August: Potlucks!

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

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Easy Stuffing

This is my great-grandmas recipe for stuffing that is super easy and delicious.

1 loaf of bread (take off the top crust and discard -- for some reason it just doesn't cut as well)
1/2 tsp salt
1 square of butter
2 heaping tablespoons of sage

(quadruple for a 22 lb. turkey)

Cut up the bread into cubes. You don't have to dry the bread, but if you do it will hold more flavor. To dry the bread, put the cut up cubes on a cookie sheet and put in a 200 degree oven for a few minutes.

Put bread cubes in a bowl and toss with salt. Then add chunks of butter throughout. Add sage and toss with your hands.

If you are not stuffing a turkey, add about 1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth and bake in tinfoil at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. There is nothing it in that needs to cook, it just needs to be heated.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Peppermint Ice Cream Dessert

1 lb chocolate waffers or cream filled cookies, crushed
1/2 cup butter

1/2 gallon Peppermint Stick ice cream
1 12 oz container whipped topping

1/2 cup butter
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 teas. vanilla
crushed peppermint candy

Mix crushed cookies and butter. Press in 13x9 pan.

Stir together ice cream and 2 cups whipped topping. Spoon onto crust. Freeze until firm.

Melt butter and chocolate in a 2 qt. pan over low heat. Stir constantly. Stir in sugar after chocolate is melted. Gradually stir in milk, then heat to boiling over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly thickened. Stir in vanilla. Let cool completely.

Pour chocolate sauce over ice cream piece and top with remainder of of whipped topping and crushed peppermint.

Enjoy!

Suggestions: I used one bag of chocolate graham crackers for the crust. The original recipe says to put the chocolate sauce on and freeze, but the chocolate sauce doesn't freeze and will cause a big, sticky mess!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Caramel Apple Cider

This is the other drink I considered bringing to the Recipe Swap. I opted for the cool beverage because I am nursing/hormonal and get hot often. :) Then the night of the swap a huge storm blew in and it was freezing. Guess I chose the wrong drink! Anyway, this recipe tastes amazing, even though the ingredients are simple. Served with a dollop of whipped cream, it would be like one of those fancy shmancy drinks they charge $6 for. Really.

INDIVIDUAL SERVING:
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

PARTY SIZE:
1 gallon apple cider
1 cup caramel ice cream topping
5 teaspoons vanilla

Stir ingredients together and heat through.

Christmas Punch

Ingredients:

2 cups
water
1 1/2 cups
sugar
4
cinnamon sticks
3 cups
cranberry juice
2 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup
lemon juice
2 liters 7-Up soda
ice cubes (optional)


Directions:

Chill fruit juices and 7-Up. Simmer water, sugar and cinnamon sticks together for 10 minutes. Set aside for several hours to allow the mixture to develop the cinnamon spiced flavor. Prior to serving time, remove the cinnamon sticks from the sugar syrup. In a large punch bowl, combine the sugar syrup, cranberry juice, orange juice, and lemon juice. Slowly pour in the 7-Up. Add ice-cubes if desired.

If I made this again, I would use less cinnamon somehow (either use three sticks, let it steep for less time or add more juice). I thought the cinnamon was just a bit too strong.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Goodies!

So this year I have been in the mood to make Christmas goodies! I thought I would share a couple that I have tried out all ready and they are yummy!

Brownie Crackles
1 package fudge brownie mix (13-in. x 9-inch pan size)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
1cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar

Directions: In a large bowl, beat the brownie mix, flour, egg, water and oil until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Place confectioners' sugar in a shallow dish. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into sugar; roll to coat. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4-1/2 dozen.

Creamy Lemon Fudge
1 1/2 tsps plus 1/2 cup butter, divided
1 package (4.3 ounce) cook and serve lemon pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
Line a 9 inch square pan with foil. grease the foil witn 1 1/2 tsp butter; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine pudding mix, milk and remaining butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Beat in confectioners' sugar and extract. Pour into prepared pan; refrigerate until set. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Discard foil; cute fudge into 1 inch squares. Store in the refrigeratior.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Layered Key Lime Pie


This is a wonderful version of a lime pie for those of you who aren't a big fan of lemon/lime desserts. It is extremely simple and the final product looks wonderful!

1 9 in. graham cracker crumb crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (about 3 medium limes) fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime peel (make sure to grate the lime peel BEFORE juicing them)
2 cups cool whip
Lime peel twists or lime slices (optional)

BEAT sweetened condensed milk and lime juice in small mixer bowl until combined; stir in lime peel. Pour into crust; spread with whipped topping. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Garnish with lime peel twists.

Cookie Salad

1 c. buttermilk (I use milk with 1 tbsp. lemon juice because I never have buttermilk)
2 (3.4 oz.) pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
1 (16 oz) Cool Whip
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, not drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 pkg. fudge striped cookies, crumbled

Mix buttermilk and pudding together until well blended (it will be really think.) Add cool whip and blend well.  Stir in pineapple and mandarin oranges gently.  Place in fridge until ready to serve.  Just before serving fold in crumbled cookies.  

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1 pkg. baby spinach
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 pkg Craisins
1 small package (about 1 cup) slivered almonds (wet almonds, roll in sugar, roast 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until desired)

Dressing
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. mustard seed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar (can use less)

Put this in a sealed container and shake. Don't pour it on the salad until you are ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Party Rice

Super simple and super yummy!!! It does take a long time to cook, though, so plan ahead if you make this.

1C white rice
1 stick butter (you could use margarine, but not the tub kind, the stick kind)
1 can beef broth
1 can french onion soup

preheat oven to 300. pour rice, soup, and broth into ovenproof bowl, then cut butter into large chunks on top. cook uncovered for at least an hour.

Tonight, it cooked for over an hour, and was still liquidy and crunchy. I popped it in Leslie's oven at 375 for 10-15 more minutes and it was perfect. I think my oven doesn't work quite right, but you could try cooking it at a higher temperature, or just for longer.

Blueberry Banana Scones

1 ¼ c flour
½ c whole wheat flour
¼ c sugar
1 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ c butter
½ c yogurt
1/3 c mashed banana
½ c blueberries
1 T brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Add yogurt and fruit, stir until moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly greased cookie sheet, pat dough into a circle with floured hands. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges. Spread on the cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Italian Sausage & Vegetable Soup

Ok- here is a last hurrah for our Novermber soups. :0) This is one of my favorite soups! I found it in a Lion House cook book way back and I make it all the time. It is really quite easy to throw together and it always seems to turn out.

Italian Sausage & Vegetable Soup
½ lb ground sausage (You could also use Italian Sausage to give it more flavor)
· 2 cans stewed or diced tomatoes
· 2 cups beef base (can use bullion)
· 1 package mixed vegetables
· ½ tsp salt
· ½ tsp Garlic Powder
· 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
· ¾ cup sea shell pasta

*Brown meat (drain) and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, add tomatoes, beef base, veggies, garlic, salt. Bring to a boil. In the last five minutes add the pasta.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sweet Potato Crisp

We made this last year for the holidays and it was a huge hit and so yummy! A nice change from the marshmallow casserole.

