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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cheesey French Bread

I don't know what it is about cheese...but it REALLY does make everything taste better. I grew up having had cheese as a "staple" in my house, sort of like flour, sugar, salt....and CHEESE. I guess thats where I learned to love it so much or maybe I am just part mouse. I could eat just about any kind of cheese and think it was amazing...yes, that includes "bleu cheese" as well (love IT...but thats another blog post). I could just sit down and eat this bread for my "main course" at any meal but I realize that it SHOULD be a side dish or something that is meant to just compliment the main course...having said that, fix it and eat it for whatever part of your meal you would like (I choose the main course)...its just the yummiest stuff ever and I am sure you will gobble it right up.

PS...This delicious bread would make a great side dish served with your Spaghetti Dinner (or whatever you feed your little goblins...I feed mine spaghetti every Halloween Night) tonight (remember its "Halloween/Trick-or-Treat" tonight)....hmmm maybe I will do that too.
Cheesy French Bread

1 loaf of french bread, cut in half horizontally
1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
3 c. grated Colby Jack Cheese
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. ranch dressing ( I like to use the homemade stuff)

Combine all ingredient EXEPT for bread. Mix well. Spread mixture over the 2 open sides of the french bread. Broil for 2-3 minutes...just long enough to melt cheese and crisp up the bread (as you can see, mine got left under the broiler a little TOO long and got a little burnt...but I had to take a picture and blog about it anyway, just over look the black part). Serve hot. 

Happy Cooking~

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nuts-n-Berries Salad

I absolutely love fruit in my salads. Not sure what it stems from but there is nothing better than biting into leafy lettuce and being surprised by a sweet berry. Delicious. I made this salad for Sunday dinner last week and it was absolutely to die for. The leafy lettuce and subtle taste of cheese mixed so well with the sweet berries and crunchy nuts. Absolutely amazing.

Nuts-n-Berries Salad

1 head leafy lettuce
1 cup strawberries
1 cup walnuts
1 cup mozerella cheese

Combine ingredients. Serve with Poppyseed Dressing.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Carrot Cake" Muffins

If you visit our blog often you know that I LOVE carrot cake...its right up there at the top of my YUMMY list! I made these Carrot Cake Muffins for breakfast one morning (even doubled the batch, so I ended up with 2 dozen muffins) I thought that I had plenty for breakfast as well as for the following morning...much to my surprise, everyone ate several while they were nice and warm, with melted butter... and then they pieced on the rest of them all day long...so I didn't have ANY left for the next day. Oh well, they were a hit and I am sure I will be making them again soon. Give these delish little muffins a try...its like eating "Carrot Cake" for breakfast and getting away with it.

Carrot Cake Muffins
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. grated carrots
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. melted butter
3 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 t. nutmeg

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream eggs and sugar, add carrots, milk and melted butter; mix well. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined and moist. Spoon batter into muffin cups or a well greased muffin pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

1c. powdered sugar
mix in just enough milk to make a thin glaze, but not watery

Drizzle over the top of hot muffins OR wait 10 minutes and then drizzle over the top of muffins. If you top the muffins immediately the glaze soaks into the muffins, if you wait it will sit right on top like a thin frosting....I like them both equally as well...YUM!

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Caramel Apples

I have a confession to make. Before last week I had never eaten a caramel apple. Ever. Weird? My hubby thought so. He insisted that we make caramel apples before Halloween so last weekend I bit the bullet and decided to make some. It's sad that I have been missing this all of my life! I think this is definitely going to be a tradition at our house.

Caramel Apples
6 small apples
Popsicle sticks
1 bag (14 oz) caramels
2 Tbsp. water
Toppings of your choice*

Stick a popsicle stick into each apple. Set aside. Crush up your choice of toppings. Set aside. Combine caramels and water in a pot and melt over medium heat. Stir constantly. Once melted completely, dip apples into caramel and then roll in your topping. Set on wax paper and let sit for 30 minutes.

