Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gooey Cereal Snack Mix

I got this recipe from my in-laws the other day.  They were making a large batch for Christmas and to take around to the neighbors.  It is really addicting stuff!

8 c. chex (use a mixture of cinnamon, honey nut, rice, corn...whatever you like, but at least use 2)
4 c. popped popcorn
4 c. kix
2 c. peanuts

2 c. sugar
1 c. whip cream
1 c. karo syrup
1 c. butter

Put first set of ingredients into large bowl.
Put second set of ingredients into large saucepan and begin to heat.  Cook until thermometer reads 235 degrees F, stirring constantly. add 1 tsp vanilla when up to temperature. pour over cereal mixture immediately, mix, and let cool on flat pan to cool.

Strawberry Banana Trifle

More trifles!  They are incredibly yummy!  This is a good one for the spring or summer, when strawberries are in season!  This recipe I found on All Recipes.

1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 (9 inch) angel food cake, cut in cubes
4 bananas, sliced
1 (16 ounce) package frozen strawberries, thawed (or use fresh strawberries)
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1.Prepare pudding with milk according to package directions. In a trifle bowl or other glass serving dish, layer half the cake pieces, half the pudding, half the bananas, half the strawberries and half the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Cover and chill in refrigerator 4 hours before serving.

Strawberry Brownie Trifle

I wish I had taken this picture before the layers all blended together.  Oh well :)  I got this particular recipe from cooking club.  Thanks Erin!  There is something about trifles that is so elegant, the presentation is beautiful!  Maybe one of these days I'll get a trifle dish and it will look even better!

1 pkg. brownie mix
2 1/2 c. cold milk
1 pkg. instant cheesecake pudding mix
1 pkg. instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 carton fresh strawberries, sliced
2 Heath candy bars, chopped (optional)

Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Cool completely. Beat the milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Fold in the whipped topping. Cut the brownies into 1 inch cubes; place 1/2 in a glass serving dish. Cover with 1/2 of the pudding and 1/2 of the strawberries. Repeat layers. Sprinkle top with crushed Heath bars if desired

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts #3

I love bacon wrapped water chestnuts.  There are so many variations...this is a good one!  My friend Allyson submitted this recipe for cooking club this month.

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ketchup
1 pound bacon
2 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup. Cut bacon in half. Wrap one slice of bacon around each chestnut. Secure the bacon with a toothpick. Arrange the water chestnut wraps in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake the water chestnut wraps for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from water chestnut wraps from the oven and drain some of the grease out of the pan. Pour the sauce over the wraps. Bake for 30 to 35 more minutes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Maybe it's just me, but I had never heard of a dessert cheeseball until I heard about this one at cooking club.  I tried it for an ugly sweater party we had last week, and it is awesome!  It just tastes like a really yummy cream cheese frosting with chocolate chips and nuts.  Thanks to Jenny Snow for submitting this one!  SO GOOD!  Trust me....

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in confectioners sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped nuts before serving. Serve with Chocolate or Honey graham cracker sticks.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Toffee Apple Dip

My mom made this dip when I went home to visit over Christmas. It is fabulous! She first saw it on Good Things Utah, which always has fun new recipes. This one in particular is from Kneaders. I have only tried it with apples, but I want to try it with pumpkin bread, as the recipe suggests. Yummy!

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 toffee candy bars, crushed (or 1/2 bag toffee chips)

Mix all ingredients except for toffee bar together until incorperated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Add chopped toffee bars right before serving. Serve cold with Kneaders pumpkin bread, sliced apples or other fruit, or ginger snaps.

Chinese Chicken Salad

I have had quite a few versions of this salad and have never been disappointed!  It makes me feel really healthy for some reason!  It would probably also be very good with diced celery, water chestnuts, sunflower seeds, or bell peppers

Chinese Chicken Salad

2 bags shredded cabbage
1 eight oz. pkg slivered (or sliced) almonds*
2 pkgs. Ramen Roodles, broken (oriental or chicken flavor)
1 bunch green onions sliced (white and green parts)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (optional)


1c. vegetable or canola oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1tsp. pepper
3/4 c. rice vinegar
1 flavor packet from ramen noodles

Mix all ingredients together to dressing and refrigerate (the longer the better, 24 hours if you have the time).  Toss salad ingredients togehter and drizzle dressing over the top.  I have found that there is too much dressing, and the salad gets drowned if you used it all, so use a little bit at a time.

