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Friday, February 29, 2008

Banana Cake

I have had a few emails since Christin posted about my Banana Cake recipe-- so here it is!
This is another family fave. Every time I make it I wonder why I don't make it more. I might have to make some today now!!

1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter milk
3 ripe bananas- mashed (this is a great time to use those mushy bananas you want to throw away!)
3 eggs

1 stick butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
add whipping cream until fluffy

Bake @325 for 30 minutes. Let cool, then top with frosting. Eat as much as you can right away, because as soon as anyone else gets to it, it will be gone. Ask Christin. :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chicken and Spinach pizza

This is one that my kids needed to try a couple of times, but now they LOVE it. It's my eight-year-old's favorite (and she's a little picky).

2 T Olive oil
1 C Chopped baby spinach leaves
1 C Cooked, cubed chicken (I use canned)
1/2 C Crumbled feta cheese
1/2 C shredded mozzarella
1/2 t Italian seasoning blend

1 Roma tomato to top

1 14 oz. pizza crust (Boboli, Mama Mia)

Combine first 6 ingredients; put on crust. Top with chopped tomato. Bake for 10 min in 450 degree oven. Salt and Pepper to taste. EASY!!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This is SO easy. Seriously.

1 large can diced tomatoes
2 cans chicken broth
1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can green chilis (I have used both the 4 oz and the 7 oz-- just depends on your taste)
1 pkg taco seasoning (the whole package is usually too spicy for kids, so I just use about a third)
1 tsp cumin
4 cooked chicken breasts, cubed. (I have also bought rotisserie chickens from the deli and just pulled off the chicken I wanted instead of cooking chicken breasts)

Pour all the ingredients in a large pot. Simmer until heated through.

I use cheese, sour cream, Frito's corn chips and green onions to garnish.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chicken Chili

2 grilled and chopped boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 32 oz. box low-sodium chicken broth
1 4 oz. can green chiles
1 small onion, chopped
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped avocado
tortilla chips
grated jack cheese
sour cream

Saute the onion in a dutch oven until soft, add chiles, beans, broth, chicken, cilantro. Heat through. Serve the other stuff at the table so you can add it to your bowl like this: some crushed tortilla chips, some avocado, cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. Pour hot soup over, and the cheese gets all melty and the sour cream makes the soup creamy. Mmmm! It's so good and comforting and EASY!

My Favorite Cookies

I got this recipe from the top of Quaker Oats a few years ago and it's been my favorite ever since.

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin/Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. butter
1 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3 C. Oats, uncooked
1 C. raisins or 1 bag chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate.)

Heat oven to 350*. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins/chips; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. I always check at ten minutes. I love them chewy.

Bar cookies: Bake 30 to 35 minutes in ungreased 13 x 9 inch metal baking pan.

Crock Pot Blog

I just found this Crock Pot Blog online. All of the recipes look really good!!

Shepherds Pie

I made this for my kids thinking they were not going to eat it but they did and they loved it especially Mitch who is the most picky of the two.

Preheat oven to 350*

1-1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I use ground turkey)
1 can tomato soup
4 large potatoes
any kind of vegetable (I use green beans and/or corn)
Shredded cheddar cheese

Peel and cut potatoes, boil them until soft enough for mashing
brown meat & drain grease 
add tomato soup to drained meat
add your choice of veges to meat

Layer the meat mixture in a small (cake)pan 
When potatoes are soft, add little bit of butter and warm milk and mash them to desired consistency.  Salt & Pepper to taste.

Layer the mashed potatoes on top of the meat and sprinkle the cheese on the potatoes.

Put in the oven until heated through-out and the cheese is melted.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mexican Chicken Casserole

This is my favorite casserole!!! You will love it... it tastes like enchiladas, but this is easier!!!
1 whole chicken cooked and deboned
(or I just use canned chicken, it is easier and tastes the same)
12 tortillas cut up into bite size pieces
4 oz. can chopped green chili's
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 empty soup can of milk
1/2 lb. shredded cheese(like cheddar)

Mix chili's, soup, and milk in large bowl... In a casserole dish (9x13) layer tortillas, mixture, and then chicken, at least twice. Then top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.


I posted these on my blog a while ago and i wanted to put them on here to for everyone else, they are very easy.. and that is how i like it!!!

1 lb. Jimmy Dean Maple Sausage
4 reg. size cans red kidney beans, drained
1/2 to 1 whole onion chopped
1 pkg. chili mix
1 jar any kind of salsa
1/2 cup or so sugar

Cook Sausage into bite size pieces. Then combine all ingredients into crock pot and cook 3-4 hours on low.
*The maple sausage can be found by the breakfast bacon at the grocery store, or you can replace it with ground hamburger or ground turkey, i really don't like sausage all that much- but the maple sausage is sooo good... we make tacos with it too.*
*Also, sometimes i will make a little extra chili and then use it as the meat base for Navajo tacos, a couple days later. For those i just buy a big bag of Rhodes rolls and flatten them out and then fry it. Maybe not too healthy, but it tastes really good! I love them with honey butter too!!!*

Chicken Spaghetti

I saw this on The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog, but this sounds delicious, and great for kids too!
2 cups cooked chicken
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1-4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar. Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cheese Vegetable Soup

This recipe is so good and easy! Serves about 6-8.

