Wednesday, March 4, 2015


This blog stopped due to health issues within our family and a general amount of chaos.  I have friends and family who still check this blog, however, and have requested I begin posting again.  I have been out of the blog world for so long and so many recipe blogs are out there now.  So, I'm coming to you all for advice.  What are you looking for?  Entrees; desserts; seasonal menus; etc.  Also, do you like the blogs with the LLLLOOOOOOONNNNNGGG intro descriptions (can you tell I don't?)?  Give it to me!  Comment, s'il vous plait!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This salad is SO delicious. It is kind of a mix of tastes and so heavenly!

You can add the following ingredients to taste.

1 pkg. penne/bowtie pasta.
Grape/Baby Tomatos
Calmatta Olives/OR Reg. Black Olives
Artichoke Hearts
Parmesean Cheese
Red Onion
Salt and Pepper
Shredded/Chopped Grilled Chicken


1/2 c. olive oil

1/2 c. red vinegar

1/2 t. dried mustard

1 t. dried basil

1 t. oregano

1/2 t. garlic powder

3/4 t. sugar

Mix and pour over salad and chill for several hours.

A Sort of Raspberry Cheesecake

This is very delicious, and VERY easy. You can half it and it still works pretty well.

1 pkg. white cake mix (sometimes I use cherry chip or even have used chocolate)
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
4 c. powdered sugar
1 pint whipping cream, whipped
2 16-oz. cans raspberry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9x13 pans. Prepare cake according to pkg. directions. Pour half cake batter in each pan. Bake for 20 mins or until done. Remove and cool.

In a med. bowl, whip cream cheese and powdered sugar together until fluffy. Whip whipping cream separately, then add to cream cheese mixture. Divide the mixture and spread half on to each cake. Then spread one can pie filling on top of each cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


I've been meaning to post a ribs recipe for many, many months now, but it is kind of complicated, so I've put it off. There are many ways to cook ribs and many kinds of ribs. You can boil your ribs first and then barbecue for a few minutes with the sauce on at the end (not my favorite option). You can just straight up barbecue them on a low temperature for a long time (difficult to control on a gas grill). Below is my preferred method of baking ribs.

I always buy PORK (because Chad prefers it to beef in the case of ribs). Sometimes spareribs, sometimes country style boneless, and for this special occasion weekend I'll splurge on baby back.

Use either a roasting rack or a roasting pan with a rack laid over it. Pour an inch or two of water in the basin to keep the ribs moist during baking. I usually season the ribs with a rub (e.g. Montreal Steak Seasoning or your own creation). I bake the ribs in the oven at 225 for about 3-4 hours (DEPENDING ON YOUR SIZE AND QUANTITY). For the last 20 minutes I baste the following sauce recipe on and either broil the ribs or (more often) grill them so they'll get that nice stickiness.

8 pounds pork spareribs
3 c. ketchup
1 c. barbecue sauce
1 c. brown sugar
2 1/2 T. lemon juice
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
3 T. steak sauce, (e.g. Heinz 57)
2 cloves garlic, minced

In medium saucepan, combine ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, steak sauce and garlic; blend well. Cook the sauce over medium heat for approximately 20 minutes. (Please note that the above ingredients are all to taste. Use more or less of anything you like. I never make the ribs the same way twice!)

I hope this isn't too confusing--comment with questions.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Super Fast, Super Delicious Cinnamon Rolls

These are my favorite recipe that I've tried for cinnamon rolls. Most others are either too dry and "bread like" or too dough and dense. These are fluffy like a bread, moist like a cake, and chewy like a good cinnamon roll should be. Enjoy! And, the best part is they don't take that long to make! Sometimes I make them the night before and put them in the fridge to rise until morning.

2 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar
4 t. dry yeast
2 eggs
1 t. salt
1/3 c. oil
6-7 c. flour

Cinnamon/Butter mixture:
1 c. brown sugar
2 1/2 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. butter, softened

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let sit for a minute or two. Add the sugar and salt. Mix. Add the cooking oil, 2 eggs, 2 c. of flour and beat until smooth. Stir in 3 more c. flour. Begin kneading dough, adding the final cup of flour. If the dough seems too sticky, knead in more flour, a 1/4 c. at a time.

Let the dough "rest" for 15-20 mins. Roll the dough into a rectangle that's 24-30 inches long by about 16 inches wide. Spread with cinnamon/butter mixture and roll into a log.

Cut the roll into equal sized slices (about 1 inch wide or slightly more--I use non-flavored dental floss to cut) and place in two greased 9x13 pans. Put in warm place and rise for 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until golden brown).

Allow to cool for 5 mins and then turn out of pans and top with frosting.


As Homer Simpson is to sub sandwiches, I am to the trinity of onions, cilantro, and tomatoes. Add some avocado and you've got quite the waterfall of saliva going for me. This guacamole is too delicious for words. I realize it might not fit your fancy, but it does mine! For the first time ever I made cheese and grilled chicken quesadillas for dinner on a casual night and topped them with this guacamole. It made a plain jane meal into a blue ribbon worthy feast.

