Thursday, December 25, 2008

Crockpot Spinach and Artichoke Dip


I saw this recipe on the Crockpot Ladies website and tried it last night. I have altered it a little to my liking. I made it her way and I wanted it a little more cheese and creamy. So, I adjusted it a little. I say make it to taste.

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (9-ounce) bag baby spinach, chopped (If you buy it already chopped and frozen you don't need as much. I did and I felt it was more spinach then it needed.)
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise or 3/4 cube cream cheese
3 T jalapeno slices, chopped

I used a 4-quart crockpot. Drain and chop artichoke hearts, and add to the crockpot Scrunch the spinach and chop it the best you can---mostly try to get the long stems off if you can or use frozen chopped spinach. Add to the crockpot. Add mayo or cream cheese, sour cream, and chopped jalapenos. Top with 3/4 cup each shredded mozzarella and Parmesan.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, or high for 1. Stir. The spinach should begin to welt if you are using fresh spinach. If it hasn't, cook some more. When the spinach is totally wilted, take the lid off and add the other 3/4 cup of each cheese, and let it melt while the lid remains off. The spinach will have created some liquid that doesn't really need to be in there.

Serve with your favorite chips, sliced veggies, or bread cubes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cherry Chocolates


These babies are my absolute favorite Christmas treat. Actually they are my absolute favorite treat ever. A little history...
This recipe is my Aunt Wendy's creation, and she is known all around town for them. Every year she brings my family a big plate of them and we all hide a few in the freezer for our selves, I remember my parents hiding them in their closets and me digging them out :). I definitely went through with drawls when I moved out east. I finally got her to share her recipe a few years ago and since then nothing can compare. For real. They are a little tricky to make, as all candy is but once you get the system (making the fondant) you will be SO glad you did.

Cherry Chocolates
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbl. white Karo Syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond
1/4 c. butter (no margarine)

Mix together everything but butter and flavorings. Stir over medium heat ONLY until sugar dissolves. Cook to softball stage. To test, drop a teaspoon of mixture into cold water and mold with fingers, if mixture holds together softly in water then flattens when pulled out, its cooked. Do not over cook or it will turn to sugar very easily. Remove from heat, stir in butter and flavorings and pour onto a buttered platter. Let cool. Beat with a wooden spoon until it turns white and to a creamy thickness. (takes awhile)
Pour into a Tupperware bowl and refrigerate up to 2 weeks or until ready to make chocolates.

18 maraschino cherries chopped small
1 c. chopped pecans
Melted chocolate for dipping (good brand)

Mix cherries and pecans into the fondant. Rolls into small balls, you may have to refrigerate to harden enough to roll in chocolate. Melt chocolate in microwave in 20 seconds increments or WARM oven at 200. Any hotter oven will result in chocolate turning white and flaky. Dip fondant into melted chocolate and freeze or refrigerate until eaten.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Peppermint Marshmallows

img_2994

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. crushed peppermint candy canes (about 6)
1/8 tsp. salt

*Tip: to crush your candy canes, break them up in large pieces, then seal them in a Zip Loc bag. Put your bag on a sturdy cutting board and use a hammer to smash them into a powder. The finer the powder, the better.

1. Into a small bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Line a 9×13″ pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Sift 2 Tbsp. of the powdered sugar mixture into pan and tilt to coat all sides. Leave excess in pan.

3. Place 2/3 c. water in a large bowl and sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.

4. In medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat sugar, corn syrup, candy cane, and salt over medium heat until completely dissolved (about 7 minutes).

5. Pour into bowl with gelatin mixture and beat on high speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy (10-15 minutes).

6. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Smooth top and dush with powdered sugar mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

7. Lift from pan with foil. With a small, wet cookie cutter, cut shapes and dip sides in sugar mixture. Cut up remaining marshmallows into small, irregular pieces (these are the ones I let my kids and husband eat!). Or, using a wet knife, cut into 6 large squares and dip sides into powdered sugar mixture. Then cut each of those squares into 9 pieces and dip in sugar mixture.

8. Store at room temp, loosely covered.

9. Put three in a cello bag, tie with a ribbon, and gift them along with a jar of hot chocolate mix.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big & Soft Sugar Cookies

My good friend Crystal shared this recipe with me & they turned out wonderfully. I have tried a couple recipes for sugar cookies in the past & haven't liked them because the cookies were to hard or crumbly. These were perfect! Happy holiday baking!

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream (don't use light or fat free)
3 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and sour cream, mix until well combined. Mix in the dry ingredients. Refrigerate the dough overnight. Roll out thin and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Blackberry Lemon Buttermilk Cookies

Another fab recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. (Check her latest cookie entry here. OH MY!) I adjusted these babies a bit with a tad more lemon and fresh blackberries and man they were delicious!

For Cookies:

3 cups flour

Zest of 1 lemon (2-3 teaspoons)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For Glaze:

1 1/2 c powdered sugar

3 Tbs well shaken buttermilk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 TBS lemon juice

Set oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 baking sheets. Whisk together flour, zest, soda, and salt. Set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in batches at low speed until smooth. Chill dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Drop level tablespoons of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until cookies are puffed and edges are golden. Transfer to racks.

Whisk together all glaze ingredients and brush tops of warm cookies. Add blackberries to the top and cool until glaze is set.




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Monday, November 24, 2008

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Maple Sauce



My friend, Kendra, knows I love bread pudding. She saw this recipe and passed it on to me. I tried it last week and it was amazing. I didn't have ginger, clove, or pumpkin spice on hand. So, I just left them out and it was still amazing. I did substitute cinnamon in the maple cream sauce.

Ingredients

5-6 cups white bread, cut into cubes
1 cup pumpkin spice egg nog (cream or regular egg nog may be substitued)
1 cup milk
4 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
3 Tbs butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
dash of clove
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, pour milk and eggnog over cubed bread and stir to coat.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with brown and white sugar. Add pumpkin, butter, vanilla and spices. Add to the bread mixture. Stir well. Pour into an 11"x 7" baking dish. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar mixture and make for 45-60 minutes, until set.

Serve with Maple Cream Sauce and whipped cream.

MAPLE CREAM SAUCE

Ingredients:

3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ultimate Beef Stroganoff


This meal is in my top 10, maybe even my top 5! It is incredibly good and I crave it. So we just had it for dinner.

