Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mexican Chicken Butternut Squash Soup

I made this soup today for lunch and it was SOOO good - great Fall dinner!

1 TBSP Olive Oil
2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (I buy it all ready at Costco) – you could add more if you like it
2 pint size jars of mild salsa (I use my homemade salsa but you could use any brand that you like – (if it is extra chunky salsa you might want to add an extra can of chicken or vegetable broth)
1 cup peeled thinly sliced celery (I used 3 stalks)
1 7 ounce can of chopped mild green chilies (you can omit this or up the heat for a spicier soup)
2 TBSP sugar (you can omit this if you want)
2 tsp black pepper (I don’t really measure – just sprinkle it in – same for all of the spices)
2 tsp red chile powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tsp. yellow cumin powder
1 can white beans
1 can corn
1 can chicken broth
2-3 cups of leftover rotisserie chicken or 2-3 cooked chicken breasts boiled and shredded

In large soup pot, drizzle olive oil and add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 1 hour. Serve with a large dollop of sour cream and crunched up organic corn chips. So yummy!

Makes 6 main-course servings.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Buttermilk Harvest Waffles

2 cups flour (I used a non-bleached all-purpose high-fiber)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt (or 2 cups buttermilk)
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey or 5 tbsp. sugar (I used agave nectar)
3/4 cup pumpkin, applesauce, or mashed over-ripe bananas

Mix all wet ingredients together in a mixer until smooth. Add combined dry ingredients until blended well. I added a small amount of water to the mix as the flour I used was a little extra dense and also I used yogurt in place of the liquid buttermilk.

Spray the waffle iron and add batter per your waffle maker instructions. Cook and serve with real maple syrup and butter. My girls like powdered sugar on theirs. It would also be great with an apple-pie filling topping. I used applesauce when I made them but I think pumpkin would be really good too. Next time!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Honey Wheat Pancakes

I came across this recipe by chance when I googled homemade healthy pancakes and it was a video recipe production by Paula Dean and her son - so cute - I love her voice! Anyway, my youngest daughter and I made them and they were a huge hit - even my teenage son and his girlfriend loved them and we had a delicious "breakfast for dinner" last night... hope you enjoy them too!

Paula Dean's Honey Wheat Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 stick melted butter
1 TBSP honey

Mix dry ingredients together and then add to mixed wet ingredients with a wire wisk - do not over beat - the batter will have some lumps but don't worry they cook up beautifully.

I do not keep buttermilk on hand but here are 2 simple ways to substitute for it if you need it in a recipe:

1. 1 cup milk (I use skim rBST free) + 1 TBSP white vinegar - STIR
2. Plain yogurt substitutes cup for cup

We ate ours with butter and a drizzle of the organic blue agave nectar (from Costco) - delish!

Tamara Kopp

Monday, August 8, 2011

No-Flour Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of Adam's Crunchy Peanut Butter
2 large eggs
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 cup of sugar

Servings: Approximately 22 Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350*.

Mix ingredients completely. Using a cookie scoop (I think mine is approx. 1 1/2 in. round), scoop out cookie "dough" and place approximately 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake @ 350* for 14 minutes, watching closely. If it looks like they need another 2 minutes, then that is the time to take them out of the oven. If they look like they need about 3-4 minutes, cook 1 more minute then remove from oven. Cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes, then remove (be gentle)using a spatula and let cool on cookie racks. Let them cool completely. Although, they are great for dunking in milk especially if slightly warm and the chocolate chips are somewhat gooey. Store in a container. Enjoy!
(I use a silpat so the cookies bake very nicely)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Raspberry-Hazelnut (Walnut) Scones

Oh my!!!
I so wish I could eat these-
**gluten filled**
yummy scones!

You can even make and shape them the day before.
Then when you're ready for a warm scone straight from the oven,
you just pop them in.

2 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. chilled butter
3/4 c. plus 2 T whipping cream
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
*** I use walnuts***
4 T. raspberry preserves

Combine first 4 ingredients in food processor and blend. Add chunks of cold butter and pulse until it resembles corn meal. (I'm sure you can do that with a fork or pastry cutter too.) Add 3/4 c. cream. Blend just until dough comes together. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. nuts. Gently knead 4/5 times to mix in nuts.

Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Shape into ball. Press out to 6 inch round (1/4 inch thick). Spread preserves over 2 rounds leaving 1/2 inch plain border. Place 1 plain round on top; seal edges. (If not baking right away, wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge)

Preheat oven to 400. Butter baking sheet. Brush each round with 1 T cream. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup nuts pressing in to adhere. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake until puffed and deep golden about 16 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

chip chocolate cookies

My mom makes these with white chocolate chips and they turn out like backwards chocolate chip cookies, a fun twist, and they are SO YUMMY!!!


  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, sifted before measuring
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa, unsweetened
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • butterscotch, white chocolate, or chocolate chips, optional


Cream shortening, butter and sugar; beat in egg. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Into another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Stir into the first batter. Stir in walnuts and/or chips if using. Chill for an hour; drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350° for 8 to 12 minutes, or until no imprint remains when lightly touched with finger. Makes about 3 to 4 dozen chocolate cookies, depending on additions.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Whole Vanilla

Any ideas on what to do with whole vanilla beans? I bought them at Costco awhile ago with a recipe in mind but haven't got around to making it. I just want to use them up. IDEAS?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oatmeal Pancakes

Just had these for the first time a couple weekends ago and it won't be the last time - super good and they freeze nicely for future breakfasts on the go!

4 cups rolled oats
4 cups buttermilk
6 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda

Mix rolled oats and buttermilk in a bowl and cover. Let this mixture stand overnight in the refrigerator.

Next morning, add eggs, sugar, and melted butter. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in separate bowl. Stir into mixture until just combined. Cook on lightly greased griddle. Yields 24 pancakes.

Double the recipe and freeze some for later!

Serve with a variety of homemade jams and syrups (peach, raspberry, blackberry) or with butter and cinammon/sugar.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary

I made these for Easter dinner this year and everyone loved them. Making them again for dinner tonight. This recipe comes from Consumer Reports Food and Fitness.

1 28 oz bag fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
2 shallots, peeled and quratered, root left intact
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tsp chopped
4 TBSP butter, cut into pieces
1/4 tsp each salt and fresh ground pepper
2 1/2 C chicken broth

1. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in a large skillet. Place shallot pieces and rosemary sprigs in between the potatoes. Add 3 Tbsp of butter and salt and pepper; pour chicken broth over potatoes. Partially cover pan and bring the mixture to a gentle boil pver medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Remove and discard shallots and rosemary sprigs. Using a slotted spoon, place potatoes on a serving platter. Increase heat to high and boil remaining liquid 5 minutes uncovered until reduced slightly. Stir in remaining butter and pour sauce over potatoes; sprinkle chopped rosemary. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Weekday" Banana Cake

I named it myself. :)
It was a Monday night.
I had some old bananas.
I was craving something sweet.
But didn't want to go totally overboard.
Then I found this on the good 'ol internet.
It's yummy.
And quite healthy!

Beat for 6-7 minutes until thick and light brown.
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use 1/4 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c. maple syrup)

With mixer on low speed add:
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
2 mashed, ripe bananas
1/2 cup applesauce

Add in just until combined:
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour (or regular flour)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
handful of chocolate chips if you wish

The recipe says to bake in a greased 9x5 pan for 40 minutes. Mine took longer than that the first time. Today I made it in my mini muffin pan and baked for 17 minutes.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

And the WINNER is.........


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nutella chocolate chip cookies

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, melted
2/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c Nutella
1 c chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing well after each addition.
Add the Nutella and mix briefly, swirling the Nutella throughout the dough.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop the dough by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies have just started to turn brown.
Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So who won?
Did UH-mazing Amber win
and defend her crown?
Or did Sneaky & Sly (but totally adorable)
Sena beat us all.