3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne
1/2 med onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 T. chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

In a large bowl place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Using a potato masher add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and mash. Then, fold in the onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lime juice. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

Baked Potato Topping

My mother-in-law passed this along to me and it is SO yummy. Especially for those of us who are huge baked potato fans, this is a delectable treat. The point is to have all the toppings mixed together and refrigerated to magnify the tastes. I personally add about 3-4 times more green onions. Make it to taste. I half the recipe for our little family.

2 c. sour cream
1 cube butter (softened)
3 green onions
1/2 lb. diced, cooked bacon (or more to taste)
Grated cheddar cheese (to taste)
Salt (to taste)

Whip sour cream and butter together. Fold in next three ingredients and mix well. Add salt to taste.

Serve on hot baked potatoes. The flavor blends the longer your let it set beforehand.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Banana Pudding

I recently had this banana pudding and it was DELICIOUS! It does take some time to set, so make sure to start plenty ahead of time. This came from the restaurant's cookbook. It says that you should not let it chill for longer than 8 hours, but we ate ours the next day and it tasted just as good, if not better!

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
4 cups sliced ripe bananas

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or up to 8 hours, but no longer! - before serving.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jalapeno Poppers

I forgot to take pictures of these before I took them to a party and they were eaten within 5 mins of our arrival so I never got to take a picture. The men especially loved them. With the holidays coming up, there will probably be a party where you'll need an appetizer. These were very easy and quick. Also, sorry I haven't been posting regularly these past several months. Life has been busy and since my husband is not home as often I haven't cooked very much.

18 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 pkg bacon, cut in half

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Fill each jalapeno half with cream cheese. Wrap 1 bacon strip around each jalapeno half and secure with a toothpick. Arrange wrapped jalapenos on baking sheet.
Bake about 25 minutes in preheated oven, or until bacon strips are crisp. Serve warm.

Chicken Cups

We really liked these and they were fairly fast and simple, especially with the canned chicken. The boys really liked them too.

4oz cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
1 can chicken meat (the size from Costco)
2 T. minced onion
2 T. minced green pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
3. T. milk
2 (8 oz) pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 c. bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 2 T. melted butter or margarine until smooth. Add the chicken, onion, green pepper, salt, pepper, and milk. Mix well.
Separate crescent dough to fit in mini muffin tin. Firmly press into cups. Spoon about 1 T.of the chicken mixture into the center of each cup. Pull corners of dough over top and pinch shut.
Brush tops of cups with 1 tablespoon of melted butter or margarine; sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Potato Soup and Rosemary Bread

I LOVE potato soup. Raised in Idaho, I grew up on potato soup in the winter and my mom makes some of the best stuff I've ever had. She never measures or keeps track of what she adds. I've kind of adopted the same tradition (unintentionally). The basics are boiling water and adding potatoes and a thickener. Anything else is for flavor and you can pretty much add whatever you want. This is the recipe I made the other day (as far as I can remember). You can add or take out whatever you'd like and it will still taste great. The best part is it makes a lot and is cheap! Also, I bought a bread machine at Goodwill a few months ago and am loving it. I need to write a French Bread recipe I've been making a's great. Anyhow, below is the rosemary bread I made the other night. I loved it.

Potato Soup

5-6 c. water

3-4 boullion cubes

6-8 potatoes peeled and diced

1-2 small onions

3 stalks celery

3-4 c. chopped broccoli and cauliflower

1/3 c. butter

1/3 c. flour

1 c. cream/milk or 1 small can of evaporated milk

salt and pepper to taste

Hormel bacon

Bring water and boullion to boil, add potatoes, onions, celery and broccoli and boil until softened (about 10-15 mins). When veggies are almost done cooking, in another pan make a roux with the butter and flour. Beat the cream/milk into the roux until thickened. Pour and mix into the soup until thickened. Add bacon, salt and pepper. Top with green onions, cheese, whatever!

Rosemary Bread (for bread machine)

1 c. water
3 T. olive oil
1 1/2 t.white sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 T. dried rosemary
2 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 t. active dry yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (I just added them from the top down). Select white bread cycle and light crust; press Start.

Basic Quiche

My mom always made quiche growing up and it is definitely one of my favorite foods. It seems a lot more complicated than it is. The directions are provided for the novice, but once you've made one you can probably make others easily. You can add whatever you want to quiche--this is a basic recipe. Sometimes I add spinach, asparagus, sausage...really the possibilities are endless. My mom always makes hers the night before so they're ready to bake in the morning.

