Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Basic Playdough (Nonedible)

1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cream of tartar
½ cup salt
1 to 2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 cup water
food coloring

Mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt in a pan. Mix desired coloring with water, add with oil to dry mixture. Cook over medium heat until thick. Mix in coloring later if preferred.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Katherine-Hepburn Brownies

I made these today and they were very yummy. I put walnuts and toffee bits in there and it was very delish :) and i omitted coffee...

From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorrie Greenspan



1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons finely ground instant coffee

2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup broken or chopped walnuts or pecans

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped



  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
  • Whisk the flour, cinnamon, if you’re using it, and salt together.
  • Put the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and place the pan over low heat. When the butter starts to melt, sift the cocoa over it and add the instant coffee. Continue to cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the cocoa and coffee are blended into it. Remove from the heat and cool for about 3 minutes.
  • Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the eggs into the saucepan one at a time. Next, stir in the sugar and vanilla (don’t beat anything too vigorously — you don’t want to add air to the batter), followed by the dry ingredients, nuts and chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, at which point the brownies will still be gooey but the top will have a dry papery crust. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brownies cool for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer, if you’d like.) Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the paper and invert onto a cutting board. Cool completely before cutting into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snickerdoodle Blondies with Cinnamon Chips

The newspaper this morning had a whole section on Christmas cookies with lots of yummy looking recipes. I am going to try a bunch of them out over the next few weeks - we are in trouble!!

2 2/3 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 C butter, softened
2 C packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 C cinnamon chips
2 T white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla untill smooth. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. Add Cinnamon Chips. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Combine white sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over spread cookie dough.

Bake 25 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool slightly and cut into bars while still warm.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sugar Cookie Glaze

Mom always seems to know how to make this of the top of her head but mine never turns out just right. I found the recipe below and it dried shiny, tasted good and was the right consistency.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring
1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

Baked Corn

1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) package corn muffin mix
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Combine the whole-kernel corn, cream-style corn, sour cream, melted butter or margarine, beaten eggs and corn muffin mix. Mix well and pour into one 9x13 inch baking pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust

1 1/2 C gingersnap crumbs (about 25-30 small cookies)
6T real butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
3/4 C ground pecans

3 8oz blocks cream cheese
3/4 C canned pumpkin puree
8oz melted white chocolate (that's about 1 C white chocolate chips, melted)
1 C sugar
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves

sweetened whip cream
caramelized pecans
jarred caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Using heavy duty foil, securely wrap the bottom and outside of your cheesecake pan. This will prevent leaks when using the water bath.

For Crust:
Use a food processor to crush gingersnaps. Then do pecans. Combine gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar, and butter and stir well to combine. Press into a 9" spring form pan. Evenly spread across the bottom of pan and up the sides about 1-1 1/2 inches.

To melt chocolate, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside.

With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time. Add pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

With the mixer running, slowly add in white chocolate in a steady stream (or steady blobs).

Pour mixture on top of the crust.

For waterbath:
Place cheesecake pan inside of a larger pan. I used a roasting pan. Place your cheesecake pan into larger pan. The larger pan should be at least 2-3 inches in depth. Place in pre-heated oven. With a kettle or pitcher filled with hot water, pour water into the larger pan about halfway up, or approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until set. The center should be just a tad bit jiggly still. It will finish cooking while cooling.

When it's done, remove from oven and place on a rack until completely cool. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

You can top it however you like. I LoVe caramelized pecans so I think that's a must.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Overnight Super Salad

Grandma Greve's favorite salad!

3/4 pound sliced bacon
1 large head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup sliced onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained
and sliced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for
1. Spread the lettuce out on a large serving dish or bowl. Sprinkle the onion, celery, water chestnuts and frozen peas (unthawed) over the lettuce in layers. Spread mayonnaise over the top like a frosting. Sprinkle with sugar and grated cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
3. Before serving, sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top, and garnish with tomato wedges, slices of hard-cooked egg, and parsley.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cucumber Lime Drink

1 can frozen limeaid concentrate

2 2-liter bottles Sprite

1 gallon ice (or less if desired)

cucumber sliced thin to float on top

Mix ingredients and serve. As the ice melts, it dilutes the drink to a pleasant consistency. You probably don’t want all the ice to melt, however, or it will be too diluted.

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 c. veg. oil
16 oz. can pumpkin

2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda

3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
nutmeg. to sprinkle

Mix first four ingredients. Add last five ingredients. Pour in ungreased 15x12x1 pan. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350.

Mix frosting ingredients, spread on cooled cake, and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Chocolate Cherry Bars

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1 tsp almond extract

2 beaten eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour pan (see pan dimensions below).

Mix ingredients by hand until batter is well-mixed. Spread in pan.

