Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cap'n Crunch French Toast

Jimmy and I saw the Comfort Food episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network recently. They spotlighted Baltimore's Blue Moon Café which makes Cap'n Crunch French Toast.

Jimmy thought he'd give it a try. We just did our french toast with eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar and dipped it in the crushed cereal. But here's the recipe if anyone wants to give the fancy version a try.

Cap’n Crunch French Toast
recipe by Melanie Knight- inspired by Blue Moon Café

4 cups Cap’n Crunch original cereal (no Crunch Berries)
10 slices Texas bread (thick sliced bread)
4 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
10 tablespoons butter
Whipped cream for topping
1 pint strawberries
½ pound seedless grapes

Place the cereal in a casserole dish and crunch it into crumbs with the bottom of a glass.

Mix the eggs, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon together and place in a shallow dish. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Take 1 slice of brad, dip both sides in the egg mixture, then coast with the Cap’n Crunch crumbs.

Cook each side 2-3 minutes until light brown. Repeat for the other 9 slices of bread.

Stack 2 French toasts on the center of the plate. Top with a generous helping of whipped cream and strawberries and grapes.

Makes 5 servings

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


When one lives in Ohio, there is no choice but to make buckeyes. Plus, peanut butter treats are always a hit at our house (as are peanut butter and jam or honey sandwiches). Ok, on to the recipe.

Buckeye Candy (directly from

Estimated Times:
Preparation - 10 min | Cooling Time - 1 hrs freezing | Yields - 72 candies (6 dozen total)
The perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate -- a "chocolate lover's" dream come true....



LINE 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. Shape into 1-inch balls; place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour.

MELT morsels and shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted.

DIP peanut butter centers into melted chocolate using a toothpick, leaving a small portion of the center uncovered. Shake off excess chocolate and scrape bottom of candy on side of bowl. Return to baking sheets; refrigerate until chocolate is set. Store in covered container in refrigerator.

Beefy Cheese Ball

Beefy Cheese Ball

(totally,directly taken from

Beefy Cheese Ball

I never thought I would use horseradish! But this is a very nice cheese ball, and I use the low-fat cream cheese and it's softer, but just as yummy, and easier to spread.


  • 1 2.25-oz. jar ARMOUR® STAR SLICED DRIED BEEF, rinsed, finely chopped
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. horseradish
  • Assorted crackers

Combine 1/4 cup dried beef, cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese and horseradish, blending thoroughly. Refrigerate mixture 15 minutes. Form into a ball and roll in remaining dried beef. Chill thoroughly. Serve as an appetizer with crackers.

If you have never used this beef in a jar before, be sure to remember to rinse with very warm water, then drain before chopping and using in recipes.

makes 1 appetizer ball

Easy Oreo Truffles

Easy OREO Truffles
(totally, directly copied from

What You Need!

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

Make It!

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
How to Easily Dip Truffles-To easily coat truffles with the melted chocolate, add truffles, in batches, to bowl of melted chocolate. Then use two forks to roll truffles in chocolate until evenly coated. Remove the truffles with forks and allow excess chocolate to drip back into bowl before placing truffles on prepared baking sheet.

Special Extra-Sprinkle truffles with colored sugar or sprinkles in addition to or in place of the cookie crumbs.

How to Soften Cream Cheese-Place completely unwrapped package of cream cheese in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 10 sec. or just until softened. Add 15 sec. for each additional package of cream cheese.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Candy Cane Cookies

I saw this recipe on the Food Network recently. Tonight we tried it out. Abe had fun rolling the dough into ropes/snakes. It was a pretty simple recipe that I didn't even mess up. And that's AMAZING!

Candy Cane Cookies by Sandra Lee


1 box sugar cookie mix
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for surface
Red food coloring
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine sugar cookie mix, melted butter, egg, cream cheese, and flour; mix together to form dough.

Separate dough into 2 equal portions and place in 2 different bowls. Add red food coloring gradually to 1 bowl of dough, kneading together until desired shade of red is created. To second bowl of uncolored dough, add peppermint extract and knead together.

On a floured work surface, shape each dough into balls and then roll each ball into 1/4-inch-wide ropes, each about 6 inches long. For each cookie, carefully twist some of the red and white ropes of dough together and shape into a candy cane.

Spread candy canes out on cookie sheets and bake on the top shelf of the oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool before serving.

Saltine Toffee

Quick, before holiday cooking is done! Last week Trevor and I made a yummy batch of this--it's a funny version of toffee, maybe less rich, certainly less fine.

1 1/2 packages of saltines (not boxes)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cube butter (or margarine, some recipes say)
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with foil then lightly coat with cooking spray.
Lay out saltines neatly (1-2 packages) with no spaces between.

Bring sugar and butter to a boil while stirring over med-high heat. Quickly pour over saltines, covering as many as possible.

Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for a minute. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, spreading evenly after melting.

Put in fridge for 15 minutes or so to set, then break into pieces.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

We usually make biscuits out of Bisquick ... but last night I wanted to try a Buttermilk Biscuit recipe. I found the following recipe on I liked their idea to roll it out in the pan and then use a pizza cutter to divide it up before you cook. These were easy to make, turned out great, and were even yummy this morning toasted.

Kentucky Biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 dash salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the buttermilk.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 2 minutes. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, roll into a 6x6 inch square, and cut into 12 even sections. Do not separate.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center of the square comes out clean. Separate into biscuits, and serve hot.