*Optional: Put almonds in saute pan with 3 Tbsp sugar and stir until sugar melts and coats nuts to a golden brown.

Peppermint Bark

This stuff is so easy, yet a great Christmas treat!  It's a good alternative to all the cookies/fudge/cake/pies/whatever your favorite Christmas treat may be!

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag white chocolate chips
6-8 candy canes


Spread a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double broiler. Once melted smooth, spread into a thin layer on the cookie sheet. Place in freezer until it is cooled and hard.  Melt the white chocolate chips the same way. When it is smooth pour in most of the crushed candy canes, saving some for the top. Spread this layer on top of the chocolate layer quickly, before the dark chocolate starts to melt again.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining candy canes and push lightly into the soft white chocolate.  Freeze again. Once cooled, break into pieces of the desired size and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sausage and Potato Hash

One of Nate's creations. Tastes great for breakfast or dinner.  I like mine with a little ketchup, although he refuses to put anything on it!  He says what makes this one so good is the steak seasoning.

1 lb. bulk sausage (regular or spicy)
3-4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped finely
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 eggs
Spicy Montreal steak seasoning

In a frying pan, cook sausage. Set aside. Add onions and potatoes to pan and cook until potatoes are tender. Add in steak seasoning to taste. Add sausage back in with potatoes and heat through. Crack 2-3 eggs over top and add cheddar cheese. Stir until eggs are done and cheese melted.

Hot Artichoke Dip

We had this tasty dip last week at cooking club (which is a monthly club we have through our Church).  It was a big hit.  I am a big fan of hot yummy dips.  Thanks Lacey Stewart for sharing!

1 Cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded parmesean cheese
1/2 cup mozarella cheese
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 splashes tobasco sauce
1 pinch of salt
1 - 14oz can artichoke hearts

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, put in fridge
Bake @ 350 for 20 min
Serve with crackers

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Minty Brownie Bites

I saw this one on the Picky Palate website the other day, and since I had a Christmas party this weekend, I thought I'd try it out.  They tasted pretty good.  In addition to the peepermint brownies, I did some with Andes mints in the center and chopped up on top as well.  I used mini muffin tins instead of the mini cheesecake ones, and they turned out just fine!

1 brownie mix 9×13 inch size
18 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
3 original candy canes, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and scoop into a mini cheesecake pan or mini muffin tin pan that has been generously sprayed with cooking spray, about 3/4 way full. Press kisses into center of brownie batter, do not push all the way to bottom, some of the tip should stick out the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. Let cool completely.

2. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, 30 second intervals until smooth and melted. Stir in cream until silky smooth. You can place back in microwave for 10 seconds to smooth more if needed. Dip tops of brownies into melted chocolate, then sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

Meatball Sub

Okay...not really a recipe, just putting it on here for a dinner idea more than anything!

Frozen precooked meatballs
Sub rolls
sliced cheese (provolone is my favorite)
garlic powder
jar of marinara sauce (your favorite)

Cook meatballs with marinara sauce per package directions.  Spread thin layer of butter on each side of sub roll and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Place meatballs on rolls and cover with cheese.  Place in broiler for 1-2 minutes (or until cheese gets slightly browned and bubbly

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

"Soup is not a meal."  This is what I have heard my entire life.  First from my dad and brother, and now my husband.  Well you know what...this soup is so tasty! I found it on Family Favorite RecipesIt almost reminds me of Cafe Rio's tortilla soup minus the corn this one has.  It was really easy to make, which makes things even better.  To make those happy that think soup is not a meal, I served mine with  Quesadilla Rice and Bean Wraps.  Don't go by this picture, it is much tastier than it looks!

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. oil
1 onion, chopped
½ tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 (14.5oz) can chicken broth
2 cans corn (drained)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
1-2 c. salsa (I just used was in the refrigerator
1 c. tortilla chips
½ c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 avacado, diced

In large pot boil chicken for about 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken, cool, and shred. In a large skillet cook onion, garlic in the oil and add cumin. Cook until onions become clear. Drain water from the pot you cooked the chicken in add chicken broth and onion & garlic mixture. Add shredded chicken,corn, chili powder, lemon (or lime) juice and salsa to the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-40 min. Top with corn chips, cheese, avacado, and a little sour cream.

Quesadilla Rice and Bean Wraps

My son is obsessed with these.  We let him try it just to see his reaction, and he really gobbled them down!  This was surprising to me because it has ingredients like chili powder, garlic, cumin, and green onions.  Oh well...we'll keep giving it to him, it made lots of extra rice.  I got this recipe from Sisters' Cafe.