I know, I know, I should have
been at MOMS but my life just
did not allow it.

I'm dying to know!
I haven't heard a stinkin word.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cheap Meal Ideas

I am looking for some cheap meal ideas ($10 and under). Do you have anything that fits in this category? If you do please share. I would love the help!

Peanut noodles with tofu

I am always looking for yummy dinners that don't cost much to make. This is a yummy dish that we had last night for dinner. This recipe came from the October 2010 Sunset magazine. Enjoy.

8 oz spaghetti
1/2 C reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 C old-fashioned peanut butter
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
3 TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce
14 0z firm tofu, cut into cubes (I get my kids to eat this more by frying it up in the pan first)
1 English cucmber, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally
1/2 C cilantro leaves
1/3 C roasted peanuts

1. Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat broth, garlic, peanut butter, sugar, chile flakes, and soy sauce in pasta pot until boiling, stirring often. Add tofu, cucumber, and pasta and toss to coat.
3. Transfer pasta to a serving bowl; top with onions, cilantro, and peanuts.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

And the WINNER is.........

You'll have to come to MOM's on Thursday the 17th!

It was soooo close!

Thanks for posting all of your yummy recipes ladies!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Taco Soup with Black Beans

I made this for dinner yesterday. To my surprise, my children who dislike beans actually ate it and didn't complain! I think it was the idea of eating it with tortilla chips and not a spoon that won them over. This recipe comes from Fix It and Forget It.

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained (I used ground turkey)
28-oz can crushed tomatoes
15 1/4 oz. can corn, undrained
15 oz can black beans, undrained
15 1/2 oz can red kidney beans, undrained
1 envelope dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1 envelope dry taco seasoning
1 small onion, chopped
tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream (toppings)

1. Combine all ingredients except those for toppings, in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours.
3. Garnish individual servings with toppings. (we used the tortilla chips whole as spoons instead of crushing them on top)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chunks

I is surprising to you all that I am posting about peanut butter and chocolate :)
I got some new cookbooks at the library and found this yummy cookie waiting for me to try. The cookbook is Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.

1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C natual chunky peanut butter
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
8 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 TBSP honey
1 large egg
1tsp pure vanilla extract
5 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, honey, egg, and vanilla in a lrage bowl until well blended. Stir the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture in two additions. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
Scoop about 3 TBSP of dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them
2 1/2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the cookies puff and begin to brown on top but are still very soft to the touch. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack. Enjoy the cookies warm or let them cool completely.

I didn't make them as large as the recipe said to and just adjusted the cooking time. I also only made 12 cookies and placed the rest of the dough in balls and froze them for later use.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Potatoes with Ranch Dressing

I love eating my mashed potatoes with ranch dressing. When I saw this recipe in this months Martha Stewart Everyday Food, I knew I had to try it. It is much better than ranch out of the bottle, and I am sure more healthy too!

In a medium pot, bring 1 pound small potatoes (I used red potatoes) to a boil over high heat in salted water and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 C low-fat buttermilk, 1/4 C sour cream or greek yogurt, and 2 TBSP mayonnaise. Stir in 1 to 2 TBSP finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, or basil (I used basil), 3/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I only had dried so just guessed how much), and 1 small garlic clove, minced; season with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Drain potatoes and add to dressing. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spinach with Orzo and Feta

Feta is a cheese that my kids would eat out of the container, if I would let them. They love it! Here is a good side dish from Everyday Food.

Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.
1/2 lb. orzo
1 lb. spinach, trimmed and chopped
1/2 C chopped fresh mint
1/2 C crumbled feta chesse
1 to 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP olive oil

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the orzo according to the package instructions. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Drain.
2. In a large bowl, toss the hot spinach and orzo with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

In my kids book, everything tastes better with Parmesan :) This is a great way to get them to eat their asparagus. Thanks Everyday Food Good Food Fast

2 bunches asparagus
1 TBSP olive oil
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 C finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the tough ends from the asparagus.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the asparagus with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
3. Roast until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Caramel Corn

I love, love, love this yummy stuff! I was so excited when I got the recipe seveal years ago. I even pack the ingredients when I go out of town so I can make it. I hope you like it as well.

6 C popped popcorn (about 1/4 C unpopped)
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C butter
2 TBSP light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Put popcorn in an oven safe pan. (I use my 11x13 Pyrex) Save for later.
Put brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until bubbly around the edges. Keep cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in baking soda until the mixture is foamy. Quickly pour caramel over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated.
Bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes (or burn your mouth because you can't wait) before serving.

tater tot casserole

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups frozen tater tots
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Brown ground beef and onion; drain. If beef is very lean, add 1 tsp. olive oil for best browning results.

Transfer meat mixture into a shallow 2 quart baking dish. Cover meat with undiluted soup. Top with a single layer of tater tots.

Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

pizza crust

Ingredients: 2 cups warm water, 1 Tbsp each sugar & dry yeast, 1/2 Tbsp salt, 2 Tbsp olive oil and 5 to 6 cups flour.
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand until yeast is very bubbly (called proofing the yeast). Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the salt and oil to the yeast and pour in the well in the flour. Mix in as much flour as you can with a wooden spoon. Put some extra flour on counter-top or bread board and dump the dough out and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. oil a clean bowl and place dough in bowl turning over so all the dough is oiled. Cover and let rise in a warm draft free place until double in size (30-45 min.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Punch down dough and divide either in half or into individual sizes. Fatten into a circle and place on a sheet pan or pizza pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Brush on olive oil then top as desired. Can use spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce. We like spaghetti sauce, ham, pineapple, black olives, and a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. As to the toppings, use your imagination or whatever you like. When topped, bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Pray and enjoy!!!

Stewed White Beans

These go well with the Pork Tenderloin and Bacon recipe that I posted! :) Weber's Real Grilling strikes again.

4 rip plum tomatoes, about 1 pound, cored
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C finely diced yellow onion
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed
1/4 C lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves

1. To prepare the beans: Grill the tomatoes over direct medium heat until the skins are loosened, 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally. Cut the tomatoes into 1- inch chunks. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil, then cook the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes until softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and beans, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. When the beans come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the basil to the beans

Serve with Pork Tenderloin and Bacon (or what you like) :)

Pork Tenderloin and Bacon

More from Weber's Real Grilling. My hopes are high that I will get to BBQ soon! Everyone (even the kids) loved this. I will publish another recipe for the beans that go with this. Thought I would get 2 points out of one recipe! :)

2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
12 slices thinly sliced bacon, about 3/4 pound

1. In a small skillet over low heat, toast the fennel seed until the aroma is apparent, 3 to 5 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally. Crush the fennel seed in a spice grinder or on a cutting board by grinding the seeds under a heavy pan. In a small bowl, combine the fennel with the salt and pepper.
2. Trim any excess fat and silver skin from the tenderloins. Cut the tenderloins into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long. Season them with the fennel mixture. Gently press down on each piece to form a disc the same thickness as the width of the bacon. Wrap a piece of bacon around each piece of pork and secure with a toothpick. The bacon should overlap at the ends by no more than 1 inch. Allow to stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before grilling.
3. Grill the porkm over direct medium heat until the pork is barely pink in the center and the bacon is fully cooked, 12 to 15 minutes, turning once (if flare-ups happen, move the pork temporarily to indirect medium heat).

Serve with Stewed White Beans posted as well.

Corn on the Cob with Basil-Parmesan Butter

Summer can't come quick enough for me. Here is another wonderful recipe for the grill. I would grill all year round if I could but I don't like getting rained on and having to check doneness by flashlight :) Another from Weber's Real Grilling.

1/4 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp granulated garlic

4 ears corn, husked

1. To make the butter: In a small bowl, mash the butter ingredients together with the back of a fork, and then stir to distribute the seasonings throughout the butter.
2. Brush about 1 TBSP of the seasoned butter all over each ear of corn. Grill over direct medium heat until browned in spots and tender, 10 to 15 minutes, truning occasionally. Serve warm with the remaining butter spread on the corn.

