Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oreo Truffles: easy and delicious!

Oreo Truffles

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (I used reduced-fat)
1 pkg.  (1 lb. 2 oz.) Oreo cookies, finely crushed (about 4-1/4 cups), divided
chocolate or vanilla bark/melts for melting (I used milk chocolate chips I melted in the microwave at 40 percent power for a minute, stir, watch closely to not cook longer than just barely melted!)

Mix cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended.
Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls with hands or cookie scoop. Freeze for about an hour for easier dipping.  Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs or sprinkles.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
These are great!  The cream cheese and oreos combine so well you wouldn't even realize that it is cream cheese.  Truffle-ey and yummy.  Add this to your Christmas candy making!

Sweet Potato side dish winner!

Sweet Potato Bake

3 cups cold mashed sweet potatoes (without added milk and butter- I just microwaved, cut in half, and scooped out the potato and mashed)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat sweet potatoes, milk, butter, eggs, salt and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pecans and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Yum!  Really...I know there are a lot of people out there that don't like sweet potatoes.  But this recipe is worth a taste.  The sweet potato part isn't overly sweet, and it's topped with a delicious sweet topping.  So it isn't overkill on the sweet.  This will be on my menu whenever I have sweet potatoes!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained (I've tried it with tuna too and it's great!)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot®) (use to your tastes)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.

I can't believe I haven't posted this one yet.  Probably because I don't use a recipe anymore to make it- I just throw everything in a pan and go, measuring cups out the window.  This recipe makes a LOT, so halve it if you don't have a huge group.  A great addictive dip!  Some people use blue cheese dressing instead of the ranch- whatever you like.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cheesecake Brownies, easy

Cheesecake Brownies

(from Taste of Home magazine)
  • 1 pkg. (13x9 pan size) fudge brownie mix
  • 6 oz cream cheese (almost a full cube)
  • 6 T. butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  1. Prepare brownie mix batter according to package directions.  
  2. Spread 2 cups into a greased 13x9 pan; set aside.  
  3. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  
  4. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.  Spread evenly over brownie batter.
  5.   Top with remaining brownie batter then cut through batter with a knife to swirl.  
  6. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs (brownies may appear moist).  Cool completely and frost. 
I really can't say more about these- if you imagine these would taste good, then most likely you'll love them.  They didn't last long at our house!  I halved the recipe (my brownie mix was the smaller size) and put it into an 11x7 casserole dish and it made enough for us.  If you have a 13x9 and aren't sharing, then it's a lot of pressure to eat a lot more fast!  

Try this Cranberry Pie!

Nantucket Cranberry Pie
(from, adapted from Laurie Colwin)
  • Butter, for greasing (or spray)
  • 2 cups (heaping) cranberries
  • ¾ cups pecans, chopped (measure, then chop) (optional, but I like the flavor they add!)
  • ⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar for sprinkling

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously butter a cake pan or pie pan. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle on 2/3 cup sugar.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.
  4. Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle surface with 1 tablespoon sugar for a little extra crunch.

Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
I was excited when I saw this recipe on the other day!  I love cranberries and buy a huge bag to make cranberry sauce out of this time of year.  So, it's fun to try something else.  This is cobblery, as you'd expect from the dough topping, and that's just great!  The tart flavor of the cranberries goes great with the sweet topping, and ice cream is a must.  I will add this to my fall favorites!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Like Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

  • 2 1/2 c. Bisquick
  • 3/4 c. cold milk
  • 4 T. cold butter
  • 1/4 t. garlic salt
  • 1 heaping Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I used medium)

To Brush on Top:
2 T. butter, melted
1/2 t. parsley
1/2 t. garlic salt
  1. In a large bowl, add your Bisquick with your butter and using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the Bisquick. There should still be pea-sized batter clumps.
  2. Add in cheese, milk and garlic salt. Mix until just combined. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, drop 1/4-cup portions of mix onto an ungreased cookie sheet. There should be a dozen biscuits when you are done. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15-17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits turn a light brown. (Is it weird that mine took only about 5 minutes??)  As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven, melt your butter in the microwave and stir in your parsley and garlic salt, then brush mixture over all of the biscuits.
These are so fast.  If you want a quick roll-type side-dish and you're pressed for time, this is the baby!  I love Red Lobster's biscuits.  These are close!

Another warm, creamy soup!