1 cup cooked brown rice, warm or at room temperature
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green parts)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1-2 cups shredded cheese

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Pretzels

Easy.  We're talking like a 5 minute treat (other than waiting for the oven to heat up).  I made these for a playgroup we had this week.  There is something about the chocolate/salt combo that leaves you wanting more!  This is also a great one for the kids...unwrapping the kisses and placing them on the pretzels, pressing in an M+M...they can do that!

1 bag waffle style pretzels
1 bag Rolos or caramel centered kisses
M+Ms (I've also had them with a pecan pressed in the middle)

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spread waffle pretzels over cookie sheet.  Place Rolo or kiss over each pretzel.  Place in oven for 2 minutes....NO LONGER!  Press M+M (or pecan) into center and let cool.

Creamy Hot Sausage Dip

This one, always a crowd pleaser.  My husband's family calls it barf dip, not too appetizing of a name.  So we'll stick with my "creamy hot sausage dip"....that way you may want to try it still, and you should, because it is oh so good yet oh so bad (if you know what I mean!)  You can make it spicier with medium or hot sausage, or hot Rotel tomatoes rather than the original flavors.

Creamy Hot Sausage Dip

1 lb. ground pork sausage
1 1/2c. chopped onion
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained (I use rotel)
1 (8 Oz) package cream cheese
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

Place pork sausage in large deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain. Stir in onions. Cook until slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Mix in diced tomatoes with green chile peppers. Stirring occasionally, let simmer about 15 minutes. Blend cream cheese and sour cream into sausage mixture. Season with crushed red pepper flakes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Pepperjack Potato Soup

I saw this the other day on On My Menu, and considering the frigid temperatures outside, I thought soup would be a great thing for dinner last night.  It is a great twist on your typical potato soup!

3 strips of bacon (I used a little bit more....bacon is yummy!)
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed (I used 3 cloves of garlic because I love it!)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups cubed russet potatoes (I used 2 1/2 large potatoes)
1/4 cup butter (I used 3 T)
1/4 cup flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
8 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp ground white pepper (I just used regular old pepper)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground thyme


1. fry the bacon, crumble and set aside

2. heat the oil in a soup pot on med heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and the bell peppers; cook and stir just until the onions are soft. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat and simmer about 8-10 minutes, or until carrots are cooked.

3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a medium saucepan until they are just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the soup with bacon. Wipe out the pan if necessary and use if for the next step.

4. Melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and turn the heat up slightly and whisk until the mixture is bubbly. Add the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Add to the soup.

5. Stir in the cheese and continue to cook until the cheese melts. Do not boil. Add the white pepper, salt, and thyme. Serve immediately with some yummy bread!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

One Bowl Brownies

I hate making desserts when it dirties up a few different bowls/pots/lots of measuring cups!  This one will same you the hassle of cleaning so many bowls!  They were very good.  I think they were better the next day, after they cooled down completely and got all fudgified!.

One Bowl Brownies
From:  the Sisters Cafe

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chunks, it's what I had)

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl melt butter in microwave, then stir in oil, sugar and cocoa. With a wooden spoon stir in the remainder of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Spread into a 9x13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. If your toothpick comes out clean you have cooked them too long! DO NOT OVERCOOK!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Taco Soup

Comfort food....that's what this is.  We had it tonight after it had been raining all day, and it just sounded yummy.  It's so easy to make, after browning the meat, everything else is just dumped in.  That's it.  Nothing fancy, just plain goodness.  After looking at a few different recipes, I threw this one together.

1lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 can green chiles, undrained
1 can corn, undrained
1 16 oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel tomatoes, original flavor
1 pkg. taco seasoning

shredded cheese
avacado, diced
corn chips (we like chili cheese Fritos)
sour cream
sliced olives

Brown beef with onions until cooked through.  Drain fat.  In a large pot, combine beef and onion mixture with the tomato sauce, kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, and green chiles.  Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes and garnish as desired.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

What are the attributes to a great enchilada....cheesy, saucy, meaty, and spicy.  This one definitely covers the bases, and is probably one of the best chicken enchiladas I've ever had.  This one I adapted some from Sisters' Cafe.  It is quite mouth-watering.  Just a few changes from the recipe they shared.