Artichokes with Oregano and Salt

My family loves artichokes. I have made this many times for company and they always ask for the recipe. Again, from Weber's Real Grilling.

4 large artichokes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C unsalted butter, melted

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Cut the stem off each artichoke, leaving about 1/2 inch attached. Peel off the dark outer leaves until you expose the light green, yellowish leaves underneath. Lay each artichoke on its side and cut off the top half so you have just the firm base to work with. Cut each base in half lenghtwise through the stem and drop each half into a large bowl of water mixed with the lemon juice (to prevent discoloration).
3. One at at time, lift the artichokes from the water and use a tsp to scoop out all the fuzzy choke and purplish leaves. Cook the artichokes in the boiling salted water until you can pierce them easily with a knife, 12 to 15 minutes, but DON"T OVERCOOK them or they will fall apart on the grill (I did this the first time). Drain the artichokes in a colander and place in a large bowl. While still warm, add the oil, oregano, granulated garlic, and salt. Toss gently to coat the artichokes. (the artichokes may be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Bring to room temperature before grilling)
4. Grill the artichokes over direct medium heat until well browned and warm, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once. Serve warm with the butter.

Shrimp Tacos

Nothing like wanting to BBQ when it snows out! These are wonderful and a great twist on something old. Here's to wishing for warmer, sunnier weather! This recipe comes from Weber's Real Grilling. My husband got a new BBQ and I got a new cookbook! Everybody wins!

1 ear corn, husked
6 scallions, white and light green parts only
Extra virgin olive oil
1 medium poblano chile
1 C cherry tomatoes, cut into 1/4- inch dice
1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 TBSP finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 TBSP minced garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
32 large shrimp, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled and deveined
8 flour tortillas

1. To make the salso: brush or spray the corn and scallions all over with oil. Grill the corn until browned in spots and tender, the scallions until lightly marked, and the chile until blackened and blistered in spots, over direct medium heat, turning occasionally. The corn and chile will take 10 to 12 minutes and the scallions will take 3 to 4 minutes. Trim the root ends off the scallions; finely chop the remaining parts and put them in a medium bowl. Cut the kernels off the corn and add to the bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel off the loosened bits of skin from the chile and discard along with the stem; finely shop the remaining parts of the chile and add to the bowl. Add the remaining salsa ingredients, including 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Drizzle 1 TBSP of olive oil into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. Brush or spray the shrimp all over with oil and season with the remining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Grill over direct high heat until shrimp are firm to the touch and just turning opaque in the center, 2 to 4 minutes, turning once. Grill the tortillas over direct medium heat until warm, 30 to 60 seconds, turning once. Fill the tortillas with salsa and shrimp. Serve warm

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
    2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, instant pudding, and rolled oats. Add oil, sour cream, water, and vanilla; mix until smooth and well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
    3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I saw this idea in the Martha Stewart magazine and had to try them. You may already know this but I love chocolate and peanut butter :) These cups can be filled with other toppings too!
Could be good with sliced strawberries for Valentines Day!

Semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate
the filling of your choice, peanut butter, fruit, etc

Melt chocolate and using a food safe brush, paint the inside of a muffin holder while in the muffin pan. Place in refrigerator to set for ten minutes. Brush another layer of chocolate in the same muffin holder and place in fridge again for 10 more minutes. Once set, carefully peel muffin holder off of the chocolate and fill with filling. Enjoy some goodness!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I told you I loved chocolate and peanut butter. I don't know who put the two together first, but they are a genious in my book! :) Caution: these cookies need a nice cold glass of milk to go with them. The recipe is off the back of the Reeses Peanut Butter Chips package

2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C Hershey's cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C butter softened
2 C sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 C peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Stir together four, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.
Drop by rounded tsp onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Potatoes and Peas

This recipe was given to me by my dad who got it from his mom. We love this with with fried chicken, pork chops, etc. Anything that you would have with mashed potatoes.

9 small new potatoes, quartered
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 C milk
1/2 tsp dried dill weed (I have left this out as well)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen peas with pearl onions (I only use peas) thawed and drained

In a 4-quart saucepan, place potatoes. Add water to cover potatoes. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 8 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
In same saucepan, combine soup, milk, dill and pepper. Add potatoes and peas. Over low heat, heat through, stirring occasionally.

Crab Ravioli with Lemon Butter

These looked so good in the Martha Stewart magazine that I had to make them. I loved the lemon butter, next time I will try fresh crab.

This would be a great Valentine's Day meal ! :)

For the filling
1 C ricotta cheese
1C lump crabmeat
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp red-pepper flakes

For the ravioli
All purpose flour, for the baking sheet
90 wonton wrappers
1 large egg, slightly beaten, for egg wash
Coarse salt

For the butter
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tsp lemon peel, very finely chopped, plus two tsp fresh lemon juice
Garnish: fresh chervil

1. Make the filling: Mix together ricotta, crabmeat, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper and red pepper flakes together.
2. Make the ravioli: lightly flour a baking sheet. Working in batches, arrange 45 wonton wrappers on a work surface; keeping the remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel. Mound 1 tsp filling in the center of each. Brush edges of wrappers with egg wash, and top each with another wrapper. Press edges to seal. Cut out circles with a 2 1/4 inch cookie cutter; transfer to baking sheet.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in 2 batches, cook ravioli until they rise to the top, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt 4 TBSP butter, and heat until just bubbling and frothy. Transfer first batch of ravioli to skillet using a slotted spoon, along with about 2 TBSP cooking liquid. Add 1 tsp chopped lemon peel and 1 tsp juice, and swirl to combine. Transfer to plates.
5. Repeat with second batch of ravioli. Garnish with chervil.

Make ahead: Uncooked ravioli can be frozen fro up to 3 months (boiling time may be a few minutes longer)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Carrot Souffle - The Cooking Light Version

2 pounds chopped carrots
2/3 cups sugar (I usually use less)
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
3 T. flour (gluten-free works great)
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 tsp. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook carrot in boiling water 15 minutes or until very tender; drain. Place carrots in a food processor; process until smooth. (Caution - this stained my processor, but it did come clean after several washings.) Add sugar and next 7 ingredients (sugar through eggs); pulse to combine.

Spoon mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until puffed and set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

White Chocolate and cranberry scones

These scones always get rave reviews. My husband and kids fight over who gets the last one. I love them as well. Thank you Betty Crocker.

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
3 TBSP sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C firm butter
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 C currants or raisins (I use dried cranberries)
4 -6 TBSP half and half
1/2 C white chocolate chips

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix flour, 3 TBSP sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter using pastry blender. Stir in egg, currants, white chocolate chips and just enough of the 4 to 6 TBSP half and half so dough leaves bowl.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat into 8-inch circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Cut into 8 wedges with sharp knife that has been dipped in flour, but do not seperate wedges. Brush with additional half and half; sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; carefully seperate wedges, serve warm.

Cranberry Hootycreeks-double recipe

2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. softened butter
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
In a lg. bowl beat together butter, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand until well blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets or remove to cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoe Casserole


6 pounds dark-orange sweet potatoes (9-12 medium)
8 oz bacon (8-10 slices)
¼ cup panko bread crums or plain bread crumbs
1 T. butter or margarine (melted)
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup butter or margarine softened
2 medium green onions chopped (2 T)
½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper

Heat oven 350*. Line 15x10x1 pan with foil. Pierce potatoes several times with fork. Place in pan. Bake about 1 hour 15 minutes or until tender. Cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon as desired until crisp; chop. In small bowl, mix bread crumbs and 1 T. butter; set aside.

Spray 13x9-inch (3 quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Peel taters and cut out any eyes or dark spots.

In large bowl, mash taters with masher. Stir in bacon, sour cream, ¼ butter, the onions, salt and pepper until well blended.

