Friday, December 31, 2010

Cashew Salad


This recipe has been moved to The Traveling Circus.

Click the link below for the recipe

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

Every year we have breakfast at my parents' house on Christmas morning. I wanted to find something that can be made the night before so we don't have to make anything Christmas morning. My husband's cousin made this for her son's mission farewell about a month ago and I thought it was so good. I thought it would be perfect for Christmas morning.

Printable Recipe

Breakfast Casserole


12 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pkg. frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 cup ham, cubed

Whisk together eggs. Add salt, pepper, and milk. In a separate bowl, combine hashbrowns, cheese, onion, green pepper, and ham. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Pour egg mixture over hashbrown mixture and mix together. Cook uncovered at 350 for 45-55 minutes.

*This can be made the night before.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cheesecake

My husband made cheesecake for his family on Christmas Eve. He has a large family so he made 3 cheesecakes. He was pretty much baking all morning. This is the best cheesecake ever!  I'm a cheesecake lover so it's not very hard to please me. But after trying this cheesecake I'm always disappointed by other cheesecakes. It's that good!  Cheesecake is always a little time consuming to make and I've heard a lot of people say they've made it and it hasn't turned out right. If you follow this recipe it will turn out great. It's so good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Printable Recipe

Cheesecake
adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Food Network

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 1/2 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:
frozen berries, thawed (any kind)
sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 350. To make crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. Using your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Increase oven to 450. To make filling, mix together cream cheese and sugar using a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Reduce the mixer to low and add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix well and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 225 and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let sit at room temperature for another 2-3 hours, until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. To cut cake, make sure the knife is hot by running hot water over it. If the knife is cold it will tear the cake.

To make topping combine thawed berries and desired amount of sugar. Serve over cheesecake.

serves 12-15

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Almond Roca Toffee

I think I've gone a little overboard with making Christmas treats this year. One of my biggest weaknesses is Christmas treats. If they're in my house I can't stop eating them. I have no self control. Here is another yummy treat for you to enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Almond Roca Toffee
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar
2 (3 oz) pkg slivered almonds
1 pkg milk chocolate chips
1 (3 oz) pkg sliced almonds

Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar. (If you are using unsalted butter add 3/4 tsp salt) Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5-6 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Stir until mixture is golden brown. Add slivered almonds. Once mixture comes to a boil, clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Continue stirring over medium heat as mixture darkens and reaches the hard crack stage which is a temperature of 300 degrees. Immediately take off stove and spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and let melt. Put a foil tent over the pan to keep in the heat. Once the chocolate is melted, smooth with a spoon. Sprinkle almonds on top. Cool in fridge and crack into pieces.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Chocolate and Caramel Dipped Pretzel Rods

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the yummy treats. Chocolate covered pretzels is one of my very favorites. When I saw this recipe for chocolate and caramel pretzels I was sold. This is something that I will probably make every year. So good!!!

Printable Recipe

Chocolate and Caramel Dipped Pretzel Rods
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
pretzel rods (about 40)
chocolate for dipping (I used 1 1/2 bags of milk chocolate chips and 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips for drizzling)

In a heavy pan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Stir continuously until it forms a soft ball in cold water (about 15 minutes). Take off heat. Use spatula to smooth over pretzels. Place on parchment paper or wax paper sprayed with cooking spray. Let set for about 20 minutes. Melt chocolate in microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour chocolate in a tall glass and dip caramel covered pretzels into chocolate. Place on wax paper. Refrigerate to let chocolate set. Melt white chocolate and drizzle over pretzels.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oreo Truffles

This recipe has been moved to The Traveling Circus.

Click the link below for the recipe

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homemade Caramels

Ever since I can remember, my favorite treat in the whole world has always been homemade caramels. That's a pretty big statement because I definitely have a sweet tooth. This is definitely a "must have" treat for the holidays. It's fairly simple to make but wrapping up each caramel is a little time consuming. But it's totally worth it because it's so delicious!

Printable Recipe

Homemade Caramels


1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and continue stirring over medium heat until soft ball forms in cold water, about 10-15 minutes from the time it starts boiling. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Cool completely. Cut into squares and wrap in wax paper.

makes about 75 pieces

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette

I'm always looking for new salad recipes to take to parties. This is a great salad for a pot luck or to serve as a main dish.

