Monday, March 31, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a recipe that's good-but anyone have one to die for? One that Americans serving in Ghana and haven't had cookies in over a year-would really really like? Thanks.

Traci, I'm adding a "requests" title. Is this okay? If not, please delete or let me know and I'll delete.

Spinach Artichoke Dip



1 pkg. frozen spinach thawed
1 jar marinated artichokes, chopped
8 oz. Philly cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 stick butter
red pepper flakes to taste

Sauté onions in butter, adding ingredients while mixing and blending well after each addition. Add ingredients in this order: Spinach, Cream Cheese, Sour Cream, Parmesan Cheese, Artichoke Hearts, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
Remove from heat and put in crocks or microwave dish. Top with Monterey Jack Cheese and melt.

Serve hot with chips or bread.

May also add Mozzarella Cheese on top and lightly brown.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Request for Mac and Cheese Recipes

On this website there is another mac and cheese recipe. It looks super easy and tasty. Scroll down and it is in the middle of the page. Let us know how the mac and cheese thing turns out. Good luck!:)

Pepita Crusted Cheddar Jack Southwest Chicken Mac

Pepita Crusted Cheddar Jack Southwest Chicken Mac
Recipe courtesy Jenny Flake, Gilbert, AZ

1 pound dry elbow pasta noodles
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed
2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes with green chiles, mild version
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups shredded medium Cheddar
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
1/2 cup shredded smoked Cheddar
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 cup coarsely ground roasted salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add dry elbow pasta to boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes or until al dente, drain and reserve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add chicken, cilantro, salt, cumin, pepper and tomatoes; saute for 3 to 4 more minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Remove from heat and whisk in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Place back on medium-high heat, slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil while continuously whisking. Reduce heat and stir in Cheddar, Monterey Jack, smoked Cheddar and cream cheese until melted and smooth. Stir in cooked elbow noodles and chicken mixture. Pour mac and cheese mixture into a greased 3 quart casserole dish. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter and bread crumbs. Toss to coat and sprinkle crumbs and pepitas over top of mac and cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crumbs browned. Enjoy!
* Well I haven't made this yet. I made the chicken part for the taquitos that I posted on here and it was sooooo good. I'm sure this is great. I will try it this week and let you know.
* Found the recipe off of

Friday, March 28, 2008

BLT Pasta Salad

My sister Kati is an extremely picky person to please....especially when it comes to food. She came over for dinner one night and I had made this pasta salad with dinner. She loved it, we all did.
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 min
Cook Time: 19 min
Servings: 8
  • 1 (16 ounce) box whole-wheat pasta, shells or macaroni
  • 6 strips bacon
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1 cup bacon-flavored ranch dressing

Bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil; add pasta and cook 9 minutes, until just tender. Drain and rinse under cold water until pasta reaches room temperature. Place into a large bowl. Cover and set aside.

Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon into pasta.

Add tomatoes to pasta. Cut lettuce leaves in half lengthwise, then roll into a tight cigar; slice into 1/2 inch shreds and add to pasta. Add mozzarella to pasta.

In a separate bowl, combine pesto and dressing. Pour over pasta and stir to coat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, until chilled. Enjoy!

Easy Mac and Cheese Muffins....

Amanda....I got this recipe out of the ALLRECIPES.COM top recipe magazine. I haven't tried it, but it was a category finalist in the category of "kid pleaser recipes". Its kind of a cool idea because kids can eat it with their hands!!
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 38 min
Servings: 12
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 12, 1/2 cup muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook elbow macaroni in boiling water. Drain and return to the saucepan. Stir in the butter and the egg.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, oil and salt. Mix and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine milk, and 1 cup of each of the cheeses and the macaroni mixture. Pour the macaroni mixture into the prepared muffin tins. Top with the remaining cheeses and then the bread crumb mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, or until topping is nicely browned.
  • Let me know if you end up using this how it turns out!!! ** the magazine said that these are a great option to send with your kids in their lunchboxes!

Looking for Mac & Cheese recipe

Hey Everyone!

