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