Friday, December 11, 2009

Homemade Marshmallows

These are perfect in your hot chocolate this time of year

1 1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
3 cups sugar
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (Knox brand)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Electric mixer with whisk attachment - Kitchen Aids work great

Combine 3/4 cup cold water and 4 packs of gelatin in mixing bowl and set aside.

Combine 3/4 cup water, sugar syrup, and salt in a pan. Cook over high heat stirring until sugar is dissolved and a rolling boil begins. Boil, without stirring, for 1 full minute or until temp is 238...this took me more than 1 minute. Slowly pour hot mixture into mixer on low speed. Gradully increase spead to high and mix (with whisk attachment) for 6 minutes. Slowly add extract and beat for 6 more minutes.

Pour into greased 9x13 pan and let sit at least 3 hours until set. cut into squares on a surface covered in powdered sugar and then toss in bowl to fully coat. ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cut-out Sugar Cookies

This is the best recipe I've ever is our old family favorite. We baked these for Santa every year. I ate more than Santa!
1/2 cup butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg. Sift flour soda and salt together. Mix into butter mixture. Dough will be stiff. Work with a small amount of dough at a time, roll out on floured wax paper about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.
Icing: 2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbs milk
1 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Mix and adjust amouts for desired thickness. Ice cookies.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crockpot Roast

I made this recipe up after checking out a few others and it turned out so very tasty!

1 3-4 lb boneless roast
1 cup beef broth (I didn't measure this either but had at least 1/2 a can)
1/4 to 1/3 cup red wine (I didn't measure)
salt and pepper
1 onion
1pkg ranch dip or dressing mix
1 pkg brown gravy mix
2 tbs oil
carrots (optional)
potatoes (optional)

Lightly flour and salt and pepper the roast. Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat and brown both sides of roast. Transfer to crock pot. Slowly add beef broth and wine to skillet and deglaze removing all the stuck on brown bits. Add both flavor packages to liquid mix and stir until combined. Pour over roast. Rough chop onion and and add to crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours and enjoy. I cooked the onions all day, but if you add carrots and potatoes it would be so good with the beef broth flavors but I wouldn't add until the last 2 hours. My mouth waters just thinking about it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sopapilla Cheesecake Dessert

This is so good, a must try...great warm or cold. THanks Amy for sharing the recipe and adding a few lbs to my hips!

2 softened 8 oz blocks cream cheese
2 cans crescent rolls
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs vanilla
1 stick butter
2 Tbs sugar combined with 1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used a little more)

Press one can of crescent rolls in a 9x13 baking dish. I just used my fingers to seal the seams.

Combined the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla with a mixer until smooth. Spread evenly over bottom layer of crescent rolls. Place 2nd layer of crescent rolls on top of cream cheese mixture, sealing the seams with your fingers before placing.

Melt butter and pour over top, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes in pre-heated oven.

Sarah's Crockpot Taco Chicken

My bff Sarah made this for me on my recent trip to Nashville to visit. It is soooo good and soooo easy. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing, but this is one you want to try.

1 pkg boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large jar salsa/picante (I used Medium Pace)
1 pkg low sodium taco seasoning

Mix 3 ingredients in crockpot and cook all day on low. The chicken will fall apart. Top with cheese and sour cream and you will be so happy you did.

I also think this would make super chicken enchilada filling.

Nieman Marcus Cake

Mix together:
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1 stick melted butter

Mix above together and pour into 9x13 inch greased and floured pan.

Mix together:
1 box powdered sugar
2 eggs
8 oz softened cream cheese
Pour onto other batter. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Granny Brown's Banana Pudding

1/3 cup flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 small can Evaporated Milk
2+ cups of milk (Measure 3 cups total including the Pet Milk)
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 bananas
Nilla Wafers

Combine the first three ingredients in a pan over the stove. Slowly stir in milk mixture(3 cups total). Cook over medium/med high stove for approx 20 minutes until thickened to the consistency of pudding. Do not boil. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Layer pudding, sliced bannas, and Nilla wafers, repeat and Enjoy!Store in the fridge.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Italian Chicken Pasta Bake and Alternative Chicken Enchiladas

Italian Chicken Pasta

1/2 cooked chicken
1 1/2 - 2 cups small pasta - macaroni or small shells (I use the whole wheat pasta these days)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes (diced tomatoes with juice can also be used but the fire roasted have really good flavor)
1 can roasted garlic flavored tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup Italian cheese blend- or mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbs butter
salt and pepper

You will need to begin by boiling a chicken..this recipe only uses 1/2. Boil your chicken and add whatever flavors you like to flavor your chicken..I used whatever I have, onions, lemons, celery, carrots. Debone chicken move on to preparing the rest of the dish.

