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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake


This cheesecake is my husband's favorite dessert. I like it because I don't have to bother with a springform pan and it tastes just as good! I also toyed with it using the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and there is absolutely no taste difference.

3 pkg (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. mini semi-sweet chips
1 extra serving size (9 oz.) graham cracker crust
2 Tbs. whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir in 1 2/3 c. chocolate chips; pour into crust.

3. Bake 10 minutes. Without opening oven door, reduce temperature to 250; continue baking 30 minutes or just until set. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

4. Place remaining 1/3 c. chocolate chips and whipping cream in small bowl. Microwave on high 20 to 30 seconds or just until melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Cool slightly and spread over top of cheesecake. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until topping is set. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fruit Pizza Cookies

Ingredients:

Store bought Refrigerated sugar cookie dough
Store bought cream cheese frosting
fresh fruit

-Bake the sugar cookies as direction say ( I like to undercook them by like a minute or two so the cookies are more chewy)- You can use homemade sugar cookies but I find the store bought kind to be tastier and easier than making the dough from scratch.

-When cool- spread on the frosting then add fresh fruit to the top so they set in the frosting before the frosting dries. I love to use strawberry slices (you can also use peaches, kiwis, raspberries, blueberries,... you get the picture)

I love these! They are so pretty/easy and make good treats for a bridal shower, baby blessing, or holiday snack.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baked Vegetables

Husbands love this...

In a casserole dish, add

small bag of frozen broccoli
1/2 chopped onion
2 cubed potatoes
2 large carrots, cut on bias
(and any other veg you want, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.)

season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, dot with butter. Cover with lid or foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 45 min until carrots are tender and veg is nice and caramelized. This goes with any kind of meat you want, and isn't it great to only have to make one side?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TORTELLINI SOUP

Saute : 1 Tb butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
**Add and bring to a boil: 2 cans chicken broth or 4 c. water and 4 bouillon cubes
**Add: 1 (10oz) pkg. cheese torellini
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. stewed tomatoes
**Cook for 5 minutes.
**Add and let simmer for 5 minutes: 1/2 bunch spinach, lightly steamed and chopped (I just use the frozen boxes)
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped ( I just add a pinch of basil)
salt and pepper to taste
** I've also added chicken to this soup to make it "meaty". Costco chickens work great!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have you ever seen a "de-boned" turkey??

Last night cooking class was a "Non-Traditional" Thanksgiving Dinner.
Chris started out the evening showing us how to de-bone a turkey. He really had to wack and cut and pull. It was enough to convince me I will never attempt that stunt at home! After he de-boned it, chopped off the legs and wings....he beat the breast flat, (the class toook athe recipe over at this point) turned the dark meat into burger, added sausage and seasonings, wrapped the turkey up, tied it, seared it, baked it for Turkey Roulade. I took some home and Mike LOVED it!
After we're grouped into teams. Rob sends us to our stations and gives us a recipe to do. This is what our stations look like BEFORE....And AFTER! Space gets small! I was with Kay Neves last night. We got Pumpkin Flan as our recipe.

Chris was showing us different toppings for Pizza appetizers.


As you can see, it gets pretty crowded in the kitchen! They had a pretty aggressive menu for us last night. We start class at 6:30 p.m. and I got home at 10:00 p.m. As you know, a lot of Thanksgiving dishes have to be baked, and we were all jockeying to get the oven and stove top!


These pizza's were sooo yummy!!AND WAAAA-LAAA! THE FINAL PRODUCTS!!!Toasted Hazelnut Salad with Dried Cranberries & Hazelnut Vinaigrette (I am so making this!) Deviled Eggs
Spiced Cranberry Bread Pudding
(CAN YOU SAY YUM-O!!! This WILL become a tradition at my house for Thanksgiving from now on!)

Pumpkin Flan.
Rob and Chris said if they were to give me a "grade," it would be an "A"! Of course because I made it, I had to pick it apart and not be satisfied!

POTATO HEAVEN!!! My favorite section of the buffet!
Red potatoes with bacon and cabbage
(left in back--Great St. Patty's day dish! )
Purple potatoes with cream and salt and pepper
(they taste just like regular ones.)
Sweet Potatoes with Sweet Compound Butter
(Another Thanksgiving WILL DO this year! Try to imagine whipped butter with crushed red pepper and syrup! Sounds odd?? DIVINE!)
The Turkey Roulade.
My top picks for the night were: salad, bread pudding, all the potatoes, and the pizza! Try eating all of that at 9:45 at night! It was like eating Thanksgiving Dinner! And they going right to bed....or should I say, right to my THIGHS!! GOBBLE! GOBBLE!
I feel silly! I posted this on the wrong blog!! BUT! Since it does relate to recipes and cooking...if you'd like any of these recipes...leave a comment!

Spiced Cranberry Bread Pudding
DO AHEAD! Can be made up to 4 days in advance!
In a large saucepan, bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Frozen Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate
1/2 c. orange juice
2 tsp finely grated orange peel
Mix in 3 c. Cranberries (12 oz--thaw if frozen) and return to simmer.
Reduce to med/low heat; gently simmer 3 minutes (cranberries should not break).
Pour cranberry mixture into strainer set over bowl and drain.
Return syrup to same pan.
Boil until very thick and reduced to a generous 1/2 c. (about 7 min).
Fold berries into syrup. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.
Spray 2 quart deep baking dish (see pic) w/ cooking spray. Line with parchment paper.
Cut crust off of 12 slices of white sandwich bread. Place one layer on bottom of dish.
Spread 1 tsp. of Apricot Preserves on each slice and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Spoon 1 Tbsp cranberries (with as little syrup as possible-reserve syrup) on each slice.
Top with another layer--PRESERVE side down. Repeat layers.
With reserved syrup in a medium bowl, Whisk until blended:
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier (I don't use)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c. sugar
Add and stir until sugar dissolves:
2 c. heavy whipping cream
Pour custard over dish. Let stand 15 min to an hour, occassionally press bread to submerge. Preheat oven to 350*
Place pudding in a cake pan. Add about an inch of lukewarm water to cake pan.
Bake until puffed and firm to touch, about 45 minutes. (Insert knife, should come out with a little egg on it...don't overcook!)
Remove from water. Let cool 10 min. Serve warm with some reserve syrup drizzled over portions.
Sweet Potatoes with Sweet Compound Butter
Bake sweet potatoes. Whip 1 c. butter. Stir in 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 c.-1/2 c. maple syrup. Serve over potatoes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chicken and Broccoli Braid

This recipe was posted on my friend Jill's blog. I thought it would be fun to try!



Uncooked:


Ingredients:
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 oz. (1cup) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. all-purpose dill mix
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pkgs. (8oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tbls. slivered almonds

Directions:Preheat oven to 375F.
Chop chicken and broccoli using food chopper; place in 2 qt. batter bowl. Chop bell pepper using 5" utility knife; add to batter bowl. Press garlic over vegetable mixture using garlic press. Shred cheese using cheese grater and add to vegetable mixture; mix gently. Add mayonnaise, dill mix, and salt; mix well using scraper. Unroll 1 package of crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12" x 15" rectangle baking stone. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using roller, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3 inches deep using a pizza cutter (there will be 6 inches in the center for the filling). Spread filling evenly over middle of dough. To braid, lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip on turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends under to seal at end of braid. Brush egg white over dough using pastry brush. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.Substitute 1 tsp. dried dill weed for The Pampered Chef Pantry All-Purpose Dill Mix, if desired. Yield: 10 servings Approximately 410 calories and 27 grams of fat per serving

Friday, November 14, 2008

Baked Cream Corn

This is a wonderful side dish--especially good for Thanksgiving!

