Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Salsa Mac & Beef

This totally sounds like a WT kind of meal, but it's good!!

1 lb. ground beef
1 can Beef Consomme (Campbell's)
1 1/3 cups water
2 1/2 cups raw medium shell pasta
1 can Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup mild Pace salsa (or hotter if you want)
Cook beef in large skillet till browned, add consomme and water. Bring to boil and add pasta shells. Cook, stirring occasionally till pasta is tender, about 10-15 minutes (add more water if it evaporates). Add cheddar soup and salsa, heat through. I add a handful of Costco four cheese blend to the top!! Serves 4 adults-size portions.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Looking for a good appetizer recipe for an upcoming Christmas party? I've got the one for you. This dip is great served with crackers or celery sticks and other veggies. You can add more of the hot sauce if you like it more spicy.

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c blue cheese OR ranch dressing (made from packet the best)
1/2 c any flavor Frank's Red Hot sauce
1/2 c crumbled blue cheese OR grated mozarella
2 c cooked chicken, diced (already cooked rotisserie works great)

-You can make this two ways. First, you can mix everything in your crockpot and heat on low until hot and bubbly.
-Second, you can mix everything well until smooth and spread in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
-Either way you do it, give it a nice stir before serving and enjoy.
-Makes about 4 cups.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

10 chicken breast halves (the bag of individually frozen ones are good because they are thinner, just thaw)
10 slices deli ham
10 slices Swiss cheese or your favorite
1 BIG can cream chicken soup
16oz sour cream
cooked rice
Pound out your chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap, using a mallet or rolling pin. Place a slice of cheese and ham on top, covering chicken- use additional slices if needed to cover.
Roll up and place in 9x13 dish, using toothpick to secure if needed. When all are rolled up, Mix soup and sour cream and pour over top. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes @ 350. Be careful of boiling over in oven- use cookie sheet underneath dish just in case. Serve over cooked rice.

Peppermint Bark

PhotobucketI have a feeling this is going to become a Christmas family tradition in our home. The trick good bark is good chocolate--don't get the cheap, waxy stuff. I went to Kitchen Kneads and bought several pounds of their Guittard Old Dutch, and some of their good white chocolate (I can't remember the brand). I have heard that Bob's Candycanes are the best, not Spangler, but I found that out after I had already bought several boxes of Spangler. You can make this anyway you want--I added more milk chocolate (about 1/4 lb. more) than what the recipe called for. You can use dark chocolate, or any combination you want. Some people use all white. It's totally up to you!

1 lb (16 oz) chocolate (I like milk)
12 oz white chocolate
1/4-3/4 t peppermint extract (I only used 1/4 and it was perfect-not too strong)
Seven 6-inch candy canes (maybe more)

-Line bottom of jelly roll size baking sheet with foil.
-Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler (I don't have one so I just used a pot and a stainless steel bowl over the top of it. Make sure it's a good fit so not a lot of steam gets out on the chocolate, and the water in the pot should not touch the bottom of your bowl).
-Once boiling, remove from heat. Put in milk chocolate and constantly stir until all melted.
-Pour into your lined baking sheet and spread so thickness is just under a quarter of an inch. I jiggle the pan back and forth on a flat surface to get the chocolate nice and even and flat.
-Let chocolate sit a little then put in fridge (or outside in the cold garage or porch) and let set-up for 20 minutes.
-While first layer is chilling, crush candy canes. A hammer works great--careful for a rolling pin, they will put dents in it. Freezer bags are a little stronger and will hopefully end up with less holes in them. I like the candy canes nice and fine with slight chunks here and there.
-Take pan out of fridge and let it warm slightly at room temp for a couple minutes before adding the white layer. This will help the white layer to adhere better so that when you break up the bark the layers won't separate.
-Repeat the double boiling process for the white chocolate. Don't use soap when rinsing your bowl from the milk chocolate, just rinse with hot water and melt the white.
-I added the peppermint extract to the white layer, but you can do it any way you want. Mix it in well then spread white carefully on top of milk chocolate. Careful, it will start melting the chocolate underneath it, so be careful when spreading or else you'll get a swirl effect going on.
-Jiggle pan again to even out. Immediately sprinkle candy canes on top. I completely covered the bark very generously until no white chocolate was really showing.
-Let set in fridge or cold for 20 minutes. Then stab and break apart with a knife. It will split nicely when it's really cold, but if you want more uniform pieces let it warm up a little and you can just cut with a knife how you want it.
-Makes just under 2 lbs of candy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Slow Cooked Baked Potato Soup

I can't believe I haven't put this recipe on here yet! It's one of those unforgettable recipes. It's from "A Year of Slow Cooking" blog. It's a keeper, trust me. I'm making it today for tonight's dinner. It's sinfully delicious. Can't wait.

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2-inch chunks
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
2 quarts chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, to add at the end (I use one pkg.)
crumbled bacon, green onion, chives, or cheddar cheese as garnish (optional but you'll definitely want them)

-Use a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Peel and dice the potatoes, and put them into the stoneware. Add onion and garlic. Sprinkle in the seasonings, and pour in the broth. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. The potatoes should be fork-tender. You can use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the soup, or a hand-held immersible blender. I suppose you can also leave the potatoes in chunks, if you really wanted, but I wanted a smooth soup.

-After smashing the potatoes, crumble in both packages of cream cheese, and put the lid back on. Cook on high for about 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is completely dissolved. Stir a few times during the 30 minutes.

-Garnish with crumbled bacon, green onion or chives, and cheddar cheese if desired.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

PhotobucketThis is my very favorite muffin recipe. I discovered it last year I think and love making it as much as possible! These are so moist and delicious-a must when it's autumn! This also makes great bread, just put in greased loaf pans and add time-20 or so more minutes, depending on loaf pan size (until toothpick comes out clean).

2 1/2 c flour
2 c sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c canned pumpkin puree
1/2 oil
2 c peeled, chopped apple (any sweet variety)

Streusel topping:

2 T flour
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
4 t butter

-Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 24 muffin cups or use paper liners.
-In large bowl sift together dry ingredients.
-In another bowl mix wet ingredients well. Add to dry ingredients until just mixed and moistened.
-Fold in apples. Spoon batter into cups.
-In a small bowl mix streusel ingredients (I like to use my hand) until nice and crumbly. Sprinkle on top of each muffin.
-Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pigs in a Blanket

Doesn't this sound cozy with the cold weather here? Well, this is the world's easiest meal, and one the whole family loves.

Hot Dogs--your favorite brand (I only buy Oscar Meyer or Falls Brand beef franks)
Rhoades Rolls (same number as hot dogs) regular is fine, but Texas rolls are a little bigger and easier to roll around dogs.

Thaw rolls and let them raise a little. Let your hot dogs come to room temp, or microwave them for about 30 seconds. This aides in rising time. Wrap the hot dog in the roll. Roll out or just shape around. Seal the seam. Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet. Let them rise til about double. Bake 350 til rolls are golden (12-15 min usually). Serve with lots of ketchup! These are sooo good. They are always a hit!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Autumn Snack Mix from Sunday Baker

I am in love with this stuff! It's dangerous for me to have around because it is so hard to stop eating it and it's not exactly low-carb! I just love Sunday Baker, which is where I got this. It's nice to try a new snack mix. I made this one day as an after school snack for the kids and they loved it. You can add or subtract any candy you want. The good thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot (2 ice cream buckets) so it's great to give as a gift to your neighbors or friends. Yum!