Spread mixture in baking dish OR form individual servings in dish with ½ cup ice cream scoop or measuring cup (pretty presentation)

Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top.

Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and bread crumbs just begin to brown.

About 2 hours from start to finish.
18 servings

Cornflake-Crusted Halibut with Chile-Cilantro Aioli

My kids loved this dish. We like fish so finding new recipes is always nice. Good old Cooking Light helps out again.

2 TBSP minced fresh cilantro
3 TBSP fat-free mayo
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (we left this out)
1 garlic clove, minced

1 C fat-free milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 C cornflakes, finely crushed
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
4 (6-ounces) halibut fillets
Lemon wedges

1. To prepare aioli, combine first 4 ingredients, stirring well.
2. To prepare fish, combine milk and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine cornflakes, flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with aioli sauce and lemon wedges.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


This recipe has come down from my grandmother to my mother and now to me. Hope you like it.

6 large flour tortillas
1 pound lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup salsa or enchilada
Cooking oil for frying
1 C guacamole
1 C sour cream
Shredded lettuce and chopped scallions or green onions

Prepare filling by browning ground beef and adding onion. Cook until soft. Moisten with desired sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon filling down center of tortillas. Fold tortilla around filling, and fold sides in toward middle. Fasten with toothpicks.
Fry in oil over medium heat, turning, until golden; takes 1 to 2 minutes. Lift our with tongs from cooking oil, dry on paper towels. To serve, place on shredded lettuce bed, top with dollops of guacamole and sour cream. Sprinkle with chopped scallions or green onions.

Tortilla chips

So, you may have already had this mind blowing experience but I was excited. I made homemade tortilla chips with dinner tonight. Super easy and great when you forgot to buy tortilla chips at the store like I did.

6 tortillas (or more depending on how much you need)
cooking spray
any type of seasonings you want to put one them (lime, cumin, garlic salt, salt, etc)

Cut each tortilla into 8 sections. Mist with cooking spray. Sprinkle with desired seasoning. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes, flip and return to oven to cook for 7 more minutes. Don't brown.

Friday, January 28, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I love to bake treats for my family. When they involve peanut butter and chocolate, they don't get very many of them! This recipe comes to us from "Old Fashioned Bake Sale" cookbook.

2 cups peanut butter, divided
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups mini chocolate chips

Grease 13x9-inch baking pan.
Beat 1 1/4 cups peanut butter and butte in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. With hands or wooden spoon, work in remaining powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup morsels. Press evenly into prepared pan. Smooth top with spatula.
Melt remaining peanut butter and remaining morsels in medium, heavy-duty saucepan over lowest possible heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Spread over graham cracker crust in pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chocolate is firm; cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Maple brown rice pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds

1. Combine rice, milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Microwave at HIGH 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of milk is absorbed. Top with almonds.

Sour cream lemon pie

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 t. lemon zest
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 (9 inch) pie crust
whipped cream

In saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt.
Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir on med. heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, and cook stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Beat yolks slightly. gradually stir 1 c. of mix into egg yolks. Return yolk mixture to sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, peel and juice. Gently fold in sour cream.
Pour filling into baked pie shell and cool. Top with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Dark chocolate oat clusters

PMS + Diet.......Not good! But I found this recipe that doesn't have so much sugar but still calmed my cravings! Just enough for me though! Sorry kiddos!
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats


1. Heat peanut butter, milk, and chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat 3 minutes or until chips melt.

2. Stir in oats. Remove from heat.

3. With a spoon, small ice cream scoop, or melon baller, drop 8 ball-shaped portions on a wax paper−lined baking sheet. Let set in fridge 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Caramel apple pork chops

4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium tart red apples, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
3 tablespoons chopped pecans-optional

Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chops, 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Remove; keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar,salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet; stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or just until apples are tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops; keep warm. Continue cooking mixture in skillet, uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans if desired.

"Chevy's" Sweet Corn Cake

If you are like me, when you go to Chevy's you savor EVERY bite of that sweet corn cake they give you a little dollop of on your plate. That's all I get? Can I have more please? I never have asked, but it always leaves me wanting more! I had never made it until this week. Found this recipe on Allrecipes. It came out great. Not an exact match, but that same yum factor! I made it for home group to go with Fajitas. I doubled it, but I still did it in 2 8 x 8's since they needed to be floating in a 9x13 of water.

Sweet Corn Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup masa harina
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the Mexican corn flour and water and beat until well mixed.

Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an ungreased 8x8 inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9x13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of the way with water.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven F (175 degrees C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I LOVE picnics. Last summer we lived on Bainbridge Island and every Wednesday people would pack picnic dinners and go to the concert in the park. We loved our Wednesday evenings! Because I love picnics, I was given a Picnic Cookbook for my birthday and a waterproof picnic blanket. I can't wait for the weather to turn warm again and get good use out of them both. This recipe comes from the Picnic Cookbook. I added some stuff to the recipe.

I love these cookies because once they are baked they are NOT flat. They are nice a round and yummy!

2 1/4 C all-purpose flour (I used some wheat flour in place of all the white)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C milled flax seed (I added this, it is not part of the origianl recipe)
3/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C softened, butter
1/2 C softened, margarine (I used all butter and no margarine)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 C chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt (and flax seed, if using) in a mixing bowl.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix sugars at low speed. Add the butter and margarine and continue to beat on low, then increase to high speed and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla at low speed, then increase to high speed.
4. At low speed, add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, then increase to high speed until the mixture is well blended. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
5. Drop rounded TBSP onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool one to two minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Pack in a resealable plastic bag for the picnic.

Akutaq (Eskimo Ice Cream)

Alright, here's a fun one for you ladies and I dare you to try it!
We have eaten it a few times since we've moved up here and each time it's been a little different depending on who made it.

First rule of Akutaq (pronounced Ah-goo-duck by the white person) is to always use tundra berries and I have to tell you that tundra berries are a little hard to find right now, unless you have some in your freezer. so, if you must, go ahead and use any frozen berries that you have.

Modern Akutaq (Eskimo Ice Cream)

1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water, berry juice, or 2 cups loose snow (optional)
4 cups fresh berries, (blueberries, cloudberries, cranberries, salmon berries, or blackberries)

* Crisco solid vegetable shortening is preferred

In a large bowl, cream vegetable shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add water, berry juice, or snow and beat until well combined.

Fold in berries, 1 cup at a time, until blended.

Place in freezer to firm up before serving.

Original akutaq was made with the fat from a moose or caribou as well as seal oil and usually flaked white fish or sheefish mixed in.

We have had it with the fish, but never with the seal oil or moose/caribou fat.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grandma's BBQ sauce

1 c. cider vinegar
1 c. ketchup
1/3 c. spicy brown mustard
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. minced white onion
2 T. butter
1/4 t. chili powder
dash of worcestershire sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Allow sauce to cook at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until the sauce is reduced by 1/3.
Remove the sauce from the stove and season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sailor's special

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef-or venison, ground turkey or tuna
1 pkg. (7-1/4 oz.) Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes-do not drain
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella-or any cheese you have on hand

BROWN meat in lg. skillet on med-high; drain. Return to skillet.

STIR in Macaroni, Cheese Sauce Mix, tomatoes, peas and milk. Bring to boil; cover. Simmer on med-low heat 12 min. or until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.

TOP with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hot Artichoke Dip

This is Jillian Weidmann's recipe and we LOVE it.

2 cans or jars marinated artichoke hearts-chopped
2 bricks cream cheese softened or use whipped
1 cup mayo
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup grated parmesan

Drain and chop artichokes
Stir all ingredients together
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes
Remove foil and bake for additional 10-15 minutes

Serve with bread or crackers.

Brie Appetizer

Ashley and I make these ALOT.  I use a mini muffin tin, spray with non-stick.

Thaw and roll out puff pastry.  Cut in squares to fit in the mini-muffin tin.

