Sunday, May 30, 2010

Have chocolate Nesquick on hand? Try these!

Nesquick Nibbles

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 10 T melted butter
  • 1 1/3 c. Nesquick Chocolate Flavor (dry mix)
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2/3 c. vanilla yogurt
  • 2 t. vanilla

Mix flour, soda and salt. Set aside. Mix butter, Nesquick and sugar in mixing bowl. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir to combine. Drop tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Makes 24-30.

I've had this recipe a long time not sure if I really wanted to try these or not. Well, I'm happy to say these were great! The batter is so good, too, and it is eggless so it's safe to eat. Plus there isn't as much butter in these cookies as some others, so they are semi-healthy? And the nutrients from the chocolate mix, of course...these bake up soft, so don't overcook!

FAST bread twists...worth making!

Pizza Factory Breadsticks


  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast

  • Let that sit for 5 minutes. Then add:
  • 3½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp Salt

Mix until smooth then let raise for 10 minutes. Roll out dough into a large square on a floured surface. Brush with melted (real) butter mixed with garlic and then sprinkle with kosher salt. Fold in half and cut into 1 inch strips. Twist and place on a cooking sheet. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes to raise. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately after baking, brush with more garlic butter and sprinkle with kosher salt and grated parmesan cheese.

Serve with marinara, alfredo sauce, or ranch for dipping.

*Dough also makes a great pizza dough, just roll out into a large circle, add your favorite toppings, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Holy yummy! These were super fast, which is great when you don't have time for rising cycles. We all devoured these babies. They make 2 pans, the picture ain't that great. Next time my twists will be prettier. Try these tomorrow!

Classic Italian Lasagna- fun to make and try!

Classic Italian Lasagna

Red Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 t garlic powder)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or a mix of dried oregano and basil) (I threw in some ready-made spaghetti seasoning instead so I knew I liked the red sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

White Sauce:
  • 3 cups milk (not skim, I used 1%)
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 of the no-boil noodles, of which I far prefer the Barilla brand)
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan with cooking spray or with a napkin dipped lightly in olive oil and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey over medium-high heat, breaking the meat apart into pieces with a wooden spoon. When turkey is cooked through, drain the grease and set aside.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and one tablespoon butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. When oil/butter is hot, add the garlic, stirring constantly. When the garlic is lightly browned, but NOT burned, add the onion and mushrooms. Continue cooking on medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft and browned and the fluid has mostly cooked out. Remove from heat and either using a handheld immersion blender or transferring the vegetables to a blender, blend the vegetables to a paste-like mixture. Return the pot to the heat (pour the pureed vegetables back in, if using a stand-alone blender) and add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Then add the diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir. Cover and let the sauce sauce simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Right before using the red sauce in the lasagna, stir in the reserved ground turkey.
  4. Also while the red sauce is cooking, melt the four tablespoons butter and when melted, add the flour, stirring constantly to combine and letting the mixture cook, while stirring, for a minute or two. Gradually add in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly whisk the white sauce, ensuring it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan, while cooking it over medium heat. Continue slowly stirring or whisking while the white sauce cooks and thickens quite a bit, about 5-7 minutes. Add a pinch of mozzarella for good luck, if you wish!
  5. To begin layering the lasagna, keep in mind that you’ll have three layers of noodles as well as three layers of the sauces and cheese – so plan on splitting all the sauce and cheese piles into thirds so you don’t run out at the end! On the bottom of your lightly greased baking pan, layer three pre-boiled noodles or four no-boil noodles, slightly overlapping the no-boil noodles. Layer the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, spreading all to the edges and top with another layer of noodles. Again, layer the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and top with the final layer of noodles. Layer the sauces and cheeses again.
  6. Cover the lasagna with a greased layer of aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and let the lasagna sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
I know this recipe takes a little time but it is so much more interesting (to me) to spend a little time making something NEW. We were very impressed with this lasagna, and the kids loved it. Us adults did, too.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

No-Knead Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

  • 2 cups warm water (100-110F)
  • 5 tsp active dry yeast (1/2-oz.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 cups all purpose flour (I used about 7 1/2 cups until dough wasn't too sticky to roll out and formed more of a ball on the dough hook)
  • additional 1 tbsp melted butter, for topping