1 box Peanut Butter Ritz Bits
1 bag mini-pretzels
1 large jar roasted peanuts (the more the better!)
1 bag regular m&m's
1 bag candy corn
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/2 c butter
2 T vanilla extract
1 t baking soda
1 c sugar

-In a very large sprayed roasting pan, or any pan with sides, mix pretzels, crackers, and peanuts.
-In a medium saucepan mix together sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Over medium heat bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes or so (Sunday Baker said to boil 5 minutes, but I found that was too long and it hardened too fast so it wasn't gooey enough to evenly coat everything).
-Remove mixture from heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Mix well.
-Pour mixture over the pretzel mix and stir to coat everything.
-Pour into roasting pan and bake at 250 for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
-When done, immediately pour onto wax paper. Let cool a few minutes then start breaking apart the big chunks. Let cool completely.
-When all cool, mix in candy corn and m&m's. Store in an airtight container for several days!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cajun Black Beans with Sausage and Corn

This is a Betty Crocker recipe that I acquired recently. I thought it sounded like a nice, quick, healthy, easy weeknight meal so I gave it a try and as always made it my own with the ingredients I had. Honestly, I didn't really think that my family would care for it that much, but I was luckily wrong! It was very flavorful with the smoked sausage. I used some leftover corn off of the cob and fresh tomatoes from the garden. It would be good served alongside some rice. I don't want to forget about this one-so tasty.

2 T oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, any color, diced
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 c corn, frozen, canned, off cob, whatever
16 oz. smoked Kielbasa sausage, sliced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 c fresh tomatoes, chopped (could use canned)
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed

-In large skillet heat oil then add garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add peppers and onions and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
-Stir in corn, sausage, salt, and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Stir in tomatoes and beans. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot.
-Serves 6-8.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Erika's Fresh Pear Tart

PhotobucketI have pears coming out of my ears! Our kind neighbors across the street let us have all the pears on their tree. To thank them, I have been looking for a nice little something to make them. After looking at several recipes online, I took a little of this and that from them and made my own recipe. Not only is this dessert impressive and nice to look at, it also tastes fabulous and it's so easy to make--fool proof! You can use fresh or canned pears, whatever you have.

1/2 c cold butter
1/3 c sugar
1/4 t almond extract (or vanilla)
3/4 c flour
2/3 c quick oats

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 t almond or vanilla extract
3-4 fresh pears, peeled and sliced
cinnamon sugar
whipped cream

-Mix all crust ingredients with a pastry blender until small crumbs. Press into a 10" tart/flan pan (with removable sides) covering bottom and up the sides.
-With an electric mixer, beat first 4 filling ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into crust and spread evenly.
-Arrange pear slices in a pretty design on top and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.
-Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Then turn down heat to 400 and bake for another 25 minutes.
-Place on cooling rack and let cool slightly. Remove sides and serve warm with whipped cream for garnish, if desired.
-Serves 8.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Home Canned Salsa ala Erika

PhotobucketThis is a recipe I got from fellow blogger Afton last year. My family really enjoys it and since our supply is diminishing I was excited to make it again. I got a bunch of free produce from a neighbor with an incredible garden so I incorporated some of the things he gave me into the recipe and switched it around a bit. This is now homemade salsa ala Erika. I double this when canning, but it's wonderful fresh in a single batch and keeps in your fridge for a while. My thoughts are that if you're going to make the mess, you might as well make it worth your while and double it. One batch fits in my 4.5 quart pot, and when doubling I simply use two pots. I'd rate it medium in hotness. If you want it more on the mild side than I would take out the jalepenos and maybe even reduce chile peppers to one.

2 4.5 quart pots roma tomatoes (can use regular but drain really well)
15 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 large onions, chopped (any color will do)
2 jalepenos, seeded and diced
1 1/2 bunches chopped cilantro
2 chile peppers, seeded and chopped
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (red or green)
1 1/2 T salt
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c white vinegar

-Fill your 2 pots about 2/3 full of water. Bring to a boil. Put as many tomatoes as will fit in. Romas are so flavorful and not as watery as regular tomatoes so I prefer them.
-Leave tomatoes in for a few minutes.
-Take tomatoes out in colander, run under cold water, or you can dump them in sink full of cold water.
-Peel tomatoes. You can chop by hand, but I just put them in my blender (it worked better than my food processor.)
-In the pot that you used to boil the tomatoes, dump out water and you can now dump chopped tomatoes in. I like to keep a little of the tomatoes in the blender to help blend the other ingredients in better.
-To a little of the tomatoes, now add garlic, peppers, cilantro, and onion. Pulse to chop up. I like to hand chop some of the onions and all of the bell peppers so they are a little bigger and add some chunkiness to the salsa.
-Once all veggies are chopped and in pot, add salt and vinegar.
-Stir and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
-Pour salsa in jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with non-metallic spatula. Clean rims of jars with clean rag and put on lids and rings.
-Process 15 minutes in boiling water canner.
-Yield about 7 pints.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best Steak Marinade EVER!

PhotobucketThis is the best steak marinade I've ever tried. No need for steak sauce when you have something this flavorful! The longer you marinate, the better flavor but I don't need to tell you that! Recipe and picture from Allrecipes.

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
2. Pour marinade over desired type of meat in large Ziploc bags or in a dish. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired. Best on grill.
3. This is for 8 servings, which I used 8 steaks and it was enough marinade for that much meat.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Broccoli Chicken Potato Parmesan

From Dick's market and Holly!

2 T oil
1 lb. chicken cut into strips (2 breasts)
1 1/2lbs red potatoes sliced thin
2 cups broccoli, chopped to bite-size
1 can broccoli cheddar soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup fresh parmesan
Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken, season with what you like, and cook stirring till just done. Remove from pan. Add potatoes to left over oil. Cover and cook 10 mins stirring occasionally. Add a little more oil if getting too brown. Add broccoli, cook covered 5 mins. In a bowl, combine milk, soup and garlic powder. Pour into skillet along with the cooked chicken. Heat to boil and cook 5 minutes. Add parmesan and toss then serve. Makes 6 servings. I'm keeping this one in my binder! Fast and easy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Best Homemade Pizza in the World!

I have been on a quest for years to make pizza at home as good as at a restaurant. It has been a long road. I finally gave up 6 months ago on trying to make my own crust and just started using Rhoades bread dough. That made a big difference. Then this weekend I told Chris I would be making pizza this week. He asked if I'd put fresh garlic on it. He loves it. So, I agreed. The result was "The best pizza ever" (in my book anyway!) The garlic added so much flavor. I think it's what's been missing the whole time. Here it is:

1 loaf frozen dough, thawed (let it rise just a little and it's easier to shape)
I use a 16" pizza round (I like thinner crust), I have also used a big rectangle cookie sheet
Pizza sauce (I use traditional Prego spaghetti sauce, we like a sweeter sauce)
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese (sometimes I add a little cheddar, too)

mushrooms (I live with uncultured swine, who only like these 3 toppings)

Last night, I added the following to my half and Chris and I loved it:
zucchini, onions, red bell pepper, sliced thin and roasted in oven with olive oil and salt & pepper
fresh garlic, pressed and sprinkled on after the initial cheese (I used 2 med cloves)
fresh tomatoes, sliced

The order is: dough, sauce, mozz cheese, garlic, pepperoni and other toppings, more mozz and parmesan.

Bake at 425 for about 17-25 min. (give or take depending on amount of toppings) The crust needs to be nice and brown. You have to be patient or the middle will be doughy.
1 pizza feeds my family of 5, usually without leftovers.
Reheating tip: Pizza is always gross reheated...until now! Heat it up in a skillet on the stove. I put a lid on it, so the top gets hot faster. Watch it carefully, so you don't burn the bottom. It gets nice and crispy again. Closest thing to fresh pizza.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zucchini Brownies

Here's one more thing to do with your extra zucchini this year. This doesn't look like your typical brownie, but it is still delicious. As I was baking it, I thought I'd be disappointed, but the moistness and flavor are awesome!! I found this on Cooks.com.

