Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quick morning treat

Overnight Pull-Aparts
  • 21 Rhodes (or similar) frozen rolls
  • 1 small box cook-n-serve butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cube butter or margarine, melted
Spray your bundt pan with cooking spray, then add the frozen rolls. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over top, then do the same with the pudding mix (dry). Pour melted butter over everything. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with Pam and let rise overnight.
In the morning: cook on 350 for 30 minutes. Check at 20 mins.. if getting dark cover pan with tinfoil until done cooking. (I think mine cooked fast, about 20 minutes, so watch closely)
Tip: cover a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place bundt pan on top of foil-lined pan so it doesn't get all over the oven.
Pull it out, tip over on cookie sheet and you are ready to eat!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Christmas must

Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk


  1. In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. Set machine to dough cycle; press start. For non-bread machine users:just add ingredients, knead for about 5 minutes, let rise 45 minutes, roll out, place in pan and rise again.  
  2. When dough cycle has finished, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
  3. Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.
These are DELICIOUS. This is a recipe I make around Christmas, and sometimes a couple more times a know how cinnamon roll-making goes. Thing is, these don't take that long, it just seems like a big undertaking.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Whopper Cookies

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick plus 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups chocolate-covered malted milk balls (I used Whoppers), coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1 cup store-bought chocolate chips or chunks
  1. -Sift together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  2. -Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled-it will even out when the dry ingredients are added.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. The batter will look more like fudge frosting than cookie dough-and that's fine. With the mixer on low, or by hand with a rubber spatula, mix in the malted milk balls and chopped chocolate.
  5. -Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the sheets, leaving about 2 inches on space between spoonfuls. Bake for 11-13 minutes. When done, the cookies will be puffed and set but slightly soft to the touch. Let the cookies rest for 2 minutes before using a wide metal spatula to transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.
I only made these one time, and they were super good! A fun change of pace cookie recipe.

2 more chili recipes I really like

Chili (kid-friendly and tasty)
(Liz Rosenbaum's recipe)

  • 2 lbs. hamburger, fried and drained (or as much as you have- I use about half a pound)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 chili seasoning packet
  • 2 green bell peppers (I skip)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 3 cans kidney beans, draining 1, not the other 2
  • 1 qt. crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute onion and green pepper with the beef.
  2. Add all ingredients and heat thoroughly for 30 minutes on low.

Mandy's Chili (more fiery and mature, and very tasty as well!)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced (optional)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced (or use 1/2 t. garlic powder down with other spices)
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 can of chili beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 soup can of water
  • 1 or 2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 2-3 T. chili powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  1. Brown the ground beef. Season with montreal steak seasoning if desired. Drain. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Throw everything else in, with all the juices in the cans, and bring to a boil. Simmer for as long as desired.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Try this fudge recipe this season!

Caramel Symphony Fudge

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 sticks butter (no margarine)
  • 16 oz. chopped Symphony candy bars (the almond and toffee chip kind is great)

In a large saucepan, mix the sugar and whipping cream. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Add the two sticks of butter and continue cooking. Boil mixture until it reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in chopped Symphony bars until melted and smooth. Beat mixture with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes. Pour into a greased 13x9 pan. Allow to harden and cool. Remove block of fudge from pan and cut into squares. Can refrigerate if desired.

I thought this was a great fudge recipe. A little more labor-intensive than some of the no-cook kinds, but definitely worth it. It takes around 30 minutes to prepare. I halved the recipe, and it made quite a lot (a pie dish worth) when a little piece goes a long way!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great appetizer dip

Hot Cheese and Broccoli Dip

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red peppers (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) Velveeta Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed (I skip)
  • Few drops hot pepper sauce

  1. Cook and stir celery, red peppers and onions in butter in medium saucepan on medium heat until tender.
  2. Add Velveeta; cook on low heat until melted, stirring frequently. Add broccoli, rosemary and hot pepper sauce; cook until heated through, stirring constantly.
  3. Serve with toasted bread pieces, Ritz Crackers and/or assorted cut-up fresh vegetables.
Addictive and tasty!

A good go-to french toast-camera broken, pics later

French Toast with Buttermilk Syrup

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. nutmeg
  • 12 slices bread
  • cinnamon for sprinkling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, brown sugar and nutmeg; stir well to combine.
  2. Soak bread slices in the egg mixture until saturated.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Brown slices on both sides, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve hot.
Buttermilk Syrup

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter (real butter is great)
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk (I use 1/2 c. milk with 1/2 T. vinegar for a buttermilk substitute)
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. vanilla
Melt butter in pan. Add sugar, buttermilk and then soda. Make sure the pot you use is big enough, as the baking soda causes the mixture to foam a lot. Cook until thick, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and serve.

