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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Enchilada Sauce (for Canning)

When I was growing up, my mom use to make the BEST enchilada sauce from scratch. It was my very favorite and we ate it all the time with our mexican dishes. When I got married, I continued to make it and serve it with our mexican favorites. One year when I had tomatoes coming out of my ears from an over abundance of produce from my "rather large" garden, I decided to create a recipe to "bottle/preserve" my favorite enchilada sauce. It turned out perfectly and I was so pleased with it, that I have continued to plant a large patch of tomatoes every year so that I could continue to bottle Enchilada Sauce each canning season. Give it a try. I think that you will be glad that you did.

Enchilada Sauce (for canning)

1- five gallon bucket of tomatoes. Wash, blanched and skinned (I don't skin mine, I cut off the tops, chop
     them into fourths, put them in my blender and put them in my large cooking pot)
1 c. vinegar
1 c. chili powder
1 c. + 4 T salt
2 T. oregano
1 1/2 T. cinnamon
3/4 c. ketchup
6-7 c. sugar

Decide how you want to do your tomatoes, put them in cooking pot. Add all ingredients and cook until tomatoes are soft. Stir often so the sauce won't burn to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 minutes. Cool slightly and put into prepared bottles and water bath for 30 minutes.

Happy Canning~

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fiesta Dip

Growing up Sunday night was junk food night. Mom would make a huge lunch and then when we started getting hungry again we would munch on chips and dip or whatever leftovers were in the fridge. One of my favorite dips Mom would make was Fiesta Dip. It's quick and easy and oh so delicious. A few days ago I was racking my brain trying to think of a new snack food I could take to a family reunion, and I realized I had never made this dip for my husband. 5 years into our marriage and I still have a few childhood recipes I haven't made. He was SO grateful I introduced him to this amazing dip- and your family will be too.

Fiesta Dip
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 24 oz. bottle Medium Salsa*

*We puree our salsa because chunks are gross

Combine cream cheese and salsa in a bowl and beat until smooth. Chill until served. Serve with chips or crackers.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mexican Chicken Strips

I am always on the look out for new "chicken and beef" recipes. Thats the main meat that I use when I cook and sadly enough, I get tired of making the same things all of the time. Having this blog has FORCED me to get out of my "cooking rut" and prepare a larger variety of foods....sometimes I even forget what I used to cook in my "PRE-BLOG" life. I found this recipe in a file that I had from when I was a teenager....you know, the kind of recipes that you clip out of magazines and newspapers because when you "grow up" you are going to try them...well I had never tried it and thought NOW would be as good a time as any to see if it was worth keeping around. It quickly became a family favorite. Its like eating "fried chicken" but with a mexican twist to it. Its tasty and pleases both the old and young alike.

Mexican Chicken Strips
1 1/2 -2 c. flour
1 envelope taco seasoning

Mix flour and taco seasoning together in a shallow dish. Set aside.

3 lb.. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 c. buttermilk
2 package crushed "Frito" corn chips (for extra ZIP use the Chili flavored Frito's)
oil for cooking

Heat oil in a frying pan and heat until HOT. Place corn chips in a plastic bag (ziplock) and smash with a rolling pin, place in a shallow dish. Pour buttermilk into medium sized bowl. Dip chicken strips into flour mixture, then buttermilk and then crushed corn chips. Turn oil down to MEDIUM heat (this will prevent your chicken from cooking too fast and also your coating to burn) Put coated chicken into hot oil and cook. Turn every 3-4 minutes to prevent coating from burning and to cook the chicken evenly. Cook until done. *Mine took about 20 minutes or so to cook, but cooking time depends on the thickness and size of your chicken strips.

FOR A HEALTHY VERSION OF THIS: Place chicken strips (prepared following the same directions as above) on a large, lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until the chicken is completely done and the juices run clear.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Happy Cooking~

Friday, August 27, 2010

Carmel Apple Crepes

My husband thinks that crepes are "Manna From Heaven"...in fact he is sure that they are! He loves them tremendously and would eat them every single morning for breakfast if I would make them for him... but since I don't/won't, he feels EXTRA special when he climbs the stairs to the kitchen and finds that I did make them for him! I thought I would try out a different way of serving them this time. I made Carmel Apple Crepes. They were so good...but seriously, the word "GOOD" just doesn't seem fitting for how yummy they really are...so lets use the word sensational or fabulous or even splendiferous...you get the idea.  Try them, you'll like them. Give up your boring breakfast and serve this fun, festive, autumn dish to wake everyone up in the morning.  