Place piece of brie cheese on top of puff pastry in each tin, top with apricot jam, or anything that sounds yummy!

Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes

I tried these italian style the other night with fresh mozzerella, pesto, and sundried tomatoes and it was yummy too.  Totally different but same idea.

Pesto Dip

Ask, and you shall recieve!!  Here are a couple of my favorite appetizer recipes.

First, this one came from Meleea Miller, passed on from Lynn Miller.  SCORE!!  100 bucks to whoever can get lynne miller to post on here!  JUST KIDDING.  5 bucks! ;)   Okay, one dollar per recipe!! LOL!

Okay, back to the pesto...

First layer...

1 block of Cream cheese softened, mixed with 1/4c. fresh grated parmesan and 1 crushed clove of garlic (I think I did two--and I like to use whipped cream cheese)

Second and Third layer...

Top with Pesto and toasted pinenuts.  You could also top it with chopped sundried tomatoes, etc.  Serve with crackers, baguettes, or eat with a spoon! ;)

Pantry Meals

So, I did not do very well with my budget this month. Next weeks money for groceries is minimal, YIKES! Do any of you have some really cheap pantry meals that you could share with me? We don't eat red meat so I will limit you on that one. Thank you.

Italian stuffed mushrooms

12 to 18 mushrooms, nice large “stuffing” size
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
garlic powder, to your taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 ounces finely diced pepperoni
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
6 to 8 slices of mozzarella cheese, cut in squares to fit the tops of mushrooms
Grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over tops of mushrooms

Gently wipe any dirt from the mushrooms and remove the stems. Finely dice the stems. Melt butter in skillet, add stems, onions, seasonings, pepperoni. Sauté until veggies are tender. Add pizza sauce, bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Cook until just heated through and liquid is reduced. Place mushrooms on a lightly buttered baking sheet -- fill mushrooms with the cooked filling mixture.

Top filling with a piece of mozzarella cut to just fit over the top of the mushrooms. Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the tops.

Bake at 325* degrees about 20 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving as filling will be very hot!

coctail smokies

These are super easy and surprisingly tasty!

2 packages Lil Smokies
1 can of Classic Coke
ketchup (enough to cover Lil Smokies)

In a Crock-Pot, add 2 packages of Little Smokies.
Cover with enough ketchup to suit, and then for the surprise, pour 1 can of Classic Coke over the Smokies and ketchup mixture.
Cook on high for 2-3 hours.
At this point, taste them.
If sauce is too soupy for your liking, you can add brown sugar and store brand bbq sauce(I usually add some thick and spicy sweet baby Rays sauce, because I like them a little spicy)
Simmer on low for an additional 30 minutes.

Bacon and waterchestnut wraps

These are Easy, a little time consuming, but VERY addictive!

3 cans whole water chestnuts, drained
1 lb. bacon, cut into thirds
1 1/2 c. ketchup
1 1/2 c. brown sugar

Wrap bacon around chestnuts and secure with toothpicks. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 45 minutes. Drain.

Combine sugar and ketchup to make sauce. Pour over appetizers. Bake at 350 degrees covered for another 45 minutes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Salsa bites

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese-softened
1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa (+additional for topping-optional)
2 eggs-lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped olives
1 T. chopped green onion
1 clove garlic-pressed

Preheat oven to 350*
In lg bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
Blend in salsa and eggs.
Stir in cheddar, olives, onions and garlic.
Lightly spray 24 mini-muffin cups with veg. oil spray; fill with cream cheese mixture.
Bake 15-18 minutes or until centers are set.
Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.
Top with additional salsa just before serving, if desired.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just 4 Fun

This week's meals made me realize that I don't have a "recipe" in writing. It's totally in my brain. Next time around I will need to take the extra time to measure and write what I do. Some include my spaghetti sauce from scratch, no Progresso jars here, my minnestrone (the newer version) and my chicken pot pie.

I was blessed enough to recieve Kristi Roger's secret enchilada recipe. I had company over and they are tough palette to please and they loved them. I hope she posts her recipe soon. If not, I have her permission to do so.

We had ham this past week too. Anything special that you do with your ham? Of course, scalloped potaoes followed later in the week for another meal to use up my left overs. I'm freezing the rest for quiches and Michelle Picinich's split pea recipe in the next few weeks.

I also tried Michelle's toffee dip. My kids are on an APPLE kick right now. Do your kids do that? Mine are apple monsters right now.

I'm on a hunt for appetizer recipes.

My menu for next week is a little ambitious with my very full week. I will either have to BE on my game or be okay with take out at least one night next week.

I also want to show my COMPETITION some LUV...maybe next week especiall if they have some good appetizer recipes that are EASY.

Sweet Potaoes w/ Carmel Sauce

Anything caramel, gets my palette going!

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk (12 oz)
1 T. honey
1/3 cup pecans, if desired

Heat oven to 375* Line cookie sheet with foil. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork; place on cookie sheet. Bake 45- 1 hour or just until tender when pierced with fork; When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch slices.

Reduce oven temperature to 350*. Grease 11x7 inch glass baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes in dish;

In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and evaporated milk until completely incorporated; Cook and stir 2-4 minutes or until mixture is smooth and looks like caramel.

Stir in honey and pecans. Spoon over sweet potatoes.

Cover; bake 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

From start to finish: 2 hours.

Maple glazed carrots

1 lb baby carrots
2 T. butter
2 T. maple syrup-try Dee's in-a-pinch maple syrup :)
1/4 cup golden raisins-optional

Boil carrots in salted water until tender; drain.
In lg skillet heat butter and syrup over med. heat.
Add carrots; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add raisins, if desired.
Cook stirring frequently, 5 min. or until carrots are lightly browned and glazed.

p.s. that should earn an extra point for advertisement, Dee :)

BBQ potatoes

2 T. butter
1 T. chili powder
1 T. honey
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
2 lbs. med. sized red potatoes-quartered

Preheat oven to 400*
In a lg bowl, combine all ingredients, except potatoes; mix well.
Add potatoes; toss to coat.
Spoon potatoes into greased 11x17 inch baking dish.
Bake 40-50 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes


5 pound potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 t. garlic owder
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2-1 cup milk, warmed

Spray 4-5 quart crock pot with cooking spray;

Place potatoes, broth and butter;

Cover; cook on high heat setting for 4-4.5 hoursor until potatoes are tender;

Add remaining ingredients except milk;

Mash, crush or smash using potato masher or beat with electric mixer on low speed until well blended; Do not overmix;

Stir in enough milk for desired creamy consistency;

Cover; keep warm on low or warm heat setting until serving time; up to two hours;

Stir before serving.

Wild Rice Stuffing

You don't have to wait for Thanksgiving to have stuffin! Slow and steady! Chop, throw, turn on the crockpot!


1 cup uncooked wholegrain wild rice (not cracked or broken)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 oz)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 T. butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
1 container (32oz chicken broth)
5 cups herb-seasoned stuffing cubes

Spray 5-6 quart crock pot with cooking spray;

In slow cooker, combine all ingredients EXCEPT stuffing; mix well;

Cover; cook on LOW heat setting for 5 hours;

Gently stir stuffing into rice mixture;

Cook 45-60 minutes longer or until stuffing is moist and tender.

Gently stir just before serving.

Takes about 6.5 hours to make this stuffing.

Southwest Cornbread Dressing

A little pow in that sweet mouth of yours!


2 pouches (6.5 oz) cornbread and muffin mix
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs


1 pound spicey pork sausage (BG Produce has the best!)
3 T. butter
2 Large onions, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 c half-and-half
2 eggs
1 T ground cumin
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven 400 *. Spray 15x10x1 inch pan with cooking spray;

In large bowl, stir all cornbread ingredients just until mostened (batter will be lumpy); Spread batter in pan; Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden bown. Cool 10 minutes.

