Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gingerbread Men, Sugar Cookies and a Sugar Glaze

Sugar cookies

This recipe was posted on this blog previously by Kelly. It is truly a wonderful recipe! Check it out here.

Gingerbread Men

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cup cold water
7 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Mix brown sugar, shortening, molasses and water in a large bowl. Mix together remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to molasses mixture and mix together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening.

Roll dough 1/4 in. thick on floured surface. Cut with floured cookie cutter. Place on cookie sheet. You may decorate them now, as desired, with nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, candy, etc. Or, you can wait and ice them and then decorate them once they are cooled (As you can see from the picture above, we did it both ways).

Bake 10-12 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack.

Sugar Glaze

The nice thing about the glaze, is that it dries hard & shiny and pretty. Then, it doesn't make as much of a mess and they can stack easily. It needs be stirred frequently when applying.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
10 drops food coloring

Mix all ingredients together. Drizzle and spread over sugar cookies or gingerbread men as desired!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes.....

I made these for the first time tonight. My husband told me prior to making them that he doesn't like sweet potatoes. These changed his mind! They were really easy and tasted great...Enjoy!!

Twice-Baked Potatoes
Kraft Food and Family Magazine

2 Large sweet potatoes
2 oz. Neufchatel cheese, Cubed
2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pecan pieces (I didn't have these so I left them out)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil lined baking pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until tender.

Scoop out centers of potatoes into bowl, leaving 1/4 inch thick shells. Add Neufchatel cheese, milk, sugar and cinnamon to potatoes. Mash until blended.

Spoon potato mixture into shells; top with nuts. Bake 8 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reindeer Cookies

I saw this in December's Family Fun Magazine.

Super cute and super easy.

Nutter Butter cookies-Use white icing to glue on chocolate chips for eyes, and a red M&M (I used PB ones, they are bigger), and cut the bottom off of a twisted pretzel and ice it to the top.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Boysenberry Oatmeal Bars....

Yesterday I realized that I have a whole tub of Oatmeal that needs to be consumed before the months end and it expires. So, I took out some trusty cookbooks and found this recipe. I had all the ingredients on hand and it seemed so easy. They turned out pretty darn good. I actually preferred them today after they had set for the night. The original recipe called for Raspberry jam, but any jam would do! Enjoy!

1 (18.5 oz)package yellow cake mix
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup boysenberry jam (or whatever flavor you prefer)
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, oats, and margarine so that it makes clumps and no dry mix is left. Press half of the oat mixture evenly in to the bottom of the prepared pan. In a separate bowl, mix the jam with water and spread the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture evenly over the top.

Bake for 18 to 23 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Cool before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chinese Chicken Salad...Revisited

I thought that it would be good to revisit a few of my favorite recipes on this blog. This happens to be the first recipe I posted on here, and it happens to be one of my absolute favorites. We had this for dinner with just french bread a couple of nights ago and it was the perfect light dinner! Enjoy!

1 head iceburg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1-2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 small pkg. sliced (not slivered) almonds
4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1/2 package won tons or gyoza skins

1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive or peanut)
1/2 cup sugare
1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar (add a little at a time to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Slice won ton skins into strips.
Fry in oil until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Combine first 4 ingredients.
Combine dressing ingredients in jar or shaker.

Just before serving, add chicken and fried won ton skins.
Shake dressing vigorously to mix, then toss with salad. Serve immediately

Monday, December 8, 2008

oatmeal carmelitas

This is my all time favorite treat to make during the holidays. They are SO good. Rich hates oatmeal and almost didn't try them (before we were dating) at college. But try them he did... and he's hooked. Enjoy! 64 caramels (I always throw in a few more)
2/3 c. minus 2TB (10 TB total) canned milk or cream

Melt caramels in cream in a double boiler. (I don't have a double boiler so I just put them in a saucepan on low heat.)

Dough: (mix 2x for top and bottom... or just double and split in half)
1 c. flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. quick oats
3/4 c. melted butter
1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. (12 oz) chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts

Mix dough. Stir until butter is absorbed and mixture is crumbly. Press in cookie pan 10x15. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Cover with caramel mixture, spreading carefully. Sprinkle with second dough mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into squares.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Easy Cheesy Manicotti- Revisited....

