Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snowman Cheeseball

I saw this cute snowman cheeseball recipe on Julie's blog and knew it was something we will have to try this Christmas season.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Less than Perfect Life of Bliss

Here are her directions:

Just mix together (2) 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, a clove of garlic (minced) and a 1/4 cup of finely shredded mozzarella. Form the mixture into 2 balls, one larger and one smaller, then roll the balls in more mozzarella.

To assemble the snowman, stack the small ball on top of the larger (use toothpicks to stack if needed), then add peppercorns for the eyes and buttons; and a shred of carrot for the nose. To make the hat, cut circles from a piece of toasted wheat bread, then place it on his head with a toothpick!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Butter Pecan Cookies

1 box butter pecan cake mix
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. quick oats
2 eggs
1 c. oil
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Combine cake mix, sugar, oats, blending well. Add eggs and oil. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Shape into 1" balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

Yield: 30-36 cookies.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

RE: Pecan Pie

I saw this recipe here on the RE blog. It was a must try and it did not disappoint!

Filling is for a 9″ pie. You can double the recipe for a 9×13 pan, which is a size I love for a larger crowd. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together all ingredients except pecans.
3 eggs.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves

Add in the pecans and mix by hand. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Bake until set at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until set.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Easy and Yummy Pumpkin Muffins

1 (15 oz) can of Pumpkin
1 box of Spice Cake Mix

Mix thoroughly. (Yes, you read that right...nothing else just those 2 ingredients!)

Place in Muffin pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Easy Pie Crust

This recipe is Sandy's from the Reluctant Entertainer. It is super easy and quick!

photo and recipe courtesy of Easy Press Pie Crust.

1/2 cup oil
2 T. milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375. Whip oil and milk together with a fork. Add in the dry ingredients and continue to mix with a fork until well blended.

Press into pie pan (with a fork or your fingers) and poke with a fork. (There is no rolling involved!)

Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Kitchen Appliances for the New House

As many of you know, we are building a new house. I thought I would share this story with you on our recipe blog since you can't cook without appliances :)
We have been pricing new kitchen appliances over the past few months. (They quickly add up let me just tell you!)
I have had a specific make and model that I was interested in, so we have been checking all the big retailers waiting for a big sale on them. Finally this week they are on sale!

We took our information to a local appliance store (that we have been wanting to use all along) to see if they could match the prices.

The salesman told us that a huge sale was about to start later in the week at their store. If you buy the fridge and the stove, you get the microwave (vent) and dishwasher for FREE!

YEA! Not only are we saving over $700, but we get 2 FREE pieces of the kitchen set!

I am so excited because it is the one that I was REALLY wanting to get in the first place and I am not having to settle for a one that was less expensive for the sake of saving money!
God has continually blessed us in this process. I am so thankful to have this online journal that I can come back to and remember these "little" blessings along the way!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies with Glaze

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients.

Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Carmel Nut Cheesecake

2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 cup Peanuts, chopped, divided
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
6 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream
4 eggs
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

LINE 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Mix crumbs, 1/2 cup nuts, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Bake 10 min.

MEANWHILE, beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 35 min. or until center is almost set; cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with remaining nuts and caramel topping. Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Popcorn

S made this yummy popcorn for the Recipe Contest and won 4th place!

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
Vegetable oil
Fine salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup honey

Prepare a clean paper shopping bag or oversized mixing bowl. Heat a large heavy pan over medium heat and film the bottom with vegetable oil. Add the popcorn, shake to distribute, then put a lid on the pan. Leave a small crack for steam to escape. When the popcorn starts popping, shake vigorously to make sure the kernels pop evenly. When the popping slows, take the pan off the heat.

Pour the popcorn into the paper bag or bowl to cool, being careful to leave any unpopped kernels in the pan. Lightly salt the popcorn to taste.

Mix the honey and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for a couple minutes, then remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir vigorously until all the peanut butter is melted, then mix in the vanilla.

Immediately pour the peanut butter caramel over the popcorn and stir with a long-handled wooden spoon until it's all coated. Once it's mixed you can put it in a serving bowl. Cover tightly after it's cooled. Makes about 8 cups.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

B's Monster Mix

B won 3rd place in the recipe contest for this snack recipe.

9 Cups Honey Nut Chex (or any chex variety you like)
3/4 Cup chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Cups powdered sugar

Place chex cereal in a large mixing bowl. Place chocolate, peanut butter, and butter into a microwavable safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute or until melted.

