Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Dill Dip

This one's for you, Kelly!

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
1/2 bunch or so chopped parsley
3-4 green onions, sliced thin
2 T dried dill ( fresh would be awesome too)
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 lemon, squeezed
Mix all together and chill a couple hours before serving with veggies for dipping. This is like ranch- good on anything!! cant have the holidays without dill dip! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Split Pea Soup Reincarnated

I love split pea soup, but I rarely have ham on hand. I do ALWAYS have hamburger on hand, though, so I decided to try making up something with what I have on hand.  I am sure you could find something on the internet similar, but this one came straight from my little pointed head!!  My family really liked it.

1- 11/2# hamburger, you could also use sausage or chorizo
1 onion, chopped fine
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
3 carrots, thinly sliced
3 cloves, garlic, pressed
1 # split peas
6-8 cups water (I used 8)
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped, or to taste
a little more fresh chopped onion to throw in
Some sort of chilies to add heat.  If you make my hot chile sauce from my salsa recipe, this would be perfect.  Add as much as you like.  Or you could use diced toms with green chilies, this is fairly spicy.
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp coarse black pepper, or to taste
Salt, to taste
1-2 bay leaves, if desired

Cook hamburger and onions.  Add celery, carrots, and garlic, saute a few more minutes.  Add split peas, water and seasonings. Simmer, covered, til peas have disintegrated.  About 1 hour.  Add tomatoes, chile sauce, etc last 10 minutes or so. Serve hot with rolls, biscuits or cornbread.  I actually just threw a bunch of my homemade fresh salsa in it.  I really liked the cilantro and fresh onions with the soup.  So, you could do that, too if you have that!  I have a running bowl of salsa at my house.  There would be a coup if there wasn't!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scott's Soccer Practice Bars

Oh my goodness....i thought i had already put this on but i guess not! You are in for a real treat! These are just as addicting as Erika's choc/peanut butter bars! Isaac made these for Scouts and they rocked!

1 cube butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T peanut butter
2 T milk
Cream butter and sugars together. Add egg and peanut butter. Stir in baking soda, salt, flour and oats. Press into 9x13. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Bake 20-25 mins till golden. Remove from oven and drizzle with icing. Cool completely then cut into squares.

Savory Chicken Tacos

This recipe rocked the house!!!! makes a lot and can be adapted to your taste! From Smith's.
1 Rotisserie Chicken (savory flavor) meat taken off the bone and shredded
12oz pkg steamable brown rice ( I used 1 pkg brown, and heated leftover white rice that was cooked in beef consomme- yummo)
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mexican style shredded cheese blend
1 can Kroger diced Salsa Style Fire Roasted Tomatoes( if u dont have Kroger, use something similar)
1 can green enchilada sauce (mild)
corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, more cheese, and sour cream
Mix all except tortillas and toppings. you can bake this in a 9x13 @450 for 20 mins or just heat in big skillet on the stove for 15 mins or so over med-high heat. Stir often. Add cheese towards end. You could add black beans or whatever you like to this and it would be great! Heat corn tortillas in pan with a little oil to soften. Fill shells and top with what ever you love- lettuce, sour cream, salsa etc. You could also put this over tortilla chips and make ultimate nachos!!

Stuffed Shells

From Chef Donatella from Food Network, good comfort dish on a winter night!
12oz dried jumbo pasta shells
olive oil
1.5 lbs lean ground beef (or ground turkey would be fab)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 (28oz) cans stewed or diced tomatoes ( i did 1 of each) dont drain!
15oz carton whole milk ricotta
1 1/3 cups grated parmesan
Heat oven to 350. Grease a large baking dish (3-4qt). Add 1 T salt to a large pot of boiling water and cook shells about 5-6 minutes till slightly tender. Drain shells and lay them out on a greased sheet of foil to prevent sticking together, and so they can cool to touch. In a large skillet cook beef in 1 T olive oil. Add 1 garlic clove. season with salt and pepper. When pink is gone, transfer to a bowl. In empty skillet, add 1 T oil and fry remaining garlic clove 20 seconds. Add undrained tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes till reduced  and slightly thickened, breaking up any big pieces of tomato with back of spoon. Stir 1.5 cups tomatoes into beef, add ricotta and 2/3 cup parmesan. Mix and stuff shells with heaping Tablespoon in each shell. Spoon 1.5 cups tomatoes into bottom of baking dish. Layer stuffed shells over. Fill dish, then top with any remaining filling or tomatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake 30 mins.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

This recipe is from Dick's. Long live Richards!!
2 lbs chicken tenders, cut into nugget size (I used breasts)
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs ( I did 1 cup plain and 1 cup seasoned)
1 T seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2-3 eggs, beaten
In a bowl mix bread crumbs and seasonings. In another, beat eggs. Heat oil in large skillet. Dredge chicken in egg, then crumbs, coating generously with crumbs. Fry in hot oil till golden brown, drain on paper towels. These were crispy and wonderful. Dip in ranch or ketchup/fry sauce.