3 to 4 cups frozen white corn
2 to 3 cans corn (yellow)
1 cup cream or evaporated milk
1 to 2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Heat all ingredients in a large saucepan. In a separate pan, make a roux with 4 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 cup flour. Add to corn mixture and stir. Simmer until it is thickened. Put into a greased 9X13 pan and cover top with shredded parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until browned on top.

Crockpot Ribs

I got this recipe from the blog "A Year of Crockpotting" and they were delicious!! A friend of mine tried them too (since our local grocery was having a buy one get one free deal on ribs) and have rave reviews as well! It is John McCain's recipe.

4lbs of ribs (I used baby-back)
1 T kosher salt
1 T pepper
1 T garlic powder
4 lemons

Mix dry ingredients and rub over meat. Squeeze the juice from 4 lemons over the top. Cook on low 8-10 hours in the crockpot.

These were super simple and the meat fell off the bones...very yummy. I'm excited to eat the leftovers tonight!

Homemade Granola

OK. I made this yesterday and it turned out very yummy. The house smelled great too!

  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups raisins

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, sesame seeds and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
  3. Bake until crisp and toasty, about 20 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins. Storing in an airtight container.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken Stroganoff

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (12 ounce) container sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
* I also added a splash of milk

Place chicken in crock pot. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on LOW for 4 to 6 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve over cooked noodles or rice.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies

submitted originally by Melanie from the Sisters Cafe (recipe from Kitchen Cafe)
1 ¼ cup flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter¾ cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup peanut butter chips
½ cup chocolate chips
Sugar in a bowl for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degreesIn a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, and the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Drop Tbsp size rounded cookie dough into bowl of sugar to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheet leaving several inches between for expansion. Slightly flatten cookies with back of fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will look underdone. Cool for 1 minute on pan then remove to a rack to cool completely. These are DELICIOUS.. and can be blamed for my recent 3lb. weight gain.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spaghetti with Zesty Bolognese


(Adapted from Kraftfoods.com)


This is a great twist on the classic spaghetti. Tastes alot more fresh than the ragu:)

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 lb. ground beef
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbsp. Cream Cheese
12 oz. spaghetti, uncooked
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan

Optional: oregano, basil, and bay leaves and garlic salt)

COOK onions in italian dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Increase heat to medium-high. Add meat; cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.
(I add garlic salt to almost every meal) Stir in tomato sauce and tomatoes (and 1/2 tsp of oregano, basil, and 1 bay leaf if you'd like). Add one tsp. sugar-- a tip I learned somewhere that you should do for any tomato based sauce-- don't know why)

Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 min. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese until well blended.

MEANWHILE, cook pasta as directed on package.
SPOON sauce over pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cheeseburger Soup

I got this recipe from my friend Marilynn... I should recruit her to join this blog, but then I might not have any good recipes to share :). This soup is very kid friendly and great for fall and winter!

Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 lb. ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine, divided
3 cups chicken broth (2 cans)
4 cups diced peeled potatoes
1/4 cup flour
8 oz. processed American cheese (Velveeta), cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

In a saucepan, brown ground beef. Drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil, and parsley in 1 Tbsp. butter until vegetables are tender. Add broth, potatoes, and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter and add flour. Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat. Blend in sour cream and serve.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

2x baked potatoes and Easy Biscuits

I apologize i haven't posted in a while!! But here are two of my very favorite and very easy recipes!! And the little ones always seem to love them!! Plus, i don't about you, but I get a little tired of the same old sides!!
Twice Baked Potatos

Cook desired amount of potatoes in oven, like your making a baked potato, usually i cook mine at 400 for about an hour.
Then take cooked baked potatoes and scoop out insides into large bowl.
Add sour cream and milk until potatoes reach desired consistency, then add
bacon(i usually use the pre-cooked bacon that you just put in the microwave, or my mom always used Baco's), green onion(i omit this if it is for children), cheese, garlic, salt and pepper (all ingredients are to taste).
Then top with cheese.
Scoop mixture back into potato skins and bake at 375 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted!!! Yummy
Garlic Cheese Garlic Biscuits

2 cups bisquick
½ cup shredded cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp or so of Garlic

Stir ingredients until soft dough forms.
Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix tsp. butter (melted) and 1/8 tsp garlic
powder and brush over warm biscuits.
*by the way- the biscuits are not perfectly round, i usually just plop them onto the cookie sheet, and the dough is pretty sticky, but if it seems to think add a little more milk!! Sometimes i also add green onions!*

French Toast Fingers


I am always looking for breakfast ideas. I found this on the Kraft Foods website.

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash ground cinnamon
10 slices whole grain bread
2-1/2 cups fruit flavored sweetened rice cereal (like Fruity Pebbles)

Preheat the oven to 350. Beat eggs with milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Cut each slice of bread into 4 strips.

Dip bread strips into egg mixture, then dip into cereal turning to evenly coat. Place strips on cookie sheet.

Bake 20 min. or until golden brown.

Some of the kids wanted syrup, but they were great alone also.

Crunchy PB in a Wrap

This is great for a quick lunch or after school snack. I had to use some different ingredients than the recipe originally called for because my little ones don't like granola- so I'll tell you what I used instead.

Ingredients:
*7-8 inch flour tortillas

*Crunchy peanut butter

*Chopped apple-- I used granny smith, but any would do. Just make sure to chop it into little pieces.

*granola--I used frosted cheerios here, sounds gross, but it was really yummy.
*Honey (optional) I added this to a second batch and my kids loved it.

Spread the PB over each tortilla. Sprinkle with apples and granola. Tightly roll up tortillas. Cut in half. Enjoy!!

A Twist on Tuna

We love tuna sandwiches at our house. But we were getting bored. So I switched it up a bit. This is one of those recipes that you have to do to taste. I like a lot of flavor, so mine had a lot of zing.

Ingredients:
1 large can of white tuna in water. (The tuna in oil is just gross, don't ya think?)
1 cup (or more) of shredded cabbage with carrot (coleslaw mix)
Miracle Whip- or Mayonnaise to taste (I used Miracle Whip)
1 packet of dry ranch dressing-- add to taste. (I think I added over half the packet- but like I said- I like a lot of flavor.)

Mix all ingredients and spread on bread.

It was a good change for us. You can add as much or as little of the ingredients as you like!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tomato Barley Soup


Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 large carrots, sliced (I just cut up a handful of baby carrots)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked quick barley (you can use regular, you just have to cook it longer)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme

In heavy saucepan, heat olive oul; add carrots, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat until vegetables are crisp tender.

Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until barley is tender. I usually add some water when I add the tomatoes to make it thinner, but you can add more or less water depending on how thick you like your soup.

