Thursday, December 8, 2011

tap, tap, tap....

I don't even know if anyone even follows this blog anymore. IF someone does I just thought I would explain the recent flux in posts. :)

A few of years ago my friend Shelley and I found this great site called Taste Book. You just upload your recipes and they print them into a really great, sturdy, attractive cookbook. So we bought one.

I uploaded the recipes that I had at the time and still had a credit left over.... I STILL have that credit on this site... several years later. So, this year for a Christmas present for myself I decided that I was going to type up all my favorite recipes and finish off this project!!

Buttercream Frosting

I found this great recipe on just a random blog. She calls it I Dream of Buttercream. 

2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
1 cup crisco
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 pounds powdered sugar
3+ tablespoons cold milk

mix it!

-butter flavored crisco tastes better but will add color if you are making white frosting
-use clear vanilla if you are making white frosting
-with the milk use up to 6-7 for really fluffy soft frosting, less for holding decorating shape

Susie's Sugar Cookies

My friend shared this cookie recipe with me. I don't make sugar cookies very often. I like to make them at Christmastime.


2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
6 Tbsp. butter softened
1/3 C. shortening
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond

Preparation Instructions

Mix wet ingredients first. Then mix in dry ingredients. Chill for 3 hours. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Bake 8 minutes @ 375*.

Peanut Butter Balls

This my grandma's awesome recipe. We always make these at Christmastime to share with our friends and family.


1 1/2 C. peanut butter
1 lb. plus 1 C. powdered sugar
2 sticks oleo (margarine)
1 pkg almond bark

Preparation Instructions

Mix peanut butter and oleo together until well blended. Add powdered sugar. Make this into balls. Melt chocolate in microwave (in small time increments so it doesn't cook the chocolate.. just melt it). Dip balls in chocolate and place on waxed paper or buttered pan.

Pecan Pie/Chocolate Pecan Pie

This recipe is from Pioneer Woman. It is absolutely delish!


1 pie crust (I use a refrigerated rolled crust)
1 cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Corn Syrup
¾ teaspoons Vanilla
⅓ cups Melted Butter (salted)
3 whole Eggs Beaten
1 cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans

Preparation Instructions

Mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl. Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. At this point, if you would like Chocolate Pecan Pie, add about 1/2c. chocolate chips to the bottom of the pie shell. Pour syrup mixture over the top.

Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.

NOTE: PIE SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY JIGGLY WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE OVEN. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe. Sometimes it takes 50 minutes; sometimes it takes 75! Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.

Cowboy Caviar

A sweet friend of mine from high school made this for us for Christmas one year. I like but my husband LOVES it.


2 cans of black eyed peas, drained.
1 can of hominy, drained.
2 bell peppers, I did a green one and a red one, minced.
One white onion, minced.
8 green onions. Cut four of them into it, keep 4 for the end.
1 jalapeno pepper. Seeds removed, and sliced into thin strips.
One container (about 8 oz) of grape tomatoes, halved.
2 cloves of garlic, minced.

Add to taste
Dried parsley
Cracked pepper

Preparation Instructions

Mix this all together and cover it in Italian Dressing. Cover and stick in the fridge for 24 hours. Garnish with the other four green onions, chopped, and lime juice.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Chews

Our sweet 80 year old neighbors used to make these for us when we lived by them. They are super yummy.


1 C. white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. butter
1 C. Dark corn syrup
4 1/2 C. corn flakes
1 C. crunchy peanut butter

Preparation instructions

Bring sugar and syrup to a boil. Stir in peanut butter. Remove from heat. Pour mixture over corn flakes and mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper or onto wax paper sprayed with cooking spray.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

A sweet friend shared this recipe with me. It's yummy!


1 can shredded chicken (or you can cook and shred your own)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 small can green chiles
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 c. hot water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
chili powder
cayenne pepper

Preparation instructions

Just throw it all in a large cooking pot, mix it up, and boil it.
Serve with tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream. 

Egg Rolls

Everyone that has tried these have LOVED them. And I love them!!
I took a egg roll recipe that I found on Tasty Kitchen and tweaked it to make it easier and yummier!


2.5 lbs ground turkey
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 bag of coleslaw veggies
Soy Sauce
2 packages large wontons
Canola oil for frying

Preparation Instructions

Get your deep fryer ready; the oil takes a while to heat. Start heating the oil to 350 degrees.
Brown the ground turkey, onion, and garlic together over medium-high heat. You can use an electric skillet if you have one. I actually use my largest cooking pot. 

Add the 2 tablespoons of canola oil to the meat and then add the coleslaw mix and a healthy dash of soy sauce (I use about 1/8-1/4 c.). Saute the veggies until crisp-tender.

Now it’s time to season. Start with about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; mix well and taste. Tinker with the spices (don’t forget the soy sauce!) until there’s a nice depth of flavor.

After everything is cooked together nicely and the veggies are tender, I actually throw the mixture into a colander so it won't be too soupy and then pour the mixture into a large bowl and let cool until barely warm.

Time to roll the egg rolls! Open the package of wrappers and cover with a damp paper towel to keep them soft while you work with them. Place one wrapper on your work surface so it looks like a diamond (not a square). Place about three tablespoons(ish) filling on the bottom third of the wrapper. Lift bottom corner up and over; fold in the sides so it looks like an open envelope. you can moisten the top edges with water and roll up if you like but I have started omitting this step and haven't had a problem. Just place egg roll seam side down.

