Sunday, December 12, 2010


Every year at this time I begin a candy making marathon. It’s tradition and I love it! Without a doubt the best thing I make is homemade caramels! I have to make two batches around here one for us, and one for everyone else---seriously this stuff is incredible!!



4 c. sugar
1 c. whipping cream
1 1/2 c. milk (I used 2%)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free, not that these are healthy or anything!)
2 c. corn syrup
1 c. butter
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, cream, milk, condensed milk, corn syrup and butter in a 6 quart or larger pan. Stir over medium heat until mixture reaches a boil.

From here you really need to stir constantly to prevent burning. When the mixture turns light brown, clip a candy thermometer on the side of your pan and continue stirring until candy reaches 240 degrees, or soft ball. (make sure to adjust temperature if you are above sea level: –2 degrees for every 1,000 feet above)

I have to be honest with you, this takes a LONG time. I think I stood there stirring for well over an hour, but it’s worth it!!

Once you have reached soft ball, remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.  Then pour into a buttered 9x13 pan. Let the caramel sit for 24 hours (it really only lasts overnight around here) and the cut into pieces.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sugar Cookies

I tried this sugar cookie recipe last week and the cookies turned out so good!  I tweaked the recipe from My Kitchen Cafe a bit.

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix. Add two cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix. Add remaining flour and mix just until flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and soft.
The dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or it can be rolled out right away. Dust a counter with powdered sugar or flour and roll the dough to desired thickness. Cut the dough into shapes. Place the cookies on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. The cookies won’t appear browned on top (or on bottom) when they are done baking so don’t let them overbake!  I like them super soft with not even a hint of browned edges or bottom.

I frosted them with Buttercream frosting, not the cream cheese frosting she recommends (my kids wouldn't go for that). Besides I like my cookies sprinkled with crushed up candy cane and I don't know how the peppermint would go with cream cheese.  The soft cookies with this frosting and candy canes were SO good.  I want to make them again (actually I don't I just want to eat them again!)
Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter.  Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes with Apple Compote

I found the pancake recipe from the Closet Cooking Blog and the compote recipe from the Tasty Kitchen Blog  My whole family enjoyed these healthy and delicious pancakes.  I doubled the pancake recipe and halfed the compote recipe.  Next time will make a full batch of the compote.  My kids even loved the compote.  It wasn't overly sweet so they did add a little bit of maple of syrup. 

Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes by Closet Cooking
(makes 2 servings, 4-6 pancakes)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats (ground in food processor)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup milk (or buttermilk) (I used kefir and a little bit of almond milk to make batter a little bit thinner.)
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
2 tablespoons apple sauce
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 apple (peeled, cored and chopped)

1. Mix the flour, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
2. Mix the maple syrup, milk, egg, butter and apple sauce in another bowl.
3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients.
4. Mix in the rolled oats and apple.
5. Heat a pan and melt a touch of butter in it.
6. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and cook until the surface starts to bubble and the bottom is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
7. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until the bottom is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes

Apple Compote
(Servings 4)

4 Apples, Peeled And Quartered
Half A Lemon, Squeezed
½ cups Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla
To make the compote:
Peel and quarter apples and place in saucepan. Squeeze half a lemon over the apples. Pour in the orange juice. Add the vanilla. Let simmer over medium-low heat, covered, until the apples get somewhat soft, stirring as needed. (You can use almost any fruit / combination of fruits– pears, peaches, berries)
Once the apples are somewhat soft, take the cover off the pot and allow the apples to continue simmering until most of the excess liquid is gone. Then mash up (not too much, or you will end up with apple sauce), leaving some chunks. Discard excess liquid if there is any left. Voila, set aside, the compote is done.
(I added a 1/2 to 1 tsp of cinnamon and it was delicious!)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Puffed French Toast

I made this about a month ago and we all thought it was pretty good. I found the recipe on Our Best Bites. Try it!

2 eggs
2 ½ Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. milk
1 c. flour
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
12 slices of toast, cut in half diagonally

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 1/4" of vegetable oil over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, flour, and baking powder. Once oil is ready quickly take each 1/2 slice of bread and soak it both sides in the mixture. Gently shake to remove excess batter and place in hot oil. Cook until puffed, golden brown, and a nice, crispy crust has formed on each side (probably 3-5 minutes per side) and then remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. While cooking remaining French toast, keep cooked pieces warm in an oven set to the lowest temperature it will go. When ready to serve roll in cinnamon sugar.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monster Cookies

I am a day late posting but we will just pretend it is still Monday, that will give us more time until Christmas. Anyway, these have to be my favorite drop cookies. I actually try not to make these very often because I eat so many and I can't seem to control myself. It is a big batch and I do make half most of the time. Enjoy!

1 cup butter
6 eggs
2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 t. corn syrup
2 cups peanut butter
4 t. baking soda
9 cups oatmeal
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups M&M's

Cream the butter and sugar and add eggs, vanilla, peanut butter and corn syrup. Mix well and then add the oatmeal and mix very well. Add your chocolate chips and m&m's and mix gently so the m&m's won't break apart. Drop onto cookies sheets and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Easy Macaroni and Cheese

This is a great recipe if you need dinner quick but I wouldn't say it was low-fat.