Cook pasta for 5-6 minutes until just tender, drain and set aside. Pour olive oil in saute pan and cook onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes until tender. Add crushed tomatoes and sauce and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in noodles and cooked chicken followed by 1 cup of cheese. Pour combined mixture into buttered baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan(fresh is best) and sprinkle over top. Cut 2 tbs butter into small bits and scatter over breadcrumbs. Baked at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Another Chicken Enchilada Recipe

1/2 cooked chicken
1 pkg cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz salsa - Pace or whatever you have. I used Arriba Fire Roasted salsa from Costco...if you care :)
flour tortillas - I used HEB homemade ones...I do not like regular grocery store tortillas, but they would probably be fine too.
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 tbs oil
1/2 pkg fresh mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp cumin (optional)
1/8 tsp comino (optional)
3/4 lb Velveeta
1/4 cup milk

Begin by cooking the chopped bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms in oil over medium heat until tender. Meanwhile, melt cream cheese over low heat and then add soup and 1/2 the salsa. Add spices and stir to combine. Add cooked veggies to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.

To make your enchiladas, take a flour tortilla and add chopped chicken topped with cream cheese mixture. Roll and place in greased baking dish seam down. Repeat. Melt Velveeta over low heat and add milk to make a creamy cheese sauce. Pour over enchiladas and cover with foil sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Pour remaining salsa over the top and serve HOT.

Note: I did not use all the cream cheese sauce. I had about 1/3 left. It tastes pretty good on chips as a dip if you don't want it to go to waste. Or go ahead and use it all in your enchiladas by either using more chicken and making more enchiladas or putting alot of sauce in each. I hesitated to do this so they wouldn't be too rich. They were still moist and tasty without using it all. Hey, you go wild and see what happens....hopefully you will like the results as I did.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fried Pickles and Fried Shrimp-deep fried delight!

Tonight I decided to fry pickles since we were already firing up the fryer for some venison backstrap.

Here is the recipe I used and they turned out very tasty! Now I didn't measure the spices exactly, so feel free to adjust to your taste.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup beer
2 tsp paprika - mixture should be a light pink/orange color
1 1/2 tsp cayenne - more or less if you like hot or mild
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp black pepper
several shakes hot sauce
dill pickle slices - I love Best Maid

Dry pickles in paper towels to remove excess juice. Combine all ingredients and whisk well. Dip pickles in batter and fry at 375 for 2 about 2 minutes. Don't overcrowd fryer for best results. Serve with ranch dressing.

How about a closer look at this deep fried goodness?

The BEST Fried Shrimp Recipe Ever
1 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
4 egg whites - beaten
1 sleeve Saltine crackers-crushed
Combine flour and garlic powder. Dip de-veined and butterflied shrimp in flour mixture, then beaten egg whites and then cracker crumbs. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown. I promise this recipe is better than any fried shrimp you will get in a restaurant. It is well worth the effort for a special occasion or anytime meal! This is a great appetizer to serve guests.


Those are oven baked steak fries and good as french fries any day..and much healthier...just toss in olive oil, season salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 425 for about 45 minutes. Turn 1/2 way through cooking.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

This is another recipe my mother shared with me.

Spaghetti Suace

1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground beef
3 cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 8 oz pkg fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4- 1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
I tend to add a sprinkling of any or all the following: Italian seasoning, sweet basil, dried parsley. Feel free to throw them in to if you are feeling a bit crazy. It is also just wonderful without if you don't have them handy.

Brown meat, onion and bell pepper, salt and pepper and simmer. Drain off grease if needed. Add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes. Then add remaining ingredients. Simmer 45 minutes to 1 hours.

Serve over cooked spaghetti and top with parmesan cheese if you like. This is a thick and hearty sauce you are sure to enjoy! For a different treat, serve over baked spaghetti squash.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I decided to try these this weekend since I had several lemons. They are soo yummy...please, do try.

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening (I used regular Crisco and 1/2 tsp butter flavoring)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 T milk
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon rind
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine butter (softened), Crisco, and sugar. Add egg, milk, lemon rind (grated) and extracts and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and gradually add to wet until dough forms and completely combined. Roll 1 inch round balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Butter the bottom of a glass and dip in sugar, and then smash each cookie to about 1/4 inch thickness. Bake at 400 degrees for 9 minutes. The edges should be slightly browned, but do not overcook. Remove to a wire rack to cool immediately.