1 (9-inch) deep dish frozen pie crust
1 T butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. cheese (your choice)
1 T. flour
4 eggs
1 c. cream or milk (depending on preference)
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 c. crumbled bacon (I use the Hormel bags from Costco)

Bake pie crust at 425 for 6-8 mins. Reduce temperature to 350. Meanwhile in skillet, saute onion (and any other veggies you include) in butter until soft (about 3-4 mins). In another bowl toss shredded cheese with flour. In a mixing bowl beat eggs, cream/milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in 3/4 c. bacon, onion (& veggies) and 1/2 cup cheese. Place 1 c. shredded cheese in the bottom of pie crust. Pour egg mix over cheese. Sprinkle with remaining bacon. Bake for 45 mins or until set.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Zucchini Bread

This bread is so yummy and while I have been making it all summer with the zucchini from my garden, I completely forgot to post it on here. I hope some of you still have a zucchini or two left to try this recipe out--it is SO worth it! I try to make it with the whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of oil (it makes me sick to read the nutrition content of oil) and it tastes really good.

3 c. whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
3 t. ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 c. naturally sweetened applesauce OR vegetable oil
1 1/4 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
3 t. vanilla extract
3-4 c. grated zucchini
1 c. chopped walnuts (opt.)

Grease and flour bread pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas

After Jackson taught a lesson on "The Word of Wisdom" the other night I was reminded of how much we eat meat in our diet and am trying to remedy that by reducing the amount and substituting beans, etc. in our menu. The boys and I naturally love beans, but for Chad it requires some effort. They enjoyed this meal...I loved it.

2 t. vegetable oil
1 lg. yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits in juice, drained,
1/3 c. juice reserved
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilis
1 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
3 c. shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (12 oz)
1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce
8 whole wheat flour tortillas (8 or 9 inch)
1/2 c. reduced-fat sour cream
8 t. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in pineapple, beans, green chilis and salt. Cook and stir until thoroughly heated. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro and 2 cups of the cheese.Spoon and spread 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce onto each tortilla. Spoon about 3/4 cup vegetable mixture over sauce on each. Roll up tortillas; place seam side down in baking dish.
In small bowl, mix reserved 1/3 cup pineapple juice and remaining enchilada sauce; pour over entire surface of enchiladas in dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Spray sheet of foil large enough to cover baking dish with cooking spray; place sprayed side down over baking dish and seal tightly.Bake 35 to 40 minutes, removing foil during last 5 to 10 minutes of baking, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Top each baked enchilada with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1 teaspoon cilantro.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe makes 2-3 dozen cookies (depending on how big you make them). I have been using it for years, in fact these cookies helped me lure my husband. It was given to me by my sister-in-law Jeannie and while she says she has moved on and loves other recipes (I've tried them and this is still my favorite) this one is THE BEST! These are SO good, Chad's Grandma Davenport says I can get a job making cookies at McDonald's! :)

2 sticks butter

2 eggs

3/4 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar

1 T. vanilla

3 c. flour

3/4 t. baking soda

3/4 t. salt

chocolate chips

Cream the first four ingredients, then add the vanilla. Add one cup of flour with the baking soda, mix. Add the second cup of flour with the salt, mix. Add the third cup with the chips (whichever you prefer--I like milk chocolate) and mix. Roll into balls and bake 10 mins at 350. Take out of the oven and let sit on the sheet for another 1-2 minutes to firm up a bit. Let cool on a rack. I like my cookies SUPER soft, so this recipe is for soft cookies. Bake another 2 minutes if you like crispier cookies.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Basic Calzone Dough

I love calzones. This is a very easy and delicious recipe. The dough comes out crispy and chewy at the same time. We fill ours with all sorts of stuff: BBQ sauce w/ chicken, cilantro, and beans; traditional pepperoni, olives, onions, and tomatoes; or an italian basil, parmesean, and ricotta. They all turn out wonderfully. For those of you unfamiliar with calzones, they're an enclosed pizza, so maybe that will spark some ideas.

1 c lukewarm water
2 1/4 t active dry yeast
1 t salt
1/2 t sugar
3 c flour, plus extra for dusting
1 T extra-virgin olive oil

In a bowl, combine the water, yeast, salt and sugar, and stir to dissolve. Set aside for 15 minutes, then add the flour, and mix until smooth. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary. The dough should feel smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a bowl, and place dough inside. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Quarter the dough, and shape each piece into a ball. Cover, and let rise another 15 minutes. Makes enough dough for 4 calzones.

Seal by crimping the edges of the dough with your fingers or the times of a fork. Brush calzone with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 2 teasponns water). Trim the excess dough, make a small incision on the top, and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Caramel Popcorn

I was always in charge of making the caramel popcorn for our Friday movie nights growing up. My mom threw away the recipe book that I used for this, so I go by memory now and this is what I think it is. I'm going to try it again soon with a different cream of tartar amount and see if it changes anything.

1/2 c. butter/marg
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. karo syrup
1/2 t. salt
1/4-1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 t. vanilla

Mix butter, sugar, and syrup in a pan and bring to a rolling boil. Add salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla and stir. Pour over cooked popcorn and mix thoroughly (so most of it won't go to the bottom of the bowl). Keep a wet rag handy for kids!

