Where Cooking is Fun
We want cooking to be as fun for you as it is for us.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Jalapeño Popper Dip

This past weekend my little sister graduated from High School. We always have a big get together with family and friends after graduations. So much fun to get together and have an excuse to pig out on food. This year my mom decided to do a dessert/snack bar afterwards. I used this get together to try out all the yummy group recipes I have. They turned out amazing. My very favorite of the night was BY FAR this Jalapeño Popper Dip (found here). It tastes exactly like it sounds. If you love Jalapeño Poppers I promise this is a recipe for you. This just may be my new favorite food.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 (4 oz) can fire roasted green chilies
1/2 (4 oz) can diced jalapeno peppers- drained

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into a medium baking dish and cook at 350 for 20 minutes.

*Serve with Baguettes/chips/crackers


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Pizza

I am not a huge fan of pizza...I know, I'm "UN-AMericAN"...but once in a while I love to dive into it- and then I just can't get enough of it. WHEN I eat pizza, I like mine with LOADS of veggies, NO meat and lots of cheese...I guess the veggies make me feel like I am being just a "little" bit healthy. Years ago, one of my friends gave me a pizza dough recipe. I have used it over and over, in fact every time I make homemade pizza I use this recipe. It's my favorite..in fact, I could just scrape off the toppings and eat the crust alone and be just fine. Tonight I needed a quick and easy dinner idea (the crust seriously takes 15 minutes AT THE MOST, to mix up from start to finish) and something that we hadn't had in a long time. PIZZA came to mind...but I wanted something different from the ol' standby of "pepperoni, pineapple, or canadian bacon"...so I came up with this little creation. My family couldn't get enough of it...it's a guarantee that I will make this recipe again. Hope it becomes one of your favorites too.

Chicken Parmesan Pizza

2 c. warm water
3-4 T. sugar
2 t. salt
5 1/2 c. flour
1 T. yeast dissolved in 1/2 luke warm water

Mix all ingredient together in a large bowl. (I used my Bosch) Knead until well mixed. (I kneaded it for approximately 5 minutes). Cover with a HOT damp cloth for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 even pieces and put onto 2 large round pizza pans (spray with pan coating). Spread the dough evenly until it will stay to the end of the pans without shrinking back. (I spread mine a little and then let it rest, then spread some more and let it rest for a few minutes and I continue to do that until it stays) Top with your favorite toppings, if you are making the Chicken Parmesan Pizza, ingredient and instructions are below. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. IF YOU ARE USING 2 RACKS for cooking, ROTATE THE PIZZA'S AFTER 10 MINUTES so they will cook evenly.

Chicken, diced and cooked
1 small jar of your favorite pizza sauce ( I used Ragu Pizza Quick)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese, grated (or any of your favorite grated cheese)

Spread sauce onto pizza dough. Place diced, cooked chicken onto entire pizza, sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and then top with Mozzarella Cheese. Cook according to pizza crust instructions (above). Let pizza sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly, then cut with a pizza cutter and serve. ( I like to dip my pizza in Ranch)

Happy Cooking~

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chicken, Bacon and Swiss

Last weekend my sister came to visit. We were out running errands on Saturday afternoon and we couldn't decide what to eat for lunch. After much debate we settled on Arbys. I haven't eat at Arbys in almost 7 years (the reason involves a severe case of the stomach flu and a roast beef sandwich. Gross). I had forgotten how much I loved their Chicken Bacon and Swiss sandwich. So amazing. I've been craving one ever since we left the Arbys parking lot so I decided I needed to figure out how to make it at home. It turned out just as good as the restaurant and will definitely be going in our dinner rotation.

Chicken, Bacon and Swiss Sandwich

1 Breaded Chicken Breast Fillet (I bought the bag of Tyson's and it was great)
1 slice swiss cheese
3 slices thick bacon
1 Tbs. Honey Mustard
1 Hamburger Bun

Bake Chicken according to package. Spread butter on Hamburger Buns and set in the broiler for 3-4 minutes. When chicken and buns are done arrange chicken, cheese and bacon onto bun. Set in the broiler for aprox. 5 minutes. Remove and top with Honey Mustard. Quick, Easy and Delicious.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fruit Pizza with Sugar Cookie Crust

I've never liked fruit pizza because the crust was always dry and crumbly and it usually tasted like a stale cookie with fruit...that is until this recipe! A friend of mine made this for a church activity and everyone raved about it...therefore I knew that I had to have the recipe. I was pleasantly surprised by how moist and chewy the crust was...no crumbs or stale taste...I knew it was a keeper. Fruit Pizza is very versatile because you can top it with whatever fruit that you like and it tastes delicious. I like to use "Junket Danish Dessert" mixed with strawberries and blueberries...but I also like to eat the crust plain, without anything on it...because-it is the best! This recipe is great for those summer cook outs or just for fun.