Tip from a review on Freeze the stick of butter and then grate with a box grater. That way the butter stays nice and cold for a nice tender biscuit.

Don't over handle or stir biscuit dough as it will make them tough.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sour Cream Rolls

I know there are thousands of yummy roll recipes out there, but I wanted to share this one from my friend Lisa Pett. It's so soft because of the sour cream in it. I like it because with my busy schedule right now with a newborn, it is convenient to break up the work ... make the dough at night ... and shape/bake in the morning. It just takes a little planning ahead. I've also done it all the same day - letting it rise 3 hours before shaping and 3 hours after.

Sour Cream Rolls from Lisa Pett

1 large carton of sour cream (2 cups)
1/4 cup shortening
Heat them together in a little pan, but don't boil.

Place in mixing bowl and stir in:
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten

Take 2 packages of dry, fast rising yeast (2 TBLSP) and dissolve in 1 cup of luke warm water. Then mix with other ingredients in large bowl. Add 7 1/2 cups flour, and knead.

Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and place a dishtowel over it. Place bowl and contents, well covered, in a refrigerator overnight (or in a cold oven for 3 hours) and until the dough has doubled in bulk.

Make rolls and place in roll pans, cover with dishtowel and let raise for about 3-4 hours. ***However, I have made them and let it rise in a semi warm oven to go faster and it works just fine too.

Don't make them too small. If you fold them over, put a little butter between the folds. Bake 9-12 minutes, depending on oven, at 350 degrees. Bake until rolls are light brown--not dark brown.

(tips from lisa:

**I cut the dough into 4 equal parts and then roll it out into a 16 inch circle. Then I use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 16 even triangles. I roll them up like Crescent rolls and butter them with a melted butter and a pastry brush hot out of the oven.

This dough is an excellent base for cinnamon or orange rolls.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pear Crisp

Just wanted to give a shout-out to this Pear Crisp recipe from Pioneer Woman. I made it and it was tasty. As always, go to her site for scrumptious photos of this recipe.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4


4 whole (to 5) Large Pears (Bosc Work Well)
⅔ cups Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt

Topping Ingredients
1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
⅓ cups Sugar
⅓ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Cinnamon
½ cups Pecans, Very Finely Chopped
1 stick Butter, Melted

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core, and dice pears. Place into a bowl and stir together with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir together. Drizzle melted butter gradually, stirring with a fork as you go until all combined.

Pour pears into a baking dish; top with crumb topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Place pan on top rack of oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Credit for this recipe goes to my sister Amy. She mentioned that she made these (original recipe found in the Nestle cookbook) and shared the recipe with me. I made them today and even the kids loved them.


1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Solid pack pumpkin
1/4 cup Melted butter
1 Egg
6 oz Semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup Finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 400. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; make a well in the center.

In a small bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, butter and egg; add to well in flour mixture.

Add chocolate chips; stir until dry mixture is moistened. Spoon mixture into greased muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Sprinkle 1 tsp. nuts over each muffin.

Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans, completely cool on racks.

This recipe makes 12.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

1 lb large mushrooms, cleaned, remove stems
1 cube butter with garlic powder
8 oz cream cheese
3 chopped green onions
1 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Melt 1 cube of butter and add garlic powder. Mix cream cheese, onions, Parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese. Stuff mixture into mushroom stem hole. Dip all mushrooms into garlic butter. Bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes. Then broil until brown. (I didn't think I needed the whole cube of butter. Next time I'm going to start with a half a cube and add more if that isn't enough. I had too much left over and hated to waste it. ) Enjoy! They are super yummy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Caramel Apple Salad

This recipe is from our friends in Chicago, Kathy and Jerry. They took us to our first apple orchard, years ago in Michigan. Fresh picked apples are so yummy!

1- 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
4 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1- 8oz. cool whip (room temp.)
2-3 apples, diced
1 c. salted peanuts

Drain pineapple, save juice. Mix pineapple and marshmallows. In medium saucepan combine:

pineapple juice

Cook until slightly thickened over medium heat; cool and combine with cool whip. FOLD in the marshmallows and pineapple mixture.

Add apples and peanuts. Refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Lemon Rice Pilaf

3 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed and minced
2 carrots, pared and shredded
1 1/3 cups uncooked long-grain rice
3 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt


Melt butter in sauce pan with tight fitting lid.
Add garlic and carrots; cook, stirring frequently until carrots begin to color, about 5 minutes.
Add rice; stir.
Add broth, zest and salt.
Bring to a boil and simmer covered, about 20 minutes.
Fluff rice.

Crispy Chicken Costolleta

Ryan loves the Crispy Chicken Costolleta from the Cheesecake Factory, so I found this copycat recipe that is pretty similar.

Crispy Chicken

4 chicken breasts, cut horizontally, and pounded to about 1/4 inch thick, or use chicken cutlets.
Lemon zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
2 eggs, whisked with 2 T water
3 Tablespoons flour
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Zest two lemons. Bake zest for about 5 minutes until dry. On one paper plate combine flour, pepper and salt. On another paper plate combine eggs and water, whisk until combined. On another paper plate combine dry lemon zest, bread crumbs and cheese. Place pounded chicken in the flour, coating well, followed by the egg mixture and the bread crumbs. Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil and 1 Tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place chicken in pan and cook on each side about 5 minutes until middle is no longer pink. You will need to work in batches, adding more oil and butter as needed. Keep chicken warm in oven at 250 degrees.