Printable Recipe

Asian Chicken Salad with Hoisin Vinaigrette
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

2/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
6 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp fresh ginger or 2 tsp ground
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 head napa cabbage, cut into 1/4 inch shreds (4 cups)
1 head romaine, chopped (4 cups)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup chow mein noodles

Whisk together vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger. Remove 1 cup and set aside. Add chicken to remaining marinade and let sit for 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and adjust oven rack to 6 inches from broiler. Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed. Broil until lightly browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Place chicken on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Poke holes to vent and refrigerate while preparing salad. Combine salad ingredients. Shred chicken and toss with salad. When ready to serve, toss with dressing and noodles.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Caramel Crunch Bars

I am a sucker for anything with caramel. I was a little skeptical about this recipe when I saw that it calls for club crackers. But my obsession for caramel took over and I gave it a try. It was so good! The saltiness from the crackers balances out the sweetness of the caramel and it's a great combination.

Printable Recipe

Caramel Crunch Bars
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

80 club crackers
1 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place a layer of crackers on the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Spread half of the caramel mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers, then spread remaining caramel mixture over the crackers. Top with the final layer of crackers.

In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Spread over crackers. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thai Lettuce Cups


Oh my goodness! These were so good. They were a little tricky to eat but that was part of the fun. It was a little spicy but I think it depends on the type of sweet chili sauce you use. Apparently the sauce I bought had a kick to it. My kids are pretty used to eating fairly spicy food so as long as we don't tell them it's spicy they don't notice. You can serve it like this or as a salad. It would probably be a little easier to eat as a salad. This was great as a main dish with some white rice on the side but I also think it would be a great appetizer. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Thai Lettuce Cups
adapted from The Sisters Cafe

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup honey
1-2 heads iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters and leaves gently removed
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, chopped
juice of a lime (to taste)
1 handful basil, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Drain liquid if necessary. Add bell pepper and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add sweet chili sauce and honey. Simmer to reduce and coat chicken. Before serving stir in lime juice and peanuts. Sprinkle with basil. Serve in lettuce cups.

Serves 4-6

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vanilla Pudding Pie Filling

This is a basic vanilla pudding recipe. You can serve it with any kind of topping or filling that you want and in any kind of pie crust. My husband made this for Thanksgiving and he topped it with Snickers candy bar. It was delicious!

Printable Recipe


Vanilla Pudding Pie Filling


1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2-3 Tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
filling options: bananas, candy bars, cookies
pie crust (any kind)

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and milk and stir over medium heat until thickened. Stir in egg yolks. Stir in butter and vanilla. Let cool and add desired filling. Pour into pie crust and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you don't want the filling mixed with the pudding, you can pour the pudding into the crust and top it with desired ingredients.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pretzel Jello Salad

My kids wanted to eat the pretzels and I told them they couldn't because it was for the jello. Then my 6 year old said, "Pretzels in jello! I'm not trying that." I know it sounds weird but it is seriously so good. The pretzels make the crust and with the cream layer it kind of tastes like white chocolate covered pretzels. Yum! Whenever I make this for my husband's family everyone goes crazy over it. It's my favorite jello recipe ever. It's technically a jello salad but it actually tastes more like dessert. It's perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas but it's great any time of the year.

Printable Recipe

Pretzel Jello Salad


2 cups pretzels, crushed but not fine
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
8 oz cool whip
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 (3 oz) pkg strawberry jello
20 oz frozen sliced strawberries

Mix pretzels, butter, and 1 Tbsp sugar. Smooth out in a 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes. Cool for 1 hour.

Beat 1 cup sugar, cool whip, and cream cheese. Spread over cooled pretzels.

Mix boiling water with jello. Reduce heat to low and add frozen strawberries. Stir for about 2 minutes. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Roasted Turkey


This recipe has been moved to The Traveling Circus.

Click the link below for the recipe

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Za-Zoom Meatballs


This recipe has been moved to The Traveling Circus.

Click the link below for the recipe

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup

One of my favorite things about this time of year is making soup. There's nothing better on a cold fall night than eating a hot bowl of yummy soup. This was a big hit with my kids. My four year old even thanked me for making dinner. So sweet! I hope you enjoy. This was so good!!!

Printable Recipe

Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

2-3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs)
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup frozen peas

Dumplings:
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme or sage
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Boil chicken in broth and water until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and save broth. Shred chicken and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add celery, carrot, and onion. Saute for about 6-7 minutes until tender. Add to broth. Add salt, thyme, and pepper. Heat to a simmer. In a small bowl, blend 1/2 cup cold water and 1/4 cup flour until smooth. Whisk into soup until well combined. Add peas and chicken to soup. Stir gently for 1 minute.