My son, Jacob, turns 5 next Sunday and we are having family over. His request for dinner? Macaroni and Cheese. I hate to make Kraft mac & ch with family coming over, though, honestly, he would eat it better than homemade most likely. However, does anyone have a good homemade mac and cheese recipe- maybe that has been successful with your kids & adults? Thanks for your help!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Indoor S'mores

This recipe is from the back of the "Golden Grahams" box. **Note: The recipe below is as written on the box. I didn't have any corn syrup and I got the idea to substitute with Peanut Butter (same amount). They were SO GOOD and I highly recommend making them with peanut butter. I took them to a play group today.

8 cups Golden Grahams cereal (basically one 12 oz box)
6 cups mini marshmallows, divided (basically one whole bag)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (I used a whole bag)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 TBSP butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Measure cereal into a large bowl. In a double boiler, put 5 cups marshmallows, chocolate, corn syrup and butter and melt together. When melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal and toss/stir to coat. Stir in 1 cup marshmallows. Press mixture into a greased 9 X 13 pan with a greased spatula. Let stand at least one hour or refrigerate for a firmer bar. Cut into 24 bars and ENJOY!!!

I forgot to take a picture until afterward and what you see in the picture above is all that was left!

Nutritional Info: (I know, you don't really want to know....) 1 bar: 180 calories, 6 g. fat, 0 fiber.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Speedy Salsa and Chicken Quesadilla

Thank Heavens for Kraft recipes. My daughter has been sick all day and I was searching for something quick, easy and yummy to fix for dinner. I found this off of another blog but it is originally off of It was so easy and surprisingly really good!

1/2 cup thick 'n chunky salsa
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. chili powder
8 flour tortillas
3 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut up
1 cup Kraft mexican style shredded four cheese

Combine salsa, sour cream, and chili powder. Spread evenly on bottom halves of tortillas. Top with chicken and cheese.
Fold tortillas in half to enclose filling
Cook in skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat 4-5 min on each side or until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut each quesadilla into three wedges to serve.

*The recipe actually calls for 2 Tbsp. miracle whip dressing instead of sour cream, but it was recommended on the other blog to use sour cream! So I used sour cream and it was great.
**I also served it with sour cream on the side to dip the quesadilla in.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chocolate Mousse

I made this for Rich's birthday this year. He loves it... and although it is time consuming it is pretty easy.

4 egg yolks
¼ c. sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 pkg. (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 c.)
1 ½ c. heavy whipping cream

Beat yolk in small bowl with electric mixer on high about 3 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar.

Heat 1 c. whipping cream in 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until hot. Gradually stir at least half of the hot whipping cream into egg yolk mixture; stir back into hot cream in saucepan. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly; until mixture thickens (do not boil). Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled.

Beat 1 ½ c. cream in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high until stiff. Fold chocolate mixture into cream. Pipe or spoon mixture into serving bowls. Immediately refrigerate any remaining dessert after serving.

I like to garnish it with a fanned strawberry.

Taco Seasoning Mix

This is from a Quick Cooking magazine I got several years ago. I haven't bought Taco Seasoning Mix since. Tacos have become one of my kids favorite dish, so I make it about once a week, since it is something they will eat well. It is very good. You just mix the seasonings together and store in a small tupperware dish. I just keep it in the cupboard with my other seasonings. One batch is good for about 4 lbs. of taco meat.

Mix following seasonings together:
2 Tbsp. chili powder
5 tsp. paprika
4 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 tsp. onion powder
3 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

To make Tacos with ground beef:
Brown and drain 1 lb. ground beef. Add 2/3 cup water and 8 tsp. of the above mix. (Store the rest in an air tight container until the next taco night.) Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer about 5 min.

Other notes:
I use this with shredded chicken as well. Just cook and shred chicken and follow directions above. Or, I have also done it with sliced chicken or steak. Then I just sprinkle the seasonings on while I am cooking the meat without adding water. This can also be used in any recipe calling for taco seasoning. Enjoy!!

7 Layer Salad

This yummy recipe is from my step-mother-in-law. She is asked to make it at just about all family gatherings. I started making it for my family and they request it from me frequently, including for Easter dinner today. It makes a very large bowl, but can easily be scaled down. Also, the dressing makes quite a bit- which our families like it that way. If you prefer less dressing, simply scale down as desired.