When we first started this blog, Katie posted her easy cheesy manicotti recipe. We love this recipe at our house. First, it is SO easy. Second, it tastes yummy. Third, its great when having company over (especially when its two young men in shirts and ties and name tags). So, here it is again. Katie's manicotti, I just wanted everyone be reunited with its goodness! Thanks Katie for a great recipe!!!

1 pkg manicotti noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 pkg shredded cheddar (8oz)
1 pkg shredded mozzarella (8oz)
1 pkg shredded parmesan (6oz)
2 eggs
Parsley flakes

Combine cheeses and a tablespoon or so of parsley flakes. Mix in eggs until all the cheese sticks together. Stuff uncooked manicotti noodles and place in a 9x13 pan. Cover with spaghetti sauce. Fill sauce jar with water. Pour over noodles until they're completely covered (you may not use all the water). Cover with foil and bake at 350 for one hour
***I have found that I need to cook mine an additional 15 minutes to thoroughly cook the pasta...Enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Apple Squares....

Next to pumpkin rolls, these are probably my favorite dessert. My AWESOME grandma who is an AMAZING cook made these for Thanksgiving and was so kind as to email me the recipe. Sigh. I love my Grandma. Grandma, of course, makes her own pastry. Because thats what Grandmas do. I am sure you can use premade pastry and it will still be delightful, (and a whole heck of a lot easier) but if you want to make it PERFECT, Grandmas pastry recipe is included! Enjoy, and thanks Grandma!

Joan Cramer
This is my own recipe for a 2 crust pie
2c flour
2/3c Crisco shortening
2Tbs butter
dash salt

using pastry cutter (or hands, yuk) cut shortening, butter and salt into flour,until mixture resembles tiny peas, sprinkle 5Tbs ice water, (1Tbs at a time,) tossing with fork,until all flour is moistened and pastry cleans side of bowl...gently form a ball..divide and flatten into round, wrap individually (wax paper) and place in frig. for 30mins. for apple squares in this size pan (jelly roll) you will need to double recipe,divide into 4 portions (easier to work with)

Apple Squares
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 c all purpose flour
1tsp nutmeg
1tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
8 cups thinly sliced pared apples (I used 4 granny smith and 4 yellow)
2-3 Tbs butter or margarine
3/4 c powered sugar and about 1Tbs milk (icing)

heat oven to 425 degrees

On floured board, roll 1 round into rectangle, place in ungreased jelly roll pan, covering half, repeat for other half, this is the bottom layer...(overlapping seams)

in small bowl, mix sugar, flour, nutmeg and cinnamon and salt.......stir into apples... (when I'm preparing the apples, I use lemon juice on the cut-up apples, this prevents them from turning brown)

pour into pastry lined pan, dot with butter or marg. cover with other 2 sections of pastry.. crimp edges..make a few slits in crusts for steam to escape..

Bake 35 to 40 mins. until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through slightly..mix powered sugar and milk to desired consistency and drizzle over crust...cut into 3inch squares


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat

The pictures aren't great but the food is.
This meat makes a ton. My mom froze half of it and said it worked really well. Super easy, makes a lot and tastes great...perfect when you're having a get together.
4 lbs. of chicken or pork thawed or frozen (you can throw the chicken in still frozen)
1/4 c. chili powder
2 cans chopped green chiles (4 oz. cans)
salt to tast (about 1 1/2 tsp.)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp. taco seasoning
2 tsp minced garlic (either fresh or dried)
about 2 TB water (you can add more if it starts to look dry)
1/2 c. sour cream
Stir ingredients in a bowl and cover meat in crock-pot.
Cook on low 8-10 hours

Monday, November 24, 2008

Peppermint Bark

So, if you haven't figured it out by now- I have been preparing lots of fun holiday treats. Here is one more. I recently paid for this yummy treat at "Harry and David" until I realized how easy it is to make- seriously- don't ever pay for it again! It really is this simple and is the same thing!! (Read the ingredients and you will see!) Very Yummy!!

1 1/2- 2 bags semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips
1 1/2-2 bags white chocolate chips
4-6 candy canes crushed

1) In a double boiler (or a small pot on top of another small pot with water in the bottom pot) melt semi sweet chocolate chips in the top pot. Place a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Spread chocolate evenly over wax paper. Place in freezer.

2) While the semi sweet chocolate is in the freezer, melt the white chocolate chips the same way. Crush the candy canes. Place a strainer over top of melted white chocolate and put melted candy canes in strainer, allowing tiny pieces fall through into melted white chocolate-stir.