To make dumplings combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine sour cream, milk, and vegetable oil. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined without over mixing.

Heat soup to boiling. Drop dumplings by the teaspoonful into soup covering the entire surface. Make sure to make the dumplings small because they expand while cooking. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Remove lid and stir gently to break apart.

Serves 6

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

Nothing says fall more than pumpkin pie. I absolutely love pumpkin anything. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cookies. This recipe is an easier version of pumpkin pie. It's so simple and you don't have to bake it. It's completely low maintenance. Definitely a winner in my book.

Printable Recipe

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
adapted from Kraft recipes

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp milk, divided
1 Tbsp sugar
8 oz thawed cool whip, divided
1 pre-maid graham cracker crust
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Beat cream cheese, 1 Tbsp milk, and sugar with a whisk until blended. Stir in half of cool whip. Spread into pie crust. Whisk together remaining 1 cup milk, pumpkin, pudding mixes, and spices for 2 minutes or until well blended. Spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Serve topped with remaining cool whip.

Serves 8

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nachos


This is one of my husband's family's favorites, although my sister-in-law says you can't have nachos for dinner. I think you can have whatever you want for dinner. I think it's the yummy cheese sauce that makes it so good. We love it!

Printable Recipe

Nachos


1 lb ground beef
1 can refried beans
2 Tbsp chili powder

Cheese Sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheese
salt and pepper

Toppings:
tortilla chips
diced tomatoes
olives
salsa
guacamole
sour cream

Brown ground beef and drain. Add refried beans and chili powder. Heat through. For cheese sauce melt butter in a  medium size pot. Add flour and stir to make a roux. Slowly stir in milk. Heat to a boil; reduce heat to medium and stir continuously until sauce is thickened. Stir in shredded cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chips topped with meat mixture and cheese sauce. Top with tomatoes, olives, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

I love roasted potatoes but they always take way too long to cook. It seems like I'm always waiting for the potatoes to finish cooking while the rest of my food is getting cold. So my husband came up with this way to roast potatoes. If you boil them for 5 minutes it speeds up the cooking time. Then you only have to bake them for about 20 minutes. They came out perfect, exactly the way I wanted them too. So delicious!

Printable Recipe

Oven-Roasted Potatoes


4 cups potatoes, chopped (with or without the skin)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
olive oil

Boil potatoes for 5 minutes. Drain and place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and spices. Mix until potatoes are coated. Bake at 350 for about 15-25 minutes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken

This chicken is so good! My kids loved it. It's a slight variation of Oven-Fried Chicken. Try it, you won't be disappointed!

Printable Recipe

Oven-Fried Parmesan Chicken
adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp milk
1 cup crushed cornflakes
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter, melted

In a small bowl combine egg and milk. For coating, combine crushed cornflakes, parmesan, oregano, paprika, and pepper. Stir in melted butter. Dip chicken into egg mixture and then coat with crumb mixture. Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shredded Beef Taquitos

I came up with this recipe by combining my recipes for Beef Taquitos and Shredded Beef Chimichangas. I made this using leftover roast beef. It turned out great! Definitely a big hit with my kids.

Printable Recipe

Shredded Beef Taquitos


2 cups cooked shredded roast beef
1/2 cup diced onion
2/3 cup salsa
1 can diced green chilies, drained
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
flour tortillas
cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Heat a small amount of oil in large skillet. Add onions and saute until golden. Add beef, salsa, green chilies, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Heat tortillas in microwave about 30 seconds until warm and pliable. Sprinkle each tortilla evenly with cheese to about an inch from the edge. Spread beef mixture over cheese. Roll tortillas and place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly golden and crispy. Serve with salsa and guacamole.

Makes about 10 taquitos

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beef Stew

I had some leftover roast beef and I really wanted to make beef stew. There's nothing better than a hearty bowl of stew on a cold fall night! I looked online for a recipe but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. So I came up with this. It turned out great! I used leftover roast but you could use stew meat or a roast cut into cubes. You would just need to simmer the meat longer. I haven't tried it that way but I'm sure it would be really good.