My kitchen has been over worked since discovering a fantastic food blog, My Kitchen Cafe.
In fact, stop reading this and put it on your google readers right now, you will thank me.
Melanie knows what she is doing! Ive loved every recipe Ive tried!

Okay, Stroganoff talk....Make it, it wont disappoint.


The Ultimate Beef Stroganoff

Put in crock pot:
2-3 pounds stew meat
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 onion, sliced

Mix in a bowl and pour over meat:
¼ tsp. garlic salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cups beef broth or stock (made up from cubes or granules)
1 tablespoon ketchup


Cook in crock pot on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. When cooked make a simple roux by whisking 1/3 cup flour with enough apple juice (about 5-6 tablespoons) to make a thick but still pourable flour mixture. Whisk the roux into the crock pot and add 4 ounces sliced mushrooms.
Cook on high for 15-30 minutes. Then stir in ½ cup sour cream. Serve over pasta, rice or baked potatoes (pasta is my favorite option!).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Easy Potato Soup

This is by far the easiest and best tasting soup I have ever made! The original "recipe" calls for potatoes and carrots. I, however, use whatever else I have in the fridge in addition to it. This recipe is really a can't mess up!

Approx:

7 potatoes sliced
2-3 handfuls of baby carrots sliced
3-4 green onions sliced

(I also add random amounts of broccoli and cauliflower as well...whatever I have in the fridge)

Add enough water to barely cover vegetables and cook until tender. DO NOT DRAIN WATER! Add:
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
7-8 slices Kraft singles
Butter, salt and pepper (to taste)

Puree all together until desired consistency. I have taken this to several functions, and I always get requests for my recipe! ENJOY!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

sweet potato fries


I am not a big sweet potato or yam fan...i just really don't like it when veggies taste sweet; unfortunately they are ridiculously good for you! so i was searching for a good recipe i would like when i stumbled onto this one in running magazine. These "fries" were delicious, good for you, and very easy to prepare.

1-2 tbps veggie or canola oil (depending on how many potatoes you use)
1 large diced sweet potato (this was plenty for one person, the original recipe suggests four)
seasoning (i used garlic salt, rosemary, and allspice...you can essentially use whatever you like, but the recipe called for rosemary and paprika)


heat oven to 375 F
coat diced potatoes in oil and seasoning
spread out on cooking sheet and cook for 20-30 minutes depending on size of fries

I flipped the fries periodically and they did stick to the pan a bit, so if you want to line the pan with foil, parchment paper or spray that would help.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cafe Rio Chicken Burritos

Cafe Rio Chicken Burritos
-I've got to admit that I took this from another blog, but it is SO yummy!! It makes a ton, so you can freeze 1/2 off the chicken for later!!


Cafe Rio Dressing

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (make as per recipe)
2 tomatillos
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeño (I take out the seeds)

Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.

Cafe Rio Chicken

1 small bottle Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
3 cloves garlic—minced
5 lbs chicken breast

Cook all together in a crock pot for 4 hours, shred meat and cook 1 additional hour.


Café Rio Rice

3 c water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic –minced
½ bunch cilantro
1 can green chiles—or equivalent fresh
¾ t salt
1 T butter
½ onion
3 c instant rice

Blend cilantro, green chiles and onion together in food processor. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients, simmer covered 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Turtle Bars


Such a delicioso indulgent...

1 German Chocolate Cake mix
3/4 cup butter softened
2/3 cup evaporated milk
Mix together and spread half of the batter in a greased 9x12 pan. Bake at 350 for 12-15 min.

Melt in microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring often until creamy;
1 bag caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk

Pour caramel mixture over the baked layer and sprinkle on top;
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup of chopped pecans
Drop the rest of the batter on top and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Cool and have a HUGE icy cold glass of milk to wash it down.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wraps anyone?

Hey ladies,

Do you any of you have a recipe for making wraps? I'm talking about the actual wrap itself here, not what goes inside. The quality ones at the store are always so expensive!

I've been searching and finally found a recipe, but it calls for some of the weirdest ingredients that I would be buying just to make the wraps. It seems like there must be a way to make them without all the weird ingredients.

Here're some of the ingredients:
sorghum flour
millet flour
potato starch (NOT flour)
tapioca starch
fennel


I found this on a gluten-free website so I'm thinking the weird ingredients just come from needing a substitute for flour. Maybe I should just try switching out all the starches and flours for regular flour?

Another idea I'm playing around with is making regular tortillas and playing with the dough to add flavors...

Ideas, recipes, thoughts anyone?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Awesome bread machine cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon Rolls


¼ c. warm water

¼ c. butter, melted

½ (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix

1 c. warm milk

1 egg (room temperature)

1 Tbsp. white sugar

½ tsp. salt

4 c. bread flour

1 (.25 oz) pkg. active dry yeast

¼ c. butter, softened

1 c. brown sugar

4 tsp. ground cinnamon

¾ c. chopped pecans

Frosting:

1 (4oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

¼ c. butter, softened

1 c. confectioners sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp. milk

In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 Tbsp. sugar, salt, bread flour, and yeast. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start. When Dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter.

In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough. Roll up dough, beginning with the long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 inch buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 min. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 min. While rolls bake, make frosting. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Buttermilk Syrup

This is soooooo good. It is similar to the syrup they serve at Kneader's (if you've never been, you must go for breakfast! Tomorrow! Order their french toast. You'll die of awesome flavor.)

1 1/2 c sugar (I made it with white sugar, but I think I'll try it with brown sugar next time)
3/4 c buttermilk
1/2 c butter
2 T corn syrup
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla and boil for 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Use larger sauce pan because the soda makes it frothy while cooking. You do not need to stir constantly. This is great over ice cream.

Chicken and Dumplings

Yum! This is a perfect cool-weather meal.

2-4 chicken breasts
2-4 T oil
1 small onion
4-6 T flour
2 cans chicken broth
1 c chopped celery
1 c chopped carrots
1 c corn (optional)
1 c green beans (optional)
1/2 t thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste

Dumplings

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons half-and-half

Heat oil and add chicken. Brown chicken on each side. Set aside (chicken will finish cooking later). Add diced onion, cook until transparent. Sprinkle flour over onion. Slowly stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened. Add veggies. Cut chicken into halves or quarters, add to broth. Add more broth if it is too thick. Flavor with salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.