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese
2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 7 medium) peeled, cooked and coarsley mashed
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Topping:
3 T. flour
2 T. brown sugar
3 T. butter
3 cups Honey Bunches of Oats cereal

Beat cream cheese, sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon with electric mixer until well blended. Spoon into 2-quart baking dish; top with apples and cranberries. Mix flour and 2 T. brown sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter until resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cereal. Sprinkle over fruit mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes or until heated through.

Enjoy! And have a great holiday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Frito Burritos

Well, obviously I am not being very healthy lately with all these recipes I'm posting, but they are all so good! Do any of you remember getting the ever-so-delicious Frito Burrito from Taco Bell before they discontinued it? I have missed it every day since! I love Taco Bell, but they got major points deducted when they stopped serving this. So what did they go and make me do? Create my own frito burrito. I've heard people call it a "furrito" but that just sounds like something hairy that fell in your burrito. Not a pretty picture. I'll stick with good ole frito burrito for now.

Frito Casserole
:
Half bag Fritos
1 can chili with beans
2 tomatoes, diced (or canned)
half can red enchilada sauce
one small can tomato sauce
1 c.+ grated cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, leaving some chips and cheese out for end. Place in small square greased baking dish. Sprinkle with chips and cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until warmed through and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Enchilada Sauce:
If you do not have canned enchilada sauce, like I hardy do--here is a recipe for you.
1 c. chicken broth
2 T. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 t. sugar
3 T. cold water
3 T. white flour

In a small sauce pan, add the chicken broth, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Whisk everything well together. Heat to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 3 minutes.

While the sauce is on a slow simmer, add the water in a small bowl. With another whisk (or fork), mix in 1 T. of flour at a time. Whisk constantly to avoid lumps.

After 3 minutes of cooking sauce, turn heat up to high. Very slowly, pour the flour mixture into the boiling sauce. Once again, whisk constantly to avoid those lumps. After the flour is added, continue to whisk for one more minute. You can turn the heat down too a medium during this time. Just make sure the sauce is boiling. Turn heat off and it is ready!

Burrito Time!
Scoop some of that yummy Frito gooey goodness into the middle of your tortilla. I like to use fresh or kind from CostCo you cook yourself. Sprinkle some chopped onion on top. Then sprinkle some cheddar cheese. Then add a few more very crunchy Fritos. And don't forget to top it all off with some nice hot sauce. And there you have it, a FRITO BURRITO!!

Praline Pumpkin Muffins

I made these muffins the other morning to use up my left-over canned pumpkin that has just been SITTING in my fridge. We had them for breakfast and they were so-so. Around 8 that night, I was having a sweet tooth craving so I tried another one. It was like trying a whole different muffin! It was a little piece of pumpkin heaven in my mouth! If you like pumpkin, TRY THESE!

Praline Topping:
3 T. butter, cut into pieces
1/3 c. flour
3 T. light brown sugar
1/3 c. finely chopped pecans

Muffin Batter:
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 t. salt
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/3 c. unsulfured molasses
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. mini chocolate chips. optional

Directions:
Combine all the topping ingredients in a small bowl and use your fingers to rub them into a crumbly topping. Set it aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees and grease the bottoms only of 12 standard muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours and the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, molasses, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients just until the batter is blended. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and sprinkle on the praline topping.

Bake the muffins for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one come out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing them.

Bacon Chicken Salad

This is the yummy salad I brought to the Thanksgiving ward activity.

4-6 chicken breasts

Cook chicken breasts for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and cut into small pieces.

Sugared almonds:
8 oz. slivered almonds
4 T. sugar

In a small skillet, sprinkle sugar over almonds and cook over medium heat until almonds are coated and sugar has dissolved. Cool in single layer on wax paper. Chop or break up any clumps.

2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, torn or chopped
1 head Iceberg lettuce, torn or chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
1 c. Mozzarella cheese, or Swiss or Italian blend
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped and cooked & drained
1 c. cottage cheese, liquid drained
1 c. Craisins, be generous

Dressing:
1 c. sugar
4 t.+ dry mustard ( I just used regular yellow mustard)
1 t. salt
2/3 c. apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 c. vegetable oil
1 T. poppy seeds

Mix together everything except oil in blender. Slowly add in oil. Store in fridge until ready to use. This makes a TON of dressing. But this recipe also makes a TON of salad!

Chicago Dog Salad

from Cast Sugar

Oh my goodness, this is was such a fun salad to eat. So much flavor and so different than the every night typical dinner fare. I don't know how many of you are hot dog fans, but I am a HUGE hot dog fan. I love mine with all the fixings, always with pickles and tomatoes and mustard. Anyways, if the recipe sounds remotely good to you and you are as well a fellow hot dog fan, then you must try this!

Ingredients:
1/4 c. yellow mustard
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 rounded tsp. granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
16 oz. shredded cabbage
1 heart of romaine lettuce, shredded
2 vine-ripe tomatoes, diced
Sliced jalapenos or sport peppers (optional)
3 large pickles, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 turkey hot dogs, cut into 1-inch slices on an angle
Celery salt

In a large bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, sugar and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos (optional), and pickles. Toss well. Season the salad with pepper and a pinch of salt (more to come at the end, so go easy on it). Taste, adjust the seasonings and put aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, then arrange the sliced dogs in a single layer. Sear them for a couple of minutes on each side, turning with tongs.

Mound the salad on plates and top with the seared dogs. Sprinkle with celery salt. Serve.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Curried Chicken Noodle Soup

Ok, I'm finally getting around to posting this!

dried Asian noodles (in the Asian section at winco, or use plain old ramen!)
vegetable oil
chicken breast fillets, cut into small cubes
1 onion, sliced
1 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
2 T. curry powder
3 C. chicken stock
2 cans coconut milk
fresh basil
baby bok choy (you can also use spinach)

This is supposed to be made in a wok, which is really deep. You could also use a frying pan for sauteing, and then dump everything into a stock pot if you don't have a pan big enough. Also, this is the full recipe. It makes a TON, so I would halve it.

Heat a couple tablespoons of the oil in your pan, add the onion, and cook over low for 4-6 minutes, or until it gets soft but not brown. Add the ginger and curry powder and cook for a couple more minutes. Pour in some of the stock to loosen everything up, then transfer it to your stock pot if necessary and add the rest of the stock. Bring to a boil, then add the chicken and simmer for about 10 minutes to poach it (much easier than cooking the chicken separately). Add the coconut milk and simmer for about another 8 minutes. Add the noodles a few minutes later. Stir in the spinach/bok choy and cook for three minutes, then stir in the basil just before serving.

