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.