*Topping ideas: reeces peices, oreos, sprinkles, coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, candy bars, etc.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Raspberry Pancake Syrup

I enjoy pancakes and waffles much more if I don't always have to put maple syrup on them...don't get me wrong, maple syrup is delish and has its place, but a change is always nice. I have a very large raspberry patch and I am always looking for new ways to use up those berries. Our raspberries don't start coming on until the end of August or first part of September, which is right in the middle of the tomato season...AND canning, so alot of times the raspberries get put in a bag and frozen until I can get around to doing something with them. When I came across this recipe and it called for "FROZEN RASPBERRIES" I knew that I had to try it (since there are still a few bags hiding in my freezer from last years crop). The syrup turned out amazing and so tasty...(but I love raspberries so anything made with raspberries is amazing in my opinion)...give it a try because I think you will agree with me~ you're going to love it!

Raspberry Pancake Syrup
3 c. frozen raspberries
3 c. sugar
3 T. water

Combine ingredients into a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir frequently so that syrup doesn't burn. Cook until berries are melted down and the syrup thickens slightly. Serve with pancakes, french toast, waffles or any of your favorite breakfasts. Top with whipped topping if you like and eat up!!!
Refrigerate any leftovers...it sets up a little bit more when it gets cold and can actually be used as a jam on PBJ's  or toast too. YUMMY!

Happy Cooking~

Monday, October 25, 2010

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

A few months ago we went to a family get together with some of Jack's extended family. His Aunt Carrie is one of the best cooks I know. She always has something amazing whenever we get together and this was no exception. She made a delicious salad with poppy seed dressing and I could not get enough of the stuff. Fast forward to a few days ago when I saw a recipe for this dressing. I knew I had to try it! It was absolutely amazing! I think I've given up on store bought dressings. I'm a homemade type of girl now.

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds

In a blender combine sugar, salt, mustard and vinegar. Mix well. Slowly add the oil and blend till thick. Stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until serving.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Cookies, in my book, are either REALLY GOOD or REALLY BAD, there aren't any mediocre ones. Some are hard and crunchy and tasteless(in my book those are REALLY BAD) and some are soft and chewy and divine (those are REALLY GOOD in my book). These are right up there with the fabulous cookies (tastes delicious as well as being soft and chewy too)! I started baking these cookies 23 years ago when we were in college. The recipe was in the ONLY cookbook that I owned (The Mormon Family Cookbook) at the time and I usually always had the ingredients for them. I made them over and over until I had them perfected (to my liking). My hubby adores these cookies and so do my kids, but sometimes I have to hide them or we will eat them all at once and there won't be any for "another day" (I am all about "stretching them out for a FEW DAYS"). I also like to make these for my dad's birthday because he loves raisons...and I love my dad! Dig in and whip yourself up a batch of these today....you won't regret it!

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

2 c. water
2 c. raisons

2 3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
4 t. vanilla
6 c. oatmeal
1 c. chopped nuts (optional....but it tastes really good with them in there)

In a small saucepan, boil raisons and water together, covered for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Sift flour, salt and soda together, set aside. Cream shortening and sugars thoroughly. Add egg and vanilla; combine well. Mix in 1/2 cup of the raison water, oats and flour mixture. Add well-drained raisons and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets (I use a cookie scoop from pampered chef...wonderful little tool). Bake 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Hit the pan on the counter top when you pull the cookies out so the cookies middles will drop and they will stay moist and chewy. DON'T OVER cook them or you will get the REALLY BAD COOKIES....hard and crunchy!

I just know these are going to make it onto your "favorite recipe list"...because they are "just that good".

Happy Cooking~

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuscan Pasta

I've been trying to cook healthier the past few weeks. I found a recipe for Tuscan Pasta that I wanted to try and I finally got around to making it. I admit that I was a bit scared to taste it. As we were sitting down to eat Hubby commented that it looked unlike anything we were used to eating. It wasn't covered in cheese or dripping with sauce or just waiting to be dipped in ranch. It was completely foreign to us. After the first bite we decided foreign was good. This pasta is packed with flavor with absolutely none of the guilt. It's definitely worth a try.

