Friday, December 11, 2009

Ham, Walnut, and Cheese pasta

Ham,Walnuts and Cheese...oh my!
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray.

  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 10 slices Canadian bacon or breakfast ham, cut into thin strips
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (3 generous handfuls), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus some to pass at the table


Bring a large pot of water up to a boil over high heat to cook the pasta. Once the water boils, salt it and cook the pasta to al dente. Right before draining the pasta, remove and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the chopped walnuts and toast them, stirring every now and then, until they are golden and smell toasty -- a couple of minutes. Remove nuts from the skillet and reserve.

Once the pasta is close to being done, return the same skillet you cooked the walnuts in to the stove top over medium-high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Once the EVOO is hot, add ham and cook for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to lightly brown.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook it for another minute. Add the reserved pasta cooking liquid and cook until liquid has reduced by half. Add the pasta, toasted walnuts, lemon juice and parsley, toss it to coat the noodles and continue to cook until the pasta has soaked up almost all of the liquid. Turn heat off, add the butter and grated cheese, and toss until the butter has melted. Serve with extra Parmigiano at the table.


After the dish is all mixed and ready to eat, it turns sort of a purple color. Probably from the lemon juice and ham, but it still tastes good.

I cut the amount of red pepper flakes or there is too much heat for me.

And in place of walnuts or along with I like to throw in some toasted pine nuts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

2 (14oz) cans chicken broth
3-4 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cans great northern beans
1 can white shoepeg corn (I use regular corn)
3 Tbsp lime juice (I used a little more)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (I didn't put this in)

Add Chicken, broth, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and red pepper to slow cooker. Cover and let cook for about 6-8 hours on low or until chicken falls apart. Shred the chicken with 2 forks. Drain and rinse the beans and corn and add them to the slow cooker. Add chopped cilantro and lime juice to slow cooker. Put cover back on and let cook for 30 more minutes until heated through. I got this off Good Things Utah and it is SOOO good!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Orange-Banana Smoothie

I actually got this out of my Halloween Taste of Home Recipe book. They call it Boo Beverage and have a little ghost whipped topping to make it fit the holiday. But, it is seriously so good and there is no reason you couldn't enjoy this year around!

2 cups orange juice
2 cups milk
4 cups orange sherbet (2 pints)
4 medium ripe bananas
whipped topping (optional)

In two batches, process the orange juice, milk, sherbet and bananas in blender until smooth! Pour into a glass and throw a spoon full of whipped topping on if preferred! Enjoy! Yield: 6 Servings

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Frosted Banana Bars

Picture from Taste of Home

My friend, Brenda, posted these on her cooking blog.  I made them tonight and they are fabulous!  They are originally from Taste of Home!  Enjoy!

½ cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended. Transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
For frosting, in a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder

It's the time of year for soup, and this is one of my favorites!

Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder


2 tablespoons margarine or butter

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

2 (14.5 ounce) cans of chicken broth

3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (I use red potatoes and never peel them)

1 can corn (I use 2 small cans of vacuum packed corn)

1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies

1 (2.5 ounce) package country style gravy mix

2 cups milk

1 cup shredded Mexican style processed cheese

(I also usually add chicken)


1. In a large saucepan, melt margarine over medium high heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are are soft, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in corn and chilies; return to boiling. Dissolve gravy mix in milk; stir into boiling mixture. Add cheese; cook and stir over low heat until the cheese is melted.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

White Bean Soup

Hi--Rae here! I think I've posted this on my regular blog before, but it bears repeating because it is economical, delicious, and a wonderful cold-weather recipe. might be kind of good for you? So without further ado:

White Bean Soup

¾ C dried cannelini beans, soaked in cold water to cover overnight (I actually used canned cannelini beans instead, and have several times since with great success)

1 ½ quarts chicken or vegetable stock

4 oz dried coralline(those curly, ribbed elbow noodles)

6 Tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I’ve used dry with success, too)

**salt and pepper

fresh crusty bread, to serve

Drain the soaked beans and place them in a large, heavy-bottom pan. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Partially cover the pan, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until tender. (2 hours of simmering if you don’t use canned beans)

-Transfer about half the beans and a little of the stock to a food processor or blender and process to a smooth puree. Return the puree to the pan and stir well to mix. Return the soup to a boil.

