Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cake Mix Cookies

These are the easiest cookies to make and there are so many different variations. My husband loves the chocolate with Rolos, and my new favorite is the pumpkin chocolate chip. Anyway there are lots of them out there, but these have been my favorite and they turn out perfect every time!

Basic recipe:

Chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. + 1 T. oil
your favorite candy

Combine first 3 ingredients into a thick dough. This is where you can be creative. Add different chocolate chips such as white chocolate, mint, or peanut butter. Or if you want to go all out try wrapping the dough around a Rolo, or any other mini size candy bar, although so far the Rolo has been our favorite by far. You can also turn it into a chocolate crinkle cookie by pressing a Jr. Mint on top right when it comes out of the oven and sprinkling with powdered sugar which is also a favorite of ours. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip

Spice Cake Mix
15 oz. can pumpkin
1 bag chocolate chip cookies

Combine ingredients. These don't really spread out so you can place them pretty close together. I used a medium cookie scoop and cooked them at 350 for 12-13 minutes.

Sorry I never got around to taking a picture, but hopefully it will be coming soon!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Asian Beef Stir Fry

I don't buy steak too often, but when I can find it for a $1.99 a lb (thank you savvyshopperdeals.com:) then I don't feel so bad buying it, and almost every time I do I usually end up making this with the last 2 steaks. I love that it's a one dish meal and turns out great every time. The original recipe is meant to be made in a wok, but of course I don't have one so I just make do with what I got. Anyway here it is!




1 lb steak, cut into bite size strips
1/2 c. cold water
1 1/2 t. corn starch
2 packages Oriental flavored Top Ramen
3 carrots, peeled and cut into match sticks
1 lb broccoli
2 c. water
oil for stir frying

Combine cornstarch, cold water, and seasoning packets from Ramen. Add steak to hot pan and cook until no longer pink. Add cornstarch water and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove steak from pan and keep warm. Add oil and vegetables and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add a 1 1/2 c. water and cook until noodles are done adding more water if needed (you don't want it soupy, just enough to cook the noodles) Add the steak back in and enjoy!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Individual Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

All I can say is wow, these were so good! I know this may sound like nothing really new..potatoes, cheese, ham, but something about doing them in these individual muffin tins and probably the addition of lots of butter and these turn into little bites of heaven, and that's no exaggeration. These would be a great addition to any roast, steak, ribs, or pretty much anything you can think of, or if your like me I actually made them the main dish along with a vegetable or salad. Anyway I found this recipe from thepioneerwoman.com, but I actually changed it a little since I don't eat cheese and I think it made them even better, although I'm sure they're really good her way as well so I'll give you both recipes.



8 whole Medium Potatoes
1 stick Butter
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
½ cups Scallions, Chopped
12 teaspoons Half-and-half
3/4 c. diced ham (make sure it's not the cubed ham, you definitely want the smaller diced ham)
Salt And Pepper

or

4 medium potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. green onion, chopped
12 spoonfuls of cream of mushroom
3/4 c. diced ham
seasoning salt

Start by nuking your potatoes in the microwave for about 7 minutes or until partially soft, then slice them into discs. Slice a thin pat of butter to put into each greased muffin tin. Place a slice of potato on top of each pat of butter. Season potato with season salt, top with some cheese, green onions, and ham (I really didn't measure how much of each, just do what looks good to you, or you can also see pictures on thepioneerwoman's blog) Repeat layers except the ham. Add another thin pat of butter (I actually did about half the amount of butter) and then top off with a spoonful of cream of mushroom or half and half which ever you choose to use. Cook at 400 for 20-25 minutes..and enjoy because they're so good!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brownie Covered Oreos!!!

These are delicious and so fun and easy to make! I'm not going to lie there is a bit of an art that I have yet to master to get them to come out perfectly, but even then they still taste great. So far I've only made them with Mint Oreos, but I'm hoping to try the Golden Oreos tomorrow so we'll see how it goes. I found this recipe at picky-palate.com. She has the most creative recipes, but desserts are by far her forte. Anyway if your looking for a fun and easy treat to make give these a try!

1 box of your favorite brownie mix and ingredients to make it
bag of Oreos
white chocolate (I chose not to drizzle anything on mine since I used mint brownies and I didn't want it to be too rich)

Preheat oven to 350. Make brownies as directed on package. Dip Oreos in brownie batter until completely covered. Place Oreos in generously greased muffin tins. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Immediately after coming out of oven take a plastic knife and run around sides to loosen brownie from pan. Allow to cool 5-8 minutes and then remove from pan. The biggest problem I think I had was the Oreo falling to the bottom and partially falling out and I've yet to figure out why some did and why some didn't. I'm hoping maybe the less time they sit in the pan until you put them in the oven the less time the Oreo has a chance to fall to the bottom??? Maybe after the Golden Oreos tomorrow I'll be an expert:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Special Delivery Chicken

Better known as Poppy Seed Chicken, this is another easy recipe with very few ingredients. This is great served over noodles, rice, or like we do baked or boiled potatoes. I know not every one has poppy seeds in their seasoning drawer, but trust me once you have them you'll use them more than you would think, and hopefully you'll make this recipe more than once as well.

2 cans cream of chicken
1 c. sour cream
2 t. poppy seed
4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1/4 c. melted butter
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a greased 9x13 casserole dish. In a separate bowl combine crackers and butter, sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve over noodles, rice, or potato.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apricot Glazed Ham

Another easy and delicious meal, and for the leftovers try these tasty little ham and cheese sliders from the girlwhoateeverything http://thegirlwhoateeverything.blogspot.com/2010/04/ham-and-cheese-sliders.html

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. apricot jam
1 t. dry mustard
7-10 lb. precooked, sliced ham

Place ham sliced side down on a tin foiled jelly roll pan or any pan with a lip. Combine sugar, jam, mustard and cover ham leaving a little to add later. Cover ham with tin foil and cook at 275 for 14 minutes per pound. Add left over glaze last 20 minutes of cooking.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I am in love with these sweet potato fries! They're super easy, and the part I love the most is they're really healthy and Parker loves them! He loves getting to dip them in ketchup, and I love that he's eating a vegetable and doesn't even know it. Actually I can't complain, for the most part Parker eats really well. He's stubborn at times, but his mother is more stubborn:) Anyway it's always nice when they're excited to eat something that's actually good for them. This recipe comes from ourbestbites.com where they also give a tutorial about cutting the potatoes to get them the perfect fry size and they also have a recipe for dipping sauce that I have yet to try, so if you get the chance to try it let me know. Find this recipe at http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/01/baked-sweet-potato-fries.html

1 lb peeled sweet potatoes cut into 1/4" match-sticks
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t coriander (I didn't have any of this and they still tasted great)
1 t kosher salt
1 t parsley
1/8 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 425. In a large ziploc bag combine olive oil and seasonings. Add sweet potatoes and squish until all fries are coated with olive oil. Place fries on baking sheet in a single layer allowing all fries to touch pan. Cook for 15 minutes, flip and then cook for another 15-20 minutes until browned.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sausage and Vegetable Skillet

This is another super easy, yet really flavorful, quick all in one skillet meal. I've been all about easy lately. I'm not really sure what I do all day, but life has felt so busy lately. Between the holidays, birthdays, weddings, church callings, anniversaries, and a little one who's got more energy than any of us know what to do with, the last thing I want to do is come home and whip up a whole big meal. So hopefully I can find lots of easy recipes because that's all I have patience for over the next couple of months.

