Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cookie Treat Cups

  • 1 pkg. pull-apart cookies (really any flavor you want)
  • Reese's Miniatures, Hershey's Kisses, any mini-candybar
  • Mini cupcake tray, or normal cupcake tray if you do 1 1/2-2 cookies per hole

1. Pull apart cookie and roll into a ball. Place one ball in each hole in cupcake tray.
2. Bake according to package directions.
3. Remove from oven and gently place Miniature or Kiss into each cookie. Carefully remove cookies to cool on wire rack.

What's not to love about these? Easy, fast, a double treat.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

White Velvet Sugar Cookies

not my picture, but these are beauties!

White Velvet Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Cream the butter, sugar, cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Roll out, cut in shapes, and place on ungreased pan.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will look white when done.
Yum. These are addicting, kind of melt-in-your mouth, and not as sweet/fluffy as normal sugar cookies. You can still decorate them with frosting, or eat them plain.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Southwestern Egg Rolls

Southwestern Egg Rolls
(adapted from

  • 2 chicken breast halves, cooked - shred or cube
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalepenos (I skipped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of cayenne (skipped- I'm a wuss)
  • 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 5-8" flour tortillas (I used uncooked tortillas for the first time...I love them! So much tastier!)

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender
  2. Mix chicken into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.
  4. Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable. (Or lightly fry uncooked tortillas until ready-doesn't take long and uses no oil)
  5. Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the refrigerator. These are best if refrigerated for 24 hours. (I didn't do this, but I wonder how it would be different)
  6. Fry each stuffed tortilla for about 2 minutes on each side, drain on a paper towel, then transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. (Since I didn't refrigerate mine they were ready to eat without need of oven time)

Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce

  • 1 smashed, fresh avocado
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk (I skipped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • dash dried dill weed (I didn't have)
  • dash garlic powder
  • dash pepper

Smash avocado. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Keep refrigerated.

I loved these, but the kids didn't! What is their problem?? The dip is delicious, but it isn't necessary; you could dip them in salsa, sour cream, ketchup....whatever floats your boat! They don't take as long as it looks, but they do require a few ingredients you may not have on hand.

Fastest Chocolate Frozen Pie...

Symphony Pie

  • 1 huge Symphony bar (I used milk chocolate)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 8 oz. whipped topping
  • 1 pie crust; oreo, graham or shortbread
  1. Break up bar into chunks and add water. Microwave 45 seconds.
  2. Stir until everything is melted. Cool for a few minutes.
  3. Add whipped topping and stir until chocolate is incorporated fully.
  4. Pour into pie crust, cover and freeze until firm.

This is ridiculously fast and easy! It tastes like a frosty pie. Mmm....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not especially tasty

Sparkly Play-doh
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. cream of tartar
  • food coloring
  • extra fine glitter
  1. Mix all together in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until mixture forms into a ball (the whole thing kind of wrapping around the spoon).
  2. Remove from heat and knead in food coloring while still hot.
  3. Add extra fine glitter, as much as desired.
Takes about 15 minutes, and the play-doh is ready to go! The picture is the amount half this recipe makes. So I usually just do a half-recipe. I store it in the fridge.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Teriyaki Bowls

Teriyaki Chicken Bowls
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Stir-fry veggie blend, or frozen broccoli is good, too
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • Rice
  1. Cook your chicken in a crock pot (I like to do it this way-more hands-off-I just add a little soy sauce and brown sugar) or you can cook it in a stir-fry pan.
  2. Prepare veggies. Mine steam in my rice cooker while my rice cooks.
  3. Prepare teriyaki sauce- it's quite fast- takes about 10 minutes.
  4. Add cooked chicken into the teriyaki sauce.
  5. Prepare bowls as desired with rice, sauce, and veggies.
Russell used to go out all the time for his teriyaki fix. But now we can make it at home! This sauce is excellent. Thick and flavorful. The chicken would taste great grilled on the BBQ too but we'll wait for summer for that. Really a pretty fast meal!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder
  • 2 (6 1/2 oz.) cans clams(chopped or minced, depending on the size of clam chunks you like)
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped onions
  • 2 c. diced potatoes (I used red and kept skin on)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1 qt. half & half (I used nonfat, and it was great!)
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  1. Drain clams, save juice. Combine vegetables, clam juice, and enough water to cover vegetables.
  2. Simmer till vegetables are soft. Add clams and cook 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate pan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook to make a roux (2-3 minutes-no lumps). Add half & half, salt and pepper and cook until thick. Add to vegetable mixture.
  4. Serves 8.
This was a tasty soup! Olivia even ate it..well, with exceptions of the clams and potatoes and celery. Ha ha. Anika loved it, as she is a willing eater for the most part. We'll make this again. Great for leftovers. Quick, too. Instead of getting out another pan, I melted the butter in the microwave, then whisked in the flour, and dumped that into the pot with the veggies and clams and stirred for a minute or so. Then I added the half and half to that...the consistency was just fine that way, so if you want to make it even faster, feel free to do that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sweet potato fries and dip

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
(adapted from

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/2 t coriander (skipped-didn't have)
  • 1 t kosher salt (we love sea salt sprinkled on after they're done instead!)
  • 1 t parsley
  • fresh ground pepper (about 10 turns of a pepper mill)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray. Slice your sweet potatoes into french fry shape and size.
  3. Throw all the fries into a big ziploc bag or old bread bag along with all the seasonings and give a few good shakes. I don't measure; I just sprinkle to what I like. Arrange in pan with no fries overlapping.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, then flip and cook for another 15 or so (depending on desired crispiness).
  5. Eat plain (really good just plain!), or use fun dip down below.