Catalina Chicken

EASY PEESY, you dont even have to handle raw meat if you dont want!
4 lbs bone-in chicken pieces
16oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
8oz bottle kraft catalina dressing
1 envelope onion soup mix
Heat oven to 350. Throw chicken in a 9x13 dish. Season with salt and pepper or whatever you like. Mix other ingredients, and pour over chicken. Bake 50 minutes or so. Thats it!!  Serve over rice. This could easily be done in a crock pot too.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Moist and delicious little things! Cute too. Recipe from allrecipes.

  • Cookies:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I added more)


  1. For cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets. (A total of 72 cookies are needed for the recipe.)
  3. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. For cream cheese filling: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Tuna/Edamame Casserole

I know, I know, tuna casserole, yuck! Well, not this one. My kids have been bugging me to make it again, it is that good. I love that I usually have these ingredients on hand, and making this helps me utilize my food storage. It really is quite good, and the edamame adds a little something extra. Make sure you add enough milk to make it moist enough. No one likes a dry tuna casserole!

16 oz. elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 soup cans of milk
1 c sour cream (or more)
1 1/2 c frozen edamame, defrosted in microwave
2 cans tuna, drained
1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
black pepper (no salt needed)
juice of half a lemon
2 c cheddar cheese, grated, divided
1/2 pkg. club or ritz crackers, crushed

-Cook macaroni as usual. Drain. Add next 8 ingredients and mix well in a bowl. Then mix in 1 c of cheese. Pour in 9 x 13 sprayed with cooking spray.
-Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese over top, then sprinkle with cracker crumbs.
-Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until bubbly and maybe even a little golden.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Beefy Mushroom Barley Soup

I found this recipe at Winco next to the vat of bulk barley!  It is really yummy.  Kids and hubby liked it.  Instead of stew meat, I used leftover roast from my "spicy crockpot beef" recipe and used the juice I froze from previous roasts.  So I didn't use bouillon. It was heavenly with it.  And I didn't have to take time to brown stew meat!

1 # cubed beef stew meat
1 T vegetable oil
2 cups water
2 T butter
2 large carrots, diced (I used more, it seemed sparse)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 # fresh mushrooms, sliced (I diced fine for the whiners in my fam)
6 cups water
3 cubes beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup pearl barley (I used 1/2 cup and thought it was perfect)
1/4 cup sour cream (I used slightly more)

Brown small cubes of stew meat in veg oil over medium heat until juices become a rich brown color.  Add 2 cups water, and simmer meat while preparing the vegetables.  In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Saute carrots, onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms.  Add meat, 6 cups water bouillon and barley to veg mixture.  Cook until barley is soft.  (this was quite a while give yourself an hour simmering time just in case you need it) Adjust liquid and seasoning as desired.  Remove from heat, and stir in sour cream.  Serve immediately. We had this 2 nights and lunch for me one day, too.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Spicy Shredded Crockpot Beef

I made this at Lava for the family.  We put it in tacos.  It is our very favorite and last night I used it as French Dip!  YUM!! is all I can say. Often I use 2 roasts and we eat it for a couple days or I freeze extra.

4# roast (I use chuck or arm or a nicer one, too.  It is a good way to use up roast!)
2 T Tone's Roasted Garlic Seasoning  (I got this at Costco. Just add fresh or powdered garlic if you don't want to get it.  But, it is worth getting!)
1 t red pepper flakes (this makes it moderately spicy, so add more or less depending on what you like.)
1 T salt

Put meat in crockpot.  Add seasoning and a little water.  Crockpot all day. (6-8 hrs) It will shred easily when it's done.  I have been freezing the juice to use this winter in soup or gravy.  It is so yummy.  I could drink it!  :) 

For tacos:  Small round corn tortillas.  You can either put Pam on them or not.  Microwave them in a stack in paper towel 40 seconds for 10. Put meat in, then cilantro and white onion and salsa of your choice.