1 cup Hellman's Mayo (regular or light)
1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
1 Tbsp. prepared yellow mustard

Mix together and put on bottom of a very large bowl. Add the following ingredients on top of the dressing as follows:

frozen peas (about 1/2 bag)
1 green pepper, chopped
2 bundles green onion, chopped
celery- a few stalks, chopped
2 heads lettuce (any type- I prefer romaine)-torn
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Right before serving, toss with salad tools to mix veggies and dressing together. It looks prettier before tossed, but tastes excellent after it is tossed! Enjoy!


Hi Everyone,
I have started a recipe blog with just recipes I have made. It is I started this recipe blog with just these recipes I have made because at some point when I get alot of recipes on it I am going to send in for a recipe book with all these recipes. So I hope you enjoy.
Nicole :)

Strawberry Brownie Medley

This is so yummy and super easy to make!! Simply bake a 8 X 8 pan of your favorite double chocolate brownie mix ( I chose Ghiraldeli). Cut those, after cooled into cubes. Layer those in bottom of clear bowl. Next put fresh strawberries all over it. Top that with Chocolate Pudding, (already made and set). Top with Cool Whip. Do it all over again, but top final with huge dollop of Cool Whip (I use the light).
Easy, breezy, beautiful...that is it!
I have done this with fresh raspberries too- just make it up as you go along- you really can't mess this one up!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Beef Pot Roast Tostada

vegetable oil
corn tortillas
refried beans
leftover pot roast
garlic salt
1 avacado
sour cream
Pace Salsa
lemon juice
salt and pepper
Put the avacado cut up in the bowl and smash it up. Then add about 1 TBS of sour cream. 1 TBS of salsa, a couple leaves of cilantro 4-5 drops of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Yummy!
Directions for Tostada:
Shred up your pot roast and put it into a pan. Heat it up and season it up with garlic salt and some pepper. Then place some oil in the pan and heat it up. Add the tortilla in the pan and fry the tortilla till it is crisp. Take it out and dab off the oil. Then start adding up your ingredients on your tostada.
* Leftover night was so yummy. It really was really good.

Cinnamon Cheesecake Swirled Blondies

6 TBS butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Hershey's Brand Cinnamon Chips (optional, white chocolate chips or walnuts would be good as well)

Cinnamon Cheesecake Swirl
5 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon (more or less to taste)
2 TBS flour
1 tsp pure Vanilla
1 egg yolk

In bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, flour and vanilla beat until smooth. Add egg yolk and beat just until combined. Set aside.Preheat oven to 350.Line an 8x8 pan with foil and lightly spray with PAM.In a large microwave safe mixing bowl melt the butter. Allow to cool for 5 mintues.Mix the brown sugar with the melted butter and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour baking powder and cinnamon.Mix in Cinnamon Chips and/or nuts or other chips (if using)Pour into prepared pan and use a greased spatula to evenly spread mixture in pan and level the top. Dollup cinnamon cream cheese mixture over blondie batter in pan.Run a knife through the blondie and cheesecake layers to create a pattern or swirls.Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until set in the middle. (I baked for 27 minutes)Cool on rack before cutting.

Beef Pot Roast

1 (12-ounce) bag frozen onions
1 (8-ounce) bag frozen baby carrots
1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
1/2 pound small new potatoes, halved
4 pounds beef chuck roast, rinsed and patted dry
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup
1 packet onion soup mix
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup steak sauce

Into a slow cooker, put the onions, carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes. Season the roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the meat on all sides in oil. When it is browned, put it in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables. In a small bowl, stir together the cream of celery soup, onion soup mix, beef broth, and steak sauce. Pour over top of roast. Cover and cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours.

* This picture doesn't do it justice. It was good and even better that it was done in the crock pot.
* I got the recipe off of Sandra Lee Semi Homemade

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

We love this chicken tortilla soup. Last time I made it for some friends, they ended up taking all our leftovers home with them! Its really easy and I love the black beans and hominy in it! (note: hominy is either found in the spanish isle or in the canned veggie isle)

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup whole kernal corn
  • 1 cup white hominy
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chili peppers
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into pieces
  • tortilla chips
  • monterey jack cheese

In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlice in oil until soft. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to boil and simmer 5-10 minutes.