Stir then pour into bowl of cereal.

Mix well then divide mixture into 2 large ziplock bags.

Pour in 1 Cup powdered sugar into each ziplock. Close bags and shake until cereal is coated.

Pour into a large bowl and serve.

Note: Recipe and photo courtesy of Picky Palate although we changed it a little.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Peanut Butter Delight

This recipe is E's prize winning recipe. After one bite, you will understand how she won 1st place at our local fair's recipe contest!

15 peanut butter sandwich cookies
3 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 ounces whipped topping
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 squares semi-sweet baking chocolates, melted
Container: 9" loaf pan, medium mixing bowl, small dish

Line the loaf pan with aluminum foil. Crush 10 of the peanut butter cookies and mix with the melted butter.

Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan until it is nice and compacted.

Mix the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Stir in 3 cups of the whipped topping; mixing well. Remove 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture into a small dish, stir in melted chocolate and set aside.

Spoon half of the cream cheese mixture into the loaf pan, over the cookie crust and spread evenly.

Add the chocolate mixture on top and spread evenly, trying not to mix with the bottom layer. Add the remaining cream cheese mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and spread evening.

Freeze for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Remove from freezer and invert onto a plate, remove the aluminum foil and then re-invert onto a serving platter (cookie crust should be on the bottom).

Break the remainder of the cookies into medium sized chunks. Top the dessert with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle with the broken cookies.

Cut into 1/4" slices and serve. Store remaining dessert in refrigerator.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ham and Cheese Poppyseed Rolls

36 dinner rolls
1 pkg of ham

1 pkg sliced Swiss cheese
1/2 med onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon mustard
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, combine onion, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, poppy seeds and margarine.
Split each dinner roll and arrange on baking sheet.

Spread mustard mixture over bottom half of dinner roll. Layer ham, cheese, and ham again.

Replace tops of roll. 

Drizzle the poppy seed mixture over the sandwiches.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Serve these sandwiches warm.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I got this pan over the weekend from Kohl's. I have been wanting one for a while now, but was not willing to pay $25 bucks. It is suppose to be perfect for brownies and blondies and making cookie bars.

The best part is I only paid $1.35 for it! 

How? A sweet friend gave me a $10 gift card she was not going to use. Hello, I will find something to use free $10 bucks on! Anyway, it was 50 percent off plus another 15 percent off for their friends and family weekend. How cool is that!

I couldn't wait to give it a try when I got home. I will say it works great- the brownies and cookie bars came out perfectly!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Fall is around the corner. These look and sound so delicious! I think I will be making some for the family this weekend :)

Photo and Recipe courtesy of Home Beautiful

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature)
2 cups canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/2 cup light agave nectar
1 cup brown sugar, not packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup natural applesauce

Optional chopped Heath bars to top frosting 2 1.4 ounce bars

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, agave nectar, brown sugar, applesauce and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.

3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

4. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits (Or wouldn't toasted pecans be good!)

Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon  Maple Flavoring
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Maple Flavoring
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Aarti's Chocolate-Ginger Pudding Pie

We love watching the Next Food Network star. I was rooting for Aarti from the very first show. I was thrilled she won!

The only thing I hate is that they always show the winner's new show on Sunday mornings when we are in church. What a bummer.

Thankfully, E found her show On Demand the other day. We were all so excited to finally see it!

She did a great job and her recipes look so good. I love how she takes a traditional American dish and gives it her own twist. It inspires me to try some Indian flavors in my cooking.

Here is her recipe for Chocolate Pie. Sounds so yummy with the ginger added. I cannot wait to try it!
15 chocolate wafer cookies
15 gingersnaps
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
Generous pinch salt

2 cups whole milk
3 yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust: Crush the cookies in a food processor with the melted butter until almost finely crushed, or in a plastic food storage bag, using a rolling pin). Pour the cookie crumbs into pie dish. Using your hands, smooth out the crumbs to form an even crust on bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
Filling: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the milk, yolks and vanilla Stir in the sugar, cornstarch, chocolate and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute, then immediately remove from heat. Mixture should be very thick! Quickly stir in the ginger, then pour the pudding into the crust. Cover the surface of pie with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill for 3 hours, until set.
Before serving, whip the cream and sugar together in a small bowl, until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream, and a light dusting of leftover cookie crumbs, if you have any.

