Sunday, December 23, 2012

Maple Pecan Sandies

Aka Maple Pecan Refrigerator Cookies by Jo Ann Kurtz and featured in the Parade.  They are really good - Mike's new favorite cookies.  They were really easy to make too!

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp real maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (I used walnuts)

Beat butter for 3 minutes or until creamy.  Beat in sugar gradually.  Add syrup, egg yolk, and extracts; beat well.  Stir in flour and pecans.  Divide dough in half and shape into logs 2 inches in diameter.  Wrap in plastic wrap or parchment and refrigerate until firm.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cut logs into 1/2-inch-thick rounds; arrange on greased cookie sheets.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Microwave Peanut Brittle

I have tried makiing peanut brittle a long time ago and successfully burned it.  I gave up on the idea of me ever making it.  I found this receipe at Mel's Kitchen Cafe blog and decided to give it another try since it wasn't going to take a long time.  It was a success and I just might add it to my collection of Christmas goodies.  Every microwave is different so be warned to pay attention and watch carefully the first time and then make adjustments for your microwave.  Enjoy!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts (I just used roasted unsalted peanuts and they were great)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda

Butter a large baking sheet and set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar and corn syrup and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir. Microwave for another 2 minutes. The mixture should be starting to turn a light yellow/amber color. Stir in the peanuts. Microwave an additional 3-5 minutes, watching carefully, until the mixture turns golden brown (the color of peanut brittle).(I did mine for 4 minutes)
Stir in the butter and vanilla until the butter is completely melted. Microwave for 1 more minute. Stir in the baking soda. The mixture will become very foamy and thick as you stir.
Carefully spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Cool completely. Break into pieces. The brittle can be made ahead and stored covered, at room temperature, for three days.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cereal Candy

I have begun baking and making candy for the season.  Here is one of my favorites.  It comes from my childhood.  My mother always fed us very healthy food and never too much of it.  We had treats but not very often.  I can't believe that she made this for Christmas.  It is very addicting and totally bad for you.  I have continued the tradition.  My children love it and the people I give it too ask for the recipe.  So here it is.  Enjoy the season.

2 cups Trix
2 cups Honeycomb
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups small colored marshmallows, not white
2 cups slivered almonds (the healthy part)
2 lbs. white almond bark or white chocolate chips

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Melt the almond bark in the microwave very carefully and pour over your dry ingredients.  Combine and then spoon out onto parchment paper.  Be fast because it does set up fast.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Apple Turkey Burgers

Anna Elise made  Apple Turkey burgers at Achievement days a while back.  A friend of mine made them recently and I decided it was time we gave them a try.  However,  I couldn't find the recipe that Anna brought home, so I looked at several recipes on-line and came up with a recipe of my own.  Our whole family really like these.

1.75 pounds ground turkey
1 apple finely diced
3 TBL finely diced onion
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

Make patties and grill or broil until done.  Add cheddar cheese and melt.
Serve on buns with Sweet Chili Sauce.

I discovered that I had about a tsp of Sweet Chili sauce in the bottom of my last bottle. So I quickly looked up several sweet chili recipes online and came up with a homemade sauce that tastes pretty good - almost exactly the same as our bottled sauce!

We made small patties and served them on rolls, my kids like 'sliders'.

Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 cup vinegar (white, rice or apple will work)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. fish sauce  (this could probably be optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced or 3/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4  Tbsp. dried crushed chili (or less if you don't want it so spicey)
1+1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp. cold water

Place all ingredients, except the cornstarch/water mixture, in a sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.  Reduce heat to low and add the cornstarch-water mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.


Saturday, November 17, 2012


I ate these cookies at Trina's last weekend when we were visiting.  I am not a real pumpkin lover but these were delicious.  I have several children that are pumpkin lovers and wanted to share before Thanksgiving was over.  She found these on Pinterest and they are from  Hope you enjoy!
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir in pumpkin. In a medium bowl, sift together the baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, salt and flour. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

To make frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cream, and brown sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to boil; remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool then stir in confectioner's sugar. Spread frosting over cooled cookies.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

So these cookies are from the magazine Chocolate Desserts which are from the TV Show Cook's Country which is on PBS.  They are pretty yummy cookies.  When we made them they were gone pretty fast.

2 cups plus 2 Tbl. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted and cooled.  (I usually leave out the salt and just use regular butter and call it good.)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsps. vanilla
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Heat over to 325.  Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl and set aside.  Using a mixer, mix butter and sugars on medium speed until thoroughly blended.  Beat egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until combined.  Stir in chips.