My family likes to eat this soup with saltine crackers, they are fun to dip.
Serves: about 4

Sunday, October 26, 2008

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

2 c. butter
3 c. sugar
6 eggs
1 T vanilla (mix together)
1 Lrg. can pumpkin
1 t. allspice
1 t. nutmeg
1 t.cloves
1/4 t. ginger
1 T. cinnamon
1 t.salt
4 1/2 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1 T baking soda
3 c. chocolate chips
Bake at 350 deg for 15-20 minutes. I did closer to 15 minutes and let them sit in the pan to cook a little longer inside. I also only had a 2 sticks of butter (it calls for 4), so I used a cup of oil to replace the butter that I didn't have, and they still turned out perfect(I think they were more moist too). This recipe makes about 4 dozen muffins(maybe a bit more), but they are great to freeze and eat later too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Easy Delicious Fudge

1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1 bag of peanut butter chips
1 bag of butterscotch chips
1 c. peanut butter

1 c. nuts and/or mini marshmallows, optional

Put all of the chips and the peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl & cook for 2 minutes; stirring every 30 seconds. Then add optional ingredients...if using any.
Place into a 13x9" buttered pan. Cover & refrigerate. Be sure & cut into small squares before it gets too hard & difficult to cut.

{Viola!}

{store in the fridge.}

It is soooo good & creamy & easy & addicting & fattening!

YUM YUM!
It's the next best thing to bathing in chocolate!
Which I WILL DO one day!!!!

♥Merrianne

No IDEA what is happening

I have gotten a few emails from lovely ladies who for some wierd reason have not been able to post. I am looking into what happened. Please let me know if any more of you have this problem so I can add you on again.

Thanks!!

Shally

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Caramel Corn



This is my mom's caramel corn recipe. It's not crunchy like most caramel popcorn. It stays soft and gooey and is delicious.

Pop 1 1/2 cups of popcorn and set aside (this is just an estimate. you might want to do more or less depending on how gooey you want it)

In a saucepan add:
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. Karo syrup
1 c. Butter or Margarine (I use butter)
dash of salt

-Cook to softball and stir in 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk.
-Pour over corn-Store in an airtight container

Let's make a DEAL.

Okay. We are slacking ladies. Heaven knows we are all busy- but selfishly I am needing new recipe ideas from all you wonderful cooks!!!

Let's make a deal to each post at least one recipe in the next 30 days.

We can do that right?? ☺ One little recipe???

There are 39 chefs- so that would be 39 new recipes in one month!!

I know we could all use that!!

So start thinking of your next post, okay?

Pretty please?

Oh-- and on a completely random note- if you don't already have Google Reader- GET IT. It is a great way to keep up with the new recipes that are posted on this blog! Just go to Google.com- on the top left hand corner you will see "images, maps" etc. Click on "more" and scroll down to READER. You can manage all the blogs you want to read on there. Google reader will notify you whenever a new post comes up, so you don't have to keep checking the blog to see if there is something new! It saves so much time.

I can't wait for your recipes!! Get going!

Seriously GO!!! ☺

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Barbeque Beef and Potato Bake

Sorry I have been such a slacker!! I have tons of recipes I want to post- we'll start with this one.

Super easy.

Super fast.

Ingredients:
1 package Betty Crocker roasted garlic mashed potatoes (2 pouches)
2 cups water
1 1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 container (18 oz) Lloyds refrigerated barbeque sauce with shredded beef (It is
in a yellow tub)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup French-fried onions (from the can) I used Cheddar flavor and it was really good.

1. Heat oven to 350. Spray rectangular baking dish. 11x7 with cooking spray

2. Make potatoes as directed on package for 8 servings, using both pouches. Spread half of the potatoes over the bottom of baking dish. Layer with beef, 1 cup of the cheese and remaining potatoes.

3. Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 25 min or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Sprinkle the onions around the edges of baking dish. Bake uncovered for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and onions are brown.

**You can also do this with homemade mashed potatoes, and it is delicious. There are also other meats from Lloyds that may fit your family better. You can also make the potatoes ahead and refrigerate them to cut down on the pre-dinner mayhem. ☺

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baked Beef Ziti

12 oz. uncooked ziti
2 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cook pasta, drain and set asided.
Meanwhile, heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and saute 2 min. Add beef and cook until browned, drain off any fat and set pan back over medium heat.

Add herbs and salt and pepper, stir to coat beef. Cook until herbs become fragrant, about 2 min. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Spoon a small amount of beef-tomato mixture into bottom of 4-qt casserole dish (just enough to cover the surface); top wiht half of ziti. Next, layer wiht half of remaining beef-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining ziti and then top with remaining beef-tomato sauce; sprinkle wiht remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serves 8.

FYI- for those that do Weight Watchers points, this meal is only 5 points per serving.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Easy Garlic Chicken

I made this the other night and it only took about 15 minutes total.

What you need:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. garlic powder -- I am not a huge garlic fan so I added a little less, just add to taste :)
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt


What to do:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with garlic powder, seasoning salt and onion powder. (I mixed them all together before I sprinkled...) Saute about 10 to 15 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

This serves about 4 and I think it would be really good with rice-a-roni or potatoes of some kind. I just served mine with green beans and bread and butter.... This was such and easy meal. Enjoy!

(By the way, I got this recipe from http://allrecipes.albersons.com)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pretzel Jello Salad

Ok Ladies... really... It's been over a month and no new recipes? We are seriously slacking. :)

This probably isn't a new recipe to a lot of you... But it's one of my favorites to make for when we have people over, or if I'm in charge of bringing a family a meal. It's technically a jello salad... but it's definitely good enough to be dessert! :) There's never any leftovers with this dish! :)

Pretzels (Somebody asked how many- & I don't know! :) Just enough so after you crush them, they cover the bottom of the pan... I just guess)
1 Cube Butter
1 c. Sugar, plus 4 tsp Sugar
12 oz. Cool Whip
8 oz. Softened Cream Cheese
6 oz. Strawberry Jello
16 oz. Frozen strawberries (sliced)

*Crush Pretzels in Bottom of 9x13 pan.
*Melt butter with 4 tsp. Sugar.
*Pour over pretzels and bake at 400 for 6 min.
*Cool in refrigerator (I put mine in the freezer- Make sure it's completely cooled or it melts the next layer and everything meshes together!)
*Beat softened cream cheese, cool whip, and 1 cup Sugar on med/low until smooth
*Spread over COOLED pretzels. (Make sure to seal all the edges so the jello doesn't get into the pretzels)
*Mix Jello with 2 cups Boiling water. Stir until well dissolved.
*Stir in frozen sliced strawberries.
*Let Jello partial set (3 minutes or so) then pour over cream cheese mixture.
*Put in Fridge and let set for 3-4 hours.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sandwich Fun

During summer, we eat a lot of sandwiches for lunch! We're either running around outside and need something portable or I'm in the middle of a project and need something quick. Also, school is starting soon and I'm sure you'll be after some new sandwich ideas. Here are a few ideas to liven things up.

1) New Shapes. Simply use a large cookie cutter and cut out a shape from a prepared sandwich. Image from Family Fun.

2) Cheesey Face. Cut out a face shape on one slice of bread. Make a grilled cheese sandwich and add some tomato ears and chip "hair". I have no idea where this is from, I like to give credit to whoever came up with it, but I just found this pic in my files. If it's yours, please tell me! :)

3) Robot. Cut crusts off sandwich and cut into two rectangles. Add a banana smile, grape eyes, and cheese puff antennae.

