August: Potlucks!

August Theme: Potlucks. What do you take with you?

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Breakfast Casserole

This casserole is our family's New Year's Day tradition and so good. But how could it not be good with all that butter and cheese . . .

10 eggs
1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c melted butter
1 pint cottage cheese
1 lb shredded jack cheese
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
2 small cans chilis (optional)

Mix all together and pour into 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa. (I'm thinking I'll serve it with Jennifer's salsa below. It sounds so yummy!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cranberry Salsa

I finally got this recipe from my aunt. It is SO yummy! When she served it at a Christmas party two years ago, I wanted to grab the plate and hide in a back room until I had eaten it all. hee hee.

1 – 12 oz bag fresh Cranberries, rinsed, drained, and finely diced (in a food processor or blender)
¼ cup green onion, finely sliced
2 small jalapenos peppers, seeded, finely diced
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 T fresh ginger, finely grated
2 T fresh lemon juice

2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese

Mix first seven ingredients together. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (This is important!).

Spoon over cream cheese brick and serve with Wheat Thins or Ritz ers.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chocolate Caramel Pie

This is the recipe I made for our December swap. I meant to take a picture, but it disappeared too fast. Warning: This is a rich dessert, even for a chocoholic like me. YUM!

1 prepared graham cracker crust
7 oz. caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3 TBSP. butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
20 large marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (no substitutes---just trust me on this one)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 8 oz. container whipped topping, thawed

Melt caramels and evaporated milk over medium heat, stirring until smooth. Cool 10 minutes. Pour into crust; refrigerate. Melt butter to coat pan. Add milk and marshmallows. Stir until smooth. Add chips and stir until smooth. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Cool to room temperature (1-2 hours). Spoon into pie shell and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with shaved chocolate.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Treats

I personally haven't made these yet, but I plan to in the next week.

Cranberry Orange Wreath Rolls

12 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls or 8 Rhodes Texas™ Rolls, thawed and risen

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup dried cranberries

zest from one orange

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

mint leaves for garnish


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

2-3 tablespoons orange juice

Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Combine rolls into a ball and roll into a 12x12-inch square. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest. In a bowl combine sugars, cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. Remove plastic wrap from dough and brush with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle one half of the dough with the sugar mixture. Press the mixture gently into the dough with your hands or the back of a spoon. Fold plain side of dough over the side with the sugar mixture. Dough will now measure 6x12-inches. Pinch edges to seal. Divide dough into 12 one inch strips and cut using a pizza cutter. Gently twist each strip 2 or 3 times. Place on a sprayed baking sheet and join ends together to make a wreath (if some filling falls out while twisting, sprinkle over wreaths before baking). Brush wreaths with remaining butter and cover with sprayed plastic wrap. Let rise 45-60 minutes. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F 15-20 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and drizzle or brush over rolls while still warm.
(This recipe is from

Monday, December 10, 2007

Two-Tone Mashed Potatoes

1 pound (about 6) potatoes
1 pound (2-3 large) sweet potatoes (the lighter colored ones have a nice mild flavor, but the more orange ones look pretty next to the white potatoes)
4 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons butter
1 tub onion and chive flavor cream cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Wash, peel, and boil the potatoes and sweet potatoes until tender. Mash the potatoes with half of the milk, butter, and cream cheese. Spread in a 9x13 dish and sprinkle with half of the parmesan cheese. Do the same with the sweet potatoes, spreading over the potatoes. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Orange Almond Drink

This is a great holiday drink that is somewhat similar to wassle, but not as heavy tasting.

Heat together 3 C sugar and 4 C water
Then add:

1 12 oz. frozen orange juice undiluted
1 1/2 C lemon juice
1 TBLS almond extract flavoring
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 qts. water

Heat all until hot, but DO NOT boil (boiling will change the taste)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Our Christmas Dinner

Jamie's santa pants

Lisa's gold & silver stars

Jennifer popcorn flower balls

Leslie's button reindeer

Leslie's cinnamon trees

Kathy's scripture scrolls

Tessa's jingle snowmen

Kirsten's ribbon snowflakes

Well, I'd say that's a pretty good circle...?

The Moscow Recipe Swap!

My Favorite Potpourri

1 orange
1 lemon
1 tsp. whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves

Quarter the orange & lemon. Fill with enough water to cover the contents in a small pot. Simmer on low! This smells so good, it'll make you thirsty!!