For French Dip:  I decreased the red pepper flakes by about half.  I had a packet of au jus (mine is just western family and I like it) I added maybe a teaspoon to the roast to make it a little more "beefy".  It was really good.  The broth gets very concentrated from sitting all day, so I add water til it's right for dipping sauce.  Get some hoagie rolls or mini french bread.  Put it under the broiler til brown, add mozzarella/parmesan or swiss cheese to bread and stick under the broiler til melted.  Put meat on, and get dipping!  Kids loved them and so did we!  4# roast feeds my family of 6 one dinner and lunch for me and little ones next day.

Someone told me if something is too salty, throw an onion in it and it will take some of the salt out of your dish.  I have heard the same thing about potatoes.  Just FYI if you get yours too salty!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Puffs

A twist on a classic dessert! These are light, fluffy, easy to make, impressive to look at, and not overly rich or sweet so that you regret eating one...or two...okay maybe three!

Cream puffs:

1/2 c butter (salted)
1 c water
1 pinch salt
1 c all-purpose flour
4 eggs

Cream Filling:

1 c heavy cream
1/4 c confectioner's sugar (I added a little more, just taste as you gradually add)
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice, or to taste
1/4 c canned pumpkin, or a little more to taste

-In medium saucepan, add butter, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in flour and stir vigorously (mom always did it with a wooden spoon) until mixture forms a ball.

-Remove from heat and stir in the eggs, one at a time, adding the next one when the last one has been fully incorporated.

-Drop dough by medium cookie scoop-size balls (Pampered Chef medium) on ungreased cookie sheet. Now you can make these smaller or bigger, just adjust baking time.

-Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. Make sure you bake them long enough, or else they will deflate once you take them out of the oven. Let them get plenty golden brown. Let cool before filling. Cut horizontally, and if remove any excess dough so you have more room for cream filling (I would always hover around the table when my mom was removing this extra dough-it was one of my favorite things to eat!).

-For filling, put cream in mixer and beat on high until beginning to thicken, about 1 minute. Add confectioners sugar and pumpkin pie spice, and continue beating on high until thickens and has soft peaks, about 3 minutes.

-Using a rubber spatula, fold in pumpkin. Do not over mix.

-Spoon about 2 tablespoons (more or less) in each puff. Put top back on puff. When all finished, dust the top of each puff with confectioners sugar and then with your fingers, lightly sprinkle with some more pumpkin pie spice for garnish. Refrigerate leftovers.

Adapted from Allrecipes

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Apple-Raisin Bars

THESE ARE GOOOD!  Got them from Family Circle October edition.  I saw the picture and had to make them.  Enjoy! (Note: These are definitely NOT diet friendly)

2 C all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 C packed light-brown sugar
2 eggs
1 stick butter or margarine, softened (I used butter, of course)
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 C diced golden delicious apples
3/4 C raisins

1. Heat oven to 350.  Liberally coat a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla for 3 minutes or til smooth.
4.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; mix for 2 minutes or until just incorporated.  Stir in diced apples and raisins and spread into prepared pan.
5.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.

Notes from Nikki:  I only used a little over 1 1/2 cups flour.  This makes them nice and moist.  Since it's a 1:1 sugar/flour ratio, I reduced sugar to 1 1/2 cups and they are wonderful!  I haven't tried it yet, but you could easily use whole wheat flour with these.  I love whole wheat!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Virginia's baked spaghetti

This is amazingly comforting and ooey gooey cheesy...perfect for a cold blustery day- shame it was 97 degrees out when i made this!!! Make it tonight.

16oz pkg spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
2 (24oz) jars prego spaghetti sauce
2 lbs ground beef or turkey, cooked and drained
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup parmesan
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
12oz can evaporated milk
3 cups shredded cheddar (medium or sharp)
Combine cooked noodles, cooked meat, and spaghetti sauce in a large bowl or pot. Set aside. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour, parmesan, salt and garlic powder, whisking till smooth and bubbly. Add canned milk and 1 cup cheddar, stir till thickened and smooth. Pour half the noodle mixture into a greased 9x13. pour all of the cheese sauce over. Then add other half noodles, then remaining 2 cups cheddar over top. Bake for 30 mins till hot and bubbly at 350.
This serves 12, so it makes lots and awesome leftovers!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blackberry Pie Bars

These are the bars Heather made at Lava.  She got this from Joy the Baker.  She is having trouble with her blogs right now, and couldn't get it on here.  So, I am helping her out.  I just printed it off for myself! 
These are the most delicious thing I have eaten in a while!  So buttery, fruity, buttery! Thank you for bringing one more yummy dessert to the family!  You never disappoint!!