Lemon Sauce

2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plus 1 T fresh lemon juice
1/8 cup chicken stock
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Over medium heat in a fairly large saucepan heat canola oil. Add minced garlic and saute about 3 minutes. Add whipping cream and boil until reduced by one-third. Add Dijon, lemon juice, chicken stock and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.

Serve chicken with lemon sauce.

Fruit Dip/Topping

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • a handful of Strawberries smashed or pureed (2-3 TBSP)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whipped topping
Blend together the cream cheese, strawberries, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and whipped topping.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Thanks to Martha Stewart for the recipe below. I have discovered sweet potatoes recently and really like them. The only thing I changed below is to use skim milk instead of half-and-half. Also, I used unsalted butter. This recipe is easy and delicious!


Makes 3 cups

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Set a steamer basket in a large saucepan. Fill with enough water to come just below basket; bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Place sweet potatoes in steamer basket and cover; steam until tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain, and return to saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring half-and-half, butter, and brown sugar to a simmer, stirring to combine; remove from heat. Add to drained sweet potatoes, and mash just until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wheat Berry Waffles or Pancakes

Tricia's friend Matt made these for us when I went to KC. They were so good.

1 c. Wheat berries - rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c. Milk
1/3 c. Oil - applesauce may be used for half the oil.
1 egg
1 Tbsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Pure maple syrup or honey

Put milk in blender. Add wheat berries and blend for 5 mins. Add oil, egg, salt, and maple syrup. Blend for 15 seconds. Add baking powder and blend just to mix in. The batter will start to rise. Bake as waffles or pancakes.

As an alternate to butter and syrup, you can serve the waffles with the following - applesauce and whipped cream and pecans
Or rasperry jam and sour cream
Or diced fruit and whipped cream.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fun Variation of Lasagna

Lasagna Rolls

by: Giada De Laurentiis


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg


  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese because it was cheaper)
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped ( I didn't use this but I bet it would be tasty)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)


To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.

Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.

Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamelsauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

1-Hour Dinner Rolls

I found this recipe here and with a few minor adaptations, made some scrumptious and EASY dinner rolls that actually turned out (yay!). Pair with homemade jam and butter...YUMMY!

Perfect Dinner Rolls
Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup, then leveled off

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand about 5 minutes.

Add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture, then mix on low speed with the paddle attachment incorporate the flour to create a wet, sticky mixture. Still on low speed, add 1 cup of the remaining flour and incorporate. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 cup flour. On low speed, mix the dough to incorporate the final addition of flour until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the speed to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl - turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 -30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate into a rectangle. Cut width-wise into 6 equal strips of dough. Then cut each strip of dough into fourths by cutting length-wise to make 24 little squares of dough. Take each piece of dough and ball it (I fold the insides into the bottom over and over so that it's smooth on the top and in a perfect little ball--I like to call it "mom" style, that's how she taught us!)

Place each ball of into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan in rows of 4 (I used a cookie sheet). Cover the rolls in the pan and let rise to double while your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F - about 20 minutes. If you want an even more golden color to the rolls, brush them with a little melted butter before baking. Bake for 13-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Janey's German Pancakes

In the past few weeks, I've been craving breakfast food....a lot! German Pancakes have the least dishes and easiest cleanup, so I've had the chance to perfect my recipe!!!

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Tsp. Cinnamon (or more...)

Put everything in the bowl and mix just enough to break up the eggs. Heat the Oven to 425 with a 9" cake pan in it--when the oven is hot, melt 1 notch (is it a tsp or a tbsp?...just the notch on the butter...) in the pan, and swirl it around so that butter covers the entire bottom of the pan. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for 15 minutes.

My favorite toppings are fresh peach jam (if you want some i have a freezer full!) a little bit of powdered sugar, and buttermilk syrup. MMMMMm I might go make another one!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Frog-Eye Salad

Hi! I have tried many of your amazing recipes and love them! I saw Heather's request for Frog-Eye salad so thought I'd share one. I love the recipe on the back of the Acini de Pepe pasta box although it's a little more time consuming and has to chill overnight. I came across this faster, easier version a year ago from Janeal at Cookin' Mamas and have made it quite a few times since. Hope this helps you Heath! and any others out there needing a relatively quick frog-eye-salad fix!

1 1/3 cup Acini de pepe pasta - uncooked
20 oz can pineapple tidbits (drained - reserve 1/4 cup juice)
8 oz can crushed pineapple
2 (12 oz) cans mandarin oranges
3 cups marshmallows
1/2 cup coconut
8 oz cool whip
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 3/4 cup milk
3 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding

Cook pasta in boiling water for 11 minutes. Drain well, rinsing with cold water to cool pasta. In large bowl, beat reserved pineapple juice, milk, sugar and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Gently stir in pasta and remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Five-Minute Jell-o

I saw this recipe today on Hil's Blog and thought I'd make it to go along with supper. It was fun and really only took 5 minutes to make and 5 minutes to set up. I had some cool whip that needed to be used so I stirred that in at the end. We made strawberry-banana jell-o.

See her blog for more details and photos.

Five Minute Jell-O by Hil

1 small package Jell-o
2/3 c. boiling water
8-9 ice cubes
and Cool-whip.

Put Jell-o and water into a blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Add ice cubes one at a time.