Fruit Pizza with Sugar Cookie Crust

Cream together:
1 1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. butter

2 eggs
2 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
3 1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Mix well. Press cookie dough into a well greased Texas baking sheet (large cookie sheet). Bake at 375 degrees for 10 or less (my oven time varies. Sometimes its 8 minutes, sometimes its 10). Don't over cook! Cool crust, then top with Fruit Pizza Frosting OR your favorite frosting...then top with your favorite fruits: pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, Mandarin oranges, mango, banana's, sliced grapes, raspberries etc...

Fruit Pizza Frosting
1 8 oz. cream cheese (softened
1 8 oz. whipped topping
Powdered sugar (enough to make frosting spreadable)

Mix ingredient and spread on cooled Sugar Cookie Crust.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crazy Spinach Wrap

This afternoon I kind of freaked out because I had NO idea what to make for my recipe today. I even played with the idea of not posting today because I wanted you guys to get something amazing and not something just "thrown together" (I repented though- and would NEVER do that to you guys). After a chat with my mom we came up with something that sounded good. I had no idea how it would taste but the ingredients sounded delicious. I got home late last night and threw this together thinking I would eat it for my lunch- it took every ounce of will power I had to stop eating after only one bite. (I HAVE to try the recipes before I let you). It was amazing. I can't even describe the thoughts the rush through your head. A mix of very distinct flavors that just totally work. Jack was shocked as well. He said it had to have a fun name so people would know how awesome it was. Hence Crazy Spinach Wraps (crasins... spinach... I'm a nerd)

Crazy Spinach Wraps
Spinach Herb Wraps
2 Tbs. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup diced chicken (baked)
2 Tbs craisins
2 Tbs. bacon
3 Tbs. grated cheese

Mix cream cheese and ranch dressing mix. Spread mixture over an entire Spinach Herb Wrap. Arrange fresh spinach, diced chicken, craisins, bacon and grated cheese in the center of wrap. Roll tight.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

I joined Weight Watchers 2 1/2 years ago and I lost 43 pounds. I have been able to maintain my weight for 18 months...I love the program and would recommend it to everyone. Upon joining I hunted high and low for recipes that I could eat, especially ones that had the point value already figured out...mainly so I didn't have to figure it out myself. At our meetings each week we all talked about and swapped our new weight loss tricks as well as recipes...thats where this little dandy came into play. It's a delicious pancake recipe that someone gave me at one of our meetings. I tried it out on my family and NO one thought it could be classified as a "diet food". These pancakes are wonderful and I make them all the time. Everyone in the family comments on how fluffy they are, as well as how delicious they taste. Eat up!!

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

2 c. flour
4 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3-4 c. buttermilk (depends on how thin you like your batter)
2 T oil
2 eggs

Combine all ingredient into a mixing bowl and stir until well blended. Add more buttermilk if you like a thinner batter (thinner pancake). Spray non-stick cooking spray on a griddle or large frying pan. Pour batter onto hot griddle and turn when top is covered with bubbles and edges are cooked. Top with butter and syrup or your favorite pancake topping.
* I have halved the recipe for a smaller batch, this recipe makes quite a few.

Serving size: 3 (4 inch) pancakes Weight Watcher Points Per Serving: 6 pts.
***Butter and Syrup add extra points...add those accordingly
These pancakes are for EVERYONE not just those on Weight Watchers...they taste like a million bucks!

Happy Cooking~

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cookie Dough Brownies

As a kid I was so boy crazy. In Kindergarten I got in trouble for playing kissing tag. In 4th grade I broke my finger chasing a boy around the playground- I was doomed from an early age. In High School I started crushing on older boys. Lucky for me my mom was the Sunday School teacher for the 17-18 year olds and I got my foot in the door. I started baking every Sunday afternoon and invited all the boys over. I won many hearts with my baking and this is the recipe I did it with.