Printable Recipe

Beef Stew
1 1/2 cups cooked shredded roast beef (you can also use stew meat or any type of roast beef cut into cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter
6-7 cups hot water (depending on how thick you want it)
4 cups chopped potatoes
2 cups sliced carrots
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed or 2 tsp bouillon granules
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme

Melt butter in large pot. Add onion, beef, flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes. (If using raw meat, cook until browned) Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If using raw meat simmer for 1 hour) Add potatoes, carrots, and spices. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serves 4-6

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos


We came home from vacation a few days ago and we had nothing to eat in our fridge. So I had to use what I had in my food storage. I actually came up with this on my own. I'm usually scared to do that because I'm so structured and not creative at all. I'm always afraid that if I put random ingredients together it's going to be gross. This was actually really good. I was very proud of myself for creating this. I think I'm starting to get a little more daring.

Printable Recipe

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos


1 lb chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can diced green chilies, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
shredded cheese
tortillas

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and brown for a few minutes. Add bell pepper and spices. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Add green chilies and black beans. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Serve in tortillas with cheese. Can also serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Serves 4-6

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chicken with Pan Sauce

Printable Recipe

Chicken with Pan Sauce
adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp whipping cream

Pound chicken to about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large skillet melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Add broth and onion to hot skillet. Cook and stir, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil. Boil gently for about 5-10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in cream. Add remaining 1 Tbsp butter. Sauce should be slightly thickened. Season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. To serve, spoon sauce over chicken.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Printable Recipe

Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
adapted from The Sisters Cafe

2 cups diced chicken
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (4.5 oz) diced green chilies, drained
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded mexican blend cheese
8 oz sour cream

Preheat oven to 375. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Saute until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro, black beans, and green chilies.  Spread half of the enchilada sauce in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with 5 tortillas, overlapping if necessary. Top with half of chicken mixture, half of the cheese, and half of the sour cream. Pour remaining sauce over sour cream. Add remaining 5 tortillas and remaining chicken. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and dot with sour cream. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Caramel Snickers Brownies

I know this picture's not the best. The lighting wasn't great. We were at my mom's house and I was getting the kids their brownies and trying to find a place to take the picture. Then my ice cream started to melt so I had to hurry and take it. Just take my word, they're really good. These brownies are so rich and decadent. I'm not a huge dark chocolate fan so they were almost too rich for me. I said almost... they were still delicious!  My husband loves rich chocolate so he really loved these brownies. I recommend serving it with vanilla ice cream to balance out the richness.

Printable Recipe

Caramel Snickers Brownies
adapted from Momma Hen's Kitchen

1 cup melted butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
caramel topping*
Snickers bar

*Caramel topping:
1 bag caramels or caramel bits
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Combine caramels and evaporated milk. Melt and stir until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter and cocoa until cocoa is dissolved. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt until blended. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Swirl with 1/2 cup caramel topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When cooled drizzle with remaining caramel topping and sprinkle with chopped Snickers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homemade BBQ Sauce

My husband is the king of sauces. He can whip up the most amazing sauces with any ingredients. I'm a little more cautious when it comes to cooking. I have to follow a recipe. I'm afraid if I start throwing different things together it's not going to taste good and my food will be ruined. I made BBQ Chicken Salad this weekend and I needed some sauce for the chicken. Normally I just use bottled sauce but I was out. So I asked my husband to whip up some bbq sauce for me. It was very good. I'm going to start using his recipe from now on.

Printable Recipe

Homemade BBQ Sauce


1 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp basil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic (1 clove, minced)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
dash of salt
dash of pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Grill chicken and baste with sauce.

*Makes enough sauce for about 8 chicken breasts

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rustic Chicken and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings

This was so delicious! The only problem I had with it was the dumplings were too close together in the pot and they kind of stuck together. Next time I'm going to try to make them more round and not put them so close together. But it didn't matter. It was so good! It was a big hit with my family, especially my six year old. He kept eating and eating and eating. He ate more than me! He's as skinny as a rail too. I have no idea where he puts it. Even my two year old little girl had seconds. This recipe is definitely a winner! 


Rustic Chicken and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings
adapted from The Open Pantry

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stocks, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk

Dumplings:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried chives

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 6 qt. pot. Add chicken; brown on both sides until cooked through. Remove from pot. 

Melt butter; add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and flour. Whisk in milk and then whisk milk mixture into broth. Boil and continues to whisk until thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and return to pot. 