3 c flour
4 T cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 t soda
1 t cinnamon (I used a little less)
1 c oil
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk (I was out, so I used some vinegar in whole milk)
2 c grated zucchini, squeeze out moisture
1 c chocolate chips
3/4 c walnuts

Combine first 5 dry ingredients, and set aside. Beat sugar and eggs til fluffy. Add oil and vanilla. Beat til fluffy. Mix in zucchini. Then add flour mixture and buttermilk alternating. Add chips and walnuts. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes in a 10x15 (I think that is jelly roll size) pan.

I omitted walnuts and used bittersweet chocolate chunks. MMMMMM!
I also misread the pan size and used a 9x13. (I looked at about 20 recipes before deciding on this one, and they all had different pan sizes!!) Don't do that. The middle didn't get done, and I had to chuck that part. Whoops!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Molten Cheeseburgers

These are delicious!! So juicy and oozy and huge! Come to the table hungry for this one! We saw this on The Food Network's Man v. Food last night. It's a good show. You get to watch a guy gorge himself with really good food in large portions!

Make hamburger patties really thin. They used 1/4# of burger, but I used less. I made 10 patties out of about 1 1/2# of burger. They were about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. We had a couple leak a little because we BBQ'd them, but nothing too bad. I think I might make them a tiny bit thicker, but not too much. They are huge. I cut waxed paper squares and just pressed out the meat right on them.

Place a patty on waxed paper on counter. Fold American Cheese in fourths and put in the middle of the patty. Put another patty on top leaving the waxed paper on top. Press the sides of the patties together to seal. (They had other cheeses on the menu--bleu cheese, pepper jack, Swiss. They said the original was the most popular, though.)

BBQ or cook on a griddle til done. Toast the bun, serve with ketchup, mustard, and the grilled onions are a must! We also added slices of garden tomatoes, because you must!

The only thing I would change is the bun. You need a giant one. I got the good kind from the bakery that you have to slice, but they were a little small and too delicate. Maybe a kaiser type or just the bigger Eddy's or Wonder buns would be better, though I loved the flavor of the wimpy ones.

Have fun with these. I think these would be fun for a party. Just give the kids regular burgers or hot dogs, though all three of my boys loved them. Two just had trouble finishing the whole thing!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apricot Leather

This recipe can be adjusted for any kind of fruit you want to use. Just add the sugar slowly to taste. Dad's tip on drying them in the hot car worked like a gem! That way you won't heat up your house.

8 c blended apricots
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 c sugar or to taste

-Wash apricots, pull apart and take pits out. Put in blender and blend until smooth.
-Pour into bowl and add lemon juice and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
-Prepare pans by covering with plastic wrap. If you use large jelly roll size pans you'll need to use two strips of plastic wrap and overlap them in the middle really good. Leave a little extra hanging off all sides.
-Pour fruit on pan. You want it to be about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. This is a little hard to gauge but use your best judgment. Keep in mind that the thicker it is, the longer it will take to dry, obviously. I kind of move the pan around and shake it on a flat surface to get it nice and even and smooth.
-Now, you can dry this a few different ways. You can use the hot car as I previously mentioned. Just crack your windows and set the pans in but try to make sure they're as level as possible. Also try to use an alternate car if possible when you need to go somewhere. I drove Pierce down to his cousins, just down the road, and we had flying fruit leather. The car method took me about two days to get it completely dry and this was with very hot temperatures. You can also obviously use a food dehydrator if you have one. You can also dry this out in the sun but will need to put screens over it to keep the bugs out. They say this takes 24 hours but I've never tried it. You can also use your oven. Just turn it on a very low temperature like 140 degrees. Let dry in the oven for as long as it takes to get the puree completely dry. It should not be sticky to the touch. This may take 8-12 hours or you can just do it overnight. I've also heard of people tenting it with cheesecloth and drying it in the sun, or putting it in your BBQ with the lid closed in the hot sun.

-One thing you want to be careful of is don't let your plastic wrap fall down on the sides over the puree. It will not dry where the plastic wrap covers it. I know this because this happened to me. If you do it the long way in the car, the puree will start to ferment and mold and you don't want that, believe me. If necessary, tape your plastic wrap up on the sides of your pans to prevent this.

-When leather is ready, roll it up in the plastic wrap. I cut mine in serving size pieces and rolled them up. It really felt like I was cutting a piece of leather! Anyway, you can store these in an airtight container and they can even be frozen!

-4 c fruit yield about one large baking sheet of fruit leather.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Zucchini Relish

This is a wonderful way to use up those big zucchinis that you let get away from you in the garden! This recipe is Ryan's Great-Grandma Charlotte's recipe. We love it in tuna sandwiches, on hot dogs, or anything...be creative! Oh, and get ready for lots of chopping. At least you'll be giving your arms a little work-out! It's a lot of work but worth it because this stuff will last you forever!

5 large zucchini, diced (I know this is vague..lg. but not too lg.)
3 red bell peppers, diced
3 green bell peppers, diced
5 large yellow onions, diced
1/2 c salt
1 t alum
ice cubes

5 c sugar
2 T celery seed
2 T mustard seed
1 T turmeric
5 or 6 c white vinegar, to taste

-Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl except ice cubes. Mix well. Cover with ice cubes. Let stand overnight.
-Next morning drain veggie mixture. Wash in cold water. Drain again.
-Cook spices and vinegar in large pot. Add veggies and simmer for 30 minutes.
-Put in jars with rings and lids and boil in cold-pack canner for 10 minutes to seal.

I really wish I could give you an exact amount of how much this makes but I can't remember! This year I'll write it down for sure. Depends on if you use pint or quart size jars. Pints are nice for something like this, but I've also used quarts if it's all I have on hand.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas al a Erin

OK. I know it sounds easy, but these where a huge hit at our house tonight. Harrison had these at Erin's last week and requested I make them! I used the raw tortillas from Costco. I don't like refried beans from a can, so I just mashed up pinto beans and added garlic powder and simmered about 5 minutes. Put the beans on the tortilla then cheese (I used the Mexican blend and plain cheddar because I didn't have enough) and another tortilla. Heat and eat with salsa. Next time you need something fast or nothing else sounds good, here's your answer! Thanks, Erin, for another delicious and practical dinner!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Purple Flurp

This recipe is from my Grandma Brown. I grew up eating this at all the summer family get-togethers. I haven't had it for many years because I haven't been home in the summer in a long time. I have been craving it, so I finally called and got the recipe from Gram. It's light and easy and good! PS--I don't know what the recipe's real name is. It's probably something boring like blueberry dream dessert. The story goes my uncle called it Purple Flurp the first time Grandma made it and it stuck.

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I buy the crumbs because I like how fine they are)
1 stick butter, melted
6 T sugar
Mix above together and set aside.

1 large box Dream Whip (have 4 envelopes in it)
1 cup milk
Mix these together and add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1 t vanilla. Then add 1 8 oz cream cheese that has been whipped. Mix til blended well.

1 can blueberry pie filling

Layer in a 9x13 pan in this order: 1/2 the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 the dream whip mixture, whole can pie filling, remaining dream whip mixture, remaining graham crumbs. Chill and serve.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Chocolate Toffee Crunch Fantasy

This is a lighter version of the "Better than almost anything cake". It's a Duncan Hines recipe I have carried around for years, but never made. It rocks!

1 pkg Devil's Food Cake Mix
12 bars (1.4 oz each) chocolate covered toffee bars, divided (I only used 8 total)
3 cups whipping cream, chilled

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an flour 10-inch tube pan

Prepare, bake and cool cake following package directions. Split cake horizontally into 3 layers; set aside. Chop 11 candy bars into pea-size pieces. (I only used 7 candy bars, and I thought it was great) Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold candy pieces into whipped cream.