Cookie Dough Brownies

2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Baking Cocoa
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Oil
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla

In a mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa and salt. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat for 3 minutes. Pour in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely.
*If you are pressed for time a boxed brownie mix works great too.

1 cup Butter (soft)
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
4 Tbsp. Milk
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Flour

Cream butter and sugars in a mixing bowl. Add milk and vanilla. Mix well. Beat in flour. Spread over brownies. Chill until firm.

1 cup Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsp. Shortening

Melt chocolate and shortening over medium heat until smooth. Stirring constantly. Spread over filling immediately. Let sit until firm.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yummy Cheesy Potatoes

This is my version of the classic "Funeral Potato" recipe. I don't make these potatoes very often, not because we don't like them, (we absolutly LOVE THEM) but because I save them for special occasions. I make them every Christmas as well as every Easter...and sometimes for a Sunday dinner. They are really easy to make and so delicious. I could sit down and eat an entire plate of these Cheesy Potatoes all by myself, but rest assured, I don't. This recipe makes a large crock pot full but you can 1/2 the recipe if you want a smaller batch. They go really well with Ham and Turkey...I guess thats why I make them for special occasions, but you could serve them with just about anything. I like to chop up any leftover ham and add it to the leftover potatoes and serve it as a casserole the next day. It's a great way to eat up your leftovers.

Yummy Cheesy Potatoes
Bake 8-10 large potatoes the day before and let them sit in the refrigerator over night (if you bake them covered with tinfoil, make sure you take off the tinfoil before letting them sit over night). Cube potatoes and place into a slow cooker (crock pot).

In a large sauce pan combine the following:

2 cubes butter
1 small onion, diced (optional)
1/2 t. onion powder (if you don't use a diced onion)
1/2 t. garlic powder
pepper to taste
1 pint sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup

Heat until butter is melted and ingredient is warm. Add:

3 c. grated cheddar cheese

Stir until all cheese is melted. Pour over cubed potatoes and stir in. Add:

2-3 c. grated cheddar cheese

Stir into the potato and sauce mixture, leaving some grated cheese to put on top of potatoes. Put lid on slow cooker and heat on low for 2-3 hours or until warm. 

*Remember...slow cooker temperatures seem to vary greatly, so cooking time will all depend on "your personal slow cooker". Mine cooks the potatoes in 2-3 hours. 
*You don't want to cook it too long or your cheese will curdle, so make sure you watch your potatoes well. 

Happy Cooking~

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Sandwhiches

A few years ago my friend and I decided to take a road trip to see our little brothers play in their High School State Basketball Tournament. We stopped at a gas station along the way and picked up the most amazing ice cream sandwiches. A chocolate cookie crust with mint ice cream centers. I drool even thinking about it. Of course that ice cream sandwich had to be the most memorable part of the trip haha. I haven't seen those since. I look every time I buy ice cream at a gas station and I've never seen them. The other day I needed a quick and easy dessert for a girls night. I got the "I can MAKE that" feeling again (don't you just love those) and whipped these babies up in no time. SO delicious. Perfect summer treat.

Chocolate Cookie
1 package Devils Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
2/3 cups shortening
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. (cookies can be made large or small)

Once cookies are cooled (and right before serving) place one scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream on a cookie. Place another cookie on top and press until cookies are secure. Serve immediately.

*Sandwiches could be made and then frozen. I just like my cookie to still be soft and chewy.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pineapple Hawaiian Meatballs

Looking for something new to make with all that ground beef?....this is the perfect recipe to try. I am always trying to find new things to do with ground beef and something that my family will enjoy. This dish is easy and goes a long way. If you feel ambitious you could make the meatballs, cook them, and then freeze them to serve on another day. Then when you pull them out, mix up the sauce and serve....for an easy-in a hurry-kind of dinner.

Pineapple Hawaiian Meatballs

2 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 c. crushed cornflakes
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. onion powder
1t. garlic powder
1 t. pepper

Mix all together with your hands, making sure that everything is blended well. Put small amount of oil in a skillet. Make meatballs about the size of a walnut and place in hot oil. Cook until done. Drain grease.