6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas (I used fajita-size)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup sour cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Pour about 1/3 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cordon Bleu Meatloaf

While looking around for a new meatloaf recipe, this one caught my eye.  I found it on All Recipes, and it is definitely a little different than your everyday meatloaf.  It has the yummy ham and cheese in the middle to make it extra good!  This definitely was not a dry meatloaf, just moist and scrumptious!

2 pounds extra-lean ground beef (substituting one lb. of sausage for one pound of beef would probably be good as well)
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
4 ounces provolone cheese, sliced

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pat the meat mixture out onto a piece of waxed paper, and flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Lay slices of ham onto the flattened meat, and top with slices of cheese. Pick up the edge of the waxed paper to roll the flattened meat up into a log. Remove waxed paper, seal the ends and seam, and place the loaf into a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

3.Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the loaf is no longer pink inside.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Orange Chicken

My husband said this is better than takeout Chinese food!  Oh so yummy!  We served it over rice to complete the meal.  It was really tasty, and the leftovers were great as well!  Unfortunately, can't take credit for this yummy Make-Your-Own-Takeout.  I have to give credit to  It is one of many tasty treasures!


2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2” cubes)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 eggs (beaten)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce:

1 cup water
2 tablespoons FRESH orange juice
¼ cup FRESH lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons green onion (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Amazing Sauce

What does Ohio NOT have, WINGERS!  There are days when we crave our favorite Sticky Finger dinner.  We used to buy bottles of Amazing sauce when we'd fly back to Utah for vacation, but $6.00 a bottle, there had to be a better way to re-create this yummy goodness.... and this is it! I honestly can't remember where this came from, but it seems that everyone knows about it!

For the sauce:

**Covers about 8 sticky fingers
3 Tbsp. Franks Hot Sauce (It has to be Franks Hot Sauce... no other sauce will taste as good)
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. water

Heat up hot sauce, brown sugar and water in a saucepot until all the sugar dissolves.

For the Sticky Fingers:
1 c. oil
1 pkg. frozen breaded chicken fingers

In a frying pan, heat oil and cook chicken fingers until crispy and warm. Pour sauce over (or put them in a Tupperware with some of the sauce and shake it up until the chicken is completely covered in sauce). Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

This recipe is one that I came up with after looking at about 5 different recipes and pulling out bits and pieces from each one.  They turned out really good!

1 box jumbo shells, cooked per box instructions (drained and set aside)
1 1/2 c. chicken, cooked and diced
1 box frozen spinach, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. parmesean cheese grated or the powder stuff
1 egg, beaten
2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place small amount of sauce in bottom of a 9x13 inch pan, just enough to lightly coat.  Combine all ingredients (except spaghetti sauce and 1c. of the mozzarella cheese) in bowl and blend well.  Spoon into shells.  Spoon the rest of the spaghetti sauce over shells.  Place foil over top of pan and cook for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and place the other 1c. mozzarella on shells and cook for additional 5-7 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chicken Piccata Pasta

I never had chicken piccata until I worked at McKay-Dee Hospital.  I loved it, and everytime they had it, I had to get it.  I found a good recipe for it on Everyday Italian (Giada DeLaurentis), and have loved  it.  Now, I have found the pasta version of this yummy lemony chicken and had to try!  Since I don't have any white wine around, I just use some extra chicken stock, and things turn out just fine.

8 oz penne rigate, dry, cooked
4 chicken breast halves, boneless skinless, 4 oz each
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth, low sodium
2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
2 tbsp capers, drained

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

2. Coat skillet with nonstick spray. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and brown on all sides over medium-high heat (about 4 - 5 minutes). Remove chicken from pan.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Saute garlic for 1 minute. Add flour and cook until thick and bubbly (1-2 min). Then whisk in wine for 1 minute, then the juice from one half lemon and broth. Stir in capers. Add more lemon juice to taste.

4. Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Layered Chocolate Dessert

One of my favorites growing up.  Anything that has chocolate and whip cream is okay in my book!


1 c. flour
½ c. chopped walnuts
½ c. melted butter

Combine and spread in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes then cool.


8 oz cream cheese
1 c. powdered. sugar
1 c. cool whip

Blend cream cheese and sugar fold in whip cream. Then spread on crust.  Make 2 small packages of chocolate pudding according to the directions on the package and spread on cream cheese layer. Spread the rest of cool whip on top. Let chill at least 4 hours before serving.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parmesan Garlic Squash

I have recently developed a love for squash.  This tastes really yummy as a side to pasta and many other dishes.