-Add the pasta to the soup, return to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender.

-Meanwhile, heat 4 Tbsp of the olive oil in a small pan. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, or until golden. Stir the garlic into the soup and add the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle into warmed soup bowls. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creamy Pesto Crock Pot Chicken

Well hot dog! Dont you just love when you throw ingredients into your slow cooker with no recipe and it actually turns out? This dish tastes great and smells like basil while its cooking. Mmm. I love me some basil.

You will need:

1 pound chicken tenders or breast
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom
1 cup prepared pesto (Im sure you could use a dry mix, but prepared is what I had on hand)
1 can of artichoke hearts drained and quartered
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes cut into small bits
1/2 cup milk or cream (more or less to desired sauce thickness)
garlic powder
a handful of pine nuts
Add to crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours. Serve over pasta and along side a vegetable. We ate it with asparagus. I could eat anything with asparagus but thats a whole nother post.....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 can chicken broth (13 oz - so a little less then 2 cups. 2 cups is 16 oz)
1 small onion, diced

1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
Pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)

2 c. milk (I wanted it super creamy, so I did 1 1/2 cups 2% milk and 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream)
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (the sharper the better for flavor)
1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese
Steamed chopped cauliflower (If you would like. I added this to the recipe!)
Steamed chopped broccoli (The amount is up to your preference. I did 1/2 of a family sized bag)

Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour and pepper. Cook together for a couple of minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium-high heat until soup starts to thicken. Next add chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and steamed broccoli. Serve immediately.

Makes approx 4 servings.

Bread Bowls

Bread Bowls

This recipe is from my friend Lisa!

2 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 c warm water
5 c flour
1Tbsp sugar

Put yeast and water in Kitchen-Aid bowl (or any mixer with a kneading attachment) and stir with a spoon. Allow yeast to dissolve for about 5 minutes. Add in sugar, salt, and flour one cup at a time. Use the kneading attachment of the mixer to knead the bread. You can do this by hand but if you have a Kitchen-Aid it’s a lot less work for you. Knead until smooth and cover mixer with towel and let rise to double. Punch down and divide into 6 balls on a cookie sheet. Cover and let rise to double. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

PERFECT Pumpkin Roll

This recipe was posted on My Kitchen Cafe. And, they weren't joking when they named it the PERFECT Pumpkin Roll! I made a bunch yesterday and it turned out absolutely amazing. I was going to give them out as VT gifts, but I'm rethinking that now. I might just have to keep it all for myself! haha :)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
2/3 cup mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15 X 10-inch jelly roll pan. Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of the pan and leave an inch overhang on each of the short ends of the pan. Lightly grease the wax paper and sides of the jelly roll pan.

Mix the sugar, flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, eggs and pumpkin in a large bowl. Once mixed, pour mixture over the waxed paper. Sprinkle the walnuts, if using, on top of the mixture. Bake for 14-15 minutes until edges pull away from the sides of the pan and center is done.

Lay a large dishtowel on the counter top (it is best to use a dishtowel without any texture - a tea towel or similar towel works best). Spread a thick dusting of powdered sugar all over the towel. When the cake comes out of the oven, turn the pan upside down on the powdered sugar-laden towel so the wax paper is on the top. Gently peel off the wax paper, being careful not to tear the roll. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the pumpkin cake up with the towel to cool. While the roll is cooling, mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until it is light and creamy. Once the roll is cool, unroll and with an offset spatula, carefully spread filling in an even layer over the cake. Roll it up without the towel and place in the refrigerator (covered with plastic wrap or wax paper) for about an hour before serving.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Southwestern Shepherd's Pie

I haven't used ground beef in a long time but I had some in my freezer that needed to be eaten so we made this yesterday and it was sooo yummy! Ya gotta give it a try.