1 lb bulk pork sausage (I used half regular and half spicy)
1 medium onion, minced
1 t. minced garlic
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 t. basil
12 oz. penne pasta
2 c. chopped spinach

Cook sausage, onion, and garlic until sausage is no longer pink. Add tomatoes, broth, basil, and pasta and cook uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Stir in spinach and cook for another minute until spinach is wilted and enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Easy Taco Soup

So I know most everyone probably has a recipe for taco soup, but I had never even tried it until a few years ago when a friend of mine brought it to work, and this is her recipe. I have since tried different ones, but still come back to this one. This recipe is so quick and easy, but if you have a better one or just have a suggestion let me know!


1 lb ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
2 14.5 oz can tomatoes with green chilis
1 15 oz can corn, including juice
2 15 oz can light red kidney beans, drained
Fritos, cheese, sour cream, or any other toppings you like

Brown hamburger and drain grease. Stir in taco seasoning. Add remaining ingredients (except toppings, obviously:) Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. This is no spicier then tacos, but if your sensitive you can stir in a tablespoon of sugar before your covering. Serve with Fritos, cheese, and sour cream if you like.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oreo Truffle Eyeballs

Not only do these taste great, but they looked awesome for Halloween as eyeballs. I know it may be a little late this year for Halloween, but these are perfect for a family party or any party really, so if you don't get the chance to make them for Halloween try them for Christmas and drizzle colored candy melts or sprinkle with Christmas colored sprinkles, or be even more creative than me which wouldn't be too hard as that's about the extent of my creativity. Anyway if you want more ideas check out Bakerella, she has a lot of cute ideas for cakeballs, but I think these actually work better because they stay firmer. These can also be made with Nutter Butters, but I have yet to try so if you try them before I do let me know!


1 pkg Oreos, or Nutter Butters
8 oz. cream cheese
about a bag of white chocolate chips, or chocolate if your using Nutter Butters

The easiest way to make these is in a food processor where you can crush the cookies and then drop chunks of the cream cheese in and mix together until it forms a sticky dough. If you don't have a food processor just crush the cookies in a ziploc bag until fine crumbs, then transfer to a bowl and mix in the cream cheese with a mixer. Roll dough into a 1-inch ball and place on a greased cookie sheet. Place in freezer for at least an hour if not a couple of hours. In a microwave safe bowl melt half your chocolate in microwave for intervals of 45 seconds stirring in between until melted. Drop Oreo balls into chocolate and completely cover with chocolate. Place back on pan (this is probably the hardest part and it takes a second to kind of get a rhythm so that they come out looking good, even if they're not pretty they still taste great) Put back in fridge for another couple hours. These are best served cold.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

S'mores Bars

These are so good, and by so good I mean we ate them too quickly to take a picture good, sorry! I found these on thegirlwhoateeverything so if you want a picture you can find one there, until I make them again. I made these for a group of friends, and they were loved by all. They taste just like s'mores, especially the first day when they were still warm and the chocolate and marshmallow were still gooey, yum! So when you get a craving for a s'more and don't have access to a campfire, (hopefully I'm not the only one) these little bad boys will fix your craving!

Sorry I'm always in too big of a hurry to get this in my mouth rather than take a picture after it's cut so this was the best I could do.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized Hershey's milk chocolate bars
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (7 1/2 oz jar)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate if necessary to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff. I just kind of smooshed the dough out onto a plastic cutting board and then flipped it over the marshmallow and peeled it off. You can also cut it into sections and put it on one section at a time. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars (mine were still slightly warm and gooey, but still delicious!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Russian Chicken

So I know I already gave you the recipe to this one, but it's one of those recipes that sounds too strange, and too easy to be good, but I promise it is! I saw this recipe in I don't know how many ward cook books before I finally decided I would give it a try, I figured if that many people submitted it, it must be good. So this is my extra nudge for you to give this one a try, if you haven't already:)


1 8 oz Russian dressing
1 c. apricot preserves (I've used peach, apricot-pineapple, all of which are good)
1 envelope onion soup mix
4-5 chicken breasts

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

So even though I try to make a weekly menu every week for some reason I always seem to forget to grab things at the grocery store, or because of changes in schedule I still seem to have days where I'm scrambling to decide what to make. Maybe one day I'll be good and keep freezer meals on hand for those crazy days, but until then it's nice to have quick and easy meals, or in this case a side for my chicken strips I decided to make. These roasted potatoes are super easy and super yummy. If you don't have a Ranch dressing pack on hand, a dry onion soup mix, or even an Italian dressing mix which I have yet to try would also work. I also added broccoli in as well, so try mixing up your vegetables as well. Sorry I have no picture for this one, but hopefully it'll be something I make again soon so that I can take one. Enjoy!

1/4 c. vegetable or olive oil
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing- I accidentally grabbed a Ranch dip mix instead but still turned out yummy!
2 lbs. cubed potatoes, or any other vegetables you wish just adjust cooking time according, such as adding broccoli in after maybe 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450. In a Ziploc bag combine oil and dressing packet. Add in potatoes and mix to coat. Spread on cooking sheet and cook for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Porcupine Meatballs

I'm not really sure why I love this recipe so much, I think it reminds me of how my mom use to make pork chops. She would brown them with onions and then pour tomato sauce over them and serve them with rice. I know this sounds strange but they were really good. I'm not a huge pork chop fan so this is kind of my way to get that saucy flavor with rice and I love it! These are super easy to make and you probably have all of the ingredients already so if you get the chance give them a try.
Sorry I missed lunch, and was in a hurry to get this in my belly, so not the prettiest pic!

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 c. uncooked, long grain rice
1/2 T. dried parsley
1 t. salt
dash of pepper
2 T. minced onion (I used dried minced onion)
2 cans tomato soup, divided
1 c. water
2 t. Worcestershire Sauce

Combine egg, rice, parsley, salt and pepper, onion, and 1/4 c. tomato soup. Crumble ground beef in and mix well. I use an ice cream scoop to scoop out balls and then using my hands help shape into balls. Place meatballs in 10 inch skillet over medium high heat. Combine remaining tomato soup, water, and Worcestershire and pour over meatballs. Bring to boil, then lower heat and cover with lid for 40 minutes, turning meatballs once or twice. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Carmel Apple Cheesecake Bars

So I'm not going to lie this one has kind of a lot of steps, but would probably have been much easier if I didn't realize part way through that I was out of vanilla, and if I had a child who wasn't teething and didn't demand so much of my attention and gosh my life is so rough! Jk I love my son, we're kind of trying to transition to 1 nap a day and let's just say it hasn't been pleasant for either of us:) Anyway that said I definitely suggest making this for a crowd because it's super rich and I'm not sure that you could keep it all to yourself (although I'm going to try:), not to mention for all the effort you got to share it with someone who will really appreciate your hard work! Anyway this it a definite must try because it's so good, I found it at thegirlwhoateeverything, but was originally a Paula Dean recipe (and if you know Paula Dean, you know it's got to be good!)

Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Apples:
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel topping
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
In a small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients, clean hands work best:)

1/2 cup caramel topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy!

pictures to come, if impatient check out the girlwhoateeverything.blogspot.com


Monday, October 4, 2010

Fresh Peach Dessert

Sorry another dessert, but I guess it's just kind of that time of year and I just haven't made anything lately that's been worth posting. I've seen lots of peaches in the stores lately, but I actually got mine from Frank's grandmas and they were delicious! This dessert is super easy so if you have some peaches and you want something different from the usual cobbler, try this! Also, sorry for no picture, it just kind of looked like cool whip in a 9x13 pan so you didn't miss much, but it makes up for it in taste!

1 pkg. graham crackers, crushed
1 stick of butter, melted
8-10 fresh peaches, peeled, and chopped
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 lemon juice
8 oz. cool whip, or whipped cream

Combine graham crackers, and butter and press into a 9x13 pan to form a crust. Combine sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice, then stir in peaches. Pour peaches over crust, then top cool whip. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rainbow Chip Cookies

These cookies are a simple cake mix cookie, just one you may never have thought to use, Rainbow Chip! If I were to choose a box cake/cupcake as my favorite it would be Betty Crocker's Rainbow Chip cake mix, and don't forget the best part, frosting! So if you want a fun, easy, and yummy cookie give this one a try!


