Sunday, December 23, 2007

Amy's Monkey Bread

My friend, Amy Routt, made this for us one year when we spent New Year's with them in Arkansas. They are to die for! If you don't want them TOO sweet and gooey, you can decrease all the 3/4's to 1/2 but keep the number of biscuits the same. Everyone loves this monkey bread at my house on Christmas morning. Make sure it all gets eaten 'cause it doesn't keep well for leftovers.

2 cans of Jumbo sized biscuits

3/4 C. vanilla ice-cream, melted
3/4 C. liquid coffee creamer...I like vanilla caramel or french vanilla

3/4 C. melted butter
3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. brown sugar

Cut each biscuit into fourths and put all biscuits, uncooked, into large plastic ziploc bag with cinnamon sugar mixture. Shake bag to coat biscuits with cinnamon sugar and then dump all the biscuits in a greased 9x13 pan.

Melt butter and ice-cream in saucepan. (If using creamer in place of ice-cream, just melt butter alone).
Add sugars and creamer, if using, and heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved.
Pour over biscuits.

The instructions say to bake at 400 degrees for 15 min. I don't know if it's my oven or what...this does not work for me. At only 15 min. the biscuits in the middle of the pan are still doughy. Then I cook it longer and the biscuits on the outside edges get too done. I've tried cooking longer but at a lower temp. and this seems to work out better. You guys are just going to have to guess at it and keep a close watch.

Scotch Eggs

Last year our dear friends the Liwai's gave us some of these really delicious Scotch Eggs at Christmas time. This year these same dear friends will not be here for Christmas so we've decided to try our hand at making them. Now, Dottie gave me the recipe but of course I've misplaced it so I looked it up online. This is what I found:

1 1/2 lb Bulk pork sausage
12 Eggs, hard-cooked, peeled
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 c Dry bread crumbs

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Divide sausage into 12 equal portions.
Shape into patties.
Wrap each patty completely around 1 hard- cooked egg.
Press edges to seal.
Dip sausage wrapped eggs in beaten egg;roll in bread crumbs until coated.
Place on a broiler pan (so the grease can run off).
Bake @ 450 degrees 30 minutes,until meat is browned and cooked.

FYI: many of the recipes that I found said that these were to be fried. I'm pretty sure the ones Dottie made were baked so I went with this one that is baked. Will let you know how it goes.

I found the recipe from Dottie. Here it is:

5 large boiled eggs
1 tube bulk sausage
1 large egg beaten
plain cracker crumbs

Peeled COOLED hard boiled eggs.
Cut sausage into 5 equal slices. Use 2 pieces of wax paper to flatten sausage pieces. Mold sausage around each egg.
Dip sausage covered eggs in beaten egg (and a bit of milk) and roll in crumbs.
Place eggs on a rack placed on a baking dish so the sausage grease will drip through.
Bake for 1 hour at 350*. Cool for 30 minutes.
Cut lengthwise into quarters. Sprinkle centers with paprika. Serve hot or cold.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mint Brownies

You will be amazed at how much butter goes into these things!

You can use any brownie recipe you like for the brownie part. Here's the one I use:

Quick and Easy Fudgey Brownies

4 bars unsweetened baking chocolate (I always use cocoa and oil, 3 Tbsp. cocoa and 1 Tbsp. oil equal one bar baking chocolate)
3/4 cup butter
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 inch pan. In a large microwaveable bowl, place chocolate and butter. Microwave at high 1-2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Add sugar; stir with spoon until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add flour and nuts; stir until well blended. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool on wire rack.

Let brownies cool completely.

Mint Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. peppermint flavoring
2 Tbsp. milk
green food coloring (4 drops)

(These are also fun to make for Valentines Day with pink mint layer!)