2-3 zucchini and/or summer squash
Garlic salt
Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Cut zucchini/summer squash in thin slices and arrange half evenly in baking dish. Place thin slices of butter on top (to taste... I used ~1.5-2 tbsp total). Sprinkle generously with garlic salt, Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Layer the rest of the zucchini and squash and repeat. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes (until center of zucchini/squash is becoming clear). Uncover and bake 5 more minutes.

Southwest Chili Mac

Another winner I found from the website On My Menu.  It is a tasty twist to a classic, and only one pan!  That's always a happy thing when there is only one pan to clean.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, minced
3/4 tablespoon chili powder (I used more like 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce (I used 1 15oz. can)
2 cups water
8 ounces elbow macaroni (I used cavatappi)
1 cup frozen corn
1 4.5-oz can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese

Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, chili powder, coriander, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook the ground beef until it is no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat or grease (the amount will depend on how lean your beef is). Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, water, and macaroni. Cover and cook, stirring often and keeping the heat at a steady simmer, until the macaroni is tender, about 12-12 minutes.

Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, frozen corn, green chiles and cilantro and sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top. Cover and let sit off the heat until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Skillet

This is a yummy all-in-one meal.  It is adapted slightly from the Picky Palate.  It tastes really well as leftovers as well.  I get the sausage from Sam's Club...they have diffrent flavors. This last time I think I used spinach and asiago cheese. It was fabulous!

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bell pepper (any color you have on hand), diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cheese filled chicken sausages, thinly sliced
4 Cups broccoli florets, steamed until fork tender
4 Cups cooked long grain white rice
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
a few dashes Tobasco Sauce or hot much as you'd like

Heat olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute bell pepper for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic; cook for 1 minutes then add chicken slices. Cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is browned on both sides. Add broccoli, rice, hot sauce, and parmesan cheese.  Heat through and enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Orange Honey Grilled Chicken Strips

This tasty chicken recipe I found on Sister's Cafe, tried it today, and it was fabulous!  I love orange zest and cilantro, and to combine the both of them...yummy!

1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 TB butter softened
2 TB finely chopped scallions
2 TB fresh orange juice
2 TB chopped cilantro leaves
1 TB honey
1-2 TB grated orange zest, 1/2 to whole orange

Cut each chicken breast into 3 length wide strips. Thread 3 strips accordion style, on each of 4-6 long metal or wooden skewers. If using wood skewers, soak them for at least 20 minutes in cold water before using to prevent scorching on the grill. To make the basting sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the butter, scallions, orange juice, cilantro, honey, and orange zest. Brush about half of the sauce on the chicken, covering each strip well. Set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes. If you have to let the chicken marinate longer refrigerate. 

Prepare grill to medium hot. Grill chicken about 15 minutes, turning several times, until the chicken is cooked through but still moist. Baste several times with the remaining basting sauce. Stop basting 5 minutes before the chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the grill and serve immediately.

Sauteed Broccoli

Yummy side dish!  It's great with grilled chicken, steak, or pork!

1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
dash of soy sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in pan   Place all ingredient in pan and cook on medium heat under tender.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fudge Crinkles

I loved these cookies growing up...found this recipe on Sister's Cafe and love it!  You definitely can't beat how easy they are!

1 box Devils Food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together first 3 ingredients. Dust hands with powdered sugar then roll dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on greased cookie sheet (or silpat, ungreased of course). Bake 8-10 minutes. Don't overbake! They should puff up during baking and flatten with cooling.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chipotle Chicken Rolls with Avacodo Dipping Sauce

Another winner from Rachael Ray.  This is from her book 365: No Repeats.  I know it looks like there are a million steps, but really isn't bad at all....and it is worth it!

1 pkg (1 1/3lb) ground chicken breast
6 scallions, thinly sliced, then chopped
1 1/2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped or 3 tablespoons of a chipotle flavored salsa
salt and fresh ground black pepper
6 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Dipping Sauce

1 ripe Hass avocado
juice of 3 limes
handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1 tsp coarse salt
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.

In a bowl, combine ground chicken, scallions, cheddar cheese, garlic, and chipotles and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a sealable plastic bag. To turn the sealable plastic bag into a homemade pastry bag, trim 1 1/2 inches off one of the bottom corners of the plastic bag. Push the chicken mixture to the cut corner without pushing it through the hole. Reserve while you prepare the phyllo.