Blackberry Pie Bars with Lemon Sugar
adapted from The Pastry Queen

Crust and Topping

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
zest of two lemons

Blackberry Filling

4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, defrosted and drained
(You can also use 6 cups of fresh blackberries, or 1 (16-ounce) package frozen blackberries and 3 cups of fresh blackberries)

To make the crust and topping-

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch backing pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Zest two lemons. Measure out the sugar onto a clean work surface. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with a bench scraper or the back of a spoon. Rubbing the zest into the sugar will release oils from the zest and create a lemon scented sugar.

Combine lemon sugar, flour, salt and butter in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment. Beat the ingredients on medium speed until the mixture looks dry and crumbly.

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crust mixture to use as the topping. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 12 to 15 minutes until it is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling-

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust. You may have to distribute the blackberries evenly around.

Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Cool for 1 hour before slicing.

**If you’re using frozen berries, be sure to defrost and drain the excess liquid. Place the frozen berries on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. They’re defrosted and ready for bar baking!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Low Carb Lasagna

I wanted to eat something that didn't feel diety, even though we are dieting.  So, I made this for dinner!  The first time I made it, I sliced the zucchini lengthwise thinly in place of the noodles.  It was delish, but I had a certain eldest son, who shall remain nameless, who tried to stage a coup over it!  So, in an effort to avoid gagging, and futile whining, I chopped up the zukes and added them to the sauce!  Again, delish!!  And no complaints,  HE EVEN ATE SECONDS!!  Choose either way.  Enjoy!

2# hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
4-5 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, or chopped
Cook these three ingredients til hamburger is browned and to desired doneness on the zukes. If you slice them, cook them in olive oil and butter, seasoned with salt and pepper.  And set them aside.
Add your favorite spaghetti sauce to hamburger mixture.  ( My fav is Prego traditional)  Let simmer a bit.

Large container of cottage cheese (or ricotta)
2 cups Mozzarella cheese or more, shredded
1 cup swiss cheese, shredded (or could use parmesan)
1 egg, beaten
parsley, fresh or dried
Mix cheeses together.

Layer:  Sauce, cheese mix, sauce, cheese mix, sauce, top with more shredded mozzarella. 
If doing slices of zukes:  Sauce, zukes, cheese mix, sauce, zukes, cheese mix, sauce, shredded cheese.  Bake for 45 min - 1 hour. 

Here's a little side note.  Have you ever used Coriander?  It is my new favorite seasoning! It is interesting stuff.  It is kinda spicy like pepper, but has a slightly salty flavor, too.  Maybe you could replace some or all of your salt on veggies or meat.  It's great on beef and pork.  I am going to experiment with it more!  I used Coriander to season my zucchini and hamburger mixture tonight and it was awesome! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Asian Meatballs

Tonight I made some meatballs for our 'Chuck' party.  Chris is doing a low carb diet, so I am trying to find things that taste like he's being bad, but he isn't!  I came up with this.  They were gone really fast, so I guess they were good!

1 1/2 # hamburger, half pork would be good, too.
1 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1 egg
Mix all together.  Make small meatballs. Fry in a little oil in a skillet. (These are approximate, I really just threw it in. Like when I make meatloaf.  Never tastes the same twice.)

I started with some vegatable broth maybe 1/2 cup.  Could use chicken or beef.  Add soy sauce, maybe 1/4 cup.  Then add ginger, garlic powder, cayenne pepper for some heat, couple teaspoons Splenda.  Bring to a boil.  I added some cornstarch (maybe 1 T) and cold water (mabye 3 T).  Add to sauce and stir til it thickens.  I added a little more water after it thickened.  Put meatballs in the oven in shallow dish.  Add sauce.  Toss to coat.  Add chopped green onions.  This is best if it can sit for an hour or so.  Just put it on warm.  Stir every so often to mix flavors.   These are all approximate.  I just threw it in and then tasted til I liked the flavor of the sauce!  So you have to do the same.  Don't quote me on the amounts!

Authentic Mexican Salsa

I finally got it!  A lady Chris works with told me how to make salsa!!  It is so yummy!