Bake 10 x 15 baking dish for 20-30 minutes. Bake 9 x 13 baking dish for 25-30 minutes. (I made a double batch and spread it between a cookie sheet and a 10 x 15 glass pan. I baked it for around 20 min.)



1 cup sugar

5 T margarine

1/3 cup milk

Bring ingredients to a boil. Boil ingredients, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 6 oz chocolate chips. Stir until smooth and pour over bars.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Praline Pumpkin Mousse Parfait

Make a spice cake and when cool cumble it

Praline Pumpkin Mousse:
1 cup cold milk
1 can pumpkin
2 pkg. Vanilla flavor instant pudding and Pie filling
2 cups thawed cool whip
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1T. butter or margarine melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Beat milk and pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (mixture will be thick) Gently stir in whipped topping.

Pecan topping: (may want to double or triple, depending on how many you are making)

toss pecans with butter and sugar

Alternate spice cake pieces with Praline pumpkin mousse and pecan topping, ending with the topping.

This is a very yummy fall dessert

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rosemary Balsamic Chicken Salad

4 boneless chicken breast halves (or thighs--cook longer if using)
1/2-3/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp. (or more if you like it) Dijon mustard
3-4 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
Fresh rosemary and thyme--to taste, about 1 Tbsp. each
(if using dry herbs, only 1 tsp. and crush in your palm before adding)
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp. cold butter

Mix the vinegar, mustard, sugar, garlic, and herbs in a bowl or large ziploc bag. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate for thirty minutes, or up to several hours. (The longer you marinate, the more tender and juicy the chicken.)

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Drizzle a little olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. When oil shimmers, the pan is ready. Remove the chicken from the marinade, but reserving the marinade for later. Sear the chicken breasts for about 2 minutes per side, or until dark brown. Lower heat and add the reserved marinade. Continue to simmer over low heat until the chicken has cooked through and the marinade has started to thicken. You may add chicken broth at this time. Add the amount you want according to how thick or thin you want your sauce.

Remove chicken from skillet and place on a warm plate. Cover with foil and set aside. Let the sauce thicken a little more. Adjust seasonings--more sugar if you like it sweeter, etc. When the sauce has thickened to desired consistency, add cold butter and whisk it quickly into the sauce to incorporate it.

Serve over romaine lettuce with candied pecans, dried cranberries, Parmesan cheese, green onions, and applies. The sauce can be used as the dressing.

Tortellini Sausage Soup

3 links Italian sausage
4 cloves pressed garlic
1 onion, diced
½ c. water
2 cans chicken broth
½ c. apple cider
1 16-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c. sliced carrots
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 medium zucchini, grated
8-10 oz. package cheese tortellini
2 Tbsp. dried parsley

If you're using link sausage, remove the casings and crumble into a large soup pot. Begin cooking sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently. If your sausage is pretty fatty, you'll want to drain it when it's about halfway cooked. Meanwhile, chop onions and garlic and add to the sausage. Continue cooking until onions are translucent and your sausage is cooked. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, juice, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add parsley and zucchini and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.
Add the tortellini and cook until tender, and then serve with bread and freshly-grated Parmesan.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

This is kind of a cross between a pecan pie and a chocolate chip cookie. It was very tasty!

1 unbaked 9 inch deep dish pie shell (if using a frozen shell, defrost before using)
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C butter, softened
1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1 C chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat eggs in large mixing bowl on high until foamy. Beat in flour, sugars. Add butter. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Spoon into pie shell. Bake for 55-65 minutes. Cool on wire rack and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chicken Gyros

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4" strips
2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 large onion, thinly sliced
a few tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Place everything in a gallon-size freezer bag to let it marinate. Let the chicken marinate anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil. Saute the chicken and onions until chicken is cooked through.

To serve--place some of the chicken on the pita, top with tzatziki and a little fresh lemon juice. Fold up and enjoy!

Tzatziki (Yogurt Dill Sauce)

1 large container Greek Yogurt
1/2 seedless cucumber, grated and drained (see note and picture below)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper--to taste

Combine all the ingredients and chill for several hours to allow flavors to meld. Yields about 2 1/2 cups.

Note: Cucumbers are so full of water that it is necessary to let them drain in a sieve before using in the yogurt sauce. You may even notice up to 1/4 cup liquid in the bowl after draining.

Cococut Curry Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Assemble ingredients
2. Dice onion & cut up chicken. Season chicken with salt & pepper.
3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add curry and mix thoroughly. Let flavors meld for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, cook for 5-7 minutes, till chicken is mostly cooked through.
5. Transfer mixture to heated crockpot. Add coconut milk, tomatoes and sugar, stir. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.
6. Cook 2 1/2 cups of rice according to package directions. Serve sauce over rice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Butterscotch Pecan Sandies

3 cups unsifted flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/3 cup unsalted butter ( I use a little less and decrease salt to 1/2 tsp if using salted...)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 cups butterscotch chips (I don't use quite that much...)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine flour and soda in small bowl.