Arrange 1 sheet of phyllo dough with the long side closest to you on your kitchen counter, brush liberally from edge to edge with melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Place another sheet of phyllo on top, again brush liberally with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the third layer of phyllo.

Place the trimmed end of the pastry bag 1/2 inch in from the left side and 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the phyllo sheet. Squeeze half of the chicken mixture from the bag while moving along in a straight line from left to right. Roll the front edge of the phyllo sheet away from you, encasing the chicken mixture. Continue until you have completed a long roll. Tuck the ends in and then brush the entire outside of the phyllo log with more melted butter. Transfer the first log to a rimmed cookie sheet, putting the seam side down. Repeat this process to make a second log with the remaining chicken mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until the log feels firm to the touch.

While the phyllo-wrapped chicken is in the oven, cut the avocado in half lengthwise, cutting around the pit. Separate the halves and scoop out the pit with a spoon, then use the spoon to scoop the avocado from it's skin. Place the avocado in a food processor and combine with lime juice, cilantro, coarse salt, and about 3 tablespoons of water. Process until avocado mixture is smooth, then stream the EVOO into the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Once the chipotle chicken rolls are cooked, remove from oven and let them cool just enough to handle. Cut each roll in half, then cut each half in 3 equal pieces. Serve 3 chicken rolls per person on a bed of Bibb lettuce with a dish of dipping sauce.

Taco Tot Casserole

This is such an easy meal.  It's one of those that the leftovers almost taste better than it does right out of the oven.  We found the recipe on the back of the Ore-Ida tator tot bag.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 package (1.25 oz.) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
1 can (11 oz.) corn with peppers, drained
1 can (11 oz.) condensed nacho cheese soup, undiluted
4 cups Ore-Ida® Tater Tots®, Onion Tater Tots® or Hot Tots®
salsa and sour cream (optional)

Heat oven to 375°. Cook ground beef with taco seasoning mix according to package directions. Spoon meat mixture into an ungreased 11 X 17-inch baking dish or 2-quart casserole. Spoon corn over meat mixture; spread soup over corn. Arrange frozen Tater Tots® in a single layer over soup. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned and mixture is bubbly. Serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Thank you again Paula Deen! This sounds absolutely serendipitous! There is nothing better than chocolate!

3 ounces best-quality chocolate (or a variety of your favorites)
2 teaspoons store bought hot chocolate mix
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice
Whipped cream, for garnish
Chocolate shavings, for garnish
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a small heavy saucepan or in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended.

Remove from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the remaining 1 cup of milk, the chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cram and chocolate shavings.

Honey Chicken Over Snow Pea Rice

Rachael Ray has some yummy recipes...this is one I've really enjoyed.  I usually use the pre-grated ginger in the bottle instead of the fresh stuff, and it tastes just as fabulous.

•3 tbls vegetable oil
•1 tbls unsalted butter
•1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
•1/2 cup dry white wine (a couple of glugs)
•4 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
•Zest and juice of 1 lemon
•2 large handfuls snow peas, thinly sliced across the width
•2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
•1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
•1 large onion, sliced
•3 large garlic cloves, chopped
•3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
•3 tbls honey
•1 tbls cornstarch
•5 scallions, thinly sliced

1.Heat a medium saucepan or pot over medium-high heat
2.Add 1 tbls of the vegetable oil and the butter to the pot.
3.Once the butter melts, add the rice, season with salt and pepper, and lightly brown the rice for 3 to 5 minutes.
4.Add the wine and allow it to evaporate entirely, 1 to 2 minutes.
5.Add 3 cups chicken stock and the lemon zest to the rice.
6.Bring the liquid to a boil.
7.Cover and reduce the heat.
8.Cook the rice for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
9.Once the rice only has about 3 more minutes of cook time, remove the lid and add the sliced snow peas. *Don't stir the rice; just add the snow peas on top and put the lid on.* They should still have some crunch to them.
10.While the rice is cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tbls of vegetable oil.
11.Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and brown for about 3 minutes.
12.Add the red pepper flakes, onions, garlic, ginger, and honey.
13.Stir frequently and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onions are tender.
14.Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the pan and bring up to a simmer.
15.Once at a simmer, combine the cornstarch with a splash of water, and mix to create a thin paste.
16.Add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering chicken, mix thoroughly, and continue to cook for 2 minutes, or until the liquid is thickened.
17.Add the sliced scallions and the lemon juice to the chicken and stir to combine.
18.Serve the honey chicken over the snow pea rice.