Stewed tomatoes.  You can take fresh ones and put them in a pot with peppers and a some water. Or just use canned. (In summer, she roasts fresh ones over the BBQ or in oven.  Can't wait for garden tomatoes!) Put these through the blender or processor.
Boiled or roasted serano peppers (can use jalapeno, not as hot)  (Put peppers on a tray in oven at 400 til they are shriveled and flat. 20-30 minutes.)  To boil, just add them to tomatoes and cook about 10 minutes.  (I usually just boil, it's faster)  Blend up peppers in blender or food processor with salt and a tomato or two to make a chile sauce. Add as much as you like.  I usually do at least 3 or 4 for 2 cans of tomatoes.  Take out seeds and ribs to reduce heat. I make a lot at once and store in fridge or you can freeze it for next time.  We have a running bowl of it, so I always use mine up.
White onion, when you think you have enough, ADD MORE!!
Green onion, if desired.  Not necessary, but really good.
Cilantro, lots of it.
Avocado, if desired.  Chop up fine and put the pit in the bowl of salsa.  It keeps the avocado from browning--it really works!!
You can also add oregano for a nice change.  Just a little.

You'll just have to play with it to get it like you like.  I never measure, just add til I like it.  Sorry.  But, isn't that easy??  I couldn't believe it was canned tomatoes.  And the roasted peppers is the secret!  It makes the salsa so much better!  Good luck and happy dipping!

Chris and I have been putting this on everything!  Eggs, chips, tacos, salads, so we use less creamy dressing, even a Johnsonville sweet Italian sausage!  All were fabulous.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Favorite Carrot Cake

Get geared up for Easter with this moist, dense carrot cake. It is a crowd pleaser for sure. Make sure to make a day or two ahead, as the more time it sits, the more moist it gets!

4 eggs
1 1/4 c oil
2 c white sugar
2 t vanilla extract
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 t ground cinnamon
3 c grated carrots (coarse side, not fine)
1 c chopped pecans (optional, I do not add these)

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 c butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/8-1/4 t ground cinnamon
dash of salt

~Grease and flour 9x13 pan or two 9" round cake pans.
~For cake: In large bowl beat together eggs, oil, white sugar, and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan(s).
~Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, depending on pans used (I think I did about 45 mins for 2 round cake pans), or until toothpick comes out clean.
~Let cool in pan(s) for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
~For frosting: Combine everything and beat well until smooth and creamy. Frost cake. For a simple yet pretty 2-layer cake, I simply divide frosting in half-put half in middle of cakes (be sure when putting them on cake stand or plate to flip each cake upside down so you have a nice flat surface to apply frosting to) and then apply other half of frosting to top. Don't even bother with the sides! With butter knife make a choppy design, and voila, simple as that. Keep chilled.
~If you want to dress this up a little bit, try making a few small carrots out of marzipan! Knead a little orange food coloring into marzipan, shape into carrot, make some very slight slits across carrot with a butter knife to make it look like the peels. You can even brush with a little brown food coloring wash here and there to make it look more real. Then for the stems, simply use a sprig or two of parsley and stick in top of carrot. This is really fun for kids to do-Gwen loved it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Breakfast Tacos

We have been obsessed for a while now with mexican tacos.  We eat them several times a week, whether it's for breakfast or dinner.  Here is the breakfast version.  (we eat it at any meal time, too)  They are cheap and so filling and satisfying.

Start with some Chorizo in your pan. It comes in a tube, maybe 1/4 of the tube.
Saute til almost done.  If desired, add real bacon bits.  We buy the giant bags of the Kirkland Signature brand at Costco.  Cook a minute more.  Add desired amount of eggs.  For my family of 6 I usually use about 10 eggs.  (from our own chickens! yay!)  Add salt and cook til done.

In the meantime, start cooking your tortillas.  White corn are what we prefer.  My favorite brand is Juan Valdez, Pepe's variety.  They are a local company,  so I don't know if they are sold everywhere.  If you have this brand, BUY THEM!!  You can cook them in a little oil or just spray each side with Pam and cook them slightly on both sides just to soften them up.  You can cook them til they are chewy, if you like.  I usually just lightly spray with Pam and stack them in a paper towel and microwave for maybe 30 seconds.  This makes them REALLY good and it's so fast to do a big stack.  My friend told me this little time saving trick!

Take your tortilla and add the egg mixture and salsa and devour!  We love avocados on these, too.  We also add a handful or so of hashbrowns to the egg/chorizo mix sometimes, too.