2 quarts water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
4-6 potatoes (peeled, cubed)
2-4 carrots sliced – I actually use a bunch of little carrots
1 10 ½ ounce bag frozen broccoli
¾ c. butter
¾ c. flour
1 8-ounce carton cheez whiz

Cook the first 4 ingredients until tender. Add the broccoli and cook. Melt the butter in a separate pan – add flour to the melted butter. Add the flour/butter mix to the soup. Add the cheez whiz and heat.

Cornflake Cookies

This recipe is a new favorite in our house. I was flipping thru my old ward cookbook for some treats that I could make gluten-free (my husband has celiac...a wheat allergy). I came across this recipe and have made it twice in the last week. They are really yummy and so quick and easy. In fact I am eating one right now while typing, even though I have MAJOR heartburn!!
1 c. sugar
1 c. corn syrup
1 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
6 1/2 c. corn flakes
In large saucepan stir together sugar and corn syrup. **IMPORTANT, cook just until mixture boils. Remove from heat and add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until melted. Pour over cornflakes and drop onto parchment paper. Enjoy!

Yummy fruit dip!

This is soooo easy & yummy!!

When I make this I usually buy a tub of fat free cool whip and a BIG carton of strawberry yogurt then you can make as much or a little as you want.

1 tub cool whip (any kind & works best if not frozen)
1 carton strawberry yogurt

mix together to taste!!

so yummy for dipping any kind of fruit but my favorites are red grapes & watermelon!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sweet Topped Raspberry Jello

3 oz raspberry jello mix
8 oz frozen raspberries
2 oz cream cheese
4 oz Cool Whip
1/4 can condensed milk

Dissolve jello in 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir in raspberries until thawed. Add 3/4 c water, stir and put in fridge to set up. Combine cream cheese, Cool Whip, and condensed milk. Spread over jello when firm.

If you want it to look nicer, cut the jello into individual servings, then spread the topping on each one.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chicken n' Peas Casserole

This is a very simple recipe that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes. It also reheats well for leftovers.

Adjust to your desire. This feeds 2 adults, 1 toddler, plus enough leftover for 1-2 lunches for me, depending on how much hubby eats.

1/2 bag of egg noodles (or any type you like)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 bag of frozen peas
Cooked chicken (I use either 2-3 fresh chicken breasts or 1 large can of chicken)

Cook the noodles as shown on package.
Spray casserole pan, mix all ingredients and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until warm.

Optional: You can add bread crumbs on the top for some extra crunch.

This is an easy dish to make to incorporate a veggie and corn bread goes great with it!

edited: I didn't realize that a similar version was already posted...sorry :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Helpful Tips

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little
'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave
them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh
much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the
grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls
of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in
double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful
minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic
and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simple
chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples.
Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the
apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set
heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No
soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really
works. (It didn't work for me-my house still smells like burnt pizza)

Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all
broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up
mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg.
Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with
your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to
frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar
and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place
them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will
keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet
newspapers put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with
mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening
plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away!
To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with
cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the
squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an
empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be
bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a
clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when
wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! -- static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot
water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your
ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the
glovebox of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include
something inside , just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an
hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than
shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way
to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it
in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2' with
Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You
will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies

I LOVE Girl Scout cookies. My friend, Allie, posted about the Samoa's on her blog and her link led me to this website. I think that I'll try making these since they're Joseph's favorite! If you scroll to the bottom of the linked page, you'll see the recipes for the Thin Mints and others, too!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tortilla Soup

I found this great recipe on this blog. It was a big hit with my family although a little spicy for my kids. I would recommend using the tomatoes without the jalapenos and add the other seasonings to your taste preference. I also made my own fresh salsa and used it in the soup. It was great with some guacamole and crushed tortilla chips on top. YUM!

Grandma Winterholler's Hamburger Soup

This is my Grandma's soup. We love it so much and the flavor is great! You can add whatever veggies you want, but this is typically what I use. I promise you won't be disappointed!

1 large onion, diced
2 cloves finely diced or pressed garlic
1 T. butter
1-1/2 pounds hamburger
2 cans beef broth (or chicken if you don’t have beef)
1 Tbsp. beef or chicken base (or 3 bouillon cubes)
2 diced potatoes
Can of corn
Green beans, optional
Peas, optional
Broccoli, optional
Cauliflower, optional

In stockpot, sauté onion and garlic in the small amount of butter. Don’t let the onions turn brown. Add hamburger and brown. Add 2 cans of beef broth, 3 cans of water, 1 Tbsp. beef base (or cubes). Add 2 diced potatoes, carrots, and any other vegetables that you want to add. Simmer for 30 minutes then serve. Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Candy Cookies

I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks site and had to share it. I made these cookies for the super bowl party yesterday, and the were so yummy and super easy. My two favorite parts of a recipe!! :)

*Your favorite pre-made cookie dough from the store. I used peanut butter and chocolate chip.
*Any bite size candy. I used Rolos, Hershey's kisses, and mini Reeses Peanut Butter cups. (If you use Rolos, I found that putting them in upside down looks better.)