Stir in the corn, hominy, chiles, beans, cilantro, and cooked chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with monterey cheese and serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

BEST CUPCAKES EVER! I love these, but only eat them once a year. I meant to post this earlier so you could all enjoy them today. Sorry.

1 3/4 cup flour
1 small instant pistachio pudding mix (3.4 oz)
1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and fill muffin cups 1/2 full.

Bake at 375 for 18-20 min.

Top with cream cheese frosting and green sprinkles.

Makes about 2 dozen.

They're magically delicious!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Apple Dumplings


Pioneer Womans

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

** Oh Mercy this is the best dessert ever. I've died and gone to heaven. I loved this appley buttery goodness so much.
** I halved the recipe though because it was just Brach and I eating it.
** I got the recipe from the recipe is in the middle of the page. You can look at every step she does. Good stuff though. YUMMY!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Easy Sausage Tortellini Soup

The first time I made this soup ( a few months ago)... Cameron's response was "you should share this recipe with all of your friends". He loved it. I then gave the recipe to my mom and my dad is obsessed with it now. Its is super easy to make and tastes really good. I generally make it with some home made drop biscuits, but when I am stressed for time I just buy store bought! Enjoy!

  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14 ounce) package uncooked cheese tortellini (buy the refrigerated type in the cheese isle)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • grated parmesan cheese

Brown the sausage over medium heat in a dutch oven or soup pot. Drain fat and return sausage to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Serve with Parmesan cheese!

Toffee Crunch Cookies

1 cup real butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar, light
1 Cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

2 Cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 10 oz bag toffee candy bits (I used the Heath brand that was chocolate covered)
1 Cup chocolate chips

1 Cup oatmeal
1 Cup sweetened flake coconut
1 Cup chopped almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat the eggs slightly then add to butter mixture and mix well. Sift flour, salt and baking soda; then add slowly to the moist ingredients and mix well. Mix in toffee bits, chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut and nuts until just combined.
2. Drop dough by the teaspoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are just golden brown
* These were a good. They will be really good with a tall cup of milk.
* I didn't put the almonds in and some people suggested using parchment paper (not wax paper) underneath the cookies because they kinda stick to the cookie sheet a little.

"Cafe Rio Chicken" Salad

I put Traci's Cafe Rio Chicken in a taco salad for playgroup today. It was a HUGE hit! Everyone left with the recipe after eating seconds and thirds. Thanks Traci! Plus who can beat a crockpot meal? I made it hours before so those final frantic moments before people arrived, I could clean.

I put the chicken in a salad with shredded lettuce, tomotoes, purple onion, cilantro, and corn.

I served it with tortilla chips and sour cream.

It was divine!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich

2 to 3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that’s been extra-tenderized
1 large onion OR 2 small/medium onions
4 French/Deli rollsButter, man
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Worcestershire Sauce
-Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.
-Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.
-Heat 2 TBSP butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown.
-Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.
-Add 1/2 (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 TBSP butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.
-Butter halved French rolls and brown on skillet.
-To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonfull of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!And go get on the Stairmaster. Now.
**this is where I got the recipes
** Oh My Goodness. I thought this sandwich was great. Not for those on a diet. But so good.
** I added mushrooms in with my onions and put monterey jack cheese on it. Don't put too much Tabasco sauce on either.
* I didn't get to take a picture because we ate it up too quick. It looks just like how my sandwich looked though.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tempting Shredded Chicken Taquitos


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper
2 cups cooked, then shredded chicken breast
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

burrito size flour tortillas

1. In 10-inch non stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and jalapeno pepper; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken, 3 tablespoons cilantro, salt, cumin, pepper and tomatoes with green chilies; cook 5 minutes.2. Place oil into large skillet over medium heat. Place about 2 large Tablespoons of chicken mixture into each tortilla. Tightly roll, securing ends with toothpicks. In batches, place taquitos into hot pan. Pan fry until nice and golden brown on each side. Remove, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to dry. Serve and enjoy!
*I picked up this recipe off of another blog it is called I have not tried these yet but they do look so good. I will try them soon though.