Mix dumplings while chicken is cooking. To make dumplings, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add butter using a fork, pastry blender, or fingers to cut it into cornmeal mixture. Add milk and herbs and stir with a fork until dough comes together. Drop tablespoonful of dough on the surface of the pot. Cover; cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.

Serves 4-6

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cashew Pork and Vegetables

This meal is great! I like it how it is but my husband said he would like it with more sauce. I think next time I'll double the sauce. Either way it's really good.

Printable Recipe

Cashew Pork and Vegetables
adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

1 lb lean boneless pork, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups fresh pea pods
3 medium carrots, sliced on an angle
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cashews
cooked rice
vegetable oil

Mix together orange juice, hoisin sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Set aside. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.) Stir in carrot. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add pea pods and green onion. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok. Add half of the pork to wok. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until no longer pink; remove from wok. Repeat with remaining pork. Return all meat and vegetables to wok. Stir sauce; add to wok. Cook and stir until heated through. Stir in cashews. Serve over rice.

Serves 4

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lemon-Mustard Chicken

I love meals like this. It's so easy to mix a few ingredients together to make a sauce, pour it over the chicken, and bake it. I'm so busy all day taking care of my 4 kids. Sometimes it's nice to make a low maintenance meal that tastes good.

Printable Recipe

Lemon-Mustard Chicken
adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Mix together olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon pepper, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Brush over chicken, coating on both sides. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Serve chicken with sauce from pan.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

This is a good way to get your kids to eat spinach. Just mixed it with a bunch of cheese and stuff it in a chicken breast. It's so good. My kids love it!


Chicken Parmesan Bundles
adapted from Kraft Food and Family

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
6 Tbsp parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg, slightly beaten
10 ritz crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, heated

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together ritz cracker crumbs and 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese. Place on a shallow dish or pie plate. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and 3 Tbsp of the parmesan cheese until well blended. Place spinach mixture in the center of each chicken breast.
Roll up each chicken breast. Dip in egg and then in parmesan cracker mixture. Place seam-side down in a 9x13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. 
Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve topped with spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Super Burritos


In my house burritos are always a big hit. Sometimes if we can't get the kids to eat, we wrap their food in a tortilla. My kids aren't picky eaters but every once in a while there is something they don't want to eat. They'll eat anything if it's in a tortilla or on a toothpick.

Printable Recipe

Super Burritos
adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cooked rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
flour tortillas
shredded cheese
chopped tomato
shredded lettuce
salsa
guacamole

Brown ground beef with onion, bell pepper, and garlic; drain. Stir in water, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook about 5 minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Stir in rice, black beans, green chilies, and cilantro. Heat through. Serve in tortillas with cheese, tomato, lettuce, salsa, and guacamole.

Serves 8

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chicken with Creamy Chive Sauce


This is one of my favorites. It's a lot like Crock Pot Chicken with a few different ingredients. It's so delicious and so easy.

Printable Recipe

Chicken with Creamy Chive Sauce
adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 lb)
2 Tbsp butter
1 package Italian dressing mix
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 of an 8 oz tub chive and onion cream cheese
hot cooked pasta
chives

Place chicken in a crock pot. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in dressing mix. Stir in soup, chicken broth, and cream cheese until combined. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with chives.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Italian Meatball Subs


I love meatball sandwiches. It's one of my favorites. I got this recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. This is definitely something I will make again. My family loved it!

Printable Recipe

Italian Meatball Subs
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

Meatballs:
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs or crushed saltines
3/4 cup parmesan or mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup fresh parsley or 3 Tbsp dried parsley
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 Tbsp oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 cup flour (to dredge meatballs)

Sauce:
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

french bread rolls or sub rolls
provolone or mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

Mix meatball ingredients except for meat and flour. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Add meat and mix well. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease. Make golf ball-size meatballs and dredge in flour until lightly coated. Place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes.

For the sauce mix all ingredients together and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce.

Place sliced cheese on buns and toast in oven at 400 for 4-5 minutes. Place meatballs in buns and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Makes about 30 meatballs and 7-9 sandwiches

Monday, August 30, 2010

Potato Salad


I've never been a huge fan of potato salad unless it's a really good potato salad. This potato salad is amazing! I got this recipe from my sister-in-law. It's always a big hit at our family parties. It is so good!