I've seen recipes where they bake the popcorn to make it crispy, but I personally like this gooey version. You can bake this recipe too I'm sure...whatever you prefer.

Mulligatawny Soup

I know it's the middle of summer, but I made this at the end of May when we had that freakish cold week. It was fabulous. Chad and the boys devoured problem. I do love Indian food and this is a good recipe to start with if you're not sure. I used cooked rice that was left over from another recipe instead of waiting for it to cook in the recipe. Oh, and you have to cook the chicken ahead of time too...that's unclear in the recipe. Also, I don't think the cream added much to the recipe, so it's definitely optional.

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup white rice
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half - cut into cubes
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch dried thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated

1. Saute onions, celery, carrot, and butter in a large soup pot. Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer about 1/2 hour.
2. Add apple, rice, chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done.
3. When serving, add hot cream.

Chicken Salad

I have been using this recipe since we first got married 5 years ago and still love it more than others I've tried. The texture is fantastic and it works on croissants, pita bread, lettuce, crackers...pretty much anything. I forgot to take a picture when I recently served it at a baby shower, but all who tried loved it and ate another. Often I leave out the pecans because I don't have them on hand usually, and I have left out the peppers before too and it still tasted great.

4 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chopped celery
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together mayonnaise with paprika and seasoned salt. Blend in dried cranberries, celery, bell pepper, onion, and nuts. Add chopped chicken, and mix well. Season with black pepper to taste. Chill 1 hour

Friday, July 11, 2008

French Bread

This bread is fabulous and is relatively easy. I always have problems getting my homemade breads to rise enough, but this recipe always works. It makes two loaves and tastes incredible--even reheated the next day. If you have a kitchenaid, it's really pretty simple because you just use the dough hook and it does the work for you! I will add more recipes in the next few days when I have more time. I thought I better put up a couple for Marta. :)

2 T or pkgs dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
2 c. hot water
3 T sugar
1 T salt
1/3 c. shortening, melted
5-6 c. flour (approx.)
1 egg, beaten with 2 T water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 c. warm water for 10 mins. Meanwhile, combine the hot water, sugar, salt, shortening and 1/2 the flour in a large bowl; beat well. Stir in dissolved yeast. Stir in remaining flour and mix well. Allow to rest for 10 mins. Stir vigorously. Allow to rest again for 10 mins. Repeat this procedure 3 more times (this is called "pestering"). Turn out dough onto floured board and knead twice. Divide dough in half and roll each hafl into a 9x12 rectangle. Starting at long edge, roll as for jelly roll. Place both rolls, seam side down on one large baking sheet, greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Gash top of each loaf diagonally 3 times with a sharp knife. Brush with beaten egg. Let rise 30 mins. Bake at 375 for about 20 mins (until golden brown).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I know I have been terrible about posting lately and I've made so many new things these past couple months and forgot to take pictures of them all, so I'll try to remember to post as many as I can in the next few days.

This can be a dessert or a fruit salad and is a treat either way. You can also vary the amounts of each layer. Sometimes I make the cream layer with two packets of cream cheese, sometimes one. Sometimes I add another cup of water and an additional small package of strawberry jello to make the jello layer thicker. So anyhow below is the basic version. Any way you make it people will eat it quickly. :)


1 1/2 c. crushed pretzels

1/3 c. sugar

1/2 c. melted butter

Combine and press into 9x13 pan and bake for 8 mins at 350. Cool


8 oz pkg cream cheese

8 oz cool whip

2/3 c. sugar

Combine until soft peaks and spread on crust.


6 oz. strawberry jello

2 c. boiling water

20 oz. frozen strawberries

Stir until starts to thicken and pour on top of filling. Refrigerate until stiff.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Brownie Balls

Yum! I know I've posted a lot of brownie recipes on here, but I am a chocaholic! I made these for a party the other day and they tasted delicious that night and even better the next day. The dough is to die for too. They don't take long at all to make and they're a nice finger dessert.

1/2 c butter
or margarine
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate

3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 c flour
1/2 c chopped walnut
or pecan (opt)
powdered sugar


1Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees (F).

2Melt butter or margarine and chocolate in medium saucepan over low heat (or melt in the microwave in a glass bowl or measuring cup for 2 minutes or until butter or margarine is melted).

3Set aside to cool for five minutes.

4While you're letting the chocolate cool, stir sugar, egg, vanilla and salt together until well blended.

5Stir the cooled chocolate/butter or margarine mixture until nice and smooth. Then mix it in with the above sugar, etc. mixture.

6Now stir in the flour and nuts.

7Shape mixture into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

8Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

9While warm, roll in powdered sugar.

10Cool on wire racks.

11Once cool, roll in powdered sugar again!

Veggie Pizza

I personally love this appetizer and think it's good enough for a meal. Jackson and Mitchell both ate it like crazy. I used my "vidalia chop wizard" to cut up the veggies because it would have taken forever by hand. I used the smallest grate. I bought generic crescent rolls this time and will never do it again--pillsbury only!