If desired, add some Cool Whip or yogurt.

Mix then pour into a bowl. Add fruit, if desired. Cool in refrigerator for 5 minutes.

*For a bigger portion, use 1 large package Jell-o, 1 1/3 cup boiling water, and 16-18 ice cubes.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Zucchini Cakes

We have had an abundance of zucchini's in our garden this year and so I have been in search for fun new ways to use it up. These are tasty. Here's the link from pioneer woman (I love her).

Zucchini Cakes

1 Large Zucchini
1 TBSP garlic
1/2 - 3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup cheese (Italian (this is what I used), Parmesan or Romano)
2 eggs
Kosher salt
Olive Oil

Wash and cut the ends of the Zucchini, shred it using a cheese grater. Squeeze the shredded zucchini in a towel until you have removed as much liquid as possible.

Put zucchini in a medium sized bowl. Add garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, eggs, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork till well mixed.

Heat olive oil (about 1/4 in deep in skillet) over medium heat. When the oil is hot enough drop a glob of batter into the skillet and flatten it a bit. After about 2 min flip the cakes over (they should be nice golden brown). Cook on the other side for about 2-3 minutes.

Serve with dipping sauce (we used ranch. - yum!) Enjoy!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Paula Deen's Key Lime Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

I am not a big fan of cake but I liked this one. I also think this cake would be good with a key lime frosting to bring out more of the lime flavor. The white chocolate frosting was good I just really like limes.


3/4 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons key lime zest
3 eggs
1/4 cup key lime juice, fresh
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

White Chocolate Frosting
6 (1 oz) white chocolate baking squares
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tea. vanilla
5 cups confectioners sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 340. Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) cake pans.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and lime zest at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in juice until combined.
  3. In medium bowl, combine cake flour and baking soda; sift. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. Pour evenly into prepared pants, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread white chocolate frosting in between layers, and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with Key lime wedges, if desired.
  5. White Chocolate Frosting:.
  6. In medium bowl, combine chocolate an dcream. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1-1/2 minutes total); let cool completely.
  7. In large bowl, combine white chocolate mixture, butter, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until fluffy.

BBQ Chicken and Ranch Pizza

This has become my favorite pizza and since discovering it about a month ago I have made it three times. One time I didn't have any ranch dressing so I made some. I found this ranch dressing recipe on Pioneer Woman, I had to tweak it with what ingredients I had but it turned out really good. Also, I didn't have fresh herbs so I used dried. I may never buy ranch dressing again.

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 cup Barbecue sauce, divided
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pizza dough

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce; mix until combined. Spread the remaining barbecue sauce on rolled out pizza dough. Place red onion and chicken mixture over sauce. Drizzle ranch dressing over chicken then top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Creamy Chicken and Chile Enchiladas

1 lb uncooked chicken (or already cooked chicken)
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 can (4.5 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drain off a little of the juice, but not all of it
Flour tortillas
1 or 2 cans (10 oz. can) Green Chile enchilada sauce; depends on if you like a lot of sauce or not
shredded cheddar cheese

Heat Oven 400 deg. Grease 9x13 inch pan.

In a nonstick skillet cook chicken over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Stir in cream cheese, green chiles, black beans, and diced tomatoes; reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir until blended and cream cheese is melted.

Spoon chicken filling into tortillas; roll up and put in pan. Pour enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 min.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Butternut Squash Casserole

This "Casserole" is really very much like a dessert but has squash in it. So you could call it a veggie. :) My friend made it for our dinner group and it was so yummy we all had seconds. She said they have this instead of candied yams for Thanksgiving. I hope you like it.


  • Flesh of 1 cooked butternut squash – about 3 c.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted


  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Combine topping ingredients and set aside.
  2. Blend all ingredients (except topping) in a blender or food processor.
  3. Pour into a greased 9x13” pan.
  4. Bake at 400 F for about 20 minutes, then sprinkle topping over all and return to oven.
  5. Bake another 10-20 minutes, or until casserole is set.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sourdough Pancakes

These have become my favorite pancakes. I love these with buttermilk syrup. The only thing is you have to remember to start them the night before.

Sourdough Pancakes
1 large egg - lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 TBSP water
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsps. butter - melted

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsps. yeast
2 cups milk

In a bowl whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast and 1 cup of the milk. Let mixture stand in a warm place, covered loosely, overnight.
Whisk 1/2 cup milk into the starter. Dissolve baking soda in 2 TBSP. hot water. Add to the starter, remaining flour, egg, salt, sugar, baking soda mixture, butter, and remaining 1/2 cup of milk; whisk until the mixture is combined well. Heat and grease griddle, then cook pancakes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

White Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

These were made up using a vanilla cake mix and an easy white chocolate glaze. I had seen a photo that was just darling and thought I'd have a go...

1 vanilla cake mix
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup water

Start by beating the cream cheese, then add other ingredients and beat well. Bake as cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.

After cooling, top with this glaze:
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted and stirred smooth
1 Tablespoon butter, melted with chips
2-3 Tablespoons evaporated milk, room temp
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat smooth, cool for a few minutes to thicken up a little bit, then spoon over cupcakes, garnishing with extra chips as desired.

These weren't amazing, but if you bake just right and have super moist cupcakes, they would be great (as far as non-dark chocolate treats go!).
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stuffed Bell Peppers

My friend Belle had recommended this idea to me years ago, but it wasn't until today that I decided to try for myself! It was so easy and super tasty!! I took ideas from a couple recipes, so I'll just explain pretty much what I did...

