Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cranberry Salsa about a healthy snack (minus the sugar)!  This is dang good and very addictive.  It is perfect for a holiday party :)  I got this recipe from my mom who got it off Good Things Utah.

Fresh Cranberry Salsa

12oz. fresh cranberries
3/4 c. sugar
medium jalepeno, seeds removed
1 green onion
2 Tbsp cilantro, minced (depending on taste)
1/4 tsp cumin

Process all ingredients in food processor to coarse mixture.  Store in refrigerator overnight. Serve over cream cheese, if desired.  Eat with tortilla chips or crackers.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Oh Christmas baking, how I love you!  My Father-in-Law made these yummy bars for my son's baby blessing this last week, and they are wonderful :)  He got the recipe out of  Taste of Home, my newest favorite.

3/4 c. butter, cubed
1-1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. dried cranberries
6 oz. white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped


1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
6 oz. white baking chocolate, melted
1/2 c. dried cranberries, chopped

In microwave, melt butter; stir in brown sugar.  Transfter to a large bowl; cool to room temperature.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon/  Gradually add to butter mixture.  Stir in cranberries and chopped chocolate (batter will be thick).

Spread into a greased 13x9in.baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake).  Cool on wire rack.

For the frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and orange peel if desired until blended.  Gradually add half of the melted white chocolate; beat until blended.  Frost brownies.  Sprinkle with cranberries.  Drizzle with remaining melted white chocolate.  Cut into bars.  Store in refrigerator.

Peanut Mallow Bars

Here's another recipe from Taste of Home.  My Father-in-Law made these bars for Grayson's blessing this passed weekend.  They were a definite hit among party goers! 

1 c. salted peanuts
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. quick-cooking oats
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c. cold butter


1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
2/3 c. caramel ice cream topping
1-3/4 c. salted peanuts
chocolate chips (optional, but oh so worth it :)

In a large bowl, combine the peanuts, flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking soda; stir in the egg.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Press into a greased 12x9 in. baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Spoon marshmallow creme over hot crust; carefully spread evenly. Drizzle with the caramel topping.  Sprinkle with peanuts.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peppermint Meltaways

My mom made these cute little cookies for my son's blessing this weekend.  They are tasty little treats!  The recipe for them can be found here.  And yes, they do melt in your mouth!

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch


2 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape into 1-in. balls (I used a small cookie scoop). Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, milk, extract and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Orange Beef with Cilantro Rice

I had a request for a non-chicken meal (no names), so here you go!  This is yet another Rachael Ray recipe, and her recipes are generally pretty tasty!  This one was good as well.

* Grated peel of 1 orange and juice of 2 oranges
* 2-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
* 1 pound skirt steak, thinly sliced on the diagonal and slices halved crosswise (we used sirloin)
* 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
* 1 bunch scallions, white parts thinly sliced and green parts cut into 1-inch-long pieces
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 2/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
* Salt
1. Place the orange peel and juice in a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil and the soy sauce and vinegar. Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, bring the rice and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Cover; simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and keep warm.

3. In a wok or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Using tongs, transfer the meat from the marinade to the wok and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate.

4. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and the scallions to the wok and cook over medium heat, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes. Transfer to the beef. Pour the marinade into the wok and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and reduce by half. Whisk in the sugar and return the steak and scallions to the wok; turn to coat.

5. Stir the cilantro into the rice; season with salt. Mound some rice and beef onto each plate.

Chipotle Chicken Alfredo

So is there a rule you can't fuse italian and mexican foods?  I hope not, because I just did!  I love, love, love chipotle anything, so this definitely intrigued me!  There is nothing like putting a twist on a classic to spice up a meal.  This one I found on Cassie Craves.  Enjoy :)

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon chipotle in adobo puree
8 ounces linguine or fettuccine, cooked and drained

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste and add to skillet; cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, stir together cream cheese, parmesan cheese, milk, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the chipotle puree; cook 5 minutes or until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Gently stir in chicken. Toss with the hot pasta.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crockpot Potato Leek Soup

Here is my debut cooking leeks.  I've always liked them, but they somehow seemed like a "fancy" ingredient.  This soup sounded really tasty, so I decided it was time to give them a try.  This soup is definitely yummy, one that my husband loved as well (he's very particular about his soups...thinks they are not a true meal).  This is yet another recipe from the Sister's Cafe, where I have gotten many tasty recipes!