1 lb macaroni
8 oz Velveeta (more if you want it really cheesy)
1 cup cream

Melt Velveeta with cream. Cook pasta and put it all together. My kids gobbled it up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken and Noodles over Mash Potatos

This is an awesome recipe that my mom made for us growing up and it is my great grandma's recipe.


2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 T. oil
1 T cream or canned milk
1-2 C flour

Mix all ingredients together and add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Put on well floured surface and roll out thin. Flour both bottom and top and fold up and cut into long noodles. Unfold noodles and let them dry for several hours on a cooling rack.


1 whole chicken with the insides removed
1 onion
4-6 cups of water
2-4 Chicken bouillon cubes
Thickening agent (can use either sure jell or cornstarch)

Place chicken and onion in a large pot and cover 2/3 with water. Allow chicken to simmer in water covered until the meat begins to fall off the bone (this took about an 1 1/2 hours when I did it). Remove chicken and onion from the broth and allow it to cool. Take all the meat off the chicken bones and shred.
Place a handful of ice cubes in the cooled broth and stir. This will help all the left over fat to gel so that you can scoop it up and remove it from the broth. Bring broth to a boil and add as many bouillon cubes you feel are needed for a good flavoring. Add chicken and noodles and simmer until noodles are soft. Add as much thickening as needed to have a gravy consistency. (If you're using the sure jell you can just sprinkle it into the warm broth, if using cornstarch mix several tablespoons with cold water and slowly stir into broth). Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over mashed potatoes.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

I love pumpkin! I make these every fall and each time I wonder why I waited so long, they are INCREDIBLE!
(Thanks Eyvon!)
Pumpkin Bars
1 pkg. Yellow Cake mix
1/2 c. melted butter
1 egg
1 small can pumpkin made up to make a pumpkin pie

Reserve 1 cup of cake mix and set aside. Pour remaining cake mix in a bowl. Add butter and egg, stir to combine. Press dough into a greased 9X13 pan.

Make pumpkin pie filling as per instructions on the can. Pour filling over cake mix mixture.
Sprinkle remaining cake mix over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Corn Dog Bites

We wanted homemade corn dogs - but thought these little corn dog bites would be easier to make and eat.  They were a huge hit and super easy.  Next time I think I will wipe down the hot dogs first.  They were a bit slick and I think that is why the batter didn't stick real well.  

The recipe calls for 2 packages of hot dogs to make corn dogs with this batter.  Since I was doing the bites, I thought I would need more batter then a big corn dog.  I used this batch for one package of hot dogs and had a lot of leftover, but I don't think a half of a batch would've been enough.

Corn batter
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
 Mix it all together.  Dip your hot dogs (or hot dog quarters) into the batter and then fry in hot oil.  I used my electric skillet at 350 degrees. 

Cook whole hot dogs (with wooden skewers) for about 8 minutes, these little guys only took 5-6 minutes or until they are golden brown.  I let them get very golden to make sure the inside was done.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beef Stew

It's 2 for 1 Thursday.  I just posted a soup recipe and here is another that I would like to share.  It is cooling off and I just love eating soup on a cold night.  My mom posted a stew recipe a few weeks ago but this one is different.  Try them both!  I found this recipe on the blog For the Love of Cooking.  Here is the link to the recipe.

I made a few changes to the recipe.  I like thicker soup so I added an extra can of diced tomatoes and omitted 2 cups of beef broth.  I also doubled the amount of vegetables and added 3/4 cups of mushrooms.  It was heavenly.  I don't have a large cast iron pot so I just cooked the first ingredients on the stove in a large pan for about 1 1/2 hours on medium high heat.  Then I transferred it to my crockpot and added the vegetables.  I cooked it on low for about 3 hours.  It was cooked perfectly. 

Beef Stew

1 lb stew meat (I use lean round cut into small chunks)
1 sweet yellow onion chopped into large pieces
6 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garlic powder
6 cups of beef stock

Preheat oven to 250 degrees (you can also use stove top or crock-pot). In large cast iron (or baking pot) heat olive oil. Add stew meat and onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding tomatoes, seasonings and stock. Cover and cook in the oven (on stove top or in crock-pot) for at least 4 hours. Remove pot from oven place on stove top over medium heat.

1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced baby red potatoes (skin on)

Add vegetables to the stew and add more beef broth if low. Taste and add seasonings if needed. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I was supposed to blog yesterday and it is now Thursday evening. We had a few hectic days. Yesterday I had to go to a last minute meeting and then came home to find a very sick dog at home. I ended up taking him to an emergency vet and was gone until midnight. I don't want to talk about how much money I spent at the Vet office!  Not that you care what my excuses are, but I feel better sharing them with you.

I made this soup on Halloween weekend and it was delicious. I found this recipe on one of my new favorite food blogs For the Love of Cooking. Here is a link to the recipe.

I did make a few changes to the recipe. I only added 8 cups of chicken broth instead of 10 because my husband likes thick soup. I also added a can of black beans and omitted the jalapenos because I didn't have any. The avocado topping with the cojita cheese was amazing. I didn't make my own tortilla strips and we just crushed some tortilla chips on top.  I'm sure the homemade ones would be better and healthier.  Be sure to try the soup.