4) Puzzlers. Make one sandwich on white bread and one on whole wheat bread. Cut a similar "puzzle" piece out of each sandwich. Swap the pieces and serve. (This one is great for school lunches!)
5) Cell phone Sandwiches. This one's from Denise. She's actually a soapmaker, but came up with these cuties!
6) Tic-Tac-Toe Melts from HomeBasics. To make the “board”, top a slice of lightly toasted bread with a slice of cheese. Then use thin strips of ham to divide the slice into nine squares. Decorate with playing pieces: “O’s” made from black olive rings and “X’s” made from small strips of red bell pepper. Broil until bubbly and serve.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Muffins, Muffins, Muffins

This is a great "base" muffin mix so that you can add your own favorite fruits, etc. They aren't too sweet and really satisfying!

2 c. all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar (add up to 1 cup if you like them SWEET)
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. In a 2 cup measuring cup, mix the egg in with the milk. Pour milk mixture and oil into the flour mixture. Mix quickly and lightly with a fork until moistened..but do not beat. Batter may be lumpy. At this point add your favorite fruit or cinnamon & sugar for "coffee cake" muffins.

Pour into paper lined muffin tins. Usually I can squeeze out 14. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Store in ziplock bag or tight lid container to keep fresh.

To my muffins, to make "Lemon Blueberry" muffins, I added:

2 Tbl. lemon zest
2 capfuls of lemon juice (or fresh juice if you have it- add 1 1/2 tsp depending on how "zingy" you want it!)
1 cup of frozen blueberries

Then for the topping:
Glaze: 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar
Mix together until smooth and drizzle over warm muffins.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Balsamic Salmon

My husband and I are trying to be a little more healthy so I have been making salmon more often. My husband cannot stand fish!! I decided to try and see if I could get him to enjoy it by experimenting and cooking it different ways. This is a recipe thatI made up that he actually really enjoyed! He even agreed to eat it once or twice a week!!

Ingredients:
Salmon Filet (I have been buying preportioned single filets at Albertsons and they only cost $1 each!)
Balsamic Vinegarette salad dressing

Directions:
Add fish to a frying pan with a little olive oil or butter (i used butter to mask the fish taste even more). Pour a little of the dressing on top of the salmon, let it cook (can add a pinch of garlic powder also), repeat on other side. I cooked it until it was starting to brown. Take the filet out and peel off the scales (you can cook that side a little longer if desired).

Only 5-10 minutes and you have a tasty and fairly healthy serving of fish!

As Sides:
-I steamed some broccoli (and added roasted sliced almonds)
-sliced potatoes to look like french fries and cooked them on the stove in a little olive oil and some steak seasoning. My little boy loves to dip food so he was able to dip these in some ketchup!

ENJOY!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Luscious Banana Pudding

This is Paula Deen's "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding." It's awesome.

2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen Cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 - 5 oz box french vanilla pudding
1 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz container cool whip, thawed

Directions:Line bottom of 13x9x2" baking dish with 1 bag of cookies and put bananas on top. Blend milk with pudding mix well with a handheld electric mixer. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk together in a bowl until smooth; fold in whipped topping. Add to pudding mixture, stirring until well blended. Pour mixture over cookies and bananas; cover with remaining cookies. Refrigerate.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Carne Asada - like you were in mexico....


Carne Asada Recipe


Ingredients:
2 pounds flank or skirt steak


Marinade:

4 garlic cloves-minced
1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, finely chopped (great flavor in the stems)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
Method

1 Lay the flank steak in a large non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Make sure each piece is well coated. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
2 Preheat your grill over medium-high flame (you can also use a cast iron grill pan on high heat for stove-top cooking). Brush the grates with a little oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Remove the steak from the marinade. If you are cooking indoors, you may want to brush off excess marinade as the bits may burn and smoke on the hot pan. Season both sides of the steak pieces with salt and pepper. Grill the pieces for a few minutes only, on each side, depending on how thin they are, until medium rare to well done, to your preference. You may need to work in batches. Remove the steak pieces to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the steak across the grain on a diagonal.
(Optional) Serve with warm tortillas (flour or corn) and pico de gallo

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Southern Style Biscuits




GREEN BEANS






Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jumbo Molasses Cookies



Cream:

3 c. butter-flavored shortening
4 sugar
Add and mix well:
1 c. molasses
4 eggs
Combine and gradually Add:
8 c. flour
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ginger
Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
Shape ¼ c. dough into balls. Roll in sugar.
Four cookies per sheet.
Bake 350* for 18-20 min or until edges are set.
*Can do “normal size” cookies and reduce baking time.

Tortellini Sausage Soup



In a Large Dutch oven..or pot
BROWN:
1 lb mild sausage
ADD: 2 tsp garlic
1 small onion, chopped
ADD:
6 c. water
5 tsp beef granules
1 c. chopped carrots
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
3 Tbsp parsley
28 oz canned tomatoes (diced)
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
Cook until carrots are tender.
Meanwhile…
COOK SEPARTELY:
1 bag frozen tortellini
Bow tie pasta (optional)

Bran Flax Muffins

(these are my absolutely favorite muffins! Actually the only ones I’ll eat!)
Mix together in a large bowl:
1 c. flour
½ c. whole wheat flour
¾ c. flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
¾ c. oatbran
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Stir in:
2 tart apples, peeled and shredded
1 ½ c. carrots, shredded
½ c. raisins (opt)
1 c. nuts, chopped (opt)
Combine and Pour into dry ingredients:
¾ c. milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
Stir just until ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix!
Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake 350* for 15-20 min
.

Salsa Verda Burgers

This a fun twist on a hamburger. I saw it on Rachel Ray!
Mash with a fork:
1 avocado
½ c. mayo
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, Combine:
1 lb hamburger
½ c. salsa verde
Form patties, but don’t squeeze too hard.
In large skillet over med-high heat. Cook patties for 4 min. on one side.
Flip and top with a slice of pepper jack cheese, cover and cook 4 more minutes.
Spread the avocado mayo on side of Kaiser roll (toasted) and sprinkle with cilantro (opt). Top with a patty and 2 tomato slices. Put on tops on serve.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Easy Chicken Bake

(This is a great Sunday dinner meal and the gravy is awesome over mashed potatoes.)

INGREDIENTS
· Salt
· Paprika
· Garlic salt
· Parsley
· 6 good sized pieces of bone-in chicken (I use 10 drumsticks)
· 1 can cream of mushroom soup
· 1 c. cream or ¾ c. evaporated milk

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix salt, garlic salt and paprika. Sprinkle and rub into chicken pieces. Layer chicken in shallow pan. Dilute soup with cream and pour over chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Bake uncovered for 1 ½ hours.

Pork Cafe Rio Salad

(This is a knock-off of the pork Cafe Rio salad. Frankly, it doesn't taste like it to me, but it's still SO good and the best thing to serve to company...yummy and people can leave off what they don't want. I know it's not simple, but I think it's worth it.)

You start with the Pork

3-4 lbs. Pork Loin
1 c. brown sugar
1 bottle red taco sauce
1 T. Cumin
1 Can Coke

Cook pork on low in crock pot with water covering ½ the pork for 6 hours or until able to shred. Three hours before serving, drain liquid off pork and add coke, taco sauce, brown sugar and cumin. Continue to cook for approximately 3 more hours.

Then you make the Rice

White rice
Chicken broth
Chopped Cilantro
Chopped white Onions
lime juice

You get to experiment on the portion sizes. Cook the rice in chicken broth instead of water with cilantro, onions, & lime juice.