Chicken Provolone & Swiss

Makes 4 Servings.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 slices, deli ham
4 slices provolone cheese
4 slices swiss cheese
2 T. plus 1 T. butter
1 tsp.+ dried tarragon leaves
1 tsp. oregano
1 /2 tsp.+ white pepper
1/2 tsp.+ garlic powder

NOTE: You can substitute prosciutto, Italian deli meat, for the deli ham. You can also substitute cheese for any kind you like. If you want to cut out the butter, just spray with pam instead,

Preheat oven to 350*. Pound chicken breasts between two sheets of waxed paper until they nearly double in size and are fairly thin. Sometimes you can buy them already very thin. Place 1 slice of ham, 1 slice of provolone, and 1 slice of swiss cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Put a small square of butter on top. Sprinkle inside with a little bit of tarragon, oregano, white pepper, garlic powder and salt. Roll up and secure with toothpick.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute rolled chicken breasts over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, turning frequently. (I use salad tongs and turn about three times to sear all the chicken.) Remove from skillet. Sprinkle sauteed chicken breasts again with tarragon, oregano, white pepper, garlic powder, and salt.

Place sauteed chicken breasts in a 9 x 12 baking dish coated with remaining butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy!

A yummy Easy Salad and a Spinach Salad

Thought I'd get December going and post my two salads from this months get together. (The Easy Salad is the one I made, and the other is the one I planned to make, but ran out of time.) The recipes tonight were like heaven! And I can't wait to see what kind of recipes you others come up with . . .

By the way, we forgot to decide on a name. I'll be emailing you all to get your input and then we'll narrow it down and put a poll on here to make a final decision.

Easy Salad

1 bag romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
1 can mandarin oranges
Slivered almonds

Toss with Brianna Poppy Seed Dressing.

Spinach Salad

1 pound baby spinach
1-2 bunches red leaf lettuce
½ cup grated Swiss cheese
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 pound cooked bacon, crumbled
1 red onion, sliced

Mix together and toss with the following dressing just before serving:

1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Thought I would share this yummy recipe. My mother-in-law made it while we were home for Thanksgiving and I just couldn't get enough.

1 yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
1/2 cup margarine
1 egg

Mix and press into a 9x13 pan. Make your favorite pumpkin pie filling. Pour over cake mixture.

1 cup cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine

Pour over cake and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Healthy Oatmeal Muffins

I am finally posting my bread contribution before November disappears! I love this recipe because it is quick, healthy, and you can use lots of food storage items for it. Enjoy!

1 C buttermilk (or any milk, I use reconstited dry milk)
1 egg
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 t. soda
1/2 C packed brown sugar or 1/2 C applesauce or frozen orange juice
1 C rolled oats
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 C vegetable oil

Pour buttermilk over oats. Let stand 5 minutes. Add egg and brown sugar to oats and mix well. Add sifted dry ingredients and oil. Mix well. If raisins or dates or other fruits such as apple chunks etc. are desired add them.

Spoon into 12 greased muffins tins or cup cake liners. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 min. or until brown. Makes 12.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Herbed Bread Twists

1/4 cup butter softened
1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, dried basil, marjoram, and oregano
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (when I made this, I didn't have mozzarella, I just used cheddar cheese)
4 tsp sesame seeds

In a small bowl combine butter and seasoning. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 inch square. Spread with butter mixture to within 1/2 in of edges; sprinkle with cheese.

Fold dough into thirds. Cut widthwise into 24 strips. Twist each strip twice; pinch ends to seal. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mexican Cornbread

1 can (17 oz) cream style corn
1/2 C egg substitute (equal to 2 eggs)
1 C yellow cornmeal
3/4 C skim milk
3 T canola oil
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt (opt.)
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
2 oz. reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients and pour into an 8" X 8" pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot or cool for a yummy south of the border treat!

Cream Puffs

Kitchen of Kathy Thomander
Kirsten requested this recipe, so here it is! There is a Danish shop in Colorado that sells the best, and I just try to copy. I have made these several times trying to perfect them. I'm still working on it. I have fun trying new fillings. I hope you do too!

-1 cup water
-½ cup butter
-1/8 tsp. salt
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-4 eggs

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each egg.
*Drop dough by 12 heaping tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. (Use a second spoon to scrape off dough.) Swirl into a ball. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Use your nose and keep an eye on them near end of time.
*For smaller ones, use a small cookie scoop and spoon to make mini balls. It makes 24. Cook for only 20 minutes, and be sure to watch them! They cook faster. Cool on a rack.
*When cooled you can cut the tops off, and remove the dough inside for the filling. (I have an Easy Accent Decorator from Pampered Chef now, so I don’t cut the tops off. I just make a little hole and pipe in the filling. If you don’t have one you could try using a pastry piping bag, or use a Ziploc bag with the filling and cut a small corner off.)
*Makes 12 cream puffs, store in bags and refrigerate leftovers once they have been filled.

My filling is always different! This is the base I use. (You can use anything though, ice cream, whipped cream, pudding, flavored syrups, cream cheese, and any combination, be creative!)

