just the dry mix)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  5. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  6. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  7. 1 egg, at room temperature
  8. 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  9. 1 cup white chocolate chips
  10. 1/2 cup sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix on low until they are evenly disbursed.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days. If chilling longer than 2 hours, roll the cookie dough into balls at the 2-hour mark. Place the dough balls on a plate, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  4. Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Scoop rounded balls of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, using about 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough per cookie.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. The centers will still appear soft, but the cookies will set as they cool. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
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Halloween After Party: Monster Cookies

COOKIE_3

 

It happens every year. As the air turns cool and the leaves start to fall, super markets across the nation erect glistening displays of chocolate morsels. As we turn the corner from the produce aisle , the tower of treats calls out and we are powerless. After all, who are we to deny those adorable trick-or-treaters their fun-sized peanut butter cups? ‘Two bags for $5? We’ll get 10. Nope, better make that 20, lest we run out mid-treating.’

As the festivities come to a close we are, of course, invariably left with an assortment of chocolatey remnants and that cornucopia of candy is retired to the kitchen, where bits of caramel and nougat continue to haunt us, begging to be eaten.

Well, this year we’ve decoded to take action and put our sugary stash to good use.  What those candy bars need is a good dose of butter and flour, and we’ve got just recipe for it. 

Monster cookies are a classic and the perfect way to use up a mis-matched assortment of candy.

Cookie_2

 
For this version we’ve harnessed the power of browned butter to lend a more complex flavor, while oats provide an amazing, chewy texture. M&M’s are pretty much essential to this recipe, at least around these parts, as their candy shells perfectly capture the fun, festive spirit of our Fiesta® dinnerware.

 In fact, maybe we should call these delectable treats “Fiesta Cookies”.

MONSTER COOKIES
Yields 36
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
11 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
11 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, divided
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  7. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. ½ teaspoon salt
  10. 1 ¼ cups old fashioned oats
  11. 1 cup mini M&Ms
  12. 1 cup chopped peanut butter cups
  13. ½ cup pecans, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place ½ cup of butter in a skillet and cook over medium heat until slightly browned and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Pour butter into a small bowl and set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile, allow the remaining butter to soften to room temperature.
  2. When browned butter has cooled and firmed up, cream with remaining butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in oats, mixing well.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  6. Fold in M&Ms, chopped peanut butter cups, and pecans.
  7. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or as long as you can stand it.
  8. Heat oven to 375°.
  9. Drop tablespoon sized cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet and bake until light golden brown, about 11 minutes.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
#holidaytreats,#fiestadinnerware#

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Halloween After Party: Snickers Icebox Cake

Fiesta Snickers Cake

This incredibly cool and super rich Snickers® icebox cake mimics the flavors of its candy bar namesake, with layers of homemade peanut butter and chocolate pudding, then drenched in caramel sauce and chocolate ganache.

Sandwiched between each pudding layer are graham crackers, which, when set, transform into delicate, moist cake-like layers.

The crowning piece is the real deal- chopped fun-sized Snickers®, perfect for those of us still trying to whittle down a stash of Halloween treats.

Fiesta Snickers Cake 2

 

Snickers Ice Box Cake BakerThis magnificent frosty cake can be layered and frozen right in the Fiesta Square Baker!  Fashion a sling out of parchment paper and lay it in first to help remove the finished cake.

SNICKERS® ICEBOX CAKE
Makes one 8×8 cake.

Ingredients:

1 box graham crackers

Chocolate Pudding

3 cups whole milk, divided
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cup dark chocolate, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Pudding

3 cups whole milk, divided
½ cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Caramel Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

Chocolate Ganache 

2/3 cup dark chocolate
1 tablespoon heavy cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons warm water
14 mini Snickers, chopped

Instructions:

Chocolate Pudding

Combine 2 ¾ cups of milk, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. 

When mixture comes to a simmer, add in chocolate and whisk until smooth. 

Combine reserved ¼ cup of milk with cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until no lumps remain. 

Add cornstarch mixture to pudding and mix well to combine.

Heat, whisking constantly, until pudding comes to a simmer. 

Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 1 minute).

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Set aside to cool.

Peanut Butter Pudding

Combine 2 ¾ cups of milk, sugar, and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. 

Bring to a simmer.

Combine reserved ¼ cup of milk with cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk until no lumps remain. 

Add cornstarch mixture to pudding and mix well to combine.

Heat, whisking constantly, until pudding comes to a simmer. 

Add peanut butter.

Reduce heat to low and continue whisking until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 1 minute).

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Set aside to cool.

Caramel Sauce

Have all ingredients measured and ready to go.  You must work quickly with caramel so this step is essential!

Place sugar in a medium to large sauce pan over medium heat.

When sugar begins to melt, carefully scrape it around the bottom of the pan with a heat-proof spatula.

As soon as the sugar is completely melted and no lumps remain, carefully add the butter and stir vigorously to combine.

When the butter is melted and the sauce has reached a caramel color, slowly pour the cream in, whisking constantly.  

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

Pour into a heat-proof container, such as a glass jar or measuring cup, and set aside to cool.

Chocolate Ganache

Put chocolate and heavy cream in a heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. 

Let chocolate and cream sit for a few minutes until chocolate is completely melted, then slowly stir to combine. 

Incorporate powdered sugar, mixing well.

Slowly mix in water, one tablespoon at a time, until a sauce-like consistency is reached.  Set aside.

To Assemble

Line a square baking dish with parchment paper or heavy aluminum foil, allowing a one inch overhang on each side.

Place 4 ½ graham crackers side-by-side on the bottom of the pan. 

Spread a layer of chocolate pudding on top. 

Place a second layer of graham crackers on top of the chocolate pudding, then add a layer of peanut butter pudding.

Continue alternating chocolate and peanut butter puddings, dividing each pudding layer with a layer of graham crackers. 

Pour cooled caramel sauce over the top, reserving about ¼ cup of caramel. 

Pour ganache on top, reserving about ¼ of the sauce. 

Top with chopped Snickers® and finish with a drizzle of remaining caramel and chocolate ganache. 

Place the cake in your freezer for at least 8 hours or overnight.

 

 

Inspired by Bakers Royale

#holidaytreats,#fiestadinnerware

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