4 Bell Peppers (I used Yellow, but any color works!)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Cut the Tops of the peppers off, then gut and rinse out to get rid of all the seeds (with kids you could cut the peppers down the middle and turn them on their side to "stuff" so they're more shallow and easier to eat). Brush the outsides with Olive Oil. Line up on Baking Sheet or Baking Pan (I used a pan so the excess wouldn't topple off.)

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 Medium Onion, Chopped finely
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Oil
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper
Chili Powder
Onion Powder
1 Fresh Tomato, chopped. (this is what i used, but a few recipes called for canned diced tomatoes and tomato paste...I think this would make it too saucy though...)

Slices of Cheddar, Mozzarella, Provolone, or Munster Cheese

Brown the onions and garlic in the oil, then add the ground beef and spices and brown. At the very end add the fresh diced tomato and toss together.

Put the beef mixture into the bell peppers, stuffing so it's full. Place a slice of cheese on top of each pepper.

Bake at 400 Degrees in the Oven for 20 Minutes, or until cheese is melty and bubbly brown.

Let cool for at least 5 minutes before eating!

(Alternatively, you can put the empty peppers in the oven for 5 minutes before you stuff them. I just didn't because I forgot and only 1/2 the recipes called for it)

Happy Eating!

Australian Chicken

Well, this is really just my friend Anne's recipe for grilled chicken, and since she is from Australia....
Australian Chicken
3/4 cup Reduced Sodium La Choy soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Barbeque sauce, (or any other sauce will do!)
Mix it together and marinade for an hour or longer if you like. Make sure the chicken is fully defrosted before marinating, it just tastes better. Plus I do not use the chicken breast that has been flash frozen. --from Anne

We just estimated all of Anne's ingredients, for simplicity, and that's what she says she does, so... Wade did the grilling and says everyone knows how to grill chicken, just preheat the grill on high, then turn down to medium as soon as all the chicken is on and turn it over several times until done. We also had pineapple to grill on this day, just to add to the joy!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits

I found this Paula Deen recipe about a month ago and I have made it a few times now. And I really like it. I don't have any maraschino cherries so I haven't used them. Also one time I added a little cinnamon to the butter, sugar, and pineapple mix, I really liked it and will probably add cinnamon every time now. If you like pineapple upside-down cake you will probably like these too.
  • 1 (10-ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 10 maraschino cherries
  • 1 (12-ounce) package refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 count) or homemade biscuits
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease 10 cups of a muffin tin. Strain the can of crushed pineapple, save juice for later. Combine the pineapple, sugar, and butter, and mix well. Divide the pineapple mixture among the muffin cups. Place a cherry in the center of each muffin cup, making sure cherry hits bottom of cup. Place 1 biscuit in each cup on top of sugar and pineapple mixture. Spoon 1 teaspoon reserved pineapple juice over each biscuit. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 2 minutes. Invert the pan onto a plate to release the biscuits. Serve warm.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meatloaf Muffins

This may not be a new idea to many of you, but I thought it was ingenious. One of Mary's friends recommended making meatloaf in a muffin tin.

The other day I tried it and it was tasty. I liked that there was a lot of crispy crust. Plus, it baked so quickly. Rachael Ray recommended baking for 20 minutes on 450. (edited to note: the first time I did these, I baked at 350 for 20 minutes... they actually needed a few minutes more. The second time I did it at 450 for 20 minutes and they got a bit burned. So - just watch them. Maybe 20 minutes at 400 would be perfect)

I basically used my mom's recipe with a few changes. I added a little green pepper, with a sauce of A1, Worcestershire, tomato sauce, and a wee bit of ketchup. I used Italian bread crumbs which I had on-hand. I also put a little extra sauce on top before baking.

Here's the original that was in the family cookbook:
Meat Loaf (Shari Price)

1 pound ground beef
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sauce (ketchup, barbeque sauce, tomato or chili sauce)
3/4 cup dry bread cubes (some wheat and some white)
1/2 cup quick oats
1 Tbsp grated onion
just under 1/4 cup finely chopped celery

Beat egg, sauces and spices together. Add remaining ingredients. Form into 1 or 2 loaves.

Bake in 350 oven for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours with foil or sauce spread on top for last 10 minutes.

Here are some other tasty-looking meatloaf recipes posted on this bloggie too.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Simple Wheat Bread

I am feeling very lazy today so i am not going to copy the recipe but this is seriously the best wheat bread recipe I have tried.  I use more wheat flour to white flour than the recipe calls for but it works out great.  I think I may try the flaxseed suggestion next time.

Here is the link

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Katie's Famous Granola

My roommate Katie used to make this granola almost every week. I have to say it's among the best ever. And you don't need a granola roaster pan!!

3 cups oats (I use whole oats, not the quick kind)
1/4 cup and 2tbsp of brown sugar
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup walnuts/pecans (or really any kind of nut you want)
1 tsp cinnamon (if you like cinnamon, I do)

1/4 cup and 2tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup oil (vegetable, olive, canola whatever ya got)
1 tsp salt

Mix the two sets seperately, then combine.
Put on jellyroll sheet.
Bake for 1 hour on 200, stirring every twenty minutes. For the last twenty minutes you can add about 1/4 cup of light karo syrup and mix it in if you want clumpy granola. If you want it cruchier, bake it for an extra twenty minutes.