2 T olive oil
1 med onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 T garlic, minced
1T jalapeno, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 T tomato paste
1 T chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 c. tomatoes, chopped (I used canned)
1/2 c corn
1/2 c black beans (I used a whole can)
1/4 c cilantro
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes*, peeled and cut into chunks
2 T butter
1/2 c milk
Salt & pepper, to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring for 10 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; cook for minutes. Raise heat to medium high; add beef and brown for 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste & spices. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, corn, beans, and half of the cilantro. Spoon into a 9x13 baking dish.

Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, mash with butter and milk. Spread potatoes over meat mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until brown. Garnish with additional cilantro.

*My husband has a real aversion to sweet potoates so I made a corner for him with Yukon Gold and while still good, the sweet potatoes were sooooo much better.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Italian Sausage Soup

My friend, Lisa, brought this over tonight for us to eat for dinner! It was seriously sooo good! She served it will peppered jelly and breadsticks! YUMMY! I'm so excited to take this to some holiday parties over the next few months!

1 lb Italian or turkey Italian sausage
2-3 c broccoli
1 c uncooked mostaccioi pasta
2 ½ c water
½ tsp dried basil leaves
¼ tsp pepper
1- 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2- 10 oz cans Campbell’s French Onion soup

Brown sausage and put in pot. Throw in remaining ingredients, and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to med-low cover and cook about 15 min or until pasta is done.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stove Top one-dish chicken skillet

I also made this dish this week. It was one that I will do every once in a while. It was super easy and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand!

1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg (6 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken6 small bonesless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup sour cream

Mix hot water, butter, and stuff mix as directed on the box. Set aside.

Cook chicken in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for approx 5 min on each side of until browned on both sides.

Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken. Top with stuff; cover. Cook on low eat for 10 minutes or until chicken is all the way done.

You could also opt out to use the oven. Heat oven to 375. Prepare stuffing as direction. Place chicken in 9x13 inch baking dish. Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake for 35 minutes.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I got this recipe off my friend, Brenda's, cooking blog and it was FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC! The chicken had such a great taste!! I have amended a few things to clarify and to add one little step! ENJOY!

6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I use 2-3 chicken breasts)
8-10 flour tortillas
1 pound monterey jack and Colby Jack cheese, mixed and shredded
1 1/2 - 16 ounces cans green enchilada sauce
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour (I tossed mine together in a Ziploc bag in the morning and let it sit in the refrigerator all night). Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce with 1/4 cup heavy cream on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese and drip about 1 tablespoon of the mixed sauce (green enchilada sauce and heavy cream) and roll. Fill pan with rolled enchiladas. Save about 1-2 cups of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the remaining cream. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with leftover cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pasta Salad

This salad is full of veggies. With a little pepperoni and ham kick mixed in. And when you are in the mood for savory...this hits the spot, with little guilt thanks to all our garden friends. Just don't think about the dressing. Wink.

Pasta Salad
1-2 boxes of corkscrew pasta (Sometimes I will mix different shapes for fun)
1 bottle of Kraft Tuscan House Italian, or your fav Italian dressing
1 package thinly sliced ham cut into small strips
handful of pepperoni cut into small strips
1 cucumber cubed
head of broccoli
1/2 head of cauliflower
red pepper
can of medium black olives
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Cook and cool pasta, add a small tidge of olive oil to prevent from sticking while cooling.
Cut all veggies into uniform bite size pieces and add to pasta. Add olives, parmesan cheese,ham, pepperoni and the bottle of dressing.
Salt and pepper and mix and chill.
You can add whatever else you'd like, i.e. cherry tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts and so on.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bowtie Chicken Caesar Salad

This is my go to salad when I'm feeling salady. Its a combo of my favorite salads and dressings. You can make it your own and add what you want. But don't skimp on the dressings. I'm telling you, home made is best.
Bow tie Chicken Caesar Salad
2 head romaine lettuce chopped
2 chicken breasts grilled and sliced
1 box of bow tie pasta cooked and cooled
sliced carrots
cucumber cubed
cherry tomatoes
sliced avocado
1 can drained and sliced hearts of palm, (can be found in specialty aisle and so delicious)
yellow peppers
Parmesan cheese

**anything else that sounds good**

Toss all together and serve with creamy Caesar and balsamic vinaigrette. And of course fresh bread. Tonight's case was buttermilk biscuits and strawberry jam.