I've always struggled making french toast that isn't soggyish in the middle. I liked this recipe, and the tip from my sister-in-law to cook 3-4 min. each side on 350 on your griddle. This syrup is rich and not super-healthy but sure tastes good and is a nice change from maple!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A summer drink, but really good anytime

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can Sprite
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, garnish
In a large punch bowl, combine raspberry lemonade concentrate, water and lime juice. Stir in lemon-lime soda and crushed ice. Garnish each glass with a fresh raspberry.

Pretzel Salad

Pretzel Salad
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup margarine, melted (I halve this)
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (I use Neufchatel)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 1/2 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed (I use light)
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix crushed pretzels, margarine and sugar.
  3. Press crushed pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Blend together the cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped topping and spread evenly over cooled pretzel mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, dissolve the strawberry flavored gelatin in boiling water. Mix in strawberries and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Pour gelatin mixture over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
This is always more of a dessert than a salad when we have this, but hey- who doesn't want to justify a dessert under the title of "salad"? The pretzel crust is really good- you wouldn't guess it's pretzels, but it adds a nice sweet/salty combo. I've had this with frozen strawberries and frozen raspberries. Both are great!

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken
  • 1/2 cup butter, 2 T which are used to saute onion and garlic
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used about 1/3 t. garlic powder)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 12 oz. can skim or 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk (or 2 %)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used just a sprinkle)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (you find this in the spice aisle anywhere)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 T. curry powder
  1. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a big skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook slowly until the onion is mostly translucent. Add chicken and heat until no longer pink, stirring regularly.
  2. Turn heat to low and add remaining butter to the pan along with the tomato sauce, milks, salt, cayenne pepper, garam masala, and curry powder. Simmer on low until thickened.
  3. Serve over rice with your choice of vegetables. We liked steamed peas and broccoli.
You just don't know what you're missing until you try this! I know people who think they don't like curry in general aren't going to be convinced, but this is an awesome meal. AWESOME. Even the kids like this one, and they aren't really fans of our other Indian dishes. This one is less spicy, unless you add more red pepper, and it it saucy and delicious with rice. The flavors are just so interesting and delectable! Really- give this one a try.

And here's a crock pot version we love just the same, if not more because pre-prep is wonderful!

Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken
(adapted from

3 tablespoons butter
4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs,
cut into bite-sized pieces (I used one breast)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon garam masala
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (I used one small can tomato sauce)
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste

1.Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, garam masala, and tomato paste until no lumps of tomato paste remain. Pour into a slow cooker, and stir in the coconut milk and yogurt. Season to taste with salt.
2.Cook on High 4 to 6 hours, or on Low 6 to 8 hours until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency. Shred chicken and serve.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ham and Tortilla Roll-Ups

R's family's Ham and Tortilla Roll-Ups
  • 8 tortillas
  • deli ham
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can green chiles (I always skip)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. mustard
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 dash seasoning salt
  1. Make the white sauce by combining milk, butter, flour, mustard and salts. Stir with whisk and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. On each tortilla, layer a few slices of ham, then a couple tablespoons of white sauce, and some grated cheese. Roll up and place in greased 13 by 9 pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. Cover with any remaining sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
This is a recipe that I always enjoy. It's fast, different, and the kids like it too!

Rachel Ray's Sloppy Joes

Rachael Ray's Super Sloppy Joes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 crusty rolls split, toasted, and lightly buttered
  • Garnish: sliced ripe tomatoes, pickles

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and meat to the pan. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When the meat has browned, add onion and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops.

If you don't have a good sloppy joe recipe, this is a good one to have. The Montreal Steak seasoning adds a nice smoky flavor.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Easy, quick, delicious white bread recipe

Amish White Bread
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. KitchenAid Users: Proof yeast, sugar, and water in bowl. Add oil and salt, then flour one cup at a time. After all flour is added knead on medium speed for 5 more minutes. I used more flour than called for; just add flour until dough forms a ball on dough hook and scrapes sides of bowl. Follow rest of directions as written.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen about 1 inch above pans. (I like to preheat oven to 100 degrees, turn oven off and place pans in and let rise about 30 minutes. Without removing pans from the oven, heat oven to 350 and bake for 30-35 minutes.)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
Holy cow, this is good bread! Soft, slightly sweet (though you can cut the sugar by a couple T if you'd prefer) and delicious! And really not hard or long to make at all. Not sure about the "Amish' part of it, but it makes for a more interesting title than just White Bread, I guess.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Doctored up Chocolate Cake Mix w/great glaze