Skillet Noodle Lasagna

1/2 pound wide egg noodles
1 container (1 pound) cottage cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen creamed spinach, thawed
1 jar (32 ounces) extra-meaty pasta sauce ( *Use whatever sauce you want)
1 package (8 ounces) shredded pizza cheese blend (mozzarella and cheddar)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cook noodles for 8 minutes, following package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix together cottage cheese and spinach.
3. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce over bottom of large (12-inch) skillet. Evenly arrange one-third of cooked noodles over sauce. Spoon half of remaining sauce over noodles. Top with another third of noodles. Spread cottage cheese mixture over noodles. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese blend over cottage cheese. Top with remaining noodles; spread with remaining sauce.
4. Cover skillet. Bring to rapid hard simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes.
5. Sprinkle remaining pizza cheese blend and grated Parmesan over top. Cover and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

** This meal is so fast and easy. I got it out of Family Circle magazine in 2003. I use to make this all the time when I came home from work. It was quick, easy and good. I served it with a salad and garlic bread of course.

Oreo Cookies

I LOVE THESE!! They are sooooo easy and tasty...great with a large cup of milk!!

1 pkg Devils food cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 can vanilla frosting (I use the cream cheese frosting)

Mix cake mix, oil and eggs together (will be thick). Shape into balls. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool. Frost one side of the cookie and then put the other cookie on top! Enjoy!

Chicken Croissants

Katie...You probably already have this recipe or one like it. When I was on my mission, this was something that we were fed a lot. They are super easy and if you are having a play group, they are good because they are easy to fix and to eat. Also, I posted a chinese chicken salad already that was dynamite! Hope this helps a little!

  • Croissant dough
  • cream cheese
  • green onions-chopped
  • cooked chicken- chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • lemon juice
  • bread crumbs
  • melted butter

Buy the pop-out cans of croissants. Make mixture of cream cheese, chopped green onions and chopped cooked chicken. Flavor with salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice. Put a rounded soup spoon full of mixture in each croissant. Roll up or fold up corners. Brush with melted butter and dip in bread crumbs and bake according to package ingredients.

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

I tried this from the fall 2007 Kraft Food and Family magazine- it was great, I thought, but I think next time I wouldn't use all of the package of spinach- it was a little much. My children ate just the chicken, but Dana and I ate it all!

I would make it again, for sure, but not for a little while- Dana says it's not in his "top 10"- whatever that means!

Chicken Parmesan Bundles

4 oz Cream cheese, softened

1pkg (10oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1 1/4 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese,divided

6 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided

6 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness

1 egg

10 Ritz crackers, crushed

1 /12 cups spaghetti sauce, heated

Preheat oven to 375. Mix cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 3 Tbsp of the parmesan cheese until wel blended; spread evenly onto chicken breasts. Starting at one of the short ends of each breast, roll up chicken tightly, secure with toothpick. Set aside

Beat egg in shallow bowl. Mix remaining 3 Tbsp parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken bundles in egg, then roll in crumb mixture. Place seam-side down in 13 x 9 baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove and discard toothpicks. Serve with the spaghetti sauce and 1/4 cup of remaining mozzarella cheese.

Makes 6 servings.

I have to say that it sounds like a lot of steps, but it is really fairly easy to do, and I even removed the toothpicks after I placed them in the pan. They held together just fine, and I increased the cooking to 35 minutes, just to be safe.


Playgroup Food

I'm hosting a playgroup on Wednesday and we do kind of a potluck thing...I make the main dish and everyone else brings sides or desserts. Does any one have any good ideas? Something easy that feeds 5-10 people would be great. I'm always busy cleaning before hand so I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. Some kind of chicken salad would be great. I hold playgroup monthly so I could use as many recipes as you girls have got.

Thanks everyone who contributes. I've tried at least one new recipe a week and so far, they do not disappoint. It's really helped me get out of my recipe rut. My husband is very happy. He even made Nicole's Amish bread. Especially thanks to Traci for getting this started.

Oreo Ice Cream Dessert

Requires no baking, yet people are always impressed. It ALWAYS goes over well.

about 2/3 pkg Oreo cookies
3 Tbs melted butter
1 gallon ice cream (I use mint...any kind that goes with chocolate should work)
chocolate syrup
1 container cool whip

Crush Oreos and mix with melted butter. Press into bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan.

Cover crushed Oreos completely with ice cream. (I open the entire gallon of ice cream and slice it.)

Cover ice cream completely with chocolate syrup. (I never use the whole could if you like lots of chocolate syrup.)