Cool for 30 mins, then add mix-ins. (My personal favorites are dark & white chocolate chips and craisins.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Strawberry Salad

Salad Dressing:
1/2 c red onion- chopped
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 TBSP Raspberry or Strawberry Jam
2/3 cup white vinegar
2 cups oil

Put everything into the blender except the oil. Add oil as you blend really well. Refrigerate. (My family likes this dressing best after it is cold. If it starts to separate, just shake it up good. )

1. Lettuce- Iceberg, Romain, Spring mix (I truly put whatever I have on hand. These just look pretty)
2. Nuts- Pecans (16 oz bag)
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP water
Salt- pinch
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
Cook until bubbling then add nuts. Cook 2-3 minutes. cool
3. Fontina cheese - Whole block (it's in a triangle shape usually in the specialty cheeses)
4. Parmesan cheese- ( the triangle shaped one and shred it. Or buy the already shredded container)
5. 1 lb bacon - (hormel precooked bacon works great. Microwave for 1 minute and it breaks up perfectly. Sometimes I just buy cheep bacon and cook it normal and break it up after it has cooled. Anything really works)
6. Strawberries (sliced)

I just layer everything starting with the lettuce and ending with the strawberries because they are pretty but you can do it however you want. :) Top will the dressing the enjoy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

When Janey shared this post on Google Reader, I wanted to give this recipe a try. I've made it twice now and we've really enjoyed it.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
by Cooking a la Mode:

With a mixer, beat until fluffy:

1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup Powdered Sugar

Add, the following, and blend until smooth:

1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk

Gently fold in:

1 container cool whip

Serve with various fruits.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

The other day I felt like apple cinnamon streusel muffins and almost picked up a mix at the store... then I decided it would save moo-lah and be healthier and tastier if I could make my own.

I found this Apple Cinnamon Muffins recipe on

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups diced apple

3 tbsp coarse sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and egg. Whisk in melted butter, vegetable oil and vanilla. Working in two or three additions, alternately stir in flour mixture and buttermilk, ending with an addition of flour and mixing only until no streaks of flour remain visible in the batter. Stir in diced apple.

Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups filling each to the top, or slightly over.

In a small bowl, stir together coarse sugar and additional 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle generously over muffins.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Cool muffins on a wire rack.

Makes 12.

(my notes: I love streusel on muffins but this cinnamon/sugar sprinkle was really tasty too.  I would definitely use this topping again.  Also - I wasn't sure about the ginger spice as I'm not the hugest fan of ginger ...  so I just added an extra tsp of cinnamon for extra flavor and left out the ginger.  The muffins were moist and tasty.

Also - I liked the notes on the baking bites site about how the oil helps maintain the moisture in muffins and the butter helps with the flavor.

oh - also - dice the apples before you start.  I remembered when I needed to add them and it took a while.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

MMmmmm Jello Salad (Raspberries and Cream)

I did it! I'm officially a Mormon Wife! Heathy sent me this recipe from here and I couldn't help but try--anything with raspberries AND cream cheese has to be great. it has a slight taste of cheesecake, what could be a better side dish to our easter dinner? Here you go!

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

6 oz Sugar Free Raspberry Jello (the box says .6 oz, don't be fooled!)

10 oz frozen raspberries (defrost partially) (I took the remaining 2 oz from my bag and dumped them in with the cool whip so we'd have whole raspberries in there, too!)

3/4 C sugar

12 oz Cool Whip

2 tsp vanilla

Prepare Jello using only 2 1/2 C of water (1 1/4 hot, 1 1/4 cold). Add frozen raspberries, and let jello partially thicken in fridge. In a separate bowl, blend cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar. Add cream cheese mixture to partially thickened jello and whip together until well blended. Fold in Cool whip. Refrigerate 3 hours until well set. Mmmmmmm delicious!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pina Colada Pound Cakes

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
3 eggs
1 can 14 oz. coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 can 8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained, 3 tablespoons juice reserved
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottoms only of 2 (8x4-inch) loaf pans with baking spray with flour.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, and coconut milk with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in coconut and pineapple. Pour into pans.

Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool 50 minutes.

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and reserved 3 tablespoons pineapple juice. Poke tops of cakes every inch with toothpick. Pour sugar mixture over cakes. Cut each cake into 8 thick slices, using serrated knife.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Peanut Butter Crunch

This is totally from Carol from the family cookbook, but I had it on my blog and wanted to link it to the recipe here, so here it is:

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
8 cups corn flakes

Bring sugar and corn syrup just to boil on medium heat. Remove from heat, stir in peanut butter well. Add to corn flakes and mix well then put in buttered 9x13 pan. Eat by the handful or cut into squares.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Teriyaki Kabobs

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange or pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
other ingredients:
  • steak, cut into cubes
  • Fresh bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange), cut into bite size pieces
  • Sweet onions, cut into bite size pieces
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Skewers, if wooden, soaked in water for 20 to 30 minutes


Mix all ingredients together for the marinate, then add the other ingredients and marinate the kabobs before grilling.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I'm taking a meal to a gal in my ward who just had a baby. And I'm wondering what your favorite meal/s are to take that are simple, easy, and tasty for all. Do you do a casserole, crock pot dish, soup? It sometimes seems tricky to keep it warm (yet not mushy), fresh, and generally yummy.

Any ideas?