Mix ingredients in order. Put mixture on cooled brownies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Layer:

1 cup chocolate chips
6 Tbsp butter

Cool, then spread over mint layer.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Everybody Wants Seconds! LOL

2 cans creamed chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 - 2 tsp curry powder
1 - 2 cups grated cheese
2 lbs chicken or turkey
2 pkg frozen broccoli
bread crumbs

Mix first three ingredients together and set aside. Cook the broccoli. Line bottom of 13X9 inch baking dish with broccoli, then chicken and finally the mix that you made of the soup, mayo and curry. Top with cheese and bread crumbs. Bake 30 mins to an hour (until cheese is melted and crumbs are toasted).

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Help with turkey leftovers!

OK, guys, surely you have great ideas for leftover turkey. I substitute it in recipes that call for cut up, cooked chicken but I'm running out of ideas already! Do you guys have any ideas?!?!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Make ahead rolls

Flour amount is a suggestion...not an absolute. You may need more or less depending.

3/4 cup whole milk
6 T Unsalted butter melted, plus 2 T for brushing (melted) on rolls before baking
6 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
2 eggs (they work best at room temperature)
2 1/4 t instant (rapid rise) yeast
3 cups flour

1. Bring milk to boil, let stand off heat until skin forms on surface, about 3 - 5 minutes. Using soup spoon, skim off surface and discard. Transfer milk to bowl of standing mixer and add 6 Tablespoons melted butter, sugar, and salt; whisk to combine and let mixture cool. When mixture is just warm to the touch (90 -100 degrees), whisk in eggs and yeast until combined.
2. Add flour to bowl; using dough hook, mix on low speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-low and knead about 3 minutes longer; when pressed with finger, dough should feel tacky and moist but should not stick to finger. (If it is sticky add 1 T of flour at a time until not sticky) Continue to knead on medium-low until cohesive,elastic dough forms and nothing is sticking to bottom of mixer bowl. about 4 to 5 minutes longer.
3. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Knead dough by head 1 to 2 minutes. Spray medium bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl and cover with plastic wrap that you have sprayed the top of so dough doesn't stick. Let rise for 2 to 3 hours.
4. Coat two 9 inch cake round pans with cooking spray; set aside. Divide dough in half and shape 8 rolls out of each half then place them in the two cake pans 8 in each cake pan). Cover cake pans with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with cooking spray, then cover pans securely with foil. Refrigerate at least 24 or up to 48 hours.
5. Remove foil (but not plastic wrap) and let rolls rise until rolls are pressing against each other about 6 to 7 hours. When they are double in volume, heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove plastic wrap. Brush rolls with 2 Tablespoons of melted butter; bake until deep golden, 14 to 18 minutes. Cool rolls in pans on wire rack about 3 minutes, then invert onto rack; re-invert rolls and cool 10 - 15 minutes. Serve warm!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

White Chicken Chili

Zippy White Chili: SERVES 4

1 lb. cooked, cubed chicken
1 small onion, chopped
1 3/4 C. chicken broth
1 can (4 oz.) green chilies
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. minced fresh parsley or cilantro
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 can (15 oz.) white beans (any variety) rinsed and drained (or use dried beans, soaked and cooked)

In a saucepan, stir in chicken broth, chilies, garlic powder, oregano, cilantro, cayenne, and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 30 min. Stir in beans and cook 10 min. more. Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

I always (at least) double this recipe. (Who wants to go to all that trouble to make homemade soup that only serves 4)!
You can get away with doubling the recipe without doubling the chicken. Also, I use as many fresh ingredients as possible (i.e., minced garlic instead of garlic powder, etc.) This is really one of the easiest soup recipes ever and tastes great!

Fantastic Cream Cheese Chicken - Crockpot

Place 4-6 chicken breasts in a crockpot (it doesn't even matter if they are still frozen-this recipe is so forgiving!) Sprinkle one package of Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix (dry) over the top. Cook on low all day (6-8 hours) . One hour before serving, pour out the "chicken juice" that has formed and whisk it with one package of softened cream cheese and one can of cream of mushroom soup. Pour the mixture back in to the chicken in the crockpot and let it melt for an hour. Serve over rice or noodles.

2nd option: put the soup, cream cheese (cut it into chunks) and the Italian dressing mix in the blender or use my hand blender and add everything at the beginning with the chicken and cook it all day.