-1 brick cream cheese, softened(I prefer the less fat kind, then I feel better.)
-¾ cups granulated sugar, or to desired sweetness
(powdered sugar, or Splenda, whatever you use to sweeten)
-1 pint heavy whipping cream or Tub of Whipped Topping
**Reserve 1/4 -1/2 cup of heavy cream for chocolate topping.
-1 Tbsp vanilla extract (or 1/4 cup Torani Vanilla syrup is good too.)
Optional: I tried using Torani Raspberry Syrup, ¼ -½ cup? It was yummy. Mix in desired amount according to taste. Or try extracts like mint, or orange might be good too!

Leave cream cheese out of fridge to soften. Beat the whipping cream and sweeten to taste. Set aside. Then beat the cream cheese in mixer until very creamy and smooth. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add whipped topping, a little at a time, (otherwise it gets lumpy!) scraping sides of bowl often with spatula. Add vanilla and syrup. Add things according to your taste.

-3/4 bag milk chocolate chips
-Heavy whipping cream

Over LOW heat (high heat scorches chocolate) melt chips in saucepan with about a ¼ cup of cream, just eye it. Cook and stir until combined, being careful not to burn chocolate. Add more cream to thin it.
Spread chocolate over cream puff tops. Enjoy!

Cheese-stuffed bread ring

This recipe was yummy and quite easy (if I can make it, anyone can).

3 1/2 tsp. white sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 T. active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 lbs. Muenster cheese, shredded
1 egg white, beaten

Heat milk and margarine over low heat 'til very warm. Combine sugar, salt, yeast and 1 cup flour in a large bowl. Stir in hot milk mixture and beat with mixer on med. speed for 2 minutes.
Add 1 more cup of flour and beat 2 more minutes. Then stir in enough flour (about 2 cups) to make a soft dough. Knead dough for about 10 minutes; cover w/ bowl and let rest 15 min.

Meanwhile, shred cheese and combine w/ 1 egg and 1 yolk. Roll dough into a 24x6 in rectangle. Spoon cheese mixture into a log shape lengthwise along dough. Fold dough over cheese, making a 1 in. overlap; pinch seam to seal. In a greased 9 in. round pan place roll, seam side down, to make a ring. Overlap ends; pinch and seal. Cover with a towel and let rest 10 min. Brush with egg white and bake at 350 for 50-60 min. or until it sounds hollow when tapped w/ finger.
Remove bread from pan immediately. Cool 15 min. before slicing into wedges.
Great with marinara sauce!

Tip: I placed the round cake pan on a cookie sheet incase some cheese spilled out - which a little
did. Also, it seemed like I had WAY too much cheese, so I didn't use it all - but I should
have. I definitly thought it needed more cheese once the dough fluffed up.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yummy yummy french bread

This is from my Aunt Sandy and it is the best bread in the whole world. It is really easy and makes really yummy bread bowls, too! (Very filling, so make small ones, though).

2 T Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups boiling water
3 T sugar
1 T salt
1/3 cup shortening
6 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In your mixer, mix boiling water, sugar, salt, shortening, and 3 cups flour. Mix. Add yeast mixture and rest of the flour. Mix well. Let rest for 10 minutes and then mix again. Repeat this step 5 times. Divide the dough in half. Roll out into a triangle on a floured surface. Roll up into a log. Slash top 3 times with a knife and brush with egg wash (optional). Let rise until double. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until done.

If you are doing bread bowls, break off chunks of dough and shape into a ball. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until done.

If you want to get really crazy, you can mix in grated cheese or garlic or oregano.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls (copycat recipe)

I love that we have some more posts on here today! I can already tell this is going to be fun. This recipe I got from . They have great copycat recipes from all your favorite restaurants. This one is fantastic, but so fattening that I don' t make it very often. But in the spirit of bread month, I knew I needed to share it.

2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2/3 cup sugar, PLUS1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warmed milk
2/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7 cups flour, or more if needed

1 cup melted butter, divided
1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 cup raisins, optional

***Creamy Glaze***
2/3 cup melted butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 tablespoons hot water, more as needed

Directions:In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 Cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5-10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1-1 1/2 hours. When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 min. Roll out on floured surface into a 15x20" rectangle.

Filling: Spread dough with 1/2 Cup melted butter. Mix together 1 1/2 Cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins, if desired. Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices. Coat bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan and a 8 inch square pan with remaining melted butter, then sprinkle with remaining sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 min. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.