2 (8 oz) pkgs refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c mayo
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 t dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
Desired veggies...the more the better: green onions, broccoli, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, etc.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a jellyroll pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Pat crescent roll dough into a jellyroll pan. Let stand 5 minutes. Pierce with fork.

Bake for 10 minutes, let cool.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayo, cream cheese, dill weed, garlic salt and ranch dip mix. Spread this mixture on top of the cooled crust. Arrange the veggies on top of the creamed mixture. Cover and let chill. Once chilled, cut it into squares and serve.

Tres Leches

I loved this cake, but it is a cake that some might love and some might hate. It's called "three milks" cake because of the three different types of milk. The longer it refrigerates the better, so I try to make it the night before or in the morning before I serve it (I've made it twice--cinco de mayo and with the pork barbacoa recipe). It tastes delicious with fresh fruit. This is a really gross looking picture, but I ate it too quickly and forgot to take pictures.

5 eggs (large)
1 t baking powder
1 c white sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsalted butter
2 c milk
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
6 T powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan.

Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.

Cream butter or margarine and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla extract, beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter or margarine mixture 2 tablespoons at a time, mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.

Combine the milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.

Whip on high whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 6 T of the powdered sugar together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!

Hawaiian Haystacks

The first time I ever had Hawaiian Haystacks (or some call them chicken sundaes) was in college. All present were shocked that I'd never heard of them before, but I'm guessing there might be someone else out there who hasn't tried them.

1.) MAKE CHICKEN GRAVY (you can buy it in a can or make to taste--see below)
2-3 cans of cream of chicken or celery
1-2 c. of milk or chicken broth (depending on taste and desired consistency)
cooked, cubed/shredded chicken (I usually cook 2 chicken tenders for each person, but that is more chicken than some would like)
1 c. of rice/person

green onions (a must I think)
green peppers
tomatoes (for sure)
chow mein noodles

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Red Sauce Enchiladas

I usually make the standard yummy white chicken enchiladas, but I found this recipe that my friend gave me in college and decided to give it another try. I'm writing the recipe with the alterations I made, which I thought tasted great. By the way, I don't usually care for corn tortillas, but I think they work with the red sauce. I'm sure flour could work well too though.

1 lb. hamburger

1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese

1/2-1 packet of taco seasoning

corn tortillas

grated cheese

2 small cans of tomato paste

1 can of green/mild enchilada sauce

1 medium chopped onion (red/white)

2 T cilantro leaves

2 T chili powder

chopped green onions (opt.)

sliced olives (opt.)

Brown hamburger. Once fully cooked, pour 1/2-1 (depending on preference) packet of taco seasoning and package of cream cheese in with the hamburger. Cook on low until mixed together into a sort of thick paste.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, mix together the tomato pastes, enchilada sauce, onion, cilantro, and chili powder.

Pour a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill each corn tortilla shell with scoops of hamburger mix and top with cheese before rolling and placing (seam down) in the pan. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with green onions, olives and remainder of cheese. Bake covered 350 degrees for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 5-10 or until cheese is thoroughly melted.

You can serve the enchiladas with sliced avocados, sour cream, and salsa for an especially festive and delicious flair.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I love the small grocery store near our home. It is mostly meant for picking up that one item you need on your way home from work. For that reason, they always have their meat marked down because no one buys it. I got a $20+ salmon for $5.17 the other day (it's usually over $5.99/lb lately). I found this recipe a long time ago and was saving it. It was WONDERFUL! I will definitely use it again.

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil


Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Make a pouch out of tin foil and place fish on the bottom pouring the soy sauce mixture on top, seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
Put pouch on pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 mins and broil on high for 5 mins after that.

Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers have been cheap here--less than lettuce. When we grew cucumbers in our garden growing up my mom and dad would always whip up a cucumber salad. You can prepare them any way you like. This is just one way. I don't measure, so these are guesses, but you really can't mess up. Often I just leave out the dill and go heavy on the pepper.

2 cucumbers

1/4 onion, sliced

1-2 tomatoes

1/2-3/4 c. sugar

3/4-1 c. white vinegar

1/2 c. water

few dashes of dill

pepper to taste
Mix and chill.

Healthier Sloppy Joes

I like to make sloppy joes once in a while, but this time I thought I'd search for a healthier recipe. This was what I found and played with. It was really good; almost like a thick chili. By the way, if you have questions about substitutions, post them on here. One of us can probably answer.

1 pound extra-lean ground beef or ground turkey

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 can small red beans or pinto beans, preferably low sodium drained and rinsed

2 cans no-salt-added tomato sauce

2 T tomato paste

1 T red wine vinegar

1 T molasses

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T mustard powder

3/4 T salt

Freshly ground black pepper

8 whole-wheat burger buns

Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I guess I've been craving cakes lately. I've been trying to make ones that aren't quite as sinful. This one I topped with an easy powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze, but it's good without.