Balsamic Dressing
1 c. olive oil
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
tad of oregano or basil
Blend at full speed in blender or food processor

Creamy Caesar
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 pressed or minced garlic cloves
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Blend at full speed in blender or food processor

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chicken Pecan

Stuffing my face with oatmeal pecan chocolate chip cookies this afternoon, I noticed this recipe on the back of the pecan package. Maybe it was my must eat salty after sweet thing but holy moly, it spoke to me. I had every ingredient except the poultry seasoning and made it there and then. Delicious, and different. 2 thumbs up. (plus it reminded me of eating open face sandwiches on English muffins at Grams in younger years :)

Chicken Pecan
recipe courtesy Fishers Nuts

3 cups cooked chicken breasts cut into julienne strips (a leftover rotisserie chicken did the job)
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp. chicken bouillon
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 cups milk
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Toasted English muffins

In saucepan melt butter. Add bouillon. Blend in flour and seasoning. Gradually add milk and lemon juice; stir constantly until thickened. Stir in celery, red pepper, chicken and pecans. Cook until heated through.
Spoon over toasted English muffins. Garnish with pecan halves.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sunshine Chicken (don't know where the name came from)

This has been my "go-to" recipe for a few years when I want something a little more than regular baked chicken. I always have the ingredients on hand and it is so nice and juicy, but nothing extremely fancy.

3 pounds Chicken Thighs or Drumsticks (chicken breast would be good too!)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 pinch garlic powder

Remove skin from chicken and place in baking dish, meat side up. Baste the chicken with sauce, leaving some for basting while baking. Bake at 350°. Baste every 15 minutes for 1 hour until chicken is cooked through.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

O'Henry Bars

These are SUPER fast and supper yummy! You can make them pretty if you want, but they taste the same no matter how they look!

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup Peanut Butter
3 Cup Rice Crispies
1/2 bag Butterscotch Chips
1/2 bag Chocolate Chips (I like Milk Chocolate)
Optional: Peanuts

Bring the corn syrup and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter, rice crispies, and peanuts (if wanted). Spread on the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Heat the butterscotch and chocolate chips (microwave or stove) and spread on top of the previous mixture in the pan. Let it sit for an hour to set. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lasagne Casserole

Sorry about the picture....I'm still figuring out my new camera!

My boys love this...and I like it, because its super-quick, tastes like lasagna, and I get to just "throw" it all together without all the layering...!


1 package mini lasagne noodles
1 lb. italian sausage or hamburger
1 can spaghetti sauce (whatever your fave kind is...)
1 small can italian stewed tomatoes
1 package pepperoni
1 small container ricotta
1-2 eggs
Grated Parmesean Cheese
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or whatever flavor you prefer on top of your lasagne).

Preheat your oven to 350.

Boil your noodles....Drain and put into a large oven pan/dish.