To assemble, place one split cake layer on serving plate. Spread 1 1/2 cups whipped cream mixture on top. Repeat with remaining layers and whipped cream mix. Frost sides and top with remaining filling. Chop remaining candy bar coarsely. Sprinkle over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (I'd chill for 3 or so hours so the cream gets the toffee flavor.)

Helpful hint: Chop toffee bars in food processor fitted with a steel blade.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pasta Milano (from Dick's Grocery)

12oz bag egg noodles
6 T butter
12oz sliced fresh mushrooms (I used an 8oz presliced pkg)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 lb. prosciutto, chopped(prepackaged in deli case)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Grated parmesan
salt and pepper
Cook pasta, drain and rinse a second in hot water. In large skillet, cook 4T butter, mushrooms, prosciutto and garlic 5-7 minutes till mushrooms are tender and meat is a little toasted. Add peas, remaining butter, cooked pasta, salt and pepper and a handful of parmesan. Heat through. Serves 6. **This would also be awesome with a chicken breast sliced thin and cooked in the mix. But the prosciutto ROCKS on it's own!! TRY IT TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

Salsa Turkey Grill

I have had this little ditty since just after we were married, but I am just getting around to trying it now! This is yummy, and greazzzy!! Yet, it's light enough for a hot summer day. We had cold watermelon with it.

2 slices bread (I used sturdy white)
2 Kraft singles
1 T thick and chunky salsa (they suggested Taco Bell, it's good, but I love the salsa I get from Costco best! I was out.)
2 slices turkey deli meat

Put down in this order: bread, cheese, salsa, turkey, cheese, bread.
Butter outsides and cook in skillet til golden.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Marinated Green Salad (from Father's Day)

1/2 cup vinegar (I use apple cider)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 T poppy seed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 T dry minced onion
Whisk all together, then cover and marinate overnight in fridge.
3-4 heads salad greens, like romaine, red-leaf, spinach etc.
1 red onion chopped or sliced thin
1/2 - 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. bacon fried and crumbled
8oz shredded swiss cheese
Toss dressing and salad together before serving. Makes a lot.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Easy Creamy Gratin Potatoes

So good, and all ingredients you probably already have at home!

4 large russet potatoes, sliced thin.(I peeled mine)
1/2-1 onion, sliced thin into rings
salt and pepper
4T butter
3T flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1-2 cups shredded cheddar or cheese of your liking
Preheat oven to 400. Grease 1 1/2qt dish. Layer 1/2 the potato slices on bottom of dish. Top with onion slices, season with salt and pepper (I added garlic salt too) and dot with 1T butter if you like. Add remaining potatoes and season again. In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in flour and salt and stir constantly 1 minute. Add milk and cook till thickened. Stir in cheese till melted. Pour over potatoes, and cover with foil. (I added a crunchy topping made of corn flakes and butter and it rocked). Bake 1 1/2 hrs. Serves family of 6.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Artisan Free-Form Loaf

This recipe comes from my friend Jennefer Haight. I love how basic it is. After you've made it once, you won't need all these instructions but they come in handy the first time! This is a crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside type of round loaf. I love it! I'm not afraid of yeast bread anymore! You will need a pizza stone and peel!

3 C lukewarm water
1 1/2 T yeast
1 1/2 T kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour, measured with the scoop-and-sweep method
Cornmeal for pizza peel

1. Warm the water slightly: It should feel just a little warmer than body temp, 100 degrees.

2. Add yeast and salt to water in 5-quart bowl or, preferably in a resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container. Don't worry about getting it all to dissolve.

3. Mix in flour-kneading is unnecessary. Add all of flour at once, gently scooping up flour, then sweeping the top level with knife; don't press down into flour as you scoop or you'll have too much flour! Mix in standing mixer with dough hook attachment until mixture is uniform. Don't knead! No dry patches! This will yield a dough that is uniformly moist, wet, and loose enough to conform to the shape of the container.

4. Allow to rise. Cover with lid but do not put on air tight. 2 hours. Fully refrigerate dough-3 hours or overnight.

5. The gluten cloak: Don't knead, just cloak and shape a loaf 30-60 seconds. First, prepare a pizza wheel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent your loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven. Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1 pound (grapefruit size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it doesn't stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it's not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The bottom doesn't need to look pretty but the correctly shaped loaf will be smooth and cohesive on top. This should only take 30-60 seconds.

6. Rest the loaf and let rise on pizza peel. 40 minutes-don't cover.

7. Preheat oven and pizza stone on middle rack at 450. Place a broiler tray for holding water on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

8. Dust and slash. Dust top of loaf with flour and cut with serrated knife in cross pattern about 1/4 inch deep. Or tick-tack-toe looks nice too.

9. Baking with steam. After preheat, slide loaf onto pizza stone. Quickly but carefully pour 1 cup hot water from tap into the broiler tray and close oven to trap steam. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Let cool on wire rack. You can store remaining dough in refrigerator for 14 days. Leave in plastic container with lid on but not airtight.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake

There are so many kinds of strawberry shortcake. This one is my very favorite!!! This is a sweet biscuit-like cake. I got this from my friend in Weiser many years ago.

1 qt strawberries plus 1 cup sugar


2 c flour
2 T sugar
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/3 c shortening
1 c milk

Mix dry ingredients, then add shortening and milk. Mix just til blended. Spread in greased round cake pan. Bake @ 450 for 15-20 mins. Let cool. Top with strawberries and whipped cream. Can make individual shortcakes, 4-6 depending on size. (cook those 15 min, if you make six)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lemon-Lime Cookies

These are my favorite summer cookies! So fresh and tangy! Shaylin gave me this recipe after she made these for a family party and I've been hooked ever since!

1 C sugar
2/3 C shortening
1 T grated lemon peel
2 T lemon juice
2 t grated lime peel
1 T lime juice
1 egg
1 3/4 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Lemon-Lime frosting

Heat oven to 375. Beat sugar, shortening, lemon peel, lime peel, lime juice and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on med. speed. Stir in flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool 1-2 minutes, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost with Lemon-Lime frosting.


2 C powdered sugar
2 T butter, softened
1 t grated lime peel
1 T lemon juice
2-3 t water

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Taco Chicken

Here is another recipe from Dick's Market. I have only tried their sample, I haven't made it yet. (I'm out of chicken!) This was tasty and easy! They served it with potato salad and an italian breadstick. I thought that was summery.

1 1/2 cups nacho cheese tortilla chips
1/2 c bisquick mix (I'm gonna use Krusteaz because that's what I have)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
2 T taco sauce
1/4 t salt
3 T vegetable oil

Crush tortilla chips in a resealable gallon bag. Add bisquick to chips; mix well. In a small shallow dish, mix egg, taco sauce and salt. Dip chicken into egg mixture, then shake in bag to coat In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Reduce heat to med-low. Add chicken; cook 10-12 min, turning once, until juices run clear.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biggest Loser Mini Turkey Meat Loaves

The Biggest Loser was so good this season! Our family was hooked. The show introduced this recipe and I went online to try and find it. Here it is with some changes made to my liking. It's so good and packed full of healthy stuff!

2 lbs ground turkey
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
3/4 c oats
3 egg whites
salt and pepper

1/2 c ketchup
2 T brown sugar (can use splenda or raw sugar)
2 t lemon juice

-Mix top portion of ingredients in bowl until thoroughly combined.
-Spray muffin tins and put 1/3 c mixture into each well (or just to the top).
-Bake at 350 for 20 minutes for standard size muffin cups.
-Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients in small bowl and set aside.
-Remove meat loaves from oven and spoon topping over each meat loaf. Return meat loaf to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
-Let meat loaf stand for 5 minutes before serving.
-Makes about 15 mini loaves.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Strawberry Bread

This is great hot or cold. It's nice and moist. You could even serve it with a cream cheese/marshmallow cream spread or whipped cream and fresh strawberries on the side and I'm sure it would be extra yummy. This is a great way to use up strawberries if you buy them by the flat like I do. Strawberry season has arrived!