1 box Betty Crocker's Rainbow Chip cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. oil
Betty Crocker's Rainbow Chip frosting

Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil until fully incorporated. Roll into about 1 inch balls, then flatten with a a drinking glass, or if your lazy like me I just used my hands. Cook at 375 for 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely and frost.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Rolls

Ok so I know a lot of people have had these or something similar, but I've tried a few different recipes and this one still holds my heart as the best. My mom made these all the time growing up, and now my nephew frequently requests them whenever he's over. These are always a crowd pleaser, young or old they're loved by all! They take a little time to throw together so they're maybe best for a Sunday meal, but like anything else the more you do them the quicker you get. I can usually have them ready to cook in 20 minutes or so, but they are well worth the time. Sorry this is another a little of this a little of that recipe, but it's one that you really can't ruin so don't over think it.

8 oz. block cream cheese
3-4 T. milk
1/4 t. poultry seasoning (don't worry if you don't have this, really just kind of season to taste)
salt and pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded ( I throw them in the crock pot season with a little s&p, dried onion flake, and pretty much whatever I'm feeling like:)
about a 1/2 16 oz. bag of frozen petite peas (even if you don't love peas you really don't notice them and it's a great way to sneak in a vegetable, and I use the rest of the bag to serve on the side)
2 pkgs. pillsbury crescent rolls- I usually end up making about 10 rolls
1-2 c. crushed corn flakes (great way to include the kids, throw them into a ziploc bag and squish away, I always keep some left over for another time, or to top of casseroles, also you really can't substitute the cornflakes they really work the best)
4 T. melted butter

In a medium bowl combine cream cheese and milk with a mixer, add just enough milk to make it creamy, don't worry you can't mess it up as long as it's not runny your good. Add chicken and peas and mix together with a spoon. Put your crushed corn flakes in a bowl and your melted butter in another. On a greased cookie sheet start by taking one crescent roll and slightly stretching it out. Put a large spoonful of chicken mixture in the middle. Pull up corners of crescent and pinch all edges together. Dip roll in butter and then roll in corn flakes. Repeat until all of chicken is used. Cook in oven at 375 for 20 minutes.

Heaping spoonful, you want enough that you kind of have to stretch the roll to pinch all the sides together :)

Fold up all sides

And voila!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A-Mazing Coconut Bread

So again I didn't get a chance to take a picture of this before it was all gone:( I brought this to my cooking group this month, the theme was favorite recipe and this recipe quickly came to mind. I'm not sure if you can even consider this "bread" it's closer to a cake because it's super sweet. This is no different than making a banana bread, except you pour a sugar glaze over the top and allow to sit for 3 hours (trust me it's worth the wait I promise!!) Just be careful this stuff is super addicting and can be eaten too quickly to admit:) Enjoy!

4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2 t. coconut extract
3 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. buttermilk-gotta go for the real stuff..I tried to substitute it yesterday and it didn't work nearly as well
1 c. coconut
1 c. chopped nuts - optional (we prefer it without and I actually like nuts, but it's just a preference)

Glaze
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. water
3 Tb. butter
1 t. coconut extract

Beat eggs in large bowl. Add sugar, oil, and coconut flavoring until mixed thoroughly. In separate bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add half of flour mixture to sugar and mix well. Add half your buttermilk to sugar mixture and mix. Repeat process until no more flour or buttermilk. Stir in coconut and nuts. Pour into 2 well greased bread pans. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes ( I had to cook mine closer to an hour, I'm not sure if that is based on my mom's oven or just the recipe so check it after 40 minutes if it's still really doughy cook another 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean) In a small saucepan bring the water, sugar, and butter to a boil stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add coconut flavoring. Slowly pour over hot bread and allow to sit for 3-4 hours. Don't panic if it takes a minute to come out of the pan it's awfully sticky with all that sugary glaze:P

Sausage and Rice Casserole

So don't write this recipe off until you hear me out. This recipe comes from my recipe group that my friend Ryanne Walker does once a month. This was probably the most popular dish that night. It sounds totally strange with the almonds, chicken noodle soup, and rice, but trust me it's really good and relatively easy, but you do have to plan ahead because it takes an hour and a half to cook. Anyway I hope you enjoy it as much as we did:)
Ok so this looks kind of like a Rice-a-Roni, but I promise it's much better and worth the extra time:)

1 lb bulk pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean's Regular pork sausage, the kind that comes in a tube)
1 onion, minced
4 c. water
2 pkgs. dry chicken noodle soup mix (such as Lipton or you can use store brand)
1 c. uncooked long grain rice
1/2 c. slivered almonds-I've made it without and it's still good, but it does add a fun extra texture

Cook sausage and onion until sausage is no longer pink. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and add soup mixes and allow to cook for a couple minutes. In a greased 9x13 pan add sausage, rice, soup, and almonds. Cover and allow to cook at 350 for an hour and a half.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cranberry Marinated Chicken

Finally a new meal idea! I've posted several desserts lately but have had no new meals that I've really liked lately until this one. This one comes from one of those 5 Ingredients or less cook books. This is similar to the Russian chicken that a lot of people do (If you don't know what that is I'll post the recipe to that one as well and you can try both of them.) I wasn't totally sure if I'd like this one or not, too be honest I've never really tried cranberry sauce before it's just never appealed to me, but I love this and I hope you will too!


1 8 oz. Russian Dressing (I saw another one that used Catalina which is probably good as well)
1 16 oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce (definitely go for the whole berry, I was tempted not to but it was definitely necessary)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
4-5 chicken breasts

Mix dressing, cranberry sauce, and soup mix together. Pour over chicken and marinate at least 1 hour. Cover and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, uncover and cook another 20-25 minutes (I just realized I forgot that step but it still turned out great, serve over rice and enjoy!

Russian Chicken

1 8 oz Russian dressing
1 c. apricot preserves (I've used peach, apricot-pineapple, all of which are good)
1 envelope onion soup mix
4-5 chicken breasts

Combine dressing, preserves, soup mix, and pour over chicken. Cover and cook at 350 for about 40-45 minutes.

FYI- I cut my chicken breasts in half you can also use chicken tenders just adjust cooking time for maybe 25-30 minutes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reese's Bars

If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you'll love these! The best part about these is that they require no cooking which is great in these hot months! I originally saw these on allrecipes.com, but when I saw that thegirlwhoateverything had posted them I knew they must be good, and they were every bit as good as I had hoped. Plus these are like no fail bars, I completely forgot to measure my graham crackers after crushing them and was just shy of 2 cups chocolate chips and they still turned out great! Sorry again I have no picture I made them for primary and was in a hurry so they were gone too quickly.

2 1/2 cups graham cracker, crushed into fine crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Combine graham crackers, peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar (you can use a mixer or if your lazy like me they stir up really quickly as well.) Press into a 9x13 pan. Melt chocolate chips in microwave and spread over top. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until chocolate it set, if kept in the refrigerator too long they become a little on the crunchy side, I prefer them room temperature.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tart

So this is probably not a new recipe for most, but I had this a couple of weeks back at a barbecue and thought it was so good I'd make one myself. This recipe is super easy and this is the perfect time of year to make one because of all the fresh fruit and berries available. So if you want a quick and easy treat, one that you could almost say is healthy with all that good fruit, give this one a try!

1 tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
fresh fruit of your choice such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, kiwis..