Then you make the Tomatillo Dressing

1 pkg. Dry buttermilk Dressing (ranch)
3 Tomatillos
1 C. Mayonnaise
1 C. Buttermilk
1 C. Cilantro (chopped)
1 Garlic Clove
1/4 to ½ t. Cayenne Pepper

Put all ingredients in blender. Dressing will be runny at first, but thickens gradually.

This is the order I do this “salad”

Tortillas (how it’s served at the restaurant)***
Cheese (Monterey Jack or Cheddar)
Rice
Black Beans (warmed)
Pork
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Green Onions
Cilantro, Sour Cream, Salsa
Tomatillo Dressing
Crushed chips on top
*** You can buy uncooked tortillas at Costco that you cook fresh yourself. They are fabulous!!!

No Bake Cheesecake

You need:

a graham cracker crust (if you homemake it, it's, like, 10 times better)
8 oz of cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla
berries

If you've baked your crust, make sure you've let it cool. Mix the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Keep in freezer till 30 minutes before serving. Top with any kind of berries.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Homemade Raspberry Ice Cream

I know there are homemade ice cream recipes all over the place, but I combined a few that I couldn't decide between, and we had a tasty result! It was so flavorful and creamy. This recipe takes a little extra work, but it's worth it! This is for a 4 quart ice cream maker.

4 cups half & half
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 (24 oz.) container plain yogurt (I like Activa by Dannon because it's so smooth and creamy)
4 (6 oz.) containers fresh raspberries
1 (12 oz.) package frozen red raspberries

In a large bowl, mix half & half, cream, sugar, and vanilla with a wire whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Rinse the fresh raspberries and put in the blender with 1 cup of the cream mixture. Blend for 1 minute or until the raspberries are pulverized. Pour the raspberry mixture through a fine sieve with a bowl underneath to remove the raspberry seeds (be patient, it will be very thick and might need some stirring to get it through, but you'll be so glad to get rid of all those nasty seeds). Stir the raspberry juice/cream in with the remaining cream and add the yogurt. Stir in the frozen raspberries and pour the entire mixture into the ice cream maker tub. Follow your ice cream maker's directions for layering rock salt and ice and churn until it's thick and creamy.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Worm" Casserole

1 onion
1 pound hamburger
4 cups rice
4 cups water
1 can cream of chicken soup
¾ soup can of milk
Chow mein noodles

Brown and drain hamburger. Add milk and soup together until smooth. Place 1 cup rice in bottom of casserole dish. Put some hamburger on top of rice. Add some soup mixture over that. Put chow mein noodles on top and start layers over again. Bake in microwave for 8-10 minutes. You could put in a layer of cheese or green beans or both.

Italian Breaded Chicken

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet of dry Italian seasoning mix
¾ c parmesan cheese (the powdered stuff)
1 cup bread crumbs or seasoned croutons, crushed
1 cube butter
1 jar spaghetti sauce, your choice of flavor
8 provolone cheese slices

Combine in large bowl, Italian seasoning packet, parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. In separate bowl, melt 1 cube butter. Roll the chicken in the melted butter then in the bread crumb mixture. Put in a foil lined 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. At 45 minutes, take the chicken out and spoon the spaghetti sauce on top of the chicken. Then add 1 slice of provolone cheese. Put back in the oven until the cheese is melted! Enjoy! I usually serve with breaded or stuffed mushrooms, Pillsbury cheddar garlic biscuits, and Pasta Roni Angel Hair Pasta Parmesan flavored.

Chicken Alabam

Another favorite. This sounds gross, but I promise it's great. You can use Pepsi or Coke product. It makes a runny, mild BBQ sauce. I usually serve it with corn or over mashed potatoes.

1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup ketchup
1 can of Pepsi (Wild Cherry or Diet works too!)
1 teaspoon mustard
Onion flakes
Garlic salt

Season chicken breast with garlic salt. Combine ketchup, pop, mustard, and onion flakes. Mix well with whisk. Pour over chicken in 9 x 13 baking dish, usually lined with foil. Bake 1 hour on 350. It will sort of taste like BBQ Chicken. I love it!

Applesauce Muffins

These are a family favorite. They are VERY easy to make and taste really good. You can freeze them, too. They are best warm, then make a little "hole" in the middle and add some butter. Happy eating!

Combine and mix well:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Add:
1 stick of margarine or butter

1 ½ cups sugar
Blend mixture well.

Add:
2 eggs
Blend mixture well.

Add:
1 cup applesauce
Blend mixture well. It will be similar to the consistency of oatmeal, pretty thick.
Put approximately ¼ cup of mixture into baking cups and bake on 350 for 19 minutes only! Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus
Butter
Lemon Pepper
Parmesan cheese

Tear off a piece of heavy duty foil (or two pieces of normal foil). Spread butter on bottom. Place asparagus on top, add a bit more butter on top, add lemon pepper and parmesan cheese. Cover and grill about 15-20 minutes or until desired tenderness.

Grilled Baby Carrots and Green Beans

1 cup baby carrots, cut length wise
8 oz green beans
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1/2 tsp garlic pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 in wedges

Heat grill on medium. Toss all ingredients except onion in a large bowl. Place in a grill basket. Cook in covered grill for 10 minutes. Add onion to oil in bowl, toss to coat, add to grill basket. Cook an additional 10 minutes shaking and turing the veges until all veges are crisp tender.

If you like to grill you have to get a grill basket, we use it all the time for potatoes or really any combination of veges and spices.

Morning Glory Muffins

This is a yummy muffin recipe that when adapted is also healthy. It may be a bit of work up front (not much really), but I double the recipe, then put the dough in seperate baggies and stick them in the freezer, then pull them out whenever, stick them in the oven and you have fresh muffins. Gabe LOVES them!

2 cups flour (I usually do at least half whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 cups sugar (I usually do about half of this)
2 tsp. baking soda (I add more if freezing)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups grated carrot (easy if you have a food processor)
1/2 cup raisins (or craisins ar fun too)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored, grated (use food processor)
3 eggs
1 cup olive oil (i usually use half applesauce and half oil)
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in carrot, raisins, walnuts, coconut and apple. In seperate bowl beat eggs, oil, vanilla. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until combined. Spoon into well greased muffin cups. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Makes ~16 muffins.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Chicken Skewers..

Here's a really easy grill recipe...

chicken tenderloins
minced onions
garlic salt
soy sauce

place chicken in shallow pan, and pour soy sauce over them. shake each side of chicken with minced onions and garlic salt... let sit for 10 minutes and then grill. These cook up really fast.. you can use the wooden skewers if you'd like you just have to soak the skewers in water for at least 15 min. before putting them on the grill. When it's not summer you can bake these in the oven for 30 min at 350 degrees.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Not fried...fried ice cream

So I love fried ice cream and I know how much fat is in it..so I have made an alternative that is soo good and less fat grams...

You can use frozen yogurt, vanilla ice cream or pralines and cream ice cream.

1. Make as many round scoops of ice cream that you need. Place on baking sheet lined with wax paper and keep in freezer until ready to use.

2. In a gallon size zip lock bag, crush up pecans and frosted flakes (you can use the less sugar ones), I use about 1/2 cup of frosted flakes per ball and as much pecans as you want. You can omit the pecans and use almonds or walnuts...or simply no nuts at all.