3-4 c fresh strawberries (frozen works too)
3 1/8 c flour
2 c sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 c oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 T vanilla

-In a medium bowl, roughly crush up strawberries with your hands, leaving chunks here and there. Sprinkle lightly with a little sugar and set aside.
-Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a large bowl; mix.
-To strawberries add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into flour mixture, blending until just moistened.
-Grease and flour two 9x5 loaf pans and pour batter in. Depending on how many cups of strawberries you add, this may vary. I used 4 c strawberries and got 1 large, 1 9x5, and 1 mini loaf. So you could probably get three 9x5 pans out of this instead of the two.
-Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes in the 9x5 pans, or until toothpick comes out clean. Mini loaf took 35-40 minutes, large took 60 minutes. Let cool.
-Dust with powdered sugar, slice and serve.
-Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Friday, April 3, 2009


Translation: Danish pancake-light and cakey in the middle, crispy and buttery on the outside! SOOO good and fun for a special breakfast or brunch! (or dinner!) Need special pan.

1 3/4 C flour

3/4 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 1/2 T sugar

1/2 t salt

3 egg yolks

1 1/3 C buttermilk

1/2 C sour cream

5 egg whites

5 T butter, melted

Mix dry ingred. Set aside. Mix egg yolks, buttermilk, sour cream together. Fold in dry ingred. Whip egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold into batter. Heat pan, pour in maybe a 1/4 t melted butter in each well. Pour 1 T batter into well, then add 1 teaspoon jam or other filling, then another T batter. Flip with chop sticks or skewers after about 3 minutes or until golden on the bottom and crispy. Then 3 minutes more to finish. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar. *When I'm lazy I just put the jam on the plate with the pancakes instead of filling them! I love homemade raspberry jam on these! Whip cream with a little syrup added while whipping is really good. Nutella filled with diced bananas on top. Blueberries would be good! You could also roll them in cinnamon and sugar! The cream cheese or mascarpone cheese whipped with lemon curd is my very favorite! Sky's the limit! Have fun!

1/4 C Mascerpone cheese at room temp. or cream cheese

1/4 C lemon curd

Whip together (add a little lemon zest to batter for extra lemon flavor!)

1/2 C sugar

2 T flour

1 1/2 T cinn.

1/4 t salt

4 T unsalted butter cut into cubes and put at room temp.

Frosting for cinnabun:

3 oz. cream cheese-room temp

4 T unsalted butter-room temp.

1 1/2 C powdered sugar

3-4 T milk

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Black bean tostadas with corn relish

There's nothing earth-shattering about this recipe, but I liked the corn relish and thought I'd share. It's from Martha Stewart's magazine Everyday Foods. It was one of those time saving issues where you do most of the work early in the day and it only takes a few minutes at dinnertime to throw it all together. I actually made it a more time consuming recipe because I changed a few things to my liking, but it is still fast and easy and satisfying.

2 limes (I didn't do all of the two)
2 scallions (I used green onions)
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn
coarse salt and pepper
3 T olive oil
1 jalapeno (my pepper was super mild, so I used it all)
1 pint grape tomatoes (I just used regular cuz it's what I had)
8 oz Monterery Jack cheese
4 flour tortillas (6 inch)
1 can black beans
1 avocado
reduced fat sour cream for serving

In the morning:
Corn relish
Squeeze limes in a medium bowl. Thinly slice scallions, and add to bowl along with corn. Add 1 T oil, season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

Halve jalapeno (remove ribs and seeds), and mince. Halve tomatoes. Combine in airtight container; cover and refrigerate.

Shred cheese coarsely and refrigerate.

At dinnertime:
Make tostadas. (They did flour, but it's blasphemous at our house to use anything but corn tortillas. I fried them up crisp like usual.) Preheat oven to 475. Arrange tortillas on two baking sheets; brush both sides with remaining 2 T oil. Rinse and drain beans; sprinkle over tortillas. Top with tomatoes, jalapeno and cheese. Bake until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

(I like the refried type beans, so I simmered 2 cans with garlic and 3 T butter til they were thickened and it was wonderful.)

Finish corn relish
While tostadas are baking, pit and peel avocado; dice. Toss with corn mixture. Top tostadas with corn relish, and sour cream.

Everyone really liked this. The corn relish doesn't taste really great by itself in the bowl (too tangy), but it is delish on the tostada. I'll definitely make this again during the garden season!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Vegetable ragout with fresh pasta

I made this for dinner tonight and I loved it! Very "Spring", very fresh and healthy, and SIMPLE! Everyone ate it up! This recipe is from Fine Cooking Magazine and I made just a few changes.


1 lb. fresh fettuccine pasta (fresh makes a huge difference!)

1 garlic clove, minced

blk pepper

3+ cups mixed spring vegetables (asparagus, baby carrots, turnip, spring onions or pearl onions, peas-trimmed and cut.)

1/4 C chopped fresh herbs such as basil, mint, parsley

4 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring pot of well salted water to boil. Boil pasta for 3-4 min. Drain.

In large saute pan, bring 3 cups water, the garlic, 1 t salt, 1/4 t pepper to simmer over high heat. Add mixed vegetables and simmer briskly until crisp tender-3-4 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove asparagus and let continue to cook until fork tender. (Carrots and Turnips will need more time!) Add peas at last minute. Toss the pasta with unsalted butter and lemon zest and herbs. Mix in veggies and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parmo and Serve!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tuna Twister Melt

This recipe is from Kraft foods. I like it because of how simple and easy it is and how budget-friendly it is. You could have these for lunch or dinner, and they present really well if you slice the rolled up tortilla in half on an angle. I used regular mayo (Best Foods, of course) because I didn't have any light. You could also make these even more nutritious by using whole-wheat tortillas or other flavored wraps. Nuking them in the microwave is a must. I altered the amounts a little, so here is what I came up with.

3 cans water-packed tuna, drained
1 c reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or more!)
1/2 c celery, chopped
3-5 T light mayo, heaping. Just add to your liking.
3 T sweet pickle relish-I used homemade zucchini relish
6 Flour tortillas, burrito size

-In a bowl mix first 5 ingredients. Spread evenly onto tortillas; roll up.
-Place seam-sides down on a plate and microwave on high for 20 seconds, depending on your microwave, until cheese begins to melt. (Or to serve cold, do not microwave but wrap roll-ups tightly with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.)
-Variation: You could use chicken instead of tuna, canned is super easy. You could also serve on toasted english muffins instead of on a tortilla.
-Serve with maybe some apple slices or baby carrots and lunch/dinner is served!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The BEST Chocolate Molten Cake!!!

I lost my old recipe for chocolate molten cake and had to look up a new one. This is from Food Network-Emeril's. It is TO DIE FOR! You have got to make it SOON! It's even good the day after reheated in the micro for 20-30 seconds! Rich, bittersweet chocolaty goodness! AND EASY!!!!

1 1/2 t unsalted butter, plus 1 stick
4 t flour, plus 2 T
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or semi sweet (good brand)
2 T heavy cream
2 T confectioners sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla
pinch salt

Preheat oven 450. Grease and flour 4 (6ou.) ramekins with butter and flour, tapping out excess flour. Set on baking sheet.

Melt chocolate, 1 stick of butter, cream, powdered sugar, until smooth. Remove from heat.
In bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, and salt-3 minutes. Sift flour into egg mixture and mix. Fold in chocolate mixture. Pour into ramekins. Bake until sides are set but middle is puffed but still soft-about 12 min. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes before unmolding onto plate and serving with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream! I like to dust with powdered sugar before serving!