Homemade Yogurt

I hope this make sense. I tried to add in what I do. Good luck and enjoy. I am not an expert but If you have any questions let me know and I will try and answer them.

* 1/2 gallon whole milk (can use whole, 2%, 1% or skim milk- the higher fat the creamier and thicker the yogurt)
* 1/2 cup room temperature plain yogurt with "live cultures" (I recommend Dannon Plain Yogurt, because it is made with milk and cultures, other brands have other fillers in them and I don't want that.)


1. Bring milk to just a boil and then set aside to cool. While you are heating the milk remember to stir almost constantly so it doesn't burn on the bottom. (I have forgotten to stir frequently and it burned, but I still able to use it. If this happens just don't scrape the bottom or your yogurt will have cottage cheese like curds in it.)
2. Cool just enough not to bite the finger to touch, (about 120°F). (I don't have a thermometer so the trick is to let the milk cool until you can keep your finger in it to the count of ten. It takes about 45 minutes to get to this temperature.) Sometimes a skin will form while the milk is cooling. I like to remove it because it feels like plastic in your mouth when eaten. But it doesn't have to be removed.
3. Pour warm milk in a glass or Pyrex bowl and add the plain yogurt with"live culture".
4. Mix well by stirring the starter in, and cover.
5. Completely cover the bowl with towels top and bottom to maintain an even temperature. I put mine into a cooler and surround it with towels to keep the temperature warm.
6. Keep covered at room temperature until the cultures have set, about 6-8 hours. The longer it sits the tangier it gets.
7. Carefully pour off the whey (liquid) that forms on the top.
8. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.
9. To store, keep in refrigerator.
10. If you like, you can add a spoonful or two of fruit preserves/jam and a bit of vanilla before serving.

This will make a runnier yogurt. If you would like to make it thicker follow these instructions:

Follow instructions above until #7 then do this:

1. Line a medium-large bowl with a piece of cheesecloth or a clean white dish towel.
2. Dump a the yogurt into the center of the cloth.
3. Bring the four corners of the cloth together and lift the yogurt.
4. Place the cloth containing the yogurt in a strainer or colander, and place the strainer or colander in a bowl where it doesn't touch the bottom (so that the liquid can continue to drain).
5. Place the bowl containing the strainer/colander in the refrigerator and allow to drain for 2-3 hours. I dump the whey out of the bowl every hour. Strain until you get the consistency you like.
6. After straining using a spatula, put the yogurt in a bowl for use.
7. Return yogurt to the fridge another hour or two.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Dip

This recipe is so easy to make and so good. I ended up heating it in a pan on the stove over medium-low heat until everything was heated through.

2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can 5 oz. evaporated milk
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 can 4 oz. chopped green chilies
1 envelope taco seasoning
Tortilla chips

In a 2-qt. microwave-safe dish, combine the first eight ingredients. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4-5 minutes; stir. Microwave, uncovered, 3-4 minutes longer or until heated through. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 3 cups.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Frozen Yogurt

This frozen yogurt is so good. I make it with homemade yogurt, but store bought will work too. The recipe I use for homemade yogurt is coming. Enjoy!

3 cups strained plain yogurt* or Greek-style yogurt
2/3 -3/4 cup sugar (depends on how tangy you want it)

Mix together the yogurt, sugar. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

*To make strained yogurt, line a strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth. Gather the ends and fold them over the yogurt, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. So, for the above recipe start with and strain 6 cups of yogurt.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wheat and Oat Bread

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1-1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons bread flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups bread flour
  1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 1/4 cup warm water, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 2 TBSP bread flour, and yeast. Let grow for about 5 minutes. It will bubble almost immediately.
  2. Measure oats, 2 1/4 cups warm water, whole wheat flour, salt, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup oil into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed slightly, and begin adding bread flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Humidity determines how much flour you need before the bread pulls away from the edge of the bowl. It is normal for the dough to be sticky.
  3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into 3 pieces. Shape loaves, and place in greased 8 x 4 inch pans. Let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim of pans, usually 1 hour.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until tops are browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Easy Marinara

My brother-in-law shared this recipe with me, and I love it. It is easy and very good.

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon, olive oil

1 carrot, minced

2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce

(sea) salt and black pepper

2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 tea dried basil

1 Tablespoon minced fresh oregano or ½ tea dried oregano

3 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley or 1 ½ dried parsley

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in carrot. Sauté 2 or 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, basil and oregano. Simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 cups for about 1 pound of pasta

Sweet White Bread

This is one of our favorite bread recipes. I know it is not the healthiest because it isn't made with whole wheat and it has a lot of sugar, but it is so good. Ryan actually likes to add 1 cup of sugar instead of 2/3 cup. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

2 cups warm water

2/3 cup white sugar

1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ cup vegetable oil

6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam. About 10 minutes.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth ( or 5-7 minutes in a stand-up mixer). Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich

This is another one of our favorite sandwiches. This one comes from The Pioneer Woman.

Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich
2 to 3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that’s been extra-tenderized
1 large onion OR 2 small/medium onions
4 French/Deli rolls
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Worcestershire Sauce

-Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.
-Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.
-Heat 2 TBSP butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown.
-Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.
-Add 1/2 cup (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 TBSP butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.
-Butter halved French rolls and brown on skillet.
-To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonfull of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!