**Recipe courtesy of Aarti via Food Network

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 5-8 lemons)
1 cup sugar (we used much less!)
2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries

Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds to combine.

Add the strawberries and puree or pulse until the strawberries are at the desired chunkiness. I liked the strawberries slightly chunky!

Pour the lemon/strawberry mixture into a pitcher and add 4 cups of cold water. Serve chilled.

*Makes about 8 cups of juice

Recipe from My Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cilantro, Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Recipe and Photo thanks to Cooking on Clover Lane

1 can of yellow corn drained
1 can of white corn drained
2 cans of black beans drained and rinsed
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
5 green onions, sliced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 avocados, diced
1 TBS minced garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
3 TBS olive oil
3 TBS honey

Mix them all together and YUM.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

In slow cooker add:

1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
10 oz. cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup broth
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

Stir it all together right in your slow cooker.

Add 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (I chopped mine into large chunks)

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or slow cook all day.

Serve over whole wheat egg noodles or fettuccine.

*Recipe adapted from Clover Lane

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

M's 4th Birthday Cake

M wanted an Alabama Cake for her birthday. She asked her daddy to help make one for her.

This is a big deal since he is an Ohio State fan. BUT how could he say no? She has him wrapped around his finger, trust me! He would do anything for his girl!

Scot did the Alabama "A" freehand. Pretty good huh!?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Smores on a Stick

Photo courtesy of Ready. Set. Plan

I found this on a neat blog called Ready. Set. Plan. In her words it is genius and I agree!

Here is the easy recipe:

1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
2. Stick Lollipop sticks through marshmallows
3. Crush 10-15 graham crackers into bowl
4. Melt dipping chocolate however you prefer in separate bowl.
- I use Almond Bark making bars. Melt in a microwave safe bowl for a minute and 15 seconds stirring twice.
5. Then dip marshmallow on stick into chocolate. Don't cover completely, and let drip for a few seconds.
6. Roll in graham cracker crumbs
7. Set to dry on top end on parchment paper
8. Wait for campers to tell you you are in fact a Dessert Genius
and that they would like S'more. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Southwestern Club Wrap

Photo and recipe courtesy of Family Fun

4 to 6 large flour tortillas (we use whole wheat)
3/4 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 head iceberg lettuce, very thinly sliced
1/2 pound pepper Jack or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
1 cup pitted black olives, chopped (optional)
1 cup red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 pound smoked or buffalo-style turkey, thinly sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered

Heat the oven to 250° F. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and warm them in the oven for about 10 minutes to soften. This will make them easier to roll. Alternately, heat each tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Make the sauce by combining the ranch dressing and barbecue sauce in a small bowl and stir until blended.

Working with one wrapper at a time, layer each ingredient on half of the tortilla. Start with a bit of sauce (there'll be plenty left to serve on the side as well), then add the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, olives, and peppers, using as much of each as you like. End with a piece of the turkey. Fold in each side of the tortilla and begin rolling the wrap from the end with the filling. Tuck in the filling as you roll.

Slice each sandwich in the center, on the bias, with a sharp serrated knife and serve (with the extra sauce in a bowl). Makes 4 to 6 wraps.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


E and I are learning to can vegetables! It has been such a fun experience! It is not only learning something new that has been so great, but the fellowship (and working together) with friends as well! 

My friend Deana has a garden and she has so graciously shared her bounty with us.
We went to our friend Connie's house to do the canning.

We canned salsa using her recipe here.

4 quarts (8 pints) jars chopped tomatoes

3/4 cup jalapeno peppers (either canned or fresh)
1 cup white vinegar
8 ounces canned green chili peppers
1 Tablespoon salt
1 cup chopped green onions (with tops)

**We added cilantro and garlic this time and it was delicious!

Pulse in food processor being careful not to over do it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tomato Soup

My friend Connie introduced me to this recipe. We are canning tomatoes this week and this is one of the things we canned with the tomatoes we picked from the garden! It is SO delicious!

2 TBS Olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove
2 pkts stevia (2 tsp sugar)
1 TBS parsley
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp onion salt
2 tsp soda
3 cups chicken stock
56 oz (two 28 oz cans) crushed tomatoes (approx 4 cups)

Milk or half and half (to taste) It is optional.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion , carrot, and bay leaf; cook over med heat. Cook about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add broth and tomatoes. Puree in blender. Add stevia, parsley,salt, pepper, onion salt, and 2 tsp soda.