1 can pineapple tidbits
1/2 c. vinegar
1 T. ketchup
2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
3 T. flour
2/3 c. water

Mix brown sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat. Add remaining ingredient and boil for 3 minutes. Pour boiling sauce into skillet with meatballs and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Southwest Wrap

I am always on the lookout for new and quick lunch ideas. I have a 20 minute lunch break at my job and I need something I can prepare quick. I am getting tired of frozen burritos and corn dogs. The other day at the grocery store I saw a picture of a chicken wrap made with guacamole. I got the "I could do that" vibe and bought all the ingredients I wanted and came up with my own version. I was a little worried about it because I'd never tried any of the flavored tortillas before. I am SO glad I took the plunge. It was amazing. Quick. Easy. Delicious and MUCH healthier than any frozen dinner (right???)

Southwest Wrap
1 Roasted Tomato Basil Tortilla
3 Tbsp. Guacamole
3 leafs of lettuce (I bought the leafy kind as apposed to iceberg)
1/4 cup grilled chicken
2 Tbsp. black beans
2 Tbsp. Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Cheese

Spread Guacamole on the entire Tortilla. Arrange Lettuce in center strip on Tortilla. Top with Chicken, Black Beans, Tomatoes and Cheese. Wrap Tight. Keep edges secure with toothpicks inserted sideways. *could top it off with ranch


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

I am not a big fan of making casseroles ( I like to eat them when other people make them, just not my own), mainly because I don't think that I have mastered the art of "casserole making" yet...one day maybe. I have a few that I make and everyone enjoys, but not too many. Trust me...if I make it and they like it, I will post a recipe for you to try. This little number came from the Betty Crocker Bisquick Cookbook, which has tons of amazing recipes in it. If you are looking for "quick and easy"...it's a super cookbook for that. I am sure I will post many recipes from it in the future. I love Chicken Pot Pie, and homemade is the best. This recipe was so yummy, so quick and everyone likes it. You can use canned chicken, leftover chicken or "just made for this recipe" chicken. I like to use canned chicken when I am in a hurry, but my favorite is the Rotisserie Chicken that you can get from your grocery store or favorite restaurant...that just makes this pot pie a step above the rest and that much more amazing.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie
1 c. cut up cooked chicken
1 bag (16 oz) frozen peas and carrots, thawed
*2 c. cubed frozen hash browns, thawed (my addition)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 c. Original Bisquick
1/2 c. milk
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Stir cooked chicken, vegetables, hash browns (if using) and soup into a mixing bowl. Stir until mixed well then pour into an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish. Stir remaining ingredient until well blended. Pour over chicken mixture ( I spooned mine over). Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Makes about 6 servings.

Happy Cooking~

Monday, May 17, 2010

No Bake Cookies

For a long time I didn't make No Bake Cookies because I couldn't find "the" recipe. My cookies either ended up dried out, runny or they tasted weird. I'm pretty particular about my sweets so I felt accomplished when I finally found the recipe that ended my hunt. Hopefully it ends yours too.

No Bake Cookies
2 cups white sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute. Add oats, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well. Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosted Brownies

I am not a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies (I know, its Un-American)...but the chocolate chip cookie dough is an entirely different story. I love to just eat it by the scoopful out of the mixing bowl. So when I ran across this recipe, somewhere out there in cyber world (for the life of me I can't find where I found it, sorry)...no it's not my original recipe, I was defiantly going to give them a try! There wasn't a crumb left in the pan when we were done eating them, we licked the platter clean. The Cookie Dough Frosting is truly the "icing on the cake". The brownies are really good, but the frosting makes the brownie "supreme"! I suggest that you make a pan and eat them all by yourself before the kids and the hubby get home...because if you wait and share, there won't be any for you....just a suggestion~

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosted Brownies
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chip
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 c. chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate chips and cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in melted chocolate. Combine flour and baking soda; add to batter. Stir in walnuts. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool brownies.

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. milk
1 c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips

Cream the butter, sugars and milk together. Mix in the flour until combined. Stir (do not use mixer for this) in chocolate chips. Spread on top of cooled brownies. Refrigerate leftovers (no worries, there won't be any!)