Carmel Apple Crepes
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
3 T. oil
9 eggs
3 3/4 T. sugar
3 c. milk

Mix until smooth, batter will be thin. Put 1/2 c. of patter into a very well greased, hot skillet. Move the pan side to side to spread the crepe batter out. Crepe will bubble and set up, then turn it over and let the other side cook. When its done, place on a plate and let cool slightly. 

1-2 cans apple pie filling (1 can fills about 6 crepes)
1/2-1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (amount depends on if you doubled your pie filling or not)
1 t. cinnamon

1 jar carmel topping
1 8 oz tub whipped topping

Mix pie filling, nuts and cinnamon together and heat over a medium heat. 

Spoon a generous amount of apple pie filling mixture down the center of each crepe. Roll or fold up crepe and pour carmel topping over each one (I made each plate up individually). Top with whipped topping. Add a dash of cinnamon to the top of each crepe. THEN...my favorite part...Open wide and dig in! Whew...your taste buds will thank you...and so will your hubby!! 

Happy Cooking~

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Breakfast Banana Boats

This is one of those recipes that really isn't a RECIPE...I give you the list of ingredients and you can make it however you want to. I caught my family off guard one morning when came to the table thinking they were getting "fruit and yogurt" for breakfast, but instead I had made this  scrumptious twist on the ordinary plain "Fruit and Yogurt" that everyone is use to. It was received with a lot of "Yuuuummmms" from many mouths....guess it was a hit! I liked that it was easy and light for summer time. It was refreshing and can be made to suit every taste bud....give it a try with your family.

Breakfast Banana Boats  
Banana's (a must because they are called "Banana boats"....)
Whipped topping

Ingredient Ideas:
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, nuts, raisons, craisons, granola, coconut, maraschino cherries, blackberries, small cubed apples, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, diced cantaloupe, diced honeydew melon, diced mango's, halved grapes, sliced kiwi....(the possibilities are endless...pick whatever you want)

Slice banana's in half lengthwise and place in a narrow bowl (or whatever you have). Top with fruit of your choice, then add yogurt and whipped topping, sprinkle with granola.

*these would make up really nice for a family reunion, camping trip or just a quick breakfast before heading out the door. You can serve 50 people or 1 person...its very versatile. They would be great during the summer, but taste just as good during the winter months....It's a nice break from a heavy breakfast. 

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce (for Canning)

I am guessing that some of us are right in the middle of canning season, some of us are just beginning the canning season...regardless of where you are in you're "bottling adventures" I am sure that you are having a blast, right?! I say that with a very strong sound of SARCASM in my voice because bottling food is one my VERY LEAST favorite things in the entire world to have to do...BUT I do it because I love the fact that I CAN (I am able...even though I complain about it) and that I have the means to do it (a garden full of tomatoes). I also love seeing my full jars of yumminess and sitting on the shelves. I like knowing that I made it without preservatives and "all the extras" that go into the store bought stuff. This delicious recipe is one that I requested from one of my life long friends, years ago. She loves to bottle food and has the wonderful talent to be able to bottle just about anything and have it turn out fantastically. Not only does it look pretty in the jars, but it tastes amazing as well...she is just an awesome woman! I love this recipe because it tastes so good and yet it is fairly easy (when it comes to bottling food...its all about time and patience...but other than that part, its easy) and have used it for almost 20 years. Hope you find it as scrumptious as my family does.