Shredded Chicken:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat
3 cups of chicken broth or water
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp sweet yellow onion, diced finely
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and gently boil for 20 minutes. Let the chicken breasts cool then shred with two forks.


2 tsp olive oil
2 cups of onion, diced
1 cup of celery, diced
2 cups of carrots, diced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (more if you want spicy)
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 1/2 quarts of chicken stock (I used homemade)
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp of cumin (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp ground coriander seed (I used about 1 1/2 tsp)
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro, chopped (divided)
6 fresh white corn tortillas

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and saute until tender. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds. Add the carrots, celery, jalapeno, tomatoes, broth, cumin, coriander, sea salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup of cilantro. Cut the 6 corn tortillas in half, then cut them crosswise into 1/2 inch strips and add to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the corn tortillas have melted away. Add the chicken, taste and re season if needed.

Corn tortilla strips:

5 corn tortillas
Cooking spray
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray the baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Spray each side of all the tortillas & lay in a pile. Cut into thin strips & spread across the baking dish then season with sea salt. Bake in the oven until golden brown - watch them carefully because they burn easily. It usually takes about 3-5 minutes.

Additional Toppings:

1 - 2 avocados, diced
Cotija cheese, grated
Fresh cilantro (remainder from above ingredients)

Ladle soup into large soup bowls. Add some avocado, tortilla strips, a sprinkle of cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oatmeal Cranberry White cocolate Cookies

I have trying to avoid baked goods but finally couldn't resist my craving. I found this in a magazine and it was an add for craisins and thought that it looked good. At first I was disappointed because I thought that they weren't what I had wanted but then decided that they were okay because maybe they can be considered a healthy cookie. They have about half the normal sugar in a cookie and really almost taste like a muffin. I ended up really liking so try them yourself. Enjoy!

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt (I never add this)
1 6 oz. pkg. craisins
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs. Then add the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the craisins and white chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets (I use a cookie scoop and parchment paper on my cookie sheets). Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done. Remove and cool on wire rack. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

So my camera died and I cant find my cord to charge it which means I can post a picture with this recipe. Sorry. I made this a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. It tastes just like a baked potato. I found it off of Our Best Bites. Enjoy!

2 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c flour
4 1/2 c milk
14 oz can chicken broth
4 medium potatoes, baked
1 1/2 c grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 c sour cream
1/4 chopped green onions
5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds. Add flour to pan. Slowly add milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to eliminate lumps. Whisk until smooth and then add chicken broth. Bring soup just to a simmer and heat until thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Once soup is thickened, turn heat down to medium-low. Cut potatoes in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh into the pot. Use a wooden spoon to smash potatoes, breaking up large clumps. Add grated cheese and salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in sour cream, green onions, and bacon. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

These were very yummy, we made them for our Halloween treat. Like we needed more treats but they were good. Got he recipe from

2 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350.
Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan. Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the sugar and cream again. Add the eggs one at a time beating after each one. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat again.
Place one whole oreo in the bottom of the cupcake liners and fill up the liner 3/4 full with the cheesecake batter. Push another whole oreo into the top of the batter.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan for 15-20 min before removing and placing on a wire rack to finish cooling. Keep refrigerated. Top with whipped cream. The recipe made 18 cupcakes for me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quesadilla Style Burritos

I don't know why but when you take your burrito and toast it on the stove it makes it taste so much more fattening. I love it and so does my hubby. This recipe is nothing fancy but we sure enjoy it and its easy and fast.

1 can of pinto beans or refried beans
1 lb of hamburger
1/2 cup of salsa
1/4-1/2 cup of frozen corn
Grated Cheese

Brown hamburger and drain off grease. Add pinto beans, salsa, and corn and heat until warm. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of mixture onto half of a tortilla top with cheese and salsa and then grill on both sides then top with sour cream.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Focaccia Bread

As all of you know, I am a bread lover. My mom says I have always been this way, so why change things now. This recipe  is probably the easiest yeast bread I have ever made. It is tender and delicious and best of all it only has to rise ONCE!  It originally comes from Prudence Pennywise. We typically eat it as a side dish for dinner and then I make incredible sandwiches with it the next day. YUMMY!

Rosemary Focaccia
  • 2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast (I use SAF)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped, or 1 tablespoon fresh (I used dry- or I leave it out which I almost prefer!)
  • 3 cups flour (I did all white) For Top:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (sometimes I smother it in cheddar cheese and it is wonderful!)
  1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, pepper, salt, rosemary and half of the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. (Alternately, if you have a free standing mixer, put in all of the flour and let the machine do the work. I used my Kitchen Aid)
  2. Work in the remaining flour, using your hands and kneading when necessary. Knead dough for five minutes. Cover and let rise for one hour. (The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with saran wrap and store in fridge.)
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press dough into a 12 inch circle. Don’t worry about being perfect; you’re going for rustic Italian here.
  4. Press the dough all over with your fingertips to make indentations. Cover dough with olive oil, cheese, rosemary and black pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve

Monday, October 25, 2010

Asian Noodle Salad

This summer my sister-in-law made us a really yummy salad.  I loved it!  She said it was from Pioneer Woman so I went looking for it.  I changed quite a few things, but it's all good!