Cream butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla in large mixing bowl on med speed until light. Beat in
egg until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add flour one cup at a time, until just combined.
Stir in pecans and butterscotch chips.

With small scoop, form balls of dough less than one inch in diameter. Place on baking sheets,
allowing 2 inches between cookies. Flatten balls to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 8-10
minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Tops should remain pale. Store in
airtight container.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sweet Pumpkin Dip

16 oz Cream Cheese
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Whisk the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, mixing until well blended. Put a lid on the dip and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with apple slices, ginger snap cookies, or small pretzels. Can also serve dip in a small, hollowed out pumpkin shell.

Carmel Glazed Apple Cake

1 C packed light brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
5 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 C chopped pecans or walnuts
2 1/4 tsp vanilla

Carmel Glaze:
4 T butter
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 C heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan. Beat both sugars together with oil until very well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Sift together dry ingredients and gradually add to egg mixture. Stir in apples, nuts, and vanilla. Pour into pan. Bake for 50-75 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Prepare the glaze - melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Stir in sugars and salt. Cook over medium hat for 2 minutes. Add cream, bring to boil, and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Poke holes in the cake with a toothpick or skewer. Pour glaze over cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This tasted especially good with some vanilla ice cream!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Rotisserie" Chicken

1 whole chicken, small enough to fit in your slow cooker
Salt-based seasoning (Seasoning salt, Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper with salt in it, etc. Just make sure salt is one of the first ingredients on the label.)
Whole garlic cloves, peeled
Fresh herbs

Make 3 balls of aluminum foil and place them in the bottom of your slow cooker. These hold the chicken off the bottom so the hot air can circulate all around the chicken and so it's not stewing in its own juices.

Rinse chicken, including the cavity, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on its back so the breast is facing up and the legs are on the plate. If you want (and I actually strongly recommend that you do UNLESS you're looking for a neutral flavor), pull the skin up all around the chicken. This does involve sticking your hand between the skin and the breast. Oooh, sounds dirty. Slice a few garlic cloves in half lengthwise and stick them under the skin. You can also arrange a couple sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and/or sage under the skin. This makes a very pretty chicken when it's all cooked and adds a lot of flavor.

Rub salt-based seasoning VERY liberally onto the skin of the chicken. Place chicken breast-up on the foil in the slow cooker, cover, turn heat to low, and leave it alone for 7-8 hours.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Steak and Mango Salad

1lb flank steak
1 head romaine or red-leaf lettuce
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 mangoes, sliced
1 large, or 2 small avocados sliced
cilantro sprigs for garnish
1/2 C caramelized macadamia nuts
(recipe at bottom for these)

Dressing & Marinade

1/2 C fresh squeezed orange juice
6 T fresh lime juice
6 T soy sauce
1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 T fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 C olive oil

In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Continue whisking while slowly drizzling in the olive oil until combined. Reserve about 3/4 C* and place the rest of the mixture in a zip-lock bag.
*Make sure when you're pouring out the 3/4 C you are constantly whisking the mixture to assure even distribution of ingredients

Lightly score the flank steak in a diagonal pattern on both sides. Place steak in the zip-lock bag with marinade and leave in fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Caramelize the macadamia nuts.

2 T brown sugar

1/2 T light corn syrup
1/2 T butter
1/2 C nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a non-stick skillet on the stove top. Set heat to medium or medium-high. Stir the mixture as it comes together until it bubbles. Let it simmer like that for about 20 seconds and then add your nuts. It will be sticky and clumpy, but just keep stirring with a rubber spatula (so you can smoosh and stir) until all of the nuts are well-coated. Transfer nuts to a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet, (or foil or parchment). Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until you see the sugar mixture start to melt and bubble. Take the pan out of the oven and stir the nuts around with your spatula and then return to oven. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer, or until they reach a darker amber color. Remove from oven and give them one last stir. Then take them off the pan to cool on parchment, foil, or a plate.

Remove steak from fridge about 30 minutes prior to cooking and leave at room temperature. You'll want to let the dressing portion to sit at room temp during this time as well. Heat outdoor grill to med-high heat. If an outdoor grill is not available, use the broiler, or an indoor grill pan. Remove steak from bag and let any excess marinade drip off. Cook steak for about 5-8 minutes on each side or until done. In order to stay tender, flank steak should still be pink in the middle, but nicely seared on the outside. When done, remove from grill and wait at least 5 minutes before cutting to let the juices redistribute. Then slice into thin slices.