Too Much Chocolate Cake
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix (or any chocolate will do)
  • 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I used about 2/3 oil and 1/3 water)
  • 4 eggs (I cut one egg and used 1 T water instead)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (mini ones are great)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well-greased 12 cup bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar or glaze.
Satiny Chocolate Glaze
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup. Microwave for about 20 seconds, stir, and only microwave as long as chips aren't melted. Just watch it closely. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, then add vanilla.
  2. Spread warm glaze over top of cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.
Great, great chocolate cake! I love being able to use my cake-mix food storage for good desserts. The glaze is shiny and very chocolatey and rich. This cake was plenty moist even with the oil changes I used. I loved the mini-chocolate chips in there too. The reviews on this cake mentioned that you can substitute any flavor cake-mix with desired pudding mix flavor..options are numerous!

Another chocolatey fast summer dessert

Cookies and Cream Pudding Pie
(from, as well as beautiful pic)

  • 26 Oreo cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 pkg. (4-serving size) chocolate instant pudding 1 cup thawed whipped topping
  1. Arrange cookies on bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. (Cookies should cover plate evenly.)
  2. Pour milk into medium bowl. Add ice cream. Beat with wire whisk until well blended. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Let stand 3 min.; pour into prepared pie plate.
  3. Refrigerate several hours or until set. To decorate, spoon whipped topping into resealable sandwich bag. Squeeze extra air out of bag; close tightly. Snip a small corner off bottom of bag with scissors. Squeeze bag gently to make design. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.
I thought I posted this recipe already, since I've made it a few years now and it is always a sure hit. Maybe it's on here but I just can't find it. Anyway, kids love this! Adults too, especially if you are pudding fans. The ice cream is a nice touch.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beef in your fajitas..

(I'll get a real picture next time)

Mexican Shredded Beef

  • 3-4 Lbs. lean roast beef
  • 1 pkg. onion soup mix
  • 2-3 c. water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 c. salsa
  1. Lightly sear the roast on all sides.
  2. Add to crock pot and sprinkle with onion soup mix and add 2 c. water.
  3. Cook in crock pot on low for 8-9 hours, check every now and then to make sure the liquid remains. (wasn't a problem for me.)
  4. After meat is cooked, drain juices, keeping about 1-2 cups for the gravy.
  5. Shred the meat and toss out any excess fat. Saute onion in butter. When onions are clear, add flour and stir until smooth. Add 1-2 c. of the meat drippings, stirring or whisking constantly until it is a gravy-like consistency.
  6. Return shredded meat to crock pot and add gravy mixture and salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and simmer. Meat should be moist and juicy.
We love our mexican nights! It's nice to change it up a bit with chicken, ground beef, and "real" beef. This is a really good recipe for roast, though, and we love it.

Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream

Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream
(adapted from

  • 2 c. half and half
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pkg (3 ¾ oz.) chocolate instant pudding
  • a sleeve crumbled oreos

  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl except oreos.
  2. Stir until sugar and pudding are dissolved.
  3. Pour into ice-cream freezer, adding oreos at the end.
  4. Freeze according to manufacturer directions.
Yum. I skip heavy cream just to think it's healthier but this is rich and tasty all the same! A definite family fave.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. sugar (or more or less to taste)
  • 2 c. mayo
  • 3 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • bacon, cooked and crumbled (I skip for my personal preference)
  1. Combine veggies.
  2. Mix mayo, sugar, and vinegar. Pour as much as you'd like over the veggies, stir.
  3. Add cheese and gently stir.
This is my mom's great salad she's been making this summer. I made the mistake of making this recipe using a bag of frozen cauliflower/broccoli mix and no, I do not recommend anything but fresh, crisp veggies!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

So fast and such a great ice-cream dessert

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert
  • 2 c. chocolate syrup
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter
  • 19 ice cream sandwiches
  • 12 ounces whipped topping
  1. Pour the chocolate syrup in a microwave bowl and microwave for a minute. Do not allow to boil (burnt chocolate is kind of gross).
  2. Stir in peanut butter until melted and smooth. Cool to room temp.
  3. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with 8 1/2 ice cream sandwiches. Spread half the whipped topping over the sandwiches. Spoon half the chocolate mixture over that. Repeat layers.
  4. Freeze until firm, 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve.