 I'm not quite as adventuresome as Jana or the Pioneer Woman - here's what I used:
1 pound linguine noodles (cooked)
 purple cabbage
baby spinach
various colors of bell peppers

The amount of vegetables depends on how many veggies you use.  Really, whatever you like and is in your fridge is good!

The Dressing:

Juice from 1 Lime
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic Chopped
Chopped Cilantro

I know Jana added chicken to hers and made it more filling.  The secret is to add the dressing to each serving so everyone gets as much as they like and then the salad saves well if you don't eat it all.  We loved it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Italian Brown Rice Pasta Salad

I was so excited to find brown rice pasta at Trader Joes. I also found a very healthy Braggs Organic Vinagrette made with olive oil at Whole Foods recently. We had friends over for a BBQ I made a pasta salad. It was delicious and you couldn't even tell it was a different pasta. The dressing was lighter tasting but it really brought out the taste of vegetables and cheese. It's gluten free and low in sodium! You could make a main dish by adding diced chicken.

1 lb. package of brown rice spiral pasta
2-3 small cans of sliced olives drained
3 tomatoes diced
1 -2 green or red pepper diced
1 bunch green onion chopped
3/4 cups fresh grated parmesan
1 cup Braggs Organic Italian Vinagrette
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Rinse in cold water. Mix in large bowl with vegetables and dressing. Add cheese right before serving and add more dressing if needed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beef and Mushroom Stew

This is a recipe that I got off of and of course I changed a couple of things but we really liked it and thought it was even better the second day. Dave said that I could definitely make it again.

1 (1 1/2 lb.) chuck pot roast, cut into 1 inch pieces
ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 T. olive oil
1 can French Onion Soup
1 cup beef broth
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 t. Italian seasoning, crushed
8 oz. mushrooms, cut in half
3 medium carrots, sliced (I used the baby carrots and just put in a bunch)
1 medium onion, cubed
5-6 red potatoes cut in half

Put the pepper in the flour and coat the meat. Brown the meat in the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
Put the beef in the crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours until your meat falls apart. It really does take this long.
It is a very easy recipe and so delicious!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homemade Popsicles

Okay, I know its not Summer anymore but I found a recipe from Best Bites and I had to try it. Excuse our pathetic Popsicles, I searched high and low for Popsicles molds and they do not sell them right now. So we compromised and used cups and plastic knives.

Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicle

1 pkg of cheesecake pudding made
1/2 cup of raspberrys
2 tsp lemon zest

Mix it all together and freeze it in the freezer. They were yummy. I always to try Mint Oreo. 1 pkg of chocolate pudding made, crushed oreos, a bit of mint extract.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Speedy Sausage and Ricotta calzones

I found the original recipe from That's my home website (, but I changed it quite a bit so here is what I did. Also, I did take a picture but we can't find the cord to download it so we will keep looking and hopefully we will have a picture before the end of the day.

1 pound hot Italian sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean's)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 handful grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh black pepper
2 tubes prepared pizza dough (I just used my favorite pizza dough recipe instead)
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups marinara or pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Brown sausage and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Combine sausage with ricotta, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, nutmeg, pepper, and mozarella. Roll out doughs and halve cross-wise. Place a dough rectangle on a nonstick cookie sheet. Pile a mound of filling on half of the total area.

Fold dough over and pinch edges to seal. The result is a rectangular turnover.

Bake calzones 15 minutes or until golden all over. Serve calzones with warm tomato, marinara, or pizza sauce for dipping.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits

I found these on a blog a LONG time ago on a blog and despite my efforts to find the said blog I cannot. Sorry.
If you like biscuits you will love these, they are moist and fluffy. A great alternative to yeast rolls.

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits
8 ounces cubed peeled Yukon Gold potato (or leftover mashed potatoes)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into smaller pieces
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 7-3/4 ounces)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Place potato in a medium saucepan; cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender; drain.  Return potato to pan.  Add buttermilk, sour cream and butter to pan; mash with a potato masher until smooth. (I have also simply used leftover mashed potatoes, it works great! Make sure you still use the other ingredients, maybe reduce the buttermilk a bit.)

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add potato mixture and stir just until moist.  Do not over stir.  Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface; knead lightly about 5 or 6 times, be careful not to over work the dough.

Pat dough to a 3/4-inch thickness.  Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter.  Place biscuits 2-inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or covered in parchment paper.  Bake at 450 degrees for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. 
Serve warm smothered in butter, jam and honey.  Yum.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Caramel Apples

Please excuse the pictures...

The kids helped me make caramel apples earlier this week.  Very fun and easy - but a little messy.

6 apples
1 15 ounce package of caramels - unwrapped
2 TBLspoons cream or milk

candy or topping of your choice

Put the caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat for 2-3 minutes, stopping to stir a couple of times.  When it's runny and smooth dip the apples.  You need to work fast to dip as many apples as you can before the caramel cools down.  You may need to heat up the caramel again to finish up the last few.  After the apples are dipped perhaps a second person can twist the apple and give it a half minute to cool and harden
just a bit and then roll in your favorite topping.  Careful, if the caramel is too hot it may melt the chocolate of your topping.  Also the caramel may run down the apple a bit - but these are asthetic problems - it still tastes good!   When the apples are done place on a well buttered cookie sheet so they don't stick.  We used chopped Reese's P-nut Butter Cups.  It's great with other candy bars or Oreo cookies or anything!  I also melted chocolate chips to drizzle over the top, but I overheated it... To eat, cut it in quarters. Have Fun!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fabulous Green Beans

This is another recipe from Taste of Home and they really are fabulous!!! I tend to get excited about a really good vegetable since I try to eat so many of them.