6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 leeks, washed, sliced, including white and light green parts
1 cup chopped onion
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk of celery, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tb dried parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic salt
2 Tb butter
12 oz. can evaporated milk
12 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
chives, chopped - optional

Combine everything except last 4 ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low 7-9 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Stir in the can of evaporated milk the last 45 minutes. Serve hot topped with bacon, cheddar, and chives.

Apple and Bacon Grilled Cheese

Soup and sandwich season is here!  I've always wanted to try a grilled cheese with apple, and so when I saw this recipe from Tyler Florence, I had to try it!  This was so good with the dijon mustard, give it a try :)

8 slices country-style white bread, sliced 1/2-inch thick
12 ounces farmhouse Cheddar, sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 slices bacon, cooked to desired doneness
1 green apple, thinly sliced
Dijon mustard

Heat griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. Alternatively you can use your panini press if you have one.

Assemble sandwich: Generously spread Dijon on 4 slices of bread. Top with slices of Cheddar, 3 pieces of bacon, apple slices and additional Cheddar. Place the remaining bread on top and spread with butter. Place on skillet buttered-side down and butter the remaining side. Cook until cheese is slightly melted and bread is browned. Flip the sandwich and continue to cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and sandwich is golden brown.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

Oh Thanksgiving....gotta love it!  This year we spent our holiday in the South with some fabulous family.  Being in the South we had our first sweet potato casserole, and it was so great!  It tasted almost like pumpkin pie...definitely a good twist on yams at Thanksgiving time.  Is it figure!  That's why Thanksgiving only comes once a year :)  I highly reccomend this.  My picture is awful, I took it after the fact.

6-8 sweet potatoes, baked and peeled
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. brown sugar
2 sticks melted butter
1-2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
chopped pecans (optional)
mini marshmallows (optional)

Mix all ingredients.  Top with chopped pecans if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutres.  Top with marshmallows (if desired) and broil until brown.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thai Chicken Pizza

After having Rachael Ray's Thai Chicken Wrap with Peanut Sauce (which was fabulous), I was excited to try this pizza.  The reviews on the pizza were fantastic, not a negative thing to say about it, and I would have to agree.  I loved the crunchy cold veggies in contrast with the warm crust and cheese :)  Many of the reviewers said they liked this pizza better than the California Pizza Kitchen's version, which I've never had, but this was mighty tasty!  Rachael's original recipe can be found here.

Thai Chicken Pizza

1 pizza dough, any brand
1/2 cup duck sauce or plum sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 package (2 cups) shredded provolone or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 rounded tablespoonful peanut butter
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons grill seasoning
4 chicken breast cutlets, 1/2 pound
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup bean spouts, a couple of handfuls
Palm full cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, 2 ounces
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Form pizza crust on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Top with duck or plum sauce - spread it around like you would pizza sauce. Sprinkle the pizza with some crushed red pepper flakes then top with cheese and peppers. Bake until golden and bubbly, 13-15 minutes.

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce and peanut butter with hot sauce and grill seasoning. Use the microwave to loosen up peanut butter if it is too cold to blend into sauce, 10 seconds ought to do it. Add chicken and coat evenly with mixture. Let stand 10 minutes then grill chicken cutlets 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until firm. Slice chicken into very thin strips.

While chicken cooks, mix honey and vinegar and add the cucumber. Turn to coat evenly.

Top the hot, cooked pizza with chicken, scallions, sprouts and cilantro. Drain cucumbers and scatter over the pizza. Garnish pizza with peanuts, cut into 8 wedges and serve.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chorizo and Chicken Tortilla Stoup

Here we go with another Rachael Ray recipe!  Now what is the definition of "stoup?"  She says it is a soup that is almost as thick and hearty as a stew, but not quite.  I have been trying to limit my soup making to once a week to make my husband happy, but there are so many I want to try!  I had some chorizo that needed to be used, so this soup made it to the top of the list for this week.  Her recipes are always unique in one way or another, and this was no different.  It was pretty darn tasty!  Her original recipe can be found here.