Happy Cooking~

Friday, May 14, 2010

7 layer dip

I think all wives would agree that there are times we just know our husbands better than they know themselves. When it comes to food- I know what Jack would like. That's why it drove me so crazy that he would never try my 7 layer dip. For years he refused to even taste it. Claiming he hated everything on it and he wouldn't enjoy it. 4 years into our marriage I finally convinced him to just give it a try. He braved the first bite and there was no looking back. He frequently asks for this and has been known to make himself sick from eating too much. When it comes to this dip... I can promise you will like it too!

7 Layer Dip

1 can of refried beans
1 (8oz) container of sour cream
1/4 cup of guacamole
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup of cheese
1 tomato (diced extremely small)
Olives* optional

Spread refried beans on a serving dish. Layer sour cream, guacamole, taco seasoning, cheese and tomato's. (in that order) Chill until served.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Will's Sticky Chicken

Those of you who have a Facebook page will appreciate this...On a typical BUSY day for me, I was tired of cooking "the same ol' quick dinners" and I couldn't think of anything new or exciting to make, so on my "status update" I asked if any of my Facebook friends, out there in cyber world, had any fantastic, easy recipes that I could whip up. I was thrilled when so many people responded, even sending me their recipes. One particular recipe caught my eye that night because it was from a friend of my son. They had gone to school together and I was excited to see that HE COOKED. I know, I shouldn't be surprised, but there aren't a lot of college age boys that cook from scratch...they eat out or they go to the girls apartment next door...OR they cook prepared, frozen YUCKY food...BUT this was an actual recipe and he admitted that he had really cooked it! "WOW"...I thought, "I will have to give this one a try"....and the rest is history. I cooked it up for dinner and I have to say, it was scrumptious! We all loved it. I have made it several times since and even had to ask him AGAIN for the recipe, because I had lost it. This last time I thought I would give it a try in the slow cooker. It worked out super well and there was less mess...and no 80 degree house from having the oven on. We love this recipe and it has gone in my pile of recipes that we eat often...Thanks Will!!!!

Will's Sticky Chicken

Chicken (thighs, legs, breasts etc...anything you want)

Place chicken in a 9x13 baking pan. Prepare sauce.

1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. mustard
1 t. salt

Mix and pour over raw meat. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve with rice or your favorite side dish.
(We served ours with rice and poured the sauce over the rice...YUM)

*if using your slow cooker...Place meat in and pour sauce over the top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4...or until the chicken is cooked through. As you know, slow cooker times vary....it all depends on YOUR particular slow cooker.

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

A few weeks ago I sent out a cry to my face book friends begging for new recipes to try. A friend from high school replied and sent me a TON of amazing recipes. I was so excited to try them out and when I saw this recipe I knew it had to be the first. Something about the idea of putting vanilla yogurt in these muffins just made my mouth water. They definitely did not disappoint. This is officially going in my circulation of favorite recipes. Thanks Jody!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cups chocolate chips

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a seperate bowl combine egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hot Spinach Dip

One of my food weaknesses is "DIP", any dip...dip for veggies, dip for crackers, dip for fries, dip for chips...just dip, I love any and all of it. Kim took a cooking class in school and they learned to make this yummy creation that has quickly become a favorite in our house. We make it for Thanksgiving, for dinner and just for fun. Its best when eaten right out of the oven (after cooling for a little bit so it won't burn your tongue)...but it also tastes great warmed up as leftovers.

Hot Spinach Dip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (we have used the Neufchatel Cheese and it works just as well)
1/4 c. mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing...use REAL mayonnaise)
1/2 c. frozen spinach, chopped and thawed
1/2 c. frozen broccoli, chopped and thawed
2 T green onion, chopped
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1 c. Monterey jack cheese, shredded (we have used cheddar or mozzarella as well)

Thaw spinach and broccoli, squeeze all the water out of them. Mix all ingredient together and put in a 8x8 cake pan. Bake 20-30 minutes until warm and bubbly. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips. 
*we like to double ours so that there are leftovers...if you double it, put it in a 9x13 cake pan to bake it. 

Happy Cooking~

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes

A few weeks ago I bought a package of frozen blueberries. I intended to find the best blueberry muffin recipe (I'm still on the lookout). I tried a few recipes I was disappointed with so I gave up my search and my blueberries were forgotten in my freezer. This weekend I decided to make pancakes for Saturday breakfast. I wanted something a little different from the regular ho hum pancake recipe so I found a recipe I could work with (here) and changed a few things to accommodate my tastes and ingredients on hand. I don't know if I can ever go back to regular pancakes. They were THAT good!