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch slices, then cut those slices into fourths so you have 4 chunks. Put the chunks into a greased mini muffin tin.Don't forget to grease the pan-- it makes it hard to get the cookies out if you do.
Bake for 6-8 minutes. Do not overbake-- the cookies should just be getting golden. While baking, unwrap the candy.
As soon at the cookies are done, press the candy in the middle of the cookie. VOILA! Yummy dessert! This is a great recipe for kids to help with. By "help" I mean pressing the candy in a little to hard so that you have big finger holes in you cookies and can't take them to the party. (But you get to keep some for yourself! Who cares what they look like?) They also can help eat the candy as you unwrap it. We all were full before we even left the house!

It seriously took so little time, and I got tons of compliments on them. If you want to see pictures and a detailed list of instructions, click here. That will take you to the Pioneer Woman Cooks website.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chicken & Noodle Casserole

I found this in a magazine.. it is delicious and easy!!
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp balck pepper
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables(i like peas and carrots best)
2 cups cooked cubed chicken(I just use two cans of canned chunk chicken, it easier and tastes the same(it can be found by the tuna at the grocery store))
2 cups medium egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded cheese

1- Stir soup, milk, pepper, Parmesean Cheese, vegetables, chicken and noodles in 1 1/2 qrt. casserole dish
2- Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir.
3- Top with cheddar cheese... then i usually put it in the oven for like 5 minutes so the cheese totally melts

**This works good with corkscrew noodles too!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Pioneer Woman Cooks

I found this blog, and not only does she have some great recipes (with helpful pictures), but she is hilarious. Click here to see her blog. It is called The Pioneer Woman cooks.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Creamy Pesto Pasta

You have to try this one.

1. chicken breasts however many you want or go vegetarian.
2. fresh mushrooms
3. sun dried tomatoes
4. 1/2 onion chopped and garlic(optional)
5. spinach however much
6. pasta (you can use whatever kind you want. I like bowtie and penne.
7. knorr creamy pesto sauce mix

So easy you can take out whatever you want except for the sauce mix and pasta.
1.first cook your chicken either fry it or boil it and cut in cubes. set aside
2. saute onions, garlic, and mushrooms. make sauce as directed on packet. Put it all together and let simmer while you cook pasta.
3. cook pasta how you like it. some like it crunchy some like it soggy. I like it perfect (obviously I think so).
4. add sun dried tomatoes to sauce mixture then top over pasta.
5. people are wowed by this and I think it is so funny but add as much or as little spinach as you want and mix it all together. The heat from the pasta and the sauce is enough to cook your spinach perfectly.
The next time I make it I will post a picture. Hope you like it, tell me what you think?

Orangey Bananas

This is a great side dish or snack. My kids LOVE it.


2 large bananas
1 Tbsp frozen orange juice
1 tsp sugar

*Peel and slice up the bananas.
*Mix the concentrate and sugar and stir into bananas.

Chocolate Truffles

1 1/2 lb semi-sweet or milk chocolate (Guittard chocolate chips!), melted-in microwave for 2 1/2 mins on 70% power
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Scald cream in microwave, add vanilla. Let cool for five minutes. Beat chocolate and cream with an electric mixer until smooth. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour. Scoop balls onto parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Rool into nuts or cocoa. Freeze balls if dipping in chocolate.

For peanut butter truffles add 1/3 creamy peanut butter to warm chocolate mixture.


This is so easy and requires only 5 ingredients.

4 chicken breasts

Mix and pour over the chicken:
1/2 cube of butter
1 pkg. of dry Zesty Italian dressing

Cook 4-5 hours on LOW

During the last 1/2 hour, add:
1 (8oz) cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Serve over white rice. I also like serving with breasticks or rolls. There is a lot of creamy sauce to dip things in. I've also served with stuffing and it is fabulous.


I am not a fan of chicken noodle soup, but this one is cream based and is the best.

4 chicken breasts
1 pkg Grandma's egg noodles (in the freezer section, any brand will do just fine)
1/2 onion
2 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz sour cream

Boil chicken breasts in water with onion. Cool chicken and shred. Cook Grandma's noodles in the same broth as chicken. Make a new broth. Add soups, chicken broth, and sour cream. Simmer for a few minutes. Add shredded chicken and noodles. Stir and serve.
I like to add peas, corn, cooked carrots, or whatever other vegetables I have in the freezer. It just depends on how thick you want it. I like it more like stew. It also freezes well, so double it for a quick dinner later on.