Now comes the salad assembly.
Divide lettuce onto plates and top with slices of mango, avocado, and red onion. Add steak slices and drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle macadamia nuts on top and garnish with cilantro.

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

1 pound cubed beef stew meat
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed
golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1/4 cup water
4 ounces cream cheese

1. In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water.
2. Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours. Stir in cream cheese just before serving. Serve over egg noodles.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Crock Pot Southwest Beef or Pork Wraps

1 onion, chopped
2 1/2-ish lb. beef roast, trimmed of fat but left whole or pork roast
1 heaping tsp. chili powder
1 heaping tsp. garlic powder
1 heaping tsp. cumin
1 heaping tsp. Kosher salt
2 bell peppers (you can use 2 green bell peppers or mix it up a little with red, yellow, or orange; just make sure one is green), chopped
1 14 1/2 oz. can Mexican-style diced tomatoes OR 1 can of Rotel tomatoes (regular or mild, depending on your preference)
Small flour tortillas (click here to make your own!)
Desired toppings: salsa or pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, etc.

Place chopped onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Combine seasonings in a small bowl and then rub seasoning mixture all over the roast. Place roast over onions, top with chopped peppers, and then pour the canned tomatoes on top of everything.
Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours OR start this in the morning, cook it on high until things start to boil and then cook on low until dinnertime and the meat shreds easily with two forks.

Friday, August 21, 2009


My friend brought this over to our house the other night and it was really really good!!

1 can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can whole kernal corn (drained)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 bundle cilantro leaves (chopped)
2-3 bundles green onions (chopped)
2 peeled and choped avacadoes
1 packet Italian dressing mix (prepare as directed then add in)

I also think it would be good with a little lime juice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ginger Ale Roast Beef

Sounds weird, I know. But it was delicious, I promise. It made it's own really yummy gravy too. I served it with mashed potatoes.

1 3 pound beef roast
1/2 C flour
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 envelope dry brown gravy mix
2 C ginger ale

Coat the roast with flour. Reserve any flour that doesn't stick to the roast. Place roast in crock pot. Combine dry soup mix, gravy mix, remaining flour and ginger ale. Mix well. Pour sauce over roast. Cook on Low for 8-10 hours or until roast is tender.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars

Much easier than making snickerdoodle cookies and they taste the same!

1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X9 pan. Mix dry ingredients (flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt). In separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Spread in pan. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over dough. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown at edges (toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean). Let cool in pan and cut into bars.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Mmmm.....one of my favorite cookies.

1 C Butter
1 1/2 C white sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 package white chocolate chips
1 6.5 oz jar macadamia nits, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into mixture. Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts. Chill for 10-15 minutes. Drop by heaping teaspoons full onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, cool on wire rack.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cashew Sweet and Sour Pork

2 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
1 Tbsp. cooking sherry or apple juice
1 lb. pork tenderloin or boneless pork chops, thinly sliced
1/3 c. water
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. oil
1/3 c. chopped cashews (or exactly one of those little .99 bags of Fritos cashews at the front of the grocery store)
¼ c. green onions
2 tsp. minced or grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced or pressed
6-8 oz. snow peas, trimmed
1 8-oz. can pineapple chunks, drained

Now...to get your pork super thin, you'll need to partially freeze it. When it's semi-frozen (or mostly-frozen), cut it very thinly with a sharp knife. Don't cut it too thin - I sliced mine a little too thin and it broke up when I was stir frying it.

Get the icky hard parts off the snow peas. Just snap the corners off and then tug a little to get the tough string that goes along the side of the snow pea.

Begin cooking your rice.

Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch, sherry, and pork. Toss well. Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch, water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and ketchup. Stir with a whisk; make sure there are no clumps with the cornstarch. Collect everything that's going into the stir fry next to the stove so you can access it easily. Heat 1-2 Tbsp. canola oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add pork and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add snow peas and pineapple. Stir-fry 3 minutes more. Whisk sauce ingredients again and add to pan bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in cashews and serve over hot rice. Garnish with more cashews and green onions if you want.

Crockpot Chicken Cordon Bleu

I checked out a crockpot recipe book from the library and thought I would try a new crockpot recipe each week. I love to cook in the crockpot in the summer so I don't have to turn on the oven. This one turned out really yummy - I like to make chicken cordon bleu but it requires a lot of time and effort. This way was really simple.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 lb sliced deli ham
1/2 lb sliced baby swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box dry stuffing mix, prepared according to directions on box

Layer all ingredients in the order they are listed into the crockpot. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Taco Pasta Salad

We had this at a friends house last night for dinner. It is super and easy and cheap. (Both of my favorites.) I know it might sound a little weird, but it was good.