Raspberry Sauce:
1 small bag of frozen raspberries, thawed
1 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 C powdered sugar

Mix in blender. Push through fine mesh sieve.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lemon-Poppy Seed Waffles

Don't these waffles look so refreshing and delightful? Well they certainly are! I'm a big fan of anything with poppy seeds in it and anything lemon, so to me this is the perfect waffle! I got the recipe from Betty Crocker. The good thing about these is you can make them totally healthy by using the Fiber One mix and by topping with fat-free yogurt instead of butter and sugary syrup or jam. And of course the fresh fruit will make it feel like it's Spring! (anyone else have spring fever?)

2 c Fiber One Complete pancake mix (or any other mix)
2 T sugar
1 T poppy seeds
1 c cold water
1 T grated lemon peel
1/4 c FRESH lemon juice
2 containers (6 oz. ea.)Yoplait light fat-free lemon cream pie or very vanilla yogurt
Fresh fruit--berries, peaches, anything!

-Heat waffle maker.
-In medium bowl mix first 6 ingredients with wire whisk until smooth.
-Spray waffle maker with Pam and pour batter onto center. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops.
-Serve waffles topped with yogurt and fruit.
-Makes 8 (4-inch) waffles

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chicken Tostada Salad

This is a light and delicious meal! I got it from Dan's grocery. They have girls cook up stuff in the back and give out samples and have the recipes and all the ingredients there for you to buy. This is really simple, quick and fresh. The refrigerated chicken is only OK. I would prefer to cook my own, but these days, I'm not up to it. Maybe in a few months. Or maybe there's a better brand??? You could add refried beans to make it heartier and I thought avocados, and cilantro would be good, too.

4 cups shredded lettuce
1 med tomato, cut into wedges (I used more and diced)
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 sliced olives
2 T taco sauce
4 tostada shells
2 pkgs (6 oz each) refrigerated chicken strips (Tyson, it's by the bacon and lunchmeat)
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Divide among the shells. Top with chicken; sprinkle with cheese. I added some more taco sauce on the top of mine.) I am looking forward to having this for lunch tomorrow! It hit the spot after being sick ALL day today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Hearts (Sunday Baker)

Oh my heavens! You have to go over to Sunday Baker and see this recipe! It looks so amazingly scrumptious!!! I'm really tempted to make these for Valentine's. Sunday Baker always has the best looking recipes--I'm glad to have found it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chili Con Carne

This recipe is from my staple Pillsbury Cookbook. It never steers me wrong. I scored the book at a yard sale when I was living in Logan. I have been making this for many years. I'll give you my adaptations, too. It is just a simple chili recipe, but it is sooo gooood! I made it last night, and Chris said it was the best yet. (Wish I knew what I did!) This usually feeds my family of 5 for 2 nights, plus lunch for me.

1# hamburger
1/2 c chopped onion
3/4 c water
1/2 c chopped green pepper (I almost never use this cuz I don't have them on hand much)
3 t chili powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t hot pepper sauce
1-2 cloves garlic (I use 2)
28 oz can tomatoes, undiluted, cut up (we don't like chunks, so I blend them up)
1 can tomato soup
6 oz tomato paste
4 oz green chiles, undrained (I use 2 of these or a 7 oz, whatever I have)
1-2 T sugar, to taste (the recipe didn't call for this, but I like a sweeter chili)
15 oz can kidney beans, undrained

In medium skillet, brown hamburger with onion; drain. (I just cook burger in pot, to save dishes!) In large saucepan, combine beef mixture and remaining ingredients except kidney beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hrs, stirring occasionally. Stir in kidney beans; simmer until thoroughly heated. Garnish with cheese if desired.

For use in slow cooker, proceed as directed above and cook on low setting for 5-6 hours. Add kidney beans and heat thoroughly. (I've never done the crock pot)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Banana Crumb Muffins

Another great recipe from Allrecipes. I get tired of making the same old banana bread with my old bananas so I made muffins instead. My family said they were really good, better than banana bread, so I think I may do this from now on with over-ripe bananas. The crumb topping makes them extra yummy from the little smidgen that I tasted (these aren't exactly a low-carb food).

1 1/2 c flour (can use some wheat if you want to be more healthy)
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c melted butter (I used oil)

1/3 c brown sugar
2 T flour
1/8 t cinnamon
1 T butter (cold is fine)

-Mix dry ingredients together; mix wet ingredients together; then mix dry into wet just until combined. Spoon into paper liners or greased muffin tin about 3/4 full.

-Mix topping ingredients until resembles cornmeal. Sprinkle generously on top of muffins. This makes plenty of topping for 12. You may even be able to get a few more muffins.

-Bake 375 for 18-20 minutes (I did 18) or until toothpick comes out clean.

-These get more moist the longer they sit. Recipe makes 12 but you may be able to get more than that.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hunter's Hero (meatball sub) from Guy Fieri

These were an awesome superbowl food! I was impressed with myself.
2 T olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup bread crumbs (I used 2-3 slices of white bread & tore them up)
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork sausage
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes (I used just a pinch!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
7 hoagie rolls
marinara sauce
slices of mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan
Heat 1 T oil in large skillet over med. heat. Cook onion, bell pepper and garlic till tender, 5 mins. In bowl, pour milk over bread crumbs and stir till milk is absorbed. Add sauteed veggies, beef, pork sausage, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and egg. Mix well. In same skillet used for veggies, heat remaining oil over med.heat. Form large meatballs, and drop into hot skillet. Brown on all sides and cook thoroughly, till juices are clear and meat is no longer pink. (This takes some patience.) On each hoagie roll, place 4 big meatballs, pour some marinara sauce (1/4 cup), couple slices of mozzarella, and sprinkle with parmesan. Put on cookie sheet and Broil in oven till toasty and melty. Enjoy!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fiesta Chicken Chowder -FAST!

3 T flour
1 envelope fajita seasoning, divided
1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
3 T oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
3 cups water
1 can black beans, drain and rinse
1 can mexican stewed tomatoes w/juice(I used regular stewed)
1 can mexicorn, drained (I used reg)
1 cup uncooked, instant brown rice
4oz can mild green chilis
1 can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
3 T chopped cilantro- optional
1 T fresh lime juice
In gallon ziplock, toss cicken, flour and 2T fajita season. Coat well. Dump it into lage pot with your oil on med-high heat. Cook just till juices run clear, then set aside in a bowl. In same large pot, add a little more oil and cook onions and garlic. Add water, rice, beans, tomatoes, corn, chilis and remaining fajita seasoning. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 5-10 mins till rice is tender. Stir in cheese soup, chicken, cilantro and lime juice. Heat through. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream on the side. (The brown rice ROCKS in this. It's a hearty, yummy soup. I used reg. stew tomatoes and reg. corn to cut down on spiciness. If you love spice then use the mexi version. The way I modified it, it was just a little spice. Not too spicy for the kids.

Cheesy Meat Lasagna (Low fat)

1 lb lean ground beef
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 jar spaghetti sauce (Prego)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 egg
16oz container cottage cheese(2% milkfat)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella, divided
Heat oven to 375. Brown meat with oregan and garlic. Stir in spaghetti sauce, simmer 5 mins. Remove from heat, stir in tomato. Mix cottage cheese, egg and parmesan. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce on bottom of 9x13. Layer with 3 noodles, 1 cup cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat layers. Top with last 3 noodles and remaining meat sauce. Cover and bake 30 mins till bubbly. Uncover, top with remaining mozzarella and bake uncovered 5-10 mins till melted. Let stand 5 mins. Serves 9. Per serving: 300 cals, 10g fat, 27g carbs, 25g protein. ( This is a lighter version lasagna. I didn't feel overwhelmed with cheese like I'm used to in a lasagna, not like thats bad! The sauce is so chunky and satisfying. I felt that for the portion size, 10 g of fat isn't bad! Make a green salad with fat-free dressing and you've got it made)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Miss Kimball's Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from a good friend and neighbor, Heidi. I saw these cookies on her counter and they looked so good I had to have the recipe. I finally got around to trying it and OH, I have a new favorite choc. chip cookie recipe! Kelly LOVED them! He did say they'd be even better with walnuts which is probably right.