1 pound chicken tenders (I used a big can of chicken)
Salt and pepper
3/4 pound chorizo sausage, in packaged meats case near kielbasa
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 small red potatoes, diced
1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted chopped tomatoes (recommended: Muir Glen)
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 quart chicken stock
1 sack red or blue corn tortilla chips
2 cups shredded pepper jack or smoked Cheddar
Suggested garnishes: chopped scallions, chopped cilantro or fresh thyme leaves
Preheat medium soup pot over medium-high heat.

Chop tenders into bite-size pieces. Wash up, then season chicken with salt and pepper. Dice chorizo. Add extra-virgin olive oil and chicken to pot. Lightly brown chicken 2 minutes, then add the chorizo and garlic. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes, then add peppers, onions and potatoes. Cook 5 minutes, then stir in tomatoes, kidney beans, and hot sauce. Add chicken stock and bring soup to a bubble.  Simmer for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

Garnish with scallions and herbs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

This chicken is so tasty!  The sauce makes the whole meal, it is absolutely delicious:)  I would slather it all over my chicken and rice and be completely happy.  I don't think it was too spicy, but I can take the heat.  If you are sensitive to spicy flavors, I would cut the jalapenos down to one or two.  

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

3 Chicken Breasts
A Sprinkle of Cumin per Breast
A Sprinkle of Chili Powder per Breast
A Sprinkle of Salt per Breast
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Jalapenos, Seeded and Chopped
6-8 Oz. of Cream Cheese
2 Cups of Chicken Broth
3 Slices of Bacon
3/4 Cup of Shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack
1 Tbsp of Fresh Cilantro, chopped + more for garnish

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings while the bacon crisps. Add the chicken to the hot bacon fat in the skillet. Cook chicken, turning every few minutes, until juices run clear and no longer pink. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add chopped jalapenos to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute more, until fragrant. Add chicken broth, deglazing pan. Bring to a boil. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add in shredded cheese and bacon, stirring until the cheese in melted. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro. Serve chicken on a bed of Mexican or Taco rice and topped with sauce. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Recipe Source: Krista's Kitchen

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Toffee Almond Chocolate Blondies

This recipe came to me via my email inbox from my Aunt.  They sounded REALLY good and REALLY easy, and they were both!

1/2 cup butter
1 large egg
1 (17.5 oz.) pkg. choc chip cookie mix (I used Betty Crocker)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 (8 oz) pkg. toffee bits
3/4 cup chopped toasted slivered almonds (I used sliced, thry were cheaper :)

Stir together butter and egg in a large bowl (mixture will not fully blend together). Stir in cookie mix and vanilla until soft dough forms. Stir in toffee bits and almonds until well blended. Press mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch pan.

Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick in the center comes out clean.

Teryaki Ranch Chicken

I have really enjoyed the recipes from cooking club.  It's good to know that these recipes are definitely tried and true favorites!  This recipe came from our "Family Favorite Recipes" cooking club, and it was very tasty.  I never would have thought to put ranch and teryaki together, but it works!

Teriyaki Ranch Chicken

Chicken breasts cut in half or thirds
Teriyaki sauce
Ranch dressing
Cheddar cheese
Cooked and crumbled bacon
sliced green onions

Lightly brown chicken breasts in a little oil in a frying pan. Place chicken in a baking dish. Pour teriyaki sauce in pan until it is about 1/2 way up the chicken breasts. Flip the chicken over so each side is coated. Put a spoonful of ranch dressing on each breast and smooth out. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25-30 min (until chicken is almost done). Remove pan and top chicken breasts with bacon, sliced green onions and cheese. Cook for 5 more minutes. Serve with rice.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Navajo Tacos

After having sones last week, I was craving some of these yummy Navajo Tacos!  We have tostadas (basically the samething, just on fried tortillas) all the time.  I need to mix it up more often and have these every now and again!

Rhodes Texas™ Rolls, thawed & risen (or fry bread recipe found here)

vegetable oil for frying
1 pound ground beef
green onions, finely chopped
salsa or taco sauce
pinto beans or refried beans (I also like to use canned chili sometimes rather than the ground beef and beans)
grated cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
tomatoes, chopped
onion, chopped
sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
olives, sliced
cilantro, chopped

Flatten each roll to a 6-inch circle. Fry in vegetable oil at 375°F until golden brown, turning over once (about 30 seconds). Drain on paper towels.

