Tuesday, December 25, 2007

French Breakfast Puffs

Oh. My. Goodness. This is a recipe from Pioneer Woman and just in case you missed it I had to post it here. These are beyond delicious. Really. I thought they'd be good and then I ate one and about passed out. Food does that to me. Keep in mind that these have 2 cubes of butter and over 2 cups of sugar so how could they be anything short of heavenly?

Here's her words, but for the great pictures and more commentary you should just go to the site (there's a link on the side).

French Breakfast Puffs
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used cinnamon as I'm not a nutmeg fan)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 sticks butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside. Pray. In a different bowl, cream together 1 cup sugar and shortening, then add eggs and mix. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. In a bowl, melt 2 sticks butter. In a separate bowl combine remaining sugar and cinnamon. Dip baked muffins in butter, coating thoroughly, then coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Eat. Faint.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Cranberry Pudding

This is my favorite holiday dessert. I make it at Thanksgiving and usually at Christmas and, in attempts to keep it special, pretty much don't make it the rest of the year. But it is delicious and really can be made anytime and it is really easy.

Cranberry Pudding

1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. raw cranberries (truthfully I'm not really sure what "raw" means, I just use fresh and/or frozen cranberries)

Cream butter and sugar. Add milk and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add cranberries and mix. Pour into a buttered and floured dish and bake at 375* for 30 minutes.

Vanilla Cream Sauce
1 stick butter
1c. sugar
1/2 c. cream

In a double boiler cook all ingredients except cream until sugar dissolves. Add cream and spoon over individual servings.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Melt-in-your-Mouth Caramels

2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups corn syrup
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup margarine/butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

1. Butter 9 x 13 dish.

2. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1 cup cream, margarine/butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Slowly stir in remaining 1 cup cream while mixture continues to boil. (At this point I turn the heat down to medium low.) Heat to 230 degrees (the recipe says to heat to 242 degrees, but in high altitude, heat to 230 degrees), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a firm but pliable ball. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish. Refrigerate.

3. When cool, return candies to room temperature then cut into 1-inch squares and wrap in waxed paper.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Apple Toffee Crisp

We love this toffee variation of apple crisp.

5 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples
5 cups peeled and sliced McIntosh apples
1 1/4 c sugar, divided
1 1/4 c flour, divided
3/4 c butter or margarine, divided
1 1/3 c (8-oz. pkg.) Heath Toffee Bits
1 c uncooked rolled oats
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
whipped topping or ice cream (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.

Toss apple slices, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour, coating apples evenly. Spread in bottom of prepared pan. Dot with 1/4 cup butter.

Stir together toffee bits, oats, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1 cup flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter; add to oat mixture, mixing until crumbs are formed. Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and apples are tender. Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream, if desired. Cover; refrigerate leftovers.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ravioli Lasagna

1 package (20-25 oz) Ravioli (I use the frozen kind), prepared according to package directions, drained
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese (cottage cheese works too)
1 package (10 oz) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 jar marinara sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13-inch pan. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, eggs and milk in a bowl. Layer the Ravioli, cheese mixture and sauce a few times, then top with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Roasted Turkey Breast

This is the turkey recipe that we've used the last two years. We think it is delicious. The turkey turns out extremely juicy. Who doesn't like turkey juice? Okay, that makes it sound gross and it's not. It really isn't. Just try it and you'll see. Also, don't be scared off by the maple syrup thing. It doesn't taste like you are trying to make pancakes out of turkey. I promise!! Am I selling this or what?

For the Brine-
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups hot water

Stir in:
2 cups apple juice
4 cups ice

For the Turkey-
Trim; Submerge in Brine:
1 turkey breast (6-8 pounds), bone in

Roast; Baste with:
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real deal, no fake stuff PLEASE)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Dissolve salt and brown sugar in hot water in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag.

Stir in apple juice and ice.

Trim excess rib and wing sections from the breast (save for making turkey stock for the gravy if you so desire). For easy carving, remove the wishbone (we didn't this year and it was fine). Submerge the breast in the brine and refrigerate until ready to roast, about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375.

Roast turkey breast side up on a rack over a shallow roasting pan. After one hour, baste breast with the maple-butter mixture. Baste every 15 minutes until the temperature of the breast reaches 165. Remove the breast from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest 15-20 minutes before slicing. (Plan on 1 1/2 - 2 hours roasting time)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dr. Pepper Ham

Just in time for the Christmas holiday . . . .

The ingredients are very simple... 1 ham, any size (preferably natural ham on the bone, but processed works). We prefer John Morrell butt portion bone-in ham. Line a deep, round roasting pan with aluminum foil. Score the ham on all sides approximately 1/2 to 1" deep, depending on the size of the ham. Then, place the ham in the roasting pan. Pour Dr. Pepper over the ham liberally, allowing it to soak into the scores. Then cover the ham with aluminum foil and place in a 350 degree oven. Every half hour, remove the pot from the oven, turn the ham over, and resoak with Dr. Pepper. Let the ham cook a minimum of 3 1/2 hours...more for a larger ham. Remove from the pot and serve. The carbonation cooks away. The secret is that the main ingredient in Dr. Pepper is prune juice and other fruit juices which cook down into the meat. It doesn't taste fruity, though. It just makes the sweetest, juiciest ham you have ever tasted.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Chicken Noodle Soup

sweet onion
chicken bouillon cubes
egg noodles
chopped chicken
margarine (optional)
flour (optional)
canned milk (optional)

Add one sweet onion (skinned and left whole), two stalks celery (each stalk cut in a few pieces), 1-2 cups carrots (chopped), and 7-8 bouillon cubes to water (10-12 cups-ish) in large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Turn to low and simmer 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove onion and celery. (I only boil the celery and the onion in the broth for the flavor and then remove them. If you wanted to add less onion and celery, chopped fine, and leave it in, that is another option.) Add noodles (my favorite brand is Country Pasta Homemade Style Egg Pasta . . . see photo) to broth and boil on medium heat for 30 minutes. (Do not add too many noodles and then leave the house to run errands while on medium heat or it will burn. Trust me.) Turn to low and add chopped chicken (I like to buy a whole rotisserie chicken and remove the meat and chop it up). Add salt and pepper to taste. This makes a clear broth soup. If you prefer a slightly creamier chicken noodle soup, add roux (see below). Keep soup on low heat until ready to serve.

Melt 1 cube margarine. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour. Stir until smooth. Add 1 cup canned milk. Whisk again until smooth. Stir constantly on medium heat until mixture thickens. Add to soup after adding the chicken (while soup is on low). This adds a great flavor to the soup (I mean, how can it be bad with a cube of butter, am I right Mary?).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Krispy Kreme Donuts

My friend from Moscow, Lori Higbee, shared this recipe. I'll be indebted to her for life. Yummm. These don't need any further introduction.