While still in pan, cut warm cornbread into 1/2 inch cubes, fluff cubes. Bake 10 minutes; stir; Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Reduce oven temp to 350*.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillett, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; remove from skillet. In same skillet melt butter over medium heat. Cook onions, bell pepper and chile in butter 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened.

In large bowl, mix broth, half-and-half, eggs, cumin, coriander and salt. Stir in cornbread cubes. Add sausage, onion mixture and cilantro; mix well. Spoon into ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish.

Cover, bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer.

From start to finish this recipe takes about 2 hours.

Roasted Carrots with Cumin

I love me some cumin!


2 pounds fresh carrots, cut into 3-inch long sticks (don't cheat and buy the baby carrots, the fresh ones have WAY more flavor)


3 t. cumin seed

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

Heat the oven to 425*.

Put the carrots in a 15x10x1 inch pan. Drizzle with the olive oil; sprinkle with the cumin seed, salt and pepper;

Roast 25-35 minutes or until the carrots are tender and browning; Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Apple & Celery Salad

My kids love apples but please don't tell them this is called "salad"


1/2 cup mayo
3 T. plain yogurt
2 T. sugar
2 t. grated lemon peel

2 large granny smith apples, cut into 8 wedges then cut crosswise into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)

2 large gala, cut same as above.

1 T fresh lemon juice

6 medium stalks celery with leaves

3/4 cup chopped walnuts toasted.

To toast walnuts, sprinkle in ungreased heavy skilled. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until walnuts begin to brown, then stirring constantly until light brown. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients until blended. Refrigerate until serving time;

Place apples in large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice; toss until coated;

Remove leaves from celery; chop leaves into 1/2-inch pieces to measure 1/2 cup;

Cut celery stalks diagonally into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices to measure 2 cups. Add to bowl with applles. Refrigerate until serving time.

Just before serving, toss apples and celery; Add dressing, toss until coated; Sprinkle with walnuts.

Jello Pie

This is where sweet and salty come together. I have been SO craving this; almost like a pregnancy craving... doooon't even go there!

Crust Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups pretzels
3 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice (it's a weird combo but trust me)
1 cube of butter, melted

Jello Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water
2 packages (4 oz) favorite flavored gelatin (I use raspberry)
1 can (11 oz) mandarin orange segments, drained, juice reserved

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Heat oven 350*;

Spray 13x9 (3 quart) glass dish with cooking spray;

Place pretzels in resealale food-storage plastic bag, give a rolling pin to the kidlets and let them smash away; they love it!

In medium bowl mix crushed pretzels, brown sugar and pumpkin spice; Stir in butter; Press mixture onto bottom of baking dish. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool on cooking rack;

Meanwhile, in large heatproof bowl, pour boiling water on gelatin, stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add enough cold water to reserved juice to equal 2 cups; stir into gelatin. Refrigerate until partially set, about 1 hour 45 minutes (I always set my timer).

In medium bowl beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped topping; spread mixture evenly over pretzel crust;

Finely chop mandarin orange segments; gently stir into partially set gelatin; Carefully pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Sweet and Salty Party Mix

I made this for our family game night tonight. I got this recipe from Pampered Chef. I love me some Pampered Chef.

5 C popped popcorn
3 C miniture pretzel twists
2 C dry-roasted salted peanuts
2 C oven-toasted rice cereal squares
1 C butter
1 C packed brown sugar
1/3 corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, and cereal in a large bowl. Melt butter, brown sugar, and syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil. Let boil 3 minutes and do not stir. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour caramal sauce over popcorn mixture and stir to coat.
Pour onto a baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven. Pour mix onto parchment paper and let cool completely. Break mixture into small cluster.

Recipes says to not use dark brown sugar because it makes the mixture look different (like it is burnt). That was all I had so I used it and it turned out fine.

Potato salad

This recipe can also be made with dill pickles, but our family likes the sweet ones. Also, these measurements are approximate because I have never written down the recipe I just watched my mom make it many times and learned from experience so if it isn't creamy enough just add a little more mayo. then try it. Then season to your liking.
6-10 potatoes-boiled, peeled and cut into 1/2"-3/4" chunks
6 eggs-hard boiled, peeled and chopped
3-4 sweet pickles-chopped
3 green onions-diced
1 cup mayo
2 T. mustard
1/4 t. celery salt
salt & pepper-to taste

Put the potatoes, eggs, pickles, and onions in lg. bowl. mix.
In a small bowl; combine remaining ingredients, mix well.
Pour it over potato mixture and stir well. Taste and season.

Baked squash and apples

The kids love this one! Even my husband who doesn't think he likes squash, eats a serving of this one! Very fattening but Oh SO Yummy!!

winter squash-any size for your squash lovers
a few pared apples
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon(+ or - to your liking, I like more!)

Peel the squash and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Place in an ungreased 8x10 baking pan.
Cut pared apples in 1/2 inch thick slices and layer on top of the squash pieces.
Mix together remaining ingredients and sprinkle over the squash and apples.
Cover with foil and bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes.

BBQ Green Beans

3 cans green beans, drained
1 can water
1 onion- chopped
6 slices uncooked bacon, cut into pieces
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar

Brown the bacon and onion.
When brown, add the ketchup and sugar.
Simmer until dark brown, the sugar will caramelize.
Put the green beans in a baking dish with the water from 1 can of the green beans.
Pour the hot mixture over the beans.
Bake at 325* for 1 hour.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In-A-Pinch Maple Syrup

I've had to make this a time or two!


1 cup water
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 t. maple extract

In a small saucepan, bring the water and brown sugar to boiling, stirring to completely dissolve the sugar;

Remove the mixture from the heat;

Stir in the maple extract;

Allow the syrup to cool enough to serve.

Dutch Babies

Some people refer to these as Oven Puff Pancakes. My husband and daughter could eat these everyday if I let them! I got this recipe from my husband's grandmother!

3 eggs
3/4 C milk
3/4 C flour
2 TBSP butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix eggs, milk and flour in a blender until smooth. Melt butter in oven in a 2-quart oven safe pan (we use our pan specified for Dutch Babies but any regular pan will work). Once butter is melted, pour egg mixture into pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Top with lemon juice and powdered sugar to individual liking.

Balsamic Salad


1 (16 oz) package penne pasta
¾ cup chopped red onion
2 cucumbers, sliced
1 (15 oz garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained & rinsed
1 ½ t. Italian seasoning
1 cup balsamic vinegar

Cook the pasta according to package directions;

Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again;

Place pasta in a large bowl;

Add red onion, cucumbers, beans, seasoning and vinegar to the pasta.

Cover the bowl and shake well to coat pasta,

Marinate in the regrigerator overnight or for several hours.

Four Bean Salad

Way cheaper than the deli! Takes just as long to stand in line as it does to make it.

1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can yellow beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained and rinsed
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped or sliced


¾ cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup salad oil
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

In a large bowl, mix together the beans, sweet pepper and onion;

In a small bowl or jar with a lid, mix together the dressing ingredients;

Pour the dressing over the bean mixture in the large bowl.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Carrot Salad

You can make this sweet salad the night before you serve it. Love this salad at Easter as a side to that amazing Honey Ham!


4 cups shredded carrots (about one pound)
1 (15 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained (juice reserved)
1 cup of raisins ( I like golden)
¾ cu flaked coconut
1 cup real mayo
¾ cup cashew halves

In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, pineapple, raisins and coconut;

In a small bowl, blend together mayo and one tablespoon of the pineapple juice;

Pour the mixture over the carrots and stir together to coat the carrots. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or more;

Before serving, stir in most of the cashews, reserving a few to sprinkle on the salad.

Honey-Poppy Seed Dressing

This light, low cal dressing is wonderful served over fruit or a salad. This recipe makes one cup of dressing, you may want to double it.