  1. Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in yeast and sugar and stir. Let stand for 5 minutes until slightly foamy.
  2. Add in melted butter, eggs and salt and whisk to combine. Put the dough hook on the stand mixer and add in 3 cups of all purpose flour. With the dough hook on medium speed, gradually add in the remaining flour. Continue to knead until dough comes together smoothly, then knead with the dough hook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  5. Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and, using a pizza cutter or bench scraper, divide the dough into 15 equal pieces (thirds, then fifths). With lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and place into prepared pan (3 rows of 5).
  6. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and let stand for 40 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until rolls are golden and sound hollow when tapped.
  9. Take additional 1 tbsp butter and brush on top of hot rolls using pastry brush. Allow rolls to cool in pan for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  10. Makes 15 big! rolls.
We LOVED these rolls! Large, fluffy, easy. I'll make these often.

Mature mac and cheese

BBQ Chicken Crusted Smoked Cheddar Mac
  • 1 lb mini farfalle pasta (use any pasta of choice)
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 cups milk, I used 2%
  • 5 cups shredded Tillamook smoked cheddar cheese (you could use any cheddar cheese)
  • 2 cups shredded BBQ Chicken
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
2. Melt butter into a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute stirring. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Increase heat to medium high, stir continuously until liquid thickens and comes to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar cheese until smooth then add cooked pasta. Pour mixture into a large baking dish then top evenly with BBQ chicken. Sprinkle with additional cheddar cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
3. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

The kids loved this! Not the chicken part as much, because they don't like bbq chicken flavor, so I only put chicken on half of it. This makes a huge 13x9 pan so next time I'll halve it for my family.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsps. baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addiction. Add the salt and vanilla.

3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until fluffy but still soft. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Great cookies! Make sure not to overbake, as they will set up nicely on the cookie sheet after baking for about 8 minutes and taste best not well-done! This recipe uses a lot of cocoa which makes it extra chocolatey.

Lasagna Roll-Ups

  • 14-18 lasagna noodles (about 1 pkg), cooked al dente (I didn't use all of mine)
  • 1 16 oz jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 16 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 packet creamy pesto sauce, prepared with all milk (found next to the spaghetti seasoning packets)
  • ½ C parmesan cheese

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ½ lg onion, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1 2 lb container ricotta cheese
  • ½ box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
  • Heaping ¼ C sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½ C 5 Italian cheese blend
  • 1 lg egg, lightly beaten
  • spices: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, & ground nutmeg
1) Cook lasagna noodles until al dente. They should still have a good bite to them.
2) Combine chopped bacon and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté until onions are translucent. Drain all but 2 Tbs bacon grease.
3) Add ground turkey to the bacon & onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp Italian seasoning, or to taste. Cook through.
3) Place meat/onion mixture in large bowl along with remaining filling ingredients. Season with ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp salt,1/8 tsp black pepper, & ½ tsp Italian seasoning. Combine thoroughly.
4) Spoon ¼-1/3 C filling along entire noodle then roll’er up. Continue with remaining noodles.
5) Spread ½ the jar of Alfredo sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan. Place lasagna rolls, seam side down in the pan. Pour remaining Alfredo sauce, then marinara and finally the pesto sauce atop rolls. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
6) Bake @ 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until parmesan is golden and lasagna rolls are cooked through. Enjoy!

These were a hit at our house, well relatively; half the kids ate them happily. I liked the sauciness, and the spinach/ricotta cheese. I used regular ground beef and skipped the bacon and sun-dried tomatoes. Of course you could do it meatless, too. The pesto sauce is pretty optional too but I think it adds a little something.

Oatmeal Coconut White Chocolate Cookies

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies 'n Creme Cookies
(from, originally from Martha Stewart Cookies)

Makes about 4 dozen

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups Hershey's Cookies 'n Cream candy bars, cut into coarse chunks (or you can use plain white chocolate)
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Mix in eggs one at a time until combined. Stir in vanilla.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Gradually stir into butter mixture until combined. Stir in oats, chocolate, and coconut.

Drop batter by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake cookies until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.