Printable Recipe

Potato Salad
7-8 large potatoes, chopped and boiled
9 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
diced pickles
chopped cheese, cheddar or colby jack
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup miracle whip
3 squirts ranch dressing
salt
pepper
season-all

Combine potatoes, chopped eggs, pickles, and cheese (however much you like). Mix together mayonnaise, miracle whip, and ranch dressing. Stir into potato mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Place sliced eggs on top and sprinkle with season-all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Unstuffed Cabbage


I really like this dish a lot. It's probably one of the easiest meals to make, it's inexpensive, and it's healthy. Did I mention it tastes good too?

Printable Recipe

Unstuffed Cabbage
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
8 cups chopped cabbage
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Brown ground beef with onion; drain. Stir in cabbage; cover and cook at medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper; Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Serves 6

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken


I love crock pot dishes. There is something nice about already having a meal prepared when it's time to eat. When the kids come home from school and I'm trying to help them with their homework, it's so nice to not have to worry about making dinner. This doesn't take too long to make and it tastes good too.

Printable Recipe

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken
6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup carrots, cut into julienne strips
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. Italian dressing mix
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp cornstarch

Place chicken on the bottom of the crock pot. Add carrots and mushrooms. Mix together onions, soup, and dressing mix. Pour over the top of the chicken and veggies. Cook on low for about 6 hours. About a half hour before serving, shred the chicken. Combine sour cream and corn starch and stir into crock pot. Cook for a half hour. Serve over rice.

Serves 6

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Veggies


Printable Recipe

Creamy Chicken and Veggies
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 cups water
1 can cream of chicken soup
Season-all seasoned salt

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with Season-all and add to skillet. Cook until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet. Add potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and onion. Season veggies with Season-all. Add water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Cut chicken into cubes and add to skillet. Stir in cream of chicken soup. Continue cooking covered until veggies are tender.

Serves 4-6

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Creamy Lemon Chicken


Printable Recipe

Creamy Lemon Chicken
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp Sprite
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup half and half
parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Saute chicken about 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove chicken to 9x13 baking dish. Add Sprite, lemon peel, and juice to skillet. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add half and half, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir for one minute. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until golden brown.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chicken Stroganoff


Printable Recipe

Chicken Stroganoff
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/2 cup onion, diced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp paprika
5 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp flour
cooked egg noodles

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Add chicken broth, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and bacon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Combine flour and sour cream until smooth. Add to the skillet. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve over egg noodles and sprinkle with paprika.

Serves 4

Monday, August 9, 2010

Snickerdoodles


All I have to say is Yum!!! These cookies are so good.   

Printable Recipe

Snickerdoodles
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together in small bowl:
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Blend in dry ingredients. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 3-4 dozen cookies depending on the size of the cookies.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mint Chocolate Chip Pie


I used to work at Winger's a long time ago when I was still single. My favorite thing was their Asphalt Pie. This dessert is a lot like it. It is so easy to make. It takes just a few minutes to make and all you have to do is freeze it. So simple and delicious!!!

Printable Recipe

Mint Chocolate Chip Pie


25 Oreo cookies, crushed
1 container (1 1/2 qt.) mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
1 container (8 oz) cool whip, thawed
caramel topping

Line a 13x9 pan with foil. Sprinkle crumbs evenly on the bottom of the pan. Spread ice cream evenly over the crumbs. Spread cool whip on top of ice cream. Freeze for 3 hours. When ready to serve, lift dessert from pan using the ends of the foil. Cut into squares and serve with caramel topping.

Makes 16 squares

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shredded Beef Chimichangas


When we blessed our baby a few months ago we served roast beef sandwiches at the luncheon afterwards. I made way too much roast beef so I had a ton left over. I froze it but I didn't really know what to do with it. I'm not the most creative person and I usually need to follow a recipe to make anything. So coming up with a recipe on my own is really a stretch for me. I actually came up with this on my own. I combined the roast beef with some different spices and it was actually pretty good. Especially if you serve it with home made salsa and guacamole. It's definitely something I'll make again when I have leftover roast beef.

Printable Recipe

Shredded Beef Chimichangas
3 cups cooked shredded roast beef
1/2 cup salsa
1 can green chilies
3 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
flour tortillas
shredded cheese
vegetable oil

Combine beef with salsa, green chilies, and spices. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Microwave tortillas until they are warm and pliable. Place meat mixture down the center of tortillas. Top with cheese. Roll up on all sides tightly. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry in oil for about 2 minutes on each side until crispy and golden. Serve with salsa and guacamole.

Serves 6-8

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