Tuscan Pasta

1 lb. penne pasta (cooked)
1 cup grilled chicken (cubed)
3/4 cup bacon
1/2 cup tomato
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley- chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a deep sauce pan add chicken, bacon, tomatoes and olive oil. Cook on medium heat until tomatoes have softened slightly. Add cooked pasta and mix thoroughly. Add parsley and salt and pepper. Mix, cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with addition Parmesan cheese.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

As of yesterday my favorite poppy seed muffin came from a box mix. I've wanted to try homemade poppy seed muffins for years but I didn't think they could ever surpass my Krusteaz brand. I decided to take my favorite banana muffin recipe and change a few things to create my own take on poppy seed muffins. When I pulled them out of the oven I almost cried. They were flat, dark brown and hard. Everything I absolutely hate in a muffin. I gave up- threw them all away and vowed to stick to the box. After I had cooled off for a few hours I decided to do some research and give these muffins one more chance. I found this recipe and almost cried. They looked absolutely amazing. I was sure it was too good to be true but on the off chance this recipe would actually work I decided to whip them up with a few changes. I am SO glad I did. I don't think I can ever go back to the box mix. These muffins were fluffy, moist, light in color and tasted absolutely amazing. Making these muffins was the best decision of my day. I hope it will be yours as well.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter milk (1/2 cup milk+1/2 tsp. vinegar= 1/2 cup buttermilk)
2 Tbsp. almond extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, baking powder, kosher salt and baking soda. In a seperate bowl combine sour cream, buttermilk and almond extract, set aside. In a seperate bowl beat sugar and butter. Add eggs 1 at a time. Beat well until mixture is light and fluffy. Add half of the dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture and beat- add wet/dry ingredients alternately. Mix well after each addition. Stir in poppy seeds. Spoon batter into greased muffin tin. Bake for 20-22 minutes.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Breakfast Pizza

This is a super easy, versitale, scrumptious recipe. You can make it just the way your family likes it... with all of your favorite breakfast fixin's. You can put as much or as little as you want on your pizza....you are the master maker here. Be creative and enjoy something different for breakfast.

Breakfast Pizza
1 prepared pizza crust (I used "Mama Mary's Pizza Crust". You can buy it by the Pizza sauce in most
Grocery stores...not all, but most) OR you can make your own crust from scratch...whatever you want.
1 small jar pizza sauce
2-3 c. grated Motzarella Cheese (more or less, whatever you like)
8-9 scrambled eggs (cooked)

toppings: cooked, crumbled bacon, cooked, crumbled sausage, mushroom, cooked hash browns, canadian bacon, ham, pineapple, onions, diced peppers, olives, tomatoes etc...

Follow instructions on crust packaging for preparation. Spread desired amount of pizza sauce onto crust. Top with scrambled eggs. Layer desired toppings on top of eggs then top with cheese. Cook according to crust packaging directions or your own pizza crust recipe instructions.

Happy Cooking~

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oatmeal Apple Craison Muffins

Yep...its another muffin recipe. I hope you are enjoying the many different varieties of muffins that we have here on our blog...I know that we have loved trying them out and of course, eating them...the only thing that would make them taste even better (to me) is if someone would come in and clean up my kitchen when I was finished baking...any takers? These muffins are really moist and make a nice addition to your morning meal or you could just serve them with a glass of milk as you send the kids out the door. They taste delicious, especially right out of the oven with a little slab of melted butter. Give these muffins a try, your going to love them and the kids will too.

Oatmeal Apple Craison Muffins

1 apple, cored and grated
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. craisons (or raisons...I just prefer craisons)
1/4 c. honey
1 1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon-set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the buttermilk, oatmeal and craisons. Add the honey and eggs to the oatmeal mixture and blend. Combine the two mixtures together. Add grated apples and stir. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the muffin bounces back when you touch it. Don't cook too long or you will dry them out. Cool slightly (3-5 minutes) and serve.
Enjoy your breakfast!

Happy Cooking~

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cocktail Dip

I love junk food. I look for any excuse to break out the chips and dip. This dip is one of my favorites! I could (and did) eat an entire plate myself. I dare you to try to share!