On a lightly greased cookie sheet, pizza pan, or tart pan if you have one, roll out cookie dough to form large cookie to about an 1/8 of an inch. Cook at 350 for 15-18 minutes until slightly browned. Allow cookie to fully cool. In the mean time mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and until fully incorporated. Frost cooled cookie leaving about a half and inch around the edge. Top frosted cookie with fresh fruit.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spanish Rice Wraps

So I found this one from a ward cook book, gotta love the ward cook books. The original recipe had no meat so if your husband isn't as picky as mine and it sounds good to you without by all means give it a try. I think next time I would add 2 cans of tomatoes because I really like them and on the meat I'll put a little taco seasoning for a little extra layer of flavor. The best part of this dish is it's so quick and has few ingredients, and if you do it without ground beef it's a one dish meal, and most of all it's delicious! Sorry no picture I hurried and packed it up and hauled it to my husband at work for dinner. Maybe I'll remember and take on at lunch tomorrow:)

1 lb. ground beef-optional
1 box Spanish Rice A Roni
2 T. butter
1 c. salsa
2 c. water
1 or 2 15 oz. can tomatoes with green onions
1 can black beans or kidney beans, rinsed- I used black beans
1 can corn, drained

Cook ground beef until no longer pink, drain and set aside. In separate pan melt butter and add rice. Cook until golden brown add tomatoes, salsa, and 2 c. water. Bring to boil and reduce heat cover and allow to simmer for 15. Add hamburger, corn, and beans. Serve in tortillas (I used sun dried tomato wraps) with cheese and sour cream.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

4th of July

So I just thought I'd give some suggestions of 4th of July dishes and I'm also hoping someone has suggestions for me. When I was in St. George a lady told me she was going to take big marshmallows and dip them in chocolate and roll them in red, white, and blue sprinkles for smores which I thought was a cute idea. I've also seen several trifles using strawberries and blueberries and cream for the red white and blue. I was also thinking it would be cute to make lemonade and make either a big ice cube in a bundt cake pan with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries or just use a regular ice cube tray. I also saw a recipe making red white and blue popsicles. All they did was use yogurt and food coloring and layered it according. I think it would be fun to use different flavored yogurts and food coloring. If your needing a dish to take to a barbecue the raspberry pretzel salad, or macaroni salad are both good choices or my new favorite lately has been bringing a fruit tray with fruit dip. I've tried a couple now, but my favorite has been from realmomkitchen.com I think it was called orange cream dip, next time I want to try it using banana cream yogurt. Anyway those are my ideas if anyone has some other ideas let me know:)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MY Hawaiian Haystack

So this is just my version of Hawaiian haystacks, nothing fancy but I like it for a quick last minute meal. The only change really from the typical Hawaiian haystacks is that I've added carrots and celery just for a little added flavor and veggies. We don't really add any of the extras that you usually do with haystacks other then occasionally tomato, but you definitely can go for the chow mein noodles, pineapple, green onion, or whatever other things your family likes on their haystacks. Hopefully if anything this is just another idea of something to make for dinner.


2 cooked chicken breasts (I throw mine in the crock pot usually, but I've even just cut it up and cooked it in the pan before and that works just as well)
2 T. butter
1 c. minced carrot- I just use my chop chop for all the veggies
1 c. celery minced
1 onion minced
1-1 1/2 c. chicken broth (I use the chicken bouillon granules)
1 t. chicken bouillon granules
2 cans cream of chicken or 1 can cream of chicken and 1 can cream of celery
4 c. cooked rice

In a 10-in. skillet saute vegetables in butter on medium high until almost tender 7-8 minutes (you can also cook your chicken with your vegetables.) Add broth and continue cooking until vegetables are cooked to your liking- personally I keep mine slightly crisp otherwise it takes forever to cook the carrot. Add extra bouillon, cream soups, and cooked chicken. Cook until completely heated through.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Raspberry Pretzel Salad

Ok so I know a lot of you probably already have this recipe, but if there are some out there who don't have it, here it is. And if you have no idea what I'm even talking about, it's probably because you don't live in utah:) If that's the case let me just tell you that this salad is awesome! If you love sweet and salty, this is for you. I'm sorry I don't have a picture, I hunted for my camera and couldn't for the life of me find it until just this afternoon. My husband has a habit of moving things on me and usually not in a place I would ever look, so when I found it on the refrigerator I knew it wasn't me who put it up there. Anyway needless to say, I have no picture and we licked the dish clean so there's no leftovers to take a picture of either, but take my word on it this is really good.

First Layer:
2 c. crushed pretzels
2 T. sugar
1/2 c. chopped nuts (you cann't even taste the nuts, so unless someone has an allergy I wouldn't worry about someone not liking nuts)
3/4 c. melted butter

Second Layer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sugar
2 c. cool whip

Third Layer:
6 oz. pkg strawberry or raspberry Jell-O
2 c. boiling water
1 16 oz pkg. of frozen strawberries or raspberries, depending on what you want

First layer: combing all ingredients and press in 9x13 pan. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Second layer: Beat cream cheese and sugar. Stir in Cool Whip and spread on top of cooled pretzel layer.
Third layer: Mix jello and boiling water until Jello is completely dissolved. Add Frozen fruit and stir until thawed. Let Jello set up slightly (you may need to put into the fridge for a minute or 2, but if you have enough frozen fruit it shouldn't take too long) Spoon over second layer and refrigerate until completely set up, at least a couple hours.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

This recipe was simple and good, but beware because it makes a lot! I think if I were to make it again I would only use the rice vermicelli and keep out the extra rice or at least cut it in half. Also when I make it again I will use a can of tomatoes with green chilies instead of fresh tomatoes and canned green chillies I wasn't a fan of the fresh tomatoes in this, maybe because they were store bought tomatoes with not much flavor but it just wasn't my favorite, and if your family is sensitive to spicy food just cut back on the chili powder to maybe 1/2-3/4 Tablespoon. Other then that this is a super easy delicious casserole. Sorry I forgot to take a picture, we were so hungry and it looked so good we just kind of dove in, hopefully if I'm good I'll take a picture of the leftovers.

1 medium onion chopped
2 T. butter
1 pkg. chicken vermicelli
1 c. long grain white rice
28 oz. chicken broth
2 1/2 c. water
4 c. cooked chicken
4 medium tomatoes chopped, or 1 can tomatoes with green chilis
4 oz. can green chilies
2 t. basil
1 T. chili powder- or according to your family's taste
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. pepper
1 c. cheese- We didn't put this on, I think in order for this to be good it would have to be mixed into the casserole, but the recipe says to melt it on top at the end, so whatever sounds good to you

Saute onion in butter. Add rice and chicken vermicelli and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add broth and water (if your not adding extra rice I would cut out the 2 1/2 c. water.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover with lid. Allow to simmer on low for 20 minutes. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake covered at 425 for 20 minutes. Depending on when you add cheese the recipe says to remove the tin foil and add cheese and cook another 5 minutes, but again I think it would be better to mix in with the rest of the casserole.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins

As I write this me and Parker sit here eating these yummy little muffins. I found this recipe on Bakerella.com which is the same site to find those cakeballs. Anyway these are super yummy, like little bite size chocolate chip pancakes, so if you want something new and fun for breakfast try these little muffins!