When ready, roll your balls of ice cream in the frosted flakes mixture. Drizzle with caramel and wham...not fried ice cream and it is really good!

Hope you enjoy it like my kids do!!

BBQ Season

Hello ladies! BBQ season is here and I was wondering if anyone had any wonderful recipes to try out on the grill? I have my normal foil potatoes and hamburgers...but I am looking for anything wonderful and tasty! Please share if you do!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Biscuits

1 can of refrigerated biscuits
1 lb. bulk sausage, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 c. shredded cheese; divided in half
6 eggs
1/4 c. milk

Flatten out biscuits and place inside greased muffin pans...each one will be shaped like a bowl. Add a scoop of sausage into each biscuit "bowl". Bake in oven according to biscuit package directions. Meanwhile, mix the eggs with 1/2 of the shredded cheese and milk. Scramble in a skillet until done. When the sausage and biscuits are done, scoop eggs into each stuffed biscuit. While they are still hot, top with the remaining cheese.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Funny you should ask, Shally, because I've been meaning to post this recipe, but wasn't sure if anyone would be interested... We blessed our baby last week and our church got out early, so I made this for the after-church gathering at our house, and it turned out YUMMY - I got many, many compliments. ( I doubled the recipe, and it fed 12 or 15 or so...) And, the best thing is, you can make it at night, start cooking it when you go to bed, and it's ready when you wake up! Anyway, to the recipe....

Ingredients:
32 oz bag Southern Style hash browns (these are the little square kind - not the shredded ones)
1 lb bacon, fried, drained and torn or cut into pieces
1/2 C diced onion
3/4 lb cheddar cheese, diced
1 dozen eggs
1 C milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper, to taste


Directions:
Layer frozen potatoes, bacon, onion and cheese in 2-3 layers. Finish with cheese.
Beat eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour on top.
Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Yummy with salsa, Cholula, green Tabasco, or of course, good old ketchup!

I need ideas

Okay ladies...

I need breakfast ideas! I am sick of my regualars! Breakfast is the hardest meal for me to find new recipes.

Any recipes you have will help!

Please...

I am tired of my boring pancakes.

THANKS!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, so I know you all probably have tons of Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes already, but this is seriously the best one I've found. (And I got it off of a generic bag of chocolate chips!)

Ingredients:
2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 C butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 to 2 C (I do 2 cups!) chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in bowl and set aside.
Combine sugars, butter, and vanilla and beat until creamy. Add eggs and beat.
Add dry ingredients and mix well.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

Yummy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chocolate Raspberry Cheescake

It's been a while since I've posted another recipe. Here's a wonderful, pretty easy, recipe that I've found very addicting! :) It's meant for a Springform pan, but I just made it using two ready-made crusts, and split everything accordingly.

1 ready-to-use Chocolate cookie crust
3 packages cream cheese (8 oz each)- softened
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
6 squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
6 Tablespoons raspberry preserves
1/4 cup whipped cream
1 carton raspberries (optional)

PRESS ready-to-use chocolate cookie crust in base of 9-inch springform pan.
BEAT 3 packages of cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs just until blended. Pour 1/2 of mixture in crust. Melt 2 squares of baking chocolate in microwave.
DOT mixture in pan with 1/2 of chocolate. Dot mixture in pan with 3 tablespoons raspberry preserves. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.
ADD remaining mixture to the pan. Repeat the precious step with remaining melted chocolate, and preserves.
BAKE at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cneter is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan (or if doing the two- just leave them in the ready-to-use crust pan)
MELT remaining chocolate squares and whip cream on low heat, stirring until smooth. Spread over cooled cheesecake. Refigerate 4 hours or overnight. To serve-Top with fresh raspberries.

******************
Also thought I'd add a fun idea I learned about- to make pancakes even more fun- put pancake in a squirt/water bottle and draw letters, numbers, shapes, and designs onto the griddle. The squirt bottle makes it easy to handle the batter, and very little mess:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yummy Pulled Pork (Crock Pot)

This is so easy it's ridiculous, and sooo good too!

2 or so pounds of Pork Loin
1 16 oz bottle of KC Masterpiece Spiced Caribbean Jerk Marinade

Put the Pork Loin and Marinade in the crock pot and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. When it's about done, get two forks and shred the pork, stir it all up with the sauce and let it sit for a little bit more.

This is really good over sticky rice, or in Kaiser-type rolls for sandwiches! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Berry Cream Fruit Tart

Hi! This is my first post and I hope you like it! I saw this recipe the other day on "Good Things Utah" and made this for a neighborhood barbecue and it turned out really good. Super easy to make too!

Ingredients:
1 (18.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
1/2 cup coconut
3 cups berries, rinsed and drained ( I just used frozen, mixed berries from Costco- blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
2 TB sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup sour cream

Directions:
Chop up cold butter, and mix together with cake mix and coconut.
Press into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and arrange fruit over the crust, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Whisk egg and sour cream together and spread over the top.
Bake 15 minutes more or until crust is a delicate brown.
Cool to warm and cut into squares to serve.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Macaroni Salad

This is a great salad to take to a BBQ, it is quick and easy and everyone loves it.

1 10 oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1 1/2 cups red grapes
1 cup celery, chopped
1 12 oz pkg medium shell macaroni
1 apple, chopped
5 oz cashews
1 8 oz jar coleslaw dressing (Kraft is best)

Cook, drain and cool macaroni. Mix everything together except cashews, refrigerate for 2 hours. Mix in cashews just before serving.

You can also make it meal by adding 1-2 grilled, cubed chicken breasts.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Green Chili Chicken Enchilada's

3 chicken breasts - cooked, cubed
1 small can green chili's
1 can cream chicken soup
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 lb mozzarella cheese
1 can green enchilada sauce (16 oz)
Flour or whole wheat tortilla's

Mix first 5 ingredients together, reserving 1/4 of the cheese for the top. Place in tortillas, roll up and arrange in a 9x13 dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top. Spread remaining cheese over the top. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serve with spanish rice and chips and salsa. Makes approx. 10-12 enchilada's.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This dip is a favorite appetizer for any occasion!

1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)

1 can (14 oz.) Artichoke Hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well

¼ cup mayonnaise

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 clove garlic, finely minced

½ tsp dry basil or 1 Tbsp fresh basil

¼ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

¼ tsp garlic salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Soften cream cheese. Cream together cream cheese, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, garlic, basil, and garlic salt. Mix well. Add the artichoke hearts and spinach and mix until blended. Store in a refrigerated container until ready to use. Spray pie pan (ceramic or glass looks nice!) with Pam and pour dip in, then top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the top is browned. Serve with bread, crackers, and tortilla chips, or even fresh vegetables.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chicken Scampi


I really think this tastes exactly like Olive Garden's, and it's way easier to cook than I thought. There's just a few components that are going at the same time, but it came together in about 40 minutes. It also makes a lot of sauce, so you can cut it down, or freeze it. This would also be nice for a romantic dinner at home for two.

2 sticks unsalted butter (has to be unsalted, because the cooking wine has lots of salt)
1 1/2 T garlic puree
1 1/2 T chicken bullion
1 12.7 oz bottle Chablis cooking wine
1 cooking wine bottle full of water
1 T cornstarch
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoram
OR 1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper

Melt butter in large skillet over med-low heat. Add garlic and sweat it for a minute or so, but don't let it get brown. Add rest of ingredients and let simmer for 15 minutes, while you make the rest. Stir occasionally.