2 Tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups flour
vegetable oil for frying

Dissolve yeast in water. Add milk, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low, scraping the bowl, for 30 seconds. Then beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until double (50-60 minutes. Dough is ready when indent remains). Turn onto floured surface. Roll and lightly coat with flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured donut cutter and place on baking sheet leaving plenty of room for donuts to rise. Cover and let rise until doubled (30-40 minutes). DO NOT LET SIDES TOUCH!! Slide doughnuts into hot oil (350 degrees) with wide spatula. Turn as they rise to surface. Fry until just golden (1 minute each side). Carefully remove and drain. Dip in creamy glaze and cool on rack and glaze again.

Glaze: (I usually double or triple)
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
4-6 Tbsp hot water

Heat butter until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.

For chocolate glaze, melt 4 ounces of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips with butter and continue with glaze recipe.

donut call

Does anyone out there have a fabulous donut recipe? We are in a home-made donut kick at our house and are in need of a delectable yummy donut. Thanks! Ang

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Soft Ginger Snaps

This recipe is from my mom, and may be by way of Grandma Nelson, but anyways...they are my favorite fall cookies.

Ginger Snaps (soft kind)

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
(Also add 1 T. water for nicely crackled cookies, especially if it is a dry day.)

Beat well and add:

2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each cinnamon, cloves, ginger

Mix well. Roll tablespoon sized pieces of dough in sugar and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Butterfinger "Eyeballs"

Jolene sent me this recipe last year. I hope she won't mind if I post this, she's got a lot going on. Thanks Jo. These look so fun and yummy.

Wax paper
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Premier White Morsels
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 small tube red decorator icing
Wooden pick or skewer for dipping
Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper.Beat peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar until mixture holds together and is moistened. Stir in chopped Butterfinger. Shape into 1-inch "eyeballs." Place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour.Melt morsels and shortening in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute 30 seconds; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.
Remove one baking sheet of frozen "eyeballs" from freezer (keep other sheet in freezer until ready to use).Dip one "eyeball" into melted morsel mixture using a wooden pick or skewer. Shake off excess and return to baking sheet. Gently press 1 Butterfinger BB on top of "eyeball" to make a "pupil." Repeat procedure with remaining "eyeballs" on baking sheet. Refrigerate until coating is set. Repeat with remaining sheet of "eyeballs" and coating. You may find it necessary to reheat morsel mixture before dipping second batch. Before serving, pipe decorator icing around eyeballs to create bloodshot markings. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Best served cold.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Homemade Nut Roll

My sister-in-law and I came up with this recipe after some experimentation. It's the wonderful taste of a Pearson's Salted Nut Roll using the finest, freshest "homemade" ingredients. This recipe only makes one serving (literally one serving), so you may want to triple or quadruple it . . . for each person.

1 Kraft caramel
2 salted roasted peanuts (4 if they are broken in half)
3 candy corn

Pop all ingredients into your mouth at the same time and enjoy all of that delicious salty nougat chewy goodness!

You may think I'm joking, but I'm really not. We tried it. Tested it. Perfected it. And shared it with you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sandy's Breadsticks

Here's the recipe for breadsticks that Mary mentioned in her broccoli soup recipe post. I call these "Sandy's Breadsticks" because . . . well . . . I got the recipe from Sandy, my mother-in-law. (I'm thinking her recipe card says "Leora's Breadsticks.") She's been so nice to pass along recipes that she got from her mother-in-law. Isn't it nice when people share their best recipes? That's why I love this recipe blog.

These breadsticks are easy and take less than an hour, start to finish. Perfect to serve with spaghetti, chili, soups, etc.

1 1/2 c warm water
1 T yeast
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
3 cups flour
1 cube margarine
garlic salt
parmesan cheese

Sprinkle yeast and sugar in water. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Mix in salt and flour until barely mixed. Handle as little as possible. Dough might be a bit sticky. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Melt margarine in 11 x 13 jelly roll pan. Roll dough to roughly the size of the jelly roll pan on counter coated with flour. Cut using pizza cutter once down the middle and then into 1-inch strips. Dip both sides of each strip of dough in margarine and place on pan. The sides of the dough strips should be touching in the pan, just like on the counter. Sprinkle with garlic salt and coat with parmesan cheese. Let raise 10 minutes. Bake at 375 for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned.

Another variation that we like to serve with Italian dishes: sprinkle mozzarella cheese on breadsticks the last few minutes of cooking time . . . just enough to melt the cheese.

Butternut Squash Soup

Matt's sister gave us a home-grown toddler Butternut Squash from her garden. When I say it is toddler sized, I mean it was as big as a toddler, weighing in at 30 lbs. Needless to say, we needed butternut squash recipes like we would need water in a desert. This is one winner that we found. It does take some effort, but it is very much worthwhile.

Butternut squash Soup
by:Emeril Lagasse
1 large butternut squash, about 3 pounds, halved, seeds removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus 12 whole leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram
6 cups light chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon cider vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream, or more to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly coat the squash halves with 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil. Season the inside with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until very tender, about 45 minutes. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and reserve. Discard the peel.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the remaining vegetable oil and, when hot but not smoking, add the sausage. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions wilted and starting to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, sage and marjoram, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cooked squash and chicken stock, stir well to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender, puree the soup. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean saucepan. Add the cider vinegar and stir to combine. Add the cream and adjust seasoning, to taste.

In a small saute pan, cook the butter over medium-high heat until it begins to turn brown around the edges. Add the whole sage leaves and cook until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the leaves to paper towels to drain.

Serve the soup in bowls, garnished with the crispy sage leaves.

Broccoli Cream Soup

Oh my. This recipe melts my icy cold heart into puddles of goodness. I cannot describe how happy this makes me. I waited until the kids were in bed last night and made this for dinner along with Carol's Breadsticks (have you posted that recipe yet Carol?) and was in HEAVEN. Then I had the leftovers for lunch today and made more for dinner tonight. I should probably say that I only made 1/2 of the recipe each time so I don't sound like an uncontrollable broccoli monster. Annalise told me that this is her favorite soup. All my kids like broccoli (I know, what?), but Kyle didn't like it with the "stuff on it". Kait just ate leftover breadsticks for dinner. Carb-monger. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it a smidgen as much as I do. Fair warning: This is a soup. Not a chowder or stew-like concoction. The sauce will be thin and delish.

9 cups fresh broccoli florets *
4 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped *
8 Tbsp butter or margarine, divided *
1 bay leaf
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion salt *
1/4 tsp garlic salt
pinch of basil, thyme, sage
dash hot pepper sauce *
7 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup whipping cream

In large saucepan bring broccoli and broth to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. In a small skillet, saute onion in 2 Tbsp of butter until tender; add to broccoli mixture. Stir in the bay leaf and remaining seasonings. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir into broccoli mixture; add buttermilk and cream. Heat through (do not boil). Discard the bay leaf.