Spaghetti Sauce (for canning)
1/2 bushel tomatoes (about 30 good sized tomatoes)
4 Anaheim peppers
2 T. garlic powder
3 large onions, diced or chopped
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. salt
8-10 small cans of tomato paste
1/2 c. oil (optional...I never use it)
1 T. basil leaves
2 T. oregano leaves

*When I make this recipe I cut the tops off of the tomatoes and cut them into fourths. I cut the tops off of my peppers and cut them into pieces. I chop the onion into chunks and then I put everything (all vegetables) into my blender and blend them up (a small amount at a time of course). Then I put it all into a large black cooking pot that I bought specifically for canning. My family doesn't like "chunky sauce" so this process eliminates any of the chunks. IF you want to, you can blanch and skin your tomatoes first and then cut them into small pieces and put them in your pan or blender...but I don't, I throw them in skin and all, you do it however you like it. If you don't want to blend the vegetables up, you certainly don't have to. Just cut them into smaller pieces so they cook down faster and put them in your pot.

Next step after your tomato, pepper and onion cutting process---put garlic powder, sugar, salt, oil, basil and oregano into pot with vegetables. Bring to a boil and let boil for 1 hour, stirring frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of pot. Add tomato paste and boil for 30 more minutes. Put in clean quart or pint jars and water bath for 30 minutes.

Happy Cooking~

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate Chip Mint Pie

Once again I am making "Chocolate Chip Mint something"....hope you love it as much as I do! This dessert will compliment any summer meal, inside at the dining room table or outside at the family barbecue. Its light, (but not a low calorie kind of "light") and cool and refreshing, just right to sit outside and eat as you watch the sunset. Enjoy your last few weeks of the summer sunshine by making and eating this yummy dessert.

Chocolate Chip Mint Pie

1 pre-made Oreo or Chocolate crust
1 1/2 c. COLD milk (2% or whole)
1 t. peppermint extract
1 pkg. pistachio flavored instant pudding
2 c. thawed whipped topping
1 c. chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat milk, peppermint extract and pudding on high, for 2 minutes. Stir in whipped topping and chocolate chips by hand. Spread into prepared chocolate crust and freeze for 6 hours or until firm. Remove 30 minutes before serving to soften slightly before cutting. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Cooking~

Monday, August 23, 2010

Better than EVER Peanut Butter Cookies

Growing up, Peanut Butter Cookies were always one of my favorites...BUT only right after they came out of the oven, while they were still warm. Not only did I enjoy the way they melted in my mouth and gave me that "strong desire" to grab another one, but I loved how they were so soft and chewy, making each little bite taste like a bit of heaven. But the goodness didn't last, oh NO...as they cooled down and as the day (or dayS) went on...they dried out and became hard and crunchy. NO LONGER were they chewy and scrumptious (that only came right after they were cooked)...they became a small, thin hockey puck and not worth the effort it took to eat them! I have tried to master the art of making Peanut Butter Cookies for YEARS (yes, I've been married for "YEARS" you know)...many times over I have made them and ONCE AGAIN been sadly disappointed by the way they cooled down to a crunchy state of unhappiness....that is UNTIL I found this AMAZING recipe and gave it a try! It promised (yes, recipes CAN AND DO promise things...but they don't always stand true to them) that it was a soft and chewy peanut butter cookie (no more CRUNCH after cooling). I thought I would give it a try and see if the "promises" were all they were cracked up to be...WOW, YUM...and SERIOUSLY DIVINE...are just a few of the words I used when I was eating these cookies BEFORE and AFTER they cooled down...even DAYS later they were still soft. They held up to the promises and exceeded my expectations...OH and BY THE WAY they also tasted superb!!!
SO...I PROMISE that if you LOVE peanut butter cookies, these are going to become your absolute favorite (unless you are fan of dry, crunchy, hockey puck cookies)...make up a batch for YOU as well as all those little munchkins that will be needing an "after school snack" in a few hours...thats what I'm going to be doing today!

Better Than EVER Peanut Butter Cookies
5 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. butter (4 cubes), softened
6 eggs
2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 T. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (YES, this is one of the tricks to this recipe...cooking at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time). In a medium bowl combine flour, soda and salt. Mix well and set aside. In mixing bowl combine sugars and stir. Add butter and mix until well blended. Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla, mix until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture, stir just until mixed. (I used a wooden spoon to prevent any over mixing) Drop by tablespoon or cookie scoop onto a well greased baking sheet. Press down slightly with your thumb. Bake for 15-19 minutes (mine took 15-17 minutes). Hit cookie sheet slightly on the counter after pulling the cookies out of the oven to help them to "drop" in the middle...(another trick). Place warm cookies on a paper towel that is spread out on your counter. Continue until all cookies are baked.
*Cookie Dough should be semi-firm but not hard...BUT also NOT sticky. Add more flour if needed but only a small amount at a time to prevent adding TOO much. I don't think you will need to add any more...but just incase you do, thats another HINT.

