Sunday, March 30, 2008

Super Easy Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

  • 2 (16 ounce) cans peaches in heavy syrup
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste.
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Empty peaches into the bottom of one 9x13 inch pan. Cover with the dry cake mix and press down firmly. Cut butter into small pieces and place on top of cake mix. Sprinkle top with cinnamon.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 45 minutes.

BBQ Quesadillas and Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

BBQ Quesadillas
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Slowly cook and stir onion until translucent. Mix in honey. Stir until onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Place remaining oil and chicken in the skillet over medium high heat. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in barbeque sauce and evenly coat chicken. (I cook mine in the crock pot with bbq sauce)
  4. Layer 4 tortillas individually with chicken, onions, Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Top with remaining tortillas.
  5. One or two at a time, place layered tortillas on a large baking sheet. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Do not let tortillas become too crisp. Remove from heat. Cut into quarters to serve.
We have a quesadilla maker (fun gadget!) that grills these for us.

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, then add sugar, salsa, and pepper flakes; mix well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  2. Melt 2 teaspoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet, sprinkle evenly with cheese, then top with some of the bean mixture. Place another tortilla on top, cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
These both are yum. I like the Black Bean ones better.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blueberry/Cranberry White Chip Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (craisins work too!)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine

  1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Paper line 18 muffin cups.
  2. COMBINE flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in milk, egg, butter and lemon peel. Stir in 1 cup morsels and blueberries. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling almost full.

Taco Soup

Taco Soup

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 16 oz stewed tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can kidney beans with juice
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 T taco seasoning mix
  • cheese, sour cream, lime tostitos to put on top (optional)

Combine all over stove or in crockpot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Brown Sugar Crock Pot Chicken

Brown Sugar Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon lime soda
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced garlic (I used half a teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  1. Place chicken in crockpot.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over chicken.
  3. Cover; cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  4. To thicken sauce, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and add to the crockpot.
  5. Serve over rice or noodles.
Anika and Isabelle: "Mom, chicken again?! That's all we ever have....(she liked it anyway)
Tasty! Tangy and a little sweet; but not as sweet as you'd expect! Very fun. We'll have this again.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. peanut butter (I use 3/4 c. so a more muted pb flavor)
  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (I like milk chocolate)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream together margarine and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, pb, and vanilla.
3. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda and powder and salt. Stir in choco chips.
4. Bake for 9-11 minutes, depending on whether you like soft or crispy. I like soft at 9 minutes.

Crock Pot Lasagna

Crock Pot Lasagna

Lasagna no-bake noodles (I use probably only 4-6 broken up)
Cottage cheese or Ricotta Cheese
1-2 c. mozzarella cheese
Jar spaghetti sauce
Ground beef, cooked and drained (optional)

Layer in the crock pot, starting with sauce, then noodles, then cheese. Cook on high 3 hours, leaving lid off the last 30 minutes to solidify a bit.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Asian Orange Chicken

Asian Orange Chicken


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root (I use a tiny sprinkle of ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 2 t. cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoons water (or OJ)

  • Chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Pour into saucepan 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce; and set over medium-high heat. Stir in orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chopped onion. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Place chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag. When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve remaining sauce. Seal bag, and refrigerate at least 2 hours (I've done 30 min and it worked fine).
  3. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add marinated chicken pieces, and shake to coat.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken in skillet, and brown on both sides. Chicken won't be entirely cooked; place on cookie sheet (greased) and continue cooking in the oven at 375 for 18 minutes.
  5. Wipe out the skillet, and add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together cornstarch and water, and stir into sauce. Reduce heat to medium low; stir in chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This is a 5 star recipe! O even eats this one. It takes some time so we don't have it too often, but it a great special occasion meal. The result is very similar to takeout orange chicken, but less greasy! It's great stuff. I double this recipe because we like having leftovers. Adapted from

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cranberry Chicken (or pork)

Cranberry Chicken

  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 2/3 c. French Dressing (I use fat free and it's great)
  • 1 can cranberry sauce (I use whole berry)
  • 3 chicken breasts

Place in crockpot on top of chicken breasts and cook for several hours. Serve with rice or potatoes. Makes a great gravy- take off the lid for the last 1/2 hour of cooking to thicken the sauce.