Cover chocolate syrup with cool whip.


How easy is that?

Chicken Tostados

A KRAFT recipe I got years ago...and I'm still lovin' it! It takes like 20-30 min. My kind of recipe!

6-8 corn tortillas
1 pkt taco seasoning
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (divided)
2 cups shredded cheddar (divided)
sour cream
chopped cilantro

PREHEAT oven to 400. Place tortillas in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Spray tortillas with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the taco seasoning mix. Bake 7-8 min or until crisp and golden brown. (I don't always sprinkle them with the mix...It's good, but doesn't make a huge difference...I like to take short cuts where I can.)

MEANWHILE, mix chicken, remaining seasoning mix and the water in large skillet. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 min or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of tomatoes. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/2 cups of cheese.

SPOON chicken mixture evenly over tortillas. Top with remaining cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and cilantro.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Just Like Cafe Rio Guacamole"

I am not sure if this is "just like Cafe Rio" , I don't remember what their guacamole tastes like! I got this recipe with the Cafe Rio chicken recipe and made it for the first time tonight with our tacos. It was really good, I am a sucker for avocados!!

  • 3 large avocados
  • 2 Tbl mayo
  • 2 Tbl mild chunky salsa
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt

Peel and mash avocados, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Put avocado pit in quacamole to prevent browning!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

BJ's Pizookie Anyone???

I found this amazingly simple and delicious recipe on the web and wanted to share it with all of you.
If you love warm chocolate chip cookies, this is the recipe for you.

2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

2. Combine all ingredients for cookie of your choice up to, but not including, the flour, in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth. Add flour and baking soda
and stir well by hand. Stir in remaining ingredients then press the dough into a small buttered pie pan, cake pan or 6-inch deep-dish pizza pan.

3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until cookie begins to brown. Cool for a minute or so, add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, and serve.

Serves 2 for dessert.

Yum!!!!! So good!!!!

Made from Scratch Ranch Dressing

If you are trying to diet, then this dressing is definitely not a good choice, unless of course you want to splurge.

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 Cup Mayo (full fat, real mayo...anything else Does NOT work)
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
3/4 tsp. Accent

Combine ingredients together in the above over and shake up.
Let it sit in the fridge for a least 30 minutes before serving.

**This recipes was give to me by my sister-in-law, thanks Kenna**

Tin Foil Dinners

These are so easy and very yummy! Especially if you use my Ranch Dressing Recipe.

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 40 min

Makes: Makes 4 servings, one packet each.
2 cups instant brown or white rice, uncooked
1-3/4 cups warm water
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves pre-cooked! (I cook mine with seasons for some added flavor)
1/4 cup Light Ranch Reduced Fat Dressing (or homemade Ranch is delicious too!)
1/2 cup Shredded Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Bag Microwaveable mixed vegetables.

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Put bag of vegetables in microwave to cook.Combine rice and water; let stand 5 min.
Spoon evenly onto centers of four large sheets of heavy-duty foil; top each with 1 chicken breast half.
Drizzle with dressing; top with cheese and vegetables.
BRING up foil sides. Double fold top and both ends to seal each packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
Place in single layer in 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
BAKE 20 minutes. Place one packet on each of four dinner plates.
Cut slits in foil with sharp knife to release steam before opening.
Cooking Know-How
To prevent rice from sticking to the foil, spray foil with cooking spray before using. Or, use nonstick foil

Friday, March 7, 2008


I got this recipe off the website where Jeanine got her "yummiest muffins" recipe. Tonight we had Camerons sister and her family over for dinner and thought this was a great idea. They were so good and neat because everyone gets to create their own. Definately a good dinner when you are having people over!

  • 1 package of dry, active yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablspoon olive oil
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

put yeast in one cup of warm water with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Then add the olive oil.

In a mixer mix together the flour with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar. With the motor on, pour in the yeast mixture and let the motor run until the dough comes together.

Take the dough out, form it into a ball and put it in a large, oiled bowl. Cover it and let it rise for one hour in a warm spot. Punch the dough down and divide it into four (or more if you want them smaller) balls. Put the balls on a greased cookie sheet and let them rise for 40 minutes. Then, on a slightly floured surface, roll the balls into circles with a rolling pin. Put the circles on an oiled cookie sheet and fill with toppings. Put toppings on one side of the dough and then fold the other side on top. Leave enough bare around the edges so you can seal the edges with a fork.