Brown your sausage or hamburger then drain the fat. Add this to the noodles in your pan. Add your spaghetti sauce and stewed tomatoes. Mix everything thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, mix your ricotta cheese, 1-2 eggs and about 1/2 cup of the grated parmesean cheese. (add more if you like it)
Spread your ricotta cheese over your noodles/sauce mixture.
Add pepperoni - if you like it - or omit it.
Sprinkle cheese over the pepperoni.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
It's one of our family's favorites for dinner - AND it's even better the next day!!! :D

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

I couldn't remember if I had posted this recipe for you guys, but its worth repeating if I have.
Café Rio Sweet Pork
3-4 lbs pork roast or pork loin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 (14 ounce) can enchilada sauce
3/4 cup Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper cola
1 cup brown sugar
Cut pork in large chunks. Put in large crock pot and add water to about half way up the side of the pork. Add seasonings. Cut onion in 4 large pieces, crush garlic and add to crock pot. Cook pork on low all day (10-11 hours) or on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until tender and pork pulls apart easily. Drain water and remove onions and garlic. Shred pork and return to crock pot.
In a separate container mix the enchilada sauce, soda and sugar. Add sauce to pork in the crock pot. Cook 1 hour longer. (You can cook less at this point if you don't have time.).

Friday, June 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Bars

So lets say you just moved to a new state, new town, new neighborhood and know no one [like me]. Would you like to know how to fix that? Whip up a batch of these babies and take em to the neighbors. One bite= instant friends. I promise.
Or if friends aren't your thing and you just want to apologize for the many hours a day your kids spend riding there bikes up and down the sidewalk screaming at each other...these should fix that prob too. [I may or may not know this by experience]
The BEST peanut butter bars
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 2/3 cup quick oats
2 2/3 cup flour
Mix all ingredients together and bake in a sheet cake pan at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool completely and frost with peanut butter frosting. Keep stored in the fridge.

For the frosting-whip all together;
1 8oz package of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 lb. powdered sugar

You can spread chocolate chips on the bars while they are hot, sprinkle shaved chocolate curls on the frosting or my personal fatty favorite...chopped snickers bars on top.

Also this recipe is easily halved and fits perfectly into a 9x13 pan.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Banana Crumb Muffins

YUM!!! I made these for the first time about 30 minutes ago,
and they are almost gone. So good!!


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and oil. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cream Cheese Chicken with Broccoli

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 4 hours
Yield: 10-12 servings

4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package (1 ounce) Italian salad dressing mix
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 3⁄4 ounces) condensed low-fat cream of chicken soup, undiluted 1 bag (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 package (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese, cubed
1⁄4 cup dry sherry
Hot cooked pasta

1. Toss chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian salad dressing mix. Place in 5-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 3 hours.
2. Coat large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add mushrooms and onion; cook 5 minutes over medium heat or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Add soup, broccoli, cream cheese and sherry to skillet; cook and stir until hot. Transfer to 4 1⁄2-quart CROCK-POT® slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 1 hour. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

With few ingredients and a very short prep time, this recipe is perfect for busy days. Throw everything in the slow cooker and go about your day. Using chicken thighs is a more affordable option than other chicken parts. The use of the slow cooker cuts out any frying, making this a healthier choice as well.

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

4 skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons ketchup
Flour for dredging

1. Remove visible fat from chicken thighs and roll each in flour until well coated. Set chicken thighs in the bottom of a slow cooker.
2. Combine orange juice, marmalade, soy sauce, garlic and ketchup in a small bowl. Stir until well blended.
3. Pour sauce over chicken thighs and lid the cooker. Cook on LOW setting for 4 hours.
4. Remove thighs from slow cooker and stir sauce well. Top thighs with extra sauce.

Ingredient Tips
Boneless and skinless thighs may be used. Do not use thighs with the skin still intact, it will create too much grease in the sauce and chicken may burn.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cinnamon Monkey Bread (Pull apart)

I love monkey bread, so I wanted to find my own recipe to make it at home. Here is the basic recipe I found from the pillsbury website:


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2 cup raisins, if desired
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

2. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.

3. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.

4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Now, to add my own spin. One day, I was craving monkey bread, and I had the canned cinnamon rolls in my fridge, so I just cut the dough up and used that instead, it tasted just fabulous.. I ALMOST like it better that way. I just don't put the cinnamon and sugar in it since there is already some on the cinnamon roll dough. Also, I love icing on my monkey bread, so I use this simple recipe and drizzle it over the top while its warm:

1 c sifted powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
Stir together sugar, vanilla, and enough milk to make a thin icing (usually about 1 1/2 Tbsp).