1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 T. sugar
2/3 c. buttermilk- If you don't already know you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 t. of lemon juice or vinegar for every cup of milk so for this you would use 2/3 t. vinegar or lemon juice and just let it set for a few minutes
1 egg
2 T. pure maple syrup- I didn't have this so I just used regular syrup and it worked fine
2 T. melted butter
1/2 c. chocolate chips

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Then in the same bowl add all the remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Mix just until moist, don't over mix. Stir in chocolate chips. So the only bummer with these muffins is that it requires a mini muffin tin otherwise I think in a regular sized muffin tin the chocolate chips would cook too long and melt. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 the way full. Cook at 350 for 8-9 minutes. Serve with syrup! Makes about 24 mini muffins.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Panko and Chili Encrusted Chicken Fingers

So I found this recipe on thehungrymouse.com. Most of her recipes are a bit fancy for me, I'm not big into gourmet cooking mostly because I can't afford to buy so many new ingredients and most of the time I use it once and then throw the rest away. This recipe on the other hand is super easy and uses things that most of us keep on hand, except for maybe the Panko bread crumbs. I have to admit this is the first time ever using them, not because of not wanting to but I've never been able to find them at Walmart until yesterday I was at Kohler's and just happen to see them there so I grabbed a box. You can find them in the Oriental section and I've heard sometimes with the other bread crumbs, but I've never seen them at Walmart. These bread crumbs worked just as good as I had hoped, part of which I think was because of the recipe. There's a couple of steps with this recipe, but still really easy and where you cook them at 425 you can easily roast your favorite vegetables at the same time. Anyway without further babbling here's the recipe.



Chicken
2 lbs chicken tenders or chicken breasts cut into thick strips
1 T. chili powder
1 t. kosher salt or sea salt or I'm sure regular salt works well too
1/4 c. flour

Batter
1 c. sour cream
2 eggs

Bread Crumbs
8 oz Panko bread crumbs
1 t. chili powder
1 T. parsley

First thing I have to say is I only used 2 chicken breasts and cut everything else in half and this was plenty for us with even a little left overs, after cutting my chicken I was worried it wouldn't be enough, but after they're battered and breaded they're very filling.
Preheat oven to 425. Mix together bread crumb ingredients in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl whisk eggs and whisk in sour cream. Add chicken to a large ziploc bag. Sprinkle chili powder and salt over chicken. Close bag and squish bag to cover chicken in seasonings. Add flour and shake bag until chicken is completely covered. Remove chicken shaking off excess flour. Dip chicken into batter and then roll in bread crumbs until completely covered, lay chicken on greased cookie sheet. Repeat until all chicken is coated. Cook chicken for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of chicken.
On thehungrymouse.com she had a bluecheese dipping sauce which I didn't make, these had plenty of flavor to eat plain, but if you need a dipper they would probably be good in ranch or try her blue cheese dip. If you want to roast vegetables with the chicken, toss the vegetables of your choice in olive oil and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and any other seasonings you like, I chose chili powder since that's what the chicken was in but season salt works good as well in place of kosher salt. Spread on another cookie sheet and cook according to vegetables. I did potatoes and I threw them in 15 minutes before the chicken, when I put the chicken in I added broccoli to the potatoes and put them on the rack below and cooked another 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken Fajita Melt

This is another super easy and super quick recipe ready in minutes. I found this recipe awhile ago on recipezaar, my favorite website for finding recipes. I have to admit I've tried a lot of recipes lately from several different recipe blogs and have only liked a few, so I'm always quick to go back to recipezaar since they're all rated. Anyway I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.



2-3 T. oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 small onion cut into slices
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1/2 c. tomato juice, or v8
2 T. taco seasoning
1 c. salsa- I used Herdez
1 c. cheese
1 loaf Ciabotta bread

Heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Add Chicken and cook until completely done (my chicken was still slightly frozen and therefore let off a lot of juice, if this is the case drain leftover juice) Add onion and bell pepper and cook until starting to get tender. Stir in tomato juice and taco seasoning and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes. While that is cooking turn your oven on to broil, if your oven is like mine is has a high and low, put it on high. On a cookie sheet slice your ciabotta bread down the middle lengthwise. It's probably easier if you cut in half and then cut each half through the middle (does that even make sense? hopefully my picture will help) Otherwise your likely to get one thin side and one really thick side, like me:). Spread your salsa on your bread (I know this sounds strange but trust me it works.) Once your chicken is done cooking scoop it up and spread evenly over your bread. Sprinkle with cheese and throw into your oven for about 3-4 minutes just until cheese is melted.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Easy Meatballs and Rice Skillet

So this is another super easy skillet dish that also comes from my Pillsbury cook books. You can choose to make the meatballs, or buy your favorite frozen meatballs if you want it even quicker. Honestly I've never tried premade meatballs, but I've heard Costco has some pretty good ones, personally I choose to make my own. I know sometimes making meatballs can seem like kind of a pain, but really they're super easy. I have to admit that I get kind of squeamish about meatballs ever since I was pregnant, just because the thought of any meat when your pregnant can just make sick, but one day especially I chose to make meatballs which was just a bad choice, and ever since then I have a hard time bringing myself to making them, but I'm never disappointed when I have the finished product. Anyways after that lovely introduction, I promise this meal is actually very good and again quick and easy.

1 T. butter
1 pkg. beef-flavored vermicelli mix- I just used Walmart brand, but anything works really
2 1/3 c. water if using frozen broccoli if using fresh I add another about 1/2 c.
16 frozen or home made meatballs
2 c. frozen broccoli, thawed, and cut- or I use fresh
1 red bell pepper cut into strips

In a 10-inch skillet melt butter of medium heat. Add rice and cook until golden brown. Add water and seasoning packet, meatballs, and if using fresh broccoli add in as well. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the bell pepper and if using fresh broccoli add as well, increase heat to medium, cover and cook for another 10 minutes. If peppers are still not tender enough for you just remove from heat and allow to stay covered for another couple minutes.

Meatballs
Let me make a disclaimer before I even give you my recipe. First of all I don't use exact measurements its one of those a little of this a little of that, and second of all this is just a basic simple recipe, nothing fancy I don't think it really needs to be for this recipe.

1 egg, lightly beaten
seasoned bread or cracker crumbs- really fine crumbs work best
salt and pepper
dried minced onion
beef bouillon granules
worcestershire

Mix all of these together, it should be kind of a runny paste. Add 1 lb ground beef and mix until fully incorporated. I use a small ice cream scoop just to get even sized balls and then I give it a quick roll between hands to make balls. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bacon and Bowties AND Easy Italian Pasta

Today is going to be a two for one, two recipes in one day. Both recipes are super easy and flavorful pasta dishes. I like both of these because they have very few ingredients but are still full of flavor and cook up really quick. Both of these recipes are from my Pillsbury Cook Off cook books which are full of fun recipes like these two. I only have pictures for the Bacon and Bowties because it's the only one I've made recently, to be honest its been a long time since I've made the Easy Italian Pasta because it has whipping cream and I try not to use milk products as much as possible because of my allergies. Well I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Bacon and Bowties
5-6 strips of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion minced
2 14.5 cans of diced Italian style tomatoes or tomatoes with onion and garlic
2 1/2 chicken broth-I just use bouillon
1/8 t. pepper
about 8-10 oz. bowtie pasta- I'm awful about measuring, but I used a little more than 1/2 of a 14 oz. pkg, also I tried using enriched pasta as I couldn't find whole wheat bow ties, but next time I'll def. use regular bowties because the texture of the enriched ones was kind of weird and not tender.
this is how the bacon should look before adding onions


Cook bacon on medium high heat until browned well, I like it fairly browned because after cooking in the pasta it doesn't stay crisp. Lower heat to medium and add onions and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and return heat to high until boiling, once boiling turn back to medium heat and allow to simmer about 15 minutes, I like my pasta pretty tender so just cook until the pasta is cooked to your liking.

And

Easy Italian Pasta
8 oz. cooked cavatappi -tubular, corkscrew looking pasta, or any favorite pasta
1/2 lb. bulk spicy Italian pasta-I use Jimmy Dean, I use to think I was not a sausage person because I didn't like breakfast sausage or like link sausage, but this is much better, so give it a try if you haven't already.
6-7 Roma tomatoes- Romas work best because they hold their shape and you don't get as much as the runny seedy part, but regular tomatoes would work ok if that's all you have
1 c. whipping cream
2 oz. shredded fresh parmesan

Brown sausage over medium heat until completely browned. Drain off grease. Add tomatoes, cream, and cooked cavatappi. Cook until completely heated through, without bringing to a boil. Sprinkle with cheese!