1 (8 oz) container plain yogurt
1 T poppy seeds
1 T honey (pick your flavor)
1 T orange or lemon juice
½ t cider vinegar
¼ zest of orange or lemon

In a medium bowl or large jar with lid, combine all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Baked Pork Chops with Garden Stuffing

A chop is a tender cut of pork veal or lamb that has been taken from the loin or rib area. It may or may not be boneless. Just a tad bit of info, just what you wanted to know, huh!

Preheat oven 400*


1 can (10 oz) condensed golden mushroom soup
3/4 cup water
1 bag (16 oz) veggie combo
1 T. margarine or butter
4 cups Pepperidge Farm Cubed Herb Seasoned Stuffing
6 pork chops 3/4 inch thick (about 2 pounds)
Optional: fresh thyme and bay leaves.

In large saucepan mix 1/3 cup soup, 1/2 cup water, vegetables and butter;

Over medium heat, heat to boil, stirring occasionally; Remove from heat;

Add stuffing, mix lightly;

Spoon into greased 3-quart shallow baking dish. Arrange chops over stuffing;

Mix remaining soup and water; spoon over chops;

Bake for 40 minutes or until chops are no longer pink;

Plate up; garnish with optional ingredients.

Spaghetti Florentine

Veggie cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. Italian seasoning, crushed
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of celery coup
1/8 t. pepper
1 package (about 10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 cup plain yogurt
1 medium tomato, diced (about 1 cup)
4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 oz dry)
Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Spray medium saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat one minute;

Add onion, garlic and Italian seasoning and cook unti tender, stirring often;

Add soup, pepper and spinach; Heat to boil; Reduce heat to low;

Cover and cook 10 minutes or until spinach is tender, breaking apart spinach with fork and stirring occasionally;

Add yogurt and tomato and heat through; Toss spaghetti.

Sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil, if desired...desire it, it's a good thang!

Fish w/ Lemon Dill Sauce

This is a great fall back meal! You can totally whip this out and look like you planned it. Moms can play all day and cook too!

1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of celery soup
2 T. water
1 t. prepared mustard
1/2 t. dried dill weed, crushed
1 pound fresh or thawed firm white fish (cod, haddock or halibut)
4 thin lemon slices
Optional: fresh dill, lemon and slivered almonds

In medium skillet, mix soup, water, mustard and dill;

Over medium heat, heat to boil;

Arrange fish in soup mixture;

Top with lemon slices

Reduce heat to low;

Cover and cook 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested wiht fork.

If desired serve with sauce and hot cooked rice.

Garnish with optional ingredients

Me and Mommy Peanut Butter Kisses

My favorite cookie is by far peanutbutter blossoms. I found this much quicker recipe and tried them. They are a great alternative to the original. There is no wheat which is great for several members of my family. This recipe comes from Gooseberry Patch Quick and Easy Family Favorites.

1 C creamy peanut butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
24 milk chocolate drops, unwrapped

Combine peanut butter, sugar and egg in a bowl; mix well. Roll into small ball and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately place a chocolate drop in the center of each cookie. Makes about 2 dozen.

Mock Grilled Cheese

I mentioned before that I love April Fools. I also made this as part of my "meal" on April Fools. I made mock shepherd's pie and my daughter was scared to try this grilled cheese. After she tried it, she ate it all. The poor things I do to my kids for a laugh. This is also from Family Fun.

Pound cake
1 C buttercream or white frosting
Yellow and red food coloring

Slice the pound cake to the same thickness as a piece of sandwich bread. Toast the "bread" until golden brown. Let cool slightly and slice diagonally as you would a grilled cheese sandwich.
Tint the frosting orange to resemble the "melted cheese" in the grilled cheese sandwich.
Frost one side of the "bread" and top with another slice of "bread." (the bigger the dolop of frosting the more it looks like melted cheese when topped with the other slice.)
Now, go trick your family members :)

Chcolate chip zucchini cake

2 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 T. Cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup choc. chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts-optional

Squeeze zucchini dry. mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together.
Smooth cake into 9x13 ungreased pan.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts if desired.
Bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes.

Peanut butter pie

3 (8oz. each) tubs cool whip
1/2 c. PB (crunchy or creamy)
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Put cream cheese & PB in lg. bowl and mix with mixer until consistent.
Add 1 tub cool whip and again mix until smooth.
Add powdered sugar and mix well.
Add 2nd tub of cool whip and mix well.
When consistent,add last tub of cool whip.
Spread into 2 pie crusts.
Chill before serving.

6 week muffins

Super easy muffins make up a batch and have fresh baked muffins for weeks!
This makes a big batch, but can be kept in fridge (NOT FREEZER) for 6-8 weeks

1 (15oz.) box Raisin bran
6 eggs-beaten
3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
5 c. flour
1 Qt. buttermilk
5 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
Mix all ingredients with bran, add eggs, oil & buttermilk. Mix well, cover and store in the refrigerator.
Bake as needed in greased muffin pans at 400* for 20 minutes or until done.

Honey-cinnamon spread

1 pkg. cream cheese-softened
2 T. honey
1/4 t cinnamon

In med. bowl, blend all ing. until smooth. Serve on muffins, warm, toasted bagels or your favorite breakfast bread.

Banana cookies

These cookies are soft, cake-like cookies that even the youngest eaters can enjoy! My babies loved them and still do!
2/3 c. mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c. veg. oil
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350*
Lightly spray cookie sheet.
Blend bananas, oil,sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla in med. bowl.
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
Add flour mixture to banana mixture until combined.
Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until set.

Peanut butter dip

1/2 c. creamy PB
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 t. cinnamon

Stir all ingredients in small bowl until fluffy.
Serve with celery, apples or pears.

Kids Make Ice Cream

I do a home preschool with my 3-year-old son. This week we are studying science. We just made this ice cream and he was excited about it. I got excited when I remembered I could post it on the blog! I got the reciped out of our Science Play book.

1 C milk
2 TBSP sugar
1/4 C salt
Ice cubes
2 resealable sandwich bags
Larger resealable bag
Plastic shopping Bag
Twist tie

Add sugar and milk to the small resealable bag. Taste the solution. Let out some of the air as you zip to seal. Seal this bag inside another sandwich bag.
Place ice cubes in the bottom of the big bag. Add the small bag of milk and surround with more ice cubes. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of salt over the ice. Let out some of the air as you zip to seal.
Wrap a towl around the bag of ice. Place the bundle into a plastic shopping bag and seal with a twist tie.
Shake the bag. Have kids help continue to shake for 15 minutes. Remove the small bag and quickly rinse off the salt with cold water. Ask your kids if they think the milk changed. Enjoy their creation. Try adding sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts, or your favorite toppings :)

breakfast burritos

This is a fun breakfast that kids love! Make 1 egg per kid. Serve buffet style. Everyone can choose what they want and then roll up the tortilla like a burrito. Perfect for slumber parties!
* eggs
1 T. milk per egg
* chopped ham, smokey links or other breakfast meat
* whole wheat tortillas
* shredded cheese
* chopped tomato or salsa or both
* olives
* sour cream

Scramble the eggs with milk.
Cook meat.
Warm tortillas.
Put the remaining ingredients in small serving dishes.

Orange cooler

This is a homemade version of the Orange Julius

1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. frozen OJ concentrate
1/3 c. crushed ice
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Place all ingredients in blender.
Cover and blend until all ice chunks are gone.

Skillet spanish rice

1 lb. ground beef
small onion
small green pepper
1 t. chopped garlic
1 c. rice
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t pepper
8 oz tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. water

Brown meat, onion, green pepper and garlic; drain.
Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.

Mock Sushi

I always make a funny meal for my family on April Fools. They are alway leery of eating that day not knowing what they may be putting in their mouth :) With April Fools Day around the corner I thought I would post this. I love Family Fun magazine and this is where I got this recipe. is their website where you can also find lots of fun ideas.