Spoon onto baking sheets.  I use a cookie scoop and also use parchment or silpat on my pans.  Bake until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft about 10-12 minutes.  Let cookies cool on pans before removing.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chicken, Squash, & Apple Hash

I found this recipe on a coupon blog (weird, I know) months ago and we eat this probably twice a month, we all (with only one exception) love it.  I've changed several things, I'm going to list the recipe as we make it, but there is lots of room for your changes.   Original recipe from Collin at

1 acorn squash, peeled, cleaned and cubed
1/2 - 1 medium onion chopped
1 - 2 apples diced
1 large chicken breast, cut into small chunks and pan-fried (you may want to add more chicken)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika for a bacon flavor
chopped walnuts
salt & pepper to taste

Set your oven to broil, then throw the cubed butternut squash on a sprayed cookie sheet. I spray my squash with olive oil as well. Let broil for about 8 minutes. Make sure to stir every couple of minutes. I take them out before they look done, I don't like them mushy.
While the squash is cooking,  heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat. Throw in the chopped onions and stir occasionally until they are softened and starting to brown a little and add the paprika.
Now add the apples into the skillet with the onions. Stir for a minute and then add everything else (cooked chicken, broiled squash and chopped nuts). Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

The recipe is from and it is by 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I haven't posted for a long time but I am going to try to do better.  It isn't that I am not trying new recipes, it just seems like a long ways to go and get the camera to take a picture of what I have made.  I have become addicted to watching a cooking show on TV and now have some of their magazines and recipe books.  My next few posts will be from these.  This bread is from the show Cooks Country and also published in a Cooks Illustrated magazine.  It is a show on PBS.  I know that the recipe seems long and complicated but not really when you get to the end and you taste the best wheat bread in your life.  It is so light and soft and moist.  So take a little time and try it.  I will add a few comments of a few changes that I made to the recipe.

2 cups bread flour

1 cup warm water

½ tsp. instant yeast



3-5 cups whole wheat flour(It calls for 3 and use 3 if you are using store bought whole wheat flour but if you have just ground your own it might take more.  You want this to form a stiff ball, when you knead it.  They probably used store bought flour and  I grind my own flour and found that it needed about 5 cups to get it to this stage.)

½ cup wheat germ

2 cups milk



¼ cup honey (I like my bread a little sweeter so I added a little extra honey, maybe a tablespoon)

4 tsp. table salt

2 Tbl. Instant yeast

6 Tbl. Butter

2 Tbl. Vegetable oil


For the biga:  Combine bread flour, water and yeast in large bowl and stir until completely mixed.  Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temp. overnight. (8 – 24 hours)

For the soaker:  Combine whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and milk in large bowl and stir until it is stiff.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth.  Return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge overnight – same as the biga.

For the dough:  Tear soaker apart into 1 inch pieces and place in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook.  Add biga, honey, salt, yeast, butter and oil.  Mix on low speed until it starts to mix together.  Increase speed and knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  At this point I usually have to add an extra cup of bread flour because of the extra honey that I add.  Be your own judge of how you want your dough but mine is not real stiff.  Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and shape into ball and place in greased container.  Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

Gently press down on center of dough to deflate.  Holding edge of dough with fingertips, fold partially raised dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle.  Turn bowl 90 degrees and fold again.  Do this 6 more times.  Cover and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

Spray two bread pans with nonstick cooking spray.  Turn dough out onto floured surface and divide into 2 pieces.  Pat each piece into an 8 by 17 inch rectangle.  With short side facing you, roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping dough tights.  Pinch the dough together.  Place the seam side down into loaf pan.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Cover loaves and allow to rise at room temperature until double in size. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with baking stone on shelf.  Place a pan on the next rack down under the baking stone and fill with boiling water.  Place bread pans on baking stone and turn the oven temp. down to 350.  Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes until the internal temperature of the bread is 200 degrees.  (It is important to use a thermometer. I thought it looked done after about 25 minutes, but when I used a thermometer it really took about 40-50 minutes and the bread was perfect.)  Let cool in pans for 5 minutes and then remove to cooling racks.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hot + Cheesy Corn Dip

For dinner the other night chips and dip just sounded amazing so I found this recipe from, and it was to die for. So here it is. Hope you enjoy!