Curly pasta
ground beef (cooked with Taco seasoning)
green onions
black olives
whatever other veggies you want to put on it
sour cream
chips (crumbled on top)

You just put everything on top of the noodles and mix together. Everyone can do their own so they only have the things they want on it. Lucas loved it... he ate two helpings. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Artichoke Spinach Dip

Alex and I always get this when we go to Olive Garden. It's really good! Mom and I made it while she was here and it is really good if you chop up some tomoatoes and put them on the top.

4 cloves garlic
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft.
Remove from heat.
3. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
4. In an 8x8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style
pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
5. Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly.
Serve warm

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Peach Crisp with Pecans & Toffee Bits

We have too many peaches, so i had to find a way to use at least some of them. I found this recipe on some blog and it sounded good, cause unlike usual peach cobblers it had toffee in it. Mmmm... It was very delicious.

Serves 6

6 cups peaches, peeled and sliced (about 2.5 lbs)
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup English toffee bits (like Skor or Heath)½ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place six 1¼ cup ramekins on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; set aside.

Meanwhile, immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in a bowl of ice water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl. Add the sugar, brown sugar, flour and lime juice and blend well. Divide filling evenly among ramekins.

To make the topping, whisk flour, brown sugar and salt in bowl to blend. Using fingertips rub in butter until mixture hold together in clumps. Stir in toffee and pecans; sprinkle over filling.

Bake Crisps until filling bubbles and topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Skewers

We had this tonight - it was delicious!

1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
1 each yellow and green zucchini squash, cut in half (if large) and sliced
8 oz. small whole mushrooms, stems removed
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (or combo of 2 or more), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 small red onion, carefully cut into bite-sized chunks (try to keep as much of the pieces in tact as possible, but don't stress it if they start to fall apart)
Sweet cherry tomatoes
1 recipe of Zesty Italian Dressing (below)

Prepare Zesty Italian Dressing:

1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (this really doesn't add much heat; it's better with it!)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 c. canola oil
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese (either fresh or from a can)
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (add more if needed)

In a blender, combine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, salt, seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Blend. While blender is running, slowly add oil in a steady stream. Turn off blender and add Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Pulse blender 2-3 times to combine herbs and cheese. Remove 1/2 c. of dressing for basting during grilling and set aside.

Place cut-up chicken in a shallow dish and pour a little less than half of the remaining dressing over the chicken. Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until ready to use (I marinated overnight).

Place chopped veggies in a dish (a 9x13 pan works great) and pour remaining dressing (except for reserved 1/2 c.) over the veggies. Toss gently to combine. Set aside.

If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for about 30 minutes.

When chicken is done marinating, skewer veggies and chicken (you'll have far more veggies than chicken, so keep that in mind when assembling your skewers; use about 3 pieces of chicken per skewer, but as many vegetables you can get on there).

Preheat grill and then cook skewers for about 10-12 minutes over medium heat until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender-crisp, turning at least once.

I served them with some Long Grain and Wild Rice. YUMMY!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

Can you tell I have been craving salads lately? This is a copycat I found for the Santa Fe Chicken Salad they serve at the Cheesecake Factory. It was really good - it might sound like a really bizarre combination of tastes but they really all do go together. Since there are really 3 dressings (a lime dressing, bean relish that is like a black bean salsa, and a spicy peanut drizzle) it is probably best to do the dressings ahead of time. This is one of my new favorite salads.

6 chicken breasts halves
1/2 cup teriyaki marinade
16 cups romaine and leaf lettuce
1 cup cilantro
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed
1 cans whole kernel corn, drained
3 cups grated jack cheese
3 cups corn tortilla chips crushed
3 cups diced seeded tomatoes

Marinate chicken 1 hour in teriyaki marinade. Broil and baste chicken approximately 15 minutes; cool, then cut into bite size pieces or shred. Tear greens; add cilantro and beans and corn. Dress with Lime Dressing (see below).

Fill 8 plates with greens, top each with chicken, 1/4 cup cheese, tomatoes, 1/2 cup Bean Relish (see below). Drizzle with Peanut Dressing (see below).

Lime Dressing:
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon snipped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil

Process until thick.

Black Bean Relish:

Process together:
1 can Beans
1/2 cup each chopped red pepper, green pepper and red onion
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/4 teaspoons oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons sesame oil

Process until well blended.

This recipe is for 8, so if you have fewer people to serve, decrease amounts. I halved the dressing, bean relish, and peanut drizzle and had enough for probably 4 people. For the salad amounts, I probably only used 1/4 can beans and corn.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

This one sounds a little strange but it was actually really good. One of my new favorite meals. And it is perfect for summer - cool and light.