Cook angel hair pasta according to package.

Coat chicken tenderloins in flour seasoned with thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Saute in olive oil until done, remove to plate.

Saute red onion and red, yellow, and green bell pepper slices in chicken skillet until a little brown but still crisp.

Assemble on plate, and ENJOY!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Crockpot Fiesta

4-6 chicken breast halves, cut into small pieces or shredded
1 can of RoTel tomatoes and green chilies; drained
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 & 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
1 onion; sliced
1 envelope of taco seasoning mix

Place everything in a crock pot. Cook on High for *6 hours or until chicken is done. Stir Occasionally. You can even serve this on tortillas, baked potatoes, rice, pasta....the sky is the limit! :) This is seriously SO good!


This is a picture of it in the Crock Pot.


This is a picture of some on a tortilla.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Celery TIP!

Want to keep your celery crisp and fresher longer? When you come home from the store, cut the end off, rinse and pat dry the celery, then wrap in TIN FOIL! It works wonders. I forgot it was in my fridge and it had been a week and a half and it was still so crispy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Top Ramen Surprise

Top Ramen Surprise

1 lb ground pork
1 pkg frozen stir fry vegetables
1/2 c. water
2 pkgs oriental flavor Top Ramen- broken into pieces (save seasoning pkts for later in the recipes)

Ground pork in a frying pan until cooked through. Add the two seasoning packets, the water and the frozen vegetables, Stir until incorporated. Then add the broken up pieces of Top Ramen. Stir together and cover. Cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally about 5-10 minutes. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the noodles are cooked through.

We eat this with a little bit of soy sauce and my family likes to put grated cheese on top. Hope you like it. It is very inexpensive to make and with gas prices so high..who couldn't save on their grocery bill?

Reviving Lettuce

If your lettuce is a little limp, not crisp and crunchy like you want for a salad, you can soak it in ice water and it will revive like magic! Cut your lettuce for the salad, then put it in the salad spinner. Then fill up the spinner with cold water enough to cover the lettuce, then put in lots of ice. Let it soak for 10-15 minutes or so, and it will be nice and crisp! Then you can lift out the inner spinner bowl and dump out the water and spin your salad.

I was so glad to find this out because for some reason, the red leaf lettuce I like is kind of limp in the grocery store. Now I know it can be revived!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peach Cobbler

Okay I was telling Shally this morning that this recipe is so easy it's embarrassing to even post it. That said, I'm all about EASY because I have five kids four and under so here ya go......

1 can bottled peaches
1 yellow/or white (either one) cake mix
1/4 cup melted butter

Throw the peaches in the bottom of a cakepan, sprinkle cake mix on top, drizzle butter, pop it in the oven and watch it until the sides are brown (usually about 30 min. or so) and it's done. Super easy and way yummy!

THANK YOU!!!

I just wanted to tell everyone THANKS for taking time and posting. I know we are all busy, and our lives are hectic!

I have used many, many of the recipes, and have loved them all. It makes me so happy that I can jump on here and find something quick to make that my family will love. I get tons of compliments whenever I make anything off of Blogger Buffet.

Last night, I completely spaced that I had to bring a fruit dip to a Relief Society Enrichment. I was supposed to be there at 6:30, and it was 6:10 when my husband reminded me. I jumped on here and found Lisa's Fruit dip post. In 15 minutes, I had made the Bit o' Honey dip.

**Whew!!**

I cannot BELIEVE how many people asked me for the recipe afterwards.

This is just the latest of many times where your recipes have helped me in a bind. (I seem to forget things a lot! Click here for a post on why.)

Keep em' coming! I love you guys for participating.

♦THANK YOU!!♦

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cocoa Mousse Pie

You can substitute all the ingredients for low fat ones. There is no change in taste. Budget friendly too. Costs me only around 4.00 to make. I found this in a cooking magazine years ago. So easy and really good!

1 pkg (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. baking cocoa
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (8 oz.) carton cool whip
1 graham cracker crust

Beat cream cheese, sugar and cocoa. Beat in milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in cool whip. Spoon into crust. Cover and freeze for 20 minutes. 8 servings

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chicken Rueben

4 frozen chicken breasts
4 slices swiss cheese
3/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
1 1/2 cup sauerkraut

Place frozen chicken breasts in 9x13 dish. Put swiss cheese, thousand island, and sauerkraut on top of each breast in that order. Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked through. You can add more or less dressing and sauerkraut as your taste desires.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Paula Deen's Brownies

1 pkg. 13x9 brownie mix
6 Hershey bars or Symphony with toffee bars (reg. size)

Prepare brownie mix according to directions. Pour 1/2 into a 13x9 pan that has been lined with overhanging foil and greased. Place chocolate bars in a single layer over the mixture. Pour remaining mixture over the bars. Bake according to directions on package. Once slightly cooled, lift the edges of the foil to remove brownies to a cutting surface. Cut to desired size.
These are super easy and super good! Thanks Paula Deen!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Overnight Spinach Manicotti

1 carton (15-oz.) ricotta cheese
1 pkg (10-oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use
1 egg
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 jars (28-oz. ea) spaghetti sauce with meat
1-1/2 cups water
1 pkg (8-oz.) manicotti shells

-In large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, egg, parsley, onion powder, pepper, and garlic powder.
-Combine spaghetti sauce and water; spread 1 cup sauce in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish.
-Stuff uncooked manicotti with spinach mixture (I find this easier to do with a baby spoon); arrange over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti.
-Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
-Cover and refrigerate overnight.
-Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
-Bake, covered at 350º degrees for 40 minutes, uncover and cook for 15 more minutes or until the cheese on the top is melted.

*My kids love this; they don’t realize that there is spinach in it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sausage Cornbread

1 lb. bulk sausage (hot or mild)
1 can of RoTel
1 envelope of taco seasoning mix
2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
2 eggs
2/3 c. milk

Brown the sausage until completely done. Stir in RoTel and taco seasoning. Heat to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the corn muffin mix, eggs, and milk. Grease or spray a 13x9" baking pan. Pour 1 cup of the sausage mixture into the bottom of the pan. Stir the remaining sausage mix into the batter; then pour mixture into the pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes...until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean.

This Afternoon I Just Threw Together What I Had in My Kitchen (because I didn't want to go to the store) and, thank goodness, it turned out great! If you like a little spicy food, you will love this! This is super EASY & DELICIOUS!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fruit Smoothies

1/4 c. frozen strawberries
1/4 c. frozen blueberries
2 c. vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt; just slightly softenend
1/2 c. milk
6 oz. strawberry yogurt

Put everything in your blender and blend until desired consistency.

Delicious, Refreshing, and Good For You!

This serves about 4....unless you are like me and in that case, it only serves 1. And it is also a "learning tool"....your kids can help you in the kitchen and you can teach them that Red (strawberries) and Blue (blueberries) makes PURPLE! Pretty cool, huh!?!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Italian Sausage Cream Pasta

1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 can chopped tomatoes (can use Italian style)
1 pt. heavy whipping cream
1 pkg. bowtie pasta
grated Parmesan cheese

Brown sausage in a large skillet, then add tomatoes and cream, start cooking the pasta, according to the pkg. directions. Simmer the cream sauce about 15 min. until the pasta is cooked. Add garlic salt, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg to taste, and then mix pasta and cream sauce together. Add Parmesan cheese to your preference (we usually add 1/2 to 1 cup cheese). I think mushrooms would be really good in this dish, too.