Best Blueberry Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1 egg (beaten)
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk + 1 Tbs. vinegar)
3 Tbs. melted butter

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl mix together egg, sour milk, melted butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and combine gently until all the dry spots are gone but some lumps remain. Do not over mix.

Spray your griddle with pam and pour the batter 1/4 cup at a time. When the batter starts to bubble- drop a few blueberries on to the pancake. Pressing them slightly with your finger. Let the pancakes continue to cook until the edges appear set then flip.

Serve with homemade maple syrup

Maple Syrup

2 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp maple flavoring

Combine all ingredients and let boil till sugar is dissolved.


Saturday, May 8, 2010


And the winner is....... Number 4


Congrats Leigh.

Thanks again to all our readers! We love you all!

Crunchy Apple Salad

Its that time again...for making those summer salads. 
I love that its "acceptable behavior" for the cook (thats me) to make salads for dinner during the busy, hot  months of summer. Everyone appreciates that I don't heat the house up by turning on the stove or oven...and I appreciate the simpleness of making a quick dinner...not to mention the easy clean up. We were invited to a fun barbecue the other night and I decided to try out my culinary skills. I wanted to make something that was light, easy and good at the same time. I came up with this delicious summer salad, which was a huge hit with everyone....and I will have to say, I was quite proud of my creativity. 
Give it a try...and I bet you will love it too. 

Crunchy Apple Salad

3-8 oz. tubs of whip topping, thawed (I used fat-free...and everyone thought it was yummy)
3 Nestle' Crunch candy bars
3-4 apples, diced into small pieces
1 c. chopped walnuts

Crush candy bars up (I just smashed and broke them while they were in the package) and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add apples and walnuts, stir until well mixed. Add whipped topping and fold into other ingredient. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Happy Cooking~

Friday, May 7, 2010

Walnut Orange Breakfast Cake

**Click HERE to enter our Giveaway**

Breakfast cake is so nice because you can make it the night before and have breakfast done when you get up in the morning. I found this recipe in a Taste of Home book years ago and made it almost every week...THEN I quit making it for YEARS because everyone got tired of it. Sad to say, I then forgot where I had found it. As I was looking for new recipes to try the other day, I came across it again and was so excited...it sort of felt like seeing an old friend again. I KNEW that I had to make it. Everyone in my family loves it. Its moist, its delicious and it's defiantly a recipe that you will want to try out and add to your favorite recipes.

Walnut Orange Breakfast Cake

1 c. quick cooking oats
1 1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. butter, cubed
3 T. orange juice
3 C. coconut
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

In a small bowl, stir oats and orange juice until softened, set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars; beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; add to the creamed mixture alternately with oat mixture. Stir in walnuts. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and walnuts. Gently spread over warm cake. Broil 1-2 minutes or until top is bubbly.
*I have found that it works best if you make the topping and then IMMEDIATELY put it on the cake (don't make and let sit while your cake is cooking)...otherwise it drys out.
*I have also found that this cake serves best if you let it cool before you eat it...it's a little crumbly unless it has time to set up...BUT it tastes delicious no matter when you eat it....hot or cooled.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Julie's Famous Bacon Pasta Salad

**Click HERE to enter our Giveaway**

This pasta salad is a "summer staple" in our house. It's a must have almost weekly, we just LOVE it. I created it one summer when we were in college (a looooong time ago). I was asked to bring a pasta salad to a party and I used what I had in my refrigerator (bacon, cheese and tomatoes)...and the rest is history. I get requests to bring it to every family BBQ, summer party and reunion. My brothers devoir it right up and always ask if they can take home the leftovers (which is a huge compliment to me, because all of their wives are excellent cooks). It's super easy to make and compliments anything you serve it with. You can use any shape of pasta that you want...but our favorite is the bow tie pasta (not pictured)...but they are all delicious.

Julie's Famous Bacon Pasta Salad

1 16 oz. box bow tie pasta (or other noodles) cooked according to package directions, drain and cool
2 lbs. bacon, cooked, drained and cooled then cut into small pieces
2-3 c. grated cheddar cheese
3 large tomatoes, diced
Mayonnaise (the REAL stuff) * I like Best Foods or Western Family brands the best...but use your favorite
1/4 c. Ranch Dressing
season salt

In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, cooled bacon, diced tomatoes, and grated cheese. Mix well. Add desired amount of mayonnaise, ranch and seasonings. Taste and add more seasonings as needed. (Its a "taste as you make" kind of salad) Stir all ingredients together. Serve.