8 oz Linguine Fini (or regular linguine)
4 C shredded greens: any combo of napa cabbage, romaine lettuce or even spinach
2 C thinly sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
3 C diced grilled chicken
honey roasted peanuts (about 1/2 cup)

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add a spoonful of salt and then add your pasta. While pasta is cooking, start chopping those veggies. You can really use any mix of veggies you want.

As soon as your pasta is done drain it and run some cold water over it until it's cool. If you're not going to use it right away, add a drizzle of the salad dressing and stir to coat. This will prevent the noodles from getting all clumpy. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

When you're ready to assemble the salad, place noodles, veggies, and chicken in a large bowl.

Pour the dressing over everything, stirring as you go until you have enough to coat.

1/2 C peanut butter
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 1/2 t sesame oil
1 T seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 T soy sauce
3 T honey
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 T minced ginger
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro (stems and all)
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/4 t kosher salt*
2-3 t sriracha chili sauce*
2-4 T water*

*The need for salt may differ depending on the brand of PB you use. Taste first and then add.
*I use 3 t Sriaracha, but you may want more or less depending on your preference of heat levels. Again, taste first and then add.
*Lastly, the addition of the water is purely for consistency which again, depends on the PB brand you use. Add water until you get the consistency you want, or leave it out completely.

Place everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored
and diced
8 ounces raspberries
1 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar

1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
4. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Home-made funfetti cake

We don't really like the after taste of cake from a box... and my little boy really wanted a sprinkle cake for his birthday. So I just made the better homes and Garden white cake and mixed a whole container of sprinkles in it before I baked it. I topped it with a butter cream frosting and a whole other container of sprinkles. Here is the white cake recipe I used.

4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk
1. Allow egg whites to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 9x1-1/2-inch or 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans or grease one 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set the pan(s) aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add egg whites 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread batter into the prepared pan(s).
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for 9-inch pans, 30 to 35 minutes for 8-inch pans or 13x9-inch pan, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on racks. Or, place 13x9x2-inch cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Frost with desired frosting.
4. Makes 12 to 16 servings

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions

2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated pepperjack cheese

small corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

These were really good dipped in the Cafe Rio Salad Dressing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Real Italian Calzone

Found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. The filling was very good. I added peppers, olives and some other cheese there. So you can put whatever you like on you pizza.

Real Italian Calzone

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 egg, beaten


To Make Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the oil, sugar and salt; mix in 1 cup of the flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the rest of the flour, until dough is smooth and workable. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until it is elastic. Lay dough in a bowl containing 1 teaspoon olive oil, then flip the dough, cover and let rise for 40 minutes, or until almost doubled. 

To Make Filling: While dough is rising, combine the ricotta cheese, Cheddar cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and basil leaves in a large bowl. Mix well, cover bowl and refrigerate to chill. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 

When dough is ready, punch it down and separate it into 2 equal parts. Roll parts out into thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Fill each circle with 1/2 of the cheese/meat filling and fold over, securing edges by folding in and pressing with a fork. Brush the top of each calzone with egg and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. 

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Somoa Bars

My boys loved these. Jacob would wake up in the morning (when I was too lazy to get out of bed) and just cut himself a piece. They don't taste exactly like somoas... but they are still delicious. I did (as the note suggests) put the chocolate on top. I just melted it and spread it over the entire top (like magic cookie bars). If you dipped the bars in the chocolate though, the short bread would probably be less crumbly. That is my only complaint, they made a big mess!

Homemade Samoas BarsCookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
First, make the crust.Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
Topping3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)12-oz good-quality chewy caramels1/4 tsp salt3 tbsp milk10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 30 bar cookies.
Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.


I personally have never made these... but they sounded really good and who doesn't love Samoas? If you try it leave a comment and let us know how it is. :)

Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas January 23

Homemade Samoas (a.k.a. Caramel de-Lites)Cookies

1 cup butter, soft

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

up to 2 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350F.In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold.Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

12-oz good-quality chewy caramels

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp milk

8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.
While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.
Note: These cookies are fairly time consuming to make, but if you take your time and have fun with them, the results will be worth it. That said, if you want something a little bit quicker, try baking a batch of Samoas Bars instead, which require no rolling and cutting of the dough!

Alton Brown's Brownies

We don't get Food Network channel here in these apartments. And i miss it so much. I got used to watching my favorite shows about food.

You probably know the program on Food Network with Alton Brown guy - Good Eats. It was one of my favorites. On Matt's Birthday i decided to make him brownies, cause he doesn't really eat cakes (i end up eating them by myself). And this recipe got lots of reviews, so i decided to try it out.