Creamy Glaze: Meanwhile, in med. bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water 1 Tablespoon at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Moist Pineapple Carrot Muffins

1 c. crushed pineapple in juice [8 oz. can)
3 c. flour (whole wheat or white)
2 c. sugar (or 1 c. honey)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 Large eggs
1 egg white [or can just put in three eggs total]
1/2 c. safflower oil [can put butter in for part of it]
2 t. vanilla
2 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. applesauce

Preheat oven to 350*F. Sift the dry ingredients. Make a well and drop the wet ingredients in the middle. Mix together. Separate the egg whites; put eggs in and add the egg whites last if using whole wheat flour. Beat 1 1/2 minutes or until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and applesauce. You can add nuts or raisins if you want. Put into greased muffin tins. Bake for 22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Makes 24 muffins.

Quick Ham Sandwich

1 lb. deli ham
1 lb. swiss cheese or cheddar
8 hamburger buns

1/2 stick butter
1 T. mustard
dash of Tabasco
1 T. grated onion [1/8 t. onion powder]
1 T. poppyseeds

Melt sauce together in pan or in microwave. Put on top and bottom of buns. Layer with ham and cheese. Wrap in foil. Bake at 450*F for around 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

I Know It Is Bread Month, But I Couldn't Resist Sharing

Butternut Squash & Apple Cider Soup

1 TB minced shallot
1 minced garlic clove
3 c. cubed, seeded, peeled b. squash
1/2 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. apple cider
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 red apple, diced, as garnish
pepper, to taste

Cook shallot & garlic in saucepan over low heat until translucent. Add squash & chicken broth & cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Pour into blender & puree. Add cider & sour cream & continue to blend until well mixed. Add apple when served. Really healthy, really fast.

Tuna Burgers

6 Hamburger Buns
7 oz. tuna
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c.+ grated cheese
1/2 c. chopped olives
1/4 c. mayo
1 small onion (optional)

Add salt & pepper to taste. Wrap in foil. Bake at 375*F for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. What is great about this recipe, is you can stretch it further with whatever you have such as more of: celery, cheese, olives...etc.

Cheesy Stuffing Cups

1/4 c. [1/2 stick] butter
3/4 c. chopped celery
1 1/2 c. water
1 pkg. [6 oz.] stuffing mix
1/3 c. dried cranberries [Craisins]
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped [pecans]
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat Oven to 350*F. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add celery; cook and stir 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in water. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in stuffing mix, cranberries adn walnuts. Add 1 cup of cheese and egg; mix lightly.

Spoon stuffing mixture evenly into 8 greased medium muffin cups, mounding mixture as necessary to use all the stuffing mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese on the tops.

Bake for 10 minutes or until stuffing cups are heated through and cheese is melted.

Avocado & Pomegranate Salsa

1 Large pomegranate - seeded
3-4 avocadoes - diced
5-6 Roma tomatoes - diced
1/2 c. red onion - diced
1 small lime or lemon - the juice
1 tsp. Tabasco hot sauce or any other hot sauce
1 tsp. Accent (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Seed Pomegranate, cut up avocadoes & tomatoes into smaller chunks. Chop up red onion. Mix togeter and then squeeze the juice of the lime or lemon over it all, add additional three items and then mix. Serve with Tortilla Chips & ENJOY!

This is a very festive looking dip for the holidays, all the green and red look great on the table and my friends and family always ask for it during the holidays.

Note: Pomegranates are in season usually from October through December.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Best Bread Machine Dough

Hey Girls! This bread dough recipe is the one I use for EVERYTHING. It makes the fluffiest, yummiest dinner rolls and breadsticks! I even make cinnamon rolls and calzones with it. This recipe is written on an index card and taped inside my kitchen cupboard because I use it so often.

2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
3+ cups flour
2 tsp yeast
1 1/8 cup water *
1/3 cup powdered milk *
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 egg

Put all ingredients into bread machine in order listed. Let it do the work for you! When the timer goes off, take the dough out and shape it into 12 rolls. Turn oven on lowest setting for 1 minute, then turn it off. Place rolls in oven to rise for 15-20 minutes. Turn oven to 350 degrees and bake until golden brown. If you don't have a bread machine, I know you can figure out a way to use this recipe, but don't ask me. I don't make dough without my bread machine!

*If you don't have powdered milk, substitute 7/8 cup milk and decrease water to 1/4 cup.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cranberry Muffins with Butter Sauce

I thought I'd start by adding my recipe for November's recipe night. This one is perfect with the holidays coming up. And I can't take all the credit for it. My mom used to make something similar, but can't find the recipe. This one comes from one of my cousins.

Cream ½ cup sugar with 1 ½ tablespoons butter
Add 1 cup sifted flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt
Add ½ cup evaporated canned milk
Mix in 1 cup raw cranberries. Mix with a spoon, not a mixer. Don’t over mix batter.

Fill greased muffins tins ½ full. Bake at 350° for 30 min. makes 8 muffins.

Butter sauce
1 cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
½ pound butter (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook over very low heat for ½ hour, just before serving. Pour desired amount over muffins. Makes enough for a double/tripled muffin recipe.