Saturday, December 13, 2008

Pizza Night!!!

We try to have a weekly "make your own pizza night". The kids love it, even the picky ones, because they get to design their own! Have fun with it! Its a quick fix for a busy night's dinner! A couple of the finished products:

Here is What we like to use for our toppings: (we usually have pineapple, too, but I forgot to pick some up from the store!)

Make your own pizza night:
Boboli pizza crusts ( I like to use the personal size ones, so we can all make our own! You could also make homemade pizza dough if you'd like, but that would take the "quick" part out of the equation!)
pizza sauce - this you can buy premade, but I like to make my own: just take a can of tomato sauce and add garlic salt, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste and mix together.
Cover the crusts with pizza sauce, cheese and the toppings of your choice and bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Enjoy with some garlic bread and a green salad!!
Cheese suggestions:
mozzarella
parmesan
colby jack
Topping suggestions:
tomato's
green peppers
mushroom's
green onions
pineapple
ham
pepperoni
olives
I'd love to hear about your families creations.....



Fudge....yum,yum

Passing on the Christmas candy tradition!!! Me and Ellie baking fudge!!!




My mom makes pan after pan of this every Christmas.....It is so rich, creamy, and delicicious! My family could go through a pan in a night easily!!!! This year, I let my daughter help make it, to start passing down the tradition!!


4 1/2 c. sugar

1can evaporated milk

2 squares butter

pinch of salt

Bring to a boil, and boil for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.


Then add:

5 Hershey bars

1 12 ounce bag chocolate chips

7 ounces marshmallow cream

1 t. vanilla

chopped nuts (optional)


Turn off heat, stir together until creamy and pour into a buttered cookie sheet. Let cool. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Caramel Apple Pie

Yes this is as delicious as it sounds!!! I made this for one of our Thanksgiving pies, and almost ate the whole thing myself!!!

1 recipe for 9 inch double pie crust (or just buy the already made ones from pillsbury like I did)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. all purpose flour
5 c. thinly sliced apples ( I used about 6 granny smith's, and I would definitely reccommend a tart apple like this to balance out the sweetness!)
2/3 c. white sugar
3 T. all purpose flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. lemon juice
20 caramels, halved
2 T. milk

1.Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Make taffy: In a small bowl combine brown sugar, melted butter, and 1/3 c. flour. Mix well and set aside.
3. Make apple filling: Place apples in a large bowl. Add white sugar, 3 T. flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Toss until all ingredients are mixed and appled are coated well.
4. Line your 9 inch pie plate with bottom crust. Spoon half of apple filling into pie plate. Top with half of caramels, and half of taffy mixture. Repeat process with remaining apples, taffy and caramels. Place top pastry over filling and SEAL WELL ( or caramel filling will leak out!). Cut steam vents in top and brush with milk or light cream.
5. cover pie with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

**Sorry again for no pic....I still have to replace the batteries in my camera!!!

Roasted Green Beans with Lemon, Pine nuts and Parmesan

This recipe came from The Recipe Girl. It was my new twist on green beans this year for Thanksgiving. It was a hit! Definitely a keeper!

1 1/4 lbs. green beans, rinsed, stems trimmed
1 small head of garlic, coarsley chopped ( I only ended up using about 5 cloves and it was perfect for our tastes)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T. finely grated lemon zest (1-2 medium lemons). DIVIDED.
1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c. pine nuts, toasted
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 T. coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put beans in large mixing bowl. Add garlic, olive oil, and 1 T. lemon zest, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread beans on a cookie sheet, and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, stir with spatula, and continue roasting about 5 more minutes until the beans are lightly browned and tender throughout. Transfer the beans to a serving platter and add lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, parmesan and parsley, toss to coat. Can serve hot or at room temperature!!!

**Sorry no picture, my camera batteries died!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My mom's Brownie Cake


This cake was famous when I was growing up. Whenever we were invited to parties this was what my mom brought almost always! She makes it the best, and it is one of the first recipes that I learned how to make. It is a cakey brownie, not a dense one. Light and fluffy, with rich chocolately frosting. The above picture was during Easter time and I had added some coconut (died green with food coloring) and a chocolate egg for decoration....



2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 sticks margarine (i use butter)
1 c. cold water
3 T. baking cocoa
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk( if you don't have buttermilk, you can "make" your own by adding 1/2 T. vinegar to 1/2 c. regular milk)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

Sift flour and sugar together in large bowl and set aside. Put butter, water, and cocoa in saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add to flour/sugar mixture, beat well. Add eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Grease and flour a large cookie sheet. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes. 5 minutes before cake is done, make frosting.

Frosting:
1 stick butter
3 T. baking cocoa
6 T. milk
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla
Put butter, cocoa, and milk in saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix and pour over cake immediately after removing cake from oven.

Mexican Hot Dip


This is a very good, warm dip good for football parties, bbq's etc. Top with shredded cheese and serve with tortilla chips. Num, Num!



1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 qt. stewed tomatos with juice
1 can tomato sauce
1 pkg. lawry's chili seasoning
1 can corn (drained), or about 2 cups frozen
3 T. chopped olives
3 T. chopped green chiles



Brown hamburger and onions in a saute pan. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Add the rest of the ingredients. Put in crock pot to keep warm. Serve with shredded cheese on top and tortilla chips to dip!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup




This is a staple in our house all year round. Lamb family comfort food at its best. This is my own recipe, adapted from my mom's, and I usually just add ingredients to taste, but I will try to give measurable amounts as close as possible. So feel free to add more or less to your own tastes. I also use homemade noodles (recipe follows). The tradition at our house is to put a big dollup of mashed potatoes in the bottom of your bowl and then pile the soup on top. It may sound weird, but it makes the soup creamy and delicious. Give it a try!





Chicken Noodle Soup

1 small whole chicken
1 onion
3-4 stalks celery
4 whole carrots, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic
salt
pepper
garlic salt
poultry seasoning
celery salt
thyme
water to cover
Put all above ingredients in a large saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. No need to chop veggies as this is just to cook the chicken and make the broth. Cook for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate and let cool. Strain out veggies and discard. SAVE BROTH. When chicken is cool enough, remove all the meat from the bones and discard bones and skin. Bring reserved broth to a boil and add:
1 onion, chopped
10-15 baby carrots, chopped into bite-size pieces
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
thyme to taste
salt and pepper to taste
shredded reserved chicken pieces
Bring to a boil and cook until veggies are cooked through, skimming off the fat as it cooks (the frothy stuff that collects at the top of the pan). If you are adding homemade noodles add them during the last 5-7 minutes. (If not you can add premade bowtie or macaroni noodles at this point).