Combine icing ingredients and drizzle lightly over each cookie. This gives the cookies a little extra lemon bite. The orginal recipe didn't have the icing, but I think it made them even more yummy! I think I'll go have another one right now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Boston Cream Pie - Oh My

I can't find where I got this recipe or I'd give credit but it was posted on a blog last week...I could literally eat this whole cake/pie in one sitting. I've seen many more complicated recipes, but after you try this one you will never need them.

Yellow Cake mix - plus ingredients to make - eggs and oil
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups cool whip
1 cup cold milk
1 block unsweetened baker's chocolate
1 T butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar (I think I used more like 1 cup
3 T cold milk

Bake cake mix as directed in 2 round pans. I prefer Duncan Hines. Let cool.

Filling: Mix pudding and milk for 1 minutes and then stir in coolwhip. Spread between two cake layers.

Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave. Add powdered sugar and milk until smooth and spread on top layer of cake immediately.

Refrigerate cake...and enjoy!

Broccoli rice casserole

approx 2 large crowns of broccoli, steamed and chopped
4 cups cooked rice
3 tbs butter
1 small onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup grated Velveeta
1 cup grated cheese of your choice (cheddar, monterrey Jack, whatever)

Steam broccoli and chop into bitesize pieces and set aside. Saute chopped onion in butter until soft. Cook rice on stovetop.

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350 for approx 30 minutes. If you are not as big of a cheese fan, you can leave out one of the two types or just not put as much. We love the cheese it all goes in over here!

MckMama's Macaroons

I like to follow and MckMama posted this recipe for Coconut Macaroons yesterday and I had to try it since I had everything I needed and was itching to baking usual. I cut my batch in 1/2 and still got about 16. These are yummy if you are a coconut fan and super easy.

1 14 or 16 oz bag of sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup sugar
6 T flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
4 egg whites

Mix all together in a bowl and drop by the rounded spoonful onto a greased and floured cookie sheet. Baked at 325 for 20 minutes or until they start to brown slightly. Cool on a wire rack.

While cooling in a saucepan over low heat combine 3 cups chocolate chips and 3 T heavy whipping cream. Stir often until smooth. Dip and let cool on waxed paper.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

This is my personal version of what started out as The Pioneer Woman's Blueberry Muffins...I, as usual, made a few changes to experiment. I think they were good choices this round. Here is my version that added a lemon twist.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
3 cups less 2 tbs flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup plus 1 heaping tbs lemon yogurt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
zest from 1 lemon
Sift all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Mix wet ingredients and lemon zest in separate bowl. Stir in dry ingredients until JUST incorporated..about a count of 10. Add 1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries in 3-4 strokes.
Pour into buttered muffin tins or paper lined cups. Add remaining blueberries to tops of scoops and press in slightly. Sprinkle with brown sugar or Turbino sugar if you have it for a little crunch on top.
This is how mine turned out and I was very pleased. They weren't nice and rounded on top, but I think they looked scrumptious...but I could also smell the deliciousness! I also got to taste it...oh, who am I kidding, I had more than a taste. I'm not telling how much more. You bake them and see if you can resist!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Stuffed Chicken, Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Paremsan

Stuffed Chicken Breast

4 boneless, skinless breasts
1 bag/box frozen spinach-squeeze in dish towel to drain water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup low fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lemon juiced
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Use 1 tbs olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and cook garlic over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the spinach, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook for 2 additional minutes. Transfer to a bowl and combine with cheeses.

Using a sharp knife cut a pocket in the thickest part of each breast and stuff 1/4 of stuffing into each breast. Season the outside of the chicken with additional salt and pepper.

Add additional tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking dish and bake at 350 for additional 20-25 minutes to finish cooking the chicken.

While chicken is baking add chicken broth, lemon zest and juice to skillet used to cook chicken. Cook over medium-high heat scraping chicken bits up into sauce and reduce by 1/2 to make a light sauce-about 8 minutes.

Spoon sauce over chicken just before serving.

This sounds like much work, but it really isn't. This would be a great dinner to serve guests since it presents quite impressively!

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups prepared salsa
2 cups grated Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can enchilada sauce
12 to 14 soft round 6 to 8-inch flour or corn tortillas

In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and the sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup of the salsa. Stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese. In a second bowl toss together the chicken, the corn, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the scallions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

In a baking dish spread a 1/2 cup of the salsa over the bottom. Then layer 1/2 the tortillas. Top with chicken mixture. Add final layer of tortillas and top with remaining salsa. I also added about 3/4 can of enchilada sauce, but it would be good without as well.

Chicken Parmesan

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 tbs olive oil
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 tbs milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese

Flatten chicken breast with a mallet to uniform 1/3 inch thick between plastic wrap. Dredge in flour, then dip in egg and milk mixture. Finally mix Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and seasoning. Brown in olive oil over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side.