1 cube butter, room temp.
1 C shortening
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs

Make as you would regular cookies, whipping butter with sugars, then add eggs and whip for 2 minutes.

3 C flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 t vanilla
1 pkg choc. chips (I use some milk chocolate with the semi sweet-it mixes up the choc. flavors perfectly)

350 degree oven for 10-12 min.

Roast Pork with Pears

This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma magazine and it is excellent! We made this for Sunday dinner a few weeks ago and everyone loved it! I love their recipes! (You can get a large pork roast at Costco for a good price.)

3/4 C packed fresh parsley leaves

1/4 C chopped sage

3 garlic cloves

salt and pepper, to taste

5 T olive oil

1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 1/2 lbs., halved horizontally

3 ripe pears, halved lengthwise

4 leeks, white portions, halved lengthwise (you could use white or yellow onion instead)

Creamy mustard pan sauce: (this is optional but trust me, you don't want to miss out on this!)

2 t flour

1/4 C white wine

1/2 C chicken broth

2 T whole grain or dijon mustard

1/4 C heavy cream

*I think I doubled this because the pork roast was so big! The more the better especially if you have mashed potatoes on the side! This is a delicious gravy!

Preheat 400. Lower rack. In processor, process parsley, sage, garlic, salt and pepper, 3 T oil-or less if it gets too runny. You want a fine paste. Spread inside pork and on top of pork after tying with kitchen twine. Tuck any left over sage under twine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In Dutch oven or large heavy frying pan that is oven safe, warm 2 T oil. Add pears cut side down. Cook 5 min. Transfer to plate. Brown pork on all sides-8 min. Put leeks in pan with pork and pears around sides. Roast until temp. is 140 degrees, 45-55 minutes. Let pork rest in tented foil for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with sauce and mashed potatoes. Serve 8-10

For Sauce:

Pour pan drippings into bowl and discard all but 2 t of fat. Pour reserved fat in pot and heat, adding garlic and then flour. Cook on med./high for 30 seconds. Add wine and cook for 1 min. Add broth and pan drippings and cook until slightly thickens about 3 min. Remove pot from heat and whisk in mustard and cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sloppy Joes

I know sloppy joes are probably low on your list of high class dinners, but I love them. They are so quick and easy and comforting. Today I tried something different. I took 1 pound hamburger and cooked it with some onions. Then added 2 small cans tomato sauce, 1/4 to maybe 1/2 cup brown sugar (I put enough in til it tasted good and sweet to me) and a 7 oz can of green chilies. Everyone really liked it. Just thought I'd share it with you. We had cheddar cheese on them.

I also liked Holly's version. She used stewed tomatoes and then served them on biscuits that were cut open. It was really good. Did I get that right Holly? It's been a long time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Angel's Chicken Roll-Ups

2 1/2 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken (I used a rotissere)
12 oz sour cream, divided
3 tsp taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, divided
1 small onion, sautee in butter
1/2 cup salsa
1 can refried beans
1/2 cup sliced olives, divided
10 smaller size flour tortillas
Combine in a bowl: chicken, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 1/2 tsp taco season, half can of soup, 1/2 can beans, 1 cup cheddar, onions, salsa, and half the olives. Place 1/3 cup filling in tortillas and roll up, place in greased 9x13. Mix together remaining sour cream, soup, taco seasoning. Spread over tortillas, cover and bake 35 mins. at 350. Remove from oven, uncover, and put small dollops of remaining refried beans over top. Then sprinkle with last of the cheese and olives. Return to oven, uncovered, and bake aditional 5-10 mins. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes and salsa on side.
This is excellent-the beans add so much flavor.

Lentil Soup with Ham

I have been making this for years. I look forward to this after Christmas and Easter using the ham bone! The children eat it fairly well-- 2 better than their older brother!!! It is from the back of the Albertson's brand lentil bag. Simple and delicious.

1/2 # lentils
4 cups water
1 ham hock or meaty ham bone
1 Bay leaf
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 t salt
1 small garlic clove, minced

Wash, sort and drain lentils. Combine all ingredients in large pot with tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered until tender. Approx 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Before serving, remove ham hock or bone. Cut ham off bone, dice. Add to soup and serve. 8-10 servings.

(I always do more veggies than called for. This is awesome with cornbread.)

Mini Breakfast Quiches

I got this recipe from Our Best Bites. They are just awesome and the two girls who run it are so sweet. January is health month on their website, so all their recipes are healthy ones. They also include nutritional information, Weight Watcher points, and South Beach information on most recipes. I'm always looking for different ways to eat eggs and this is a great recipe! I also like the fact that you can freeze these babies and just nuke them when you want one.

4 eggs
1 c egg substitute (Eggbeaters Original)equivalent to 4 eggs if you're doing all eggs
3/4 c shredded low-fat sharp cheddar
1/4 c fresh shredded parmesan
1/4 c cottage cheese, low-fat
1/2 a box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1/3 c roasted red peppers, diced (I like Vlasic)
1 oz finely diced ham, canadian bacon, or crumbled bacon (I used Hormel's pre-packaged real bacon bits to save time)
1/4 c finely chopped onion (green would be great too)
1/4 t kosher salt
1/8 t black pepper
a few drops of Tobasco
foil muffin tin liners

-Mix all ingredients well. SPRAY TIN LINERS WITH PAM! Scoop 1/4 c for each muffin tin. They can be filled to the top.

-Bake 350 for 20 minutes or so, depending on your oven. I baked mine for 22 minutes. Don't overbake. You don't want them to get too brown.

-Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. When heating in microwave, remember to take foil liner off!

-Makes 12.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Again, not a recipe, but I have to tell you about it!

OK this is really good for those who are looking for a healthy snack to nibble on in between meals. It is Archer Farm's brand(from Target) trail mix called "A Handful of Everything". It is located on the snack/chip isle I believe, and it is awesome! It has raisins, raw almonds, chocolate chips, peanuts, cashews, coconut, and dried fruit like pineapple, mango, banana, dates, cranberries, cherries and apricot. It is so good, and only 5g of fat per serving, which isn't bad! My boys went crazy and ate half the bag which is OK cause it's good for them. They have like 12 different mixes of trail mix- a lot of them are quite yummy. This one filled me up after eating a serving and I didn't crave anything after either.

The Best BBQ Sauce on the Planet and in the Universe!

This isn't a recipe, but I wanted to share a BBQ sauce that I found- it rocks. It is called Sweet Baby Ray's and it is the Original flavor. It is found almost anywhere, including Sam's and Costco. I crock potted a pork roast (cut up an onion and doused it with garlic salt and pepper). I shredded it after 7 hrs, then put the meat on Target's hoagie buns(so good) and slathered it with BBQ sauce. It was amazing. I put a thin layer of mayo on the bun too-even better, but not neccessary. Anyways, easy dinner, the whole fam loved it and I now have a new staple to keep in the pantry!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Slow-Cooked Sweet and Tangy Beef BBQ

This is the best bbq recipe I've tried! I got the recipe from Allrecipes. We had plenty left over and I've been enjoying it wrapped inside a lettuce leaf with a little low-fat string cheese for a yummy low-carb meal.

3 lb chuck roast
1/2 c water
1 1/2 T white vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 t dry mustard
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 c ketchup
1 t salt
3/4 t fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced

-Place roast and water in crock pot. No need to add anything else for now. Cover, cook on low for 4 hours or until beef can be easily shredded with a fork.

-Shred the beef, removing fat and bone as you go. Remove 1/2 c broth from crock pot and reserve for later.