3) Remove semi sweet chocolate from freezer and spread white chocolate on top- do quickly or the semi sweet will start to melt and they will mix and not be as pretty. Once it is spread evenly, sprinkle larger pieces of candy canes on top. Place back in freezer, or refrigerator until hardened. Take out and break into jagged pieces. (May be easier if closer to room temp when you break it up)

**Note** I found some who said they liked to add a little peppermint flavoring into the semi sweet chocolate part. If you really like a lot of mint flavor, you may want to put a tiny amount in. I did one with the flavoring and, for me personally, it was a little too "toothpasty" but maybe I put in too much. So, the next I did without the extra flavoring (so, as directed above) and it was perfect.

Friday, November 21, 2008


For those of you not from Ohio, today is a BIG day! Today is the day The Ohio State Buckeyes will beat Michigan U again! In honor of that, I will post the recipe for buckeyes. A buckeye is actually a nut from a buckeye tree that is poisonous to humans, but delicious to squirrels and other animals. However, this chocolate/peanut butter version is sinful yet heavenly!!!

This makes a large amount- about 150. It can easily be scales down to make fewer. I always make a lot and give them as Christmas gifts to teachers, neighbors, etc.

3 pounds Powdered Sugar
2 pounds Peanut Butter
1 pound Butter

3 bags milk chocolate chips
1/4 bar of gulf wax- shaved

1) In a large bowl combine powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter. Mix well. Honestly, mixing with your hands will work best. You can tweak the ingredients here as desired. If it seems a bit dry, add more butter/peanut butter. If it seems to wet or if you want it sweeter, add more powdered sugar. But, usually, the above ratio works great.

2) Roll into one inch balls. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet. Place in refrigerator or freezer until firm.

3) Meanwhile, in a double boiler (or one pan on top of another pan- the bottom pan filled with water) melt the chocolate chips and wax together

4) Remove peanut butter balls from fridge. Using a toothpick, dip into chocolate one at a time, leaving a small amount of peanut butter exposed on the top (to resemble the actual nut- see picture above. Return to wax paper. After I dip them, I go through and pinch closed the holes I made with the tooth picks so they look smooth.

5) Refrigerate or freeze until firm. Serve immediately, or refrigerate of freeze until you want to serve them or give as a gift.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yummy and Easy Chicken....

Dip boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) in plain yogurt. Roll in dressing crumbs. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes. Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Peppermint Fudge Cookie Sandwiches

This is a Pampered Chef recipe that I practiced the other day because I will be preparing it at an upcoming party (I am a consultant). It was very easy and fast. Believe it or not- start to finish in about 30 minutes! Very yummy- definitely better when warm when the peppermint patty is melted into it a bit, but good otherwise as well!

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup flour
2 candy canes or 8-10 peppermint hard candies-crushed
1/4 cup white or semi-sweet chocolate chips
10-12 mini foil-wrapped peppermint patties, unwrapped

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine chocolate chips and butter in a bowl and microwave on high 40-60 seconds until smooth, stirring after each 20 second interval. Add sugar and egg to the mixture and mix until well blended. Add flour and mix just until flour is incorporated. Using a small scoop (or teaspoon) drop 20-24 level scoops of batter onto parchment paper in pan about 1 in. apart. Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges are set. Do not overbake.

2) Meanwhile, place candy canes in a resealable plastic bag; crush with meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Place white chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave on high 30-60 sec. or until melted and smooth, stirring once. Set aside.

3) Remove sheet pan from oven. Immediately turn over half the cookies; top with peppermint patties and remaining cookies to form 10-12 sandwiches. Drizzle white chocolate over cookies and immediately sprinkle with crushed candies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu....

My sister made this for me while I was visiting her in Utah... it was so yummy! So, tonight I made it for my family. It was so easy and very tasty. Definately one to keep!

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used chicken thighs)
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

**I only cooked four chicken thighs, but kept the sauce the same so that we had plenty for our mashed potatoes as well!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup....