3rd option: this is what my husband made up today! Italian seasoning (not a dressing packet) added to chicken and cut up cream cheese and added it with the can of soup to the pot. Let it cook. It turned out really good. Next time we'll try the seasoning packet or ranch dressing packet.

By the way, I got this recipe from this blog: MBA recipes.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Anybody have White Chicken Chili?

I just made some white chili, but it was bland and so I added some ingredients to it. I'm not sure I like the results. It's the basil, I think, that does the whole thing in. Does anybody have a great recipe for this that they'd be willing to share?


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sausage and Roasted Potatoes

I noticed that all my recipes are baking recipes, so here is one that I love that isn't really baking although it is roasted! It is so easy and quick. I got it from Got2Go cookbook that Kathleen Hanna, the author, put in her book. I saw her at a group that I belong too. She has a lot of great quick recipes that are yummy and kid friendly. Here you go!

2-3 pounds of russet potatoes
1 lb of Italian sausage (I like a mix of hot and regular)
2 onions
2 green peppers
2 Tbls olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut potatoes to be about 1 inch squares and put in a 13X9 baking pan. Cut up Italian sausage into half inch thick disks and add to pan. Cut up green peppers and onions to about 1 inch strips add to pan. Pour olive oil over top, then sprinkle salt and pepper and stir. Bake at 400* for about 50 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork (or fork tender). Make sure you stir it a couple of times during cooking to get an even roast throughout dish.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

These pancakes were DELICIOUS! My kids loved them and they were pretty healthy for them!

2 medium, very ripe bananas, mashed
2 c. nonfat milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T. artificial sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 c. whole wheat flour


Mix bananas, milk, eggs, and vanilla in one bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix dry ingredients. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Recipe makes about 15 average sized pancakes. Serve with sugar-free syrup or fresh fruit.

Number of Servings: 15

Click here for nutritional value from SparkPeople

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins


1 egg
2/3 cup sugar
1 can (1-3/4 cups) mashed, plain pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup nonfat milk
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Position oven rack in center of oven.
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Place foil muffin cups in a 12-cup muffin pan; or spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Note: Do not use paper muffin cups; muffins will stick.
Cream egg and sugar with electric mixer until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, and milk until well-mixed.
Gently stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices until combined.
Do not over-mix.

Stir in walnuts.
Drop batter into prepared muffin pan, filling cups about 3/4 full.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the middle of muffins comes out clean.

Number of Servings: 12

Click here for nutritional value from SparkPeople

Chicken Enchiladas?

So, I typed up this whole post about Shelley's chicken enchiladas and how yummy they were and how she would probably never have a chance to post them.... I typed out the recipe and posted it. Then found that she actually DID post it! But she didn't include a label...grrr...
Anyway, I use SparkPeople's recipes a lot and like to add my recipes to their site because it calculates the nutritional value. Soooo..... if you want the nutritional value of the enchiladas click on the link below.

Click here for nutritional value on SparkPeople

Hot Cocoa Mix

2 c. powdered milk
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. creamer
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients and keep in an airtight container. Add 1-2 Tbsp to heated water or milk.

Click here for nutritional value on SparkPeople

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Three Bean Soup

There are a couple of foods that I think, at least hypothetically, I could live on. This is one of them. It is a thick and hearty soup with a bite. It tastes good with sour cream and grated cheese and tortillas on the side. I have a friend who took this recipe and uses it for tortilla chip dip.

1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced

Saute garlic in olive oil, then add:

2 cans (14 oz each) diced tomatoes
24 oz. bottled salsa (fresh is good too)
8 oz. tomato sauce
3 cubes beef bouillon
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans kidney beans
1 can olives, drained and sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1-2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped finely

Heat through.

I sometimes modify by adding jalapeno and diced onion. I also like more beans and since I usually cook them up, it's easy to add more.