* Mary's notes:
1. I really enjoyed using the * while typing tonight.

2. I have never used 9 cups of broccoli. That seems excessive to me who just wants more of the creamy nectar. I chop until it seems like enough for my taste.

3. It's good with the sauteed onion, but it'll cut out a full step (and pan) if you just grate frozen onion into the broccoli/chicken broth mixture. Worth it for me. If you do this remember to only add 6 Tbsp of butter to the roux.

4. Onion salt and hot pepper sauce. Yeah, like I've ever remembered to buy those. I'm sure they'd be great, but you're not missing out if you forget to add them.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pumpkin Cake

Most of you probably have this, but I wanted to post it for any friends who might just need a scrumptious Autumn Treat. Carol always finds such awesome recipes. Thanks Carol!

Pumpkin Cake (Carol Reed)

2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Mix oil, eggs, pumpkin and sugar. Sift and add all remaining ingredients. Pour into greased jellyroll pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting:

¾ cup margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp milk
4 ounces cream cheese
3 ½ cups powdered sugar

Combine ingredients and beat thoroughly. Add additional powdered sugar until the right consistency.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Dinner Crepes

Dinner Crepe Ideas

I heard a request for our dinner crepe ideas. Jimmy's dad served his mission in France and they got this idea from all the yummy crepes there. There is a restaurant here in Tennessee, The Crepe Maker, that makes so many different kinds of dinner/dessert crepes some with cheese, green peppers, bacon, tomatoes, chicken, ham, etc, etc. I love making crepes and it is 1,000 times easier with a Crepe Maker (such as pictured above) because it makes them thin and very even.

All we've done for dinner crepes is this:
Seasoned Taco Meat
Sour Cream
Chopped Tomatoes
Mustard (that's definitely optional for me)

But I'm sure there are a slew of variations that would be extra tasty. But please don't forget to have a yummy dessert crepe to follow up... like cinnamon sugar, or raspberry pie filling, vanilla pudding, and chocolate sauce drizzled on top.

Here is the Smith Family Basic Crepe Recipe (we usually half it for our small family)

4 eggs
4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 tblsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 stick butter (melted)

Put all the ingredients except the butter into a bowl and mix well with an electric beater. When it is mixed together well, mix in the melted butter while stirring. Use a big spoon to scoop the batter into the middle of an electric frying pan. Pick the pan up and spread the batter around (making it look like a big, thin pancake). After a 30 seconds or so flip the crepe over and cook for a little less time on the back. (or use the crepe maker and it will be waaaaay easier). Take the crepe off and put the desired toppings in a line down the middle and roll it. Wa-la!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Caramel Bars

Caramel Bars (Cake ‘n Crumbs Recipe)

1 box German Chocolate cake mix
¾ cup melted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped nuts
1 (16 oz) pkg. Kraft Caramel Bits
1/3 cup evaporated milk
6 oz pkg. chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. In the top of a double boiler melt Caramel Bits with 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Combine cake mix, melted butter, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and nuts. Press half into greased 9x13 pan. Bake 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chocolate ships. Spread melted caramel mixture over the chips. Using your fingers, top with the remaining cake mixture. Overlap batter to cover most of the caramel, allowing some to show through. Bake 15 – 18 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely before cutting. Enjoy! Yields approximately 20-25 bars.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I just agreed to do a freezer meal party and I have know idea what main dish will freeze well. If you have any ideas for something that i can make a lot of easily (12) and will freeze well please let me know. Thank you!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pizza Rolls

These are one of our family favorites. I make them quite often for our family, or potlucks, or lunch get-togethers. (I don't know if this picture scares you or encourages you, I overcooked them a little bit.) I made them for dinner last night and Lexi saw me rolling out the dough and said dissapointedly, "Oh, are we having pizza?" And I said, "Not pizza, Pizza Rolls." And her face lit up and she said, "Oh, those are the goodest thing ever!"

Pizza Dough
This is a great pizza dough recipe that I originally got for homemade pizza. So you can use it for that too. Just mix it, roll it out, and spread with pizza toppings. I've made the pizza rolls with Rhode's bread dough too, but like this better.

1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour

Mix and knead above ingredients. Roll out on floured surface.

Pizza Rolls

Pizza dough
5 oz cream cheese
1 lb shredded mozarella cheese
Pizza toppings (we like canadian bacon, green pepper, and onions)

Spread cream cheese on rolled out dough. Add your choice of pizza toppings, then cover with cheese. Roll up like a cinnamon roll and cut each about 1 inch (if you do it thicker they are doughy). Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 425 for 15 minutes. Dip in Pizza Sauce, parmesan cheese, or ranch.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Caramel Apple Dip

(you might say "what?" when you read that it has skor bits in it, but it really is so good!)

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. white sugar
1 c. skor bits

Beat together cream cheese with sugars. Add vanilla. Stir in skor bits. Serve with apples.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oatmeal Crispies

This is a recipe from the Confessions of a Pioneer Woman's recipe blog. She's a riot and a great cook. Anyway, I made these this afternoon because I hadn't had a meal that didn't involve hot chocolate and twix, so why wouldn't I make cookies? They are divine warm with a cold glass of milk. Mmmmmm.

1 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans

(These are my instructions - her blog has more thorough ones) Combine shortening and sugars. Mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla. Again, mix well. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and b. soda. Add to shortening mixture. Then add oats and pecans. (I didn't use pecans as it would ruin the whole cookie experience for me!) Place on greased cookie sheet (I just did drop cookies) and bake in 350 oven for 9-10 minutes.

Fettuccine Alfredo

1 pound Fettuccine (or other type of pasta)
6 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 - 2/3 cup heavy cream
black pepper

Cook fettuccine to your favorite state of doneness. Drain. Melt butter over low heat. Add Fettuccine and toss well. Add cheese and toss gently until they are melted and blended. Add cream and sprinkle with as much pepper as you like. When cream is blended with butter and cheese remove pan form heat and serve.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

1/8 cup butter
1/2 of a 10 oz. pkg. of frozen chopped spinach (partially thawed)
1/2 of a 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 16 oz. container sour cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
garlic salt to taste

Melt butter. Stir in spinach and artichokes. Cook until tender, about 5 min. Mix in sour cream and cream cheese. Stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Cook until thickened, 10-15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Zucchini Bread

Hey, I just want to thank you all for letting me be a part of this amazing recipe blog. I have loved so many of your fabulous recipes! I hope I can contribute some that will be useful to any or all or some of you. I saw Jolene's request for zucchini bread and I have a great recipe I got from a lady I worked with when we were first married. She used to bring it to work and we all loved it. I've made it with our zucchini every year since. Hope you still have some zucchini to use!