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

2 Tbs. vegetable oil
4 cloves crushed garlic
4 Tbs. green onions—chopped
1 stalk lemon grass-cut in 2 in. lengths
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp red curry paste (found in asian markets)
1 green chile, finely chopped with seeds removed (I use can diced green chilies)
4 Kaffir Lime leaves (optional, found in asian markets)
1-1 in piece dried galangal root (found in asian market)
3 cups water
1 lb uncooked chicken breast –finely sliced
2 Tbs cornstarch
1 can coconut milk (14 oz)
¼ cup fish sauce
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
6 Tbs fresh cilantro (optional)-chopped

Stir-fry for 2 minutes in the oil: garlic, onions, lemon grass, pepper, red curry paste, green chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal root.

After stir-frying for 2 minutes, add the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lightly coat sliced chicken with cornstarch and add to soup. Cook 4 minutes.

Add coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice and simmer 2 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

*my sister and her husband recently made this for me. Kevin added a little too much lime and so it was really sour but I could taste the goodness. I am excited to make this for my hubby, he will really enjoy it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies
1 t. vegetable oil1 pkg.
(12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 pkg. (18-21 oz) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
3/4 c. packed brown sugar, divided
1 c. salted mixed nuts, divided
5 rolls of Rolos (40 pieces total), divided

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bar pan. Chop 1-1/2 c. chocolate chips. Combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs, and 1/4 c. brown sugar. Fold in chopped chocolate. Pour batter into bar pan & spread evenly.

2. Chop nuts. Combine half of the nuts and remaining 1/2 c. brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over brownie batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

3. Meanwhile, cut 16 Rolos into quarters. Place remaining 1/2 c. chocolate chips in microwaveable bowl & microwave on high 1 minute or until melted, stirring after each 20-second interval. Spoon melted chocolate into resealable plastic bag; set aside.

4. Remove bar pan from oven. Immediately press remaining 24 Rolos evenly into brownie in four rows of six caramels each. Sprinkle quartered Rolos and remaining nuts over brownies. Trim corner of chocolate-filled bag; drizzle chocolate evenly over brownies.

Serve warm. Serve with ice cream, if desired. (I always laugh at that line..."if desired"-oh, okay, only if I want to?) :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chicken Tikka Masala

Oh my we loved this recipe. The original recipe called for a little more "heat" but I can't handle too much spice so I omitted a jalapeno and cut down the cayenne pepper. It was awesome! We grabbed some garlic naan from an Indian restaurant across the street and it was a great meal!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients except chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and refrigerate for one hour. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces and grill or cook chicken in frying pan. Discard marinade

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup cream

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for one minute. Season with cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over hot rice.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bacon-Cheddar Dip...

The first time I made this dip was for a Super Bowl Party and my hottie hubby loved it! I have made it a few times since for company, its a great and EASY dip!!

Bacon-Cheddar Dip
Kraft Magazine

1 container (16 oz.) Sour Cream
1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Bacon bits
Ritz Chips Orginal (I LOVE THESE)

Mix all ingredients (except chips); cover.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving

Serve with the chips

(Great substitute: use reduced fat or light sour cream and reduced fat cheddar cheese.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Rolls....

This is probably my favorite dessert this time of year. I absolutely love these. Plus, they look so pretty when you cut them up and serve them on a platter! Great for a potluck or party!

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


8 oz cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Grease jelly roll pan. Line with wax paper - spray with cooking spray

Beat eggs and sugar together, add pumpkin.

Combine dry ingredients. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Beat until smooth not lumpy. Pour into pan and smooth. Sprinkle with nuts (optional).

Bake 12-14 minutes at 375

While baking, sprinkle large dish towel with powdered sugar. Remove cake immediately from pan to towel. Remove wax paper and roll cake in towel. Cool with seam side down

Mix cream cheese and butter (both should be room temperature)) until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. When cake cools, unroll and spread with cream cheese mixture. Roll again and cool overnight

Monday, October 13, 2008

Homemade Corn Dogs

Not the best picture, but trust me, read on....
I found this on My kids love corndogs, but we were out of them in the freezer. I had heard they were very easy and they were! These were delicious! At least as good as the frozen (and cheaper)! They are simple to make as is, but if you want it even easier, omit the "batter" portion and mix a box of Jiffy corn bread mix as directed and it would be the same thing. One important note- they will brown too quickly if the oil is too hot- that is why mine look so dark, the oil was too hot- but they were still good! Just watch the oil temp.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk

Other Ingredients:
small amount of corn starch
1 Quart Vegi oil for frying
1-2 pkgs hotdogs (depending on how thick you put better on- I used about 1 1/2 packs
wooden skewers or popsicle sticks

1-Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk.
2-Preheat oil in a deep saucepan over meidum heat. Insert wooden skewers into hotdogs. Roll hotdogs first in cornstarch (helps hold on the batter) then roll in batter until well coated.
3- Fry 2-3 corndogs at a time for 8-10 min (I had the oil too high- it took, like, 2 minutes...) or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Creepy-Crawly Cupcakes...