Pour 1/3 of jar of pasta sauce in bottom of baking dish. Top with chicken breasts. Top each breast with a little sauce and shredded cheese. Bake at 350 until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Suggestion Post

Do any of you have requests or suggestions of a recipe you'd like...or category.

More desserts, casseroles, vegetables, breakfasts, etc?

Here are a few things I have coming up:

Squash casserole, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, blueberry cobbler, oatmeal cookies, chicken Parmesan, Watergate salad, grape salad, cilantro lime rice(if I haven't posted already)....those are just a few off the top of my head I think are really tasty. This will hold me to posting the recipes soon.

Please leave me a comment if there is something you would like to see, or see more of and I'd be happy to oblige :)

Banana Slush and Orange Julius

These are great summer treats.

Banana Slush

1 12 oz can frozen lemonadde, thawed
1 12 oz can frozen orange juice, thawed
4 soft bananas
2 cups pineapple juice
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 quart bottle lemon lime soda

Mix bananas and lemonade in blender. Pour into a large tupperware container and add remaining ingredients. Mix and freeze until slushy. Enjoy!

Orange Julius

1 6 oz can orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar or less
1 tsp vanilla
10-12 large ice cubes

Blend in blender for 15 seconds. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Carne Guisada and Spanish rice

If you make these two dishes together your family will thank you and your kitchen will smell like a Mexican food restaurant. Don't be intimidated, both are easy!

Carne Guisada

2 lb roast, cubed and trimmed of fat
1/2 cup oil.

Brown meat in oil. When meat gives off juices, drain all but 1 Tbs oil. The meat will not be done, so don't worry.

Add and brown: 1 1/2 Tbs flour

Add and simmer at low temp for at least 30 minutes:

2 cups water
1 T bell pepper (optional)
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic salt (I probably used a little more)
1/2 tsp comino powder - this is the key flavor to the dish
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

The longer you simmer the the better the flavor and the meat will be more tender. I'd suggest an hour. I also added 1/2 extra water after about 30 minutes and additional seasoning with the water. I just happened to have a jar of Fiesta Carne Guisada seasoning and I added a few tsp to the extra water as well. This is not necessary at all but I was just throwing things in for extra flavor. It has cornstarch and more of the flavors above...I think it helped thicken the sauce a little, but I'm not so sure I would've even noticed if this was completely omitted.

Serve on fresh flour tortillas and you will NOT be disappointed. It was so good..and just as good left over today. I actually looked forward to leftovers.

I also made homemade Spanish rice which turned out great too. I made up the recipe so hopefully I'll get the measurements right since I was throwing things in.

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups Basmati rice
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp comino
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cumin
season salt

Bring chicken broth and tomatoes to boil. Add rice and seasoning. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. Top with a dollop of sour cream, serve with the carne guisada above and you'll be glad you did.

If you don't have Basmati rice, just use the correct portions of rice and chicken broth (instead of water) as directed on the package.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Roasted Corn Guacamole

This is a recipe from my sister-in-law's Aunt Bitsy. It is soooo good. Watch out Pico...there is a new kid in town!

6 tbs corn oil
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 avacodos, chopped
4 tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
2 tsp appile cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbs Kosher salt

Spread 2 tbs of corn oil on baking sheet and add corn. Roast at 450 for 8 minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add the remaining 4 Tbs corn oil and the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and mix well. Chill until serving.

Note: Don't chop avocados too small or it will get too soggy.

Tomato Pie

I've never tried this, but how could it not be good. This is not my recipe, but click on over to Let's Eat and check out Tomato Pie. I don't like raw tomatoes and usually don't like large chunks of cooked tomato, but these just sounds wonderful. I'm going to get Mom to bring up tomatoes on her next trip and try this. Here are a few of the ingredients to get you to click over. Tomatoes, BACON, basil, cheese, mayo...need I say more?!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Meatloaf 2 ways

This recipe came from Jewell Edge...she is a Jewel and if you know her, you gotta love her. I LOVE the sauce

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup regular oats
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp mustard

Mix all ingredients well and place in a greased loaf pan. Mix sauce ingredients and spread on top of meatloaf. Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.

This next recipe comes from a 4 ingredient cookbook, but I count more than that. It is super easy and very good.

Chees-Stuffed Italian Meatloaf

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 large egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cups mozarella
1 tbs chopped parsley
1 jar pasta sauce
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste

Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, 1/3 cup pasta sauce, seasoning and egg and flatten to an 12x8 inch rectangle. Mix 1 1/2 cup cheese and parsley and spread over the meat mixture leaving a 3/4 inch border. Roll the layers jelly-roll style starting at the long-end. Seal bottom and ends and place seam side down in baking dish. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350. Top with remaining sauce and cheese and bake for 15 more minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


These are the brownies my mother always made growing up. They are super easy and classic.