Noodles:
3-4 eggs
about 2 cups milk
pinch salt
wisk together and add enough flour to make into a dough (1-2 cups i think). dough shouldn't be overly sticky. Roll out onto a floured surface, and cut into thin, long noodles. I usually make the noodles before I start the soup, because they need to sit on the counter and dry out for a little while.
Add to soup during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
Scoop a big dollup of mashed potatoes in the bottom of the bowl and cover with soup. ENJOY.
***Try the potatoes, you will never eat chicken noodle soup without them again****

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a delicious pumpkin cupcake recipe that I found on my friend Jen's, "Yummy Fun" website. She made them bite size in mini cupcake tins, I tried full size and they were a hit!

1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. apple sauce
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c heavy cream (or milk)
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. ground cloves
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
pinch of ginger

Mix sugar, eggs, applesauce and cream together. Add flour, soda, baking powder, spices and salt. When smooth add pumpkin and blend until creamy. Preheat oven to 400*. Line muffin tins with paper cups, or grease them. bake for 20 minutes. (12-15 for mini muffins).

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 stick butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T. cream
powdered sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
dash of cinnamon
Blend all ingredients well and chill if necessary until set. I add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until frosting is at the consistency that I want.

**Variation: omit frosting and add chocolate chips to the batter.....

Beef Stew

mmmmmm! One of the ultimate comfort foods in my opinion! I love Fall, and all of its warm foods, and beautiful colors. This recipe is actually my OWN, believe it or not! I adapted it from how I remember my mom making it. And we can't get enough.....especially when there's lots and lots of warm, buttery breadsticks around. Beef Stew

1-2 lbs of stewing beef
4 T. flour
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
10-15 baby carrots, chopped
3-4 potatos, peeled and chopped into bitesize pieces
1 lg. can stewed tomatoes in juice
1 bay leaf
1 c. dried soup mix (not seasoning packets, but the kind from the cannery).
2 cans beef broth
garlic salt
salt
pepper
onion salt

Season the beef pieces with seasonings and dredge in the flour. Saute onion, garlic, celery, and carrots in olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add beef pieces and brown on all sides until cooked through.
Add the rest of indgredients and bring to a boil. If more liquid is needed to cover meat and veggies, add water or more beef stock as needed. Cook for 15 minutes or until veggies are cooked through.


Mac and Cheese

Nothing is better than Mac and cheese, right? How about HOMEMADE Mac and Cheese????
Creamy, dreamy, satisfying!


1 bag elbow macaroni, cooked per package directions
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
3 c. half and half or cream
1 c. milk
salt
pepper
garlic salt
Melt butter and flour together in saute pan until combined. Add half and half and milk. Stir until creamy, gravy-like consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
Add:
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 c. colby jack cheese
1/2 c. swiss cheese
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. velveeta cheese
dash of tabasco or Frank's red hot sauce

Pour cooked elbow macaroni noodles into 9x13 casserole dish. Pour cheese sauce over top and mix together. Cook at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
**Option: can mix up the cheeses and add different kinds for different flavors, can also make a crumb topping of crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter and sprinkle over top before baking.
mmmmm. Can you say "comfort food"????

Sunday, October 19, 2008

French Ham, Cheese, and Egg Fondue Casserole

I love, love, love, when I have time to make a warm, delicious breakfast! Most mornings we are so crazy that we just do the standard cereal, yogurt, and fruit. However, I have been trying to add some protein to breakfast due to all of the studies showing that it helps increase brain activity and helps curb hunger until lunch time. This is a breakfast/brunch casserole that I have made many times, and it is a hit everytime! Perfect for a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning. (Or if you are really motivated, make it for a weekday!!! Enjoy!
2 T. butter softened
3 T. all purpose flour
1 T. mustard powder
24 oz. ham cut into 1 inch cubes (all I had on hand was thin sliced deli ham, and it worked out fine cut into bite size pieces)
8 oz. chedder cheeze cubed
3 c. cubed day old french bread
4 eggs, beaten
3 c. milk
1 dash hot pepper sauce (don't omit this - it's not spicy, just adds LOTS of flavor!)
3 T. butter, Melted
1\2 c. grated parmesan cheese

Generously greased a 9x13 glass baking dish with softened butter. Stir together four and mustard powder. place ham and cheese cubes in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with flour mixture and toss to coat evenly. Add bread cubes and toss to mix. In a separate bow, whish together eggs, milk, and hot pepper sauce.
Pour 1/3 of the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth out to form a layer. Drizzle with 1 T of the melted butter, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the parm cheese. Repeat twice more to form three layers. Pour egg mixture over top, cover with plastic wrap, and put in fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
The next morning, remove from fridge, remove plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. (i only let it sit for as long as it takes to preheat the oven). preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake uncovered until the eggs have set and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.
Serve with fresh fruit and juice and enjoy!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This salad is really versatile, and goes GREAT with Honey Sesame Tenderloin .

Strawberry Spinach Salad:
The actual salad part is up to you, as long as there is spinach and strawberries, you can add whatever else sounds good at the time. This time, I just kept it simple and used spinach, strawberries, and roasted cashews. (amounts to your own taste). But you could add blueberries, mandarin oranges, grapes, and green onions. You could also switch the cashews with some roasted almonds, or any combination of the above. Its the dressing that brings it all together:
Dressing:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil (its really good to use a mix of sesame oil and olive oil - but be careful! the sesame oil has a very STRONG flavor and you don't want it to overpower the dressing!
1/4 c. vinegar (rice vinegar is my favorite).
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. worcestershire sauce
1 T. poppy seeds
1 T. sesame seeds
1 T. chopped onions
Mix in blender until combined and pour over salad just before serving.

Honey Sesame Tenderloin

This was our delicious Sunday dinner today..... Look at how juicy! I love pork tenderloin - it is inexpensive and so versatile! Try it and you'll fall in love!
This was the complete package: Honey Sesame tenderloin, Strawberry Spinach Salad, and Cheesy Dutch oven potatoes. YUMMMM!!!! Honey Sesame Tenderloin:

1 lb. whole pork tenderloin
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. chopped fresh ginger (or 1 T. dry ginger)
1 T. sesame oil
Combine ingredients well and pour into a resealable plastic bag with pork tenderloin. Marinate at least 2 hours or overnight in fridge.