(At this point you can flash freeze a tray of these and once they are frozen place them in a ziplock bag)

After you’ve rolled all the rolls, deep-fry them in 350-degree oil, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. I use a 12 inch deep skillet at med/high heat for this and can fry about 8 at a time. Let drain on paper towels; serve hot.

note: Egg rolls are ALWAYS yummier when fried but if you want to be healthier you can bake them and they will still be very delicious. Place the egg rolls seam side down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray or brush tops of the egg rolls with oil and bake for 20 minutes (375*), turning halfway through.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is perfect with my egg rolls. It is so easy and it's way better than any jarred sauce that I've tasted.


1 Tablespoon Oil
1 cup Pineapple Juice
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
½ cups Water
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
½ cups Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ketchup

Preparation Instructions

(note: I use the juice from a can of chunk pineapple. It is just shy of 1 cup but I just make up the difference with a little more water)

First, heat and bring to a boil the oil and pineapple juice. Mix cornstarch and water, stir until dissolved and add to the previous mixture. Next, mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and add to previous ingredients. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Freezes well.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Restaurant Style Salsa

This recipe originally came from Pioneer Woman. However, I have tweaked it just a bit so I have made the changes on here. For example, the original recipe calls for ¼ cups of onion but I didn't have any one day so i made it without and it still turned out great. Now I never add it. This salsa is super good and easy to make. We all love it.


2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes
1 can (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
1 clove Garlic, Minced (or a heaping teaspoon of the jarred stuff)
1 whole jalapeño, Quartered And Sliced Thin (most of the time I use the jarred slices for convenience. About 3 or 4 slices)
¼ teaspoons Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
½ teaspoon Lime Juice (the pre-squeezed stuff)


I like to drain the tomatoes and Rotel before I blend them because I don't like my salsa so runny, but you don't have to drain them. Combine tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeño, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

This is one of those foods that when I make it for some kind of function EVERYONE asks for the recipe. It is so delicious! 

I cheat and use pre-squeezed lemon juice. And I leave off the zest.


1-⅓ cup All-purpose Flour
½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Slightly Softened
1 cup Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
1 cup Oats
1 can (14 Ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cups Lemon Juice
Zest Of 1 Lemon


Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 11 inch pan.
Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don’t press.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.
Serve cool.

Kicked Up Ramen Noodles – Kung Pao Style

We have recently come to LOVE Thai food! Unfortunately, we cannot afford to eat there as often as we get a craving. This recipe actually resembles Thai food and my kids love it! I plan to try it with some sweet soy sauce instead of hoisin sauce at some point maybe it will taste more like my favorite dish: Pad See Ew. Yum!!

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3), cubed
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you want more heat)
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles, discard seasoning packets
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
4 scallions (green onions), sliced thin

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over medium to medium-high heat until it is hot and rippling. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add the cubed chicken to the pan in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken to a medium bowl.
Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until hot and rippling. Add the red bell pepper and the peanuts and cook until the pepper is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the mixture into the bowl with the chicken, trying to leave as much oil as possible behind in the skillet.
Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the remaining oil in the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth. Break the bricks of ramen into small chunks and add them to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, tossing the ramen constantly with tongs to separate, until ramen is just tender but there is still a bit of liquid in the pan, about 2-4 minutes.
Stir in the hoisin sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil and continue to simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken, peppers and peanuts. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is from Pioneer Woman. Absolutely the best mashed potatoes EVAH!!!


5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
¾ cups Butter
1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
½ cups (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper


Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Cowboy Cookie (New and Improved)

I have a recipe for Cowboy Cookies that we all LOVE but I saw this recipe and thought I would give it a try. They are so YUMMY!! My kids LOVE them!!! This recipe has replaced the other one! I used a 1.5" cookie scoop and it made 28 cookies.


1 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 ounces white whole wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, oats, baking soda and salt. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stove. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar. Add the butter/sugar mixture to the flour mixture, beating with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg. Beat until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, silpat liners or coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned on the edges. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Easy, Flaky, Buttery Biscuits

I have tried many of a biscuit recipe... I think this is the best one yet. 

3 cups Flour
4-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
¾ teaspoons Cream Of Tartar
½ teaspoons Salt
¾ cups Butter, Cold
1 whole Egg, Slightly Beaten
1 cup Milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together.
Cut in cold butter, until it is pea-sized.
Mix egg and milk, pour into the dry mix.
Stir together with a fork.
Combine all the dry mix with the wet mixture until it forms a soft ball.
Turn out onto a floured counter.
Pat down until 3/4″ thick (rolling will keep it from being flaky).
Using a biscuit cutter (or whatever you have handy), cut biscuits out and place on an ungreased pan.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and beautiful.

note: I have always laid my dough out into a rectangle and cut out square biscuits. It just seems like effective use of time and dough.

Giant Cookie

Spend $30 on a giant cookie from the mall or make my own.... it's a no-brainer! This recipe is a hit with everyone.

I actually double the recipe and put it in a 16" pizza pan lined with foil. It only has to be cooked a minute or two longer

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Line a large (11X17-inch) baking pan with foil and press the cookie into a circle. I press my cookie into a 9-inch circle, about 1/4 to 3/8-inch thick. When it bakes, it spreads to about 11 inches, which fits perfectly onto a 12-inch round cardboard circle you can find at most craft stores.
If desired, top the cookie with M&M’s or any other garnishes. Bake for 13-16 minutes until the cookie is lightly golden brown. Let the cookie cool completely on the baking pan – this helps the cookie stabilize and set so it can be easily lifted off the pan. Once cool, gently use the foil to lift the cookie off the pan.