Cook ground beef, drain off fat, and mix with taco seasoning according to package directions.  Heat pinto beans, refried beans, or chili in small saucepan. 
On flatbread, spread beans then top with taco meat.  Place other toppings on top as desired.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken Saltimbocca

Not quite sure where the name came from, but this recipe comes to you from the kitchens of Betty Crocker.  It sounded to me like an Italian version of chicken cordon bleu, and it was very tasty!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 slices prosciutto (about 3 oz) (I used deli sliced ham)
4 slices (1 oz each) mozzarella cheese (I used shredded 4 cheese italian blend)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves (I used some flat leaf parsley instead)
3/4 cupchicken broth
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1.Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until 1/4 inch thick. In shallow dish, mix flour, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and salt. Coat chicken with flour mixture; shake off excess flour.

2.In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook about 8 minutes, turning once, until browned on outside and no longer pink in center. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice prosciutto and 1 slice mozzarella cheese. Cover skillet tightly; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle sage over chicken. Remove chicken from skillet to serving platter; cover loosely with tent of foil, being careful not to let foil touch cheese.

3.Increase heat to high. Add broth to skillet. Heat to boiling, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Boil about 3 minutes or until broth is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat; beat in butter. Spoon over chicken.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lemon Cookies

When I came across this recipe in my 30 Minutes Or Less For People That Don't Have Time To Cook cookbook, it reminded me of some cookies I had from  a Dutch market in Baltimore a few months ago.  They also sounded a lot like the Fudge Crinkles I've had many times before.  These cookies are very light and cakey (is that a real word?!). 

1 package lemon cake mix
1 (8oz) carton Cool Whip
1 egg
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together cake mix, Cool Whip, and egg until thoroughly blended.  Chill Thoroughly, 3 to 4 hours.  After chilling, scoop up 1 teaspoonful (I did more like a Tablespoon) and roll into balls;  roll balls in powdered sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes.  Cool and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

I'm always looking for ways to spice up a classic.  This definitely fit that criteria!  They were very tasty, and they made enough that I could freeze half for another meal, always a bonus :)  I changed this recipe just a bit from See Jane In the Kitchen.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground italian pork
2 Tablespoons dried or fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian)
8 ounce package mozzarella, cut into small cubes (about 1/4 inch in size)

Mix all ingredients and form into walnut sized balls, forming meat around cheese cube. Cook in olive oil in a large pan. Try to be gentle, the cheese tends to ooze out if you turn too much. Serve over pasta and marinara. Top with parmesan.

This makes about 2 1/2 dozen meatballs. They said these meatballs freeze well, so I cooked them all and froze over half of them.  We'll see if they are good after freezing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cowboy Quesadillas

I have a sick obsession with Mexican food.  I have an even sicker obsession with if you couldn't tell from almost every recipe I post!  This meal is very easy and quick to prepare, great for a busy weeknight!  It tasted great, a definite keeper!  The recipe comes from Our Best Bites.

1/2 C white rice
1/3 C black beans
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/3 C fresh frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw)
2/3 C diced tomato
3 Tbs sliced green onion
1 1/2 C shredded cheese (any type or combo you like)
1/4 C bbq sauce
6 small tortillas (fajita size, about 6") I used wheat tortillas

Dipping Sauce

equal parts bbq sauce and ranch dressing

Combine rice, beans, chicken, corn, tomato, green onion and shredded cheese. Add bbq sauce and stir to combine. Place about 1/3 C of mixture on half of each tortilla and fold over to close.

Heat a skillet to medium heat on the stove top. When hot, spray lightly with cooking spray, or drizzle with canola or olive oil. Place quesadillas in pan and cook for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crisp. Flip and repeat on opposite side. Cool for a few minutes and then serve with BBQ-Ranch dipping sauce.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

So I finally decided to join the quinoa bandwagon.  Not only is it super good for you, but it tastes so dang good!  I probably could have just had this salad for dinner and been very happy!  

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen sweet white corn
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).

Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm or chilled – it is delicious both ways!

Recipe Source: My Kitchen Cafe.

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Tenderloin

I am doing so much better about using meat besides chicken....I am so proud of myself!  This is another pork tenderloin recipe from My Kitchen Cafe, and it was great!  I must admit the recipe I tried from there last week was my favorite, you can find that recipe here.  So if you are in need of an easy Sunday dinner, either of these would be a great choice!