I just made a huge pot of this (see picture above, don't you love the effect the steam gives?) and I get it almost all to myself!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dutch Apple Pie

Ok, so I know I'm going a little overboard with the apple theme, but I LOVE this pie. It is so easy to make 'cause you don't have to make a traditional crust and it tastes like those dutch crumb donuts with apple filling. SOOOO yummy. The best part is that my family is not really into apple desserts so I get to eat them almost completely by myself! Enjoy!

Crumb mixture:
2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup quick oats

2/3 cup sugar
3 TB cornstarch
1 1/4 Cup water
3 cups diced, peeled tart apples
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the first four ingredients; set aside 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 9 in. pie plate. Set aside.
For the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. (Use some judgment here. I like it kinda thick; and remember it will thicken a little more in the oven. If you like your apple pies runny, don't cook it for more than 1 minute).
Remove from heat; stir in apples and vanilla. Pour into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 40-45 min. or until crust is golden brown.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Little Italy Chicken Pitas

If you are looking for something new, this was a fast easy dinner, and really tasty! I just used dried basil, as I didn't have any fresh. I discovered I love Asiago cheese! (I guess that is why I've always loved the Asiago bagels).

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil
1 tablespoon chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
6 (6-inch) pitas, cut in half
3 cups mixed baby greens

Preparation: Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken, tomato, cheese, and basil. Line each pita half with 1/4 cup greens. Divide chicken mixture evenly among pita halves.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Backpacker Bars

I made these the other night with the help of Sariah and Elijah. If you have ever been to Chili's Restaurant and had their dessert called Paradise Pie (?? something like that), these taste just the same, you'd just add vanilla ice cream and fudge topping. YUMMY!

1 1/2 cups Golden Grahams cereal (I used generic)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons oats

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Crush cereal. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in flour, cereal, 3/4 cup oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in 3/4 cup of the walnuts and 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips.

2. Spread in ungreased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts and remaining chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons oats.

3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into bars.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Southwestern Chicken Soup

It is getting cold again, which puts me in the mood to have soup for dinner every night! Here is an easy one that is one of my favorites.

Cooking Spray
1 Cup chopped onion
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
6 Cups fat-free chicken broth
1/4 C uncooked white or brown rice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 (16 oz) Can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
3 Cups Chopped cooked chicken
1/2 Cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (I don't like cilantro, so I just leave it out and it still tastes good)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Cup copped seeded tomato
3/4 Cup diced peeled avocado
1 Tbl fresh lime juice
6 lime wedges

1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic, and saute 3 min. Add broth, rice, cumin, and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Stir in chicken, cilantro, pepper, and salt; simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.
2. Remove from heat, and stir in tomato, avocado, and juice. Serve with lime wedges. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 Cups soup and 1 lime wedge).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Apple Crumble

I love this recipe!

3 1/2 pounds ripe but firm apples, peeled and cored; cut into 1 inch cubes (about 6 1/2 cups prepared appless)
1/3 cup granulated brown sugar (2 1/3 ounces)
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
3-5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
Pinch table salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp apple cider or juice

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (1 3/4 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon raw sugar for sprinkling over the top
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark), 1 3/4 ounces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 6 pieces and very soft
1/2 cup roasted pecans (I used a little more than a half of a cup about 3/4 cup)

1. Adjust oven racks to lower and middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees.2. FOR THE FILLING: Gently toss apples and sugar and other ingredients together in 8X8 pan; cook in oven for about 30 minutes, covered with foil. 3. FOR THE TOPPING: While apples are cooking, combine flour, sugars (reserving 1 tablespoon granulated sugar), and salt in workbowl of kitchen aide; drizzle vanilla over top. Combine mixture. Add butter and half of nuts; process until mixture clumps together into large, crumbly balls, pausing halfway through to scrape down sides of workbowl. Sprinkle remaining nuts over mixture and combine. Transfer mixture to parchment-lined baking sheet and spread (Don't push down just let it crumble) into even layer (mixture should break up into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with some smaller, loose bits). Bake on middle rack until chunks are lightly browned and firm, 18 to 22 minutes.4. TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Grasping edges of parchment paper (following "Transferring the Baked Crumble" illustrations 1 and 2 below), slide topping over apples and spread into even layer with spatula, packing down lightly and breaking up any very large pieces. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon sugar over top and place on lower oven rack. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake until well browned and fruit is bubbling around edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes; serve.