2 sticks butter
1/2 cup good cocoa
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt

Melt together butter and cocoa. Add eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Pour into a greased and floured brownie pan. Bake 20 minutes at 350. Sift powdered sugar on brownies as soon as youo remove them from the oven.

Cherry Cheese Pie

This is an easy no bake pie that will have you licking the spoon and wanting more.

1 9 inch crumb crust
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbs butter, melted
Mix well and press into botttom of pie plate and bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes.

While crust is cooling beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk will stirring. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate before topping with pie filling.

Blueberry Banana Pie - refreshing for the summer

2 baked pie crust - regular or graham cracker
3 bananas
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 carton cool whip
1 can Lucky Leaf blueberry pie filling

Slice bananas and layer on bottom of each pie crust. Blend cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in 2 cups Cool Whip. Layer on top of bananas. Layer pie filling on cream cheease mixture. Top with remaining Cool Whip and chill. This is so good and easy to put together.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Apple Annie's Appetizer Dip

This is delicious on crackers and an unexpected combination of ingredients.

2 blocks cream cheese (room temperature)
1/3 cup green onions..greens only
1/3 cup bell pepper, diced
1 cup crushed pecans
1 cup crushed pineapple in syrup - drained
1 tbs season salt

Finely chop each ingredients in food processor, especially pecans. Mix well with cream cheese.

A few tips off the top of my head

1. squeeze frozen spinach in a flour sack towel to drain water
2. Always sift flour when baking....just trust me
3. Cake flour is much finer than regular case you were wondering. Not really a tip, but more random info
4. Use Mexican Vanilla always. It is sooo much better. In Texas it is not too hard to find. I like "Danncy" brand. I've been told that World Market also sells it, but haven't checked. I get a liter of vanilla in San Antonio at the market downtown for $12, I believe. Actually very cheap compared to the cost of a small bottle of regular extract at the grocery store. Ok, I'll stop now..but seriously. Once you bake with it, you will never use anything else
5. Use a "frozen" stainless steel bowl when whipping fresh whipped cream
6. It is best to use room temperature eggs
7. For pie crusts, chill it after making for ease of use and more flakiness. Also, always use cold butter for pastry crust. The small pockets of butter causes the flakiness.
8. Use good cocoa...ditch the Hershey's you'll thank me. I like Ghiradelli, but I'm sure there is even better out there. It is so much brighter and more fragrant than the cheaper kind
9. Most brownies are better if you don't overmix the batter
10. Store nuts in the freezer. They have a high oil content and will go rancid on the shelf for extended time periods
11. Put a piece of bread in your brown sugar to keep our excess moisture
12. a few teaspoons of olive oil will keep pasta from sticking
13. To fry okra simply add a few teaspoons water to chopped okra. Toss in flour and salt and pepper generously. This is not a tip, but my favorite way to fix it.
14.Boiled eggs: For "pretty" yolks with no green. Bring eggs to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, turn stove off, cover and let eggs cool on burner for 20 minutes.
15. I think Duncan Hines cakes mixes are the best to use if your recipe calls for a cake mix.
16. Do not soak fresh mushrooms, they will absorb too much water. Wash them with a damp cloth
17. Always use room temperature cream cheese
18. Use room temperature butter unless the recipe calls for cold butter
19. Use BUTTER, not margarine unless the recipe specifically calls for it. If you are baking, you might as well use the good, my name is not Paula Deen...but I do live her recipes!
20. Eggs are old if they float in a bowl of water
21. If you cook garlic on the stove a too high of a temperature it will brown too fast and make it bitter
22. Add a little cream of tartar, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon to meringues and icings to stabilize.

I'll post more as they come to me. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have! If I don't know the answer- I'll get it.

Spinach Casserole and Cinnamon Ice Box Cookies

This recipe is courtesy of Lane's mother. This is one of Lane's favorite dishes

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 8 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp oregano
2 pkgs frozen spinach (thawed and well drained)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste
grated mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic and oregano. Transfer to 9X13 baking dish and add spinach, soup, sour cream, rice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.

Cinnamon Ice Box Cookies

I baked these cookies for the food show when I was a a blue ribbon. They are one of my favorite cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup crisco
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
extra sugar and pecans (optional)

Cream Crisco and sugar. Then add vanilla and eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix
Make 3 rolls, wrap in wax paper and chill for several hours. Slice and place on ungreased cookie sheets. If you would like, butter the bottom of a cup and dip in sugar and smash each cookie. You may also like to press a pecan in the top of these. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. After cooling you may like to dip 1/2 of each cookie in melted semi-sweet chocolate. I tried this once and took them to work and the dipped ones were an even bigger hit.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Homemade Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

These are a soft slightly sweet granola bar. My bff Sarah's mom Carolyn made these one weekend that I joined their family at their cabin in Missouri. These were just a small piece of the wonderful I experience getting to know her family better that weekend. I'm so thankful for that opportunity and hope to get to see them again soon. Please try this recipe soon. They are yummy and not too sweet.