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

This one is from the queen of butter...Paula Deen.  They are not overly pumpkin-y, which my husband prefers.  The frosting is the perfect compliment to these bars.  All I can say is yummy!  

I took the advice from others and put this onto a cookie sheet rather than a 9x13in pan, and cooked them for 20 minutes rather than 30.  They turned out perfect and were the perfect size, not too thick! 

*Update:  I have made these in a 9x13 pan and thought they were great this way as well...just depends on how many you need to feed!  

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


4 eggs
1 2/3 c. granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
1-15 oz can pumpkin
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1tsp. baking soda


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using electric mixer, combine eggs, oil, pumpkin, and sugar until light and fluffy.  Combine other dry ingredients together in separate bowl.  Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture slowly while using mixer on low speed until smooth.  Spread the batter into a 9x13 inch pan.  Bake 30 minutes. Let cool.

For icing:

Combine cream cheese and butter with electric mixer until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Stir in vanilla and mix.  Spread over bars.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baked Potato Soup With All the Fixings

The only thing about it being cold outside is "soup season."  There is nothing like making a big pot of soup after being stuck in the cold all day.  This one was quite yummy.  Melinda submitted the recipe at cooking club a few months back, and I've been wanting to try it...and here it is!

2 lbs. frozen hash browns, thawed (I use the shredded type)
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped green onion
1 (10 oz.) can Cream of Chicken soup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 c. half & half cream
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
dash Tobasco Sauce

Saute onions in butter. Add soup, half & half, milk, and thawed potatoes. Stir in cheese and heat gently until melted. Add Tobasco sauce.  Serve with additional cheese and bacon bits.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cilantro Lime Vinegarette

I think I have been converted.  I used to be a strict tomatillo ranch girl, but this stuff now has me addicted!  I have found a few different recipes for this, and this is the first one I tried.  I think it is spot-on and I don't need to try the others!  Thanks to Favorite Family Recipes for coming up with this yummy dressing!

2 tomatillos

1/2 bunch cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. diced jalepeno (canned) --you can use less if you don't like it spicy at all. I like a little kick.
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. balsamic vinaigrette

In a food processor or blender, combine tamatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, and sugar. After it is all blended up well combine with balsamic vinaigrette in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Buttermilk Syrup

I discovered this recipe at cooking club a few months back. Two different people brought the recipe for this yummy syrup. I believe one of them described it as "sunshine in a bottle," and the other called it "liquid gold." So I had to try! I made Nate some waffles for his birthday breakfast and gave this a try. It is so good! Something about it reminds me of marshmallows, which is alright with me!

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. white karo syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Keep refrigerated after first use.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Black Bean Enchilada Soup

This recipe came from cooking club.  Andera Despain submitted this one, and it was darn tasty!  Something I'll definitely make again!

4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 can of your favorite enchilada sauce
2 t. chili powder
2 t. taco seasoning
1 onion, chopped
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. fat free sour cream
2 cans corn, drained
2 small cans diced green chilies
3 cans black beans drained and rinsed
1 can chunk chicken

Put broth, enchilada sauce, onions, chilies, and spices in large pot. Simmer until onions have cooked down (approx. 10 minutes). Stir in cheese and sour cream until melted in. Add chicken, corn and beans and cook until warm. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crunchy Onion Chicken

Just a slight twist from the recipe found on the French's fried onion package. 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. French-fried onions (cheddar or original)
1/4 c. spicy brown mustard or dijon mustard

Coat chicken with mustard, then roll in crushed onions. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Orange Julius

Just and old favorite.  Sometimes, I like to use the peach/banana/orange concentrate rather than just the orange.  It's a good twist and turns out just as yummy!
1 - 6 oz. can frozen orange juice
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar (or less to taste)
1 tsp. vanilla
5 - 6 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend about 30 seconds. Serve.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Broccoli Bread Dip

This one reminds me of Christmas....sitting around Grandma Barbara's house with a big loaf of bread, surrounded by my favorite people in the world.

1 pkg. chopped frozen broccoli
1 ½ c. Best Foods mayo
1 can water chestnuts, diced
Sliced green onions
1 pkg. Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 (16 oz) sour cream

Mix together and let set at least 2 hours.  Tear off pieces of challah bread and dip away!

Snicker Salad

This is a summer BBQ classic for me.  I think it tastes like a caramel apple in salad form, but even better!