Pizza crust

My kids love to eat pizza! This crust is really good which is lucky because it's the first recipe I tried and I've stuck with it. It makes enough to cover the bottom of a large cookie sheet.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 T. yeast
1 cup water (more if needed)

Put the flour and salt in a large bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the water and then add this mixture plus the oil to the flour. Stir and then knead until you have a smooth dough. Let rise for about 20 minutes. Roll out and prick with a fork.

I just use Prego spaghetti sauce on my pizza along with whatever toppings and cheeses I have on hand. I like to sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and then little garlic powder!


Hey guys, I LOVE apple season in the Fall. It's so fun to be up north and experience it all over again. I have lots of apple dessert recipes so here's one I made last night:


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar. Cut butter into mixture until crumbly.
  3. Take half of the mixture and pat it into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Cover crumb mixture with apple slices, then sprinkle apple slices with remaining crumb mixture and gently pat down.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 50 minutes or until apples are tender.
  6. Serve warm with a scoop of ice-cream or even better the next day cold! Can you say, "Breakfast anyone?"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chicken Enchiladas

1 tsp. salt
2 C. cubed chicken, cooked
1 can tomatoes and green chilies
garlic powder to taste

Simmer above until most of the liquid is gone. Soften 12 corn tortillas (my family prefers flour) in hot oil and blot out excess oil w/paper towels. Fill with chicken mixture and roll up in greased 9x13 pan. (At this point, enchiladas may be covered tightly and refrigerated for later).

2 C. half and half
3 tsp. instant chicken bouillon
1 1/2 C. grated monterey jack cheese

Dissolve together over LOW heat (cheese will curdle if heat is too high--if it does put it in a blender to get it smooth again).
Pour sauce over enchiladas. Sprinke another HALF CUP of monterey jack cheese over all and back at 350 for 15-20 min.

Addendum: I have no patience or time for rolling up enchiladas that may or may not hold their shape. SO, I make the whole thing like a casserole. Not as pretty but tastes exactly the same. I omit the part about soaking the tortillas in oil and I take them and cut them up or tear them up into bite size pieces. I mix this with the filling mixture and dump it into the pan. Then I pour the sauce over all and sprinkle with cheese.

What's for dinner? Help!

Hey guys, all the recipes are terrific! BUT I'm in a rut. I don't know what to make for dinner anymore. I need some new, normal, everyday dinner recipes. I am so sick of alternating between spaghetti, soup, chicken nuggets, pancakes, and macaroni and cheese. Oh yeah, and ramen noodle soup. Yes, I've sunk that low. HELP!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Yummy Salad

This doesn't have a name that I know I don't know what to call it.
I got this from a college roommate; this is the only salad she can get her husband to eat. We've really enjoyed it as well.


2 large lemons, juiced
4 med-lg cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Romaine Lettuce
Bacon bits
Swiss cheese shredded
Chicken if desired
Just puree all of the dressing in the blender and then pour it on.

The dressing makes enough for about 3 heads of lettuce. It stores in the fridge, but does coagulate. I usually set it out on the counter to warm when reusing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Also, a welcome to Cindi's sister and friend!!


Just a reminder: don't forget to label your posts. At the bottom of each post there is a place to include labels. When you do this it makes it easier to find previous posts. Don't forget to add your name as one of those labels.

"Crema" Italian Pasta

My brother-in-law lived in Italy for 2 years (serving as a missionary for our church) and has learned to make some very tasty pasta. Here is an easy one that is one of my favorites. He doesn't have a I'm just guessing on the amounts from when I’ve made it; you could play with them a little bit to your liking.