Saturday, May 1, 2010

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Yep, you read that right, orange creamsicle cookies. I don't think it gets much better than that. These turned out every bit as good as I had hoped. I found these on a new blog I found called thegirlwhoateeverything. She has an awesome blog filled with tons of yummy looking food. This is the first thing I've tried from it and if the rest of the recipes are as good as this one I just may have a new favorite food blog. I hope you enjoy these as much as we have!



2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
2 Tb. orange zest (about 2 oranges, just use a small cheese grater if you don't have a zester)
2 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In another bowl cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla until smooth (at this point mine looked awfully dry and I added a little more vanilla, but I think the orange zest probably adds enough moisture I didn't need to worry, but if you get to the end and it's still looks crumbly add a little vanilla) Gradually blend in the flour mixture with the sugar. Fold in the chocolate chips and orange zest. It is kind of a thick cookie dough but if it's crumbly go ahead and add a little more vanilla, I did about a 1/2 teaspoon. Drop teaspoon size spoonfuls of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Try not to over handle and shape your dough. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, but do not over cook. These are the kind of cookies that almost look uncooked when you pull them out of oven, but you can see a little golden on the edges of some of the cookies and they'll puff up. Allow to cool on pan for a few minutes before you remove. I don't have a picture yet but I will hopefully soon, if you can't wait check out thegirlwhoateeverything.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

So this one is definitely not rocket science, and it's probably not new to most of you, but if anything it's an idea of something to try. I've tried this a few different ways and so far this has been my favorite combination, so give it a try!

Not the prettiest, but it taste better then it looks

1 can refrigerated pizza dough-such as Pillsbury
1 green bell pepper chopped
1/2 medium onion chopped
3-4 pieces bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite size pieces (the best way to cook this is in the crock pot, or brown in oil on your stove-anyway really that will keep it moist because after you put it on the pizza and cook it more it tends to dry a little)
1 c. barbecue sauce- I use Sweet Baby Ray's
1 1/2-2 c. cheese

Preheat oven to 400. I chose to use Pillsbury's pizza crust which had me precook the crust for 5 minutes, but follow whatever directions your pizza dough says. Meanwhile, fry bacon until it starts to brown. Add green pepper and onion and cook for another couple minutes until tender. Drain any excess grease, then add chicken and about 1/2 c. barbecue sauce. Mix until fully covered in barbecue sauce. Pour remaining barbecue sauce on crust and evenly spread over crust. Add chicken mixture and top with cheese. Cook for another 6-8 minutes, again following whatever your crust instructions say.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grilled Chicken Tostadas.. or Tacos

So I've been kind of slacking lately on the posts. Not that I haven't been cooking, just nothing worth posting sadly. I'm kind of in a funk lately with recipes. Every so often I get where nothing sounds good and I feel like I've tried just about every recipe possible. I don't know if it's a Spring thing, or just I'm just stuck in a rut. Either way this recipe is a tried and true recipe that I've used many times since I discovered it a couple summers back. It's great for a quick and easy dinner. I usually serve it taco style, but I actually prefer it as a tostada it can be a little messier to eat, plus I choose to make the tostadas using corn tortillas which is an extra step I usually choose to skip. As much as I enjoy cooking if I can cut corners and get the same results I'm all about it. Either way you choose to serve these they are super delicious so I hope you enjoy!

2-4 chicken breasts
1/2 c. lime juice (I ran out and tried to use lemon juice and it just wasn't the same, if you don't have any lime juice and don't want to buy a whole bottle, limes are in season and are super cheap)
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 T. honey
2 t. minced garlic
1 1/2 t. chili powder

Combine all ingredients and marinate for 4-5 hours. Grill chicken on medium to high heat until completely cooked through, abound 6-7 minutes on each side. Slice chicken and serve either as taco or tostada.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Food For Thought..

So I haven't posted any dinner ideas for a few days, not because of lack of trying new recipes, but for the lack of anything worth posting. I'm really starting to realize how different people's taste buds are. The last few recipes I've tried have come from really popular food blogs and have been kind of big flops in our house. I tried a ham and macaroni skillet dish that was just kind of bland and just overall not very good, I did a honey glazed chicken which I expected to be sticky sweet and yummy and ended up being kind of a funky tangy, just didn't work for me, and there's been a couple others, these are just the ones that come to mind. Anyway needless to say it makes me wonder what everyone thinks of the recipes I've posted. I've gotten some positive feedback on a few of the recipes like the Chicken Broccoli Braid, Chili Lime Tostadas, and the Crock Pot Chicken Marinara. Anyway I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions in types of recipes or recipes containing certain ingredients. I hate the recipes where it uses things you never have or would never use again and I know there's maybe a few on here that have things that not everyone keeps on hand. So once again I'm just looking for feedback, which recipes sound good, or what kind of ingredients you keep on hand and would like to see in recipes. Anyway any feedback would be great.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

I couldn't go through strawberry season without posting this one. This is the best cake for strawberries and whipped cream! Me and Frank can devour it in days..I know it's kind of sad. One year we literally made this week after week, yes it's that good! I haven't made it yet this year, but I have extra strawberries so this might be the week. If I do I will post a picture, but don't expect too much, the cake itself isn't overly pretty, but it makes up for it in taste. The best part of this cake is it is super easy. In fact usually when it is made in our house Frank is the one making it. So if Frank can make it anyone can:) Oh and by the way this is Frank's grandma's recipe, another one of her famous dishes!
Before- like I said not the prettiest cake
After-Yum!

1 yellow cake mix that has pudding in it (I think most of them do now and sometimes it's hard to find on the box, it's been awhile since I've bought one, but I'm pretty sure they all do now)
1 stick of butter
4 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350. Cut butter into chunks and place in cake pan, stick pan in oven until butter is melted. While butter is melting mix the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 2 eggs until smooth. This next step sounds really strange but trust me it works. Pull out cake pan and sprinkle cake mix over melted butter and add 2 eggs. Give a quick mix until completely moiste (don't over think this just give it a quick mix not worrying about every little lump.) Pour cream cheese mixture over cake mix and butter mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Serve with fresh strawberries and whipped cream..yum!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easy Chicken Taqiotos

These are really quite easy the only thing that takes a second is just heating the tortillas in oil and putting them together but even then 15-20 minutes to put together and they cook for 15 so pretty quick to make, and they're really good! Hope you enjoy!