Cocktail Dip
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup cocktail sauce

Place cream cheese brick in the center of a plate. Cover with cocktail sauce and spread evenly. Serve with crackers.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Breakfast Apple Streusel

This tasty dish is a lot like Apple Crisp but I serve it for breakfast and everyone loves it...even me and I am not a huge fan of "apple crisp".  It a nice dish that reminds me of autumn and the crisp apples falling from the tree's. Give your family this yummy surprise as they come to the breakfast table...it's a little slice of heaven.

Breakfast Apple Streusel
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter, softened (use the REAL butter)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a 2 knives or a pastry blender. Gently mix in egg. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Pat down crumb mixture into pan to make a crust. 

Pour 2 cans of apple pie filling over crust. Spread filling so that it completely covers the crust. 

2/3 c. brown sugar
1 c. oatmeal
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter, softened BUT NOT melted
1 t. cinnamon

Place all ingredient in a medium bowl and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of apple pie filling until covered completely. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool slightly then top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. So scrumptious!

Happy Cooking~

Friday, October 15, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken Wraps

A few weeks ago I was racking my brain for a new recipe to try. I asked the Hubby for suggestions and he created this recipe all by himself. I finally got around to making it this week and we invited two of our sisters to come be out guinie pigs. Both of them were floored by the delicious taste and the fact that Hubby came up with it all on his own. This is definately a keeper- the recipe and the man. ;)

Teriyaki Chicken Wraps
2 large chicken breasts
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 cup pineapple tidbits
4 cups rice
Uncooked flour tortilla shells

Cook chicken breasts. They can be cooked on an outdoor grill, the stovetop, oven etc. Lather 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce on top. Cook until done. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and combine with pineapple and remaining 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce. Prepare rice (2 cups rice cooked in 4 cups water = 4 cups prepared rice). Cook flour tortillas according to package. Layer your tortilla with 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup chicken. Top with teriyaki sauce (optional).


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apricot Chicken Burrito's

"What's for dinner?" is a universal question I am sure...and one that most mom's (or dad's, if they are the one's cooking) dislike. I hear it every single day come rain or shine. Most days, I have a menu posted in the kitchen that I can refer the family to so that they know what is cooking the entire week at our house, and I usually hear a few moans and groans as they see something posted that just doesn't fit their fancy...I guess you can't please everyone all of the time, right?! On this particular day, I tried out my creative cooking skills and I came up with this yummy crock pot/slow cooker recipe (thanks Jessie for inspiring me to pull out the crock pot and put it to good use)....and I got praises from the entire family. I heard "This is VERY tasty, Mom!" "WOW, thats really, really good." "Is there enough for me to have for lunch tomorrow?"....so I guess it was a hit and one that I will put a "star" by in my recipe files. That way I know that everyone liked it and it's definitely one to make again. You gotta love those dinner times when the entire family loves what you made, cleans their plate and leaves the table grinning ear to ear...those are the nights that you can walk away from the kitchen knowing you did a good deed for the day...might be the only one some days, but hey, you give what you can give...right?!

Apricot Chicken Burrito's

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2-1 c. soy sauce (I added 1/2 c. to mine because I like my sauce thicker...add more if you like the sauce
1 large jar (approximatley 32 oz) apricot preserves
1 t. garlic powder

1 package tortilla shells
diced tomatoes
diced avocado
sour cream
2-3 c. HOT cooked rice
grated cheese

Spray pan coating in bottom and sides of crock pot. Place uncooked chicken in and add 1 c. water. Cook on high for 4-5 hours (time will vary depending on your crock pot) or until chicken will tear apart easily. Remove chicken from crock pot and drain all water. Shred chicken and place back in the crock pot.

Mix soy sauce, garlic powder and apricot preserves in a small bowl until well blended. Pour over cooked, shredded chicken. Continue to cook in crock pot for 2 hours on LOW. Stir periodically so that it won't stick.

Heat small amount of oil in a frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Place one tortilla shell on a flat work space. Using a slotted spoon (you don't want TOO much sauce with your chicken), place chicken (the amount you want, I heaped the ones I made, they were really big) down the center of the tortilla. Add cooked rice (as much or little as you want) and grated cheese. Roll tortilla up, burrito style and place in hot oil. Cook until outsides are browned. Repeat until you have used up your tortillas....or made as many burritos as you wanted. Top with diced tomatoes, avocado's and a dollop of sour cream....YUMMY!!!