If serving immediately, can add either milk or half and half at this phase. This soup is also very good without the milk or cream.

Do not allow the soup to boil with the milk in it or else it may curdle.

I add the cream or milk as I prepare each bowl or mug of soup. I keep the base recipe and add the dairy or chicken stock for a lower fat option.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Heart Attack Dip

2 - 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayo
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese
Cooked bacon, chopped

Mic together cream cheese, mayo, cheese and green onions. Pour into shallow baking/serving dish. Top with chopped bacon.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (until bubbly).

Serve with Ritz crackers or any other variety of crackers.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Red, White and Blue Cookie Bark

Isn't this so festive!! Leigh Anne shared this fun recipe on her blog, Home Based Mom. I love how she used the basic recipe and customized it to different holidays throughout the year!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Turtle Chewy

My friend Deana made this yummy dessert for lunch one Sunday. It was to die for! As soon as E tasted it, she knew this was what she wanted for her birthday. (She doesn't like to have traditional birthday cakes!) So this is what we made for her 11th birthday this year!

1 pkg. German Chocolate cake mix
1 -1/2 c. chocolate chips (1 bag)
1 bag caramels (melt in top of double boiler)
1 c. chopped nuts (choose either pecans, peanuts or walnuts)
1/3 c. evaporated milk
3/4 c. melted butter
1/3 c. evaporated milk

Combine caramels and 1/3 c. evaporated milk in saucepan and melt. Set aside.

Mix by hand:
Cake mix, butter, 1/3 c. evaporated mil, and walnuts. Batter will be very thick.

Bake 350 for 6 minutes.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over crust, drizzle caramel over mixture. Spread remaining batter over it (use hands if necessary).

Return to oven for 18-20 min. Cool and refrigerate 30 min. to set caramel then cut.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chocolate Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake

For Father's Day, I made this "death by chocolate" dessert.  Everyone LOVED it!

1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tb milk
1 (18.25-ounce) pkg chocolate cake mix
3/4 cup cold coffee
1/4 cup oil
3 large eggs
2/3 cup nuts (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°, grease and flour pan.

Melt 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips in double boiler over simmering water.

With electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, milk, and melted chocolate. Beat until smooth. Set aside.

Combine cake mix, coffee, oil, and eggs, and beat with electric mixer for 4 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts (optional)

Mound cream cheese mixture onto of cake mixture around tube, but do not spread to touch sides of pan.

Bake until top springs back when pressed lightly in center.  Cool upright in pan one hour before inverting.

Baking Time ~ 55 to 65 Min.

To make glaze:

Heat 1/2 cup cream in small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips until melted and smooth.

Drizzle warm glaze over cooled cake.

Store, covered, in refrigerator.

Makes 12 servings.

Recipe Courtesy of Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

Receipe and Photo courtesy of Still Waters

1 stick of butter
2 ish cups of sugar
1 1/2 ish cups graham cracker crumbs
1 ish cup peanut butter
12 oz your favorite chocolate bar/chips

Melt the butter in a large bowl. And add the sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and peanut butter. Mix well.
In separate bowl melt chocolate and stir until smooth.

Pour melted chocolate into baking cups until the bottom is covered completely. Add peanut butter mixture and top with remaining chocolate.

Chill for at least 2 hours.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blackberry Sauce

For Memorial Day, I made a blackberry sauce with berries we picked at the land.
We poured it over ice cream - and someone, who will remain nameless, tried it over peach cobbler.

It is super easy and oh so good!

1 pound fresh blackberries

1/4 cup sugar (more to taste)
zest of two lemons

Sprinkle half the berries with sugar and lemon zest. Let rest on the counter, stirring gently occasionally, to let the juices draw out. Taste along the way to see if more sugar is needed. A half hour or so before serving, stir in the remaining berries.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Horse Cake

S wanted a horse cake for her 8th birthday! It turned out pretty cool huh!

Can you believe that Scot decorated it all by himself? He is getting pretty good :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wild Berry

Have you tried the Wild Berry Herbal Tea? It is so reminds me of summer in a cup :)

 Do you like warm tea? What is your favorite flavor?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Raspberry Walnut Dressing

I am LOVING this dressing right now. You just have to try it yourself..yummo!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Soups are such quick easy lunches for our homeschooling family. I can put it on in the morning and let it simmer till lunch. I found this one recently on My Kitchen Cafe.