Sorry not the best picture I was in a hurry, but you get the point:)


2 c. cooked and shredded chicken (you can use canned chicken as well)
1/2 c. minced onion
1 4 oz. can green chilies
1 10 can enchilada sauce
3/4 t. garlic salt
1 c. Mexican blend cheese- I always just use Colby and Monterey
24 corn tortillas (depends on what size you use, I had half small and some larger ones and made about 17 or 18)
3/4 c. cooking oil such as veg. oil

Combine first 6 ingredients. Heat oil on medium high heat (I only pour in a little at a time just enough to kind of cover the bottom of the pan.) Add one tortilla at a time heating about 5 seconds on each side, your only wanting them to be pliable not cooked crispy like a tostada. Remove from pan and lay on paper towel to drain off excess oil. I get a couple tortillas ready at a time and then put them together by adding 2 T. of chicken mixture down the side and roll up like an enchilada seem side down. Cook on a greased cookie sheet at 400 for 15 minutes.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze



So I just barely got done making this and yum! This is another recipe from ourbestbites.com so delicious so check it out http://www.ourbestbites.com/2010/04/coconut-banana-bread-with-lime-glaze.html

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lazy Day Mexican Casserole

The title says it all on this one. If you want something quick and easy but different from the usual tacos this is it. I'm not sure if this can even be called a recipe or just a made up concoction, either way it works!
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/2 c. water
1 c. enchilada sauce-about half of a 10 oz can
1 can refried beans
1/2 large bag of corn tortilla chips, lightly crushed
taco toppings-lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole

Cook ground beef and onion until completely cooked through. Add taco seasoning and water and cook for for another minute until seasoning is thoroughly mixed in. Add enchilada sauce and refried beans and mix until completely incorporated. Meanwhile pour 3/4 of your chips into greased 9x13 pan (this is where I just take my hands and lightly crunch the chips.) Top with ground beef mixture and top with remaining chips. Cook at 375 for 20 minutes topping with cheese in the last 5 minutes. Serve with taco toppings.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Best Macaroni Salad

So you know how everyone kind of has their designated dishes they bring to every family get together? Like my husband's grandma is always expected to do a potato salad or baked beans, rain or shine, barbecue or banquet, it's always there. And my mother-in-law is like queen of anything fruit and pudding salad. And now I am officially in charge of bringing this macaroni salad. Honestly macaroni salad is macaroni salad, but if you want the best macaroni salad this is it!

1 lb cooked elbow noodles
1 red pepper minced
1/4 c. onion minced-you won't even notice the onions if your not a fan
1/2 c. celery minced
1 c. coleslaw dressing
1/2 c. mayo
2 t. mustard
1 t. cider vinegar
1/4 c. sweet relish
2. t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 T. celery seed (I've made it without and it still turns out good)
1/2 lb cooked bacon, chopped (I used precooked and just quickly do it in the microwave)

In a medium size bowl combine pasta, red pepper, onion, and celery. In a separate bowl combine
the next 9 ingredients- ending with celery seed. Pour over pasta and mix. Fold in bacon and voila!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tangy Chicken Fajitas


2-3 chicken breasts cut into strips
1 bell pepper of your choice juliened
1 red onion cut into strips
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. lime juice
1/4 c. vinegar
1 pkg. Good Seasonings dry Italian Dressing

Combine olive oil, lime juice,vinegar, and dressing. Add chicken and cut vegetables to marinade and marinade at least 3-4 hours (I put my chicken out in the morning to thaw and then add it to marinade around lunch time) Cook chicken and vegetables until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables tender.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meat Loaf

So I totally hesitate to post this only for the reason that most people already have their own meat loaf recipe, or they just flat out don't like meat loaf all together. Also I don't have a specific recipe, it's one of those that's a little of this and a little of that, but I'll try to get it down to a little more specific. Again I really hesitate with this only because I feel everyone has kind of a different idea of meatloaf, but if you are willing to try I think this is a pretty good recipe compared to other ones I've tried. If your use to a more plain and somewhat dry meatloaf, this is completely opposite. The original recipe that my mom made used fresh onion, but my husband's not a big onion person and it tended to be a little oniony, but just like all these recipes do what works for your family.

1 egg
2 T. dried minced onion
1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers crushed- or if you don't have those you can use your kids snack, gold fish:) that's what I used yesterday.
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 c. Heinz 57
ketchup
honey
3 slices of bacon

In a medium bowl mix egg with onion, and crackers. Add in ground beef and Heinz 57 and mix together. The best way to do this is with your hands but a fork works as well. Put meat loaf into a loaf pan and drizzle ketchup and honey on top. Top meatloaf with bacon slices and cook at 375 for 45 minutes. I'm not going to lie this turns out really greasy, but what do you expect with ground beef and bacon? Just drain the grease and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I love this recipe for sweet potato fries. They're super easy to make and it makes me feel like I'm eating healthier than just a regular fry. I'm not a big fan of frying, not for the reasons that I probably should be, but just because I feel it is time consuming and messy. I made these along with chili cheese dogs in a bundle which was another Rachael Ray recipe from her Yum-O cook book. They were good but I think they could have been better. It was pretty much a glorified pig in a blanket with chili and cheese using refrigerated pizza crust. Anyway if I ever get around to making it better I'll post the recipe if not you can kinda guess and try it yourself.
I found the recipe for these sweet potato fries on Ourbestbites.com. There's also a recipe for coconut chicken on there as well which is really good with these fries. Anyway here's the link for Baked Sweet Potato Fries http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/01/baked-sweet-potato-fries.html

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sausage Stroganoff

Well it's all in the name, this is just a spin on the regular stroganoff. If your not a fan of sausage this is probably not for you. I think the sausage gave a little more flavor than just using hamburger and if you made or plan on making Pepperoni Pizzazz you can use your left over mushrooms in this recipe. Again this is another recipe I switched cream of mushroom for sour cream, but use whatever your family likes..and enjoy!


1 lb. pork sausage (I just used the Jimmy Dean regular bulk sausage)
small onion chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms sliced
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
1 T worcestershire
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 c. flour
1 can cream of mushroom or 1 c. sour cream
12 oz cooked egg noodles ( you could actually probably do more noodles, that's just how big the bag was that I had)

Cook sausage and onion until sausage is cooked thoroughly. Add mushrooms and cook for another couple minutes. Add 1 c. of broth, worcestershire, and pepper and let simmer for a few minutes. Mix remaining broth with flour and pour into sausage mixture. Lower heat and add cream of mushroom or sour cream and heat through. Serve over noodles:)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Lasagna

I've kind of slacked with posting, but to be honest I haven't made anything worth posting. I made another Rachael Ray roll over meal which was jerk chicken that didn't turn out that great for us, but fortunately the rollover meal a pasta dish using the leftover chicken was really good, but I figured most probably wouldn't want to make the first meal just to get the second, right? This recipe for the Chicken Tortilla Lasagna is not a new one in our house, to be honest it really wasn't even planned. I had no clue what I was going to make and this is what Frank suggested so..voila here it is! This can be a little spicy so if you have kids you can cut back on the taco seasoning and use a mild enchilada sauce. The original recipe calls for sour cream and since we're not big sour cream fans I switched it for cream of mushroom. If you do like sour cream just switch it out with an 8 oz. container or even half of each if you want. It also calls for 2 9 oz. packages of frozen southwestern-seasoned chicken strips, thawed and diced but I choose to just cook about 3 chicken breasts in the crock pot instead. Anyway use whatever works for you or what fits your family's taste.
This would probably look much better to most of you with more cheese, but I'm just funny like that sorry:)


1 10 oz Old El Paso enchilada sauce
3 cooked chicken breasts shredded
1 can cream of mushroom
1/2 c. sliced green onions
1 T. taco seasoning
8 corn tortillas torn in half
2 c. Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
2 c. tortilla chips
1 large tomato diced
2 T sliced olives-optional

Spread 1/4 c. enchilada sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Mix remaining enchilada sauce with cream of mushroom, taco seasoning, 1/2 of green onions, and chicken. Arrange half of your corn tortillas on top of enchilada sauce. Then top with half of chicken mixture, and 2/3 c. cheese. Repeat layers ending with chicken and cheese on top. Cover with foil and and cook at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover and layer chips, tomatoes, olives, remaining onions, and remaining cheese. Bake another 5 minutes to melt cheese.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pepperoni Pizzazz

So I have to admit that I'm a little intimidated after going into my husband's work and finding out so many people actually read my blog. They have all been giving my husband grief about me making and packing his lunch and dinner, little do they know what my house looks like:) I know I kind of spoil him in that respect, but he works his butt off especially lately by going back to work every night for another 5 hours of work, but most of all I truly enjoy cooking and trying new recipes so don't think I cook all this food JUST for my husband:) Anyway this recipe is super easy and if you love pepperoni pizza you'll love this!