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Poofy Chips

The other day my sister and I decided to try making homemade chips and salsa. I've tried the deep fried corn tortillas and although they are delicious they weren't exactly what we were looking for. We decided to buy uncooked flour tortilla shells and deep fry them instead. Once they were all cooked up I had to admit it was not what I had in mind but fate had a different plan. These poofy chips happened on accident and ended up being absolutely delicious and totally blog worthy. If you are looking for something a little different to snack on or think your kids might get a kick out of poofy chips this is the recipe to try. Accidents sometimes turn out to be exactly what we are looking for.

Poofy Chips
5 uncooked flour tortilla shells
Oil for frying

Roll shells with a rolling pin to thin them out a bit. Cut them into strips and deep fry them till they are slightly brown. Sprinkle with salt while they are still hot. Serve with salsa.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Diane's BEST Cornbread

NO this isn't a piece of cake...this is cornbread....believe me it tastes SO MUCH
better than my picture makes it looks!...sorry that it looks so plain because its anything BUT plain!
Years ago...MANY YEARS ago, one of my neighbors brought my family a really nice dinner after I had come home from the hospital with a new baby. I don't remember everything that was on the menu that night (like I said, it was many years back) BUT I remember that she brought her cornbread, because I called to get her recipe for it. It was the best cornbread I had ever eaten. The only cornbread that I had ever eaten (before this cornbread) was dry and crumbly and left me thinking that I didn't want to ever eat it again...NOT this recipe! This cornbread is sweet, moist and makes you think you are eating cake for dinner (but it's not so don't put frosting on it...you might be disappointed with that). It has great texture (I know...that is a fetish of mine, food has to feel good on my tongue as well as taste good too) and its super moist...no crumbs with this bread. Try it out with one of our soup recipes...it will make everyone smile at dinner tonight.

Diane's BEST Cornbread
Cream together until smooth:
1/2 c. margarine or butter
1 c. sugar
3 eggs

1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. cornmeal
3 c. Bisquick

After mixing all ingredient together pour into a well greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes... UNTIL an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the middle springs back when touched. DON'T overcook or it WILL dry out (been there-done that)! Cool 5-7 minutes before serving. Eat UP and ENJOY!

Happy Cooking~

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cake Batter Ice Cream

*Whipped cream makes the ice cream much creamier- which I love- unfortunately it makes the picture look like it's melting. =)

If there is one thing in the world I can't say no to it is Ice Cream. My hubby knows if i'm grouchy the only thing to get me out of my funk is a trip to the closest freezer section. I'm not picky with my ice cream. I'll eat any kind- but there is definitely a soft spot in my heart for Cold Stone. Yum! I fell in love in college when my room mates and I made frequent trips to the Cold Stone across town. I'm a lover of Cake Batter Ice Cream loaded with brownie, whipped cream and caramel. Seriously can't think of anything better. So when I saw this recipe my jaw dropped and I knew I HAD to try this at home! It did not dissapoint. I'm afraid Cold Stone has lost a faithful customer. It tasted exactly the same- and for a heck of a lot less. This recipe will replace all other ice creams for you. I can promise you that.

Cake Batter Ice Cream
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
2 cups vanilla cake mix
Little Debbies brownies
Whipped Topping (spray)

Let ice cream soften so it will be easier to mix. Combine vanilla ice cream and cake mix. Mix thoroughly and return to freezer. Once solid dish ice cream into serving bowls. Top with a brownie, caramel and whipped topping. Use spoons and mix thoroughly (like they do at Cold Stone) serve immediately!

*Brownies, Caramel and whipped topping can be replaced by ANY mix ins you want. Which makes this recipe so great!