1/8-1/4 cup poppy seeds (depending on preference)
1/4 cup milk
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs


Soak poppy seeds in milk for 2 hours (opt). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in water, oil, and eggs. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Blend in poppy seed mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Dump Cake

This is an easy and delicious cake for those nights when you just need a quick and yummy treat. And, it can't be THAT bad for you, right?

1 lg. can of cherry pie filling and/or 1 lg. can pineapple
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 c. butter

Pour the can(s) into a 9x13 pan. Evenly sprinkle cake mix directly on fruit and cut up butter over the top. Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes. Top with ice cream or whipped cream.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chocolate Cake with German Chocolate Frosting

I needed chocolate last weekend, so I made this delicious cake. The cake is extremely moist (a reason I don't usually like cakes) and stands well on its own. You won't be needing ice cream or milk to go with this cake--it's awesome. The frosting is really good too, but you can put whatever frosting you want on this cake. I used 3/4 c. coconut and maybe 1/2 c. of crushed walnuts when I made the frosting, since that's all I had. Oh, and I went ahead and used the whole can of evaporated milk and it worked fine.


3 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter or margarine, softened
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. baking cocoa
1 T. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/3 c. sour cream
1 1/3 c. boiling water


1. In a mixing bowl, cream brown sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.
2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream to creamed mixture. Mix on low just until combined. Stir in water until blended.
3. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

INGREDIENTS for frosting

1 c. evaporated milk
1 c. white sugar
3 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1/2 c. margarine
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. flaked coconut


In a large saucepan combine evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, margarine and vanilla. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Let the frosting sit for 30 mins or so to thicken up before spreading.

Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

This recipe came in the mail with some coupons when we were first married and while it isn't too different from other chicken and rice recipes, it is easy and good. Chad's Grandma requested it, so we took a casserole over to her last week, but I forgot to take a picture. I usually line the pan with foil and it makes it MUCH easier to clean the pan afterwards. Often I'll substitute the vegetables for whatever veggies I have on hand.

2 c. rice
2 cans condensed cream of chicken (you can mix it with mushroom or celery too)
2/3 c. water
1 t. seasoned salt
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium bell pepper, cubed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
6 skinless chicken pieces
Seasoned salt, paprika, and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. For easy clean-up, line a 13x9 pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick spray.

2. Combine rice, soup, water, and 1 t. seasoned salt. Add carrots, bell pepper and onion. Arrange vegetables and rice in an even layer in foil-lined pan. Place chicken over rice mixture in an even layer; sprinkle chicken with additional seasoned salt, paprika and pepper.

3. Cover pan with a sheet of foil.

4. Bake about 45 minutes or until chicken reaches 170 degrees; stir rice before serving.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Angel Food Cake

This was AMAZING! Seriously try it. It's way better than store bought--I can't stop eating it! It calls for 12 eggs, but all you'll end up needing are the egg whites (1 1/2 c. worth). I buy egg whites in a carton (they're usually next to the eggs at the store), and that's a lot easier to measure out. I made fresh whipping cream:
1 c. whipping cream
3 T. powdered sugar
1/2-1 t. vanilla
Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form

12 eggs
1 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract
1/4 t. salt
1 c. sugar

1. Separate eggs; discard yolks or refrigerate for another use. Measure egg whites, adding or removing whites as needed to equal 1-1/2 cups. Place in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sift confectioners' sugar and flour together three times; set aside. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan (I used a bundt pan). Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely before removing cake from pan.

Nutritional Analysis: One slice equals 101 calories, trace fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 59 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Conference Time Biscuits and Gravy

Each conference time my dad would get up in the morning and make us a biscuits and gravy breakfast. It was always so exciting to wake up to the smell, and tasted delicious. We make biscuits and gravy as dinner sometimes because Chad loves it, and we always are sure to prepare it for breakfast on conference weekend. I like this gravy recipe because it's simple. I usually just buy tubes of biscuits since it's so much easier and not too expensive, but I've included a simple and fast biscuit recipe for you extra-milers! :) Enjoy and be thinking of us as you eat it and listen to the prophet's voice.


6 T butter
6 T flour
3 c milk
12 oz. ground sausage
salt and pepper

Brown sausage and set aside on a paper towel. Melt butter in skillet and mix in flour. When bubbles appear, lower heat and add milk. Stir until even consistency. Add sausage and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until desired consistency. (Will thicken upon cooling.)