Make dumplings while chicken is cooking: Into a bowl sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt and stir in dill. With a fork stir in half-and-half until dough is just blended.
With a large soup spoon scoop out 12 dumplings and arrange over chicken mixture. Simmer chicken and dumplings, covered, 9 minutes. Uncover and cook until dumplings are done, about 3 minutes more. (Dumplings are done when a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.) Discard bay leaf.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pumpkin Apple Stuesel Muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or magarine

For Muffins: Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease or paper-line 24 muffin cups. Combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs and vegetable oil in medium bowl; mix well. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.

For Struesel Topping: Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over muffin batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Makes 24 muffins.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Orange Rolls

I posted this recipe on my blog last year, and then I made Orange Rolls again this year. A bunch of you requested that I post this recipe on here, so here it is! Better late than never, right? The rolls are a little time consuming (letting the dough rise), but a lot easier to make than I thought. I'm not sure how easy this recipe is to read if you've never made them, so I'm putting a few pictures of the process.

Orange Rolls

1 Tbsp Yeast
1 Cup Warm Milk
1/4 Cup Warm Water
3/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 Eggs Beaten
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
4 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar

Combine 1 Tbsp yeast, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Mix; set aside for 10 minutes. In large mixing bowl, combine warm milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and beaten eggs. Add yeast mixture; stir. Add flour, 1 cup at a time (if dough is too sticky, add a little more flour). Knead for 5 minutes. Let raise for 2 1/2 hours. Divide in half. Roll like cinnamon rolls using filling recipe. Place each roll in greased cupcake tin. Let rise until double in bulk. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Makes 24 rolls.

For Filling:

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Orange Peel, grated fine

Note: I do not put any kind of topping or glaze on them after they are finished. They are sweet enough (in my opinion) with out one :)

The dough rolled out with the filling sauce spread on it.

The rolls all rolled up (roll them just like you would roll cinnamon rolls), and half way done cutting (tip: use a string to cut them, it's the easiest way!). Each roll (there will be 2 total) will yeild a total of 12 rolls, making 24 total.

These are the cut up rolls put in the pans to rise. Notice half of my rolls aren't in muffin tins... apparently I only own enough muffin tins to hold 12 rolls. More muffin tins are on my shopping list :) However, the rolls in the circle pan turn out just as good as the ones in the muffin tins.

The finished product... delicious. Pictures don't do them justice.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


Does anything else sound more delicious this time of year? I think not. I was given this recipe from my friend Brandon's mom when I got married, and this was my first time trying it out. I should've tried it sooner because these were honestly the best pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I've ever tried before. And (bonus!) they were easy too.

1 can pumpkin (15 oz can)
2 tsp. soda
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 C flour
2 C sugar
2 eggs beaten
2 Tbsp. milk
1 C oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C nuts (optional)
1 6 oz. pkg. chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients first (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon). Add all the wet ingredients (pumpkin, milk, vanilla, eggs, and oil) and mix well. Add chocolate chips (and nuts, if you are using nuts). Drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes. These are very moist cookies.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend, Kendra, gave me this recipe. I'm not sure if I was just out of the loop, but my chocolate chip cookie recipe was not nearly this good. You all for sure need to try this recipe out!

Makes 4 to 5 dozen.

Cream together:
2 cups Crisco
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 cup sugar

Add to above:
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Add to above:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
5 c. flour (I don't always put this much. I just add until it doesn't stick to my finger.)

Add chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. I only cook them 8 minute, because I like them SUPER soft! Mmmm.... Oh, and I don't usually add chocolate chips. They are yummy enough without them! ENJOY!!

Yummy Chicken Rice Bowl

I made this for the first time last night and it was super yummy! The three ingredients above are the key to the yummy taste! This is for sure going to become a regular in our household!

Serves: 4

4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/4 cup Kraft Asian Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
3 to 4 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables (just put in as much as you like)
3 to 4 cups hot cooked long-grain rice (again... as much as you would like)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Heat large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; stir-fry 5-7 minutes. or until cooked through. If you would like to add a little kick then add 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper (Cayenne Pepper). I don't like really hot things, but I loved the little bit of a kick the Cayenne pepper added!

Stir in dressing and juice. Bring to a boil. (The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of both liquids. Next time I will do 1/3 cup of both though. I would have preferred more dressing, so there was some on my rice. So, adjust this to your preference.) Add vegetables; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice. Sprinkle with nuts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

White Chocolate Popcorn

I know, it sounds like a strange combo right? Trust me it's so good!

AIR Pop 8-10 cups of Popcorn
Spread pop corn out on cookie sheets.
Melt one bag of Nestle's White Chocolate Chips in a double-boiler (make sure it's real chocolate, not that fake stuff)
Drizzle over popcorn and lightly toss till coated.

It looks just like regular popcorn, but YOU WON'T BELIEVE HOW IT TASTES!!

Total time for making this was like 5 minutes. Super easy & yummy!

I made this for my YW tonight for and they ate it up!!

Cream of Chicken Soup

While planning my weekly menu, I decided that I would make a home made version of cream of chicken to keep in my freezer to use instead of the canned stuff. And surprise surprise! Cream of chicken soup can be edible by itself! I got the original recipe here, but since I changed it, I'll post my variation:

2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken meat
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Make a white sauce of milk or cream, flour, and oil. Add chicken. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (may use more or less as desired). Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.

If soup is not as thick as desired, mix a small amount of cornstarch with a small amount of water and add to soup. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

I bought a huge amount of greens from Costco the other day and quickly tired of the dressing we had in our fridge. I searched the web for an easy home made dressing and found this on allrecipes.com. It is seriously delish! I find myself eating huge amounts of salad just as an excuse to load up on the dressing.

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

In a blender or food processor, combine the first six ingredients. Slowly add oil; process until smooth. Stir in parsley. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Graham Crackers

3/4 C whole wheat or graham flour
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbl water
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C shortening, margarine or butter
1/4 C honey, warmed

In a medium-size bowl, combine flours, salt, baking soda and brown sugar, and cut in shortening or margarine. Combine water and honey and add to dry ingredients. Blend well. Roll out half the dough on an ungreased cookie sheet to 1/4 inch thick. Prick dough with a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into squares (we use a pizza cutter). Cool.