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups sweet corn
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
4 green onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (17 ounce) container of 2% Greek yogurt
5 ounces cheddar cheese, freshly grated
5 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Fry until crispy and all fat is rendered, the remove bacon and let drain on a paper towel. Add corn to the skillet, cooking and stirring until golden and a bit caramely – about 6-8 minutes. Remove corn and add it to a large bowl. Add olive oil to the skillet, then add onions and red peppers with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in jalapeno, green onions and garlic, cooking for just 2-3 minutes. Transfer mixture to the bowl, adding in the yogurt, paprika, bacon and 4 ounces of each cheese. Stir until combined, then top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is golden on top. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or crackers.

Buffalo Chicken Eggrolls

These are absolutely amazing, and everyone needs to try to them. I adapted this recipe from She has lots of great recipes.

2 chicken breasts
Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Crumbled Feta Cheese
12 egg roll wrappers

First cook the chicken(I boiled it), then let it cool and shred. Then add some Frank's Red Hot Sauce to the chicken just until it is pretty well coated. Then layout your egg roll wrappers, and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chicken and a little bit of feta cheese. Wipe the sides of the egg roll wrapper with water, and wrap it up like an egg roll. Then fry them in oil, about two minutes on each side. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

Okay, so here is another quinoa dish for you that my family really enjoys. This includes my husband who isn't a big veggie fan but there are a ton in this and they are just so finely chooped you don't even notice them. I originally found the recipe at but I did make a few changes.

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups chicken broth
2-4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3-5 cups finely chopped pieces of assorted uncooked vegetables (I do these really fine and use my little food processor so they are about the same size as the quinoa.  This way if you have a picky eater they won't even notice the vegetables)
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Rinse quinoa thoroughly; drain. Bring quinoa and broth to boil in a 2-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until broth is absorbed. While quinoa is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic in butter for about one minute, stirring frequently, until golden. Stir in vegetables. Cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir cream cheese and basil into cooked quinoa. Toss vegetables with quinoa mixture and sprinkle with cheese. (You can use any vegetables you want.  I've used zuchinni, corn, carrots, onions,  and peppers.)

Cheesy Quinoa

Okay, so I got the original recipe from  However, I did make several changes and I changed the name because the original blog gave you the impression that this was going to be like mac n cheese but with quinoa and I didn't feel like it was but it was still very good.  So here's the recipe how I made it.  Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups of chicken broth 
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 1  clove of garlic, minced
  • 1  egg
  • 1  cup milk
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
  • Optional Panko Bread crumbs or crushed ritz for topping
Cook quinoa using chicken broth and garlic according to package instructions. (About 15-20 minutes)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish or large casserole dish with cooking spray.Whisk together egg and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs add now and bake 20-25 mins, until bread crumbs are browned.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are to die for. They are so soft and fluffy they almost melt in your mouth, and they are super easy to top it off. Hope you enjoy! Recipe courtesy of

Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

3 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl combine cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Using an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time stirring after each addition.  Stir in sour cream and vanilla until combined.  Gradually add in flour mixture combined.  
Chill dough for at least one hour in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  
Roll 3 tablespoons of dough into a ball.  Use flour on your hands if needed.  Place ball on baking sheet and flatten to about 1/2 inch thick, molding sides to keep round shape if necessary.  Continue with remaining dough, placing each 2 inches apart.  
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet, and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  
*For shapes- roll out chilled dough ½ inch thick on a well floured surface.  Flour rolling pin and cut out to prevent sticking.  Cut out desired shapes and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Cool for a few minutes and transfer to wire rack to cool.
Shapes will spread from the baking powder.  To define the shape used after the cookie has cooled, place cookie cutter on top of cookie and firmly press all the way down, removing any access cookie for the edges.  
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
food coloring (optional)
Using an electric mixer combine butter and gradually add in confectioners sugar.  When all sugar is added, pour in milk and vanilla and blend on medium until fluffy.  Add in food color if desired.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Salted Peanut Chocolate Caramel Squares

This picture does not do justice to these cookies.  My friend brought them when they came to dinner a while back.  My husband said they were so good that they were evil.  I have made them once since and really can't make them again unless I have a crowd who will eat them up and only allow me to have one.  Anyway, she got the recipe from the site.  I changed the semi-sweet chocolate chips to milk chocolate chips but really I don't even think that you need the chocolate on them.

Marshmallow Layer:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme

I used my kitchen aid to mix the sugar into the marshmallow creme and you need to use your dough hook.  It makes a pretty stiff mixture.  Shape it into a 8 or 9 inch square.  Make sure that you powder sugar your countertop so it doesn't stick when you shape it.