*Makes about 2 1/2 pounds of pork tenderloin, enough to serve 8 adults*

Rub Ingredients:

2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/2 lb. total), each tenderloin cut into two chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil

Glaze ingredients:

1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 6-8 cloves)
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat the pork with the spice rub. Heat the oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet that is ovenproof  over medium high heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Brown the pork, turning, about 4 minutes total. Leave pork in the skillet. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, brown the pork in a skillet and transfer it to a foil-lined baking pan (like a 9X13-inch).

Stir together the brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco and pat on top of each tenderloin. Roast in the middle of the oven until a thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140, about 25 minutes. Let pork stand in the skillet at room temperature for 10 minutes. The temperature will rise to about 155 while standing. Slice on the diagonal and serve, spooning the sauce from the skillet on top of the pork.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I won't pretend this is's definitely not ! It made for a great addition to a Halloween party/football watching! My aunt had been telling me about a dip like this, so I though I should try! This recipe comes from On My Menu, and it was SOO tasty with pita chips!

* 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained (I used 1 12.5 oz can and one 5 oz. can)

* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 fat)

* 1 cup Ranch dressing

* 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Buffalo Wing sauce or Regular Frank's hot Sauce)

* 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

* celery, crackers, pita chips, or tortilla chips

1. Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm.

2. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker.

3. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks, crackers, and/or tortilla chips.

(I put mine in oven at 350 degrees until heated through and cheese on top melted)

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Okay, so maybe I'm a follower.  I have seen these on pretty much every blog I've looked at lately, but they are so cute!  The version I decided to use was from I Heart Naptime.  They used sour cream in theirs, which I love!  It made them very tasty I must say!  They were the hit of the trunk-or-treat!  Maybe one day I will learn how to properly frost my cupcakes to make them look pretty, but in the meantime, I'm just happy they look and taste great! 

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c water
1 c sour cream

Food coloring (orange and yellow)
Frosting of choice

With an electric mixer, beat all ingredients for about 2 min. Divide batter into two separate bowls. Add about a 1/2 tsp of food coloring in to each bowl. Stir Well. Spoon about 1 TB of yellow into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Then spoon about 1 TB of orange batter on top of that. Bake for 20 min, remove and let cool completely before frosting.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chicken Crockpot Taco Soup

I had some friends over for lunch today, needed something easy to make, and what is easier than a crockpot soup!  I think it took 5 minutes to put together this morning.  8 cans to open and dump in, a few other additions, set the dial, and in a few hours you have a great meal!  My aunt sent me this earlier this week and I couldn't wait to try it, especially with the soup kick I've been on lately!  I'll work on a better picture later :)

Chicken Crockpot Taco Soup
From:  Aunt Trish

2 15oz cans dice tomatoes
1 15-¼ oz can Corn with juice
1 15oz can Black beans with juice
1 15 ½ oz can Red Kidney beans with juice
1 15 ½ oz can Pinto beans with juice
1 envelope dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 envelope dry Taco Seasoning
½ cup Salsa
¼ cup Green Pepper (optional)
1 tsp Lime Juice
2 large cans (13oz) chicken with juice. (Break a part pieces)

Add all ingredients into crock-pot, stir. Cook low for 4-6 hours

Serve with Tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese.

Caramel Apple Dip

This dip was so incredibly yummy!  It was a perfect treat for a Halloween-time get together.  I mean, what says Halloween like a caramel apple?!  This one will be made again in this house, and probably sometime very soon!  This one came from Mommy's Kitchen.

1 - 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
1/4 - 1/2 - cup your favorite caramel sauce (I used Ghiradelli)
1 - tablespoon light brown sugar
1 - cup marshmallow cream
1/2 - tsp vanilla extract
1/2 - cup of heath English toffee bits
6-8 - golden delicious or granny smith apples, sliced

Blend cream cheese and marshmallow cream in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Add the caramel sauce, brown sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth. Transfer to a decorative bowl. Drizzle more caramel sauce over the top and sprinkle generously with toffee bits. Place the bowl in the center of a decorative platter, surround with freshly sliced apples and serve.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Honey Butter

I do love the Sister's Cafe...I have found lots of yummy recipes to add to my usual rotation of dinners and desserts through their blog.  I'm not sure why, but scones had left my memory for a while until I heard someone mention them the other day.  I love scones!  What goes better on a nice hot scone than honey butter?!  I usually just spread butter and then drizzle honey on them, but this time I thought I'd make my own.  It turned out really tasty, I can't wait to try it with some rolls!