Zucchini Bread

2 eggs
2 cups peeled and shredded zucchini
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Then mix dry and wet mixtures together. Grease and flour 3 medium loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Can add chocolate chips if you want.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Creamy Pasta with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Crispy Prosciutto

Creamy Pasta With Asparagus, Parmesan, and Crispy Prosciutto

Serves 4

Four finely chopped strips of bacon can be substituted for the prosciutto.

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto , cut into 1/4-inch strips (see note)
1 garlic clove , minced
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper
1 pound fusilli or penne
1 pound asparagus , trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Cook prosciutto until lightly browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in cream and lemon juice and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

2. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water and cook until just beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus to pot and cook until bright green and tender and pasta is al dente, about 4 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, drain pasta and asparagus, and return to pot. Add sauce, 1/2 cup reserved cooking water, cheese, and basil to pot and toss to combine, adding remaining cooking water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle portions with crispy prosciutto. Serve.

Beef Taco Bake

Andy was a little skeptical of this, but it ended up being really tasty and he loved it.

Beef Taco Bake

Serves 4 to 6

If you can't find Ro-Tel tomatoes, substitute one 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes and one 4-ounce can chopped green chiles.

2 (10-ounce) cans Ro-Tel tomatoes (see note), drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese
1 1/2 pounds 90-percent lean ground beef
1 (1.25-ounce) package low-sodium taco seasoning mix
12 taco shells
3 scallions , sliced thin

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Combine half of tomatoes, beans, hot sauce, and cilantro in bowl. Spread evenly in 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.

2. Cook beef in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Pour off fat, then stir in taco seasoning, remaining tomatoes, and reserved tomato juice. Simmer over medium-low heat until thickened and nearly dry, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Spoon 1 tablespoon cheese into each taco shell and top with beef mixture. Arrange tacos upright in bean mixture, cover with foil, and bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining cheese, and bake until cheese is melted, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions. Serve.

Turkey Pot Pie w/ Stuffing Crust

My domestic nag, that lives somewhere within and surfaces every once and a while, hit last week and I decided to try three new recipes in a row. I got them out of my Cook's Country magazine and they all turned out pretty good.

This first is good and yes, you can guess that it would make Thanksgiving leftovers into a great casserole. (Excuse me for a second here - but am I the only one that doesn't want to be thinking about Thanksgiving leftovers in September, I mean come on there can not be that many domestic goddesses out there that are already thinking about Thanksgiving and what delicious creations they will make with the leftovers.) However this was quite good, oh and I used canned chicken from Costco that I shredded. The crust made this really good.

Turkey Pot Pie With Stuffing Crust

Serves 6 to 8

Although leftover homemade stuffing works best here, one 6-ounce box of stuffing mix, prepared according to package instructions and chilled, will suffice. You will need a 12-inch oven-safe skillet for this recipe.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion , chopped
1 celery rib , chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix , thawed
4 cups shredded cooked turkey
3 cups prepared stuffing (see note)
1 large egg , lightly beaten

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Melt butter in large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and celery until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and cream and simmer until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add peas and carrots mix and turkey and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine stuffing and egg in large bowl. Place stuffing mixture between pieces of parchment paper and roll into 11-inch circle. Remove top layer of parchment and cut into 6 wedges. Arrange wedges evenly over filling and bake until stuffing is golden brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Serve.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Taco Soup

Again, from Mary Jones (see cornbread recipe below). I'd forgotten about this until this morning when I was fantasizing about cornbread. I usually make the beef/tomato version, but this is very tasty too and SUPER easy.

1 family size chicken soup with rice (plus can of water)
1 can Texas or Ranch Style Beans (plus can of water)
1 can Rotell tomatoes or tomatoes with green chilies
1 chicken breast, boiled and shredded
1 can corn or 1/2 bag frozen corn
Water - see how you feel about it after the 2 cans listed above.

Combine and simmer for an hour or so. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.


This is a recipe I got from my friend Mary Jones whose life mirrors mine so closely it freaks me out. Her husband is Jeff (who grew up in Kennewick too) and her first 3 kids are Annalisa, Kyle and Kaitlyn. Seriously. We met them when we moved to Ammon (after all kids had been born). We both LOVE tennis and volleyball. Things start to separate from there. She had 3 more kids, and is probably one of the kindest, most righteous (without being self-righteous) people on earth. She's a great gal and a fantastic cook.

Apparently I can't make anything without a full cup of sugar and a cube of butter. Unfortunately, nobody in my family loves cornbread except me, so I don't make this often. It sure is yummy though. Great with her easy taco soup recipe that I'll post too. How's that for a super-long introduction?

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cube melted butter

2 cups Bisquick (I like Pioneer Brand Buttermilk Biscuit and Baking Mix)
2 heaping Tbsp cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar

Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, August 31, 2007

My oreo-cookie non-recipes

I suppose these are kindof non-recipes since they are kind of made up. But they are quick & easy and chocolately.

Easy Chocolate Cream Pie (loosely based on my mom's Black Forest Pie)

1 1/2 - 2 cups oreo cookie crumbs (I did 1 1/2 but it wasn't quite enough for my pie tin, but I kindof like it thick)
3-4 Tblsp melted butter

Combine melted butter with crushed oreos and press in pie tin - refrigerate until hard - like 30 minutes

1 small package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup milk
1 8 oz size Cool Whip

Blend for 1 minute with wire whisk or mixer the chocolate pudding and milk. Fold in 1/2 the container of cool whip into chocolate mixture.

Put chocolate pudding mixture in pie tin on top of oreo crust. Then put the rest of the cool whip on top. Sprinkle some left over crushed oreos on top to make it lovely. (alterations... today I put 1/2 can of raspberry pie filling in between chocolate and cool whip layer).

Oreo Cream Cheese balls
(My friend told me about this recipe so I don't have any measurements but I'd thought I'd throw it out there in case any of you want to try it. I'm not going to make it because Jimmy doesn't love cream cheese and if I make it then I will eat them all and every bit will go to my waist and hips and behind)

Take a bunch of oreos and squash them in your food processor (or i'm sure the ziplock bag and meat pounder would work).

Then put cream cheese in and mash it all together.

Scoop that oreo/cream cheese mixture into miniature balls.

Dip in melted DARK CHOCOLATE (okay - if you must, you can use milk chocolate).

Put in fridge or freezer or they'll be all gooey. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

French Toast

This recipe came from Heather's friend Stephanie's blog. It was amazingly good. The kids went wild about it, I almost fell off my chair after one bite, and Jeff only ate 2, which says how rich they are. We had them with fresh strawberries, and freshly whipped cream. They would have been great with buttermilk syrup had I not been too leery of dishes to make it. Thank you Stephanie and Rachel Ray!!!