*IF you are making it ahead of time....DON'T add Mayonnaise/ranch until you are ready to serve. The noodles tend to soak the mayonnaise up and it isn't as creamy. If you have left overs and want to make the salad a creamy again...add a small amount of milk and stir in. You can also add more mayonnaise and ranch if you want to.

Try it and let me know what you think~
Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Frito Casserole

**Click HERE to enter our Giveaway**

Tuesday nights are super busy for us. Jack has study group and I have Young Womens. There's only about an hour between the two so I have to make dinners quick. We usually have frozen meals or hot dogs and macaroni. Tonight I wanted something delicious but quick. I had chili and fritos in my pantry and so this beauty was created. Quick, easy and tasy.

Frito Casserole
1 bag of fritos
1 small can of chili
1 cup cheddar cheese

Pour Fritos into a 9x9 pan. Cover with chili and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (covered with tinfoil for the first 20 and uncovered for the last 10)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fruit and Spinach Salad

**Click HERE to enter our Giveaway**

I love having a lot of color on my plate when I eat and this salad does just that. I also like using spinach in my salads vs lettuce because I like the flavor it adds when tossed with any ingredient, plus its packed full of vitimans that lettuce doesn't have. Summer salads are easy and a nice change from the heavy "comfort foods" of winter...although, I like those too...but for now, I'm going to enjoy eating light and easy...and sometimes even healthy.

Fruit and Spinach Salad
1 bag of spinach, torn into smaller pieces
sliced strawberries
sliced mushrooms
diced apples

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Toss spinach, strawberries, mushroom, apples and craisons together. Serve with Raspberry Vinegrette Salad Dressing.

*I used the "light" version of the salad dressing and didn't feel like it lacked any of the taste...it was YUMMY!

Happy Cooking~

Monday, May 3, 2010

May Giveaway

Dear Readers....
Have we told you lately that we love you? Because we do! We've met some amazing people through this blog and we get giddy every time we get comments or get a new follower. It's like Christmas. We love doing giveaways too! We have a reason to get crafty and it's our way to tell you all THANK YOU every month.

Up for grabs this month is a set (4) of adorable coasters. I LOVE coasters..... usually they just sit on my end table because we forget to use them..... but I do love them! And these are some of the cutest I've seen!

Want to win these? Easy-
- Leave us a comment on THIS post telling us what summer recipes you want to see!

Want to win REALLY bad? Get more entries by:
- Blogging about this giveaway
- Follow our blog
- Include us in your facebook status
- Add our button to your blog

Be sure to leave an addition comment for each extra entry. Include your email address so we can get ahold of the winner!

*If you are already a follower or have already added our button leave a comment telling us so.

Example: Blogged about this giveaway. Check it out at betterthanburgers.blogspot.com Email address is johndoe@gmail.com

-Added your button to my blog Email address is johndoe@gmail.com

-Became a follower Email address is johndoe@gmail.com

etc, etc, etc

Good Luck! Giveaway will be open until FRIDAY May 7th at 11:59p.m. Winner will be announced Saturday morning.

*Giveaway is sponsored by Better Than Burgers very own cook Dayna

Rice Krispie Treats

I was talking to my mom a few days ago and she mentioned she had made Rice Krispie treats for the family and they turned out disgusting. Dry, hard, tasteless bricks. Epic fail? I think everyone has probably had an epic fail numerous times with Rice Krispie treats. It's one of those recipes where every one's version is just a little bit different- which is totally fine, if it works for you. For ME I like my treats to be full of marshmallow with absolutely no chance that they will go hard. I'm pretty particular about my treats. After trying numerous recipes (most of which failed big time) I came up with a combination that works for me. Try it out and it just might be the one that works for you.

Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 cup butter
10 cups marshmallows (1 16 oz. bag)
6 cups Rice Krispies

In a medium sized pot melt butter and marshmallows over medium heat stirring continually. Once melted completely- remove immediately and stir in Rice Krispies. Pour into a 9x13 pan, let sit a few minutes and then press treats until flat (spray your hands with cooking spray to avoid treats sticking to your hands. If you want your treats taller use a smaller pan.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mock Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo

I love to eat at the Olive Garden. We don't hardly ever go there because the closest one is over 100 miles away, but one of my favorite dishes to eat when I DO go there is the "Fettuccine Alfredo". Its definatly NOT something that you dine on when dieting (or you just live in a fantasy world and pretend that its low calorie, like I do)...because its packed full of fat and ALL the good stuff! I found this recipe years ago, I wished I could remember where so that I could give the person credit...but I don't have any idea where I got it, so I apologize for that. BUT just know that there is someone out there that created this yummy recipe and we all get to enjoy it! I like to serve this with Mock Olive Garden Salad and my homemade breadsticks...all of which are posted on our recipe blog today. When I sit down to eat this yummy meal, I just need a waiter and then I would feel like I was dinning out at the Olive Garden, yes it really is THAT GOOD!

Mock Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo

1 c. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
4 c. heavy cream
1 t. black pepper
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese

Cooked shrimp OR cooked, diced chicken (I like to grill the chicken and use it)
Fettuccine noodles, prepared according to directions on the box

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, cream and pepper and bring to a slow simmer; stirring often. Add the Parmesan cheese and simmer the sauce for 7-8 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thick, make sure you stir continually or it will scorch. Add Mozzarella cheese and keep stirring until smooth. Place prepared Fettuccine noodles and meat onto a serving dish or individual serving plates and top with sauce....Now just sit back and relish in your delicious "dine out" food...maybe if your lucky your own personal "waiter" will even serve you!

Homemade Breadsticks

One of my life long close friends, Maylene, gave me this recipe many years ago. I always loved her breadsticks and wanted to learn to make them myself...the rest is history, I have been making them ever since. Its the easiest breadstick recipe that I have found, and by far one of the yummiest. I have sold them at bake sales and fundraisers (I usually run out and have people asking for more). I have made them with the oil and also without (you know..."fat-free") and I love them both ways. I have topped them with melted butter and sprinkled Parmesan cheese along with italian seasoing on top of them...and even gone so far as to melt Mozzarella cheese on them...they are very versitle and SO good any way that you serve them! I am not worried, I know that you will be pleased with the results of these fantastic breadsticks!

Homemade Breadsticks
2 c. warm water
1 T yeast dissolved in 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. sugar
2 t. salt
1/2 c. canola oil (optional)
5-6 c. flour

*I use my Bosch to make these, but it can easily (with a little hard work) be done by hand.
Add first five ingredient, then add just enough flour until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl. You don't want it to stiff, but not too sticky either. Knead and let rise for 5 minutes. Roll dough out onto a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a pizza cutter into even strips and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise until almost double then bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. After baking top with butter and spices or mozzarella cheese and melt under the broiler for 1 minute. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (pizza sauce, alfredo, ranch or melted cheese whiz).

Mock Olive Garden Salad with Dressing

Make this salad and serve it with the Mock Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo for a wonderful gourmet italian meal. My kids love to eat this all the time, but pairing it with the Fettuccine Alfredo...just makes it feel like your spoiling yourself...just a little.

Mock Olive Garden Salad
1 large head of leaf lettuce
red onion, sliced
black olives, sliced
4 banana peppers, sliced
tomatoes, cut into quarters
croutons (check out our past blog post for Crouton recipe)
FRESH grated Parmesan Cheese

Rip lettuce by hand (don't cut it or it will go watery) and place in a bowl. Top with onions, olives, tomatoes, peppers and croutons, slightly toss...but not too much. Add freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and Mock Olive Garden Dressing...serve. *I like to add the dressing to individual salads instead of the entire thing, that way if there are left overs it won't go soggy.

Mock Olive Garden Dressing 
1/2 c. mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing, use the REAL stuff)
1/3 c. vinegar
1 t. canola oil
2 T. corn syrup
2 T. Parmesan cheese
2 T. Romano cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. dry italian dressing mix (from a package of dry italian dressing mix...find it by your salad dressings
      in your local grocery store)
1/2 t. parsley flakes
1 T. lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix well..(or stir vigorously for a few minutes). Serve with Mock Olive Garden Salad. Refrigerate any leftover dressing.