2 cups honey
2 sticks butter (softened, not melted)
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon

Combine ingredients until completely mixed and serve!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chili Rubbed Pork with Apricot Glaze

This pork loin is RIDICULOUS...ridiculously tasty!  I had been looking for some new recipes for pork loin, and the Kitchen Cafe had so many to choose from!  This is just one that I bookmarked to try.  It definitely made for a great sunday dinner :) It would be an impressive dinner if you had people over, but yet so simple to do! 

2 (1-pound each) pork tenderloins, fat trimmed

Spice Rub:

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


1 1/2 cups apricot jam/jelly
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (see tutorial here)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 small limes, juiced

Combine chili powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture on the pork tenderloins. Cover the tenderloins and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Prior to grilling or roasting, melt the apricot jam in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining glaze ingredients. Place half of the glaze in a serving bowl and set aside to serve with the pork tenderloins later.

Grilling Instructions:

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill the pork tenderloins for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160 degrees F. When approximately 4 minutes of cook time remains, brush the pork tenderloins with the apricot glaze remaining in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, turn the pork tenderloins and brush glaze on other side. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove pork from the grill, tent with foil and let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Roasting Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the pork tenderloins in a lightly greased, foil-lined 9X13-inch pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Brush with the apricot glaze remaining in the pan. Bake for 15 more minutes. Again, brush with glaze. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until the pork reaches 160 degrees internally. Remove the pork from the oven, tent with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Serve the sliced pork over couscous, rice or potatoes with the reserved glaze alongside.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chili Spaghetti

Prior to moving to Ohio, I had a co-worker that told me about this fast food chain out here that served chili over spaghetti.  She reaved about it, but it sounded weird.  So of course when we got out here, we tried this dish.  I have to admit, I did not like the chili at all (there was some spice in there that didn't work for me).  I did like the concept, though!  I found this recipe for chili spaghetti on Stefanie's Cooking, and it was much better than the fast food one I had!  For those of you that aren't in the know with this dish, if you have spaghetti with just the meat chili and cheese, it is called a 3-way.  Add beans and you have a 4-way, and adding chopped onions on top will give you a 5-way.  I prefer mine 4-way style.  If you are ever in Ohio, you can try the fast food version and tell me if you are a fan or not, I'm thinking it must be an acquired taste :) Enjoy!

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans or pinto beans
1 (14 ½oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chili powder
Cooked spaghetti
grated cheddar cheese
diced onions.
In a large skillet cook ground beef, onion and garlic until meat is brown and onions are tender; drain.

Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Southwest Shepherd's Pie

I can't say that I've cooked with sweet potatoes often.  Up until recently, they were something you had on Thanksgiving covered in marshmallows and brown sugar (yum!).  After learning how good for you and nutrient dense they are, I am trying to use them a little more.  That's why this recipe intrigued me.  I love the flavors of Southwest dishes, and why not throw some sweet potatoes on top?!  This tasted good with a dollop of sour cream on top.  A big thanks goes out to Cassie Craves for sharing this one :)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped green jalapeño
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can corn
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño; cook for 2 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high; add beef and brown for 5 minutes.

2. Add tomato paste and spices; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer until liquid reduces, 15 minutes. Add corn, beans, and 4 tablespoons cilantro. Spoon into a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.

3. Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover. Boil until fork-tender. Drain; mash with butter and milk. Spread mash over the meat mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven until brown, 30 minutes. Garnish with more cilantro.

Check out some more yummy recipes on Foodista!  Click below!

Shepherd’s Pie on FoodistaShepherd’s Pie

Monday, October 18, 2010


So I've lived in Ohio for over 2 years and had not tried to make these yet, not sure why not!  For those of you that are wondering what a Buckeye is exactly, it is a nut that grows on a tree here and basically looks like the treat below.  It is also the mascot of Ohio State University.  Here's Brutus Buckeye to give you an idea of the inspiration for the treat....