Not only is this a good food storage recipe, but these are fun to make with kids and super yummy! It makes quite a few so just freeze some of the extras for later!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Solid Peanut Butter Cups


Whos in the mood for chocolate peanut butter goodness? You will be when you eat these. Recipe and photo courtesy of this awesome recipe site.

12 ounces melted chocolate (I used 9 ounces semi-sweet squares and 3 ounces white chocolate squares)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt chocolate according to package directions, taking care not to overheat. I melted the semisweet and white chocolate separately and then mixed together. To melted chocolate add peanut butter, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Spoon or pipe (I used a decorating bag with a large round tip) chocolate mixture into small baking cups. Refrigerate until set. Enjoy!

I made these yesterday, they are gone....all gone. So good!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sesame Chicken

I found this recipe a few weeks ago and it is SO good. Seriously, it's yummy. It takes a little time to prepare, but it's not bad at all. And it's totally worth it. It's even earned itself a place on my list of weekly rotated meals, haha. It's a must try!
And for the record, I never marinate the chicken. Just an extra step I don't have time for. I tried it once, and I couldn't tell much of a difference, so feel free to omit that part of the recipe if you want. Instead of marinating, I just throw some salt and oil on the chicken. Also, I don't always have the scallions and sesame seeds so they don't get used half the time either.

Ingredients:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
2 green onions (sliced)

Marinade:
1 teaspoon chicken base
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sesame oil
ground white pepper (to taste)
¼ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon raspberry wine (or any fruity flavored wine)

Batter:
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg (beaten)
½ cup water (or as much as needed to make batter smooth)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Sauce:
5 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sugar
salt (to taste)
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
a sprinkle of ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1:
Cut chicken breasts into 1” chunks and in a glass bowl combine all of the marinade ingredients and mix well. Add the chicken and coat evenly. Cover and marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in separate bowl combine all of the batter ingredients and mix thoroughly. The batter should be thick enough to coat the chicken but thin enough to flow around the pieces. Set aside.

Step 3: Using a fork or tongs remove the pieces of chicken from the marinade and dip them into the batter to coat evenly (one by one). Deep fry the chicken in batches in your deep fryer for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. (or you can fry in hot oil at about 325 degrees in your wok for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown)

Step 4: In your wok combine the sauce ingredients and warm over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring and simmer until sauce slightly thickens.

Step 5: In the wok or in a serving dish coat chicken with the sauce and garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Karen's Alfredo

This is my mom's creation, and always a big hit. Here's her original recipe, but I only need half for my family.

1 stick butter
1 1/2 pkg. low fat cream cheese
1-2 tsp crushed garlic, to taste
up to 3 c. fat free half and half
3 oz parmesan cheese

Make it like a white sauce. Melt butter in saucepan over med/high heat. Add cream cheese, cut in small pieces a little at a time. Add garlic, heat and stir until smooth. Slowly add cream and parmesan cheese, constantly stirring. Cook about five minutes.

Even with the low fat cream cheese and fat free half and half, this is an awesome sauce. Serve over whole wheat pasta to alleviate any guilt may feel. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good, healthy veggie salad

My friend had us over for dinner the other night and served this salad. I loved it! Mainly because I'm always looking for ways to get more vegetables in my diet and this salad is full of veggies!

1 bag spinach
1 large orange pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 large tomato, diced ( I add another half to it.)
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 bag shredded carrots
1/2 container blue cheese (optional)
lemon pepper to taste
vinegrate dressing ( I like organic raspberry vinegrate. Balsamic is good too)
I also add chicken for some protein.

Toss in a big bowl and serve.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Raw Chocolate Cream Pie


In the past few months, Paul and I have challenged each other to become "healthier" whatever that means.
In doing so, we have made changes in our kitchen. Paul has taken to the "raw" lifestyle a bit and made this pie the other night. It was quite interesting but not that bad. If you are up for a challenge and something new to try, make it.
~We had friends over for dessert last night and had them try a slice without telling them what it was made of, they liked it.

Crust
1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine in a food processor or blender and process until mixture holds together. Press into a 9 inch pie pan.

Chocolate Cream
1 cup pitted dates, soaked in water for 15 minutes
2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons raw carob powder*
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs*
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

Drain dates but reserve the water they were soaked in. Place all ingredients in a blender adding just enough of the water to facilitate blending. Process until smooth. Pour onto the crust, top with coconut if desired and chill in the fridge for at least an hour covered with plastic wrap.
*We didn't have carob powder or cacao nibs so we used 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Oatmeal Raspberry Bars


So very delish....

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil.
Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sweet Chicken Tacos

This is a staple in my house. My husband loves it and it is always a hit when I make it for company.

3 tbsp. Butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 c. Ketchup
2 tbsp. White wine Vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 c. Brown Sugar
about 2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

Melt butter on medium low heat. Add onions and saute. Mix all ingredients (except chicken) until sugar is melted. Then add chicken and let simmer until juices are absorbed in chicken.

Serve with:

Flour Tortilla's
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Tomatoes
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream and Guacamole
Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cowboy Caviar aka Bean Dip

I wish I could claim this recipe as my own, we had it at a baby shower and my friend just put it on her blog. It is so GOOD!

1 can black beans
1 can black eye peas
1 can pinto beans
1 tomato chopped
1 can corn
1 can sliced olives
1 avocado chopped
1 packet of zesty Italian dressing mix, prepared

strain and rinse all beans, serve with chips.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Auntie Grace's Peanut Butter Cookies

This is my 1st time adding a recipe....hope you all like it....I know everyone has a "fave" PB cookie recipe - this one's mine! :)
3/4 C Shortening
3/4 C Butter
1 C Brown Sugar (packed)
1 C White Sugar
3/4 C Peanut Butter (creamy)
3 Eggs (beaten)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C Coconut
2 tsp Vanilla
3 C Flour

1 C White Sugar (put into a bowl to roll dough around in)
Variation: (My mom would smash up rice krispies and add into sugar bowl - to make cookies extra crunchy...)

Mix together then put on floured board and knead in more flour (about 1/2 C) so it isn't sticky. Make into balls the size of a walnut (small ice cream scoop works best) and then roll dough ball around into sugar. Put onto baking sheet and press flat with fork tines.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pepperoni Rolls


I often make these if I just don't feel like cooking a big dinner. They are super simple but really yummy. I'll serve with pizza sauce and a salad of sort or in tonight's very lazy case...applesauce.