Mix 1/2 c. honey with 2 T. brown sugar.
Remove pork from marinade, pat dry with paper towells, and place in a shallow roasting pan. Pour the rest of the marinade around the pork in the pan. Rub honey mixture all around outside of tenderloin with your fingers, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cook at 275 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

I always double this recipe and use 2 tenderloins, my kids literally eat about 1/2 lb each!!! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pork tenderloin "Stroganoff"

Comfort food at its best!1-2 pork tenderloins depending on how much you want to make
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. apple juice
1/4 c. flour
2 chicken boullion cubes, melted into 2 c. boiling water
chopped or thinly sliced onions
1/4 c. butter
2 T. oil

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium high heat, and sear pork tenderloins on all sides until browned. Place in 9x13 casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute mushrooms and onions in butter and oil for a few minutes, then add flour and stir to combine. Add in the chicken stock and apple juice and stir until thick. Pour over the pork tenderloin and back at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Serve over buttered noodles or rice.
I did it over buttered egg noodles and it was SOOOO good!

Ina Garten's Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Viniagarette



4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c. all purpose flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 extra large eggs
1 T. water
1 1/4 c. seasoned, dry bread crumbs ( I used panko bread crumbs)
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry. (I used plain spinach).
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows.

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4 inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. One a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 T. water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs, and 1/2 c parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium low hear for 2-3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated parmesan cheese.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/2 c. good olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Shepherd's Pie II

This is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. I loved it growing up, and now there are so many recipes out there for twists and turns to add even more deliciousness. I call this shepherd's pie "II" because it is a recipe that I found that is different from the one my mom makes, but a new favorite with the husband and kids.... I will post "Shepherd's Pie I" soon for comparison. (backwards, I know - but so goes my life!) 1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes.
1/2 c. milk
1 T butter (or more to taste)
salt and pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 c. smoky bbq sauce ( I like KC Masterpiece )
1 t. yellow mustard
1 t. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. corn, fresh or frozen, (thawed, if frozen).
chopped cilantro or scallions for garnish

Put potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until done. Drain and mash with milk and butter until creamy. salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9x13 casserole pan. In a large saucepan, cook meat with zucchini, onions, and garlic, until meat is just cooked. Drain if necessary. Stir in bbq sauce, mustard, and brown sugar. Transfer to prepared casserole dish. Scatter corn evenly on top. Spread potatoes carefully over top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees, until filling is bubbly and cheese is just melted, about 20 minutes. (you don't want the cheese to get hard and crusty!).
Feel free to share your variation to the above, I would love to try it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Deviled Chicken Drumsticks

So, I didn't used to be a drumstick kind of person, but this is one of the recipes that changed my mind. Try it - it doesn't disapoint! My kids LOVED it! I found this one on Epicurious.com. Deviled Chicken Drumsticks
12 chicken drumsticks
1/2 c. dijon mustard
3/4 c. panko bread crumbs (japanese bread crumbs)
3/4 c. parmigiano-reggiano cheese
3/4 t. cayenne
3 T. unsalted butter, melted


Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in the upper third. Pat chicken dry, then roll in mustard until evenly coated.

Stir together panko, cheese, cayenne, and 1/2 t. each of salt and pepper. Drizzle with butter and toss. Dredge each drumstick in crumb mixture to coat, then arrange, without crowding, in a buttered, large 4 sided sheet pan. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.




Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ritzy Chicken

This is a favorite of mine that I have been making for awhile. My kids really love it and it is easy on those nights when you're like, "Hmmmm what to make for dinner"..... I'm going to post 2 recipes for it, though, because I made some changes to the original. The original recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks called "Favorites: A Collection of Favorite Ivory Family Recipes". It is so good just the way it is in the original, but it's always fun to add some variations. I got the idea for the variations while browsing through food blogs. I can't remember exactly which one it was, but there was a post for a similar recipe with some changes and it gave me some ideas to try. So here goes:


Original recipe: Ritzy Kid's Chicken

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 c. crushed Ritz crackers
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
2 t. garlic salt
1 t. seasoned salt
1 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. butter, melted

Combine crushed crackers, parmesan, garlic salt and seasoned salt in shallow dish. Pat chicken dry, then coat with yogurt. Dip each piece in cracker mixture and coat all sides. Arrange in 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle melted butter over top. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes ( or until done ).


My variations:

Mix plain yogurt with juice of 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove, chopped, and 1-2 T of chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley and oregano in this batch). Keep the cracker mix the same except I didn't add the garlic salt and season salt because the Ritz crackers are quite salty already, and the parmesan cheese is also salty. Then follow the original recipe from there. My other suggestion is to make sure to pound the chicken thin first, it is more flavorful this way and less dry. Have fun experimenting with it and let me know if you find any fun combinations. We ate it with some french bread, green beans, and cheesy potatoes. Finger-lickin good!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grilled lemon chicken with oregano

Ok, so I love lemons and their flavor, but I have a hard time with lemon chicken for some reason. It always seems a little dry and "puckery" to me. I've tried many recipes and this one turned out the moistest (is that a word?) so far. There was still something missing though, not sure what...but my kids LOVED it and I will definitely be making it again. They liked sqeezing the grilled lemons over the chicken before they ate it. (and I thought it looked kind of fancy... but I'm kind of a geek. (This was adapted from www.recipegirl.blogspot.com)

1 T. grated lemon zest
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 bonelss skinless chicken breast cutlets (the ones that are already cut thin).
4 medium lemons, halved

Prepare marinade:
In a small bowl, whisk lemon zest and juice, oregano, oil, 2 t. coarse salt and 1 t. pepper. Place chicken and marinade in large ziplock bag and set aside for 30 minutes at room temp, turning bags occasionally.
Preheat grill, brush grates with some olive oil to prevent sticking. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken on grill and cook until done (about 10 minutes if you have the thin cutlets). Transfer chicken to cutting board, tent with foil and let rest. Meanwhile, place lemon halves on the grill, cut side down and cook until slightly charred. Serve chicken breasts with lemon halves.
We had green beans and fruit with this and it was really pretty good.

Blueberry Cinnamon Muffins



I love muffins! I love them for breakfasts and snacks! I love to try new recipes and this one from the RecipeGirl was a winner for me! I used fresh blueberries.... Sorry about the poor picture quality... I am still working on my camera skills, but I think you can get the general idea....


1/4 c. regular oats

2 T. brown sugar

1 t. ground cinnamon, divided

1/4 c. butter softened

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. egg substitute ( or 2 eggs )

1 t. vanilla extract

2 c. all purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1 1/4 c. lowfat buttermilk ( to make your own buttermilk just add 1 T. regular vinegar to each 1 c. of milk and let it sit for a minute - for this recipe, I just made 2 c. worth and then measured out 1 1/4 c. when i was ready to use it...)