-Mix the remaining ingredients for the sauce and pour over meat in crock pot and stir until well-coated.

-Cover and contiue to cook on low for an additional 4 hours. Add the reserved broth only if necessary to maintain moisture.

-Serve on toasted buns with a little mayo. The meat can be frozen for future use.

-Serves 12+.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Simple Shrimp Tacos

**These are waaaaay good!**
1 lb. cooked medium shrimp, tails cut off
handful cilantro, chopped
half a lime
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
5 green onions, sliced thin
corn tortillas
sour cream
grated cheddar
lime wedges
Herdez green salsa (mild)
Heat a skillet on medium heat and melt 1 T butter. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Toss 1-2 minutes till heated through. Meanwhile, in a bowl throw together the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic and squeeze the half lime. Season with salt. Heat tortillas in the microwave or spray with cooking spray and fry briefly in hot pan to soften. Serve tortilla with spoonful of shrimp, tomato mixture, and add any of the garnishes listed above! Divine.

Baked Tilapia

**For when your sick of grease and want to be healthy**
20 ritz or saltine crackers, crushed in a bag
1/4 grated parmesan
3 T olive oil
3/4 tsp dried basil
4 tilapia fillets
2 T dijon mustard(optional-I did not use)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Heat oven to 425. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix crackers, cheese, basil and oil in a bowl. Place tilapia on baking sheet and spread mustard on top sides (if using. If not, just season with salt and pepper) then season with salt and pepper. Take the cracker mixture and pat mixture on top of fillets so the crumbs stick to fish. Be generous. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges if you desire. Makes 4 servings. I liked this without the mustard! I felt healthy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Skillet four-cheese "baked" pasta

This is from Family Circle a few months back. Really tasty and easy and fast. I have late church, so I cooked the meat mixture and the noodles before and then just added the sauce and cooked it the rest of the way. We were eating by 4:30! Nice!!

1 lb rotini past or penne (I used mini wheels)
3/4 lb hot Italian sausage (I used mild, and I think it needs 1 lb sausage)
2 sweet red peppers
1 large onion
1 T olive oil
1 jar (26 oz) marinara sauce (my favorite is Prego)
2 cups shredded Italian four-cheese blend

1. Heat oven to 450. Cook pasta following package directions. Drain.
2. While pasta is cooking, cut sausage into 1/2-inch slices. (I used loose sausage) Seed and slice peppers and slice onion for a total of 4 cups. Heat olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, peppers and onions. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peppers and onions are tender and sausage is cooked. Add sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in the drained pasta and 1 cup of the cheese.
3. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the pasta and bake at 450 for 8 minutes or until cheese melts and casserole starts to bubble. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Enchilada Lasagna

1 can refried black beans (Rosarita)
4oz can diced green chiles
15oz container ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans(10 oz each) enchilada sauce
18 corn tortillas
11oz can corn (mexicorn if you like spice) drained
1-2 large chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese
Heat oven to 400. In microwave safe bowl, heat black beans and chiles for 1 minute covered. In separate bowl, mix ricotta, egg, taco seasoning and salt. Set aside. In a 9x13 dish, spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom. Lay 6 tortillas on bottom, overlapping to cover the bottom. Then take half of the bean mixture, then half the ricotta mixture and spread in layers. Then sprinkle half the corn, half the chicken, and a handful of cheese. Top with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce. Repeat layers, starting with 6 tortillas again, then beans, ricotta, corn, chicken, cheese, sauce. Finally last 6 tortillas topped with remaining enchilada sauce and last of the cheese. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes and bubbly. Let sit 5 mins before serving.
*This was a hit with ALL my picky eaters. Brandon had seconds. You could even make this without the chicken and it would be a great vegetarian dish! I served it with sliced oranges and it was a complete meal. From Family Circle Oct. issue.`It wasn't spicy using the regular corn!*

Coconut Cake

I got this from the December Family Circle magazine. It was on the front cover and looked so wintery with the white frosting and coconut! It is a delicious, dense, moist cake. I was a little nervous about the strawberry in the middle, but it is great!

3 c cake flour (not self-rising)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t coconut extract
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 c sweetened flake coconut, finely chopped

Frosting and Filling:
1 pkg (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
4 T unsalted butter, softened
1 t vanilla extract
1 box (16 oz) confectioners' sugar
1/2 c strawberry preserve
1 1/2 c sweetened flake coconut

1. Heat oven to 350. Coat two 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. Line bottoms of pans with waxed paper, and spray paper.

2. Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed til light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and coconut extracts; beat until combined.

4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in three addition, alternating with coconut milk. Beat well after each addition. Fold in chopped coconut. Divide batter equally between prepared pans.

5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cake layer from pans and cool completely.

6. Frosting: In large, bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.

7. Trim cake layers level if crowned. Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread top with preserves. Add remaining layer. Secure with skewers. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Remove skewers. Gently press shredded coconut onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour before slicing.

(Note from Nikki: I used regular flour and sifted it and used about 1/4 c less. I used homemade jam for the preserves. And lastly, why do all of my recipes contain 3 or more sticks of butter???!!!)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crimson Crunch Jello Salad

(from memory, because my recipe disappeared!!Sorry, I hope it's right)
6oz cherry jello
20 oz crushed pineapple, drained-save juice
1 or 2 cans whole cranberry sauce( I think I used one and a half)
2-3 apples peeled and chopped (I love gala)
1 pomegranate
8oz cream cheese softened
1/3 cup sugar
12oz cool whip
Make your cherry jello with the 2 cups hot water, but instead of adding 2 cups cold water, you will use the juice drained from the pineapple. Don't worry if it's not equal to 2 cups. Then add pineapple, cranberry sauce, apples and half of the pomegranate seeds. Pour into a 9x13. Let set up in fridge. To make frosting, just whip cream cheese and sugar, then stir in coolwhip. Spread over firm jello and sprinkle top with remaining pomegranate seeds. Enjoy ladies!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chicken Ole'!

I got this recipe from Good Things Utah. They got it from the "Fix it and Forget-it Cookbook:Feasting with your Slow Cooker" recipe book. It is super easy and really yummy! Everybody loved it. Enjoy!

10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup
10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup (or use 2 chicken if you don't like mushroom)
1 cup sour cream
2 T grated onion (I just minced mine)
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
12 flour tortillas, each torn into 6-8 pieces
3-4 cups cubed, cooked chicken
7 oz jar salsa
1/2 grated cheddar (for garnish)

In separate bowl, combine soups, sour cream, onion, and 1 1/2 cups cheese. Place one third of each of the following in layers in slow cooker: torn tortillas, soup mixture, chicken, salsa. Repeat layers 2 more times. Cover. Cook on Low 4-5 hours. (This recipe does not respond well to cooking on High.) Gently stir. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover. Cook on Low another 15-30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and lettuce.

They said on GTU that it only took 3 hours, so check and see at 3 hours and go from there. Don't use the good raw tortillas for this. They get too sticky. Just use the regular ones. We had corn as a side with this. Chris said the corn needed to be in the casserole! So, add that, too, if you want.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I know Christmas is over, but this wassail is so good I could drink it all winter long! It's especially good when you are sick and have a sore throat--so soothing. It also smells so good as it brews on your stovetop. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and it's one you can't go wrong with.

2 1/2 c sugar
4 c water
2 sticks cinnamon
8 whole allspice
10 whole cloves
3 chunks of crystallized ginger (in spice aisle)
4 c orange juice
2 c lemonade
2 qts. apple cider

-Combine sugar, water and spices in a large pot (very large). Boil 5 minutes. Take off heat and put lid on and let sit an hour or more. When ready to serve, remove spices and add juices. Heat and serve. Can be reheated. Makes 1 1/2 gallons.
-If it's too sweet for your liking you can add a little fresh lemon juice.