2 Eggs
1 cup Sugar (not a typo!)
1 T. cornstarch
2-3 drops Vanilla
1 c. milk
2-3 pinches nutmeg

Mix together (looks a bit custardy). Dunk bread into mixture and cook on griddle. Yum!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Speaking of zucchini . . .

I'm sorry I don't have a great recipe to contribute, but I thought a funny story might be the next best thing. The other day I went to the post office to get the mail, and there on the counter was a bag of zucchini with a note that read "Free!" The next day, they were all gone. It made me laugh.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Zucchini Bread recipe search

I have been wanting to make some zucchini bread but I wanted to see if anyone has a recipe that they absolutely love. So If you do, please share. Thanks.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Copy-cat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

My willpower is being seriously tested this morning with the leftovers just sitting there screaming at me to just take one bite. The run I went on this morning will not be for nothing if I only take one bite. I'm sure I could stop with just one bite. . .

1 Tbsp yeast
1 cup warm milk (105-110 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted margarine
4 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm milk in large bowl. Add the sugar, margarine, salt, eggs and flour. Mix well. Knead the dough into a large ball using your hands dusted lightly with flour (I just let the kitchen aid do it's thing). Put in bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or till the dough has doubled. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough flat until it's approximately 21 inches long and 16 inches wide. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup softened margarine

For the filling combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread margarine evenly over dough. Then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar evenly over the surface. Working carefully, roll the dough jelly-roll style. Cut the rolled dough into 1 3/4 inch slices and place on lightly greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes or till light brown on top.

1 cube butter or margarine, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

While the rolls bake, combine icing ingredients. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy. When rolls come out of the oven, smother with frosting.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

We made the urban-legends Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe tonight. And I thought I'd just post it and the real Neiman Marcus cookie recipe in case anyone doesn't happen to have it.

Urban Legends Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 cups sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal**
24 oz. chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

** Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

The Real Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder (i just leave this out)
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Monday, July 23, 2007

Raspberry Peach Cobbler

I found this recipe in the Famiy Fun magazine and we have really enjoyed it. Hope you like it too.

1/3 cup unsalted butter
3 cups sliced peaches (about 4 large)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream or ice cream, for topping

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Measure the butter into a 2 1/2 -quart casserole dish (ours measured 11 by 8 inches by 2 1/2 inches deep) or a cast-iron skillet (11 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep).

2. Place the pan in the oven to melt the butter. Combine the peaches and raspberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar over them. Gently stir the fruit, then set it aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the remaining sugar, the milk, and the vanilla extract and stir until the mixture is evenly blended.

4. When the butter has melted, pour it into the batter, stir quickly but gently to mix it in, then immediately pour the batter into the casserole or skillet. Add the fruit with its juices, distributing it evenly and lightly pressing it partway into the batter with a spatula.

5. Return the pan to the oven and bake the cobbler until the top is a rich golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve hot or warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Serves 6 to 8.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Raspberry-Lemon Fruit Dip

1/2 cup raspberry reduced-fat cream cheese spread, from 8-ounce container, softened
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1 container (6 ounces) Yoplait Original lemon burst yogurt

Assorted fresh fruit pieces or Berries

Mix cream cheese and marshmallow creme in medium bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Stir in yogurt. Serve dip with fruit.

Oh Henry's

I just got a new recipe that is so yummy I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy...

Oh Henry Bars

1 cup sugar
1cup light corn syrup
bring to a boil (stirring constantly) and then remove from heat.
add 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
stir until blended well.
add 5 cups rice krispies
stir until blended well. (add one cup at a time and judge how thick you want it to be. It should be gooey and not hard so judge what you think as you get close to 5 cups.)
Press into 9x13 pan while still warm. Then...
Melt 1/2 a bag of butterscotch chips and 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips, mixed together, slowly in the microwave. When melted spread over the top of the krispies. Enjoy. YUMMY!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hamburger Macaroni Casserole

This has been a Nelson (blain & pat) Family favorite for a long time. Daniel reminded me of it when I was at a loss when thinking of what to do for dinner (yet again). There is really no recipe, you just kind of throw it together, but it sure is yummy. Even the kids devoured it. I am just going to post how I make it, I'm sure others in my family do it a little different.

Boil elbow macaroni - depends on family size(I always just guess-timate, this last time I used maybe 1/2 - 3/4 box)

In large pot brown hamburger or turkey burger - about a 1 lb. again depends on family size (we did it with turkey burger this last time and it was great)

I seasoned the meat with Oregano, Rosemary, garlic powder, and Italian Seasoning.

To meat add: 1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 cans tomato sauce
1 can or small frozen bag of corn (this last time we had fresh corn so I just boiled about 4-5 cobs and cut it off into the meat sauce)
Cooked & drained macaroni

Mix together and serve.

You want the mixture to be saucy enough, but not too watery. If it is too watery just add a little tomato paste* or if it is too thick add more tomato sauce or a little water.

*One of my favorite cooking short cuts taken from one of my cooking magazines is when you open tomato paste and don't use the whole can (which I never do) just place spoonfuls of the tomato paste into individual baggies and place in freezer. That way when you need to thicken a tomato based sauce you can just pop one of your frozen blobs of tomato paste in and it thickens it nicely.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chicken & Veggie Wreath

This is my attempt at a Pampered Chef recipe I had years ago at a party. I found this recipe online and just tweaked it a bit. It was really easy and at least a change from our normal suppers. I actually made twice as much filling as I should have, and hoped it would freeze well for next time. I'm not going to put amounts as you can just eyeball with what preferences you have. But in the end you'll need about 2 cups of filling.

The original recipe called for 2 crescent roll packages which would make for an obviously larger wreath. If anyone has a different recipe for this type of meal, I'd love it or share your ideas in the comments. If anyone has any other pizza stone recipes, I'd love em. The original recipe also had broccoli in it with NO celery or carrots. I also thought adding chopped deli ham would be good too. I'm not sure if I folded the points in as lovely as you're supposed to, so bear with my photos.

Red Bell Pepper
Water chestnuts
Green Onion
Cooked Chicken Breast
Salt & Pepper
Cream of chicken soup (just enough to slightly moisten it, you don't want it soggy)
Grated Cheese (i used some leftover Mexican mix and then some cheddar)
1 (8 oz.) pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chop (I used my chopper) all the veggies and shred the chicken. Combine all ingredients except crescent rolls in medium bowl.