You may hear people call these peanut butter-chocolate balls or something of the not be fooled, they are BUCKEYES! Anyhow, I searched through a few different recipes, and they were all really similar.  Most used chocolate chips rather than the candy coating, but I like how fast the candy coating sets up...I'll let you be the judge.  They were a great treat to have around when we had some people over the over night to watch our Buckeyes play!


2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 pkg chocolate candy coating or chocolate bark

1.In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

2.Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

3.Melt candy coating in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

4.Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.

Yummy, right?  Now here's a real Buckeye for comparison...
All I can say from this point on is GO BUCKS!!!

4 Packet Roast

Crockpots are my saving grace on Sundays. Especially when we get home from church @ 4:15 each week.  The Sister's Cafe provided me with this new recipe to add to my crockpot arsenal.  It is much yummier than the roast I have been doing in the past.  The gravy is good as well, it is salty though.  I made a regular packet of brown gravy and added some of the drippings to it so it wouldn't be too overpowering, and it turned out SO good.  My husband is a huge fan, and I'm sure I'll make it again soon! 

1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 packet brown gravy mix
1 packet Italian salad dressing mix
1 packet onion soup mix
1 roast of choice
1/2-3/4 cup of water
assorted veggies if desired (carrots, onions, potatoes)

Place roast in crockpot. Arrange vegetables around the roast if being used. Sprinkle the mix packets over the roast. Pour water around the roast. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Pizza Bites

We had some people over the other night to watch our Buckeyes play (don't ask the outcome).  We had a few snack-type foods to have on hand that would be good for a football game, and these were perfect!  Just a little pizza bite that wasn't greasy like the pizza rolls you get at the store.  I will definitely make these again!  I found these on over at Our Best Bites and will make them again for sure!  They also had the suggestion for using chicken, bacon in these and dipping in ranch...that'll be on my to try list next!

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough* (or make your own)
marinara/pizza sauce (click here to make your own)
2 T grated Parmesan cheese (sorry, I don't know how to make that)
1 T olive oil or melted butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried Italian seasoning
mozzerella cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.

*You can use regular pizza dough, or thin crust.
Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400 degrees. If you make your own dough, 400 is usually a good heat as well.

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square. Just eyeball how much. You just need to be able to enclose the toppings in the dough so keep that in mind.
When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or mini muffin tins).

Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter and then sprinkle with the garlic and Italian seasoning and top with Parmesan cheese.

Cook them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top (if using mini muffin tins, start checking them around 9 or 10 minutes). Keep an eye on them! Doughs vary, so I'd check them after even 10 minutes.

Serve warm with warmed marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Wonderful Mashed Potatoes

I am a SUCKER for potatoes and gravy...if I were on death row, I believe they would be on my final menu!  The sure sign you have some good mashed taters is that they taste wonderful WITHOUT gravy.  These were just that.  So obviously for Thanksgiving potatoes are one of my top priorities...even over the turkey ;)  

Wonderful Mashed Potatoes 

3 lbs. potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 lb. butter
1/2-1 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tsp. salt (I like garlic salt)
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Cook the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes until very tender. Meanwhile heat the butter and milk in small sauce pan (or in microwave). Drain potatoes. While still hot, place the potatoes in a big bowl. Slowly add the milk and butter mixture, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Mix until the potatoes are mashed but not completely smooth.

Recipe Source:  Sister's Cafe

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bear's White Bean Chicken Chili

Once again, bring on the soup!  I don't know where the name comes from, I just copied what the food blog called it.  This is a very easy dinner that you can just throw in the crockpot and have ready by dinnertime.  It doesn't get easier than throwing in FROZEN chicken breasts and opening a few cans :)  I highly reccomned putting a handful of cheese on this, slice an avocado, and topping with cilantro, mixing it up and eating with tortilla strips!  If you don't love spicy food, leave out the jalepeno, it has plenty of kick without it!  This recipe comes from The Recipe Club.  It's delicious and will make its way into my soup rotation!

2 cups chicken broth
3 frozen chicken breast
1/2 white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cans mild diced green chiles, undrained
2 cans great northern beans, undriained (I used looked a little to brothy for me)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
sliced jalapeno peppers, optional (I used a few teaspoons of canned diced jalepenos

Cook in crock pot on high 3-5 hours. About 1/2 hour before serving, cut up chicken and put back in crock pot.

