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.