1 c. fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 350*. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray. Stir together oats, brown sugar, and 1/2 t. cinnamon; set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and beat just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Combine all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 t. cinnamon; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in blueberries. (hint: if you mix about 1 t. flour in with the blueberries before you stir them in, they won't sink to the bottom of the muffin mix). Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle evenly with oat mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden. Cool muffins in pans for 5 minutes; remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 15 muffins.

Chocolate Cake with a twist


I can't begin to describe the deliciousness of this cake.....I have dreams about it......sweet, sweet dreams.....aaaaaaahhhh chocolate, cream cheese, coconut - what more could you ask for? My friend Anna introduced me to this lovely treat (as she does with most things that I think are delicious) and I couldn't rest until I made it for myself.
1. Grease a 9x13 pan and then cover the bottom generously with coconut and chopped pecans OR walnuts. (I prefer pecans myself).
2. Make a chocolate cake according to the directions on the box. (I used a devil food's cake and it was divine....)
3. Poor the cake batter over the coconut and choppped nuts.
4. Make a cream cheese frosting with: 8 oz cream cheese, softened, 1/2 c butter, softened and 2 cups powdered sugar.
5. Drop big dollups of the frosting all over the cake batter.
6. Use a knife (or a toothpick) to cut the cream cheese frosting in to the cake batter without disturbing the bottom.
7. Bake at 350* for around 40 minutes or until the middle seems "set" and not jiggly. (mine took about 45 minutes before it was ready).
8. Cut a big slice, go somewhere you can be alone, and enjoy the decadence. mmmmmmmm!!!

Layered Greek Dip



I made this for my book club the other night. Its a different twist on the mexican layered chip dip - its layered deliciousness gone greek!!! I found this recipe on RecipeGirl's website! I served it with Pita chips and it was a hit!!


8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1t. dried italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. prepared hummus ( I used the roasted red pepper hummus from Costco)
1 c. chopped cucumber
1 c. chopped tomato
1/2 c. pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/3 c. sliced green onions
Pita Chips

Cream together cream cheese, lemon juice, italian seasoning, and garlic until smooth and well combined. Spread mixture into a deep 9 inch pie plate or oval platter. Spread hummus on top of cream cheese layer. Sprinkle on the chopped veggies, cheese, and onions. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Serve with pita chips!
***I was going to also try this substituting sour cream for the cream cheese.....****

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Thai Chicken Salad



This salad is so fun and yummy, with a kick from the jalepeno's, creaminess from the avocado, and freshness from the cilantro!!! Try it - you won't be disappointed!!!

2 grilled chicken breasts, cubed (I seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic salt, brushed with olive oil and then grilled).
1/2 bag preshredded coleslaw mix (green cabbage, purple cabbabe, and carrots)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce chopped
2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and diced
1-2 avocado's chopped
1/2 c. cilantro

Toss together and cover with dressing.

Dressing:
1/2 c. Rice vinegar
1/2 t. sesame oil
3 T. fish sauce (This stuff smells nasty, but don't be scared...it makes a good dressing! you can find it in the asian section of the grocery store)
2 t. sugar

Wisk together, add to salad, and toss!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Breaded, fried, delicious zucchini

Now, I know fried foods are taboo, but this is a worthy exception, at least once a summer. (We have it at least once a week when zucchini are fresh and delicious.) I promise it won't dissapoint! 1-2 zucchini's sliced thin
1-2 sleeves of ritz crackers
season salt, salt and pepper, and garlic salt to taste
1 egg
1 T. milk

Mix egg and milk together in a bowl. Crush up ritz crackers. Season the crumbs with season salt, salt and pepper, and garlic salt. (keep in mind the ritz are kind of salty so don't overdue the seasonings.) Dip each zucchini slice in the egg mixture and then in the ritz mixture. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat. Add 1-2 T of olive oil and 1-2 T of butter to pan and then add breaded zucchini and fry on both sides until golden brown and soft. Pop 5-10 in your mouth and enjoy!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Panko Crusted Pork Chops with Orange-rosemary sauce




Ok. So, long title equals hard and scary dinner, right??? WRONG! These pork chops are so easy, my kids love them, and it sounds really fancy when you tell people what you're making for dinner! Try it you'll love it!!! Promise!


4 pork chops, about 1 lb.
salt and pepper
Garlic salt to taste

1-2 c. panko bread crumbs

3 T. grated parm cheese

2 eggs

2 T. olive oil


season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic salt on both sides. Put eggs in a bowl and wisk. Dip pork chops in egg and then in panko bread crumbs. (Don't let the panko bread crumbs scare you... they are found in the oriental section of the grocery store, but I love them so much more than regular bread crumbs because they don't get soggy!!! If you can't find them, just used regular bread crumbs, or crushed up Ritz crackers). Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chops and brown for 1 minute on each side. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook pork chops for about 4 more minutes on each side. Remove chops from heat and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.



1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup couscous
about 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey

To same skillet add 2 rosemary sprigs, marmalade, Dijon, and honey. Cook and stir over medium high heat, until thick and syrupy, about two minutes. Remove rosemary sprigs and add pork back to skillet. Meanwhile, in a medium microwaveable bowl, place chicken broth. Heat in microwave on high until boiling. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand until serving time; fluff with fork just before serving. To serve, divide couscous between four plates. Top with pork chop and orange sauce and garnish with rosemary sprigs.
**After making this, we decided the couscous needed a little something more - it was kind of bland...I'm working on it and will get back to you. Try it with rice or mashed potatoes also!***

Friday, July 25, 2008

California Grilled Chicken Wild Rice Salad


This is the perfect summer salad, fresh, full of veggies and satisfying! Try it and you'll see!!!! Serve it with some crusty french bread and fruit and you'll have a meal nobody can refuse!!



2 boxes white and wild rice cooked per box directions. ( I used rice a roni brand ).

3-4 grilled chicken breasts, sliced into bite size pieces ( I seasoned mine with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and olive oil, grilled it and then squeezed fresh lime juice over it ).

4 green onions, chopped

1 green bell pepper, diced ( the original recipe calls for a red pepper, but all i had was green :). I think that the red would give the salad a fun color though).

3 oz snow peas, chopped into bite size pieces

2 med avocados, diced

1 c. chopped almonds ( or pecans ), toasted.


Combine cooked rice, chicken, green onions, bell pepper, snow peas, cooled nuts and toss.