Dark chocolate Granola Bars

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter
1 egg white
1 tbsp. fat-free evaporated milk (I've used skim milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal
1/3 dark chocolate chips
¼ dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Combine first 7 ingredients. Combine next 4 ingredients; add to sugar mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Press into 13-in X 9-in baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.

Score surface with shallow cuts to make bars. Cool on wire rack.

Per serving: 110 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beef Stroganoff - a quick and easy hearty dinner

Most recipes call for beef tips...I use ground beef and it is could also use leftover roast beef or ground turkey. I think your kids will even enjoy this one and it is EASY.

1 lb ground beef
1 med onion diced
2 cloves garlic diced
8 oz. chopped mushrooms
2 tbs butter
salt, pepper, garlic/onion powder
1/4 cup red wine
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth..(I've used chicken broth before if that is all you have)
1 cup sour cream
egg noodles

If you are going "high class" :) and using beef tips or strips lightly flour and brown in butter and then remove from the pan before starting the onions, mushrooms and garlic.

For those of you using ground beef, season and brown in butter. Then add onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook until soft. Add red wine and cook down for a few minutes. Then add soup and broth and simmer a few more minutes. I don't always used the whole can of broth. Right before you are ready to serve stir in 1 cup sour cream. If you have some fresh parsley...go ahead and throw in a tablespoon or two for fun. Serve over egg noodles.

This is nice served with a salad and crusty french bread. Makes me hungry just thinking about it. Good thing I've got a pan of this on the stove for dinner!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Buttermilk Pound Cake

Buttermilk Poundcake

3 cups sugar
1 cup Crisco
2 tsp lemon extract
6 eggs - separated
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
1 CUTE BABY TO HELP YOU! (optional, I guess-but I can't wait for Lena Kate to really help me)

Blend sugar and crisco. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add extract. The add dry ingredients and buttermilk , alternating, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in until just mixed. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Dab some flour on said baby's face and take cute picture. MMMMMM, enjoy. This cake freezes well and is great served several ways...warm with butter, strawberries and cream, chocolate sauce-you name it....or just by itself!
Final product, minus a sample was good, I assure you.

Chicken Napalitana


4 chicken breasts
2 small zucchini
1 small container fresh mushrooms
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
4-5 sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
1/2 mozzarella cheese (ricotta can be used as well)
minced garlic (optional)

Slice zucchini into 1/3 to 1/4 inch rounds. Finely chop garlic. Chop sun-dried tomatoes. Saute vegetables in approx 1.5 tablespoons butter and 1 tbls spoon olive oil (just guess, as Rachael Ray does) until tender. Add garlic towards the end so it doesn't burn. Then transfer vegetables to bowl. Pound out chicken between plastic wrap until it is uniformly about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick and season with seasoned salt, pepper, and a little Ms. Dash. Heat 2-3 tbls olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes far. It is infused with the yummy flavor. Brown the flattened chicken breasts on each side for approx 4 minutes. Then layer 2 breasts in the bottom of a baking dish, top with mozzarella or ricotta, then top the cheese with the vegetables. Lay the last 2 chicken breasts and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Combine 3 tbls butter, juice from 1/2 lemon and a few drops of garlic oil (from jar of mince garlic)...if you have it. Melt over low heat and pour over each serving of chicken and vegetables. This is so good..and is great leftover! I like to serve with a side of Italian dressing pasta.
Trust me, it is so good...even better than it looks in this picture

Shrimp Salad

3 cups boiled shrimp - chopped into bite-sized pieces (we buy the raw, peeled deveined Kirklands frozen brand and they are not expensive)
3/4 cup mayo -add more or less to your taste
3 green onions chopped
1 stalk finely chopped celery
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dried dill
2 tsp Tabasco
1 tsp garlic salt - I just shook some in, so not sure how much
Season to taste with season salt and black pepper.

Have a sandwich or pile on some crackers. This would also be great with avocado chunks, but we didn't have any! I think this would be a real hit at a party served with crackers or baguette slices. Sorry no pictures:(

Chicken Salad My Way

4 cups chicken - 1 rotisserie chicken works great
1 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 stalks celery
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dill ( I may have used a little more I was guessing on this one) Fresh dill would be best, but HEB was out. If you use fresh you should use 2 teaspoons.
4 green onions
2.5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
a shake or 2 of seasoned salt

Mix this all together and make yourself a sandwich. You will be glad you did. Add a sliced avocado and you will be extremely glad you did.