Oh my these are adorable. I picked up the 'all you' magazine in the grocery line the other day when I saw these cupcakes on the cover. So adorable and great for a Halloween party or a bug party. Cook and frost cupcakes with whatever recipe you desire, and then decorate.

Use a Ferrero Rondnoir candy for body and an almond M&M for head. Pipe 2 dots of icing onto M&M and attach 2 M&M's Minis as eyes. Pipe icing as pupils and legs.

Place six peanut M&M's on cupcake for the body and head. Pipe icing on top of five and attach one M&M's Mini to each. Pipe two dots and attach two M&M's Minis to the head as eyes. Pipe icing as pupils and legs.

Use a colorful malted-milk ball for body and an almond M&M for head. Pipe two dots of icing onto almond M&M and attach two M&M's Minis as eyes. Pipe icing as pupils and legs

Use a malt ball for body and a peanut M&M for head. Pipe icing onto M&M and attach 2 M&M's Minis as eyes. Pipe icing for pupils. Cut two pieces of Haribo Gummy Sour Fruity Pasta to make wings.

Use a chocolate-covered cherry for body and a peanut M&M for head. Use icing to attach M&M's Minis as eyes and to make pupils. Pipe a line and six dots on body. Top dots with M&M's Minis. Pipe icing for legs.

Use five peanut M&Ms for body and an almond M&M for head. Pipe icing on head and attach two M&M's Minis as eyes; pipe icing as pupils and to attach M&M's Minis to peanut M&M's. Use Good & Plenty as legs.

Place a Circus Peanut candy in center of cupcake. Pipe two dots of icing at one end and attach two M&M's Minis as eyes. Pipe icing on M&M's Minis as pupils. Pipe icing all around Circus Peanut as legs.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chicken Enchilada soup


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 can diced green chilis
1 clove garlic, minced
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup masa harina
3 cups water, divided
1 cup enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

In a large pot over medium heat, cook chicken breasts in oil until well browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Cook onion and garlic and diced green chilis in remaining oil until onions are translucent. Pour in chicken broth.
In a bowl, whisk together masa harina and 2 cups water until well blended. Pour into pot with remaining 1 cup water, enchilada sauce, Cheddar, salt, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil.
Shred cooked chicken and add it to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, until thickened.

This soup was really good. I served with extra cheese, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro on top.

My 3 year old ate three bowls.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Snowman Doughnuts...

I love these. I found them on Skip to my Lou I will definately be making these every year for Santa!!! Adorable.

white powdered doughnuts
candy corn
candy eyes

Beef Enchiladas....

Pioneer Woman

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large (28-ounce) can enchilada or red sauce
2 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a past, cooking for 1 minute. Pour in other red sauce, chicken broth, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 to 45 minutes.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 4-ounce cans diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
Brown meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

10 to 14 corn tortillas
½ cup canola oil
Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas oil until soft, not crisp—about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

Sauce (above)
Meat (above)
Tortillas (above)
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped black olives
1 cup chopped green onions
½ cup chopped cilantro
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out.
Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until bubble. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over enchiladas before serving.

***these were so yummy. I generally make chicken enchiladas but these were a nice treat. I didn't put the extra cilantro on top, but we really enjoyed these! For step by step pictures, visit here

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Swedish Oatmeal Pancakes

Mix and let stand overnight in the fridge:
2 c. old fashioned oats
2 c. buttermilk

In the morning add and mix:
1/2 c. flour
2 TB sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. melted butter, cooled

Add more buttermilk if too thick. Drop 2 TB onto hot griddle for each pancake. Serve with applesauce or berries and sour cream.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Peanut Butter Pie

Freshly prepared...

After it was nearly devoured!...
Simple, easy, and so yummy!

1 9" deep dish frozen pie crust

1/2 to 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 small pkg vanilla "cook and serve" pudding

1 small tub cool whip

-Bake pie crust as directed. Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter using dough blender until it looks like cornmeal. Press mixture into cooled pie crust **Save a small amount to sprinkle on top of pie**

-Prepare pudding as directed on bod. Pour into pie shell wile hot. Let sit 15 minutes before refrigerating.