2 T Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic-minced
3 t Chicken Base
1 T Fresh Basil (or 1 tsp dried)
Red Pepper Flakes or Ground Cayenne Pepper-season to taste
2 (14.5oz) Cans diced tomatoes
½ C Table Cream (such as Cacique Crema Mexicana)
Parmesan Cheese

Heat oil in pan-sauté garlic until browned. Add Chicken Base, Basil and Red Pepper Flakes. Pour in juice from tomatoes. Let simmer about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes. Continue to simmer to cook off moisture about 10 more minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in Crema. Serve over Penne Pasta. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Layered Ice Cream Cake

This past Saturday, May had her American Girl Club and Birthday party. It was a surprise and I wish I'd had the camera ready when she found out! She picked out her birthday cake in July. You might have seen it on the cover of Family Circle.
15 Oreo cookies
1 Tablespoon milk
8 to 9 ice cream sandwiches
1 pint mint chocolate chip ice cream
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint strawberry icecream
(or make your own mix of ice creams)
1 container (8 oz) whipped topping

1. Coat bottom and side of a 9 inch round springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line side with waxed paper suing spray to hel adhere to pan. Trim paper to height of pan.
2. Finely crush 12 of the cookies in a food processor. Add milk; pulse just until mixture holds together. Set aside.
3. Unwrap 4 ice cream sandwiches. Working quickly, cut each in quarters. Stack them around the edge of the wax paper lined pan, up on the small end, packing them snugly together. Spoon cookie crumbs into center of pan; press firmly over bottom. Freeze 1 hr.
4. Remove all three flavors of ice cream from freezer and let soften for 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfre mint ice cream to a small bowl and stir until good but firm spreading consistency. Repeat with vanilla and strawberry. Remove pan from freezer. Spread mint ice cream on bottom, then top with vanilla and strawberry. Top with thawed whipped topping, swirling top decoratively. Crush remaining three cookies and sprinkle over cake. Return to freezer. Freeze overnight.
5. To serve, remove side of pan, then waxed paper. Cut into wedges
6. ENJOY!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fresh spinach salad

You can use fresh spinach or arugula...whichever you prefer or you can mix them together!

Fresh baby spinach and/or arugula
Fresh mozzarella, chunked (ya gotta use fresh; it looks weird, I know)
sun-dried tomatoes, small chunks
handful of pine nuts

Mix all together and serve with whatever vinaigrette dressing you prefer. I use balsamic vinaigrette.

Easy sandwich alternative

Two ideas for quick, easy sandwich alternatives:
1. Sliced french bread
2. Fresh mozzarella (although you could use "un"fresh mozzarella
3. Sliced ripe tomatoes
That's it. Just make a 'sandwich' with these ingredients OR I like to also make it open-faced and toast it in the toaster oven or broil in the oven. I remember eating this in Italy for a sack lunch years ago.

1. Sliced french bread
2. Sliced gouda cheese
3. pineapple rings
This one I had as a quick lunch in Germany. Toast open-faced in a toaster oven or broil. So easy! I get tired of eating sandwiches all the time.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Friends Chicken Caesar Salad

1 head Romaine
1 small bag penne pasta , cooked
2 chicken breast, cooked and cubed
3 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup each fresh basil and parsley
cherry or grape tomatoes
plain crumbled feta cheese
Kens Steakhouse Caesar Dressing

*Combine all ingredients and pour on the dressing at serving time. Can be served as a side salad without the chicken.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Chewiest Brownies

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line one 9x13 inch pan with greased parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter really well and then add the sugar, vanilla and eggs. In a seperate bowl mix the rest of the dry ingredients. Now mix the two together.
  3. Spread mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.
We got invited over to our friends the Beishline's for a good old fashioned Shed Raising! (Rich needed Geoff's help putting a shed together.) And I brought hot wings and these brownies. This was the first time I had made brownies from scratch (I was out of mixes). I may never use a mix again. These were absolutely delicious! I doubled the recipe and added a bag of chocolate chips to the mix.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Restaurant-Style Buffalo Chicken Wings

I made these for a family reunion on Saturday. They turned out very yummy! I actually fried them on Friday night (I read that you can bake them with really good results too) and then mixed up the sauce on Saturday morning and put the wings and sauce in a crockpot. I also used double the wings that it called for and multiplied the sauce recipe times 5 (because that's how much hot sauce I had). I found this recipe on and read through all of the reviews. Many people suggested Frank's Hot Sauce so that is what I used. Click here for the recipe and reviews on their website.