Spanish Ole

I got this from a recipe exch. and thought it can't be good, the ingredients are too simple. But I tried it last week and my kids wouldn't stop eating, and Dan and I thought it was good, too.

Spanish Ole
1 pound ground beef
minced onion, garlic salt, pepper (to taste)
1 can corn, drained (I use frozen corn sometimes and just dump in some...I don't measure it)
1 large (28 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup macaroni noodles, dry
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Cook beef and drain fat in large skillet. (I season the beef with minced onion, garlic salt and pepper). Add tomato sauce and corn to beef in skillet and simmer until noodles are done. Drain noodles and dump them in to beef. Then add the cheese and cook it until cheese melts.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sun Dried Tomato Salmon

Sun Dried Tomato Salmon

Salmon
Sun dried tomato Dressing
Lemon Pepper
Parmesan cheese
Butter

Use a disposable aluminum pan. Spread butter along bottom, place salmon in pan. Add lemon pepper and butter (a few slabs). Pour dressing over salmon and in pan. Add parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and grill for ~20 minutes or until flakey (depends on thickness of salmon).

I often serve it with pesto pasta and salad. It is so yummy and super easy. You can use any dressing depending on your taste.

*I know there are no measurements, but it depends on the size of salmon you use. Just use to taste :).

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CHOCOLATE CHIP BLONDIES

These are SO easy to make and SO yummy!

2 eggs; beaten
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. chocolate chips

Mix all together and place in a greased 13x9" pan. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

*You can use less or more chocolate chips if you'd like. You can also use butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, or add chopped nuts or a mixture of all! The sky's the limit!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sausage and Rice

This is from our Ward cookbook. I had these ingredients on hand one night and decided to try it out. It has been a family favorite ever since! Thanks Kasey Rainey!

1 lb. mild breakfast sausage
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. uncooked rice
1/2 c. milk
1 3/4 c. water
1 tsp. salt

Brown sausage in skillet until no longer pink. Add rest of ingredients; mix well. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve with biscuits.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marvelous Mini Meatloaves

I made these last night-- they were super easy, and my family loved them! My twins kept calling them "cut cakes" :)

Ingredients:

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 package (16 oz) Stove Top Stuffing Mix
1 cup water
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Mix meat, stuffing, water and seasoning until well blended. (** for extra kick add 2 Tbsp A1 steak sauce to meat mixture before shaping it into meatloaves.***)Press evenly into medium muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray. Make an indention in the center of each with the back of a spoon.

Spoon the spaghetti sauce evenly into indentations in meatloaves.

Bake 30 minutes. Top evenly with cheese, continue to bake for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Instead of Italian seasoning, spaghetti sauce, and mozzarella, try:

Fiesta: 2 tsp chili power, 3/4 cup salsa. and Mexican style cheese

Mediterranean: 1 tsp dried oregano leaves, 3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, crumbled feta

BBQ: 1 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 cup BBQ sauce, shredded cheddar

Monday, April 21, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken and Pototoes

This is super easy and fast when you need a dish ready to go when you get home from work :).

8 potatoes, cut in wedges
Bag of baby carrots
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can water
Tub of mushrooms
4-5 chicken breasts cut in strips
Laury's season salt
Southwest seasoning (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hrs.

Key Lime Pie---the easy way

1 can Eagle Brand milk
1 (6-oz.) can limeade concentrate
1 sm. container of Cool Whip
1 graham cracker or shortbread crust
2 T. lemon or lime juice (if you want tart)

Mix together everything but the crust. Pour into crust and chill for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

TACO SOUP

This is so easy and so delicious...not to mention Budget Friendly! I get requests for this recipe every time I serve it! I hope YOU will like it, as well. I think you will....so you might as well give it a try. I think you (and your family) will be Happy that you did. :)

1 pound of very lean ground beef or ground turkey; browned & drained
1 onion; diced
46 oz. tomato juice
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 can of whole kernal corn; drained
1 can of black beans; drained
1 envelope of taco seasoning
2 cans of dark red kidney beans with the juice
flour tortillas; cut into 1/2" strips
shredded cheese

Stir everything together except the tortillas and the cheese. Heat until just boiling, reduce heat and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes; stirring occasionally. Scoop into bowls and add tortilla strips and cheese on top.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Apricot Chicken

I'm kind of new to this blog. This is my first post. Thanks for all of the great ideas. I can't wait to try so many of them.

I feel like this is one of those recipes that everyone else in the world knew how to make except me, but maybe I'm not the only one. It is REALLY easy and yummy. I like to serve it with rice pilaf (from a box) and green beans (frozen). We halved it since there are only 2 of us eating grown-up food right now. It might sound like a weird combination of ingredients at first, but I promise it is really good.

Ingredients:
1 sm. jar apricot preserves (16 oz or whatever)
1 env. Lipton onion soup mix
1 (8 oz.) bottle French/Russian/tomato based salad dressing (Tangy French is good!)
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or however many your family will eat)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in shallow pan. Mix apricot preserves, onion soup mix and French dressing in bowl. Mix well. Pour mixture over chicken. Bake in oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour and serve.

Number Of Servings: 8

Preparation Time:5 minutes

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Snicker Salad

Looking at the fruit dips below reminded me of a salad I haven't made in a while. It's a regular at functions in our little town. It sounds sort of interesting- but SOOO yummy. And it's a great side dish, but can be used as dessert too.
1 (5 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 c. milk
1 (12 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed
6 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (can be one kind or a mixture of apples)
1/2 c. seedless grapes
6 Snickers (or Baby Ruth) candy bars, sliced or chopped

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

Fruit Dip Recipes

Hooray for recipe sharing! I'm new to this blog (thanks Shally) and wanted to share some fruit dip recipes:

Bit O' Honey Fruit Dip

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
English toffee bits (Skor)

Beat cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Stir in Skor bits (available by the chocolate chips). It's also yummy with Heath bits which have chocolate!

Yummy Fruit Dip

1 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract

Use a hand mixer to blend marshmallow cream and cream cheese. Blend in powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Serve with fresh fruit.

Strawberry Dip

Dip washed, whole strawberries in sour cream, then in brown sugar. Delicious!

Cool Whip Dip

1 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1/2 to 1 cup orange or pineapple juice
1 tub cool whip (thawed)

Use a fork or whisk to mix pudding and juice until it's smooth, thick, and pasty. Fold in cool whip. Serve with fresh fruit or mix with fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges for an easy fruit salad.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Corn & Black Bean Salsa


I don't usually give this one out because it's such a hit!! (i like to be the one to bring it to the party)!!

1 can black beans drained
16 oz. corn
(i like to use frozen but you can use canned)
1 green pepper chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 cucumber
( i like a lot of cucumber so i use a whole one but use as much or little as you want)
chopped fresh cilantro
(i like a lot, use as much or as little as you want)
1 small bottle italian dressing
(i like to use zesty italian and if you can't find the small bottle use 1/2 of a regular size bottle)
Mix it all together & serve with tortilla chips!!!
It's better if you let it sit in the fridge a little before serving.

So yummy, i've even had people eat it as a side dish rather than with chips!!!
Kids love it too!!!