Happy Cooking~
OH...and Please EAT one for me...calories don't count if you are eating them on account of someone else, so in that case...eat 6 for me!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bacon Ranch Bread

This is one of my favorite "quick" fix meals. It's so simple to make you will be shocked. It's a cross between a sandwich and a big slice of pizza (makes my mouth water just looking at the picture). Bacon Ranch Bread is a great meal served alone or as a side dish to any one of your delicious meals. You can make it when your in a hurry or just don't want to spend the evening cooking in the kitchen. Give it a try, I'm pretty sure that you'll love it!!

Bacon Ranch Bread

2 c. (8 oz) grated Monterey Jack Cheese (you could use whatever cheese that you like, but I loved the
       taste that the Monterey Jack gives this)
1 c. prepared ranch dressing (you can use homemade ranch or bottled ranch)
1 loaf unsliced French Bread
1/2 lb cooked, crumbled bacon

In a mixing bowl combine cheese and ranch dressing; set aside. Cut bread in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. Spread with the cheese mixture. Don't skimp on it...if you need more, add more...you won't regret it. Top with cooked, crumbled bacon. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into slices, serve! 

Happy Cooking~

Friday, August 20, 2010

Green Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burritos get eaten a lot around our house. They're quick, easy and they definitely feed a crowd. I had Breakfast Burritos on my menu for this week, but when my sister told me about the burrito she had tried at a local restaurant I knew I had to try it myself. She told me what was in it and I made my own spin off. It was absolutely delicious. My husband wasn't quite sure about the enchilada sauce, but it only took 3 bites to convince him he couldn't possibly eat it without. My sister said it was better than the burrito she had and we fought over who got the leftovers for lunch the next day. This is definitely the recipe to try if you want a new spin on an old recipe. I can guarantee it won't disappoint.

Green Breakfast Burritos
10 uncooked tortilla shells
1 bag southern style hash browns
12 eggs
1 lb sausage
3 cups cheese
1 large can green chile enchilada sauce

Cook tortilla shells. (The less oil you use the easier they will be wrap). Cook hash browns according to package directions. Cook sausage. Scramble eggs. Warm enchilada sauce.

*Burritos can be prepared separately by each individual or can be prepared and combined in a cake pan and served like enchiladas. In each tortilla shell layer 1/2 cup hash browns, 1/2 cup eggs, 1/4 cup sausage, 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and 3 Tbs. cheese. Fold both ends over and roll up burrito. Top with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and 2 Tbs cheese.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce

I haven't always liked Bleu Cheese and up until I was a grown up, I would turn my nose up at even the thought of having to eat it...but growing up brought many wonderful new flavors and foods into my life
(I guess you acquire different tastes when you're a grown up?...or maybe I'm just a little more adventurous  than when I was a youngster...so VERY long AGO!)...ANYWAY, Bleu Cheese Dressing and Dip became a new love of mine as I got older and I actually prefer it over Ranch on my salad. I first tried HOMEMADE Bleu Cheese Dip years ago at a party...we dipped veggies in it. Since then I have tried to recreate that delicious dip on my own, and up until now I could never get it right. BUT finally...I did! This dip is my most favorite one of my many attempts and makes my mouth sing happy tunes as it basks in this flavor of heaven!...YES, you to should give it a try too.

*Try dipping Buffalo Chicken Wings or fried chicken in it or Cheesy Tater Skins.... or just about anything...it will make you come back for more.  

Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce
1c. sour cream
3/4 c. mayonnaise (must be the REAL stuff...no Salad Dressing)
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt
4 oz crumbled Bleu cheese (or Blue...doesn't matter how its spelled)

Combine the first 4 ingredient and mix well. Fold in Bleu Cheese. Chill dip for 1-2 hours so that the flavors can "marry" (come together). Serve with your favorite food, eat it on a salad, serve with chips...serve with anything that you would serve with a dip. Also tastes great on top of a baked potato. 