1 cup crushed cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (about 8-10 cookies)
1/2 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened

Mix this all together and put into a 8 or 9 inch square pan lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until puffy.  When it comes out of the oven lay the marshmallow square over the hot crust and press down slightly, making it fit the pan.


36 caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons milk, I used 3 but next time I would use 2 or if I had cream I would use that
1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

Melt caramels and milk in saucepan or microwave until melted and smooth.  Pour over marshmallow layer.  Immediately sprinkle with 1 cup peanuts.  Drizzle melted chocolate chips over peanuts.  Cool completely.  I put mine in the fridge.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bang-Bang Shrimp

This is two recipes in one post.  I wasn't planning on posting this recipe, so I don't have a picture.  It turned out so good I decided I needed to share it and we didn't have any leftovers!  I was going to make coconut shrimp for dinner. Then I remembered the Bang-bang shrimp Mike and I ate at The Bonefish Grill over a year ago.  It was so good (and I don't really love shrimp).  So I found a copy cat recipe for the Bang-bang shrimp at and then decided to mix it up a little bit. 


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp
Dry cornstarch
oil for frying

Mix mayonnaise with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. Dredge the shrimp in cornstarch (or just shake the shrimp with the cornstarch in a baggie). Deep fat fry the shrimp until lightly brown (3-4 minutes on the first side, 2 minutes on second side). Drain on paper towel, put in a bowl and coat with the sauce. Serve in a lettuce lined bowl.

For a slightly milder taste (not so spicy) and to make it into a one dish meal:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Tahi Sweet Chili Sauce
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dried shredded coconut

Mix the sauce together.  Prepare the shrimp the same way as the above recipe.  Mix pasta (spaghetti or linguine) sauce and fried shrimp together.  Yummy! 

The cornstarch makes the shrimp super crunchy and the sweet chili sauce is so good!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

I got the original recipe off of The Girl Who Ate Everything and made a some changes.  When Calvin came into the kitchen and asked what was for dinner and I told him Quinoa he asked me what that was.  I said it's seeds that are kind of like rice.  He laughed and told Anna Elise that was I making up words.  When he realized I was serious he got VERY upset and informed me that seeds were not dinner!  I could sense an uprising as the kids all ran for the kitchen.  So I told them it was a salad that we were going to eat as salsa with tortilla chips.  Adding a few tortilla chips to the dinner seemed to make it ok!  Everyone ate it and most of them even liked it!  I thought it was delicious - but then I'd eat almost anything with avacados in it!  This fed my family of 7 (although my kids are young so it's probably more like a family of 5) as a main dish and we had some left over.  The quinoa is very filling.  I loved it!

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 2 small fresh tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. Sometimes it can have a bitter taste on the outside so rinsing gets rid of this.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes or until onion is soft.
  3. Add the quinoa and vegetable broth to the pan. Add the cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in lime juice and frozen corn into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is heated through.
  5. Finally, mix in the black beans, cilantro, avacado and tomotoes.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pizza Factory Breadsticks

Not my best picture but what you don't see is my screaming two year old that needed my attention.

2 Rhodes Rolls per stick that you want to make
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/4 melted butter

Let the rolls rise double. Next, combine two rolls and roll out into a long skinny piece. Wrap around a wooden skewer. Let them rise again until doubled. Bake 350 for 12-15 minutes. While baking combine garlic powder, garlic salt, dill weed, and butter. Spread butter all over the bread sticks.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

This soup was really yummy and has a bunch of veggies in it so its pretty good for you too. I got this recipe from

2 (14 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
1 finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped carrots
2 cans of chicken broth
1 Tbsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
bay leaf
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups warmed milk

Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken brother, onions, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and veggies are soft. I have a hand held small mixer that I took to the veggies so the soup wasn't so chunky. If you don't have one just throw it in the blender if you don't want a lot of chunks. About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed milk, salt and pepper. Add basil and oregano. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Season to taste.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Lately I have been really into Franks Red Hot Sauce, so when I saw this recipe I knew I was going to love it. It is super easy and just plain good. I found the original recipe at, but adapted it a little.

3 lb bag chicken
1 bottle Franks Red Hot Wing's Buffalo Sauce
4 tbs. Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
6 oz cream cheese
Good Sandwich Bread(I used ciabatta bread)

Just throw the chicken, franks red hot sauce(I did all of it), and ranch mix into a crock-pot and let it cook for 4-5 hours. When the chicken is tender shred it, and add the cream cheese. Then serve on delicious toasted bread. We didn't put any cheese on, but I'm sure it would make the sandwich that much better. Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Babyback Ribs

I love babyback ribs and have made them in the past but was hunting for a new recipe.  I found this one at  I loved it and my family loved it.  They told me they were the best ribs they had ever had.  I did make a few changes as I have made them a few times.  I will just post how I have ended up making them.