Southwest Toasted Meatloaf Melt with Avocado Salsa and Cilantro Mayonnaise

This recipe is awesome. It became an instant favorite. I won this cook book on the Picky Palate back in the summer. Anyway, this was her recipe featured in the cook book and she has it on her blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Southwest Toasted Meatloaf Melt with Avocado Salsa and Cilantro Mayonnaise

1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ Cup garlic and herb dry bread crumbs
4 oz can diced green chilies
¼ Cup finely chopped onion
¼ Cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 ripe avocados peeled, seeded and diced into ½ inch cubes
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2/3 cup tomato diced
1/2 cup finely diced red onions
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed


¾ Cup mayonnaise
¼ Cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
1 tea ground cumin
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

4 slices cheddar cheese
8 slices sourdough bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, green chilies, onions, bell pepper, garlic, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Form into loaf and place into meatloaf pan that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until meatloaf is cooked through and top has browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine diced avocados, lime juice, cumin, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, salt and pepper. Toss gently, cover and refrigerate until serving.
In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, cilantro, cumin and black pepper. Mix until well combined. Set aside.

When meatloaf has been removed from oven, preheat oven’s broiler. Place cheese onto 4 of the slices of bread. Place all 8 slices under broiler for 1-2 minutes or until lightly toasted and cheese melted. Spread generous portions of the cilantro mayonnaise onto the insides of the 4 toasts without the cheese. Slice the meatloaf into 8 equal slices. Place 2 slices of meatloaf onto the cheese side of the toasts. Top the meatloaf with divided avocado salsa, and place the remaining toast on top to close sandwich.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This recipe sounds weird, especially if you're not a vegan. BUT, I'm not a vegan, and I just happen to be obsessed with soy products, so I'm lovin' it. PLUS, it seems healthy somehow....

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe

1/2 cup organic chocolate soy milk
9 or 10 ounce bag of semisweet vegan chocolate chips (NOT carob chips)
12 ounces silken tofu
1 teaspoon natural pure almond extract

Pour the chocolate milk into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove the milk from heat and let cool a bit while you melt down the chocolate chips.

You can melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave. In the microwave, just melt in 30 second increments, and stir between each.

Add the soy milk and silken tofu to the melted chocolate chips. Process with a hand or regular blender until completely smooth. Stir in the almond extract. Taste and adjust for flavor, adding a bit more extract if needed.

Chill in the big bowl (or in individual bowls) for at least 1 1/2 hours, the longer the better.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearty Black Bean Soup

It was cold and blustery today here in Phoenix (o.k 58* and windy, but that is cold to us) and soup sounded good.  I got this recipe from a Taste of Home cookbook.  I was a little skeptical while it was cooking, but it ended up being very tasty and was perfect for the day.  For my family I essentially halved this recipe.

Hearty Black Bean Soup
3 medium carrots, halved and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (30 oz.) black beans
2 cans (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (15 oz.) crushes tomatoes ( I used diced)
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (I left this out)

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-9 hours or until vegetables are tender.  

Optional: If you have left over meat - smoked sausage, browned ground beef or roast you can toss it in for the last 30 minutes of cooking.  You can also serve over hot rice.

I didn't serve over rice because I wanted soup but I did cook up an Italian sausage and threw it in there for the last 30 minutes.  It really was good and the kids ate it up.  Unfortunately the bread didn't come out of the oven until an hour after we ate, but it was still good with crackers.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Egg Rolls

This recipe came from a dear friend we met during school up in Moscow - Becki Richardson. They were an excellent addition to our dinner tonight of sweet and sour chicken, and fried rice and were even better when dipped in the sweet and sour sauce. Tasty stuff people. Tasty stuff.

1/2 pound ground beef
4 cups chopped green cabbage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1 large celery stalk, grated

2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Brown meat and drain. Add vegetables and cook until done. Stir in sauce until mixture is well-coated. Put large spoonful into each wrap and fry on both sides until golden brown. Serve warm.

The first time I made these my oil wasn't near hot enough and the insides were saturated with oil. Not so tasty. This time I heated it over medium-high heat and those little rolls stayed sealed and were perfect.

I think the family has the sweet and sour chicken recipe, but if you don't let me know and I'll post it along with the Benihana Fried Rice.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Curried Salad

My friend Beth made this recipe for us and it is my favorite salad recipe. I am posting it the way she made it for us which is a little different than the original she has posted on her blog. If ever asked to bring a salad to a dinner this is what I will take. The flavors are so good together. YUM, YUM YUM!!! I love this Salad!

Curried Salad

  • 1-2 heads of romaine lettuce (or any other kind)
  • 1/2 c. grilled pineapple, cut into bite size pieces or smaller
  • 3/4 c. cashew halves
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • 1 t. fresh rosemary
  • 1 t. curry powder
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt (unless the cashews are already salted)
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 3 T. vinegar
  • 3 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2 T. honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Toast cashews in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, until golden brown. Remove from pan to a separate and cooler location.
2. Grill the pineapple chunks.
3. Mix the melted butter, curry, sugar, cayenne, salt (if needed), cashews and rosemary- shake it up in a Tupperware for added ease and storage. If you do not have fresh rosemary, you can use the dried spice in half the amount. However, I recommend fresh rosemary because it's not so poky in the mouth.
4. Dressing: Stir together the vinegar, mustard and honey. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
5. Toss the greens, pineapple and top with the tasty nut ensemble. Serve the dressing on the side to be added according to everyone's preference.