I have been perfecting salsa.  When I'm done, I'll share it with you.

O'Henry Bars

These are the easiest, yummiest bars in the world.  My Grandma used to make these when I was growing up.  I made them recently, and I had forgotten how I love them. Kids can whip these up in no time!

1 c brown sugar
1 c light corn syrup
1 1/3 c peanut butter
1 10 oz pkg Special K cereal (6 cups)
1 c butterscotch chips
1 c chocolate chips

Place sugar and corn syrup in sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Take off heat, add peanut butter and stir til smooth.  Pour over cereal which has been placed in a large mixing bowl.  (this sets up quickly, so stir fast) Pat into a 10x15 cookie sheet.  Melt butterscotch and chocolate chips over low heat and spread over top. (I microwaved mine)

Cheese Chowder

I am not sure if I put this in the Dale Girl Cookbook.  If I didn't, I should have. Add it immediately!  This is so delicious!

4 c potatoes, peeled and cubed, (4 medium)
2 c diced carrots
2 c chopped celery
1 1/2 c minced onion
4 c water
2 t salt
1 10 oz frozen broccoli
3 T chicken base (or bouillon cubes use like 6)
3 1/2 c milk
1/2 c butter
1/2 c flour
1 T dry mustard

Prepare potatoes, carrots, celery and onion.  Add to large pot with salt and water.  (make sure water just covers veggies)  Cook til not quite done, then add broccoli and chicken base.  Don't drain water.  Meanwhile, in saucepan melt butter.  Add flour and mustard.  Cook til paste forms, 1-2 minutes.  Add milk and cheese.  Do not boil.  Stir constantly til cheese it melted.  Add to pot of veggies.  Stir together.  Do not boil. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Balsamic Pork Cutlets (from Family Circle)

6 boneless pork chops, pounded to 1/2" thick.(I just buy "thin cut")
1/4 cup flour
1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red sweet bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
14oz can beef broth
6.5oz can mushrooms( in this dish, canned are fine. you can do fresh sautee'd too)
2-3 T balsamic vinegar (2 T was plenty for my taste)
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
package orzo, cooked (you can sub rice for this too)
Season chops with a little salt and pepper then coat with flour. Reserve unused flour. Over medium-high heat, brown chops in the oil, 2-3 mins per side. Remove to plate. To drippings in pan add onion and bell pepper. Cook 3 mins stirring so it doesnt burn. Add garlic. Take 1 T of reserved flour and add to can of broth, then pour into pan. Stir in drained mushrooms, vinegar, parsley, basil pepper and salt. Bring to simmer. Add pork, cover and cook on medium-low for 10 mins, turn chops halfway through. Serve over orzo or rice. * This was very tasty and was even better the next day.*

Friday, January 7, 2011

Honey Lime Enchiladas

These are our new favorite enchiladas. Just double and put one in freezer!
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp chili powder(more if want spice)
1-2 large garlic cloves, pressed
1.5lbs cooked chicken, SHREDDED
Mix above ingredients and marinate 30 mins. Stiring occasionally. In another bowl mix:
20 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 cup cream
This is your sauce. (save a cup or so for serving)
Spread a little sauce in bottom of greased 9x13. Take 10 flour tortillas and fill with chicken mixture, then grated cheddar, then drizzle spoonful of sauce. Roll up and place in dish. Drizzle sauce over top then extra cheese. Bake 30 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce. These are not hot if you use mild enchilada sauce!

Baked Mushroom Chicken

I think I will cook this every night for dinner.....
4 large chicken breasts
1/4 cup flour
3T butter
1.5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt & pepper
1/3 cup grated mozzarella(or more)(be generous)
1/3 cup grated parmesan (or more)(be generous)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Pound out the chicken breasts between plastic wrap. I sliced each one in half horizontally to make 8 breasts because they were thick. If using already thin ones, double the breasts. Make them 1/4" thick. Salt and pepper them, then dredge in flour. Brown over med-high heat in butter. Add oil to butter if burning. Place browned chicken in large casserole dish. Meanwhile, in 1-2T butter, sautee mushrooms till darker and yummy. Add salt and little pepper and chicken broth. (you may want to double chicken broth if using more breasts.) Boil 5 mins till liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour mushrooms over chicken, and bake 15-20 minutes @375. Take out and top with cheeses and green onions. Bake another 5-6 mins till melted. I served this over cooked egg noodles tossed with butter, parsley flakes and salt. WAY GOOD.