3 c. flour
4 1/2 t baking powder
2 T sugar
1/2 t salt
3/4 t. cream of tartar
3/4 c margarine
1 beaten egg
3/4 c milk

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in softened margarine with dough hook. Add milk and egg. Pat to 1 inch thickness. Bake at 450 degrees on greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce with Shrimp

This is a healthy meal that tastes fabulous. There is a similar dish at Olive Garden although Chad and I thought this was better. I found 1 lb bags of frozen shrimp at Walmart for $3.98 and bought a few, so look for sales on shrimp otherwise it can be kind of pricey. I usually buy whole grain pasta since it has fewer calories, about the same protein, and at least twice the fiber. I didn't have fresh herbs on hand, although I'm sure it would taste that much more amazing. Also, I didn't have any, but I think it would taste fabulous to add some heavy cream (maybe 1/4-1/2 c) to make the sauce creamy--just a suggestion. This was not that spicy. Jackson ate it just fine, but he's probably used to spiciness by now.


1 t olive oil
1 c chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/8 c shrimp juices or chicken stock (see directions)
2 T white sugar
1 T chopped fresh basil
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 T tomato paste
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1/4 t ground black pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
2 T chopped fresh parsley


1. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic, and shrimp in oil for 5 minutes.

2. If most of your "shrimp juices" cook out of the saute, then add chicken stock. If there appears to be enough "shrimp juices" after sauteing then add sugar, basil, red pepper, tomato paste, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, black pepper and tomatoes ; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes.

3. Stir in parsley. Ladle over the hot cooked pasta of your choice.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Taco Soup

I'm not sure what your weather has been like, but it is still pretty chilly here. So I'm still making a lot of soup--I love it! I'm sure you all have a taco soup recipe and they're pretty much all the same, but just in case you've never tried it, here goes one. I like my food spicy, so I added cilantro, garlic, and some salsa verde to my soup. You can top with sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips if desired. Also, as in all recipes ground turkey can be substituted without affecting the flavor too much for a lighter alternative.

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can black beans, with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3-4 cups water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers (opt.)
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix


In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned over medium heat. Drain, and set aside.

Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker or in a pan on the stove if short on time.

Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours or until flavors are blended and soup is warm.

Peppery Bean Salad

This is probably my personal all-time favorite recipe. Whenever I smell it I start salivating like Pavlov's dog. The smell of onions, tomatos, avocados and beans is heavenly! I personally LOVE beans and put them on/in everything. My kids really like them too and always love this salad even though it is a bit spicy. Beans are a wonderful source of fiber and protein and are low in fat and calories--the perfect food. (Your body eventually gets used to the extra fiber :)) Enjoy!

1 can chick peas (garbonzo beans)
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
1 green pepper (opt.)
2 avocados, chopped

Open cans and rinse under cold water. Shake off excess water, add veggies.

1 t. cumin
1 T. ketchup
2 T. olive oil
1 T. white wine/cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground pepper
5 drops of hot pepper sauce

Mix together and pour over bean mixture; chill for an hour to allow flavors to mix.

HINT: Add avocados right before serving because they become mushy. They're still delicious, just brown after refrigerated in the bean mix.

Pineapple Chicken

This basically tastes like a lighter sweet and sour chicken. It is super good and SO easy. My mother-in-law doubles this for a big crowd and it goes a long way. I like to add big chunks of green peppers and onions into it for color and taste. Yesterday I happened to have a fresh pineapple too, so I used that in place of canned and it was beautiful. As far as the call for russian dressing--I've only ever seen one size (8 oz). I cooked mine at 250 for like 2 1/2 hours because I had other things going on and it worked out fine. I bet you could even pour it into the crockpot and cook on low for 3+ hours.

6 chicken breasts (+/-)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 (about 16 oz) jar of apricot preserves
1 bottle russian dressing
1 can chunk pineapple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; place breasts in pan and season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Mix ingredients and pour on top. Bake uncovered 30-45 minutes. Serve over rice.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baked Ziti

This is one of those recipes that is so easy you think, "Why didn't I think of that?" I'm sure that a lot of your families are like mine--they love anything with pasta and red sauce. All my boys will usually eat a few servings of anything "spaghetti-ish." This is nice because it is a little different than your traditional spaghetti meal. I just used whatever cheese was in the fridge when I made this (swiss and monterey jack--odd combo, I know) and it still tasted fabulous.

1 lb. ziti pasta (you can use penne or rigatoni too)
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 (26 oz) jars of spaghetti sauce
6 oz. provolone, sliced
1 1/2 c. sour cream
6 oz. mozzarella, shredded
2 T. parmesean

1. Bring a lightly salted water to boil in a pan. Add ziti pasta and cool until al dente (it means to the bite--slightly firm), about 8 mins; drain.

2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add sauce and simmer about 15 mins (if time).

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9x13 pan. Layer: 1/2 ziti, all of provolone, sour cream, 1/2 sauce, remaining ziti, mozzarella, and rest of sauce. Top with parmesean.

4. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Garlic Cheese Bread

This recipe was made frequently by my mom growing up, so there aren't too many specific measurements. Just play with the ingredients until you get your favorite mix. It is always loved by guests. It goes great with spaghetti, lasagna, etc.