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Texas Sheet Cake

*it looked so good I just had to take a bite first

I've had a lot of jobs in my life but if I narrow it down to my absolute favorite I would be lying if I said it was anything other than the summer I spent working at The Strawberry Patch (local home decor store/restaurant in Duchesne). It was the summer after I graduated from High School and I was working with my best friend Margo. That summer was amazing. Even thinking about it now I can't help but smile. The days were spent talking about our hopes and dreams, boys and futures and visiting with vacationers about our cute little town we call home. Years later when I want to remember that summer I whip up a batch of The Strawberry Patch's Texas Sheet Cake and I'm grateful for the memories. Gather your family and make this delicious cake while making some memories of your own.

Texas Sheet Cake
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup boiling water
4 Tbsp. cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 c. milk + 1 tsp. vinegar)
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup butter
4 tsp. cocoa
6 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb. pwd. sugar
1 cup chopped nuts *optional

Combine sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Set aside. In a saucepan melt butter and shortening. Add cocoa- stir together. Add boiling water, allow to boil for 30 seconds then remove from heat. Pour over flour mixture and stir. Combine buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and baking soda. Stir into cake mixture. Stir until combined well. Pour into a sheet cake pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

While cake is baking make frosting. Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in cocoa then remove from heat. Add milk, vanilla and pwd. sugar. Stir together. Add nuts. Pour over warm cake.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cheesy Tater Skins

I call this divine dish of yumminess.... "party food"! Because they are so yummy that when I eat them my stomach has a little "party!" (yours will too)!  I like to dip mine in my homemade Bleu Cheese Dipping sauce (August 19th post)...but they are also really scrumptious as they are or with a side of ranch to dip them in. Kids, both young and old, will fall madly in love with these Cheesy Tater Skins. It won't matter whether you're having them for dinner or if you are serving them at a party, they will become a family favorite. Eat them with a group or eat them all alone....it doesn't matter how you do it, just do it...you won't regret it (just don't get on the scale)......

Cheesy Tater Skins

There isn't really a set amount of ingredient, just make as much as you want.

Baked potatoes, cooled. Cut each potato into fourth's then carefully clean out the insides, leaving about 1/4 inch around the potato skin. 

Grated cheese ( I used Monterey Jack and Cheddar)
Margarine or Butter, melted

Dipping sauces; BBQ Sauce, Bleu Cheese, Sour Cream, Clam Dip, Ranch or salsa

Brush each potato skin with melted butter and place on a baking sheet with the skin side down. BROIL for 5-6 minutes or until crisp and brown. Sprinkle with cheeses broil for 1 more minute or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, or eat them plain. 

Happy Cooking~

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good Stuff Potato Salad

I'm a huge fan of Potato Salad in theory. I like the idea of it, I just don't like eating onions, celery and pickle in the mix. A few weeks ago I ate a potato salad and wondered why people don't make it full of the good stuff. I forgot for a moment that I can actually cook- I quickly vowed that on the first chance I got I would make a potato salad that you don't have to pick through. This one is chock full of the "good stuff" and you definitely don't want to pick through it. Throw an end of summer back yard bash and show your friends and family what potato salad is supposed to taste like.

Good Stuff Potato Salad

4 large potatoes
4 eggs
2 cups cheese
1 cup bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 cup ranch

Peel potatoes and boil until soft. Approximately 15 minutes. When finished dice into small pieces. Boil eggs for 10-12 minutes. When finished peel shells and dice. Let cool. Combine mayonnaise, mustard and ranch. Pour over diced potatoes, eggs, cheese and bacon. Gently mix together. Refrigerate until served.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Parmesan Chicken

This recipe is so easy. I made it after church and let it cook while I got changed my clothes and put my feet up for a minute. Its effortless yet tastes like you spent a lot of time making it. I made the mistake of not cooking more and everyone fought over the leftovers the next day. It's a scrumptious italian dish!

