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.