What is cool about this dessert is you take ordinary Hershey's syrup (which I don't love plain) and add the peanut butter, and it transforms the syrup into a hot fudgey consistency and deliciousness! My favorite part of this dessert. Try to buy the ice cream sandwiches when they are 4 for $1.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Cookies
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Covered Pretzels, coarsely crushed

. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until well combined then add peanut butter until combined.
. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in white chips and pretzels. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
. Bake for 9-11 minutes, should still be soft in center. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 dozen cookies

I love trying new cookies, and if they have stuff in them I love already (like chocolate covered pretzels) then all the better! These are very rich little puppies but they are tasty.

PB Choc Brownies

Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

  • 3/4 cup butter, very soft (not melted but softer than room temp)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 1 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted (I just used 1/3 cup unsweetened choc chips for these 2 oz)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cups creamy PB
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5-6 Reese’s peanut butter cups (regular size) cut into 6-8 pieces each

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8″ square pan (mine was 8x11 and that worked well) with foil and lightly coat with PAM cooking spray.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl melt the two baking chocolate squares in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until smooth and melted after stirring. Do not scorch! Remove from microwave and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, Beat together butter and sugar until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended.
  4. Add vanilla and melted chocolate. Mix to combine.
  5. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and wisk together. Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Do not overmix.
  6. In separate mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, peanut butter sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg and beat until just combined.
  7. Spread about 2/3 of chocolate brownie batter into prepared pan. Evenly drop 1/2 of cheesecake batter in dollups over brownie batter. Run a knife through both mixtures to slightly swirl.
  8. Dollop remaining brownie batter and cheesecake batter over swirled mixture. Run knife through the brownie and cheesecake dollops (not all the way through the already swirled layer) to create a swirled pattern.
  9. Bake for 40-45 minutes**, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center has a few crumbs stuck to it. Do not overbake or they will harden, if underbaked they will be too gooey. Every oven is different so watch and check these after about 35-40 minutes of baking to ensure propper doneness.
  10. **After about 35-40 minutes of baking (with about 5-7 minutes of baking time left, you just need to eyeball it) gently place cut up Reese’s cups over top of almost fully baked brownies. Finish baking until a toothpick inserted in the center has a few crumbs stuck to it. The Reese’s PB cups will melt but hold their shape slightly. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting and serving.
These take a little extra time (not much, I promise) but they are so smooth and decadent, it's worth it. If you like pb and chocolate and have a special occasion to use this for (so you don't eat the whole pan) this is worth making!

Red Fresh Salsa

  • 2 cans of mexican style stewed tomatoes (regular work too)
  • Juice of 1 lime (a lime is better than lime juice concentrate, but if it's all you have it does just fine)
  • 1 t. of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions
  • 1 clove garlic (I use 1/4 t garlic powder usually)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves (I skip)
  • 1/2 jalapeno for medium or for mild add a can of green chilis (optional)
Blend in blender. Eat!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Strawberry Froyo

Frozen Strawberry Yogurt
  • 2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup fat-free milk (or whatever you have)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer's directions.
  3. Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze. Allow to ripen in ice cream freezer or firm up in refrigerator freezer 2-4 hours before serving.
  4. Remove from the freezer 30-45 minutes before serving.
So delicious! I can't believe how this can be so healthy. High in calcium, fat-free, and a little serving of fruit in there too! Such a great treat for the summer. Such a great treat for ice-cream/froyo lovers! It's nice to make a healthy version of ice cream now and then. I'm lovin' my ice-cream maker!

A fun take on ham&cheese

Ham & Swiss Sliders
  • 24 good white rolls
  • 24 pieces good honey ham
  • 24 small slices swiss cheese
  • 1/3 mayo
  • 1/3 cup miracle whip
Poppyseed Sauce
  • 1 1/2 TBSP poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 TBSP yellow mustard
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 TBSP minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. worschestershire sauce
  1. In a small bowl, mix together mayo & miracle whip. Spread into both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham & a slice of swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls & place into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet, placing very close together.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. Let sit 10 minutes, or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil & bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover & cook for 2 additional minutes. Serve warm.
  3. Sandwiches can me assembled a day ahead & kept in the fridge ready to bake.
These were tasty! Mine doesn't look so great because I made my own rolls and I burned them, so I had to use them upside down. Next time to save time I'll just buy some good soft rolls.

Anyone interested in quinoa?