Obviously picture with cheese:)


8 Oz cooked penne, or rotini
1 28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 package (8 ounces) sliced pepperoni
1/2 8 oz. pkg mushrooms sliced
1 green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1/8 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. oregano
1 can 8 0z tomato sauce
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Combine 2 1/4 c. spaghetti sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano, and cooked pasta. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Mix remaining spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce and pour over pasta mixture. Cover and cook at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella and cook another 5 minutes until melted.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Brown Rice

Ok don't think I'm just slacking, I still have been cooking just nothing worth posting about, except for my new found love of brown rice. I mentioned awhile ago I wanted to switch over to whole grains and so far so good. Most things have tasted rather similar such as pasta and even hamburger buns, but brown rice is a totally different case. If you don't use rice often, which I think is the case for a lot of people, you really have to give this a try. Brown rice is actually very good for you and gives food a lot of flavor when you cook it in broth. Rice is a perfect addition to tacos, enchiladas, meatballs, sweet and sour chicken, and many other dishes. I made tacos last night and cooked the rice in beef broth (just used beef boulion granules) and it added so much extra flavor! Brown rice takes a little extra time to cook and some will say extra effort. Honestly I didn't really have a problem. I used 2 1/2 c. water to 1 c. rice and cooked it the same way I cook white rice except cooking for 45 minutes. If you prefer a little firmer rice use 1/4 c. less water. Anyway food for thought, next time you make tacos try a little brown rice with them!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Enchil-lasagna Day 2 rollover meal

Ok so I'm officially a Rachael Ray fan. I've always loved her show, but I'm officially a fan of her recipes too! This turned out really good, so good that I couldn't get enough to Parker fast enough. He was going nuts over this, which officially makes this a new favorite for me. This dinner worked great for a Sunday dinner and then rolled over perfectly for a quick weekday meal. I loved loved loved this recipe. The other part that I really liked about this was that it was so different from any other meal I've made. I would have never thought to use a meat loaf this way. So if you had any second thoughts of making the turkey stuffin' meatloaf hopefully I've convinced you to try it now so that you can try this meal as well!

3 c. reserved gravy (I have no clue where these measurements came from when you only make the gravy using 2 c. of stock the night before, so how that happens I'm not sure so I just quickly made some more)
1 16 oz. can of green chili salsa (this has become a new favorite ing. of mine ever since the chicken ole)
8 whole wheat flour tortillas (don't use mission tortillas they're horrible)
10 oz bag frozen corn ( I bought a much bigger bag and just kind of guessed)
1 14 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
4-5 green onions chopped
1 turkey meatloaf from night before, thinly sliced
2 1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack

In a medium bowl combine gravy and salsa. Spread a thin layer in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Layer 2 tortillas, 1/3 corn, 1/3 black beans, 1/3 green onion, 1/3 meat loaf, 1/4 green salsa mix, and 1/4 cheese. Repeat layers until all gone ending with a layer of tortillas, gravy, and remaining cheese. Cook at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Sorry I forgot to take a picture but will hopefully get one soon:)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Turkey Stuffin' Meatloaf

I found this recipe in Rachael Ray's Yum-O recipe book. If you know Rachael Ray, then you'll know that the Yum-O recipes are meals specially made for kids. Besides being kid approved they're suppose to be healthy as well which is always a bonus in my book. I've really been pleasantly surprised with the recipes in this book. Her food always looks really good and simple, but sometimes almost so simple that I wonder if it has much flavor, if that makes sense. That and the fact that she tends to use ingredients that I just never would buy. Although most of these recipes included things that I don't usually use, I thought I would still give it a try. This specific recipe uses ground turkey which I've only used two times prior. The first time turned out great, the second time on the other hand was a complete failure, so much so that I had to throw the whole meal out because I couldn't even gag it down. I'm not really sure why the difference all I knew was that I didn't feel like trying it ever again..until now, and thank goodness this turned out really good. The best part of this recipe is that it is one of her rollover meals, meaning that you cook enough for leftovers to make another meal the following day. So if all works out tomorrows dinner will be as good as tonight's:)


2 T EVOO- extra virgin olive oil-or just regular veg. oil
6 T. butter
1 large onion
5-6 celery ribs from the heart, leaves included (I always buy just the celery hearts, it's the best part of the celery, and the leaves have the most flavor)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 16 oz stuffing cubes such as Pepperidge Farm (I couldn't find these so used corn bread stove top, but use whichever you can find or like best)
2 T. poultry seasoning- I didn't use this since I used stove top, so don't feel like you can't make it without using this
6 c. chicken stock (I just use chicken bouillon granules and water to make stock)
3 lbs. ground turkey-I think I used Tyson's Honeysuckle
2 eggs

Melt butter with oil and saute onions, celery, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add stuffing cubes and 4 c. stock (if using stove top I would cut this down to 2 1/2-3 c. stock.) Discard bay leaf. Place in bowl and let cool. Add turkey and eggs. Mix until incorporated with stuffing. Cook in two well greased meat loaf pans. Drizzle with EVOO or if your like me and ran out I just put a little butter on top just so it doesn't try out. Cook at 400 for 45 minutes or until done. For gravy melt 4 T. butter in a small saucepan. Whisk in 1/4 c. of flour and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add 2 c. chicken stock and cook another 6-7 minutes until thickened. The second meatloaf and half the gravy will be used for tomorrows dinner, otherwise I guess you get meat loaf for 2 days.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tangy Barbecue Chicken

This is another quick and easy crock pot recipe. This recipe was actually suggested to go over a baked potato, but I chose to make it a sandwich and I'm sure there's plenty of other ways to eat it as well. I hope you enjoy this super easy twist on barbecue chicken.



4-5 chicken breasts
12 oz bottle barbecue sauce (I use Famous Dave's)
1/2 c. Italian dressing or anything similar I used a sundried tomato dressing and it turned out great
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. worcestershire sauce

Combine barbecue sauce, dressing, brown sugar, and worcestershire and pour over chicken in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours of high for 3-4. I threw my chicken in frozen and cooked on low for about 8 hours. I cut this recipe in half and had enough for about 6 sandwiches.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Crunchy Chicken Casserole #2

Just like crock pot meals, you can always use a new casserole recipe. This is another recipe I found on Recipe Zaar. The original recipe called for mayo, but the thought of mayo in a casserole grosses me out, and I can actually say that because I've tried it once. I'm sorry if I offend anyone with this comment, but mayo in a casserole is just wrong. Dips, dressings, and sandwiches yes, casseroles no; but that's just my opinion. Anyway for those of you who like mayo in casseroles please don't let it stop you from trying this recipe. I have to admit, my husband didn't love this one the first time I made it, I think the water chestnuts were a little different for him and like a lot of men he wants only meat and potatoes. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with meat and potatoes, but I like a little more variety than that. Anyway if your willing to take the risk, this is a really good casserole if your like water chestnuts:)

2 c. chicken, cooked, and cut into bite size pieces (I prefer to cook my chicken in a crock pot, but I've also heard of people baking all the chicken they're going to use for the week and then freezing it, either way works great)
1 c. sliced celery
1/2 onion chopped
2-3 Tb. butter
2 c. cooked rice
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom ( I've even used cream of celery which is really good as well)
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1 can sliced water chestnuts, chopped so less noticeable for those who are not fans:)
3/4 c. crushed corn flakes

Saute onions and celery in 1 Tb. butter. In greased 9x13 pan combine soups, rice, almonds, water chestnuts, and sauted onions and celery. Melt remaining 2 Tb. butter and mix in corn flakes. Sprinkle corn flakes over top and cook uncovered for 30 minutes at 350.