  • oil for deep frying
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1 dash ground black pepper
  • 1 dash garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 chicken wings


  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). The oil should be just enough to cover wings entirely, an inch or so deep. Combine the butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir together and heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat and reserve for serving.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Place chicken wings in a large nonporous glass dish or bowl and sprinkle flour mixture over them until they are evenly coated. Cover dish or bowl and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes.
  3. Fry coated wings in hot oil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until parts of wings begin to turn brown. Remove from heat, place wings in serving bowl, add hot sauce mixture and stir together. Serve.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ellie Krieger's Kitchen Sink Cookies

I tweeked it a bit, but the recipe is mostly her's. Love her show!

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup organic applesauce
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup lightly toasted pecans
2 ounces dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
Cooking spray
Combine butter, oil and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down bowl, until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add applesauce, egg white and vanilla and mix to combine. Add flour, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon and mix just until just combined. Add cherries, walnuts and chocolate and mix to combine.

Spray 1 baking sheet with cooking spray. Using 1 tablespoon cookie dough at a time, roll into balls and place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Press cookies down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly, as cookies will not spread as much as cookies with more butter. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned but still soft. Remove from oven and cool on racks.

Cook Time: 10 - 13 minutes at 350*

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hot Fudge Sauce

I learned this easy little recipe when I helped feed 3 or 4 hundred youth at youth conference one year. It is to die for!!

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate (I actually use around 1/4 cup of chocolate chips - today I used dark chocolate chips! Yum!)
  • one can of sweetened condensed milk
  1. In a saucepan melt the butter on low/med.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.
  3. Add the milk and stir till heated. Voila!!
Very yummy on ice cream or on a spoon!

Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits

I'm not sure if this is a Southern thing or not but I grew up eating Chocolate 'Syrup' and Biscuits. My mom made the 'syrup' out of Nesquick. Though I loved it and have very fond memories of many a Sunday morning eating this with canned biscuits (baked of course), I have since been introduced to Chocolate 'Gravy' which I actually like better. (No offense, Mom.) This is a recipe I found that my family LOVES!

First, I make a double batch of biscuits from scratch. I just barely started doing this because I always thought that it was going to be too hard and time consuming. It's not. The biscuit recipe that I use is from a Special Olympics recipe book that I bought from my friend Dottie last year. The recipe has always turned out very yummy biscuits until today. I think I may have mixed the dough too much because the biscuits turned out a little flat (they still tasted good).

Just a note before you get started: I almost NEVER have buttermilk or self rising flour on hand. This is what I do. For buttermilk, I actually make up 3/4 cups of powdered milk and add 2 TBSP of lemon juice. For self-rising flour, I add 1 tsp. salt and 1 TBSP baking powder to 2 cups flour. These substitutions work great.


  • 1/3 c. butter or margarine, cut up
  • 2 c. self-rising flour
  • 3/4 c. butter milk
  • butter or margarine, melted
  1. Cut butter or margarine into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly
  2. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry mixture is moistened.
  3. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times.
  4. Pat or roll dough into 3/4 inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter.
  5. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 425* for 12-14 minutes.
  7. Brush biscuits with melted butter. Yields 7 biscuits.