Right before serving, add:

1 cup sour cream
1/2 block cream cheese

top with extra sour cream, cheese, avacado, cilantro, corn chips, pico, ect.

Fast version:

Grill chicken. Bring all other ingredients to a boil. Boil until beans and onion are tender. Add chicken and serve as above.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Marshmallow Popcorn

This is where caramel corn meets rice krispie treat!  I was craving a little something sweet tonight and came across this one while I was going through my old cooking club entries.  I just bought a new bag of marshmallows this morning and this looked really easy, and it was!  This one came from my visiting teacher, Jami.

1 bag plain microwave popcorn—popped, remove unpopped kernels
1 stick butter
½ c. brown sugar
2 c. mini marshmallos

Melt butter in small pan, add sugar and stir in marshmallows. Remove from heat as soon as marshmallows are melted. Pour over popcorn in bowl, mix!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Teryaki Chicken Fried Rice

This recipe sounded really good when I first saw it.  I have to say it wasn't quite as flavorful as I had hoped.  I definitely will make it again, but next time I may add more sauce, some egg, and maybe some more spice of some sort.  I got this one from My Sister's Cafe.

2 cups uncooked brown rice (4-5 cups cooked)
2 Tb olive oil
1 large chicken breast, finely sliced (about 1 lb)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1-2 cups sugar snap peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

Cook rice as directed on package. Over med-high heat, stir fry the chicken in 1 Tb olive oil until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Add the other 1 Tb olive oil and saute green onions and carrots over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in peas, rice and chicken. Pour in the teriyaki sauce and stir to distribute evenly. Cook another few minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pasta e Fagioli

I told my husband this week that I am starting to make soup once a week now that the weather is more conducive to it.  He objects, constantly telling me that soup is not a meal.  Although last week when I made a copykat version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana, he was more than thrilled. This recipe was compared to the Olive Garden's Pasta e Fagioli.  I wouldn't say it tastes the same by any means, but it's good!  It is a great hearty soup perfect for the fall! 

Pasta e Fagioli

2 tbsp. butter, divided
1 (20 oz.) package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed

64 oz. reduced-sodium beef broth
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. ditalini pasta

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pot and brown, crumbling as it cooks. Once the sausage is browned, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and discard any excess grease.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pot. Add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, 8-10 minutes. Return the sausage to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes with juices, stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the beans, beef broth and tomato sauce to the pot. Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer at least 30 minutes.

Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes. Serve.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Creamy Ham and Pea Farfalle

This is definitely not something you want to eat everyday, you would have a heart attack!  A butter and cream sauce is probably not on a cardiac diet!  Every once and a while it is just nice to have a comforting creamy pasta!  With a few adjustments, I got this recipe from Mindika Moments.

1/4 C. butter
1 C. Ham cut into ¼ inch pieces (or Canadian Bacon)
1 C. frozen peas – defrosted (I actually used 2 cups...the more veggies the better, right?)
2-3 T. flour (2 T. your sauce will be thinner. If you like a thick sauce, use 3 T.)
4 C. Heavy Cream
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 C. parmesan Cheese grated
16 oz. bag or box farfalle pasta cooked and drained

1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan. Heat until bubbly. Add ham (or canadian bacon) and stir until just heated through.

2. Add flour and stir until incorporated. Stir for about 3 minutes to cook out flour taste.

3. Add Cream, Garlic, and Cheese and stir until sauce thickens.

4. Add peas and pasta.  Serve warm.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Caramel Apple Crisp

I'm trying to put my apples to good use that we got at the apple orchard last week.  We had the missionaries over tonight for dinner, and this is what they got for dessert.  It turned out great and with some vanilla ice cream on the side, it was even better.  The original recipe came from Allrecipes, but I switched it up a bit after reading some of the reviews.

Apple Filling:

5 large Granny Smith apples (I used honeycrisp)- peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup butter, softened

Caramel Sauce:

1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 degree C).

2. In a heavy sauce pan over low heat, melt the caramels with the evaporated milk.  Heat , stirring frequently, until mixture has a smooth consistency. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of apples.

3.In a medium size bowl, toss apples with sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water; spread evenly into a 8x8 inch pan. In another bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, oats, and butter; spoon mixture evenly over caramel.

4.Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes (apple mixture will bubble and topping will be golden brown).