3 Rhodes frozen bread dough loafs
Pepperoni
Melter butter
Garlic powder
Parmesan cheese

Thaw dough and cut each loafs into 8 pieces. Wrap each piece around 2 or 3 pepperoni's and form into a roll. Dip in butter and sprinkle with parm cheese and garlic powder. Cover and allow to rise until double. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baked Oatmeal

Hi, 24-Hour Menu bloggers! Although I've been referring to this (most awesome) blog for a while, this will be my first entry! yay!
Baked Oatmeal

½ c Applesauce

¾ c Sugar

2 eggs

1c Milk

½ tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Baking powder

3C Regular Oats

1-2 Tbs Brown Sugar

½ Tsp Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Beat together applesauce and sugar. Mix in eggs, milk, salt, baking powder, and oatmeal. Beat well. Pour into a lightly greased pie pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, Preheat oven to 350. Bake in preheated oven until firm, about 35 min. Serve hot.

OPTIONAL:

Drizzle honey over top after cooked.

The way I like to top it is with fresh sliced peaches and milk. (Heavenly!) And my friend who gave this recipe to me likes to mix it with vanilla yogurt, too (and I should mention this is a friend who normally HATES oatmeal....but she loves this). This is SUCH a yummy breakfast! It's easy, and it really helps me keep my sweet cravings at bay. And aside from it being pretty darn good for you, the ingredients are cheap, and most of them are things we have around the house anyway! (I am all for budget-friendly cooking)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Best Ever Bundt Cake

A big shout out to Crystal who brought this fabulous cake into my life. My little ones are hooked on this as well as my extended fam. I've been waiting for her to post it on here for all of you but since I make it so often...and did today, I shall.
This is fo' real the BEST!

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (other brands don't work as well)
3 egg whites
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
1 small instant vanilla pudding**
1 Baker's German chocolate bar, grated
1 c. sour cream
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips

Beat cake mix, egg whites, oil, water, and pudding for two minutes. Fold in grated chocolate, sour cream & chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes in a Bundt pan*.
*I love to make this into cupcakes and freeze them. Then I just pop one (or two or three) out and eat it whenever I get a craving.
**I have also used chocolate, butterscotch and cheesecake pudding mixes which are great too.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Zesty Jamaican Joe

I feel like this is a more grown-up version of a sloppy joe. I was very pleased with how it turned out and thought it was super delish.

1/2 lb ground beef*
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8-1/4 cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 can (14-1/2 ounce) zesty diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, undrained
1 can (15 ounces) black or pinto bean, rinsed & drained**
1/2 c diced green pepper
3 whole wheat hamburger buns, split***

In a skillet, cook beef, onion, garlic and cayenne until beef is no longer pink; drain. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and beans. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in green pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Lightly toast buns just before serving. Spoon about 1/2 cup meat mixture over each half bun and serve open-faced.

*I used about 1/3 c ground turkey instead of beef
**Since I used less meat, I used both black and pinto beans
***I like it better rolled up in a tortilla than on a bun
****I also added corn, a finely grated carrot and a sprinkle of taco seasoning. I think I'll add cilantro next time.

Crumb-Topped Cocoa Banana Bread

This is the best banana bread on the planet! I seem to have had a lot of extra-ripe bananas around lately, so I've made this bread a few times and it really is sooo good. Neil and I have no problem finishing an entire loaf in a day.

1 1/2 c flour
1 1/3 c sugar
6 T baking cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t ground cinnamon
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground mace (didn't have any, didn't add it.)
2 eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c mashed ripe bananas (~2 medium)

Topping:
3 T flour
2 T sugar
1 T cold butter
1/8 t baking powder
1/8 t ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and mace. Add eggs, oil and bananas; stir until blended. Spoon batter into an 8" x 4" x 2" greased loaf pan.

To make topping, combine flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and cinnamon in a small bowl until crumbly; sprinkle evenly over batter.

Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Loaf may be stored in refrigerator, well wrapped, for up to 1 week.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

For cheesecakes:

24 vanilla wafers
2 pkgs (8 ozs each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanillla extract

For sour cream topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can cherry pie filling - chilled (optional)**

In a separate bowl, mix together sour cream, sugar and van. extract. Set aside.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin pans with foil laminated baking cups (be sure to remove paper lining). Place 1 vanilla wafer on bottom of each cup. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, cocoa, and flour; blend well. Add eggs, beat well. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Fill each cup with 1/4 cup of mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven; cool 5 to 10 minutes. Spread heaping teaspoonful sour cream topping on each cup. Cool completely in pans, then refrigerate. Garnish with a dollop of cherry pie filling (if desired). I put a slice of fresh strawberry on top.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Buttermilk Pancakes

We love making homemade pancakes and this is a great recipe I got from my Mom!

2 eggs
1 1/2 C. buttermilk
3 Tbsp. butter melted
1 1/c C. flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat the eggs; add the remaining ingredients and beat with a rotary beater until smooth. Makes about 14 pancakes!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Quick Italian Hot Rolls

Ingredients:
1 1/2 C flour
2 packages/2 TB yeast
2 TB sugar
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 C water
1 C milk
1 egg
2 TB butter/margarine, melted

1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 C flour

2 TB butter
1/4 C Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 C. flour, yeast, sugar, garlic salt, italian seasoning. Mix well.

In a sauce pan heat milk, water and butter until warm--butter doesn't need to melt. Add to flour mixture. Add egg. Blend at low speed until it moistens. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.

By hand, gradually stir in 1/2 C. Parmesan and enough flour to make firm dough. Knead on well-floured surface until smooth and elastic for 3-5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to greased top. Cover and let rise in warm place for 15 minutes. Punch down dough. Divide into equal pieces, form into balls. Dip tops into melted butter and 1/4 c. cheese. Place in well-greased pan. Cover and let rise in warm place for 10 minutes. Bake for 18 minutes at 350F or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool.