Enchiladas-Grandmother Henderson Style

Beef and Cheese Enchiladas - Grandmother Henderson Style
(You can't grow up in South Texas and not crave enchiladas often. These are easy, but a bit messy to make)

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp salt
1 pkg McCormick's Enchilada Mix
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans water
1 cup Crisco
corn tortillas
1 pck each of colby jack and monterey jack cheese
Brown beef in skillet: drain (leave a little grease if you don't mind it-makes them better!)
Add onion, cook until soft. Add salt and pepper, tomato sauce and water. Simmer 5 minutes and set aside.
In another skillet heat Crisco and lightly cook tortillas one at a time on both sides. I cook until the edges are a little crispy when you try to roll them. Dip in meat mixture adn place in casserole dish. Fill with meat and cheese, roll, and place seam down. When the pan is full, sprinkle with meat mixture and cheese down the center of enchiladas. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Chicken Spaghetti and Cheddar Biscuits

I took several recipes and decided to make my own version of Chicken spaghetti

1 3 lb chicken, boiled and de-boned
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 4 oz jar pimentos..drain a little
1 small carton fresh mushrooms, chopped
tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
a few shakes Tabasco...more if you like spicy
a few teaspoons Worcestershire
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
2 cups shredded Velveeta
1 lb spaghetti cooked
2 cups reserved spaghetti water/broth

Boil chicken and reserve stock to boil your spaghetti in. I used boxed broth for my spaghetti because I didn't do this exact step..but it would be good if I had. I also added some water to the broth when I cooked my spaghetti. Reserve 2 cups of your spaghetti broth. Saute onions, pepper, and mushrooms in a tbls butter to soften. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except 1 cup of Cheddar and reserved spaghetti water/broth. Add reserved liquid until the mixture is moist and easy to stir, but not too soupy. I used about a cup and a half. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and hot. This dish is also great to freeze before cooking and then just pop in the oven when you are ready for it.

Now for another tasty superstar

Cheddar Biscuits - better than Red Lobster's and theirs are the best thing you can get there!(in my humble opinion)

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 cup grated cheddar cheese ( I used sharp)
1 stick butter, melted (original recipe called for 12 tbls, but that was a little much!)
1 1/2 tbls chopped fresh parsley
Garlic salt

Combine first 4 ingredients and spoon onto greased baking sheet. This makes 12 biscuits. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. While baking melt butter and add parsley to melted butter. Brush on biscuits and sprinkle with garlic salt. Then bake for 5 more minutes until golden brown. Trust me you will not be able to stop at one, but you will hate yourself for having another if that makes any sense. Here is a peak..if only you could taste and smell these.

Here is a bonus pic of my cookie jar. I love it because it states how I really feel about cookies. I'll post a cookie recipe soon

Friday, June 12, 2009

Swiss Chicken and Dressing

Swiss Chicken and Dressing

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 oz Swiss cheese (mozzarella can be used too, but Swiss is best)
1/4 cup white wine (chicken broth can be substituted)
1 cup crushed Herb Seasoned Dressing
1/2 stick butter
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry breasts and place in baking dish. Salt and pepper to taste, but be careful not to add too much salt because the soup is salty as well as the stuffing:) Top chicken with Swiss cheese. Mix soup and wine and pour over cheese. Crush dressing if it is already crushed and sprinkle over the soup mixture. Melt butter and pour over the dressing mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. This takes about 5 minutes to throw together and is really tasty. Great leftovers too.

I found this one at Kelly's Korner recipes. She has some great ones!

Cowboy Spaghetti

This is super good

1 lb spaghetti
1 tbls Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground sirloin
3 slices smoky bacon
1 medium onion
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tsp hot sauce...or more if you like
1 tbls Worcestershire
1/2 cup beer
1 can, chopped or crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
4 green onions
salt pepper

Heat a pot of water to boil, add spaghetti and salt the water. Cook until still slightly firm, but not hard. Heat a deep skillet over med-high heat, add EVOO and bacon, brown and crisp bacon, 5 minutes, and remove with slotted spoon. Drain off a little excess fat if necessary. Leave just enough to coat the bottom of skillet. Add beef and crumble as it browns. 3-4 minutes. Add onions, garlic and stir in meat. Season meat with salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire, add 1/2 cup beer and deglaze the pan. Cook 5-6 minutes more then stir in tomotoes and sauce. Add hot spaghetti to meat and sauce and combine. Adjust seasonings and serve up pasta in shallow bowls. Grate some cheese over the pasta and sprinkle with green onions. Top with crisp bacon. I'm going to make this soon. I forgot how easy and wonderful it is, comfort food for sure. ENJOY!