Add dressing and avocados right before serving and toss together. Can be eaten warm or cold.


Dressing:

2 cloves garlic

2 t. dijon mustard

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1/4 t. sugar

1/3 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar (i just used plain, because that is what I had on hand...)

1/3 c. olive oil


Mix all together in blender, adding oil in a slow stream last.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pictures!!!!

Ok...so I am finally back online and I am trying to add pictures to all of my recipes... here are a few to get started and I will add the rest as I make them.... This first one is White chicken chile.. yum!

This next one is "Company Chicken" over mashed potatoes:
These are the famous breadsticks: I am working on the rest so bare with me! smooches!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Time OUT!

Hey everyone! I am having major computer difficulties, and will be out of commission for a few more weeks! But don't despair! I will be back with a vengence very soon, with some yummy recipes to share! I also am working on adding pictures in, so just be patient and don't give up on me!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Best banana dessert EVER!

So I had to share this one, so easy, and sooooo yum! My friend Anna shared it with me and I am now forever in love with it!

3-4 not ripe banana's (the greener the better).
hershey's chocolate bars
mini marshmallow's

Without peeling, split each banana in half long ways, NOT cutting all the way through. (like you're making a little pocket). Stuff as much chocolate and marshmallow in the little pocket as you can. Wrap the entire banana in aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes - until the chocolate and marshmallow's are gooey and banana is soft. Unwrap and scoop out with a spoon. (Try to share :) )
*Can also be done on the grill*
*I was thinking that a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be a delicious addition to this as well*

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tomato Basil Tart

1 pre-baked pie crust
1/2 c. mayo
1/4 c. (+) parmesan cheese
1 c. loosley packed fresh basil
minced garlic (2-3 TBSP)
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
approx 5-6 tomatoes
kosher salt/pepper

Pre-bake crust. Sprinkle 1/2 c. mozzarella on warm crust and let melt. Cut tomatoes in wedges or slices and arrange on melted cheese/crust. Sprinkle/grind salt and pepper on top of tomatoes. Place/spoon fresh basil and garlic uniformly on tomatoes. In bowl, combine parmesan, remaining mozzarella and mayo. Spoon cheese mixture over basil/garlic, spreading evenly. Bake at 375 for approx 35 minutes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas with white sauce

This is another spin on enchiladas - try my recipe for the red sauce also!! This one is more mild, but still very yummy! (and easier to make, too!) Thanks for sharing Kristi!

12 tortillas (corn or flour, whichever you prefer)
1 ½ cups cooked/ shredded chicken
1 onion chopped
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 can green chilies chopped
1 ½ cup grated cheese
Black beans rinsed
Can of Corn rinsed

Fill tortillas with cooked chicken, onions, blacks beans, and corn and roll up and place in 9x13 pan.
In sauce pan melt butter over medium heat, add flour and stir until bubbles form. Add chicken broth and stir constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and add sour cream and chilies, stir. Pour over the chicken filled tortillas and cover with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes!!

Enjoy

Monday, April 14, 2008

Strawberry Spinach Salad

2 T. sesame seeds
1 T. poppy seeds
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. worcestershire sauce
1T. minced onion
10 oz. fresh spinach
1 qt. strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/4 c. almonds, slivered

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, worcestershire sauce, and onion. Cover and chill for an hour.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach , strawberries, and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss about 10 minutes before serving.
**I used rice wine vinegar, and a little sesame oil in with the olive oil***

Stromboli

Thanks Stacey for this one! it is yummy!!!

2 loaves frozen bread dough (I used Rhodes)
8 pieces hard salami
1/2 lb ham
24 pieces small pepperoni
8 slices deli provolone cheese
8 oz shredded mozzerella cheese
italian seasoning

Thaw out bread dough and roll each out about 1 ft wide and 2 ft tall ( Mine didn't get this big and still worked wonderfully! It ended up being about 1 ft by 1 ft...). Lay all ingredients in a row down the middle of the dough. (I did provolone, meats, mozzerella). Fold the edges of the dough together so it's closed. Sprinkle a cookie sheet with corn meal and then lay the 2 stromboli's on it seam side down. Sprinkle top with italian seasoning. Cook at 350* for 20 minutes or until bread is all the way done, slightly golden on top. This makes 2 large strombolis - you can cook them both and then freeze one for another day (or for lunch the next day...). Tastes best dipped in pizza or spaghetti sauce.

**My changes: I spread garlic butter along the inside of the dough before I put in all my ingredients, and then I brushed melted butter over the top before I put on my italian seasoning,
SOOOOOO GOOD!!!*** It was yummy the next day too!

Easy Barbeque Chicken and Beans

This is one of my Aunt Ruthie's recipes. Good, easy dinner....

1 large can pork and beans (or 2-3 small).
4 chicken breasts (or bunch of chicken tenders)

Spread beans in dish, either 9x9 or 9x13 depending on size of family. Place chickens on top of beans. (I added some cooked bacon bits and garlic to the beans for extra flavor).

Mix:
1/4 c. ketchup
2 T. peach jam
2 t. minced onion
1 t. soy sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar

Spread over chicken and bake at 325* for 1 hour. (can double sauce for large pan..). Serve with baked potatoes and green beens.

Poppy Seed Chicken

I know most people probably have this recipe, but it is easy and yummy for a quick dinner! And I usually have all the ingredients on hand!

3 c. cooked, diced chicken.
1 (8 oz.) ctn. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 whole roll crushed Ritz crackers
1/4-1/2 c. melted butter
2 t. poppy seeds

Place chicken in bottom of a 9x9 dish. Mix together the sour cream and soup and spread over chicken. Mix butter and crushed crackers with poppy seeds. Sprinkle cracker mixture over top of chicken mixture. Bake at 350* for 1/2 hour.

** I season my chicken breasts with garlic salt and put them in raw instead of cooking them first. Just increased the cooking time to 45 min-1 hour, or until chicken is done. We like to eat this over white rice.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ham and potato Soup

3 1/2 c. peeled and diced potato's. (i used red ones).
1/3 c. diced celery
1/3 c. chopped carrots
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 c. diced cooked ham
1 clove chopped garlic
1 can chicken stock plus 2 can fulls of water
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
5 T. butter
5 T. flour
2 c. milk

Combine veggies, onion, garlic a ham in large soup pan. saute for a few minutes and then add chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, the cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook stirring constantly until thick, about one minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form. continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the soup and cook until heated through. We like to top ours with grated cheese and chopped green onions, and have breadsticks to dip into the soup. yummy!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gooey caramel bars






32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (I used 1 bag of the kraft caramel bits - awesome because you don't have to unwrap them!!!)
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( i used milk chocolate, because I like them better...)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares while it is still warm.