-Chill 3 hours.

-Top with cool whip and garnish with left over mixture.

Easy, huh? You will not be disappointed in this one- it is heaven sent!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mexican Rollup

Mexican Rollup
The Biggest Loser

1/4 pound Jennie-O extra lean ground turkey or extra lean ground beef
1 whole wheat flour, low carb tortilla (7 1/2")
1 tablespoons fat free sour cream
1/3 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/3 cup seeded, chopped tomato
2 tablespoons thick and chunky salsa

Brown turkey (or beef) in a medium pan on medium heat. When browned transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. (if desired spike the meat with 1 1/2 teaspoons with Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning or other salt free Mexican seasoning. Mix it in the meat before you start to brown it.)

Return the pan to medium heat. Place the tortilla in the pan. Cook for 30 seconds per side, or until warmed. Transfer to a serving plate.

Spread sour cream evenly over 2/3s of the tortilla. Scatter turkey over the sour cream. Top with the lettuce, tomato and salsa. Roll the tortill tightly and serve.

Makes 1 serving
Per serving: 234 calories, 34 g protein, 14 g carbs, 4 g fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 5 g fat, 582 mg sodium

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rachel Ray Apple Cheddar Burgers

Poultry seasonings, granny smith apple, cranberry sauce, mustard and hamburgers? Really strange combination, huh? Indeed. And equally delicious. (Don't worry HC police, I made it a few weeks ago.) :)


2 pounds ground turkey breast
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 apple, such as granny smith, cut into 12 slices
8 slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
4 sandwich-size english muffins, split and toasted
8 leaves red- or green-leaf lettuce

(I used turkey vs beef and didn't use the scallions and they were still great.)


1. In a bowl, combine the turkey, scallions, parsley, grill seasoning and poultry seasoning. Form into 4 patties, pressing your thumb into the center of each to prevent it from bulging.

2. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook for 6 minutes on each side for medium. Top each with 3 apple slices and 2 cheese slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the cranberry sauce and mustard; slather on the muffin tops. Pile 2 lettuce leaves on each muffin bottom, top with the patties and set the muffin tops into place.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Southwestern Veggie Wraps

1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (or you could substitute with garlic powder)
1 TB olive oil
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c. fresh/frozen corn, thawed
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 coarsely chopped zucchini
2/3 c. + 2 TB water, divided
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cornstarch
flour tortillas
sour cream

In a large non-stick skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. (If using garlic powder wait to add with other spices).

Stir in beans, corn, red pepper, zucchini, 2/3 c. water, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Combine cornstarch and 2 TB water until smooth, stir into skillet. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.

Spoon about 2/3 c. down the center of each tortilla. Top with salsa and sour cream. Roll up. 6 servings.

Peach Cobbler

Here is a recipe for a delicious peach cobbler. Still pretty basic, but it makes a difference and we love it.

6 peaches - sliced (or whatever fruit you want)
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter
1/2 can Fresca

Place the sliced peaches in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamin and sugar (your preference). Pour cake mix over the top. Slice butter and lay it on the top of the cake mix. Pour between 1/4 to 1/2 can of Fresca. Bake in the oven for 30 mins at 350 degrees. Serve with vanilla ice cream. I promise you won't have any leftovers.

I know most people probally aready make this, but the fresca just adds the moisture and flavor!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pineapple Cake....

I made this cake today for a baby shower. It was delicious and is so easy to make!! Enjoy!

Yellow cake mix
Small package vanilla instant pudding
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
16 oz crushed pineapple
8 oz cool whip

In 9x13 inch pan bake cake mix according to package directions. Let cool completely.

Mix pudding per package directions. Mix cream cheese into pudding until smooth.

Layer pudding mixture on top of cooled cake. Next layer the pineapple and then top with the cool whip.

Refrigerate over night or for several hours.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Butternut Squash

I have 2 ways of cooking this. It is one of our favorite vegetables.

Cut squash in half length wise and scoop out seeds (like a pumpkin).
Place halves , cut side up, in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dot with margarine or butter. (Especially get it into the depression where the seeds were. Pour water into dish until 1/4 in. deep. Cover and bake 400 deg oven 30-40 min. 350 deg oven 40 min. or 325 deg oven for 45 min.