½ cup butter
1 finely chopped onion
½ - 1 cup frozen corn (or ½ cup chopped celery, if preferred)
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ cup carrots, sliced
¾ cup all-purpose flour
6 ½ cups chicken broth (can use 7 bouillon cubes plus 6 ½ cups water)
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup slivered almonds
2 cups nonfat half-and-half (use normal half-and-half if you prefer, but you won't believe how delicious this is with the nonfat variety!)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, corn, chicken and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes. Then add flour and stir well. Transfer mixture to large pot.

Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly until all has been added. Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer.

Next, add the rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper and almonds. Allow to heat through and then pour in the half-and-half.

Let simmer 1 to 1 ½ hours. Be careful not to let the soup come to a boil or it won't thicken properly - let it simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken Crescent Squares

3 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
1 T. butter (softened)
2 c. cooked chicken
1 T. chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 T. butter (melted)
3/4 c. seasoned croutons (crushed)

1. Beat cream cheese and softened butter until smooth. Add chicken, onion, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
2. Separate crescent dough into four rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. Spoon 1/2 c. of chicken mixture onto center of each rectangle. Pull four corners of dough to center of chicken mixture; twist firmly. Pinch edges to seal.
3. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops of squares with melted butter; sprinkle with crushed croutons.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Preheat Oven to 400°

Cut off about an inch from the bottom on the stalks.
Lay asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.

Place in oven to roast for approximately 10 min. - thinner asparagus may need less time.

Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven for one to two mins until the cheese melts and turns a little brown.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt (optional) and serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Cream Frosting

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz Cool Whip
1 cup peanut butter
1 box confectioners' sugar

Mix all ingredients together and spread on cake.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rosemary Garlic Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds small new red potatoes, scrubbed and dried
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Quarter or slice potatoes. In a large bowl mix the oil, garlic, and rosemary; add the potatoes and toss well. Transfer the potatoes to a shallow baking pan and roast until potatoes are tender when tested with the tip of a knife. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mocha Coffee Slush

My sweet husband surprised me with a homemade mocha slush. It was very similar to this one, but nowhere near the cost!!!

Here is his recipe.

1 cup crushed ice
3/4 cup milk
3 T. mocha coffee drink mix
1-2 T. chocolate syrup
1/2 t. vanilla extract
whipped cream

In a blender or food processor blend milk, coffee mix, chocolate syrup, sweetener & vanilla until smooth. Serve immediately topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Enjoy!

The great thing about slushes or smoothies is that that you can play around with the different flavors to come up fantastic drinks!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Combine the following ingredients in shallow baking dish or large ziploc bag.

1/2 c soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 c orange juice
1 tsp ground ginger

Add pork tenderloin. Cover (or seal bag) and refrigerate for 8 hours, turning pork often.

Grill until done.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monterey Chicken

boneless, skinless chicken breast
BBQ sauce
2 slices of well crisped bacon per chicken breast
Monterey and cheddar cheese mixture
salt and pepper to taste

Pound chicken breast until it is somewhat flat. Season with salt and pepper. Either grill chicken or spray Pam in nonstick skillet and cook on stove top until done.

Top chicken with BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheese. Broil chicken in oven only until cheese has melted.

Sprinkle small amount of cold chopped tomato and chives before serving.

Serves 1

Friday, February 19, 2010

Renee's Peanut Butter Blondies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 lb confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup hot water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 13x9 inch baking pans with cooking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat shortening, peanut butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.

Add eggs; beat 3 minutes more. Add vanilla.

On low speed, beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the peanuts.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool slightly.


Beat confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, shortening, salt, and vanilla. Add hot water, a little at a time Beat until smooth. Spread over blondies while still warm.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chicken Tetrazzini

Photo:  Taste of Home

1 package (7 ounces) spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
2 cups cubed cooked chicken (or you could use turkey)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans (4 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Additional shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon into a greased 2-1/2-qt. casserole; sprinkle with cheese if desired. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.

 Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chicken Chili Cheese Cups

Photo and Recipe from Family Fun
2 eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked chicken, finely diced
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack
30 mini phyllo shells

Heat the oven to 350º. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, toss together the chicken, chilies, cilantro, and cheese.