***Tip from my friend: use about 3/4 of the oat mixture to cover the bottom of the pan and just save about 1/4 to crumble over the top. Works better this way.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Honey Wheat Bread






As I have said before... I HEART any kind of homemade breads or rolls! This one is definitely a keeper (and healthy too!) My kids loved it fresh out of the oven!!!

1 package rapid rise yeast
1 t. white sugar
1/2 c. warm water

Mix and set aside.

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. melted shortening
1/4 c. honey
2 t. salt
2 c. whole wheat flour
3 c. bread flour
2 T. butter

Combine milk, 1/4 c. water, shortening, honey, salt and wheat flour in food processor or bowl. Mix in yeast mixture, and let rest 15 minutes. Add white flour, and process until dough forms a ball. Knead dough 80 seconds more in mixer or 10 minutes by hand. Place dough in bettered bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.
Punch down, and divide dough in half. Roll out each half, and pound out the bubbles. Form into loaves, and place in buttered 9x5 inch bread pans. Butter the tops of the dough, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise is a warm place until doubled; about 30 minutes.
Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 375*. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until tops are dark, golden brown. Butter crusts while warm. Slice when cool and enjoy!!

***I doubled the honey and used melted butter instead of the shortening!!! ****
***I have also made it where I substituted applesauce instead of the butter (which is probably my favorite way....

Yummy dinner!

So I just made a very delish dinner tonight and wanted to share! The recipes are below for barbecued chicken and warm potato salad. Let me know what you think!!!! Smooches!

Barbecued chicken from Barefoot Contessa

I made this for dinner tonight and it is one of the best barbeque sauces I have ever made!

2 chickens, quartered with backs removed (they come already cut at the grocery store)

Barbecue sauce:
1 1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
1 T. minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/2 c. veg oil
1 c. tomato paste
1 c. cider vinegar
1 c. honey
1/2 c. worcestershire sauce
1 c. dijon mustard
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 c. hoisin sauce
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1/2 T. crushed red pepper flakes

In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the veg oil for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are translucent, but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in refrigerator.

Marinate chicken pieces in 2/3 of sauce for 2 hours to overnight. (reserve some sauce for basting). Cook on grill on low heat until done. (about 45 minutes).

***This sauce is really yummy, but we had trouble with it burning on our grill due to the long cooking time. Next time, I will just use boneless, skinless chicken for a shorter cooking time so the sauce doesn't burn.

Grilled Italian-style Potato Salad

This is so yummy and so easy!!!!

2 lb. small red potatoes, halved
1/3 c. water
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. kraft zesty italian dressing
1/4 c. real mayonnaise
4 slices bacon, cooked to a crisp and crumbled
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place potatoes in 2 qt. microwaveable bowl. Add water; cover with lid. Microwave on high 8 min; drain. Add garlic and 2 T. of the dressing and toss to coat.
Spray large sheet of heavy-duty foil with cooking spray. Spoon potato mix onto center of foil. Bring up sides and make into a "packet" leaving room for heat circulation inside.
Grill 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, turning packet over after 10 minutes. Mix may and remaining 2 T. of dressing in large bowl. Add potatoes, bacon, and onions and toss to coat. Serve warm.

***Those were the "book" instructions - These are my changes (which I like a lot better!)
First: I covered a sheet pan with olive oil, salted my potatoes and garlic and roasted them in a 420* oven for about 35 minutes. (I didn't microwave or put them on the grill). I mixed the other ingredients in a bowl and then tossed in the warm potatoes right out of the oven...yum!
Second: I doubled the "sauce" - so instead of 1/4 c. italian dressing and 1/4 c. mayo, I used 1/2 c. of each.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Asian Noodle Salad

This is from "pioneer woman cooks". I am making it for dinner tonight. We will see how it goes...

1 packages linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled
1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin (if available)
1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”)
3 sliced scallions
3 peeled, sliced cucumbers
LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch
1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet

DRESSING:

Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapeƱos, chopped
More chopped cilantro—LOTS


Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.*Dressing keeps up to three days before serving, WITHOUT cilantro.
Enjoy!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Homemade Egg Nog




My mom does this the best! It is so good! really fattening, but once a year, who cares!!!

1 1/3 c. sugar
8 egg yolks
1 t. salt
8 c. milk
8 c. half and half
8 egg whites
3/4 c. sugar
4 t. vanilla
4 t. brandy flavoring
1 c. whipped and sweetened (with powdered sugar and vanilla), cream

Beat sugar and egg yolks. Add salt. Stir in half and half, and milk. Cook over medium heat in Large saucepan, stirring so it doesn't scorch. Don't boil. Watch for steam to start coming out. Take off heat and cool.
Beat egg whites until just foamy, no peaks. Add 3/4 c. sugar and blend. Fold egg whit mix into cooled half and half mix. Add brandy flavoring. Serve each glass with a dollup of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

I'm not one for straight tomato soups, but this one is different. Really good when eaten with my breadsticks dipped in it! It requires a lot of pans, but the result is DELISH!!

3 c. whole tomatos with juice
1/4 c. veg oil
1 c. finely diced celery
1 c. finely diced onions
1 c. finely diced carrots
4 T. fresh oregano (or 1 t. dried)
4 c. chicken broth
2 T. butter
1/2 c. flour
2 c. half and half, warmed
1 c. parm cheese
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
bay leaf
1 T. basil

Place whole tomatos and juice in a bowl or food processor, and puree. Set aside. Heat oil in soup pot, add celery, onions, and carrots. Saute 5 minutes. Add basil, oregano, and bay leaf. Add tomatos and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until carrots are tender. About 15 minutes. While soup simmers, prepare a roux. Melt butter in skillet over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes. Stir one cup hot soup into roux, stirring constantly. Add another 3 c. hot soup and stir until mixture is smooth. Add the roux mix back into rest of hot soup and bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Soup will begin to thicken. In a separate saucepan, warm half and half over low heat and set aside. add parm cheese to soup and wisk to blend. Stir in warm half and half. Add salt and pepper. Simmer soup over low heat 15-20 min, stirring occasionally to blend half and half and parm cheese into soup as soup thickens. Remove from heat and serve.

Orange muffins with Brown Sugar Glaze

I got this recipe from "the pioneer woman cooks" website. Really yummy!