Parmesan Chicken
8 small skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 jar spaghetti sauce (your favorite...I like Prego)
freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
grated Mozzarella Cheese
Spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained according to package direction.

Heat oven to 375. Pour 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce into a 9x13" baking dish. Place chicken breast in the pan. Pour a small amount of sauce on top of each chicken breast and spread around. Cook for 30 minutes (thicker breasts take longer to bake... I split mine so they were thinner, therefore requiring only 30 minutes of cooking time). Remove chicken from the oven and top with Parmesan Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese, place chicken back in the oven and bake for 5 more minutes or until cheeses are melted. Put chicken on top of cooked spaghetti and ENJOY!

Happy Cooking~

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sweet Pork

A few weeks ago Jack and I went to Montana to spend a week at his grandparents cabin on Echo Lake. It was absolutely heavenly. We got a tan, read books, took naps and spent 8 hours a day playing in the water. I didn't want to come home. Especially because a week at the lake means I only have to cook ONE day! The rest of the days I just get to sit back and let my amazing sister in laws cook (and I do have AMAZING sister in laws- thanks bro-in-laws for marrying girls I love). One night my fabulous sister in law Angeline made Pork Tacos. Oh. My. Gosh. I drool thinking about them. The pork tasted so similar to Cafe Rio Pork that I was sure she must have spent most of the day in the kitchen. Not so. The only recipe I've seen that is easier than this is Koolaid. It would be a waste for you NOT to try this recipe.

Sweet Pork
3 cups Salsa*
1 cup Brown Sugar
3 lbs. pork or chicken

*We blend our salsa in a blender because I'm afraid of onion chunks- but you don't have to.

Combine Salsa and Brown Sugar and pour over pork/chicken in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 3-4. Shred meat and serve.

The possibilities are endless with this recipe. We made pork tacos, but I bought enough pork to try pork enchiladas, pork quesadillas, pork tostadas, pork burritos.... sounds like we're gonna be eating a lot of pork at my house.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

THE Bacon, Cheese, Mushroom Melt Burger

As the end of August creeps up on us, we are all probably getting close to putting away our "Summer Fun" and trading it in for our "Autumn Mode"...but hopefully you will keep your BBQ grill handy and use it for a while longer-- because trust me, after you try these burgers...you're going to want to leave your grill up and ready to go year round...because these burgers are seriously the best I've ever eaten (and I don't even like bacon, but on these, its a must and I loved it!)...even if I did create them on my own...I can brag just a little bit can't I?! My wonderful son-in-law is a huge fan of Bacon Burgers...so my REAL test will be to make them for him and see what he thinks...but I am 110% sure that he will love them!!! Until then, you'll have to try them and give me some feedback on what you think...I'm pretty sure they are going to make you smile and possibly ask for another one!

THE Bacon, Cheese, Mushroom Melt Burger

Ground Beef, shaped into hamburger patty's...fairly thick
Liquid Smoke (my 16 year old son said that this is what made the burger "POP"...he loved them!)
Mushrooms, sauted in melted BUTTER until done
(if you don't like mushrooms, then leave them off, it will still be AMAZING)
Thick sliced bacon, cooked until done and crispy. Put on a paper towel to absorb any extra grease

Hamburger buns

Velvetta Cheese

Prepare hamburger patty's, as many as you want. Put a small amount...(just enough to spread around) liquid smoke on top of each raw hamburger patty, apply with a spoon and spread around so it completely covers the burger or use a pastry brush to spread around if you have one. Grill burgers on your BBQ grill until done, but NOT burnt.

Cheese Sauce:
Cut 1/2 brick Velvetta Cheese into small cubes. Place in a microwave safe dish. Add 1/4 c. milk and stir. Microwave on high for 1:30 minutes then stir, continue to cook and stir every 30 seconds until cheese is melted and forms a sauce (if you like your cheese sauce thinner, add more milk...but we like ours a little thicker...don't add more milk until after its all done and you can see that you are going to want yours thinner).

Spread butter on inside of bun (top and bottom of the inside of the bun...not outsides). Place buttered side down in a frying pan and cook until butter is melted and bun is browned. Put grilled burger on bun, top with cheese sauce, bacon and mushrooms. Top with the top of your bun and ENJOY....