Obviously, if you use cinnamon roll dough instead, it comes with the icing that you can drizzle over it. Enjoy!! This is baking in my oven as I type this! The smell is amazing!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hamburger Casserole

There are many names for this dish in our family, hamburger casserole, tortilla casserole, beef and green chili casserole, what ever you call it, its good!! My kids will eat it all. I usually double the recipe for a 9x13 pan because leftovers are even better!

Hamburger Casserole
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3-5 tortillas
shredded cheese

Brown ground beef and onions together, drain. Mix in green chilies and soup. Layer tortillas in an 8x8 pan (like lasagne) with filling and a little cheese in between each layer. Cover with more cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Voila! Easy and tasty!! Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spinach Orzo Pasta Salad

I found this salad on a great little family blog dedicated to good food.  There are some great recipes there so check it out.   
This is all sorts of different.  Different taste. Different texture. Different ingredients.  But surprisingly....good!  

1 bag baby spinach
1 16 oz box of orzo pasta cooked and cooled
1/2 cup finely chopped red cabbage
3-4 fresh tomatoes chopped
2-3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
1 can black olives
1/2 bottle capers
pine nuts
Parmesan cheese

Mix all together in large bowl and when ready to serve add dressing and toss.

In blender add:
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup garlic rice vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
fresh ground pepper

I was out of capers. I was bummed. The saltiness in capers would compliment the sweetness of the dressing and sun dried tomatoes great. So use the capers. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sausage Corn Chowder

My Husband could eat this every day!

Sausage Corn Chowder

1 lb ground sausage
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernal corn
2 cups water
1 medium onion, diced
1 can evaporated milk
four large potatos

brown sausage and onions together. drain. Add water and potatos, simmer 15 minutes until potatos are tender. Add corns and evaporated milk. Heat through, salt and pepper to taste.

Crockpot Cheese Dip

1 pound processed american cheese, cubed
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 medium onion, diced
1 can diced tomatos with green chiles
1 4oz can diced green chiles
1 pound of ground beef, cooked and drained

Mix all ingredients together in a crock pot. Cook on low heat until cheese melts. Serve with corn chips

Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy

Paprika Chicken with Sour Cream Gravy by way of a campbells cookbook

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. each of the following: salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 8oz carton sour cream
Mix flour and seasonings. Coat chicken
Melt Butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned.
Add soup and onions. Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in sour cream. Serve with mashed potatos or rice.
*I left out the cayenne pepper cause I have small children and wussy tastebuds!*

Cake Mix Cookies

1 Box Cake Mix (any flavor)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Eggs
Mix ins of your liking

This recipe is awesome! You can use any combination of mix/mix ins. Here are some examples of ones I have used:

Coconut Cake Mix with Chocolate Chips
Devils Food Cake Mix with Peanut butter chips
White cake mix with white choc chips and dried cranberries
Chocolate cake mix with choc chips and walnuts
Yellow Cake mix with chocolate chips
White cake mix with andes mint chips

The possibilites are endless! They always turn out perfect. I usually bake mine for about 9 minutes because if you cook them too long, they get dry. :) Enjoy!

Bake cookies at 350 for 9-13 minutes!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Homemade Playdough

3 cups flour
3 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups salt
3 Tbs. oil
food coloring
In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil. Add boiling water and mix well. Knead food coloring into dough on lightly floured surface. Store in air tight container.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Dough

Courtesy of AllRecipes.

Below is exactly how I did it. I only adjusted the resting time for the dough, the baking time, and oven degrees. The ingredients, I didn't change a thing.

Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Dough

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1 cup warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey


In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ and salt. Make a well in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture. Stir well to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. The dough will rise while the yeast is still warm.

After the dough has rested for while, roll dough on a floured pizza pan and poke a few holes in it with a fork.