1 c. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, add 1 T. vinegar to 1 c. milk)
1 t. baking soda
2 c. sifted flour
grated rind of 2 oranges
juice of 2 oranges
1 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and mix well. Dissolve baking soda into buttermilk; pour in mixing bowl. Add 2 c. flour and orange rind and mix together well. Fill mini muffin pans (regular ones work, too) 2/3 full and bake for 12-17 minutes, until light golden. Remove from oven.

Combine 1 c. brown sugar with the juice from the 2 oranges. Stir together, and drizzle over warm muffins. Remove from pans immediately and eat warm.

Ebilskivers

Ebil-what??? Its a breakfast thingy that's danish,( I think)! All i know is that they are very good, you have to have a special pan, and my grandma used to make them for us all the time if we slept over.

2 c. flour
2 1/4 c. buttermilk
3 eggs
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. nutmeg

Mix all ingredients until lumps are gone. Scoop into oiled ebilskiver pan and cook until done, turning over when golden brown. Top with powdered sugar, or jam, or syrup, whatever you like! (it's like having a fluffy doughnut hole for breakfast!)

Million Dollar Dessert

Easy, chocolatey and good!

1st layer:
3/4 c. nuts, chopped fine
1 1/2 c. flour
3 T. sugar
3/4 c. butter, softened

Mix and press into 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Let cool.

2nd layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. cool whip
Mix and spread over cooled 1st layer.

3 rd layer:
1 lg. pkg instant chocolate pudding
3 c. milk
Mix together and spread on 2nd layer. Cover the entire dessert with cool whip and sprinkle with chopped nuts ( if desired).
Keep in fridge until ready to eat!

Chex mix: The original

This is one of my favorite snacks ever! I can't imagine a superbowl without it!

6 T. butter
2 T. worsestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. seasoned salt
3/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
3 c. corn chex cereal
3 c. rice chex cereal
3 c. wheat chex cereal
1 c. mixed nuts
1 c. bite size pretzels
1 c. bagel chips ( i don't use these because I don't like them! I just add extra pretzels and nuts..)

Heat oven to 250 degrees. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven, don't let it brown! stir in seasonings. Gradually add remaining ingredients until evenly coated.
Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels until cooled. Store in airtight container. ( the 1 gallon size ziplock bags work well, too!)

Bread recipe for those who can't make bread

If I can do this, so can you!

2 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1/2 c. hot tap water
Mix together and set aside.

In mixing bowl mix all together:
7 c. flour
5 c. warm h2o
2 T. salt
2/3 c. cooking oil
2/3 c. honey (pour in oil first and then honey and it won't stick to the measuring cup!)

Then add 1 more cup flour. Mix. Add yeast mixture.
Add approx. 4 more cups flour and mix until desired consistency. Knead for 10 minutes. (i just let my kitchen aid do all the work for me!) Grease 2 large bread pans. and let dough rise in pans for about 35 munutes. preheat oven to 350 degrees. bake for 35 minutes. brush with melted butter if desired.
So good right out of the oven with butter!!!! yum yum!!

Really Good Artichoke Dip in a bread bowl

This recipe is courtesy of my friend Monica. I don't think she gets invited to any gatherings unless she promises to make this! And rightly so, it is addicting and delicious!

8 oz cream cheese softened
8 oz mayonnaise
1 T. dill
2 small or 1 large can of artichoke hearts in oil.
sourdough breadbowl

Dig out center of bread bowl and save for dipping later. Drain artichoke hearts and cut into ite size pieces. Mix together with all other ingredients and put in breadbowl. Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil and bake in 250 degree oven for 2 hours. Serve with crackers and saved bread.

Lex's famous Barbeque

Now, this is my dad's one and only famous recipe - but it's a good one and he definitely can make it the best. I think most people call them "sloppy joe's", but we grew up calling them "barbeque's" so that's what I named it. They are best served with homemade french fries ( I will post the recipe), and homemade fry sauce.

1 lb. ground beef
Brown with 1/2 -1 onion, chopped - depending if you like lots of onions or not.
season with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and season salt.
Then add:
1 sm can tomato sauce
3/4-1 c. HEINZ ketchup (yes the brand does make a difference!! it is a sin in my family to taint the meat with lesser brands!!!) - we judge the amount by taste
2 T. vinegar
2-3 T. brown sugar (again start small and add later)
1 t. ground mustard
1-2 T. worcestershire sauce
Simmer all together and let all the flavors blend, taste and check for seasoning and flavor and add more of anything until it tastes just right....If the mixture is too runny add flour a tablespoon at a time until it thickens up. I like to top mine with a slice of cheese. My husband also adds pickles onto his.

Ribbon Jello



I know, I know - a jello recipe you say??? This is the one and only one that I will ever post because it has a special place in my heart. It was made with love by either my mom or one of my aunt's for every thanksgiving that I can ever remember and I attempted it by myself this year. This is not a recipe for the impatient or the perfectionist. It takes hours to make and seconds to eat. But the presentation is amazing and it actually is good for jello!!!!

6 - 3oz pkgs jello (i like to make a rainbow so I get a red, orange, yellow, blue, green, and purple colored mix - you can use any flavors you want, but the different colors give an awesome look!)

For each package:
dissolve jello in 1 c. boiling water and then divide mixture evenly into 2 bowls.
Bowl 1: stir 1/3 c. sour cream. Pour into 9x13 baking dish. let set until firm in fridge.
Then top with:
Bowl 2: Stir in 3 T. cold h20, pour over set sour cream layer. Return to fridge and let set until firm.
Then repeat process with each new color/package of jello.
I promise you'll like it if you try it!

The best Thanksgiving stuffing EVER!!



I made this for Thanksgiving this last year and everyone raved!!!

1 1/2 c. cubed whole wheat bread
3 3/4 c. cubed white bread
1 lb. turkey sausage ( I used mild italian sausage and it was good!)
1 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. chopped celery
2 1/2 t. dried sage
1 1/2 t. dried rosemary
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 golden delicious apple, cored and chopped
3/4 c. dried cranberries
1/3 c. minced fresh parsley
1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped ( if this grosses you out just leave it out!)
3/4 c. turkey stock ( i used canned chicken stock)
4 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until evenly toasted. Transfer into a large bowl.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme, cook for 2 minutes to blend flavors.