1 rack babyback ribs (about 2-2.5 pounds; 1 rack feeds two adults)
2 c. pineapple juice
1 cup water
1 ½ c. brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. mustard powder
1/3 c. ketchup
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp.
lemon juice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger
4 cloves
garlic, minced
½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Cut your rack into about 4 portions.  I used three racks and still was able to fit them all into the liquid in my large crockpot.  Anyway, cut into portion size and put into your crockpot.  Pour this mixture over them and cook on low for about 6-7 hours.  If you have three racks in there it is going to take longer.  I turned it up on high for a couple of hours so I didn't have to do it any longer.  When the time is up take out of mixture and put onto a broiler pan.  Smear with your favorite bar b que sauce, both sides.  Broil until bubbly and caramelized, both sides.  My favorite bar b que sauce is Bulls Eye.  I mixed 1/2 cup of sauce with 1/4 cup of honey.  When I did three racks, I used 1 cup of bar b que sauce with 1/2 cup of honey.  You could also grill them on the bar b que.  They are fall off the bone tender and delicious.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Triple Fudge Fantasy Cake

I got this recipe from my daughter in law and it is on her private blog so I had a request from my daughter to post it here for easier access.  This is the best chocolate cake I have ever had and it is a popular birthday cake at our house.  Enjoy!

1 pkg. Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 4 oz. box instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 c. sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer 1 minute.  Stir down sides and continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into a prepared bundt pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool 20 minutes.  Invert onto a serving platter.  Do not over bake the cake.  At the end of 50 minutes, you will not think that the cake is done but trust me it is.  You cannot use the toothpick test with this cake.  Just have faith and take it out.  You won't be sorry.

8 T. Butter
4 T. cocoa powder
1/3 cup evaporated milk or cream
4 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat.  Whisk in cocoa and dissolve.  Then add milk and bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add to the powdered sugar with an electric mixer and beat until thick and smooth.  Add 1 t. vanilla.  Pour warm glaze over warm cake.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sugar Glazed Walnuts

I am always making a lettuce salad with craisins, sugared walnuts, feta cheese with poppyseed dressing.  It is so quick and easy and yummy.  I have been searching the easiest way to toast my walnuts and sugar them.  I finally found this recipe and I love it because it is so easy and you can't burn your nuts.  I found it at but I have adjusted it some so I will just put it the way I make it.

3 cups walnut halves (mine are straight from the freezer where I store my nuts)
3\4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water

In a 2 quart glass bowl combine walnut halves, sugar and water.  Cook in microwave oven on high for about 6 minutes.  Stir several times during the cooking.  Cook until the sugar has caramelized.  Pour out onto a piece of parchment paper and let cool.  Chop them up and you are ready to go.  This will make more than one salad.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tropical Chicken Salad Wrap

It was summer here today with a high in the upper 80's.  We needed something light and cool for dinner and I found this from the website   I had to make a few changes, they are noted below.  This was very good and 'refreshing'.

  • 2 cup(s) cooked skinless chicken, shredded
  • 1 can(s) (1-ounce) mandarin oranges , drained (I used 3 fresh cuties, cut into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup(s) shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup(s) roasted cashews (any nut would work, I used chopped almonds)
  • 1 bunch(es) scallions, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime  (about 2 Tbls of lime juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) pepper
  • 1/3 cup(s) mayonnaise
  • lettuce leaves 
  • tortillas                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Mix everything except the lettuce and tortillas together.  Lay the leaves on the tortillas and spread the salad on top, roll it up and enjoy!  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Microwave Carmels

I saw this on Pinterest and just had to try them. They were simple and only took a few minutes to make. I am sure that they don't taste as good as the real ones when you stir at the stove all day but they were a pretty good substitution if you are in a hurry and need some caramel.
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup corn syrup
Combine all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 6 minutes stirring after every two minutes. If you want you can add vanilla but they are also good without or you could add nuts or after you pour it into your buttered pan you could sprinkle with a little sea salt. I used a pan that was 8 inches by 6 inches. Also, this made a soft Carmel that needed to be refrigerated. I tried it again and did it 7 minutes and they are a little firmer and don't need to be refrigerated. You could dip these caramels in chocolate or make your own turtles. Have fun making your own Carmel.