Soft butter, for greasing the pan (or parchment paper greased with oil spray)
Flour, for dusting the buttered pan (if you're using parchment paper skip this step)
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar, sifted
1 cup brown sugar, sifted
8 ounces melted butter
1 1/4 cups cocoa, sifted (i used just 1 cup and i had Spacial Dark Hershey Cocoa)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour, sifted 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan. 

2. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine. 

3. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it's done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it's mostly cool.

Notes: I had to adjust baking time. I baked it for 1 hour or a little more. But a toothpick method is gonna help you to decide when to take them out. Oh, i also used 9x13 cake pan instead of the square one, cause i don't like thick brownies.

I know that it's easier just to buy a mix and bake it, but i just wanted to try something special for Matt and they did turn out really good.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Orange Thai Beef Skewers

This one is from Best Bites site. It had a really good flavor and was really easy to make.

1 orange
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 T honey
1T sesame oil
1 t ground ginger
1 t coriander
4 cloves garlic
2-4 t Sriracha chili sauce*

1 1/2 lb flank steak

Grab a bowl for your marinade. Zest your orange and add all of the zest to the bowl. Then cut the orange in half and add all of the juice as well. You should have at least 1/4 C orange juice and anything more than that is just fine. To the orange mixture, add soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, coriander, and garlic. Then add Sriracha to your liking. I've found that once these are marinaded and cooked, the spice mellows quite a bit. I add 2t Sriracha and it's mild enough that my toddler gobbles them up. It's not even really spicey, just flavorful. So if you like heat, I'd do more like 3-4 teaspoons of Sriracha. Whisk the marinade so everything is combined.

Take the flank steak and slice it across the grain into about 1/4" slices.

When you're ready to get cookin' preheat your grill. Then take your skewers (pre-soaked if you're using wood/bamboo ones) and thread on the strips of meat, just like you're stitching.Place them on the grill. These cook really fast. Overcooked flank steak will be tough and chewy, so don't over do it! They should only take about 3-4 minutes on each side. Flip half way through.

Now these don't only cook fast, they cool fast. So get the rest of your meal all ready, set the table, gather the kids, etc. Grill these up at the last minute so you can serve them hot off the grill, literally.

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

I was pretty skeptical of this at first but it really did work and tasted pretty good. Roger and I shared the mug and had it with vanilla ice cream. Use a big mug - it gets bigger when you cook it.

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Garlic Spread

A couple of months ago they were sampling this at Costco. They used this and olive oil on noodles and it was really yummy. We bought some and have also used it for homemade garlic bread. You just make a pizza crust recipe. Roll it out like you are making a pizza crust. I then mixed melted butter and about a tablespoon of this stuff. Move the crust on to your pizza stone and brush the mixture on top. I cut it before I bake it so the breadsticks are already formed. It is one of our favorites!

Banana Cream Pie-in-a-bowl

This one's for you Marianne

Cookie Crunch(below)
1 Package (4 serving size) banana instant pudding
2 cups cold milk
3 ripe medium bananas, sliced
1 container(8oz) cool whip
Peanuts, if desired

1. Bake cookie Crunch. Make pudding mix in Large bowl as directed on package, using 2 cups milk.
2. Layer half of the Cookie Crunch, pudding, bananas and whipped topping in 2 quart serving bowl; repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Top with peanuts. Store covered in refrigerator.

Cookie Crunch:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup firm butter
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

Heat oven to 400. Mix flour and brown sugar in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knife, until mixture is crumbly. Stir in peanuts. Press evenly on bottom of ungreased square pan, 9X9X2 inches. Bake about 15 minutes or until light brown. Stir to break up; cool completely. (To cool quickly, place in larger pan in freezer.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wheat Bread Recipe

Dasha wanted me to post the recipe for wheat bread I have been using. I got it off the container for the dough enhancer (Blue Chip is the brand I think) I bought. The recipe will make 4 loaves so if you want only 2, cut it in half :). I think that using the dough enhancer and the Vital Wheat Gluten make the bread not as crumbly as previous loaves of bread I have made. It seems to last a bit longer. Also, mom pointed out that yeast and salt don't interact well together. The first few times I made this recipe, it didn't rise as well. The last time I cut the salt in 1/2 and it rose like crazy. It didn't taste any different either. So here you go Dasha!!!

Blend or mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes

  • 6 Cups Warm/Hot water(120-130 degrees F)
  • 2/3 Cup Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Instant Yeast


  • 2 Tbsp Blue Chip Group Dough Enhancer
  • 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 2 Tbsp Salt (if desired)

Blend and Knead:

Add slowly 9 Cups whole wheat flour until side of bowl is clean or mix on speed 1-2 for 8 minutes.