And that's it! The origional directions have us cooking the chicken and noodles separately, but that's just silly since it can all be done in one (or two) pans!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Breakfast Casserole

I had a few requests to post my casserole from Keri's shower on here, so here's the recipe for those of you who enjoyed it, it's super easy!

10 beaten eggs
1 sm pkg of maple syrup flavored sausage (cook before adding to eggs and hashbrowns)
1/2 sm bag of squared hashbrowns

Mix all ingredients together, cover with tinfoil, cook on 350 for about 40 minutes in a greased 8x8 dish. After casserole is done, top with cheese and enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

This is another one of my aunt's recipes that is just HEAVENLY. It may sound a little strange, but trust me. It's good! Next time, I'll take a picture.


2 medium white onions

1 medium potato

1/4 lb butter

48 1/2 oz chicken broth

2 tbsp chicken base

1 cup cream

1 9 oz can pumpkin

1 tsp. cocoa

1/2 cup frozen orange juice

1/2 tsp white pepper


peel and chop onion and potato and sauté in butter

put in blender with a little chicken broth

return to skillet and add chicken base and 1/2 cup cream

put in stock pot and add remainder of chicken broth, pumpkin, cocoa, orange juice and cream

top with green onion and toasted pumpkin seeds

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

White Chicken Chili II

This is so yummy when it's chilly outside!

3- 15oz cans of Great Northern Beans -White -Drained
2 ½ c chopped cooked chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 jalapeño peppers stemmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
½ tsp oregano
2 cans chicken broth

Simmer together for a few hours.
An hour before serving mix 2 tablespoons corn starch and water & mix into soup & stir in ½c sour cream, it will ball up and then it will simmer out. This is a single batch.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Soup


Most of all, I just thought it was such a pretty dish- orange is one of my favorite colors and it just seems perfect for fall! I was really trying something new and different, and it really was that! I was excited to find something I could use my "fancy" spices in. (It called for a lot that I don't typically use. :) Doug really liked it, he had two bowls. I would recommend leaving some carrot chunks though- unless you really go for the baby food texture. Also... I guess I am becoming more and more like a man, but I think if I made it again I would have to throw in some bits of cut up ham. :) What is it with me and meat in a meal? All in all though, this was a fun new soup for me. I enjoyed the blend of spices, and as I said before, the pretty color! :) Happy Fall!

Roasted Red Pepper Carrot Soup
1 medium sweet red pepper
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons uncooked long grain rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth
2 cups water
1/3 orange juice (Its funny but I subbed pineapple juice)
4 1/2 tsp snipped fresh dill or dry
2 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each dried marjoram, thyme, crushed rosemary, and rubbed sage (There is our sage Leslie! :)
1/4 tsp pepper

Broil red pepper 4 in from the heat until the skin is blistered, about 6 minutes. With tongs, rotate pepper a quart turn. Broil and rotate until all sides are blistered and blackened. Immediately place pepper in a bowl; cover and let stand for 15-20 minutes. Peel and discard charred skin. Remove stems and seeds; set pepper aside.

In a large saucepan, cook the carrots, onion and rice in butter until onion is tender. Stir in the broth, water, orange juice, dill, orange peel, salt, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until carrots and rice are tender. Cool for 10 minutes.

In a blender, puree carrot mixture and roasted pepper in small batches. Return to the pan; heat through.

*Note from cook: Ok... so the whole broiling the red pepper was way to tedious for me. I just microwaved it, covered and peeled it. Then I just threw it in with everything else and it worked great. Also, rather then have to put everything carefully in the blender, if you have one of those hand-held puree things, (we got one for our wedding that I have maybe used once, so I was excited :)) that worked awesome and very little mess. Just some practical tips. :) I hate to get too fancy! :)

Lyd's Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder is my all-time favorite soup. If I see it on the restaurant menu- I just have to try it out. I'm becoming quite the connoisseur, if I say so myself. :) I have tasted several different bowls full, and I think I would have to say my favorite was the bowl on the San Francisco wharf. Wow-- the smells, the sites, and the taste combine! I think that is why I just have to keep trying it out to take me back! My mother-in-law also makes a nice bowl for Christmas Eve... my only complaint is that it isn't often enough. The Applebee's version came pretty close too, but ok... let's be honest... I want a heaping bowl, not a cup! Anyone feel the same about the soups at restaurants? Maybe I'm just a piglet, but that little cup size portion just never does it for me. Anyhow, when the restaurant can't fill my craving for chowder, I whip up this little concoction to satisfy the hunger. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Lyd's Clam Chowder (This is a lot easier then it sounds. I wish I could have thought of a clearer way of writing it out- best of luck!)
*This makes a big batch.

In a large pot of boiling water place:
5 large peeled and sliced potatoes
1 onion, diced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced

In another large pot:
Make a white sauce.

White Sauce:
5 T melted butter
6 T flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cup milk (If I have it, I also like to substitute some half and half or cream for milk in there to make it rich and creamy.)

*Mix butter, flour, salt, and pepper well. Slowly stir in milk. Bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. If it doesn't thicken enough, slowly sprinkle a little more flour but be careful it may lump.

Once you have a nice thick white sauce, drain the vegetables that have been boiling in water, and add them to the white sauce along with 2 cans of undrained minced clams (if you want more "fishy" taste, use clam juice), and 2-3 grated carrots. Let it simmer on medium low for about 5-10 minutes or until carrots have cooked through. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chilled Strawberry Soup

1 c. apple juice
1 c. water, divided
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground cloves
2 c. fresh strawberries
2 cartons (8 oz. each) strawberry yogurt
2 drops red food coloring, optional
Additional strawberry halves for garnish

In a saucepan, combine the apple juice, 3/4 c. water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves; bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat; cool. Place strawberries and remaining water in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.
Add apple juice mixture, yogurt and food coloring if desired. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Garnish with additional strawberries if desired.

Cream of Chicken Soup

2 c. milk
2 c. chicken stock
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. butter
2 c. finely chopped cooked chicken meat
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder

Make a white sauce of milk or cream, flour and butter. Add chicken. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat. If soup is not as thick as desired, mix a small amount of cornstarch with a small amount of water and add to soup. Simmer for 10 minutes. Freeze in individual portions and you won't ever have to buy cream of chicken soup again!!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Boil for 15-20 minutes:
2 cans chicken broth
2 cans water
4 bouillon cubes
1 onion, chopped
1 large bag frozen broccoli, or 3 heads broccoli fresh

Mix together, add to vegetables and stir:
1 cube butter, melted
2/3 c. flour

Add:
1- 1 1/2 cans evaporated milk
1 medium box Velveeta cubed
6 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon.

OR
(This next one obviously isn't the healthy choice, but oh so creamy!)