Our family eats this pretty well. I love it with Betty Crocker Sour Cream Chive instant potatoes. I prefer instant over real- I know it's crazy. The kids eat corn too! Thanks Megan. The smoothie is there, too. We have it 5 nights out of 7. I put 4 carrots in it without kids noticing. Just make sure it's blended well!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Asian Chicken Salad & Grilled Cheese

Asian Chicken Salad

  • 12 oz package broccoli slaw (located in the salad section)
  • 1 pkg Ramen noodles (toast in the oven is best) with seasoning packet (I use as many or as little noodles as I feel like)
  • 1/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider or Rice Vinegar
  • 1/3 c. salad oil
  • cooked, chopped chicken breast (I use just one)
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onion
  • 2 1/2 T sugar, or to taste

Combine and let flavors mingle for a few hours. Chill. We like this served over (and eaten with!) grilled cheese.

One of R's favorite meals. Salad tastes better the next day even. If rushed for time you can use Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame dressing instead of making the dressing from scratch. It is a good substitute! Try crockpotting your chicken in with the dressing as well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Turkey Salad Crescents

Turkey Salad Crescent Rolls

  • 2 tubes crescents
  • 1/3 c. craisins
  • 1/4 c. chopped celery (optional)
  • 1/4. c. mayo
  • 2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 c. cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. turkey lunch meat (or real) ripped up

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Take out the crescents, leaving them in square form (seal two triangles).
  3. Place a big spoonful of the mixture and roll up, sealing all edges.
  4. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
"You put craisins in here?" was Russell's comment. I loved them! These are good with or without craisins. I also like adding tomato pieces and red onion.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pizza Dough

Bread Machine Calzone or Pizza Dough Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 t. yeast
  • 1 1/2 T sugar
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 t. dry milk powder
  • 1 t. salt

Place in bread machine, wet ingredients first. Select dough cycle. After done, roll out into pizza for calzone or crust. If crust, cook at 410 degrees. If calzone, cook at 350, after brushing with butter and parmesan cheese. Try those pizza pans with the holes in the bottom; they really make a crispy crust!

Variations we like:

Buffalo Chicken Pizza: use cooked, cut-up chicken covered in Red-Hot Sauce, with Ranch dressing as a sauce.

BBQ Chicken Pizza: cover dough with BBQ sauce, add cheese, cooked chicken, and red onion.

Half Wheat Pizza Dough (very good!)

*Makes 2 12-inch pizzas or 1 large 16 to 18-inch pizza

1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Make the dough the night before or early the morning on the day you want to make the pizza. In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), mix the water, yeast, sugar, honey and oil. (If using active dry yeast, increase the amount of yeast to 2 3/4 teaspoons and proof the yeast in the water until foamy before mixing in the sugar, honey and oil.) Then mix in 1 cup flour and the salt. Continue mixing in all the remaining flour until you get a nice, soft dough. Knead until dough is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes with a stand mixer.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly (with a lid or plastic wrap). Place the dough in the refrigerator to slowly rise until three hours before baking. Three hours before baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, keeping it lightly covered.

45-60 minutes before baking, move the rack to the lowest position in the oven, place the pizza stone on it and preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Don’t be nervous about a hot oven! I used to be scared to death to cook anything above 400 degrees but I promise 500 degrees is the only way to go when cooking pizza. If your oven is a bit sketchy at that temperature, bake at 475 degrees.

Green Enchilada Casserole

Healthy Side #1:
Our freshly made salsa using lime&cilantro diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, onion, and a little brown sugar (it was too spicy). (kids don't eat this, but A eats corn)
Healthy Side #2:
We usually have a smoothie with vanilla yogurt, frozen strawberries and peaches or bananas.

A didn't like enchilada, which made I eat it right up (she likes to be A's opposite) and O doesn't usually eat anything but dessert. R didn't get seconds which is a bad sign, and I did. So this is an Erin meal.

Quick and Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • 2-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • garlic salt to taste
  • 4-6 tortillas, torn in half
  • 1 (28 ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2/3 c reduced fat sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. Cook chicken. I usually cook it in the crockpot with salsa and then shred.
  3. Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish, and arrange 6 tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the chicken, 1/3 cheese, 1/2 the sour cream, and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat. Coat remaining tortillas thoroughly with remaining enchilada sauce, and arrange on top of the layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with any remaining enchilada sauce
  4. Cover, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly before serving.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Not so Hard!

I finally did it, and without a water bath! I made the perfect cheesecake- creamy on the inside and outside, no cracks, and New York style! I have always liked making cheesecake because I have never done it perfectly. Thanks to this recipe, and other people's reviews on, I created a masterpiece my family is still enjoying. A little goes a looooong way!

Cheesecake Supreme

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • Mix the graham cracker crumbs, 3 T. sugar, and the melted butter together. Press mixture into the bottom of one 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks; mix until smooth. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups white sugar, the flour and the sour cream. Blend until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 200 degrees F (don't preheat) for 3 hours and 10 minutes, then turn oven off, leaving door ajar for an hour. Let cheesecake cool, then refrigerate a day before eating.