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel

Place beans in a steamer basket; place in a large saucepan over 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil cover and steam for 8-10 minutes or until crisp tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining ingredients until butter is melted. Transfer beans to a serving bowl with butter mixture and toss to coat.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beans and Rice

I got this recipe off The Sisters Cafe blog. I have always wanted to try beans and rice. It is a southern dish. In our family we are all about carbs and let me tell you this dish is loaded with them. The actual title is red beans and rice but I have never liked red beans, hence the first substitution with a few others to follow. Here it is.

3 cans of pinto beans (or red beans if you want to follow the real recipe)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 pkg. Polska Kielbasa, I used turkey, way less fat!(slice it up)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 red pepper, chopped, (or green pepper is what the real recipe calls for)
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Cajun spice

Drain most of the liquid off the beans. Place all ingredients directly into the crock pot - no need to saute veggies with sausage. Add 3/4 cup water. Cook on low for 3-5 hours. Serve with white or brown rice. I made it with white rice but next time I am going to try brown.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lime Basil Stuffed Chicken

So I was craving something creamy and just good the other night and was going through my pantry, fridge, and freezer just trying to figure out what I wanted when I came up with this idea and so I tried it and I actually really enjoyed it so I hope everyone else does too.

4 chicken breasts
8 slices of deli ham
12 slices havarti cheese
basil leaves
2 tbs olive oil
1 can cream of chicken
1/4 cup of lime juice (don't be stingy on this)
1/4 tsp of pepper
2 tbs mayonnaise

First you cut the chicken breast like you would a sub sandwich leaving one edge connected then put 2 slices of ham in each chicken breast and then pile on 2 slices of Havarti cheese and then 4-6 basil leaves and then role up the chicken breasts and tooth pick together. Then cook over low heat with olive oil covered. I would say cook the first side for about 7 minutes and then flip depending on the size of your chicken breasts and cook an additional 7 minutes. While the chicken is cooking mix the cream of chicken, lime juice, pepper, and mayonnaise in a separate bowl. I also added about 8 chopped basil leaves to the mixture and 4 slices of Havarti cheese broken up to it. When the chicken is just about done poor the sauce on top of the chicken and put the lid back on and let it simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. And then enjoy by itself, or on top of rice or pasta.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chicken Taco Soup

Love this soup! I found it at but i made a few changes.
half an onion, chopped finely
1 (16 oz.) can pinto beans
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
1 c. frozen corn
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 (10 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning
2 chicken breasts, thawed or frozen

Stir onion, beans, corn, tomato sauce, dice tomatoes, and taco sauce into a slow cooker. Lay the chicken breast on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly so that it gets covered by other ingredients. Set slow cooker to low heat, cover, and cook for 3-4 hours on high if your chicken is frozen. May take 4-5 hours on low if your chicken is thawed.

Remove chicken breasts from the soup and shred. Stir shredded chicken back into the soup.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Corn Pasta

This pasta I made up. I was running low on food so I took what I had and made dinner.

1 lb spaghetti (its what I had)
1 cup corn
1 small can of chiles
1 cube butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
1 cup cream

Cook up the spaghetti. Meanwhile cook corn and chiles for a few minutes. Melt in the butter, add in garlic, cook for a minute. Add in cream and cheese. Cook until thick. Pour over pasta and you have a yummy pasta dish. Went great with chicken and some veggies.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cheese Potato Soup

So I was suppose to post this yesterday but I completely forgot. I had a few friendly reminders which I didn't get until today and a few others that I received when I was always in the middle of something that I couldn't stop doing. So sorry this is late and sadly I don't have a picture. I know that's horrible but then next time we eat it I will update this post with a picture.
This is my mother-in-laws recipe for cheese soup which my husband just loves. This was my first time making it and I think the only thing I'd do different is to replace the water with chicken broth.

3-4 large potatoes peeled and dice
1/2 cube margarine
2-3 Tbsp flour
1 can cheese soup
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
onion salt or powder to taste (or 1/4 cup sauteed onions)

Cook diced potatoes in water till tender. melt margarine in another pan, add flour to make a paste. Slowly stir in milk and add mixture to potatoes and water. Add cheese soup. Stir til smooth. Add more water until you have the desired thickness. Add seasonings and diced ham if you desired. (We definitely do the diced ham it an additional flavor which I think the soup needs.

Enjoy and sorry there is no picture!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Salsa Verde

So I am posting for Jana cause she moved into her new house this last Saturday and does not have internet yet. This recipe is super simple but I absolutely loved it. I love green salsa so when I saw a jar of it on sale at the grocery store I got this idea to just kick it up a notch. Hope you enjoy!