*Toppings can be mixed in at the same time as the ice cream and cake mix.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Burrito Bake

Several ingredients placed in a pan and made into a casserole is one of the easiest things to prepare for dinner right?! WELL that is...unless you are me. NOT very often do I make casseroles...because they just don't seem to be my thing. I love to eat them...and I've tried to make them many times over the period of my married life but sadly I don't do them justice. They usually end up in the trash (after I have force fed them to my family). BUT when I find a recipe and master it (for me that means that it not only turns texture wise, but also turns out in appearance, creaminess and all around tastes fabulous too) I make it again and again and I will guarantee that it makes it to this blog so that you not only KNOW that I have succeeded in my casserole testing adventures, but also so that you can make it for your family too (because I will only share the recipes that I like and think you will like too). I think that casseroles are wonderful in the cold, wintery months...its that comfort food thing again...it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This recipe is a yummy mexican dish. It makes up a large 9x13 pan and can feed a lot of people...a little goes a long way...also, the leftovers are awesome too. Try this casserole out...it's defiantly a "keeper" at my house.

Burrito Bake
1 lb. ground beef
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 (8 oz) tube refrigerated crescent rolls
4 c. grated cheese, divided (I used cheddar and Monterey Jack)

Toppings: lettuce, avocado, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, chopped green and red pepper, sour cream

In a skillet, cook ground beef until no longer pink, drain grease. Add taco seasoning, corn and black beans. Cook until warm and set aside. Unroll crescent roll dough. Press onto the bottom and up the sides (slightly) of a greased 9x13" baking pan; seal the seams and perforations in the crescent roll dough.
Spread 1 layer of cheese on dough. Spoon on beef mixture and top with remaining cheeses. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with desired toppings (suggestions above) of your choice.

Happy Cooking~

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lettuce Wraps

I'm in the process of trying to break my addiction to food. It's a sad time. I drive by fast food restaurants just so I can roll down the window and smell what's cooking. I'm pathetic. We're eating a lot of grilled chicken and brown rice at our house. It aint pretty. The other day I remembered a recipe one of my facebook friends talked about. Lettuce wraps with turkey burger. It sounded a lot better than grilled chicken so I convinced my husband it wouldn't be that bad and I came up with this recipe. It surpassed both of our expectations. It was absolutely delicious. Hubby's main concern was that he would miss the tortilla too much- we were both pleasantly surprised that you kind of didn't even notice. It was fabulous. I'll take these wraps over grilled chicken and brown rice any day!

Lettuce Wraps
1 lb Turkey Burger
1 packet taco seasoning
1 head of lettuce
1 cup cheese
1 cup tomatoes

Cook turkey burger in a skillet until brown. Top with taco seasoning packet and cook according to package directions. While simmering grate 1 cup of cheese and chop 1 cup of tomatoes. Cut Lettuce head in half so you get leaf "bowls" with the outer lettuce leafs. Spoon turkey, cheese and tomatoes into each leaf and top with ranch. Roll like a burrito and serve immediately.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rich Chocolate Cheesecake

Everybody (well at least MOST everybody) likes chocolate...then there is ME who loves both cheesecake AND chocolate, combine the 2 together and you get a little piece of scrumdidliumptious!
This dessert is very rich, but OH SO very good.
Proceed with caution-you might just become a Chocolate Cheesecake addict...it could happen you know.

Rich Chocolate Cheesecake
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 melted butter

Combine all ingredient for crust into a bowl and mix well. Set aside 1 c of the mixture for later. Press the remaining crust mixture into a lightly greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1 (12 oz.) package chocolate chips (semi-sweet OR milk chocolate...your favorite)

Beat eggs, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Slowly add evaporated milk and beat until well mixed. Microwave chocolate chips in a glass bowl for 1 minute then stir. Microwave and stir at 15 second intervals until smooth. Stir into cream cheese mixture and pour over hot crust. Sprinkle with the 1c. extra crust mixture. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the center of cheesecake is set. Cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
*Cut into small pieces as this is very rich....then that will give you more for later too....