Pierce squash several times with knife and microwave for 4-6 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut in half and remove seeds. Arrange halves cut side down on plate. Cover and microwave 5-8 minutes or until squash is tender.

After the squash is cooked scoop out insides from rind. Insides should be fork tender and mashable. Add salt pepper, and lots of butter. Mash. I sometimes use brown sugar instead of salt and pepper.

If squash is not tender enough stick back into microwave until tender.

Garlic Carrots (Reply to Veggie Request)

I don't have a picture because I haven't made it super recently, but wanted to post this for you (and anyone else interested). These are super easy and taste very yummy! A great way to jazz up basic cooked carrots. I got it years ago from a Quick Cooking magazine and have made them several times.

1 lb. baby carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP olive or vegi oil (I use olive)
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
dash pepper

In a skillet, saute carrots and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Add water, salt, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 8-12 minutes or until carrots are tender.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Veggie Requests

By now many of you know of my aversion to vegetables. Since Rich is starting this Healthy Competition with Katie again I thought I'd ask for your favorite veggie recipes so that I can help him out.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fish Tacos....

Fish Tacos
From For the Love of Cooking

Fish Marinade:
2-3 fillets of halibut, cod or tilapia
Zest of one lime
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Combine ingredients in a zip lock bag and marinate for at least 1 hour. Note: Don't add lime juice to marinade because the acid from the juice will cook the fish.

Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of paprika and oregano
1 tsp olive oil
Remove fish from zip lock and place on a plate. Season to taste with salt, pepper, oregano and a bit of paprika on both sides. Heat olive oil in a skillet, once hot add fish and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until tender and flaky.

Cilantro and Lime Cole Slaw Salad:

2 cups of green cabbage shredded (or buy the bagged cole slaw mix with carrots)
1/2 - 1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Make this salad right before you serve the tacos so it stays crunchy. Combine all ingredients until mixed thoroughly.

Sour Cream Sauce:

1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
Stir until combined thoroughly.

Other Ingredients:

Corn or Flour tortillas
Cotija cheese, grated
Cilantro & Lime Cole Slaw Salad
Sour cream sauce
Cook tortillas (dry) in a hot pan for 45-60 seconds on each side. You want them soft & pliable. Top the tortillas with fish, cilantro & lime cole slaw salad, cheese, guacamole & sour cream sauce. Enjoy.

***I made these tonight and love them. It seems that most fish taco recipes have fried fish, these were nice and light because they weren't fried. The only thing I would change next time is to only use 1/2 of a lime juiced for the coleslaw, I used a whole one this time and it was too much.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Improving Salsa

I love and prefer homemade salsa as much as the next girl. But really, how often do we actually make homemade salsa? For me it's like two or three times a year. Not nearly as often as I like. But I've recently discovered a trick to improving the sorry excuse for salsa that comes from a jar. And it only takes about 5 minutes.

In a blender, blend
  • one jar of salsa
  • one can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 a purple onion
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro...I plop it in...stems and all
  • juice from one lime
  • about two tablespoons sugar
  • dash of salt
Certainly not homemade salsa, but definitely enjoyable.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ice Cream and Fruit Dinner

Vanilla Ice Cream
Favorite Fruits
This is one of Kevin's families traditional meals. Most people think I'm crazy when I tell them we have this for dinner, but if you need something light maybe after a huge lunch this works great. And the kids think they are in heaven. You can also serve french bread to make it feel more substantial.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Taco Stuffed Shells......

Taco Stuffed Shells
The Blog Chef

1lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 4 once package cream cheese
12 large pasta shells
1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 cup Monterey jack cheese (shredded)
1 ½ cups tortilla chips (crushed)
3 green onions (chopped)
1 cup sour cream

Step 1: In a fry pan cook ground beef and add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and allow to fully cool. While burger is cooking cook the pasta shells, drain and toss well with butter.
Step 2: Pour salsa in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Step 3: Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish and cover the tops of the shells with taco sauce.
Step 4: Cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Step 5: After 30 minutes, uncover, and sprinkle crushed chips and shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses on top. Cook for about 15 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, additional salsa, black olives or whatever you think goes good with tacos!

We really enjoyed these!!! They were so yummy. The only thing that I am going to change next time is to put the chips on after everything is cooked. Baking it with the chips on it gave the chips a weird time I will add the cheese's and bake and then put the chips on when serving.