1 ( 5 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
6 regular size Snickers bars chilled and sliced
1 c. milk
¼ c. seedless grapes
1 (12 oz) carton whipped topping, thawed
6 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

Prepare the pudding using 1 cup of milk; blend together with whipped topping.
Add apples, candy bars, and grapes. Mix together and refrigerate until

Soft Oreo Cookies

Oh the Oreo.  Such deliciousness with a tall glass of milk.  Reminds me of being a kid again.  These are a more grownup version of the Oreo if you ask me, soft and chewy with a tasty center, can't get much better!

2 boxes devil’s food cake mix
4 eggs
¾ c. oil

1-8oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. soft margarine
3 c. powdered sugar

Add cake mix a little at a time into the eggs and oil until blended. Mixture will be thick. Roll into small balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Do not overbake. Spread icing between cooled cookies.

Peaches and Cream Dessert

Hello fall! This is a favorite in the fall when peach season is in full swing.  It has so few ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to whip up.  My husband surprised me one afternoon and said he invited some people over for dessert.  Lucky me ;)  This was a perfect dessert to throw together, put in the fridge, and not stress about anything besides making the house presentable :)  Enjoy!

Peaches and Cream Dessert

6 Lg. peaches, skinned, cut into small cubes
Medium size whip cream or Cool whip
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 pkg. cream filled cookies, crushed

Layer as follows in a 9x13 dish:
½ cookies
Whip cream or Cool Whip
½ cookies

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

My Favorite Fresh Salsa Dip

My mom got this recipe from someone she works with at the Athletic Club, where she gets all sorts of yummy recipes.  I am not a big fan of tomatoes, but in this, they are a must and I don't mind them. 

5-8 tomatoes (personal preference), chopped into small pieces
1 can white whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black eyed peas (or black beans), drained
4 chopped green onions
½-1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 env. Italian dressing, mix as directed on package (use red wine vinegar)

Mix all ingredients in large bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

Grilled BBQ Chicken

My husband found this recipe in a magazine over at his dad's house, and we've had it quite a few times.  It tastes so good right off the grill!

Chicken breasts (3-4 breast halves)
2 tbsp. Orange marmalade
¼ c. BBQ sauce
¼ c. Italian dressing
¼- ½ c. Italian dressing (for marinade)

Marinate chicken breasts in ¼- ½ c. Italian dressing for 1-24 hours. Combine BBQ sauce, Italian dressing, orange marmalade into glaze. Cook chicken on grill until no longer pink in center. Before taking chicken off grill, glaze with mixture and cook for about 2-3 more minutes.

Crispy Ravioli

Forget about paying for these little babies at the Olive Garden, they are so easy!  I saw Giada deLaurentis make these on her show, and since then, they have become one of my husband's favorites.  His face lights up when he sees I am making them for dinner.

Crispy Ravioli

1 pkg. frozen cheese or meat ravioli
Italian bread crumbs
1 large bottle vegetable oil
1 quart butter milk

Heat vegetable oil in large pot (you know when it’s hot enough when you take a pinch of bread crumbs and it floats strait to the top). In the meantime, take frozen raviolis and dip into buttermilk, roll in Italian bread crumbs. Place about 10 raviolis into oil at a time, cooking for about 3-5 minutes (until golden brown). Serve with a side of your favorite sauce.

Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts #2

2 cans water chestnuts
1 pound bacon (cut each strip into thirds)

Wrap water chestnuts in bacon, secure with a toothpick, and put in pan.  Cook for 15-20 minutes to slightly crisp bacon at 350 degrees.  Drain fat.


½ c. BBQ sauce
½ c. honey

Combine sauce and pour over. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until bacon appears done.

Marilyn Beck

Creamy Potato Salad with Sweet Dressing

This one is a Grandma Barb staple.  She makes it for almost every family gathering, and it is delicious! 

6 potatoes
1 c. celery
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Boil potatoes, cool, peel, cut into small cubes and combines with above.

2 eggs well beaten
1 tsp. corn starch
¼-1/2 c. vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 c. mayo
½ c. cream or evaporated milk
3 tbsp. soft butter
¾ c. sugar
Salt to taste

Mix eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add vinegar, cream or evaporated milk. Cook mixture in saucepan until thick. Remove from heat, beat in butter. Add mayo, mix until smooth. Add potato mixture to dressing. Sprinkle with paprika.
Barbara Green