I haven't had a lot of luck with dinner rolls, but I've had spectacular success with these. You'll LOVE them. Yum.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rainbow Jello

This is a family recipe from Eric's paternal grandmother. I've only made it twice because of how long it takes to make -- but it is so yummy, and so fun to look at. :)


Rainbow Jello Salad

6 or 7 small packages of jello (lime, lemon, orange, strawberry, raspberry (blue), cherry and black cherry)
Sour Cream (at least 2 pints)
Whipped Cream

Directions:
Add 1 cup boiling water to lime jello. Stir to dissolve. Divide in half, add 2 tbsp water to ½ jello and pour into 9x13 pyrex cake pan. (The clear pan will add a dramatic look to your jello)* Tip pan to cover evenly. Chill to set. Keep the 2nd half of the jello in a covered container on the counter so it does not set. After the first layer has chilled, add to the remaining half of jello 1/3 cup sour cream. (Whisking works well). Pour over clear set jello. Chill to set. Start second jello the same with adding 1 cup boiling water, stir to dissolve. Then let it set (covered) on the counter until it cools. Then divide the jello in half, add 2 tbsp water to ½ of the jello and pour over set jello. Repeat process from * until the rest of jello is used. Top with cool whip or whipped cream and chopped nuts (optional). Be sure each layer is set before adding next layer. Tip pan to spread evenly.

Each layer takes about an hour to set before you can add the next layer. (I saw another similiar recipe that said to let each layer set for 20 minutes. The important thing is to make sure it is set.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Crunchy Coconut Chicken

This recipe is super yummy and super simple. I served it with rice and corn, but I think it would be equally tasty on a salad.

1 c flaked coconut
13 vanilla wafers, crushed
2 1/2 pounds chicken
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c butter, melted

On a plate, combine coconut and vanilla wafer crumbs. Dip chicken in egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish; drizzle with butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until done. 4-6 servings.

*I used chicken tenders and they cooked in about 30 minutes.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Strawberry Jammy Jam


Today I made jam. Yes, grandmother dearest would be proud. I had 9 pounds of strawberries to do something with so we have been eating them nonstop. It was a very simple and easy recipe. And the final product was {give to your neighbors} worthy.

4 cups of crushed strawberries -I did this in my blender
4 cups sugar - I only used 3 cups
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a large heavy sauce pan, mix sugar, berries and lemon juice. Stir on low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C)
Transfer to hot sterile jars. Process any unsealed jars in a water bath. If jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother processing, and just refrigerate.

To test for jelling
Place 2 plates in the freezer. After about 10 minutes of boiling, place a teaspoon of the liquid of the jam onto a cold plate and return to freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate...if it doesn't run back together then its ready to be canned!

(I couldn't find my candy thermometer, I believe its in the toy box upstairs and didn't want to look for it so I just did the plate test and it worked fine.)
I ended up with 4 1/2 eight ounce jars of jam.
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Bean Chip Dip

* I will post a picture next time I make it!

2 cans corn
1 can black beans
1 can white beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
3 tomatoes
3 avocado's
1 dry packet of Good Seasonings Italian dressing

Drain the beans and corn and combine in a large bowl.  Cut up the tomatoes and avocado's and add the beans and corn.  Make the good seasonings Italian dressing according to the directions on the packet (vinegar, oil and water) and pour over dip.  Refrigerate to chill and serve with tortilla chips!  (Scoops tortilla chips are the best in my opinion!)  

This is a family favorite and between me and my sisters it is basically at every family get together!  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Homemade Tagliatelle With Tomatoes and Spicy Italian Sausage



I saw this on Take Home Chef today and I am going to try it.  It looks dang good and I thought I would share it!  What would you guys use to replace the dry white wine?!?  

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casings removed, meat broken into bite size pieces
1 pound very thin asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parley

Heat the oil in a heavy large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until tender. Add the white wine and simmer for about 3 minutes or until reduced by about half.

Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes or until a chunky sauce forms, stirring occasionally and smashing tomatoes.

Add the sausage pieces and cook for 7 minutes. Add the asparagus spears and cook for about 5 minutes longer or until crisp-tender. Stir in the parsley. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over preferred noodle and enjoy!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Choco Chip Cheeseball

I found this recipe at my mom's house in some random cookbook, it was sooo good! It's a nice change from the typical cheeseball, definitely not healthy though-the good stuff never is.

8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 c. butter or marg. softened
1/4 t vanilla
3/4 c. powdered sugar
2 T brown sugar
3/4 c. mini semi-sweet choc chips
3/4 c. pecans or almonds, finely chopped.

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add sugars, beat until combineed. Stir in choc. chips. Cover, refrigerate 2 hours, place in plastic wrap, shape into ball. Refrigerate 1 hour, roll in nuts and serve with graham crackers. Or you can just serve it in the bowl as a dip.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Not Another Hotdish Please.

Everyone I know is having a baby right about... now.
Thus the reason for this post.
I can't drop off another hotdish of sorts to a new Mom, knowing that she has a freezer full from the rest of the good women in our ward who bring by a dish in the attempt to get the first look of the new bundle of joy.

I'd love it if I were creative & could come up with some amazing dishes for such occasions, but I've faced the music & it ain't pretty.

So here is my desperate plead, for everyone to post what they take to family with a new baby. All those tried & true recipes... you know the ones.

In return for yours, I'll share mine.

Chicken Salad
2-3 cups of small shells pasta
4 cups cooked diced chicken
2-3 stalks of diced celery
1-2 cucumbers diced
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
2 cups of grapes, cut in half
1 cup of salted almonds or cashews
salt & pepper

After the chicken & pasta shells have cooked & cooled, mix everything together with the mayonnaise. Salt & Pepper to taste & enjoy.

You really can't go wrong with this one, that is why it's a favorite of mine.

Yu-um.


Oatmeal chocolate chunk walnut bars

 I had made these for some neighbors when all the sudden there was hardly any left.
Paul was gone and the kids cant reach up to the counter.....IT WAS ALL ME! dangit.  But these are that good. Now I just might go make a batch....

1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup butter or marg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chunks
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla till fluffy and add dry ingredients.  Stir in chocolate and walnuts. Spread in greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 20-22 minutes until light golden brown. Cool and scarf down....oh wait, thats just me. 


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Super Bowl Grape Jelly Meatballs

2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey
1 C bread crumbs
Minced onion or chopped onion to taste
½ C milk
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp. Parsley flakes
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mix ingredients together and make small meatballs. Brown and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

SAUCE:
1 (12 oz.) bottle Chili sauce
1 (16 oz.) jar Grape jelly

Combine sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Spread over meatballs. Cook meatballs and boiled sauce in crock pot for 2 to 3 hours.