1 loaf of french bread, halved
shredded cheese as desired
1/4-1/3 cup of butter/margarine
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
basil/italian seasonings
garlic salt/powder

Put margarine and cream cheese in a microwave safe dish and cook until soft enough to mix. After mixing, spread on each half of french bread. Lightly season with those listed above (or whatever sounds good to you) and top with cheese. Bake at 450 OR broil until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Corn Bread

Get ready, this is so easy you might miss it! :) My sister taught me this trick. It goes great with chili, tortilla soup...anything with a little kick.

Make a jiffy box of cornbread as directed
add a 1/3 c. of sugar to the mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees as directed on the box. Put about 1 T. of butter/margarine in the baking dish to melt in the preheated oven. Then when the butter is melted and the oven warmed, pour the mix in the pan and bake as directed.

SO EASY and 100x better than the normal. I always get asked how to make cornbread and they always seem so unimpressed after I tell them how I made it. :)


I make this chili about once/month, sometimes less. It is so yummy and goes a long way. The nice thing is you can adjust the flavor to your preference, so if you like spicy chili, you might add some jalapeno peppers, cilantro, etc. If you don't like any spice, you might take out some of the cumin and chili powder. As it is, it's the right amount of flavor for most everyone. Also, sometimes if I've made a roast I'll use the leftovers in place of the ground beef and it is awesome. This makes a lot, so you can either half the recipe or freeze the leftovers for another day.

2 lbs. ground beef
2 onions, chopped
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (opt)
1/2 green pepper, chopped (opt)
29 oz. can whole or diced tomatoes
29 oz. can tomato sauce
30 oz. can chili beans
15 oz. can kidney beans
2 tsp. cumin
4 tsp. chili powder

Brown beef and onions (and mushrooms and grn. pepper); drain fat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 20 mins. Top with sour cream, cheese, onions, etc--to your preference.

Crockpot: Cook hamburger and onions (and peppers) until cooked through and soft. Then put in crockpot with remaining ingredients and cook as long as needed.

Famous Restaurant Pancakes

I don't want to get sued, so I'm just going to say that these taste the same as a famous pancake restaurant. They're so good. I usually half this recipe too. Let us all know if you try them and any adjustments you make.

1 1/4 c. flour
1 egg
1 1/4 c. Buttermilk (1 1/4 c. milk with 1 tsp. vinegar--let sit for a few minutes)
1/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 c. oil

Mix together. Flip pancakes over when bubbles appear. Cook on medium-low.

Oh Boy Waffles

I always make my pancakes and waffles from scratch--it's really almost as simple as a mix and tastes great. I usually half this recipe when it's just our small family.

2 1/4 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 1/2 T. sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. oil

Just mix ingredients together and pour onto griddle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mint Chocolate Brownies

I just made my brownie recipe (double batch--see "The Best Brownies" recipe below) in a 9x13 and then added the green topping (first part of recipe) on top and then poured the chocolate mixture on (second part of recipe). You can use brownie mix too. I think next time I might reduce the mint mixture because it was pretty thick, but oh so yummy!

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk, or as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
6 drops green food coloring

1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


To make the middle layer, beat 1/2 cup of butter with confectioners' sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Add milk as needed to get a spreadable consistency. Stir in the peppermint extract and green food coloring. Spread this over the cooled pan of brownies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or freeze if in a rush).

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips with the butter until melted. Stir every 20 seconds until chocolate is smooth. Stir in vanilla and then pour over the chilled brownies and quickly spread to cover the surface. Cool again until firm, about 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I left out the chocolate chips since I'm not a big fan of them in ice cream. I think next time I might add crushed up oreos though. It is super yummy just by itself. I like that it doesn't have raw eggs in it. Also, out of every ice cream recipe I've tried, this one freezes the best. Even after two days, it still scoops up so effortlessly. Easier than storebought even! I will use this as my base from now on and try other flavors.


2 cups 2% milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for 2 hours.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Banana Crumb Muffins

These are delicious and so easy. They take about 30 minutes to make and bake, so not too bad. The main problem is I can't stop eating them! :) Also, whenever you try a recipe, post a comment and let us know if you liked it or not, and if you made any changes. This is supposed to be a community forum.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Best Brownies

I got this recipe from a friend when I lived in Italy and it has been my favorite brownie recipe ever since. In fact, I don't really care for brownies much except for these. They take just as long as mixing a box of brownies up. Although I haven't made them in awhile, Chad was surprised I hadn't posted them on here yet. They taste even better the next day, if you have any left!


1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Then add flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Put in greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins.

Cream Cheese Chicken

I've seen several versions of this recipe, but this one is fastest and easiest; plus it doesn't have butter in it like the others do. My mother-in-law gave me this one.

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 8oz cream cheese
1 envelope of Good Seasons Italian Dressing (sometimes I use ranch packets instead)
6 to 8 chicken breasts

Empty 1 can of soup into crockpot. Place chicken in pot, then slice cream cheese over top. Add additional can of soup and sprinkle dry dressing mix over top. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or on low all day. Serve over rice.