Place the phyllo shells on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon of chicken filling into each shell, then add about 1 teaspoon of the egg mixture. Let the shells sit for about a minute so the egg can settle to the bottom. Then add about another teaspoon of egg to each shell, filling it close to the top.

Bake the cups until the custard is set, about 15 minutes. After the cups have cooled, freeze them for up to 2 weeks. To serve, simply reheat them in a 350º oven until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Makes 30 quiches

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chocolate Cookie Bark

My kids love to help in the kitchen....really they like to do it themselves. Because of this, I like finding easy things for them to do independently. These barks are quick and easy, which makes them great for kid chefs.

The broken cookies are mixed with white or semisweet chocolate for tastes that are either sweet and creamy or dark and rich.

20 creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (about half of an 18-ounce package)
2 2/3 cups white chocolate chips or 2 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use with semisweet chips only)

Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with waxed paper. Coat the paper with nonstick spray; set it aside. Pour the cookies into a large bowl and break them into small pieces by hand or with the back of a wooden spoon, a job kids will love.

Melt the white chocolate chips -- or the semisweet chips -- in a large microwave-safe bowl according to the package directions (add the extract after the chips have melted). Remove from the microwave and quickly fold in the cookie pieces with a spatula. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Refrigerate until solid, about 1 hour.

Remove the bark from the pan and carefully peel off the waxed paper. Set the bark on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the bark into bars.

These are great gifts too. I love the idea of cutting them into 24 triangles for boxing as shown above.

Photo and recipe came from Family Fun

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sausage Grits Casserole

1 pound ground sausage
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup raw grits
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/4 cup cheddar

Preheat oven to 350
Brown sausage and onion together. Drain well
Bring milk and water to boil. Add grits and cook on medium heat until thickened.
Combine onion, sausage, grits, 8 oz shredded cheese, eggs, salt and pepper.
Pour into buttered 9x13 dish.

Top with 1/4 cup cheddar.

Bake 1 hour or until bubbly.

I had this at a friend's house and loved it. It is something you must try!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rosemary Garlic Green Beans

We loved steamed green beans even my kids! I am so thankful that they are vegetable eaters!!!

For a new twist on your normal green beans, try topping them with this delicious seasoning.

Here is what I do:

I place my fresh green beans in a covered dish and add a little water to the bottom. I sprinkle a little of this seasoning on top. (Don't overdo it or it will be quite overpowering!)

Microwave until your desired tenderness.

It is a quick, healthy side dish that is sure to be a family favorite!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Potato Soup

6 to 7 med. potatoes shredded in big chunks (or more)
2 to 3 carrots shredded in big chunks
Put in a large pot, fill with water (to just the top of potatoes) and cook

While cooking add:
4 to 5 chicken bullion cubes (I like it very flavorful so I add 5)
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 cup chopped onions
a couple of dashes of celery flakes or a tsp of chopped celery (optional)

When almost done cooking add:
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz) Don't add milk too early or it will scorch.
2 Tbsp of butter
salt to taste
sprinkle with paprika

This was given to me by my friend, Karen. It is so delicious. Especially as the weather is starting to get cool again!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Lasagna Roll-ups

15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach
1 egg
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb. lasagna noodles
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, Parmesan, salt & pepper. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water until done.

Spread with spinach mixture and roll up.
Place seam-side down in 9×13 in. baking dish. Top with tomato sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 min.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

This is a fun recipe to serve at a kids party.

8 oz. Cream cheese
1/2 c. butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. confectioners sugar
1 pkg. mini chocolate chips, divided

Beat the first 3 ingredients together. Then add the sugar and 3/4 of the chocolate chips. Form the mixture into a ball and chill.

Once chilled, roll the ball in the remaining chocolate chips.

Serve with Teddy Grahams or Graham Cracker Sticks.

Note: Photo from Google Images

Monday, January 11, 2010

White Bean Chicken Chili

My family loves different varieties of chili. When I saw this recipe, I knew it was one I just had to try. It is similar to one of my favorites, Creamy White Chicken Chili.
...and more figure friendly too.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Great Northern Beans, undrained
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup salsa (I use Chunky Medium)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the remainder of the ingredients, except the mozzarella cheese.

Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup comes to a simmer.

Add the mozzarella cheese one handful at a time, stirring to let each addition melt before adding the next.

Stir to combine and make sure all the cheese has melted and serve.