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (we don't like)
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
This is a tasty salad. And SO healthy! Don't be afraid to try quinoa, though it may be hard to find at this point. I got mine at Beehive Health Essentials, due to a cooking class that got me interested. Quinoa is a complete protein due to its complete balance of amino acids. Low-carb, high protein, high fiber, gluten-free...purely amazing. I think it tastes like couscous, but that's ok because I like couscous. So for any healthies or vegans out there, this post is for you. I'll probably make this more once I can get quinoa at a normal grocery store.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I love you blueberries

To Die For Blueberry Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (I used frozen, but coat them in flour if you don't want purple muffins)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. I used 12.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
Mine aren't that beautiful, but they are delicious, I promise! They were all gone within a few hours.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A quick, slightly different chicken salad

Feta Chicken Salad

  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken (I used 1 can chicken and adjusted remaining ingredients accordingly)
  • 2 large stalks celery, diced (I skipped)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 (4 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
In a serving bowl, mix together the chicken, celery, and red onion. In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, feta cheese, and dill. Pour over the chicken mixture, and stir to blend. Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

I haven't used feta cheese before, and since it's not that pricey (2 bucks for a container) I decided to expand my cheese repertoire. To tell you the truth, I couldn't really taste it, but I'm figuring it made the salad. The salad was tasty and great the next day. One can of chicken fed our whole family. And it was great on these rolls.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Black-Eyed peas and Corn Salsa

Black-Eyed Peas and Corn Salsa

  • 1 15 oz can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 4-5 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (I skip- don't like it!)
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into small pieces (I diced some yellow onion- all I had)
  • 1-2 medium avocadoes, diced
  • 1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing, mixed according to package directions. (this brand is best)
Mix all together with dressing. Add avocado just before serving. Refrigerate several hours before serving. (though I ate mine right away and it was great, but I bet flavors would mingle best this way)
Serve with tortilla chips or over a salad.

Yum! This is another one stolen from my ward cookbook, but what can I say? I'm making this again, so it's going into my tried and true file, aka my blog.

Quick chicken winner for honey-mustard lovers

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted (I used 2 T butter and 2 T water)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used 2 but kept sauce amount the same- you want enough to pour over rice, so double sauce if you use 4)
  1. In a medium bowl combine the melted butter/margarine, honey, mustard, curry powder and cayenne powder. Mix well. Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour honey/mustard mixture over chicken. Cover and place in refrigerator. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Remove dish from refrigerator and bake, covered, in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove cover and bake about 10 minutes more, or until done and juices run clear (baking time will depend a little on how thick your chicken breasts are).
This is a delicious, easy, fast chicken recipe! I was a lot worried about the combination of ingredients, but it turned out splendidly. Read the reviews on this recipe at it got about 300 4 1/2 star reviews (out of 5 stars), and people who didn't like curry loved this recipe. I'd go more for if you like honey-mustard you'll like this. The kids liked it, as it was more sweet (but not overly so) than spicy.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

another doctored up cake mix

Poppy Seed Cake
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding mix and poppy seeds. Make a well in the center and pour in water, oil, and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. When cool, glaze if desired.
I desire to glaze! I made a glaze with a little milk, some powdered sugar and a little almond extract. I loved snacking on this cake and have made it several times.

Monday, June 1, 2009

(not my picture, don't make them this brown!)
Poppy Seed Muffins
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/8 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
  1. Beat together the eggs, 2 1/2 cups white sugar and vegetable oil. Add in milk, salt, baking powder, poppy seeds, vanilla, almond flavoring, and flour. Mix well.
  2. Bake in paper lined muffin cups (filled 3/4 full or 3 small greased loaf pans) at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15-20 minutes for muffins and 50-60 minutes for loaves. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  3. Remove muffins as soon as you can while still warm/hot and dunk tops into glaze. Turn right side up and cool on a cookie rack. With loaves just pour the glaze evenly over the three loaves while still in pans. Let cool to a warm temp. and remove from pans. Yes, it is a little messy but it is really good.
  4. To Make Glaze: In a saucepan over low heat, combine 3/4 cup sugar, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring and 2 teaspoons melted butter. Warm in pan until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over loaf pans or dunk muffin tops into glaze when cooled to room temperature. (Omit the glaze altogether if you don't like the mess.)
The glaze is so good! These are great muffins. Make sure to only cook until muffins are pre-brown for best texture. Not raw of course, but they will be light colored. These take a little time, but they are worth it.

Fun summer cake

Orange Bundt Cake
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix (I used vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Grease a 10 inch Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in 3/4 cup orange juice, oil, eggs and lemon extract. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. Glaze: 2 cups powdered sugar and 1/4 c. orange juice. Mix well and pour over cooled cake.
Great cake-mix cake! Addicting.