1/4 C butter
4 C mini marshmellows
6 C crisped rice cereal
20-25 gummy worms
1 to 2 boxes of fruit leather
12x 17-inch baking sheet
2-quart sauce pan

Grease a 12x17-inch baking pan.
Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.
Add the marshmellows and stir until smooth
Remove mixture from heat and stir in the rice cereal until it's evenly coated.
Turn the baking sheet so that the shorter ends are at the top and bottom. Then press the marshmellow mixture on the sheet, distributing it evenly.
Starting at one side and 1 inch up from the lower edge, place gummy worms atop the mixture end to end in a horizontal line.
Gently roll the lower edge of the marshmellow mixture over the gummy worms.
Then stop and cut the log away from the rest of the mixture. Use the same method for 4 more logs.
Slice each log in 1-inch-thick "sushi" rolls and wrap them individually with a strip of fruit leather.
Happy eating! :)

Beef stroganoff

This is a recipe that Emeril made on Good Morning America a few years back and is a family favorite now!
8 oz. extra wide egg noodles
1 1/2 lb. steak (ribeye or NY or ??)sliced in 1/2" strips
1-2 t. salt(+ more for water)
1 t. fresh ground pepper
4 T. olive oil
3 T. butter
1 1/2 cup onions (sliced in thin strips)
12 oz. button mushrooms-wiped clean, stemmed and sliced
1 T. chopped garlic
2 T. flour
2 c. beef stock
1/2 c. sour cream
1 T. chopped parsley

Boil noodles 8 min. or so-just tender, while noodles cook; brown beef in 2 T. oil season with salt and pepper, just a few minutes per side, transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
Add butter to pan, add onions, reduce to med heat, cook till soft (4 min. or so)
Add mushrooms and stir as needed til browned (7 min. or so)
Drain noodles and toss with 1 T. olive oil, cover to keep warm.
Add garlic and 1/2 t. salt and pepper to onions and mushrooms, cook 1 minute then add flour turn heat up to med-high, cook 2 min. then whisk in broth; when it boils, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
Return beef to the saute pan stir in sour cream, remove from heat, fold in noodles then garnish with parsley.

Rich Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This frosting goes great with the cupcake recipe I just posted. Also from Betty Crocker.

4 C powdered sugar
1 C butter or margarine, softened
3 TBSP milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled

In a medium bowl, beat all frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and spreadable. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 tsp at a time. Spread over cupcakes.

Broccoli salad

This recipe is the best potluck salad ever! Whenever I make this one at a potluck, It always disappears! There is never any to take home! You will be amazed at how many people ask for the recipe!
head broccoli-cut into small flowerets
6-8 sliced cooked bacon-crumbled
1/2 c. chopped red onions
1/2 c. raisins or cranberries-I use cranberries
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese-cut in 1/2" chunks
1 c. mayo
2 T. white vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes-halved
salt & fresh ground pepper-to taste

Place broccoli in lg. bowl, add bacon, onions, cranberries (or raisins) & cheese.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; stir well.
Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

I went to a birthday party at the Kids Cooking Corner and these were the cupcakes they made. Very good. The owner got the recipe off the Betty Crocker website.

2 C all-purpose flour
2 C granulated sugar
3/4 C sour cream
1/4 C shortening
1 C water
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 36 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, beat all cupcake ingredients with electric mixer on low-speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 1/2 full.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; place on cooling rack. Cool completely and frost.

Ranch Pretzel Bites

I love the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. My mom always gives me one for our annual Mom/Daughter weekend in October. Last year she gave me Quick and Easy Family Favorites which is where this recipe came from.

16-oz pkg. large pretzles
2-oz pkg ranch salad dressing
3/4 C oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp dill weed

Break pretzels into bite-size pieces; place in a large mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a seperate mixing bowl and pour over pretzels; toss to coat. Pour onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for on hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Makes 16 servings

Perfect for a family game night snack.

Chicken-taco cornbread pie

1 T. oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast-chopped
1 green pepper- chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
3/4 c. water
1 c. cheddar cheese
1 pkg(8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix

Heat oven to 400°F.

HEAT oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 min. or until done. Stir in peppers, seasoning mix and water. Bring to boil; simmer on medium-low heat 10 min., stirring occasionally.

SPOON into 9-inch pie plate; sprinkle with cheese. Prepare muffin mix as directed on package; spoon over cheese, completely covering cheese layer.

BAKE 20 min. or until golden brown. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Foolproof Beef & Broccoli


1 pound boneless beef sirloin or top round steak strips (3/4 inch thick)
2 T. veggie oil
2 cups broccoli flowerets
1 medium oninon, cut into wedges
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of broccoli soup
1/3 cup water
1 T. soy sauce
4 cups hot cooked rice
green onion (optional)

Slice beef into very thin strips;

In medium skillet over medium-high heat; heat half of the oil. Add beef in two batches and stir-fry until browned. Set beef aside;

Reduce heat to medium; Add remaining oil; add broccoli, onion & garlic powder (or clove) and stir-fry until tender-crisp;

Add soup, water and soy. Heat to boil;

Return beef to pan and heat through;

Serve over rice.

If desired, garnish with green onion.

Quick Chicken A La King

I typically have these basic ingredients in my home. A great recipe when I need a plan B!


1 T. margarine or butter
half of chopped red or green pepper
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
4 cups hot cooked long-grain and wild rice or hot cooked rice

In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat margarine;

Add pepper and cook until tender;

Add soup, milk and chicken.

Heat through, stirring occasionally;

Serve over rice.

Garnish with fresh parsley (optional)

Best Homemade French Fries EVER!

I love my Martha Stewart Everyday Food subscription. This month is focusing on Light foods. Always good to eat better. Light or not, I adore these fries.

3 pounds russet potatoes cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips
nonstick cooking spray
4 tsp vegetable oil
coarse salt and ground pepper

In a large bowl, cover potatoes with water by 2 inches. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly coat two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Drain potatoes and pat dry; wipe out bowl. Toss potatoes in bowl with oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide potatoes between sheets and arrange in a single layer. Bake until golden and crisp, 45 minutes. Toss potatoes and rotate sheets. Bake 15 minutes more.

Shepherds pie

1 lb. ground beef or venison
1 small onion-chopped
1 can tomato soup- I like Campbell's
1 can green beans
6 potatoes-mashed (+ or -, 1 for each person)

Brown the ground beef, drain well, add the onion, cook over med. heat until the onion is done.
Add the tomato soup and green beans.
Pour into a casserole dish then dollop mashed potatoes on top; 1 dollop per person.
Bake at 400* for 8-15 minutes. Until mashed potato mounds are nice and golden brown.

Easy Tuna casserole

1 bag (24 oz.) Green Giant frozen pasta with carrots, broccoli, sweet snap peas & garlic sauce
2 cans (5 oz. ea.) Tuna- drained
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of potato soup
1/4 cup milk

for topping:
1 cup soft bread crumbs-about 2 slices
2 T. butter- melted

Heat oven to 350*- spray 2 qt. casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large microwavable dish, place pasta-veg. mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on high 5 min. then stir and microwave again for about 6 more minutes, until the sauce chips are melted and the veggies are cooked.
stir in tuna, soup and milk. Pour into casserole dish.
In a small bowl, toss topping ingredients then sprinkle over mixture.
Bake 25-30 minutes until hot and the topping is golden brown.

moist cupcakes

Just wondering if anyone has a good recipe for some moist chocolate cupcakes? Or any other flavor for that matter. Sky wants cupcakes for his birthday but the last cupcakes I made were so dry!

BBQ salmon

1/2 c. bbq sauce-we like Kraft thick & spicy
2 T. brown sugar
1 green onion, sliced
4 salmon filets-about 1 lb.

HEAT greased grill to medium-high heat.

MIX first 3 ingredients until well blended.

GRILL fish 4 min. on each side; brush generously with barbecue sauce mixture. Grill 2 to 4 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining sauce.