I put olives on it and sour cream after cooking and they were so good!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Does anyone have a great strawberry shortcake recipe? Strawberries are such a good deal this week that I want to make some! And while I'm at it... do you have any other delicious strawberry ideas?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

berries, cream and sugar

Okay, so this may be absolutely disgusting to some of you and it's probably not healthy at all... but it reminds me of my childhood. It's not really even a recipe--but here goes. Cut up your favorite berries (growing up we would use boysenberries), add a dollop of sour cream, then sprinkle with brown sugar. I like to mix it all up so that the berries are covered. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rotisserie Chicken Salad....

This isn't a recipe...but was so dang good I had to post about it. My sister told me about Costco's rotisserie chicken salad. I went and purchased it today along with some croissants to make sandwiches. After a few bites, I had to take a picture to share. This is really good on a croissant with tomato on it, but is even extremely tasty by itself! Go buy it, it is the best!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fruit Kabobs

So this really isn't a recipe. Not much different than your average fruit salad. And even still, not very original. But last night, I put our fruit salad on sticks. It was a great trick for getting kids excited about fruit. Even Reid, my non-fruit eater, ate a whole fruit kabob of fruit he usually won't even try. There's something about putting it on a stick that made it fun.

  • chop your favorite fruit
  • slide it on a stick
  • sprinkle a little sugar on top
  • convince your kids to eat it

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crunchy Sweet N Sour Chicken.....

These are soooo good. Make them and your family will be happy. My hubby asked for seconds, then about 1 hour later, asked me to make him more. Very yummy.

Crispy Sweet and Sour Chicken
from Stephanie's Kitchen

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
Oil for frying

For the batter:
1 cup pancake mix
1 cup water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
jar of sweet and sour sauce for dipping (la choy brand is awesome)

Mix together! It should be about the same consistency as a regular pancake batter.

Heat oil hot enough that when you place a wooden spoon into the oil, it begins to bubble. Dip chicken pieces into the batter and than place gently into hot oil. Cook until lightly browned. Place onto paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dump Cake

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 box yellow cake mix
walnuts (optional)
1 stick margarine

Preheat oven to 350. In 9x13 pan dump in cherry pie filling and undrained pineapple. Mix well.
Pour on top dry cake mix. Cut up margarine in squares and put on top of cake mix. Put walnuts on top. Cook until browned on top. 20-30 min. Serve warm with Ice cream.

I lived on this when pregnant. Very easy to make and tastes great warmed up with ice cream leftover.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mini Farfalle with Tomatoes and Corn

This was fun, easy, and very tasty! I love the tiny little pastas!

1 box Barilla Piccolini Mini Farfalle

2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with green peppers and garlic

1 can corn (drained)

1 cup Parmesan cheese

4 basil leaves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Put tomatoes and corn in skillet and heat on medium while pasta cooks according to directions on box. Season tomatoes and corn with salt and pepper. Drain pasta after cooking and add to tomato/corn mixture in skillet. Stir in cheese and basil just before serving. (I also added 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella to it).

You could add cooked chicken very easily, too!
I found the recipe on the back of the box, and modified it for us- so this is our version.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rasberry Lemonade Mosaics....

This is a great dessert that is non fat and is low in calories, super yummy, and looks so pretty!!

Raspberry Lemonade Mosaics
from the Biggest Loser Cookbook

2 cups cold water
1 box (4 packets weighing 1 ounce total) unflavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 tub (.3 ounce) crystal light raspberry lemonade sugar free mix
1 tub (.3 ounce) crystal light lemonade sugar free mix
4 tablespoons fat free whipped topping (optional)
4 raspberries (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cold water with the gelatin. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir, then add the boiling water. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour half of the mixture into each of the 8x8 glass baking dishes. Add the raspberry lemonade mix to one dish. Whisk to dissolve. Add the lemonade mix to the remaining dish. Whisk to dissolve. Let stand for 15 minutes to cool.

Cover both dishes with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 5 hours, or until firm.

Cut each dish of gelatin into 1" cubes. Arrange alternate layers of lemonade and raspberry lemonade cubes in each of 4 martini or white wine glasses. Top each with 1 tablespoon whipped topping and a raspberry, if desired. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerat for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings
per serving: 43 calories, 6 g protein, 0g carbs, 0 fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg fiber, 14 mg sodium