Pour sausage into bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with butter and turkey stock and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to fill loosely. **I didn't stuff my turkey - i just put the stuffing back onto a cookie sheet and warmed it through and it was wonderful!**

Chocolate Eclair Cake










Graham crackers
2 3oz pkgs vanilla flavored instant pudding
3 1/2 c. milk
1 8oz tub cool whip
chocolate frosting

Line 9x11 baking dish with graham crackers to cover bottom. Whip pudding and milk. Add cool whip to pudding mix and mix until smooth. Add a layer of pudding mix on top of graham crackers. Add another layer of crackers, and top with another layer of pudding mix. End with a cracker layer and frost with chocolate frosting. (i just buy a can of like betty crocker stuff and stick it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds to soften it up a bit and then it spreads easier!). Let set in fridge for at least an hour or overnight if you can.

Christmas Balls of Chocolate Goodness

This is like my most favorite candy that my mom used to make for Christmas - they are involved but so so so yummy!!!

1 can eagle brand milk
1 box+ 1 c. powdered sugar ( i believe that a box consists of 3 1/2 c.)
2 squares butter, softened
1 t. vanilla

cream above ingredients until smooth and then divide into 4 sections. Freeze. After frozen scoop out balls with a melon baller (or other such tool) and refreeze on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Dip frozen balls into melted dipping chocolate and then roll in chopped nuts. Try not to eat them all yourself. You should share. (at least a few...)

Christmas Caramels


mmmmm, it took about 3 tries but I finally got this down - candy thermometer is a necessity! ( i know Christmas is over, but I'm trying to get all my recipes in so just deal with it!!! there will probably be random holiday things thrown in here and there... :)

2 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. light corn syrup
2 c. heavy whip cream
1/8 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1/2-3/4 c. chopped nuts ( i used walnuts)

Combine sugar, syrup, salt, butter, and 1 cup of cream in a large saucepan (important to use a large one because when this boils it expands and it is really hot!) Stir constantly until mixture comes to a full boil - then gradually add rest of cream making sure mixture doesn't stop boiling. cook to "hard ball stage" or 250 degrees on candy thermometer. ***(if you would like them to be chewier only cook until 234 degrees - play with it and see what you like!) Remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into buttered 8 inch square pan. Let cool and enjoy! ( you can share with your neighbors if you're in the Christmas mood.... :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cottage Cheese Crescent Rolls





I love to make rolls and bread and this was a fun, easy twist!

Combine in food processor or by hand, mixing just until dough forms soft ball that holds itself together:
1 c. butter, chilled (you could probably use less, they were good when I made them, but too greasy)
2 c. flour
1 c. cottage cheese (regular or lowfat)

Shape into balls approximately 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Cover and chill well.Roll dough balls into one big ball and roll out as for pie crust on lightly floured surface (9-10” diameter). Cut into wedges of preferred size. Shape into crescents (roll, beginning at widest end.) Place on ungreased or parchment-lined shallow-rimmed pan, point down.Bake 12-15 minutes in pre-heated 375˚ oven until golden brown.NOTE: This is a very soft, tender dough. May be frozen before or after shaping. makes 1-2 dozen, depending on size.

Taco Bake Casserole





I got this off of a recipe blogsite and it was really good and easy!
Brown 3/4 - 1 lbs. ground beef with onions, salt and pepper.
Once browned, add:
1 can tomato soup
1.5 cups salsa (or more to taste)
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1/2 c. milk
8 corn tortillas (cut into 1 inch squares).

Mix well, pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly on top. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce and tortilla chips.

Cheesy Veggie Soup

1 16 oz. bag frozen veggies (California Medley - broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

1 16 oz. bag frozen broccoli

1 can broccoli soup

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1 can evaporated milk

1/4 c. finely chopped onions (or 1/8 c. dried minced onion)

1/2 tsp. minced garlic (optional)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Pour ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, or high for 1-2 hours. Sprinkle with cheese and serve in bread bowl or with crusty french bread. Delish


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Zuppa Toscana Soup (like Olive Garden's)


2 ¾ cups chicken broth
¼ cup heavy cream
1 med russet potato
2 cups chopped kale
½ lb Italian sausage (spicy to taste)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you like spicy)

Combine broth and cream together over med. Heat. Cube unpeeled potato and add, add kale. Saute sausage and break into small pieces and add to the soup. Add spices and simmer for an hour!

If you have a big family, double the recipe!( or triple...) We like to dip breadsticks in it....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Blue

I made this for Sunday dinner and it was wonderful! We had mashed potatoes and green beans on the side!

6 chicken breasts - pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
6 thick slices swiss cheese
6 slices deli shaved ham
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. Italian flavored bread crumbs

Place slice of cheese and ham on each chicken breast. Roll up and secure with toothpick, place in bottom of crock pot. Mix soup and milk. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Orange Dream Cookies

This recipe is to die for! Thanks to my friend Laurel for sharing her recipe! It's a fun twist on chocolate chip cookies! We ate the whole batch in like 2 days!!!

1 c. butter softened
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. grated orange rind
2 t. orange extract
2 1/4 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 c. white chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, eggs, extract and orange rind together. Combine flour, soda, and salt and then slowly add into mixing bowl with other ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chips at the end with a wooden spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I love "oriental" food of all kinds...Chinese, Japanese, etc, etc. This is the best lettuce wrap that I have ever made - hope you enjoy it too! Almost gone.....They don't last very long!





1-2 heads Lettuce (iceberg works the best - but I have used romaine and it tasted really good too, just not as easy to wrap up!)
6 T. oil
5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 cans water chestnuts - drained and chopped fine
8 oz mushrooms - chopped fine
6 T. chopped onion
2 t. minced garlic (I used 2 medium-ized cloves)
Shredded carrots

Saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Add chicken and cook until chicken is almost cooked through, breaking up the chicken into smaller pieces with a spatula as it cooks. Add water chestnuts and mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. Then add the following sauce and cook for a couple of minutes:

4 T. soy sauce
4 T. brown sugar
1 t. rice wine vinegar

Separate the iceberg into big leaves and spoon chicken mixture inside and roll up like a burrito and enjoy! We like to dip ours in the following sauce:

Sweet and Sour dipping sauce:

1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
2 T. ketchup (heinz is best!)
1 T. lemon juice
1/8 t. sesame oil
1 T. hot chinese style mustard (if this is hard to find, I use dijon mustard and it tastes fabulous!)
2 t. minced garlic
1 t. red chile paste (in the asian section of the grocery store)

*The recipe doesn't call for it, but I like to season my chicken with salt and pepper and garlic salt for some extra flavor. I also double the sauce recipe. This is very good with fried rice!

THE SEARCH IS ON!!!!!

Share with us all! If you have any recipes you would like me to post or try, email them to me: amber.lamb@yahoo.com . Thanks for sharing your kitchens with me! Happy cooking!

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