  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add cocoa and flour; stir until a thick paste is formed. Stir in sugar and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dave's Famous Salsa

Dave and Shelley are on vacation so I'm doing this as a courtesy to Shelley. (Also, to get our recipes going) I just copied and pasted it here from her blog and made a few grammatical corrections. :)

We've discovered the secret is to roast the vegetables before blending them. You can stick them on the grill 'til they turn mushy and kind of blackened or if you don't happen to have the grill fired up you can put them in the oven under the broiler. Anyway, here are the ingredients:

2 medium tomatoes
half of a large Vidalia onion (very important that it is vidalia)
one fourth of a green/bell pepper
1 small to medium jalapeno pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. fresh black pepper
fresh cilantro to taste

Okay, so you roast the first four ingredients. You have to watch them closely and turn them over when they start to blacken a little bit. When the other side starts to blacken then they are done. Then throw the tomatoes in a blender with the salt, lime juice, vinegar, black pepper and jalapeno. Blend a little bit and then add the onion and bell pepper and set the blender to chop. Use your own discretion when blending. I like it nice and smooth but other people like it chunky; it's up to you. AFTER it cools, add some fresh cilantro leaves...again different people like different amounts so just play with it. If you don't wait 'til it cools then it will sort of cook the cilantro which is not a good idea. We usually double this recipe, at least. Especially since our kids practically drink it, too!

Yummy cake!

3 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
Unsweetened cocoa powder

In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center.

Spread with 1/2 cup whipped cream, making a 7-inch circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (there will be a few cookies left over). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder.

Dave’s unnamed italian chicken recipe:

3-4 chicken breasts, cut into strips 1x2 inches, coat with mixture of flour, paprika, and garlic salt
Cook 1/3 lb bacon until crisp...set aside
in remaining fat, add 1-3 tlbs butter, cook coated chicken until slightly crisp on both sides (cooked all the way through)
remove from pan and add 6 tbls butter, 2 tbls flour and mix together thoroughly, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen bacon and chicken bits
whisk in 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, then whisk in 3/4 cup white cooking wine and 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (or you could use 1 cup white cooking wine that has lemon already in it), and add salt and pepper to taste
when thickened, add chicken, bacon, and any combination of the following ingredients: fresh or sundried tomatoes, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, capers, pine nuts
serve over bow-tie or angel hair pasta

(Steph here - I remind you that I just copy and pasted. I will leave it up to Shelley if she wants to change the format!)

60 Minute Rolls

4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups of white flour ( You can also use whole wheat pastry flour, but you will still need a cup of white flour for the gluten.)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast or 2 envelops

1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter

Combine dry ingredients: 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, yeast and set aside.

Combine wet ingredients in either a pan on the stove or microwave safe bowl (I use a measuring cup). Warm until temp gets to 125*. Then add wet ingredients to dry and mix. Then add flour until you have a good dough consistency. I do all of this in my kitchen aide, so I am not hand kneeding, but I have done it all by hand too. (You can do the dough in the bread machine too, just set it to dough.)

Let rise until double, about 15 - 20 minutes.

Punch down and make rolls. Make about 15 for me. Let rise while you preheat oven to 425* for about 15 - 20 minutes.

Bake at 425* for 12 - 15 minutes. I butter the top if I am serving them hot.

Spinach Quiche

This is absolutely delicious! I’m telling you two out my three kids that tried it loved it (and they claim they hate spinach). We served it with some Orange-Pineapple juice.


6 slices turkey bacon
4 eggs, beaten
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
can of mushrooms (optional)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400*

Brown the bacon. Drain, crumble and set aside.

In a large bowl, whip together eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in bacon, spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. Transfer to the pie crust.

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 35 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Texas BBQ Chicken

I made this recipe from AllRecipes about a month ago and served it on rice and I think everybody loved it. I take that back, chances are my kids didn't really like it (they don't like anything I make) but I try not to pay any attention to them!


* 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
* 3 tablespoons brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon ground paprika
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1 1/2 cups tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
* 1/2 cup ketchup
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 cloves garlic, minced


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, salt, dry mustard, chili powder, vinegar, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, vegetable juice cocktail, ketchup, water and garlic. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken breasts.
3. Bake uncovered, for 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove chicken breasts, shred with a fork, and return to the sauce. Bake in the oven for an additional 10 minutes so the chicken can soak up more flavor. Serve on a bed of rice with freshly ground black pepper.

Original recipe yield:
8 servings