1 cup of salsa verde (I used medium heat)
1/2 of an avocado finely chopped
2 large Tbs cilantro chopped
1 1/2 tsp lime or lemon juice

Just mix it all together and enjoy it on a taco, burrito, quesadilla or just with some tortilla chips.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Award Winning Crumb Top Apple Pie

Make your favorite pie crust.  I sometimes use Pillsbury and it turns out fabulous!

Peel, core and dice 4-5 apples to get about 5-6 cups of apple pieces.  I don't like my pie to be overflowing and spill in my oven so I tend to use closer to 5 cups - it also depends on the size and depth of your pie pan.

Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon flour to the apples.  Heat over medium-low heat in a sauce pan and cook the apples about halfway, until they start to get soft, but don't cook them too long or you will have mushy pie!

2/3 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2 cube (1/4 cup) butter, melted
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Mix flour and brown sugar and then add the butter.  Don't mix the nuts in, they will burn if they are in the topping, so put the nuts on the pie separately.

Put pie crust into pie pan, add your half-cooked apple filling and then sprinkle the nuts on top of the apples.
Spread the crumb topping on the top, careful to cover the nuts.  Cover the edges of the pie crust to prevent burning.  Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Hot pie with cold ice cream is so good!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Onion Chicken in Balsamic Sauce

I got this recipe from the blog Healthy and Easy Recipes. Here is a link to it The original directions said to cook the chicken in the oven but I was at swimming until 7:00 so I cooked it in the crockpot for a 3 hours and it turned out great. We had broccoli with it and the sauce was good on the broccoli.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken, chopped onion and chopped sun dried tomatoes in crockpot. Mix together the garlic, vinegar, olive oil and chicken broth. Pour over chicken, onion and tomatoes. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours. Serve over brown rice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Joyce's Bread

This is my favorite white bread recipe. I have made it for years. It is out of my ward cookbook and it always turns out so soft and moist. Really yummy! It makes a very large batch of bread, six large loaves. Enjoy!
2 cups warm water
6 Tbsp. yeast
4 cups hot water
1 cup sugar or honey
6 Tbsp. oil (I use a 1/3 of a cup and call it good)
2 Tbsp. salt
14-18 cups of flour

Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water. Let rise till bubbly. Meanwhile, mix 4 cups very hot water, oil, salt, sugar, and about 4-6 cups flour. Beat well while the yeast rises. Add yeast mixture and start adding flour the rest of the flour. Add the flour until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl and is clean. I, of course am using a bread mixer to do this. Knead for about 5 minutes after the flour has been added. Cover and let rise until double in size. Divide into 6 pieces and roll into shape. Put into 6 loaf pans that have been sprayed with Pam. Let rise until double again. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes. This bread freezes very well.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Version of Stuffed Peppers

So I love stuffed peppers and the other day I decided to just throw a few things together and see how it turned it out, and I really liked it. So here is goes.

1 chicken breast
chili powder
lime juice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp finely cut garlic
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup black beans
1 cup of your favorite salsa
2-3 peppers halved and seeded ( I like yellow or red but green would work great)
shredded cheees

So first I poked the chicken breast with a fork all over and poored over 3-4 tbs of lime juice and then coated with chili powder and then let marinate for about 45 minutes. Then I cooked it in an frying pan and and shredded it. Then with the same pan throw in the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes then add the corn, black beans, salsa, and chicken and cook just until heated. Then fill the peppers with the meet mixture and top with cheese and cook at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I have always really liked this Lasagna recipe, it has cream cheese and sour cream in it. Yum! When I make it I always make it in two smaller pans and freeze one.

2 lb ground beef (I always substitute beef with ground turkey)
1 onion,chopped
2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 pt sour cream
6 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 pkg lasagna noodles
16 oz mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef and chopped onion. Add spices (1 tsp of cumin, chili powder and paprika) and tomato sauce and garlic. Simmer 30 minutes. Mix cream cheese, sour cream, green onions, and oil in bowl and cook noodles; grate mozzarella cheese. Next, layer noodles, cheese mixture, meat sauce, and mozzarella cheese in a glass dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mom's Chili

So this is a fabulous recipe for Chili that my mom always made growing up. It's a little sweet and not hot. I guess if you like hot this may not be your favorite then.

1 lb hamburger
1 cup chopped onion (I cheat and use a handful of dehydrated quite often)
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 qt stewed tomatoes (If you don't like big chunks blend it or get the petite chopped)
3 cans pinto beans, drained
1 tsp chili powder (I usually add a little extra of this and the cumin)
2 tsp cumin
1 TBS brown sugar

Brown hamburger and onion. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes and beans. Add spices (adjust amounts by taste). Bring to a boil, turn down and let simmer on low for as long as you have. A new addition that many of us add is a cup of corn. I would add it right before you serve.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

So it Jana's turn to post today and her internet is down so I am posting for her. This recipe won't be as good as hers but at least there is a post for today. I went to a lunch bunch today and have had this salad recipe all summer. I haven't made it because most of my family wouldn't like it so today was the perfect opportunity. It was delicious and the dressing and the raspberries were my favorite part. I know that it is fall and this is a summer salad but I live in California and so it still feels like summer except that the kids are in school. Maybe if you make the sald it will feel like summer to you also. I got this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine. It is one of my favorite magazines.