Unroll crescent rolls and arrange triangles in a cirlce on a 15" baking stone (I happened to use one but I'm guessing you could just use a cookie sheet or pizza pan) with the bases overlapping in center and points toward the outside. Scoop filling mixture onto widest portion of each triangle. Fold points of triange over filling and tuck under base at center. (Filling will not be completely covered) Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown (I did mine for 25 minutes). Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Black Bean Soft Tacos

1 tsp. olive oil
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
14 oz. salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 Avocado or guacamole
corn or flour tortillas

Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add beans, corn, salsa, cumin, and chili powder. Stir. Cover and cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce to low, uncover and cook 2-4 more minutes. Warm tortillas. Then fill with bean, cheese and guacamole.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Yummy Devil's Food Cream Cheese Divine Cupcakes

Ok, so I don't know the real name for these cupcakes but I kinda like "yummy devil's food cream cheese divine cupcakes". This recipe is actually my mom's but I got put in charge of posting it - either way SUPER GOOD. I would have posted a photo with this post, but on the outside they just look like normal cupcakes, but it's what's on the inside that counts.

Heat oven to 350 degrees
makes: 24 cupcakes

mix 1 devils food cake mix as directed on the box.

then in a different bowl mix
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
Beat until smooth
Beat in 1 egg until blended
Stir in 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Put in 1/3 devils food batter in each cup then a spoonful of the cream cheese mix on top. Finish it off by putting a small spoonful of devils food on top. (creating a layering effect). Bake for 20 mins. Let cool and frost with chocolate frosting. YUM!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mini Fruit Pizzas

These were served at our wedding reception and are an easy, fancy-looking dessert.

First, make sugar cookie dough and bake large cookies (we used a full cookie scoop). Since we had the Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix from the S'mores recipe, we used that tonight, making the drop cookies and baking at 375 for 10 minutes.Cool.

Spread cream cheese stuff on cookies (beat this all together until fluffy):
8 oz. cream cheese (fat free didn't work--low fat is great)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. lemon juice

Then put fresh fruit on top--placing any fruit that might brown in lemon juice or fruit fresh if you might not eat them all in the next few minutes :)

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. Makes 2 dozen mini pizzas.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sour Cream Banana Bars

Have some ripe bananas and don't want to just make plain banana bread? Try this yummy banana cake that is moist and not too sweet (but just sweet enough!). I got this recipe from my friend Beth Raber in Florida.

Sour Cream Banana Bars

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. margarine/butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. mashed banana (about 3 bananas)

Cream together first 4 ingredients for 1 minute. Add mashed bananas. Mix well for 30 seconds.

2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 c. flour

Mix well for 1 minute. Pour into greased jelly roll pan. Bake @ 375 for 20-25 min. Cool and top with Brown Butter Frosting.

Brown Butter Frosting
1/4 c. butter, brown slowly.
2 c. powdered sugar,
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tblsp. Milk

Mix until smooth. Pour on cake.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chicken & Farfalle Salad w/ Pesto

My friend Steph sent this recipe which is from Cooking Light

2 c. farfalle (bowtie pasta)
2 c. grilled/sliced chicken
1 c. quartered cherry tomatoes
2 T. chopped pitted kalamata olives (I DON’T USE)

Remaining Ingredient:
4 curly leaf lettuce leaves

1 c. basil
3 T. chopped walnuts
1 ½ T. Olive oil
1 T. white wine vinegar
½ t. salt
1 garlic clove

Combine cooked pasta, tomatoes and olives in large bowl. Blend all pesto ingredients together in food processor. Toss pesto with Pasta mixture. Serve on lettuce leaves. Top with grilled chicken.

Stuffed Pasta Shells


This is a quick & easy recipe from my friend Stephanie. I rarely have ricotta cheese so I substitute cottage cheese. And since I'm not a huge fan of spinach, I chop it up extra fine and just put a little in. I also just smoother the entire pan with sauce so the noodles don't get crispy.

4 c. (16 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 pkg. jumbo pasta shells
1 jar (28 oz.) spaghetti sauce

Cook pasta shells. Thaw and drain spinach. Combine cheeses and spinach; stuff into shells. Arrange in a greased 13x9” dish. Pour spaghetti sauce over the shells. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield 12-14 servings.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cheese Enchiladas

I am all about quick and easy when it comes to cooking. This recipe is just that, and it tastes good too. Anyone else have some quick and easy recipes they would like to share. I need some new ideas.

1 pkg Enchilada seasoning mix
1 can Tomato soup
1 can water (use soup can)
9-12 corn tortillas
3 C. cheese (or more to your liking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan combine Tomato soup, water, and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sauce should thicken slightly. If too thick, add more water. Ladle some sauce in an 8X11 pan. With tongs dig a tortilla in the sauce and layer tortillas, more sauce and cheese. Finish with a layer of cheese on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. (Note: you can also add ground beef as a layer.) Serve with sour cream and lettuce. I like to serve it with Spanish rice, recipe below.

Spanish Rice

1 C rice
1 medium onion diced
Taco, enchilada, or fahita seasoning mix (use as much to your liking, I usually use about 1-2 Tbsp)
2 small cans tomato sauce
2 cups water

Cover the bottom of a medium size skillet with oil. Bring to medium high heat. Add rice and coat with oil, stirring occasionally until rice is a little whiter (about 5 minutes). Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and mix together then add mixture to rice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

White Lasagna

Waaah, whoooo! I am finally posting a recipe. Okay, so I must admit I am a little intimidated by all you great chefs. For some reason I didn’t get the great chef gene you all have, but every once in a while I surprise myself. This recipe comes from Mel Selcho, she is a great chef and the same person I got the Pasta Al Forno recipe from that Jo posted a while ago. It is yummy, hope you like it.

1 pound chicken, sauteed and chopped
1 jar Alfredo sauce
½ tsp nutmeg
1 bag spinach, wash, chop
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 can broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
Crumbled feta (optional)
12 lasagna noodles cooked

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add Alfredo, nutmeg, broth, and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts. Add chicken. Layer in 9X13 pan, starting with a tiny bit of sauce. Noodles, sauce, mozzarella cheese. Layer 3 times. Sprinkle with crumbled feta and bake covered for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover until cheese bubbles. Can also use a box of pasta instead of lasagna and mix together like a casserole to save time.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Wonderful Fresh Peach Pie

With peach season coming up, I thought you'd enjoy this recipe for fresh peach pie (I got it from a friend, Camille, who is a great cook). This recipe makes two 8-inch pies.

2 shortbread, graham cracker crusts, or regular pie crusts (see recipe for pie crust below)
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
6 ½ cups of sliced peaches, skinned (approx. 7-8 large peaches)
½ cup orange juice
3 Tbs. cornstarch
¼ cup lemon juice

Mix the cream cheese and ½ cup sugar until smooth, spoon half in one crust and half in the other. Spread around to cover the bottom of the crust. Be careful when using the shortbread because it is very fragile and will crack easily.

Blend (in a blender) together: 1 cup of peaches (approx 1-2 peaches), orange juice, ½ -3/4 cups sugar (depending on sweetness of peaches) and cornstarch until smooth.

Stir mixture over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. COOL for about 25 minutes! Stir occasionally.