Put them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes-20 minutes. Take out when golden brown.


We used Italian sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, olives, fresh spinach leaves, and tomato sauce. The blog I got this recipe off of also recommended ricotta cheese, feta cheese, ham, red peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms....pretty much anything you want!!

These were super good and this recipe makes 4 large calzones. It was great, I made the dough before everyone came, then everyone filled their own and I threw them in the oven!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Banana Pancakes

I made these this morning and thought they were pretty yummy!!

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, oil and bananas.

Stir flour mixture into banana mixture, batter will be slightly lumpy.

Heat a lightly oil frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approx. 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides, serve hot!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Amish White Bread

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes
-This bread is so good. It turns out good every time.
* It says you need bread flour but I have used all purpose flour every time.
*Also this is more of a sweet bread so if you don't want it so sweet use less sugar. That's it :)
* When it comes out I put butter on the top. Yummy!
~recipe came from allrecipes.~

Yummiest Muffins

Okay, so these are some of the best muffins ever. I guess they are from Martha Stewart... but I found the recipe here.

In a large bowl, combine:
11 TB melted butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 c. plus 2 TB buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 TB orange zest

In another bowl, stir together:
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. wheat bran (I couldn't find it at my store so I used oat bran)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Stir the dry into the wet, then gently fold in:
1 1/2 cups berries (I 've used mixed frozen berries and frozen raspberries)

Spoon the batter into 18 muffin cups and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Grandma's Bran Muffins

My grandmother has been making these bran muffins for as long as I can remember. My grandpa eats one with breakfast every morning. He is 90 years old and in great health--maybe its these muffins!!

I always half this. It makes a lot!

6 cups Raisen Bran
5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons baking soda
extra raisens
Mix together in bowl with spoon

Add to mixture
1 cup oil
4 eggs beaten
1 quart buttermilk
1 small can crushed pineapple (drained)

Refrigerate overnight. Drop batter in muffin pans and bake at 370 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Okay, I know I just did one, but here is another. I just discovered this recipe a couple weeks ago on and have made them twice and they went so quickly each time.

This makes approximately 12 depending on size. I at least double it.

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese
1 cup pre-sifted all purpose flour
1 cup fruit preserves OR apple pie filling (w/ a bit of cinnamon added) OR Nutella spread with
some chopped nuts OR whatever strikes your fancy!
cinnamon & sugar mix (I do 1tsp cinnamon to 4 tsp sugar) OR powdered sugar
- your choice here, I read that the cinnamon is the "traditional" way- I have done both- very
yummy either way!

DAY BEFORE: Cream butter and cream cheese together until smoothly blended. Beat in the flour. Shape dough into a smooth ball, wrap in foil or cling wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to a week.

AT BAKING TIME: Remove dough from fridge at least 30 min. before using. When ready to start, preheat oven to 375 deg.

Roll chilled dough thin. Cut with 3 or 4 in round cookie cutter. Place a small spoonful of the filling you choose in the center of each round. (It really only takes a tiny bit or they are hard to fold, and will leak.) moisten edges with a bit of water.

Fold round over and press edges together. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 15- 20 min. (I used a pampered chef stone and it took a couple minutes longer.) Immediately roll in cinnamon mix or powdered sugar. (I meant for the above picture to be down here, but I am new to this- can't figure out how to move it. I copied if off the internet- it looks like it was made without being rolled in anything, but you get the idea.)


Garlic Lover's Chicken

Here is my first post... this is a favorite in our family. I got the recipe from a magazine and make it regularly.

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup milk
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. lemon juice

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first five ingredients. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken in milk, then shake in the crumb mixture. Place in a greased 13X9X2 dish. I like to press some of the left over crumb mixture into the top of the chicken. Combine the butter, garlic and lemon juice; drizzle over chicken. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 350 deg. for 25-30 min. or until juices run clear. (I find it usually takes a bit longer.) Nutrition info: 234 calories, 331 mg. sodium, 75 mg cholesterol, 8 gm carbs, 30 gm protein, 8 gm fat.