* We didn't add any condiments because this burger can hold its own and adding condiments would have taken away from its unique, delicious taste...but if you MUST, then you must.

*CAUTION...this burger has a tendency to make you want more (because it's so YUMMY)...but it's so big and filling that you probably will only be able to eat one...just thought you might want to know.

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Easy Cheesecake Cream Puffs

My mom's cheesecake recipe is famous around our parts. Every year our local high school groups sell cheesecake and they make sure it is Julie's recipe. Partially because it's absolutely delicious and partially because it's SO easy. With only 3 ingredients I can honestly say I cannot think of an easier recipe. I was craving her cheesecake the other day so I decided to whip up some cream puffs and fill them with it. Of course they did not disappoint. They look absolutely amazing and tasted even better. Fancy and Tasty. Who can top that!

Cream Puffs
Use THIS recipe

8 oz. cream cheese
1 8 oz tub of cool whip
1/3 cup sugar

Mix cream cheese, cool whip and sugar until smooth. Immediately fill cream puffs. (I used my frosting bag and tips to fill the puffs- it gave it a cleaner look) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blueberry Turnovers

When I was a teenager, I worked in a bakery...maybe thats where I "gained" my great love for pastries and breads...I would eat blueberry turnovers for breakfast every single day (we won't talk about how much weight I gained), I couldn't get enough of them. I found this recipe and knew that I had to give it a try. Its super quick, easy and very tasty! You can put in whatever flavor of pie filling that you like, blueberry just happens to be one of my favorites, so thats the way I made mine.

Blueberry Turnovers
2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls
1 can of blueberry pie filling
1 c. powdered sugar

Unroll the dough and separate into triangles. Place a triangle on a greased baking sheet. Spoon a small amount of pie filling into the center of triangle, top with another triangle of dough and press edges to seal, continue until all of your triangles are made into turnovers. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly, then serve warm.

Combine sugar and enough milk to make glaze. Stir until it gets to a "drizzle" consistency. Drizzle over warm (but not hot) turn overs.  

Happy Cooking~

Monday, August 9, 2010

Southwest Layered Salad

A few weeks ago we talked my anti salad husband into going to one of our favorite fresh food restaurants. He's on this major health kick these days and decided instead of his regular sandwich he would order a salad. Nice. I assure you he never expected to actually like it! So when I asked him what kind of salad I should make for our family BBQ he was quick with his answer. I decided to mix things up and I made my own take on his newfound favorite Southwest Chipotle salad. There were no leftovers- and my mouth waters every time I look at this picture.

Southwest Layered Salad

4 cups or 1 (store bought)bag of leafy lettuce
2 cups shredded chicken
1 cup black beans
2 cups Frito corn chips
2 cups cheese
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cups diced avocado

Layer items in this order and serve with Chipotle Ranch Dressing Serve immediately.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tuna Casserole

Tuna Casserole is one of those recipes that everyone has...but they are all just a little bit different. I tried many different recipes, most of which my family wouldn't eat, before I came up with this one. Once I finally got it right, they all decided that it was one of their favorite foods...(who would have thought?!)...Its creamy, delicious and very simple to put together.

Tuna Casserole

2 1/2 c. noodles (use whatever kind your family likes, I like to use the elbow macaroni)
1 can cream chicken soup
1/4 c. butter
1 c. sour cream
1 can tuna, well drained
2 c. grated cheese (I like to use Cheddar or Monterey Jack, use what your family likes)

Cook noodles according to package instructions. After noodles are cooked, drain and set aside in a mixing bowl. In a medium saucepan combine soup, butter and sour cream. Cook until butter is melted (stir continually so that your soup won't scorch). Add tuna and 1 c. cheese. Continue to cook until cheese melts and all ingredient are mixed well. Pour mixture over well drained noodles. Stir until everything is well combined. Put noodles into a greased (spray with pan coating) 8x8 baking pan or a casserole dish. Top with remaining 1 c. cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

*If you make this ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator before cooking, your cooking time will be 35-45 minutes...if you make it and immediately put it in the oven your cooking time will be 25-30 minutes.