Can be an appetizer or we eat them for dinner over rice!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fiesta Chicken

I love this meal, because it seriously takes maybe 5 minutes to throw it all together and put it in the oven.  I wrote it down YEARS ago as a 9x9 recipe, because it is just the two of us.  I'm sure if you just add maybe an additional can of cream of chicken and then add maybe 1/2 cup more of everything else then it will work in a 9x13.  I would probably add another can of corn as well, but I love corn.  Enjoy!

1 can cream of chicken
1 can of corn
1 cup instant rice
1 cup water
1 cup salsa (I use medium salsa)
3-4 chicken breasts (cut breasts in half)

Mix all ingredients in a 9x9 pan and add the chicken.  Cover chicken with mixture.  Sprinkle paprika on top.  Cook for about 45 minutes (until chicken is cooked) @ 375 degrees.  

Left overs work great as a chip dip too!  Yummy yummy!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary & Garlic







This is a Paula Dean recipe, I tried it once, loved it and now this is the only way I cook our red potatoes!

1 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, scrubbed and dried

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

4 to 6 cloves garlic crushed

1 T. fresh or 1 t. dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 350

Peel a narrow strip from each potato. In a bowl mix the oil, garlic and rosemary; add potatoes and toss well. Transfer potatoes to a shallow baking pan and roast until potatoes are tender when tested with a tip of a knife. Serve hot!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

earth day

ok, so i know this is a recipe blog...but i thought-to make all of these amazing recipe's, we all do a whole lotta shoppin. so, in honor of earth day i am planning to buy reusable shopping bags and want to encourage you all do to the same! (i'm not a hippie by any means, i just think it's about time i do something to help out!)

i really think that each person can make a difference, which is why i'm spreading the word! so if you want to join me that would be awesome, and also, spread the word!

(i'll let you know if i find any great durable bags, and if any of you beat me to this, where did you find yours?)

ok...back to yummy recipes!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Rolo Cookies

I am sure many of you have had these before...if not they are some of the best cookies ever!

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
12 oz bag of rolos

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix in dry ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cover rolo in just enough dough, so you don't see it anymore. Then roll ball in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.

Eclair Dessert

Graham crackers
3 c. cold milk
2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
12 oz tub whipped topping, thawed
1 can chocolate frosting

Arrange 1/3 of the crackers on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Pour milk into large bowl, add pudding mixes and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in whipped topping. Spread half of the mixture over crackers. Place another layer of crackers, then top with remaining pudding mixture and more crackers. Microwave frosting in container until melted and then spread over crackers. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Delicious!

Crockpot Lasagna

I love lasagna, and this recipe is very easy and delicious!

1 1/2 lbs. browned hamburger (add onions if you'd like-I just sprinkle a little bit of onion soup mix on mine)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. water
6-10 dry lasagna noodles
1 small carton cottage cheese
2 to 3 c. shredded mozzarella

Combine hamburger, sauce and water. Then layer the following in the crockpot: Meat sauce, 2-3 dry noodles, broken into potato chip size, cottage cheese, mozzarella. Repeat 2-3 layers. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high 2-3 hours. It's a great recipe because you dont have to cook the noodles ahead of time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Coconut oatmeal pecan yummies

This has got to be my favorite cookie recipe.  And guess what? There isn't even any chocolate in them,  but there could be....

1 c. butter or marg
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 cup oatmeal
2 TBS milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans or walnuts

Cream butter and sugars till fluffy. Add eggs, milk, and extracts. Add flour, baking powder, salt, soda and oatmeal. Add coconut and pecans. Drop by teaspoons on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Don't over bake, they should be soft and chewy.
Lastly, make sure to lick the batter bowl clean :)  Yields: approx 7 dozen

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ice Cream in Bags

We made these for RS the other night. They would be fun to make with your kids! I have even heard where you pass the bags around the circle while you are shaking them. Each bag makes about one serving.

1 Tbs. Sugar
1/2 C. Milk or Half and Half
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
6 Tbs. Rock Salt
1 pint size Zip lock bag
1 gallon size Zip lock bag
Ice cubes

1. Fill the large bag half full of ice and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag and seal it.
3. Place the small bag inside the large bag and reseal. Consider putting the entire bag into another bag to ensure no spills.
4. Shake until mixture is ice cream, about 5 minutes.

Then top with your favorite toppings: chocolate, caramel, strawberries, cookies...etc.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mini Cheese Cakes


A recipe we all know and love, and if you dont, you will.

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese softened
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
18 vanilla wafers

Beat cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until smooth. Place a vanilla wafer in cupcake liners and fill with mixture. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Cool and top with fresh fruits, pie filling or chocolate ganache.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pumpkin Praline Muffins

I'll begin my first post with a real KEEPER. These muffins are so awesome. They didn't last long enough for me to even take a pic.

Praline Tipping:
3 T. butter cut into small pieces
1/4 C. Flour
3 T. Light Brown Sugar
1/4 C Finely Chopped Pecans

Muffin Batter
1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1 C. All-Purpose Flour
1/3 C. Sugar
2 t. Baking Powder
1 t. Baking Soda
1 t. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 t. Salt
2/3 C. Canned Pumpkin
1/3 C. Unsulfured Molasses
1/3 C. Canola Oil
2 Eggs
1/4 C. Milk
1 t. Vanilla Extract

1) Combine all the topping ingredients in a small bowl and use your fingers to rub them into a crumbly topping. Set it aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees and grease the bottom only of 12 standard muffin cups. I used muffin cup papers, it makes for ease of clean up.

2) Next, make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours and the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, molasses, oil (I used Olive oil because I was out of Canola, not sure what affect this had on the original recipe, but they definitely went quick), eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients just until the batter is blended. This is very important because it makes for a much fluffier muffin. If mixed too much, the muffin will be quite dense and tough.

3) Divide the batter among the muffin cups and sprinkle on the praline topping. I found it very easy to use a smaller ice cream scoop to make the equal. Then bake the muffins for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. I had to bake my here in Utah at a higher elevation, for approximately 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them.

Yield: 1 Dozen

Friday, April 11, 2008

South of the Border Lasagna

I got this recipe from a ward cookbook! Gotta love it!