4 qts. water
12 chicken bouillon cubes
2-3 cubes butter/margarine
1 1/2 c. flour
1 (16 oz.) jar Cheese Whiz
3 small packages frozen broccoli, or 5-6 head fresh broccoli

Bring water to a boil and add chicken bouillon cubes. Cut up broccoli in bite sized pieces and add to water. Melt butter in small pan. Add flour and stir until thickened and smooth. Add into boiling water. Add cheeze whiz and stir until melted and thickened. Makes 5 quarts of soup.

Easy Italian Vegetable Soup

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can condensed beef broth, undiluted
1 package (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms
1 medium zucchini, julienned
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, choped
1/3 c. dry red wine or beef broth
1 1/2 t. dry basil leaves
2 1/2 t. sugar
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1 c. shredded mozzarella

Combine tomatoes, broth, mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, wine, basil and sugar in slow cooker. Cook on low 8 hours or on high for 4. Stir in oil and salt and serve with mozzarella to garnish.

Chicken Corn Chowder

8 strips bacon
3 c. chopped onion
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. hot paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 T. fresh thyme
3 c. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
8 c. chicken stock
2 c. heavy cream
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 c. fresh corn, reserve cobs

In large pan, cook bacon until crisp, then drain and crumble. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt, pepper & paprika. In the same pan you cooked bacon in, saute the chicken breasts. Remove, add onions and saute until soft. Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil stock, chicken breasts and corn cobs. Remove corn cobs and chicken; add onion, garlic, potatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces, add to broth, along with the bacon. Cook uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add cream and corn. Cook until almost boiling, discard bay leaf and serve.
*I use can corn and it is just as good!

Creamy Bean Soup w/ Taquito Dippers

I honestly have no idea where I found this recipe, but it turned out so yummy.

1 can. (16 oz.) refried beans
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. (from 14 oz. can) unsweetened coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies
1 package (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix
sharp cheddar cheese or monteray jack cheese
flour tortillias
2 T. oil
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
4 medium green onions

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil. In 2-quart saucepan, stir beans, tomatoes, broth, coconut milk, chilies and taco mix; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put cheese on one edge of each tortilla; roll tortilla tightly around cheese. Brush edges of tortillas with water to seal. Place taquitos, seam sides down on cookie sheet. Brush each lightly with oil. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted. Pour soup into serving bowls; garnish with cilantro or onions. Serve with taquitos for dipping!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Taco Soup

This is my favorite soup recipe and it is really easy to make too!

1 12.5 oz can chicken breast
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes-I usually use two small cans, one just tomato and the other tomato with diced chiles
1 14 oz can corn
1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can sliced olives
1 package taco seasoning

Combine and cook in crock pot for 2-6 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream.

Southwestern Chili


Avocado Salsa
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • ¼ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Chili
  • 1 pound hamburnger
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cans each of beans of your choice, rinsed and drained.
  • 1 can (14 oz) tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) vegetable broth
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chili peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn or 1 can corn
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I cook this into my chili)
To make the avocado salsa: In a large bowl, combine the avocado, tomato, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, and pepper. Lightly toss. Let stand for 30 minutes
To make the chili: Cook hamburger and diced up onion in a 6 qt. pan over medium-high heat until done.   Add the beans, tomatoes (with juice), broth, chili peppers, chili powder, garlic, cumin, and oregano and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with the avocado salsa and sour cream. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beef Cilantro Lime Soup

I love soups! They are so easy to make and healthy and you can use up whatever is in your fridge. This is a sortof Mexican themed soup that I invented one day to use up some things that I had hanging around. I like to serve soups with fresh bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, or cheese quesadillas.

6 cups beef broth
½-1 lb ground beef or turkey, browned with onions and garlic
2 potatoes, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Handful lentils
Handful fresh cilantro
2 t Cumin
1 t Oregano
½ t Pepper
2 T Half and half or sour cream
2 T Lime juice

I didn’t put precise measurements because I don’t usually measure when I make soup, but I tried to estimate. Just simmer it all together for about a half hour and then taste it to adjust seasonings.

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

2 big chicken breasts (or thighs)
2-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped or grated
2 carrots, chopped or shredded
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 t cumin
4 green onions, cut into matchsticks
6 cups chicken broth (I use base and water)
½ pound thin spaghetti
2 cups fresh bean sprouts (optional)
Fresh snipped parsley (optional)

I make this in the crock pot. Put everything but the spaghetti and bean sprouts in together for several hours, then break up the chicken, and add the last ingredients for about 15-20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley. However, you could make this on the stove if you chopped and browned the chicken, then simmered it all for about 20 minutes.
This is adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stuffed French Toast with Apple Cider Syrup

I absolutely love this and would eat it for 3 meals a day...and dessert!

1 loaf unsliced French Bread
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup maple syrup

Cut bread into cubes. In a greased 9X13 pan, spread half of the bread cubes on the bottom. Top with cream cheese cubes and apple slices, then remaining bread. In a blender, mix eggs, milk butter, and maple syrup until well combined. Pour evenly over top layer of bread. Use spatula to press bread down to moisten all layers. Cover and refrigerate over night. The next morning, bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Center should be set and edges slightly golden. Let stand10 minutes before serving with Apple Cider Syrup.

Apple Cider Syrup

Great of stuffed french toast, regular french toast, pancakes...anything really.

1 cup sugar
8 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups apple cider or juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp butter

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Gradually add apple juice and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Cook 2 minutes more, remove from heat and stir in butter until it melts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Annette's Amazing Chili


This is an amazing recipe I got from one of those old Relief Society Cookbooks. Annette (whose recipe this is) was actually my Young Woman's leader, and this woman could cook! Mmmm! This Chili is really tasty- I like that it actually tastes homemade, and I think the sugar gives it a fun twist. Hope you enjoy.

Annette's Amazing Chili
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. ground sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 quart jar tomatoes, diced and undrained (or 2 cans diced tomatoes)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 T sugar (I used brown sugar)
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans
*I also added 1/2 to 1 cup of salsa and to make it go further, three more cans of beans: black and 2 chili beans. I drained some, but not the chili beans.)

Cook and stir hamburger, sausage, onion, and garlic is saucepan until cooked through. Drain. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, celery, chili powder, salt, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Stir in beans, heat to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer until thick and heated through. (I threw it all in the Crockpot to simmer for quite a while- you could just do that after you brown the meat.)

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

This is a yummy recipe I found in our newspaper, and I was really excited because I have had 1 cup of pumpkin sitting in my fridge for a while now, and I have been looking for a good recipe to use it in. I thought it sounded fun, so we enjoyed it for family night. (I mean REALLY enjoyed it!) It was a hit with my girls, and I liked that the pumpkin taste was very mild- maybe because of the cream cheese, but it was sure tasty!

Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30-35 at 325
Chill Time: 1 hour
Makes: 18

18 paper baking cups
18 gingersnap cookies
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 T corn starch
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup Karo Lite Corn Syrup

Place paper cups in muffin pans. Place 1 gingersnap cookie in each cup. Beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch, and pumpkin pie spice with an electric mixer until well mixed. Add egg and blend well. Add pumpkin and syrup, beat 1 minute. Pour filling into cups, dividing evening. Bake in preheated 325 oven for 30-35 minutes, until just set. Chill for 1 hour. Garnish as desired. (I put whipped cream and a sprinkle of Cinnamon.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caramel Apple Bites

This recipe is from Taste of Home magazine. If you don't subscribe to it, you should! It's an awesome food/cooking magazine my mom got me hooked on a few years ago. ( Which reminds me, I need to renew my subscription!) If you know me, you know I LOVE anything with nuts. It's a fun recipe that's a little more eater-friendly than carameled apples.
Ingredients:
FILLING:
1/3 cup chopped unpeeled apple
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
DOUGH:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
TOPPING:
1 package (14 ounces) caramels
2/3 cup evaporated milk
Green toothpicks
1 cup chopped walnuts
Directions: In a small saucepan, combine filling ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened; set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add egg, vanilla and salt; beat well. Add flour; mix well. Shape dough into 1-in. balls. Flatten and place 1/4 teaspoon filling in center of each. Fold dough over filling and reshape into balls. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. In a saucepan over low heat, cook caramels are melted. Insert a toothpick into each cookie and dip into caramel until completely coated. Dip bottoms into nuts. Place on wire racks to set. Yield: about 3 dozen.






Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Pal Rochelle's Apple Cheesecake Bars



Oh, my goodness. I had these last week and about died. They are so delicious. To kick them up a notch, just drizzle caramel sauce over the top right before you serve them. Or make a streusel topping and drizzle caramel over that (Paula Deen has a pretty good recipe here, and the picture is at the bottom). The nutrition information is here, but I guarantee you just don't want to know.

Apple Pecan Cheesecake
1 1/2 cup graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese softened
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
4 cup chopped peeled apples (about three)
3/4 cup pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat to 325. Line 13x9 pan with parchment paper, ends sticking out over sides. Mix crumbs, butter & 2 Tbsp. brown sugar; press firmly into pan.
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup brown sugar& vanilla in lg. bowl on med speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time; mix on low after each just until blended. Pour over crust. Mix remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, apples, pecans & cinnamon. Spoon evenly over batter.
Bake 55 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. let stand at room temp. 30 min. before serving. Lift cake from pan, cut into 16 pieces.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie


I have found that this recipe makes a lot of filling that doesn't fit into just one crust, so I either make my own or make sure I have at least two pie crusts.

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 12 ox. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups whipped topping

1.  Mix cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar in large bowl with a wire whisk until smooth, gently stir in whipped topping.  Spread on bottom of the crust.

2.  Pour 1 cup milk into bowl.  Add pudding mixes.  Beat with wire whisk 1 minute.  (Mixture will be thick.)  Stir in pumpkin and spices with wire whisk until well mixed.   Spread over cream cheese layer.  

3.  Refrigerate until set.  Garnish with additional whipped topping if desired.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Perfect Bread Machine Loaf

A couple of people seemed interested in this recipe so I thought I'd better post it. It took me a long time to figure out my bread machine. We got it for our wedding and my first several tries with it were total disasters so I gave up. Finally, I guess about a year ago, I was trying to start making my own bread to use food storage wheat and I was having a hard time finding time to make it by hand all the time. I kept experimenting, and I was able to figure out how to make good bread the super-easy way. To keep the crust from getting too hard, I take the loaf out when the timer says 20-25 minutes, not zero! (this probably depends on the machine, but don't trust it, watch it yourself to see if it looks done) The stupid bread machine totally overcooks it. To keep the loaf from falling in, add gluten flour (1 T per cup flour). Don't try to make 100% whole wheat bread. It works fine if you want to make the dough by hand or in the machine and then bake it in the oven, but for some reason it never turns out right in the machine. I like my normal program better than the whole wheat cycle, even for whole wheat bread. I make this bread a couple of times every week. Now I can't even stand to eat store-bought bread, this is so much better!

1 1/4 c warm water
1 T sugar or honey
2 T oil or butter
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/4 c bread flour
2 c whole wheat flour
2 T gluten flour
1/2 c instant potato flakes
2 1/2 t yeast

Put all of the ingredients into the pan, and set the program. You're done! The machine does the rest.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Favorite Baking Blog

http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/

Best.Blog.Ever.

Lemon Pepper Recipe

2 teaspoons dried lemon peel
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Add all the ingredients to a coffee grinder/food processor and process into a coarse powder.

Lemon Chicken

Sorry, I'm tried not to monopolize the recipe blog, but I just have so many to share that I think you all will love. This chicken is excellent with paired with the nutty wild rice recipe. It has such a fresh zesty tangy flavor, it gets those taste buds going! I make this recipe for just Paul and I and just use a 1/3 of what the recipe calls for.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. flour
lemon pepper, to taste
1/2 c. butter
2 T. fresh lemon juice

Pound chicken to 1/4" thick. (Can use soup can if you don't have the meat mallet tenderizer.) Combine salt and flour; dredge chicken in mixture. Sprinkle a lot of lemon pepper on each side of each chicken breast. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat and saute chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Add lemon juice to skillet and increase heat to make a glaze. Serve chicken and lemon butter over rice or mashed potatoes.

Nutty Wild Rice

So this is the recipe I was going to bring but I didn't have all the ingredients. It is so good though!

1/3 c. slivered almonds, or pinenuts
1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (16 baby carrots chopped)
2 cloves garlic, (1 t. minced)
1 c. + fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 c. wild rice (uncooked), or combination of brown, wild, white... whatever you have on hand.
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. white wine
1/2 t. salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 t. oregano
1 t. basil
1/3 c. Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread slivered almonds on jelly roll pan, greased with a tiny bit of olive oil or butter. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Let cool and chop almonds.
2. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, carrots, garlic & mushrooms. Saute until tender and onions are translucent. Add rice and cook until it is lightly browned. Add broth, wine, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Toss with parsley and nuts and serve.
*I like to make this dish with a mix of wild & brown rice. If I have any white rice I need to use up, I will throw it in at the very end and it mixes very nicely.
**This tastes excellent when paired with a lemon chicken.

Unfold the Turkey

I found this recipe in my Human Development textbook today. It was so cute I decided to share it. This recipe was originally from "Smashed Potatoes," edited by Jane Martel.

1 big bag full of whole turkey (get the kind with no feathers on, not the kind the pilgrims ate.)
A giant lump of stuffin'
1 squash pie
1 mint pie
1 little fancy dish of sour berries
1 big fancy dish of a vegetable mix
20 dishes of all different candies; chocolate balls, cherry balls. good'n plenties and peanuts.

Get up when the alarm says to and get busy fast. Unfold the turkey and open up the holes. Push in the stuffin' for a couple of hours. I think you get stuffin' from that Farm that makes it.