Happy Cooking~

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rib Rub

I believe this picture speaks for itself.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love when the hubby grills?

Rib Rub

2 Tbsp. Paprika
2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
3 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
2 tsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp. Celery Salt
1 tsp. crushed Oregano

Combine all ingredients. Stir till combined. Store remainder in a cool dry place.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pepper Jack Jalapeno Burger

I've always liked spicy/hot food...I don't know why, but its one of my favorite kinds of food to eat. When we went to "Grumpy's Resturant" in Silverton Colorado, Halle got this yummy burger (that we shared) that had pepper jack cheese and jalapeno's on it. It was good enough for me to try and make it again....it turned out "mighty good"....if you like HOT food you will enjoy this burger.

Pepper Jack Jalapeno Burger
Grilled hamburgers
Buns (your favorite)
Pre-sliced Pepper Jack Cheese
canned diced Jalapeno peppers

Grill hamburgers, melt Pepper Jack Cheese on burger and put it on your bun. Top with jalapeno's and any condiments that you want. Eat UP!

Making little changes to your burgers is not only fun, but it gives you variety so that you can eat them more often during the summer months and not get tired of BURGERS...and these are defiantly better than your average burger! YUM!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reese's Trifle

I've been having so much fun with my Trifle bowl. Sometimes I catch myself day dreaming about the ingredients I could combine to make the perfect Trifle. It's pretty sad actually. One mixture I came up with got rave reviews from the hubby and I'm sure it will get the same from yours.

Reese's Trifle

1 box devils food cake
1 large tub of cool whip
2 cups chopped reese's
Magic Shell (hardening chocolate)

Make cake according to package directions. Let cool and crumble into large pieces. Layer cake on bottom of bowl, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with reese's, caramel and magic shell. Repeat at least 2 times. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lisa's Stromboli

I had never eaten stromboli up until just a few months back when I was sick and my sweet friend brought over dinner. I have to say when she told me how easy this recipe was to make I was shocked. It takes just a matter of minutes to put it together and it is "lip smacken good"! All I heard from my family during dinner was "mmmm"..."this is really good"...."can I have another piece"...."mmmmmmmmmmm". I think Lisa's Stromboli is something that will please the taste buds of both children and adults. It's amazing!

Lisa's Stromboli
1 loaf of French Bread
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium diced onion (optional)
1 can cream chicken/mushroom soup (which ever you prefer)
1 c. sour cream

grated cheese
chopped green peppers
diced tomatoes

Brown ground beef and onion until meat is no longer pink and is cooked. Drain grease from burger. Add cream chicken/mushroom soup and sour cream and heat thoroughly. Cut french bread in half, lengthwise. Spread prepared meat mixture onto one side of the bread. Top with cheese. Spread grated cheese on other side of the french bread. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven. Top with diced tomatoes and chopped green peppers. Put the top half of the french bread onto the side with the meat. Cut into pieces like you would a sandwich and serve.

It makes a very quick meal when you are in a hurry, yet it tastes like you spent a lot of time slaving over a hot stove. Enjoy this delicious meal, I know that I did!! Thanks so much Lisa!!!

Happy Cooking~

Monday, August 2, 2010

Texas Governors Mansion Cowboy Cookies

Today one of my very best friends is moving. I'm so sad. We've lived just down the street from each other for two years. We've been through SO much together and I can't imagine what I'm supposed to do now that she'll be living across the country. Sad. (Love you Kristin) A few weeks ago we were at a car wash/bake sale for our Young Womens group (we're in the presidency together) and she had made the most amazing cookies. I couldn't stop eating them. I begged her to give me the recipe and promised if she did I would post it on the blog. I made them myself on Sunday morning and I was just as pleased. I had to give them away by the platefuls or else I would have eaten them all by myself. Literally. If you make them make sure one of your plates makes it to my door!

Texas Governors Mansion Cowboy Cookies
4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking pwd.
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups butter (at room temp)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 cups chocolate chips
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut
2 cups chopped pecans

Mix flour, baking pwd, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat butter and sugars then add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients- stir until combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans. Mix thoroughly.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.