South of the Border Lasagna

◘ 1 lb. ground beef
◘ 1 onion
◘ 1 can mild enchilada sauce
◘ salt and pepper to taste
◘ 1 doz. corn or flour tortillas
◘ 1 can milk
◘ 1 can cream chicken soup
◘ approx. 2 c. cheese

Brown meat and onion, add enchilada sauce and simmer. Spray 9x13 pan and spread half of the tortillas on bottom (I usually tear my tortilla's up into little chunks). Pour ½ meat mixture over tortillas. Mix soup and milk and pour ½ over meat. Spread ½ cheese over the top. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Yakisoba

This is one of the meals that I make when I feel like we have been eating the same type of foods all the time. It is a nice change!

Yakisoba

◘ 4 pkgs. Ramen noodles, (Save one flavor packet)
◘ ½ head cabbage, shredded (or whole if it is small)
◘ 1 c. sliced mushrooms
◘ 2 cups ham or bacon, - cooked and cubed
◘ ½ onions, sliced thinly

Soak ramen in water for 5-10 minutes, drain. Cook onion, mushrooms and cabbage until they change color. Add all ingredients and heat noodles. Sprinkle flavor packet over, and serve with soy sauce.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

French Dip Sandwiches


This is a little variation on the standard French Dip sandwich:

3 lb rump roast
1/2 c soy sauce
1 beef bullion cube
1 bay leaf
1 t dried thyme
1 t garlic powder (or 1-2 cloves)
Sandwich rolls
Cheese

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Add enough water to almost cover the meat. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours or high heat for 8 hours. Remove meat from cooker and shred. Use juice in cooker for dipping sandwiches.

Cut rolls in half and cover each side with cheese. Place under broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted.

I added some Worcestershire sauce as well. And instead of Swiss cheese I used Havarti because I love it so much. This meal is super easy and has very little hands-on time. It's also a great way to use up left-over roast.

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

I haven't made this for a while, but I remember my kids loving it when I did.

Chicken Nuggets

6 oz box stuffing mix (I used Cornbread flavor)
4 egg whites
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into nugget size pieces

Preheat oven to 425
Cover cookie sheet with foil and spray
Blend stuffing mix (bread crumbs and seasoning) in blender for 30 seconds
Dip chicken pieces in crumbs, egg whites, crumbs again
Bake 15 min, turn, bake 5 min more

Monday, April 7, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken Spaghetti

This is one of our standards in our family (especially on Sunday when you want to eat the second you walk in the door!).

Crock Pot Chicken Spaghetti (I usually double on Fast Sunday or if we want leftovers)

4-6 chicken breasts cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small package spaghetti seasoning
1 can mushrooms

combine, cook 4-6 hours. Add: 1 pkg cream cheese and cook 1 hour more.
Serve over rice or noodles.

Variation: use cream of celery soup and Zesty Italian dressing mix. Both are awesome and so easy!

Delicioso RIBS!

My first attempt at the meat I was always scared to make. It couldn't have been easier!
And they were gooooooood....

Country style pork spare ribs (however many pounds you need)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 bottle of good barbecue sauce

In a crock pot, cook the heck out of the ribs, around 7 hours on low. Drain off the fat and transfer to a cookie sheet. Sprinkle mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper evenly. Spread sauce evenly over ribs and either grill or bake in oven on 400 degrees till edges are crispy.
I think these will replace many a Sunday pot roast!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

New York-Style Cheesecake


This is a Martha Stewart recipe. It is really rich and really good. We only make it at Easter, then take a few days to eat around half of it; then we freeze small portions in wax paper and aluminum foil. This way we get a little bit all year round. It's a little time consuming and mine has never ended up looking like Martha's, but that hasn't changed how good it is. The other thing is, we always seem to have filling left over, after we have filled the spring-form pan. We normally take the remaining filling and bake it in a graham cracker crust.


Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans

1/2 recipe Chocolate Wafer Sandwich cookie dough (I make the whole thing, and freeze the other half; just because I am not sure how to half the recipe exactly)

3 1/2 pounds (seven 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature

2 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

5 lrg eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan, patting it into an even layer. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) in a double layer of foil. Freeze the dough in the pan, about 15 minutes.

Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on a medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; DO NOT OVERMIX.

Pour cream cheese filling into the prepared pan. Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully ladle boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake 45 minutes; reduce oven temp to 325 degrees. Continue baking until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 30 minutes more. Turn off oven; leave cake in oven with the door slightly ajar, 1 hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, fun knife around the edge of the cake.


Chocolate Wafer Sandwich Cookie


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 lrg egg

1 tsp vanilla extract


In large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Turn out the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap (every time I have made it the dough as been pretty sticky) , and divide in half. With floured hands shape each piece into a flattened rectangle, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Banana Split Brownie Pizza


This a Paula Deen recipe, and seriously one of the best desserts that I have ever had. I just had to share it.

1 (20-ounce) box brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
2 Tbl sugar
2 bananas, sliced and tossed in lemon juice to prevent browning
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup chopped nuts
Chocolate ice cream topping or chocolate syrup, for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease a 15-inch pizza pan (I actually used a 12-inch disposable pizza pan, and it worked great). Prepare the brownie mix according to box directions. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until done. Remove from oven and cool. Beat cream cheese, pineapple, and sugar together in a bowl. Use any reserved pineapple juice at this time, if needed, to soften the mixture to a good spreading consistency. Otherwise dispose or save juice for another time. Spread the mixture over the cooled brownie crust. Arrange the banana and strawberry sliced over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and drizzle with the chocolate syrup. Refrigerate. To serve, slice as you would a pizza, and enjoy!

Cajun Chicken

My sister-in-law made this for us over the weekend and its really good! We half it for my family. And we use half and half instead of heavy cream. Enjoy!

1 lb. Linguini
4 Chicken breasts sliced
2T + 2 tsp. cajun seasoning
1/2 c. butter
2 green peppers finely sliced
1 red pepper finely sliced
4 green onions chopped
4 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. grated parmesean cheese

Slice up chicken and coat with the cajun seasoning. Saute chicken in butter and when almost done add peppers and onions. Cook until tender. Stir in cream. Add remaining ingredients. Toss with linguini. Enjoy!!!!