Slice the peaches and neatly layer over the cream cheese mixture. When the glaze is cool, pour the glaze over the top of the peaches, make sure all peaches are covered equally. Cool for about 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.

Shortbread Pie Crust (makes 1 crust)

3 cups butter, softened
5/8 cup light brown sugar
5/8 cup confectioners' sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Using your hands, mix butter, brown sugar, white sugar and flour together in a large bowl. Squeeze and work dough until it holds together. Press into a 9 inch pie pan and chill for 2 hours. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly brown around the edges.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Blueberry White Chip Muffins

Our other favorite muffin recipe. More like dessert recipe!

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
12 ounces white chips, divided
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup milk

Combine flour, sugars, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in milk, egg, butter and lemon peel. Stir in 1 1/2 cups morsels and blueberries. Spoon into 18 prepared cups, filling almost full. Sprinkle with streusel topping (see below). Bake for 22-25 minutes or till wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Place remaining morsels in small, heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on medium-high (70%) for 30 seconds; knead. Microwave at additional 10-20 second intervals till smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag. Squeeze to drizzle over muffins. Serve warm.

Streusel: Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 tsp cinnamon in bowl. Cut 3 Tbsp butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles course crumbs.

Note: This didn't have an oven temp on it. I'm guessing 375 to 400? What do you all think?

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

We love these!!

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk (approximately - see instructions)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Grease or line muffin tin. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill cup. Mix this with the flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups and sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake 20-25 minutes or until done.

Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter (cubed) and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Mix with fork or pastry blender.

Cilantro Lime Herb Butter

An herbed butter is a great way to dress up corn-on-the-cob, veggies of all kinds, chicken, fish, prawns, pork, steak, you name it. Here's an herb butter recipe, Southwestern style, with cilantro and lime.

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature (slightly softened)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, packed
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together butter, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl. Serve as is or save for later.

If you save the butter for later, wrap it up in plastic wrap in the shape of a log and refrigerate until stiff. To use, just unwrap and slice from the butter log.

Serve on Corn on the Cob, Steak, Grilled Salmon, or your favorite fill-in-the-blank!
Mmmm, doesn't this sound amazing?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Grilled Slow Cooker Ribs

This is our new favorite recipe for ribs. So tender and flavorful!!

3 1/2 pounds pork loin back ribs
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup cola
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

1. Spray inside of 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
2. Remove inner skin from ribs. Mix brown sugar, salt, pepper, liquid smoke and garlic; rub mixture into ribs. Cut ribs into 4-inch pieces. Layers ribs and onion in slow cooker. Pour cola over ribs.
3. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until tender. Remove ribs from slow cooker. Drain and discard liquid.
4. Heat coals or gas grill. Place ribs on grill. Brush with barbecue sauce. Cover and grill 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 15 minutes.

or another option for step 4:
4. Pour barbecue sauce into shallow bowl. Dip ribs into sauce. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour any remaining sauce over ribs. Cover and cook on low heat setting 1 hour.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Lemon Ice

This is one of our family favorites (being the Nelson Family). It is so light and refreshing for a hot summer day.

1 C. water
1 1/2 c. sugar

Boil & Chill

(Or put in microwave for a few minutes mixing in between and then stir a few ice cubes)

3/4 c. lemon juice (tastes best with fresh squeezed)
1 tsp. lemon rind
1/8 tsp. salt
4 c. water

Mix all together and put in an ice cream maker and freeze.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'more Bars

Grand Prize-Winning Recipe 2006! Mmm! Irresistible warm, gooey marshmallows, milk chocolate and graham crackers are baked into a delicious bar cookie.

Prep Time: 20 min
Start to Finish: 55 min
Makes: 24 bars

1 pouch Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 cups milk chocolate chips (18 oz)
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and crumbs. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press into ungreased 13x9-inch pan.

2. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.

3. Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat 20 to 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chicken Ranchero Burrito

Taco Time makes a great chicken ranchero burrito that Trevor has taken a liking to. So the other night, we made our own! It's not an amazing recipe, we just tried to copy Taco Time. Here's what we did:

Chicken Fillets (frozen, fried chicken style--we got spicy ones)
large flour tortillas, warmed
grated cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
ranch dressing
mango salsa (optional)


Bake chicken fillets as directed (like for 20 minutes at 400 deg.) then slice into 1/2 inch strips while hot. Place in tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and lettuce. Add ranch dressing as desired and mango salsa if you have it (it's an extra at Taco Time...). Roll it up and eat it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lemon Truffle Pie

This is a recipe that I got from my sister-in-law Parri. Sooo yummy.

baked 9" pie shell
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 cup vanilla chips
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces cool whip

Put water and 2 Tbsp sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil. In a large bowl mix egg, cornstarch, 1 Tbsp sugar and zest of lemon. Slowly add hot to egg mixture in bowl to temper it. (If you pour too much hot water in the eggs cook). Then pour entire mixture back into pan. Heat until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and butter. Stir until mixed.

Pour 2/3's of filling into bowl. Add vanilla chips to filling remaining in pan. Stir until chips are melted. Put cream cheese in bowl. Add filling with vanilla chips to cream cheese and beat together. Spread this mixture in bottom of pie shell. Spread remaining 2/3's of lemon filling on top. Chill for 2 hours. right before serving top with whip cream or cool whip.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Made up Brownies

One day in Texas I wanted something triple chocolatey and gooey, so I made up these brownies. I've found since then that I need to add a little milk, and it varies, so just--whatever! If you add more milk (or buttermilk), it will be a little more cakey, but still moist and chewy. And, last of all, on a vanilla kind of day, you really have to try it with vanilla cake mix, vanilla chips and vanilla icing--quite yummy (call 'em Blondies!)

Made up brownies (Chocolate treat!)

1 Chocolate cake mix, dry (try triple chocolate fudge)
¼ cup butter or margarine (very soft or melted)
¼ cup evaporated milk (or buttermilk, or milk- a little less)
1 egg
½ -1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together (dough is stiff) and press into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or a little longer, but don’t over bake…. Cool for 10 – 15 min., then glaze with chocolate glaze.

¼ cup butter, melted
3 T. Evaporated milk
2 T. Cocoa
2 c. powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla

Stir together dry ingredients. Stir together liquid ingredients. Mix together well. Add extra liquid if needed to make pouring consistency. Pour on brownies in a criss cross pattern. (for vanilla flavor, leave out the cocoa and add a little more powdered sugar if needed) Microwave this for 20 seconds before pouring on if it starts to harden up.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Avocado Boats

I just made these for the first time yesterday, and they were so good. It is another Rachael Ray, 30 min. meals recipe.
Avocado Boats
3 ripe Hass avocados
1 lemon
Hot sauce, several drops (recommended: Tabasco)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (I think this could be optional.)
2 small Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 scallions, chopped

Cut into and all around the pit of each avocado, down to the pits. Twist the avocados and separate them. Whack the corner of your knife into each pit and remove it. Using a large spoon, scoop out each avocado half and arrange them on a plate. Dress the avocados with lemon juice, a few drops of hot sauce and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Combine the tomatoes and scallions and season with salt. Fill the avocados with tomatoes and serve.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Barbecue Spare Ribs

We like to shred the meat in this recipe and serve it on warm rolls, barbecue sandwich style.