Honey-Lime Dip for Sweet Potato Fries
  • 6 oz container plain, low-fat yogurt (I just used sour cream because it's what I had, but this would be good!)
  • 1 T mayo
  • 1/2 T honey
  • 1/2 lime (not as good, but I used lime juice concentrate)
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/8 t oregano
  • 1 t parsley
  • 1/2 t granulated onion
  • 3/4 t kosher salt
Mix honey and yogurt until combined and give it a big squeeze from the lime half. Add in spices and herbs and you have a dip.

MMmmm! This is my new favorite veggie. I hadn't eaten sweet potatoes before, except in mashed form. I tried some sweet potato fries from Costco and I liked them, but they were more processed than this yummy, simple recipe. Weird thing is, my sweet potatoes weren't orange? What's up with that? They were just white. But they were definitely sweet potatoes!

Buttermilk-Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

(from from Piggy’s Cooking Journal)

Butter Crumb topping:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Batter:
  • 1¼ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup cake flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup mini bittersweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk (I use the substitution of 1/2 T white vinegar+1/2 c.milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup mini bitter-sweet chocolate chips, for sprinkling on top of the cake
  • Powdered sugar, for sifting on top of the cake


1) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2) Lightly grease a 9×4 inch loaf pan, and line the inside of the pan with parchment paper or foil, and then grease it very well.

To make the topping:
3) Thoroughly mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Drop in chunks of butter, using a table knife, cut the butter into the flour until it reduces to the size of large pearls. Sprinkle vanilla extract over, working with fingertips, knead the mixture together until moist, clumpy lumps are formed. DO NOT overmix.

Mix the batter:
4) Sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then toss the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the sifted mixture in a small bowl.
5) Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.
6) Add in the sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute after each portion is added.
7) Add in egg and beat for 45 seconds. Mix in the vanilla extract.
9) Alternately add in the sifted mixture in 3 additions with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the sifted mixture. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure even mixing.
10) Stir in chocolate chips.
11) Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and spread evenly, smooth the top with rubber spatula.
12) Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly on the cake batter, make sure that the whole surface is covered.
13) Bake the cake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. The baked cake should pull away slightly from the sides of the pan.
14) Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the baked cake immediately.
15) Let the cake cool completely. Use the parchment or foil to lift the cake out of the pan, then sift some powered sugar on top of the cake. Serve.

Definitely delicious but a little time-consuming! Not too bad, but anything that uses two or more bowls in prep is always a little bit of a time-taker. However, that crumb topping sinks into the cake and it's so good! I also love mini-chips. Very important to grease the wax/parchment paper well. I didn't do it well enough so the bottom was a little stuck to the paper. Oh time.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Easy and fast 6 Cheese Lasagna

6 Cheese Lasagna

  • 1 lb hamburger (optional) along with 1 26 oz bottle favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 12 oz. cottage cheese
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 6-9 strips no boil lasagna noodles (add 1/2 cup water to spaghetti sauce if using these)
  • 1 1/2 cup swiss cheese (I used about 5 slices real (not processed) swiss instead of the grated)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1-8oz. pkg. cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Mix cottage cheese, egg, and parmesan cheese in a small bowl, set aside. Crumble hamburger in fry pan. Cook until no pink remains, then drain off fat and combine with spaghetti sauce.
  2. Place a thin layer of sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 or 8x11 casserole dish. Layer 1/3 of each noodles, cottage cheese mixture, swiss and cheddar cheese. Cut off small pieces of cream cheese and dot over other cheeses. Repeat pattern once or twice, depending on whether you use 6 or 9 noodles. (I use just six, because that makes it tall enough!) End with sauce.
  3. Cover with a double layer aluminum foil. Cook for about an hour, or until fork-tender. I added the mozzarella cheese after that hour and cooked about 5 more minutes until it was melted.
I loved the additional tastes of swiss and cream cheese in this lasagna. I also really enjoy using no-bake noodles! They save a lot of time. Anyway, use as much or as little of the cheeses- I think I cut the cream cheese in half, but I would have loved it even more with the other half!

Seriously good rolls using Rhodes.

Magleby's Rolls
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 12 frozen Rhodes (or similar) rolls
  • 6 T. parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. garlic salt
  • 1 T. parsley flakes (or as little as you desire)
  1. Mix cheese, parsley, and salt.
  2. Roll frozen roll in melted butter then roll in cheese mixture.
  3. Place on pan and let rise 4 hours.
  4. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
We all loved these rolls! They are so good. Like a good breadstick at an Italian restaurant, though not as hard to make and not greasy in any way. We had it with lasagna, and it was great.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A nice bowl for your soup

Bread Bowls


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. In a large bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer), dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough is formed (you may not need to use all 7 cups).
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (or let knead in an electric mixer). Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
  4. Punch dough down, and divide into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round ball. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal (or use silpat liners or parchment paper). Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
  6. Scoop out innards of bowls carefully and pour in soup.
These were super fun to eat soup out of, though I had to have a real bowl back up to place them in. I think I tried to make 10...but 8 is more the right size you're looking for. Probably to be safe go with 6 so they are more deep. The photo is not mine! I am still working on making these babies perfect...this was my first time. But they were yummy and not hard to make!

Shrimp Dip

Shrimp Dip

  • 1 can shrimp, drained
  • 2 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 6 T. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 pkg. ranch seasoning mix

1. Stir cream cheese and cottage cheese until no lumps remain.
2. Add sour cream, shrimp, and ranch mix. Stir.
3. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Yummy and addictive. Quick, too.