Dr. Pepper Cake

1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix - Duncan Hines is the best
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 12oz Dr. Pepper

Combine firest 3 ingredients, beat until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Add vanilla and Dr. Pepper last. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/3 cup cocoa ( I like Ghirradelli..or however you spell it)
1 lb powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until well blended and fluffy. Frost cake. Add a few candles if you are celebrating a birthday. Oh, this makes me want a piece now. The cake is light, but the icing is heavy..good combo.


I'm not a big Asian food cook, I think the restaurants can do it better...LOVE PEI WEI, but this is an easy marinade for your files.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup red wine 1 clove garlic crushed
3 TBLS brown sugar
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger...I used about 1/4 tsp

Combine ingredients over medium heat.

I made this then let my pork and veggies hang out in it for about an hour before stir frying in about 2 TBLS oil. I thought it was great and just realized that I forgot the garlic....and I didn't even notice, but garlic would make it even better I'm sure.
Here is what my dinner looked like last night. Of course, I happened to use the one bowl with a big chip in it. I tried to hide it with the fork...I don't think it worked! It may not look super fancy, it I enjoyed every bite. Leftovers tonight.

Artichoke Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup sour cream
1 14 oz can artichokes - chopped and drained
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
a few shakes Tasbasco
1/2 cup Grated Mozzarella cheese

Place chicken breasts in a baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl except Mozzarella cheese. Spread over chicken breasts and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with grated cheese and bake for another 15 minutes or until chicken is done and juices run clear. I estimated the measurements since I only made a 1/2 portion, but these should be fine and just as yummy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast

Thanks to my sis-in-law Amy for the inspiration on this one.

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breast
3 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 carton fresh mushrooms
1/4 large onion, diced
1 tbs butter
2 slices of cheese per breast(I used American, but I'm sure any kind would be good)
balsamic vinegar, or balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Saute onions and mushrooms in butter until soft. Pound out chicken breast until 1/3 inch think. Place a spoonful of mushrooms/onion mixture in the middle of each breast along with 2 slices of cheese. Roll up the chicken breast and wrap with bacon. Use a toothpick to secure the ends. Place in baking dish and top the chicken rolls with remaining mushrooms/onions. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Baste with balsamic vinaigrette and cook for 5 more minutes. I used balsamic vinegar but it ran off, so the dressing would work better since it contains oil and will adhere better. Either way - this was yummy.

Two thumbs up from the guy who brings home that bacon.

I will try to post many more this weekend to get caught up....well sorta. I have so many in my head I'd like to post here, it is spinning!

Strawberry Bread, Lemon Bars, BBQ Meatballs

Lane's sweet Mimi gave me a cookbook with her favorite recipes in it for a wedding gift and I treasure all her hand written recipes. This strawberry bread is one I tried this week. I enjoyed it toasted or warmed with a little butter.

Strawberry Bread
3 cups flour
1 tsp soda
tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar 1 1/4 cup oil
4 eggs
2 10 oz pkg frozen strawberries - thawed
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans (I left these out)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients and add to the mixture of eggs and oil. Add remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Makes 3 small loaves or 2 large loaves.

These lemon bars are super.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks butter

Mix and press into 9x13 glass dish sprayed with cooking spray Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Crust will be light

4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
5 tbsp lemon juice
rind of 1 lemon
4 tbsp flour
powdered sugar for dusting

Mix well and whip again just before pouring over hot crust. Bake 20-25 minutes, shake pan to be sure filling is set. Sift powdered sugar over top as soon as it comes out of oven. Cool and cut with a wet knife.

BBQ Meatballs adapted from I made few changes to the recipe for the sauce. I noted my recipe

1.5 lbs ground beef
3 tbsp finely diced onions
3/4 cup oats
1 cup milk
salt and pepper

Roll into 1 - 1 1/2 inch meatballs and place in freezer. While in freezer make sauce

Sauce: 1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp Worchestershire
2 tbsp brown sugar
6-8 tbsp finely diced onions
1 tbsp yellow mustard

Take meatballs from freezer and dredge in flour immediately. Brown on 2 sides in a skillet with 2 tbsp oil. Do not cook completely. Place browned meatballs in baking dish and top with sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Enjoy! Lane had his on toast topped with mozzarella..mmm.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Recipes to come

I've decided to start a separate blog for my recipes...I'll try to gradually move those over that I've already posted so they will all be in one place.