(sorry- the only bowl that had any soup left in it)

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup

*Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (about 2 regular carrots or a handful of baby carrots)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and finely diced (I like to leave the peels on red potatoes, if using them)
  • 1 cup milk (1% is my milk of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 (8 oz. package) regular or light cream cheese
  • 2-3 (about 1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Saute, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender and the onions are translucent.
  2.  Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3.  In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk the flour and milk together until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the soup, stirring quickly, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken slightly. Stir often to ensure the soup doesn’t burn. 
  4. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until it is very soft/melty. I usually place the unwrapped cream cheese on a plate and microwave it for one minute at 30% power. I like it really, really soft so it doesn’t leave lumps in the soup. Add the cream cheese to the soup in small tablespoon-size pieces. Let the pieces sit in the soup and warm through then whisk or stir the soup until the cream cheese melts and mixes in well. (I'm SO lazy and just threw in the cream cheese!  It all worked out.  I think it was semi-softish)  Add the cooked chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
We loved this soup!  It's similar to the last few soups posted that also use cream cheese.  My neighbor Angie thought I was crazy for buying about 15 blocks of cream cheese at the store when they were on sale for 99 cents.  Now we know how fast I'm burning through them!  And I haven't even made my yummy cheesecakes yet- I'm pretty excited for that.  

Marbled pound cake

Mini Marbled Pound Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp butter; room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs; room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 5 Tbsp cocoa powder

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Set aside. Grease and flour four 5 1/2 x 3 x 1 1/2 (approx) mini loaf pans (I used 3) OR one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
  2. In large bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy (3-4 min). Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each one. Stir in extract(s).
  3. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Set aside 1/3 of batter.
  4. In a small bowl combine cocoa powder and 6 Tbsp HOT water. Mix until smooth. Add to reserved 1/3 batter. Stir until well combined. Fill prepared pan(s) by alternating spoonfuls of each batter. Swirl with a skewer or cake tester.
  5. Bake 40-45 min (for one cake) or 20-25 for small cakes (check after 15 min) or until cake tester comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool. Invert after 5-10 min. Let cool completely and top with icing glaze.

1 1/2 Tbsp butter; room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk
Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth and pourable (add more milk if necessary.)

I made these without the glaze, and it was good, but next time I want to try with the glaze.  These are pretty simple, and look good to give away or eat yourself!

Light Wheat Rolls

Light Wheat Rolls

  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix sugar, salt, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg, and whole wheat flour into yeast mixture. Stir in all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down dough, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled again, about 30 minutes.
  4. Grease 2 dozen muffin cups. Punch down dough, and divide into two equal portions. Roll each into a 6x14 inch rectangle, and cut rectangle into twelve 7x1 inch strips. Roll strips up into spirals, and place into muffin cups. Brush tops with melted butter. Let rise uncovered in a warm place 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and brush again with melted butter.

I started these rolls so close to dinner time that I skipped a lot of the raising time, as well as skipping the second rise cycle altogether.  And guess what- they still turned out!  I made 12 huge rolls out of them, and they weren't super-pretty, but they tasted light and sweet.  I probably could take out a few tablespoons of sugar next time and still love them.  Good as rolls plain or sandwich rolls.  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice Soup

  •  6 oz. package wild rice soup (I used rice-a-roni, and I think that was 4.75 oz)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 pkg california vegetable mix (carrots, cauliflower and broccoli)
  • 2 t. dried minced onion
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened and cubed

In a large saucepan, combine rice, seasoning packet, and water.  Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.  Add everything else but cream cheese.  Bring to a boil and add cream cheese.  Simmer about 10 more minutes.

This was a great soup!  Fast, creamy, and some good veggies in there.  This soup thickens upon standing so don't worry about it seeming runny after adding everything.  Also, I will probably cut up the veggies next time because they are in chunks right out of the bag so they are a little obvious when eating, which my kids and I don't really prefer!  Got to keep those veggies close to invisible!  

In large saucepan, combine rice, contents of seasoning package, and water. Bring to a boige Wild Rice mix
5 cups water
1/2 package California Blend frozen veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package cream cheese (cubed and softened)

In large saucepan, combine rice, contents of seasoning package, and water. Bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes, then add everything but cream cheese. Bring to a boil, then add cream cheese. Simmer about 10 more minutes. (6 oz.) package Wild Rice mix
5 cups water
1/2 package California Blend frozen veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package cream cheese minutes, then add everything but cream cheese. Bring to a boil, then add cream cheese. Simmer about 10 more minutes.