I know you have to pin the stuffin' to the turkey or I suppose it would get out. And get special pins or use big long nails.

Get the kitchen real hot, and from there on you just cook turkey. Sometimes you can call it a bird, but it's not.

Then you put the vegetables in the cooker- and first put one on top, and next put one on the bottom, and then on one in the middle. That makes a vegetable mix. Put 2 red things of salt all in it and 2 red things of water also. Cook them to just 1/2 of warm.

Put candies all around the place and Linda will bring over the pies. When the company comes put on your red apron.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ghosts in the Graveyard

I made a recipe in Taste of Home for this, but found the picture and a similar recipe on KraftFoods. The only difference is cream cheese. I like it with cream cheese, which does make it kinda rich, but without is good too, it's light and fluffy! So, take your pick! It's pretty easy and feeds about 13 people...and it's yummy.

3 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 tub (12 oz.) Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
15 OREO Cookies, crushed
8 oz. cream cheese *if you want
**Assorted decorations: Either Cameo Creme Sandwich Cookies or Nutter Butters or a cookie tall and thin resembling a tombstone! Decorating gel, candy pumpkins, pieces of candy corn, and I like to put on gummy worms!

For cream cheese- In a bowl whip cream cheese until smooth. In another bowl mix up pudding and when set, add whipped topping and pudding in small amounts at a time to cream cheese until smooth, scraping sides of bowl.
Otherwise, POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Let stand 5 min. Gently stir in 3 cups of the whipped topping and half of the cookie crumbs. Spread evenly into 13x9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with the remaining cookie crumbs.
REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, decorate creme sandwich cookies with decorating gel to resemble tombstones. Set aside until ready to use.
INSERT decorated cookies into top of dessert just before serving. Add candies. Drop large spoonfuls of the remaining whipped topping onto dessert to resemble ghosts. Cover and store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Slow-Cooker Applesauce

4 lbs. apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
½ cup sugar
3 T brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
¼ cup water

Fill crock pot with apple slices until they reach about 2 inches from the top. Combine sugars and spices in a bowl and mix into the apples. Pour in the water. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Mash with a potato masher.

Autumn Pumpkin Squares

Autumn Pumpkin Squares
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp salt
2 cups pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon (I also added a tsp pumpkin pie spice)
1 tsp baking soda

*Combine and mix ingredients and spread in (jelly roll) baking sheet. Optional: sprinkle chocolate chips over batter (or just mix it in). Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cube butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
*Mix... if too dry add 2 or 3 tsp water.
Posted by Picasa

Crockpot Coconut Curry Chicken

4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium sweet yellow onion, sliced
8 oz baby carrots
1 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Curry Sauce
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 c chicken broth, homemade is best
1 T curry powder (or more/less to taste)
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp.+ coarse salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

For serving:
Hot cooked sticky jasmine rice
Toasted flaked coconut

Spray the inside of the crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place the prepared potatoes, onion, and baby carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker. Scatter the minced garlic over the carrots. The slow cooker is about half-full at this point.

Brown the chicken: Heat 1 T vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken breasts in two batches until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate to drain.

Make the sauce: In a medium size bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, chicken broth, curry powder, and hot pepper sauce until smooth. Whisk in the salt and pepper.

Assemble the ingredients:
Place half the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables. Cover with half the sauce. Place remaining chicken and sauce in the slow cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook covered on HIGH for one hour.

Turn heat to LOW and cook for another 4 to 4.5 hours. Do not remove the lid. Do not stir the ingredients while they cook.

Serve with hot, cooked rice. If desired, sprinkle with optional toasted coconut.

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes

Cake:
1 package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 T. butter, melted (this is why it is sooo good!)
Filling:
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
8 T. butter, melted (okay, so this help alot too!)
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the cake mix, egg & butter in bowl and mix well with electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.
3. To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter. Beat together. Next add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey still. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations:
Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20 oz can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.
Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

Butternut Squash Pasta

1 T.+ olive oil
1 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. (1/2") cubed, peeled butternut squash
1 T. chopped fresh or 1 t. dried rubbed sage
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground allspice (just equal parts nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, & black pepper)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 c. penne pasta, cooked according to box

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic & red pepper; saute for 3 minutes. Add squash; saute 10-20 minutes or until soft and tender. Stir in sage, nutmeg, allspice, 1/4 t. salt & 1/4 t. pepper and remove from heat. Mix the pasta with the squash/ spice mixture, then add just enough olive oil to lightly dress the pasta.

I mixed the spices with 1 c. half & half, 1 c. ricotta cheese, & 1 t. salt. Then I added that mixture to the pasta. Looking back, I would not add the crushed red pepper. I would put a sweet yellow onion in instead of a white. I would use butter instead of olive oil. I would add 1 T. of brown sugar. I would add parmesan cheese and use fresh sage instead of dried. That would make it. I know, there are a lot of changes there--but hey you don't know what it's going to be like the first time!

Caramel Pumpkin Cookies

These are my absolute favorite pumpkin dessert. They literally just melt in your mouth. Please don't ask me how many I've eaten this weekend. I won't ever tell.

Cookie Ingredients:
2 c. shortening
2 c. white sugar
2 c. canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. salt
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 pkg. mini chocolate chips

Caramel Icing:
6 T. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
8 T. milk
2 c. powdered sugar (maybe more)
1 1/2 t. vanilla

Directions
1. Cream together shortening, white sugar and pumpkin in very large bowl. Add eggs (one at a time) and mix well. Sift together twice; baking soda, cinnamon, salt & flour in separate bowl. Add to pumpkin mixture & mix well. Mix whole bag of mini chocolate chips in with wooden spoon.
2. Drop from spoon to cookie sheet. I like to make mini cookies rather than big ones, so just a regular spoon drop works great. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or no longer gooey.
3. To make frosting, cook butter, milk & brown sugar until dissolved. Cool and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread over warm cookies.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yummy Ants on a Log


This has nothing to do with the theme, but I fixed them for a snack, and I swear I blinked and they were gone. Note the little hand already reaching into the picture!


Make them with carrots, celery, or apples, and peanut butter and raisins, or other dried fruits.


Variation: cream cheese and little ham cubes, get creative!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

These are so yummy and easy, and they are lowfat! I know it sounds weird, but I promise it works.

1 spice cake mix
1 small can pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips (mini are super cute for these)

Mix the cake mix, dry, with the pumpkin until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tortellini with Garlic Sage Butter Sauce

I made this for the first time a couple nights ago, and oh man, is it good! It's basically garlic-infused butter sauce with a little spike of sage and pepper at the end. Oh! And the garlic gets crispy! Yummmm!