Bake in 425 degree preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings. Bake for another 10 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown!

For the orginal directions, click here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Ingredients:Copycat Walnut Blondie
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour, sifted
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or more if desired)
1/3 cup butter or margarine (melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Maple Butter Sauce
3/4 cup maple syrup ( I highly recommend using REAL maple syrup )
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add baking powder, baking soda and salt to the already sifted flour. Then sift dry ingredients again.
Add chopped nuts and mix well. Set aside.

Add brown sugar to melted butter and mix well. Then add egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Add flour mixture, a little at a time, until mixed well.
Stir in white chocolate chips. Spread out dough in a 9-inch pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Use a toothpick or fork to test if it is cooked in the center.
Serve warm with ice cream and Maple Butter Sauce.

Maple Butter Sauce

In a pan, add real maple syrup and butter, cook over low heat until butter is melted. Next, stir in brown sugar until completely dissolved. If you desire, add walnuts.

Enjoy !

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home made Hostess Cupcakes

I found these here. And they made me instantly love that blog. They are delicious. Just looking at the ingredients you will see why. I eased it up a bit for me and used a devils food cake mix and in place of the water and oil used melted butter and buttermilk.
They were sooo good.
For some reason its giving me trouble posting the recipe, so just click here.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Potato Cheese Soup

One look at the ingredients will be enough to tell you that this is a very tasty soup. I made some bread bowls using Rhodes dough (about 3 bowls from one loaf of bread). While the dough is partially frozen, cut into thirds and shape into round dough balls. Let rise several hours, until it reaches the desired size, and bake for about 20 minutes at 350.

Potato Cheese Soup

6 to 8 large baking potatoes
2 cups milk (I used fat free Half and Half because I had some left over)
4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup butter
8-12 strips bacon, cooked
1 cup sour cream
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
Bake potatoes until soft, then peel. Mash or cube the potatoes depending on the desired consistency for the soup.

In a large soup pot, combine butter and flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in the liquids.

Add salt and pepper, potatoes, cooked bacon, and cheese. At the last minute, stir in the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

(Next time I would definitely add some more vegetables, maybe carrots and celery, so I could feel a little better about the rest of the soup.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Strawberry-Spinach Salad

1 bag Spinach leaves
1/2 c of sliced Almonds (amount to preference)
1 pkg of fresh sliced strawberries
2 fresh lemon
1/2 c sugar
olive oil

Almonds: The morning of, mix 1/4 c. sugar with a little water. Heat a few seconds and coat your almonds in it. After coating spread on a sheet of wax paper and let dry.

Dressing: 1/4 c sugar, 4-5 T of FRESH lemon juice and 1 T Olive Oil. (I really don't measure the lemon juice. I just squeeze the lemon over the sugar and mix until it is a good consistency for dressing.

Layer (bottom to top):
Spinach Leaves
Sliced Strawberries
Glazed Almonds

Pour dressing over the top and serve!

Crock Pot Tortilla Soup

I made this the other day and it was big hit with the whole fam. Super easy and fun for a cold day!

2 chicken breasts
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (I used one can tomatoes)
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 mild green chile, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 corn tortillas, halved and cut into 1/4 inch strips
shredded Monterey Jack cheese, a little for each serving
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or
Italian parsley


Combine chicken breasts, onion, garlic. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Put in crock pot and add tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper and green chiles. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours. Heat oil in large skillet and add tortilla strips. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. If desired, put a tablespoon or 2 of shredded Monterey Jack cheese in each serving bowl. Ladle tortilla soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips; sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley (I added the cilantro about a half hour before serving--I like the flavor it gave the soup).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Best Cupcakes

You will probably hate me for posting this because once you try them, you will want to make them everyday (just ask my sisters!!) They are so easy and by far the best cupcakes I have ever had!!

1 box chocolate cake (devils food works best)
1 small box chocolate or vanilla pudding (I like vanilla)
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Makes 24-30 cupcakes (depending on size).