Into loaf pans and let rise until double


At 350 F for 30 - 40 minutes.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe was on Best Bites and I thought I would give it a try. It turned out delicious! I didn't refrigerate them overnight - just while we were at church and they turned out perfect. I took some over to the neighbors and they called 15 minutes later raving about them. I also made a cream cheese glaze instead of the one on the recipe. I put both so you can choose what you like. YUM! Watch out Cinnabon!

1 T active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water (105 degr F/ 40 deg C)
4 1/2 C all-purpose flour (22 1/2 oz 700g)
4 large eggs
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp

1/2 C (1 stick) real butter at room temp
3/4 C packed brown sugar
1 T cinnamon

1 C powdered sugar
2 T butter, melted
2 T milk or cream
1 t vanilla extract

  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 C of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.

Add the eggs, sugar, butter, and remaining 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead on medium speed until smooth 10-12 minutes. Add a bit more flour to reduce stickiness if needed.

Cover with plastic wrap, set in a warm spot and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

While dough is rising, prepare filling. Take 2 T of the stick of butter and set aside. Beat remaining butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined and slightly fluffy, about 1 minute.

Butter a 9x13 baking dish. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle about 15x10 in. Spread filling onto dough and roll up length-wise.

Use string or dental floss to score and cut the dough into rolls. You can make 12 small rolls, 10 medium ones, or 8 large. Place cut side up in baking dish. Melt the reserved 2 T butter and brush on top of rolls. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

The next morning remove from refrigerator and let rise until half again as high, about 1 hour. While rising mix glaze ingredients until combined. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Spread the glaze over warm rolls and serve.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes

We like pancakes in the morning. I like to try new recipes of pancakes, so Emma doesn't get bored of the same ones.  These pancakes are really good. 

Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes
makes 8

1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
pinch salt
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and vanilla in a separate bowl. 

Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until stiff. Add the dry ingredients to the ricotta and milk mixture, stirring gently until just combined. Whisk in a small amount of the egg whites to lighten the batter, then fold in the remaining whites. 

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat, and brush the surface with butter. Use a ladle or measuring scoop (we used a 1/3 cup measure) to pour batter onto the griddle. Cook pancakes for about 3 or 4 minutes, then flip, cooking until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with your favorite syrup.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hawaiian Chicken

Super easy!

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 - 16 oz. bottle BBQ sauce
1 - 20 oz. can crushed pineapple

Mix BBQ sauce and crushed pineapple together. Place chicken in crock pot and pour sauce over top. Cook on high for 3 hours (4 hours if chicken is frozen). When done, serve with rice; or shred chicken and put some sauce with it and serve as sandwiches (or you can still serve it over rice). YUM (and it couldn't be simpler).

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Yes, I have returned to the blogging world again. Here is the recipe for hummus that Mary and Suzy and I were talking about when we were all in St. George in March, how's that for lag time. :)

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved for later
1 clove garlic
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt to taste

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients. Cover and puree until smooth. Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved bean liquid, until desired consistency is achieved. Hummus can be served immediately, or covered and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
You can also add spinach, artichokes, feta cheese, basil, etc, (but I haven’t tried that yet).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

mmm.... this salad was very good... the recipe calls for only lettuce and red onions as a salad part, but i also threw grape tomatoes (halved) and half of the red pepper...yum.

For the Chicken:

1 lb. chicken breasts
1 teaspoon each garlic powder (or two cloves minced), salt, and pepper
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place chicken in ziptop baggie. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour lemon juice and olive oil into bag, turn chicken to coat and marinate for 1-12 hours. Grill or broil chicken, about 6 minutes per side. 

For Croutons:
1/2 loaf French bread, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves minced
4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a foil lined cookie sheet, toss bread with garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Bake bread until toasted, turning once, about 15 minutes. 

For Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
pinch of cayenne, if desired
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a blender and process until smooth. 

For Salad:
Romaine lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
red onion, thinly sliced

To serve:

Place romaine and red onion on plates. Top with croutons and chicken breast. Drizzle with dressing and black pepper. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

This isn't a picture of the ones I made but they looked exactly like this. I have been reading on some blogs lately about these cookies and thought I would give them a whirl. They turned out pretty tasty. There are all sorts of varieties of them - pumpkin, chocolate, plain cake. These are chocolate ones. They taste kind of like a big, homemade oreo.

1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour milk
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup hot water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shortening
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 egg whites, beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup of shortening and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time then stir in the vanilla and sour milk. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Stir together the baking soda and hot water then mix them into the batter last. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm but not overbaked. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, cream together the 1 1/2 cups shortening with the confectioners' sugar and 1/4 cup of flour until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the milk and vanilla until well mixed, then fold in the egg whites. Sandwich at least 1 tablespoon of filling between the flat sides of two cookies.