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
2 pkg. (5 1/2 oz. each) torn mixed salad greens
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups diced cucumbers
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup sliced almonds

In a small bowl, whisk the first eight ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.

In a salad bowl, combine the salad greens, onion, mushrooms, raspberries, cucumbers and almonds. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mike's Chicken Divan

Mike loves Chicken Divan, but I have never been able to make it the 'right' way.  So we came up with this - all the ingredients, but not a casserole.  We all eat it our own way.  Mike eats each food separately and I eat all of them together and the kids all have every combination.

The only 'recipe' to this is the sauce. 

1/2 can cream of chicken soup (you can freeze the other half)
about 1 cup sour cream
lemon juice to taste (1-2 tsps)

Stir it all together and warm it up on the stove or in the microwave. 

We grill 3-4 chicken breasts sprinkled with lemon pepper, then cut it up.
Cook 2 cups of rice.
Steam 2-3 cups of broccoli.  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Apple Oven Pancake

I got this recipe from my dear friend Holly Chesler from Portland. This is one of my kid's favorite breakfasts. Sorry about posting this so late. I had a crazy day and had computer issues on top of it.

2 T. butter, melted
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced
2 lg. eggs, beaten with a whisk
1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk (I used almond milk)
powdered sugar

Melt butter in a 9 inch pie plate. Mix and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over butter. Arrange apples over sugar. Beat eggs in a bowl with a whisk and add flour, salt and milk, taking care not to over beat. Pour mixture over apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately loosen edges of pancake and turn upside down onto serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (Serves 1-2 people).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is.....

In case you can't see the name, it is Brittany. Congrats. Brittany I don't have your email address, so if you can leave it as a comment then I'll email you for your address. Enjoy!!

Chile-rubbed Steak Tacos/Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

I found this recipe on The Sisters Cafe blog and we loved it, especially the salsa. I will make the salsa just for plain burritos, tacos and any other reason I can think of to make it. It stayed overnight well and the avocados didn't turn dark. This recipe is the keeper for me.

2 cloves garlic
1 T salt plus 1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. chili powder
2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. smoked or sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. skirt steak (I used these really thin steaks I bought at Walmart and it worked great)
flour tortillas
Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
Chopped cilantro for serving
Grated jack cheese for serving
Sour cream for serving
Shredded lettuce for serving

Crush the garlic using the flat side of a large knife, sprinkle with 1/2 t. salt. Place the flat side of the knife blade on top of the garlic and salt; press firmly, pulling knife toward you. Repeat until a paste forms; transfer to a small bowl. Add chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, pepper and remaining salt. Stir to combine. I left this salt out and it tasted fine without it.
Rub mixture all over steak, both sides and place in a large plastic freezer bag to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
While the meat is marinating you can make your salsa.
3 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
1/2 white onion, halved
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno chili, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
Juice of 1/2 lime, about 1 tablespoon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced

Grill the tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeno. I actually broiled mine in the oven and they turned out great. Do it until they are lightly charred. Place the vegetables in a food processor, add cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and fold in avocado.

Grill your steak until you have your desired doneness and slice into strips. Heat up your tortillas and you are ready to serve. Fill with the meat, salsa, cheese, sour cream, lettuce and a sprinkle of cilantro. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rich Raspberry Bars

I am posting for Nancy(Eyvon) today because she is on the road back to Rexburg. I will still do my post tomorrow. Sharee, my niece requested this recipe and it sounded good so I made some. They are quite rich but very yummy. This is actually Trina's recipe.

1 cup butter, softened (not melted)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup of raspberry jam (I use home made freezer jam which is my favorite but whatever kind of raspberry jam you have will do)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. I use a glass pyrex so I only heat my oven to 325. Mix butter, sugar, egg, vanilla until blended. Add the flour until mixed. Save 1 cup of the mixture for the top. Spread the rest in a 8 or 9 inch square pan. Spread the jam on top and then top with the cup of reserved dough. The easiest way to do this is to spread pieces out in your hands and place on top of the jam. Cover completely. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. The edges have to be slightly brown to get the middle of the pan done. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

I found this recipe from and we loved them! Who wouldnt love cookie dough and cheesecake?!
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 9″-square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving enough to extend over the sides. Spray the parchment paper. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Make sure you mix it well so that the crust isn't too crumbly. Stir in chocolate chips.Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and 1 inch up sides. Bake for 6 minutes. Set pan on wire rack to cool.

Cookie Dough
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Using an electric mixer , mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour (Add a little at a time. You might not need all the flour. Just add it until the mixture sticks together). Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended. Pour batter into baked crust. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling. It will seem like a lot of cookie dough but you want some in every piece. Bake about 30 minutes at 325 degrees, or until set. Transfer to wire rack.
For chocolate topping, melt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave. Put in a ziplock bag in a microwave cook for 30 seconds at a time, mixing within the bag after each interval. Snip off the corner of the bag and drizzle. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter if necessary to make chocolate smooth. Drizzle over top of bars.
Cool bars in pan completely, about an hour.
Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove bars from pan. Cut into bars, keep cool in the refrigerator and serve.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blueberry Cream Cheese Crescents

Simple but very yummy recipe. I use this one for Breakfast or Dinner. I got this recipe out of a Kraft Magazine.