Brown 4 pounds boneless pork country spareribs and place in crock pot.

For sauce combine:

1 c cider vinegar
2 T sugar
2 T worcestershire sauce
1/2 c ketchup
1 t salt
1 t dry mustard
1 t paprika
1/8 t pepper

Bring to a boil. Pour over meat. Cook 5-6 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low in the crock pot.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


This isn't really for Memorial Day (although I would suggest the Picnic Cake posted on this site). I made these last night and they were so good and quick and easy too.

Three Meat Calzone

(cook's country magazine)

Serves 4

Serve this overstuffed calzone with your favorite tomato sauce if desired.
6 ounces thinly sliced salami
2 ounces pepperoni , thinly sliced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Flour for dusting work surface
1 (1-pound) ball ready-made pizza dough
4 ounces capicola , thinly sliced
8 ounces mozzarella cheese , thinly sliced

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange salami and pepperoni on microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high until fat begins to render, 1 minute. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, and basil in bowl.

2. Brush 1 tablespoon oil over rimmed baking sheet. On lightly floured work surface, roll dough into 14-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Layer half of salami, pepperoni, capiccola, and mozzarella on one half of dough round, leaving 1-inch border around edges. Spoon ricotta mixture over mozzarella and layer with remaining salami, pepperoni, capiccola, and mozzarella. Brush edges of dough with water, fold over filling, and crimp edges to seal.

3. Transfer to oiled baking sheet and cut four 1-inch slits on top of calzone. Brush with remaining oil and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into 4 wedges. Serve.

Of course I changed it too fit our likings. I used the pizza dough from Trader Joe's (you can freeze it and its great) and I used dry herbs in the ricotta cheese mixture (rosemary, oregano, and basil because I like them). I made one with cheese, salami, pepperoni, and prosciutto and the other with just prosciutto and cheese. For the cheese in both I used half smoked gouda and half mozzarella. I made a quick tomato sauce to dip them in and everybody like them

The Best All-American Potato Salad

This is seriously the best potato salad I've ever had. (I think the trick is the pickle juice, if you can believe it, and adding plenty of boiled egg). Great for those all-American picnics!

Boil 10-12 medium potatoes for 20-25 minutes until soft but not mushy. Cool, peel, dice. Add 1/3 c really small chopped sweet onion. Add 8 chopped boiled eggs, 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped celery, 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles (add a few teaspoons of pickle juice too), salt and pepper, 1 t mustard, and enough mayo to make a creamy consistency. Chill. (Get it pretty gooey since the ingredients soak up the mayo as it sits.) Chill. Add more mayo if needed. Serve several hours later or the next day.

Grilled Pineapple

One great idea to use if you are already grilling is to cut big strips of fresh pineapple and roll them in brown sugar then grill till just warm. (We don't leave the skin on...)Yummy! It's a sweet addition to the steak or hamburgers or whatever. Personally I like a huge fresh fruit salad with watermelon and the works!

Andes Creme De Menthe Cookies (Andes mint cookies)

I have never made these before, but I had them at an enrichment and I thought they were so good, so I looked up the recipe.

Andes Creme De Menthe Cookies

1/2 cup salted butter - softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 package (10 oz.) Andes® Crème de Menthe Baking Chips

2-2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Blend butter, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until mixed.

Stir in Andes Baking Chips and then flour. Chill approximately one hour in the refrigerator.

Measure out approximately 1 oz. of dough. Form a ball and slightly flatten.

Raise oven rack one level above the middle and bake on non-stick baking pans.

Bake at 350° F for approximately 8 - 10 minutes.

Cool on pans for two minutes before removing.

Memorial Day Picnic

So I was thinking of hosting a Memorial Day Picnic with a few friends. I'm not the best at hosting and thought I could get some ideas for a menu (salads, bbq or grill recipes, dessert, etc) from you guys. Any ideas? What are your favorite Picnic recipes??

Monday, May 14, 2007

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting

Speaking of frosting . . . here's a recipe we just love!! As Grandma Nelson would say, "It's De-licious."

1/2 c margarine
2/3 c cocoa
3 c powdered sugar
1/3 c evaporated milk
1 t vanilla

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes 2 cups.

Search for Strawberry Frosting

Hello team! Does anybody have a recipe for strawberry frosting? Today is Jeff's happy 30th and he'd like strawberry frosting on his cake. Funny that it'll be pink. I just can't bring myself to buy the canned stuff. Any ideas would be great. Thanks!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Quick and Easy Buttermilk Scones

One answer to the buttermilk recipe request... These really are easy and nice scones. We usually have them on Christmas, but when we can fry outside we have them a lot then, too.

2 cups buttermilk
4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
5-6 c. flour (can substitute some whole wheat flour if desired :)
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. oil(plus oil for frying)

Warm buttermilk. Dissolve yeast in ½ c. warm water. Sift together the flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. Beat eggs separately. Add sugar and oil to eggs. Add buttermilk and yeast mixtures. Gradually add sifted ingredients. Beat constantly using wooden spoon. Add enough flour to make soft dough. Turn onto a floured counter an roll to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut it into squares. Let it rise for half hour. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Cheesecake Factory Luau Salad recipe

This is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE salad ever. Kind of fancy, but I love it!

Mixed greens
Grilled chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
Red bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
Yellow bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
Fresh green beans, blanched, cut into 3-inch pieces
Cucumber slices
Red onion, cut into small pieces
Fresh mango, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
8 (6-inch) egg roll wrappers, fried crisp
4 ounces sweet and sour sauce
4 ounces macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
4 ounces carrots, peeled, sliced into 1-inch thin strips
1 ounce green onions, sliced into 1-inch thin strips

Place the lettuce mix, chicken, bell peppers, green beans, cucumber slices, red onion, and mango, into a large mixing bowl. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette (your favorite choice), seasoned rice vinegar, granulated sugar, and sesame oil. Drizzle the dressing into the bowl with the salad ingredients, and gently toss together.

Brush a little sweet and sour sauce onto each crispy egg roll wrapper. Build the salad in each serving bowl with alternating layers of salad mixture, a crispy glazed egg roll wrapper, more salad mixture, another crispy glazed egg roll wrapper and then the remaining salad mixture.

Sprinkle the macadamia nuts and sesame seeds all over each salad.
Garnish each salad with some thin sliced carrots and green onions.

Serves 4.