6 T (yes T!) butter
6 cloves garlic, very roughly chopped
pepper
ground (teaspoon or so)or fresh sage (6 leaves)
tortellini (the Winco bulk kind is really good)

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan and gently simmer the garlic until golden. Meanwhile, cook tortellini in salted water until done. Add sage and pepper to butter sauce, sautee for a couple minutes, then serve over cooked tortellini. Eat lots and lots.

Apricot Salad

This is actually for last month...

This is my grandma's recipe and I love it. You don't use actual Jello, but gelatin and apricot nectar so it has a stronger flavor and a different texture.

Heat in a medium saucepan:
1 (12 oz.) can apricot nectar
1/3 cup sugar
a few grains of salt

In a separate bowl, soften 1 package gelatin in 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Add gelatin and lemon mixture to nectar and refrigerate until slightly thickened. Remove from refrigerator and put into an 8 X 8 pan (double the recipe for a 9 X 13 pan).

Fold in 2 sliced bananas, 1 can mandarin oranges (drained), and 1 can pineapple chunks (drained). (The pineapple chunks are optional -- my grandma never puts them in, but I like them.)

Chill until firm. Serve with whipped cream on top.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Spider Cake

I found this picture, and it is the closest I could come to what my cake looks like. I like how they used cupcakes on the side of the cake. Cute touch for kiddies.

My recipe is pretty darn easy. Just make two 8 or 9 inch round chocolate cakes and let them cool. Meanwhile, mix pistachio pudding according to the pie directions on the box and chill in the fridge. Once the cakes are cooled, Put one cake on your serving dish and cut out a 4 inch round piece out of the middle of the cake. You can use this piece for a spider head if you want. Take your pudding and put that in the hole. Cover with chocolate frosting and then add the top cake. Frost like you would a normal cake and then decorate it however you want. I like twizzlers for legs, m&m's for eyes, etc. The cool part is when people cut into it, the pudding comes gushing out like the spider's guts. It is pretty awesome. You could do the same thing in cupcakes, just cut out the middle after they are cooled and then put the middle back in, frost, and decorate.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Halloween Tacos

My Grandma LOVED Halloween. Then my mom loved it, which is probably why I love it so much as well. Tacos are a Halloween tradition at our house. We make them every year, and we make them just the way Grandma made them. She died about a year and a half ago and I miss her like crazy, but carrying on her love for the spooky holiday is a way to stay connected. Plus it's just so much fun. More recipes to come, but I thought I'd post this one while I was thinking about it.

Ground beef

Potatoes (somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 a medium potato per pound of meat)

Taco Seasoning (I like the Taco Bell brand)

Taco Shells

Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese and any other toppings you enjoy.

Shred raw potatoes into raw ground beef in a skillet. The potatoes help the meat stick together in the shell, while also adding bulk to the meat, making it easier to cook for a lot of people. Brown meat and add taco seasoning according to packet directions.

Chop toppings. Toast shells on broil for just a couple minutes. I always burn one batch, so make sure you keep an eye on them. Just broil long enough to make them crispy. Serve.

(Love the new look Leslie! Well done!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Banana Pudding

Okay, so I got this recipe on the back of a Keebler Vanilla Wafer box, but it was a favorite for us this past summer. Yummy, pretty light, and it's easy! I meant to post this all Sept...I'm just a day late. Everyone's desserts look soooo good!

48 Vanilla Wafers , divided
3 cups milk
1 package (4-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
4 medium bananas, sliced, divided
Frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

1. Line bottom and sides of 8 x 8 x 2-inch square or 1 1/2-quart dish with half of wafers.
2. In medium bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 mins, go by directions on box.
3. Top wafers with half of banana slices, then half of pudding. Repeat layers using remaining wafers, banana slices and pudding.
4. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or until set. Serve with whipped topping. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator. Servings: 9

Chicken & Dumplings



I finally attempted it. Last week I made my own chicken broth. I was really sick and there wasn't anything else that sounded good to eat. It turned out delicious! Last night, I turned it into chicken & dumplings. I used to love to eat these when I was smaller and they were just as good as I remembered them to be.

Chicken Broth:

1 Rotisserie-style Chicken, torn up
3 celery ribs without leaves, cut into chunks
3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 medium onions, quartered
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 t. dried thyme
8 whole peppercorns
2 quarts cold water

(I didn't have rosemary or thyme or whole peppercorns on hand, so I just used oregano, ground black pepper, and a tiny bit of basil, also added salt.)

1. Place all ingredients in to soup kettle. It is best to cut vegetables into large chunks, as smaller chunks will lose their flavor faster. When it appears as if stock will boil; reduce heat to low immediately or the fat will never rise to the top to skim off. Skim foam. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Set chicken aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones. Discard bones; save meat for another use. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and seasonings. (I always wondered why you had to throw the vegetables away, it's because they are tasteless after cooking for 2 hours.) Squeeze all the juice out of the veggies first though through a small strainer.) Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Skim fat from surface.

** I liked using the Rotisserie-style chicken because all the flavor roasted into that, went straight into the broth. If you don't use this chicken, I would add a small cube of chicken bouillon to the broth, for that kick of flavor.



Chicken & Dumplings:

2-5 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
4 c. chicken stock, recipe above
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 t. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
2 T. butter
2 T. chopped, fresh parsley (optional)
1/2 t. ground black pepper

1. In a large pot, place chicken pieces and add the chicken stock, onion, celery, carrots and 2 t. of salt. Put heat on medium low and simmer, partially covered, 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender.
2. To prepare dumplings: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the egg and milk. Add the flour, remaining salt, pepper and baking powder and mix all together. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly. Add 1 T. of chopped parsley and mix. In 6 large spoonfuls, drop dumpling mixture onto the top of the simmering chicken. Cover the pot and let all simmer for 10 more minutes.
3. To make gravy: Remove 2 c. of liquid in pot and place in small pot. Add 1/2 c. cold water to 1/4 c. flour. Stir well until blended. Then add flour mixture to liquid in pot and bring to a boil. It is ready when thick and bubbly and cook 1 minute more. Dish up chicken and dumplings and pour gravy on top. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Lime Gelatin, Shrimp, and Grapefruit Salad

Okay, I would NEVER in a million years make this, but as I was reading through the Lion House Cookbook the other day I came across this recipe. It was too entertaining not to share.

1 large package lime gelatin
1 cup boiling water
6-8 ice cubes
2 T sliced olives
1 T sweet pickle relish
1/2 T minced onions
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp vinegar
3/4 cup shrimp
1 1/2 cups grapefruit sections, drained
3 T chipped green peppers
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/4 cup mayo

Make up gelatin according to package directions, using boiling water and ice cubes for the ice cube method. Cool until syrupy. Add remaining ingredients except mayo and cream.

Pour into 1 1/2 quart mold or 8 individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold or cut and serve on lettuce leaves. Top with a dollop of mayo or mayo fluffed with whipped cream, if desired.

Can you say YUCK?!?!