Although they are great without frosting (and they stay so moist), they are great sprinkled with powdered sugar or my new fav, whipped cream and drizzled caramel. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Green Chili

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. cooked pork roast
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans chopped green chilis
1/4 C. green salsa
choice of tortilla
cheese (optional I suppose....but a must for me!)

Combine first 4 items. Use your choice of tortilla for taguitoes, burritos, or enchiladas. Or for a super cute appetizer, get those scoop tortilla chips, place a spoonful of the mixture in the "bowl" of the chip, top with shredded cheese.

So tasty and so pretty!

8 can chicken enchilada soup

For the days when you feel like you need to use the cans collecting dust in your cupboard.

2 cans chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can corn
1 can white chicken breast
1 can northern white beans
1 can Rotel tomatoes (flavor to your liking) -I like mild....I'm a wuss.

Add all cans not drained in a large pan and heat through. Just until it boils then turn down the heat. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, and cheese.

*this recipe serves 6 well. You can customize to serve your families hungry meter*

Monday, January 26, 2009

French Toast's just French Toast, right?? Wrong. You'll think you've died and gone to heaven.

8 slices high-quality bread
2 T. unsalted butter
1 c. milk
1 egg
2 T. sugar
2 t. vanilla
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. flour

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200. Arrange the bread on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and bake until slightly dry, about 15 minutes.While the bread is in the oven, melt 2 T. of butter and whisk it together with the milk, egg, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, & salt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the flour until smooth.Transfer 1 or 2 pieces of bread at a time from the oven into the batter & soak both sides. Cook on a nonstick skillet or griddle until done, about 2 1/2 minutes per side.

(Recipe from America's Test Kitchen)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

White chocolate cranberry pecan oatmeal cookies

Okay peeps listen up...
1. I know I'm not the only one that loves to cook.
2. I know I'm not the only one stuck at home all day with kids doing nothing. 3. I know I'm not the only one sick of seeing my name a lot on this site.
Come on, I dare ya, I double dog dare ya! {or in the blog world is it tag}

Here is a recipe courtesy of Ocean Spray, from the back of a Craisins pouch. And mmmm.

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
6 oz bag of Craisins (2/3 cup)
1/2 pecans optional

Pre heat oven to 375. Mix butter, brown sugar and eggs well. Add baking soda, salt, flour, and oats. Stir in Craisins, white chips, and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until just barely golden.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vickis chicken with grapes ,couscous and roasted asparagus

So when my blog was a baby way back in of the first posts I did was this great recipe. It comes courtesy of Rachael Ray. You know what that means? EVOO, 30 minutes, and really tasty. Plus you don't have to listen to her crack lame jokes. [wink]
We ate this tonight. I haven't made this in awhile and it was the perfect dinner to mix it up a bit. The ingredients sound strange but paired together taste wonderful!

1 1/2 pounds asparagus
5 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 TBS fresh chopped thyme leaves (I left this out since I'm not a fan of thyme)
Course salt and pepper
2 TBS butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 1/2 cups chicken stock (cans, boxes, or just made from cubes)
1 cup heavy cream (I use half and half)
1/4 cup grainy, stone ground mustard
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
2 cups couscous

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim asparagus. Toss with about 3 TBS of olive oil, 2 TBS chopped thyme and salt and pepper. Spread asparagus out onto a cookie sheet and roast 10-12 minutes until it is tender and crispy at the tips.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 TBS olive oil and 2 TBS butter to the pan. Place flour in shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Add it to the pan. Cook chicken 7 to 8 minutes until browned. Add wine and scrape up browned bits as wine cooks down and bubbles, 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup stock. Combine cream and mustard and add to stock. Let simmer then add grapes and turn to coat and combine with sauce. Simmer over low heat.
Bring remaining 2 cups chicken broth and 1 TBS of fresh thyme to a boil in small pot. Add couscous and take off heat. Cover with lid and let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with fork.
Serve tenders and grapes on couscous alongside asparagus.
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