1 pkg of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Cream Cheese
Blueberries or berry of your choice

Unroll crescent and use two triangles to make a rectangle. You will get 4 from a package. Then spread cream cheese on the crescent, leave an inch on the end sides of the rectangle. Sprinkle some sugar on the cream cheese. Next put your berries on the cream cheese. Take your two ends of the rectangle and connect them so that it makes a square. Pinch your other sides so the berries don't come out. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 minutes. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar. Enjoy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our First Giveaway!!!

Happy Labor Day!!!
With Fall right around the corner I thought some festive kitchen towels would be fun. The giveaway includes these three towels that are shown above. You have the chance to enter up to 4 times. Heres how you do that:

-If you comment then you get an entry.
-Become a follower and comment that you have done so. If you are already a follower then make a comment telling us that you are a follower.
-Mention our blog and give the link on your Facebook page, then you can leave another comment.
-Mention our blog and give the link on your blog, then you can leave another comment.

That is up to 4 entries. It will be open until Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm Pacific time. Good Luck!!!

A winner will be chosen Friday. Please leave your email address so I can email you after if you are the winner.

Friday, September 3, 2010

California Steak

This is an easy crockpot recipe and is perfect when you're going to be gone for a few hours and want to eat almost immediately after you get home!

Round Steak
1 pkg of Onion Soup
1 1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup sour cream

Brown both sides of round steak with flour in a pan. Put Round steak, water, and onion soup in a crockpot on high and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Remove round steak and add sour cream to the sauce. If you want a little thicker sauce you can always use a flour or cornstarch and water mixture to thicken it a little more. Serve with rice or egg noodles.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

1, 2, 3 Peanut Butter Cookies

A friend of mine purchased a new cookie press. Inside was this incredibly easy and super delicious recipe. They are so easy that Parker made these all by himself!


Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. Creamy Peanut Butter
1 c. Sugar
1 Egg

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Use cookie press to press dough into shapes. (you could also criss-cross a ball of dough with a sugared fork to make a normal peanut butter cookie shape if you don’t have a press.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (Like always I would recommend taking them out when they look a little doughy, let the cookies cool and they will be moist  and chewy.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Creamy Herb Pork Chops

This is a big hit at our house and a fun way to cook pork.  Technically I think a pork chop has a bone and I usually use the boneless 'pork chops' from Sams/Costco and butterfly them so they aren't too thick.
The original recipe was from Better Homes and Garden's New Cook Book, but I've changed it so much it's probably more mine.

4-6 pork chops
1 Tbls butter
1 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp flour
1/2 tsp basil
1 cube of beef bouillon
1/4 tsp pepper
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbls water

Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork and cook about 5-6 minutes on each side.  If I have thicker chops I will add a lid to make sure the middle gets
done.  Remove the pork and reserve the drippings.  For sauce (or gravy) stir parsley, flour, basil, bouillon and pepper into drippings.  Then add milk all at once.  Stir until thickened and bubbly.  Add water.  Stir until done.  You can put the chops back in and reheat - but I find that if I'm quick with the sauce they don't need to
go back in.  The recipe calls for the sauce on the pork chops, I tend to add a bit extra milk and make enough for gravy for our mashed potatoes as well.

I serve this with mashed potatoes and cooked apple slices.  Mike likes his pork chops with applesauce, but
the kids and I prefer apples.  To make the apples, slice up 1-2 apples thin, toss with lemon juice and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon.  Heat 1-2 Tbls butter in a pan.  Cook your apples, stirring as needed until soft.  They are a big hit!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Corn Salsa

I got this recipe from a friend of mine a couple of years ago and it is one of my favorites. I changed it up to reduce the sodium and I also like to add more tomatoes than it originally called for.

1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn ( I had leftover corn on the cob and used that once it was divine)
2 large tomatoes diced
1/2 package Dry Italian Dressing seasoning (You can use the whole package if you want more flavor. I thought half of package was plenty but I am also on a low sodium diet.)
1 bunch green onions finely sliced
1 bunch cilantro chopped
2 avocadoes diced
2-3 tablespoons lime juice (to taste)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Then add the diced avocados and squirt with the lime juice and mix together! The lime juice helps the avocado to not brown and so then it will last for more than one day and it tastes great. Enjoy!

I had to include 2 pictures becuase my daughter wanted me to post a picture of her eating the yummy salsa!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Peach Cobbler Bread

This is peach season at our house and we love peaches. I never thought of peaches in bread until I talked to my daughter who works at a bakery and they sell peach cobbler bread. I decided to try it and found a recipe on I of course made some adjustments and we are really happy with another way to use our peaches.

1/3 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup peach puree
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups diced peaches
1 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. chopped pecans(I used walnuts and it tasted great)
2 T. brown sugar

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the peach puree, diced peaches and vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Mix until blended.

Pour into a 9x5x3 inch bread pan. This makes a large loaf. Mix the topping and sprinkle on the top. Bake in a preheated oven set at 350 for about 45-50 minutes. I used a toothpick to make sure it was done. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

I think that you could make this with canned peaches and it would still be great. You might want to decrease your sugar a little if you did that.