Chocolate Mousse Trifle

I was going to make this so that I could get a picture, but haven't gotten around to it yet. So I'm posting it, and hopefully will get add one later. It's all chocolatey goodness whether you use mousse or jello pudding!

5 cups cubed brownies (1/2 inch cubes)
1 2.8 pkg chocolate mousse mix (or jello pudding)
1 12 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed (or whip your own cream . . . I'm not really a Cool Whip fan)
1/4 cup English toffee chips or almond brickle chips
grated or shaved chocolate

Place half of the cubed brownies in trifle bowl or other clear bowl. Prepare mousse mix according to package directions. Spread half over brownies top with half of the whipped cream; sprinkle with toffee bits. Repeat layers of brownies, mousse and whipped cream. Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Refrigerate until serving.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Honeybun Cake

I have had this recipe for a while but just recently made it for a baby shower and was asked to share the recipe, so here goes!

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
3/4 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 8 oz. sour cream
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 c. powdered sugar
4 T. milk
1 T. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix oil, eggs, sour cream and cake mix together. Stir about 50 strokes by hand. Pour half of batter into ungreased 9x13. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over batter. Cover with rest of batter. Swirl cake with knife to marble it, as much as you like. Bake for 40 minutes. Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cake while fresh out of oven!

This is a delicious cake to make for a dessert the night before and then eat it for breakfast that next morning. Your husband, your children,... well and let's be honest-- you yourself will thank you for making this cake! It is the easiest "cinnamon roll" you'll ever make!

Tomato Parmesan Crostini

I'm sorry this isn't part of the theme, but I just got this recipe from my Mom and HAD to share it with you all. It is delicious. It just melts in your mouth and you will be going back for FOURTHS on this one!

4-5 tomatoes, plum or ripe whatever-kind-of-tomatoes you have on hand
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. olive oil (extra virgin if you have)
salt to taste
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 loaf french baguette, sliced 1/2" rounds

Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil and salt & pepper. Mix well and set aside. Mix the parmesan cheese and mayonnaise and spread on each bread round. Place bread rounds on baking sheet. Top each round with a spoonful of tomato mixture. Bake at 400 degrees fir 10 minutes or until bubbly & bread is toasted!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fudgy Cream Cheese Ribbon Cake


This is the recipe I was going to bring to the swap, but I had a baby instead. :)

1 (18 1/2 ounce) box chocolate cake mix
1 (3 1/2 ounce) box instant chocolate pudding mix
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour, (may use baking cocoa instead), 10” bundt cake pan WELL. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Adding dry instant pudding mix. Pour batter into pan. Set aside. In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and cornstarch until fluffy. Slowly beat in sweetened condensed milk. Beat in egg and vanilla, beating til smooth. Spoon evenly over cake batter. Bake 50-55 minutes til toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes; CAREFULLY remove from pan onto cake plate. You may have to tap sides quite a bit to loosen or run a knife around edge to help loosen. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with white chocolate and/or chocolate glazes if desired.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pistachio Dessert

First Layer:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup soft butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
 
Mix all together and press in bottom of pan and flatten.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until light brown.  Cool in fridge.
 
Second Layer:
1 8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 small tub of cool whip (save 1 cup for the top of dessert)
 
Whip cream cheese and powdered sugar together than add cool whip then spread on cooled first layer.  Cool in fridge.
 
Third Layer:
2 small pkgs. of instant pistachio pudding (or your choice of flavor)
3 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
 
Beat until pudding consistency.  Spread on second layer, cool.
 
Fourth Layer:
Spread on one cup cool whip.  Chill until cold throughout. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake

Courtesy of Paula Deen

Ingredients:

1 large angel food cake

For the custard: 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

For the glaze: 1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin (recommended: Jell-O) 1 cup water 2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in 1/2 (if berries are extra large, they can be cut into quarters) Whole fresh strawberries and mint leaves, for garnish

Directions:

Slice cake, using a serrated knife, horizontally into 3 equal layers.

For the custard:
Mix together cream cheese, condensed milk, and whipped topping in a bowl; set aside.

For the glaze:
In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin; add water. Cook stirring over medium heat until thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Fold in strawberries.
For assembly:
Place 1 layer of cake in a large clear bowl. Top with a layer of glaze, followed by a layer of custard mixture. Repeat layering in this order for remaining cake, glaze and custard. Top cake with 3 whole fresh strawberries and fresh mint leaves.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Orange Sludge

This recipe is from The Domestic Art (Volume II); these cook books were created by a woman in Utah for her friends and family but they became so popular by word of mouth that she kept on printing and selling them.
I'm planning to bring this to the gathering this weekend.

Orange Sludge

Combine dry in a medium dish:
1 (3 oz.) box vanilla pudding
1 (3 oz.) orange jello
1 (3 oz.) tapioca pudding
Stir in 3 cups boiling water. Mix until smooth. Set in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Add:
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
About ½ container whipped topping
Stir and refrigerate several hours.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chocolate Pudding Dessert

And of course, you can't have this be the topic and not add THIS dessert. We had this all the time in YW & RS back home. I LOVE it.

Crust:
1 stick butter
1 c. flour
1/2 t. vanilla
2 T. sugar
1/2 c. nuts
Mix ingredients and bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.

Filling:
1 c. powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 of 12 oz. cool whip
Mix and pour on cooled crust and chill.

1 large box instant Chocolate pudding.
Mix by following directions on box. Pour onto filling. Add remaining cool whip and sprinkle with nuts.

Fudge Striped "Salad"

2 small packages vanilla pudding
16 oz. cool whip
2 small cans mandarin oranges
1 pkg. Keebler fudge striped cookies
2 c. butter milk
2 cans pineapple tidbits
bananas or strawberries, optional

Drain all fruit, mix buttermilk, pudding & cool whip. Add fruit and mix. Before serving, save 6 or 7 cookies for the top of the salad and crumble up the rest and stir into the salad. Place remaining cookies on top. Enjoy immediately!

Chocolate Eclair Cake


Crust:
1 cube butter/margarine
1/4 t. salt
1 c. water
1 c. flour
4 eggs

Filling:
3 c. milk
3 small packages instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. cream cheese
12 oz. cool whip
Hershey's Magic Chocolate Shell

Crust Directions:
Bring margarine, water & salt to a boil, remove from heat. Add flour and beat in eggs, one at a time. Spread on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Prick with a fork. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cool.

Filling Directions:
Beat together milk, pudding, and cream cheese. Spread on crust. Spread cool whip on top of filling. Drizzle Hershey's Magic Shell on top of cool whip. Chill 4 hours!

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

I know Jamie just posted a banana pudding recipe, but I love this recipe--so there's no harm in multiples, right?




2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies
6-8 bananas
2 cups milk
1 (5 oz.) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Line the bottom of a 9x13 dish with 1 bag of chessman cookies & layer bananas on top. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix & blend well using a handheld mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This always tastes better to me the day after you make it and all the juices make the cookies softer. Delicious!