Happy Cooking~

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's finally Fall! Words cannot express how excited this makes me. Although pumpkin is delicious any time of the year it just seems more appropriate to wait until Fall to break out these delicious cookies- and boy are they worth the wait! This is the only recipe I will use. It's been a family favorite for over 15 years. There is no way you can mess these up- plus this recipe seriously makes enough to feed the entire neighborhood. So making these cookies ensure that you will love yourself, your family will love you and your neighbors will be praising your name. Make them. Now.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups pumpkin
1 1/2 cups oil
3 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
3 cups brown sugar
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ginger
1 bag chocolate chips

Mix pumpkin, oil, vanilla, eggs and brown sugar. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix thoroughly with wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Easy Orange Chicken

***Because of some technical glitch somewhere on my computer....the post for my "Easy Orange Chicken" was deleted. I don't know what happened or where it went...but it is floating around in cyber space somewhere, lost forever. Needless to say I am reposting the recipe....BUT without a picture because it too was deleted. I apologize for any inconvenience or trouble this has caused and hope you will try the recipe anyway.

Easy Orange Chicken

I, like many other others in my family, love Panda Express (oriental "fast food type" restaurant). My favorite dish there is the Orange Chicken (really-all of it is my favorite...but I get the Orange Chicken every time I go). My daughter found this recipe several years ago and gave it to me to try out. The kids were all a little skeptical when I said that it was going to taste like the "real stuff"...I don't think they believed me BUT NOW we make it all the time and my family scarfs down every last bite, EACH AND EVERY time I make it. It has quickly become one of their favorite foods.

1 bag (approximately 36 oz) of fully-cooked/frozenboneless chicken chunks
(I used the Great Value "Walmart" brand) cooked according to instructions on the bag.

2 c. water
8 t oil
4 dash garlic powder

Bring to a boil.

12 T. soy sauce
12 T. water
2 1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. white vinegar

Orange Zest (optional)

6-8 T. water
6-8 T. cornstarch

Mix water and cornstarch together. Stir until smooth, set aside.

Stir all ingredients continually (so it won't stick). Bring sauce to a boil. Add thickening a little at time. Don't add all of it at the same time because you don't want your sauce to be too thick. Stir with a whisk until sauce is thickened. Add more thickening as needed and until sauce is at the desired thickness. If you want orange sauce thicker, make more thickening and add a little bit at a time. Add orange zest for more of an "orange flavor". Pour sauce over cooked chicken and serve immediately. Serve with steamed rice.

Happy Cooking~

Monday, October 4, 2010

Twice Baked Cauliflower

I'm the girl who promised her husband in the first week of marriage that she would never eat vegetables. I was a grown up now and I was determined to stick to my guns on this one. As the years have passed I've realized the error of my ways. I'm trying to eat more vegetables- of course I'm always drawn to the veggie dishes that have more calories than a gallon of ice cream. Oh well. So of course I was drawn to this recipe for Twice Baked Cauliflower. Twice Baked Potatoes are my very favorite and if these promised to taste even remotely like them I was sure I would love it. And love it I did. With this lower calorie version of my favorite dish I was able to eat to my little hearts content and only feel slightly guilty- as opposed to the mucho guilt I feel when I eat potatoes. This is a perfect side dish to convince your kids (and self) that vegetables can taste good too!

Twice Baked Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
4 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbs. butter
1 T. Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crumbled bacon
1 cup grated cheese

Cut stem and core from cauliflower- cut into small pieces and cook in a large pot of boiling water. Let cook until tender. Drain well and mash with a potato masher. Mix in cream cheese, butter, Parmesan, bacon and 1/2 cup cheese. Spread evenly in a baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbling.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Great Grandma's Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

I've always loved chocolate cake...but not the kind that you make from a box, personally I would just as soon eat cardboard...BUT make one from scratch and I am all over it!! My sweet sister-in-law sent me her Great Grandma's recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Cake. When I heard that it was a recipe that had been passed from generation to generation, I knew that it had to be amazing!...I was not disappointed in the least! It is to die for! I like my cakes to be dense and delicious, and this cake is just that. ENJOY EVERY LAST BITE! Thanks so much Sommer for the recipe!!!

Great Grandma's Chocolate Buttermilk Cake
2 cubes margarine
4 T. cocoa (I added 2 more...just because I wanted it EXTRA chocolaty)
1 c. cold water

Bring to a boil and then pour over a mixture of 2 c. flour and 2 c. sugar

1/2 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 t. soda
2 beaten eggs

Mix together then pour into a greased 9x13" baking pan OR 2-9" greased round cake pans. Cook at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Check with a toothpick in the center of the cake to make sure its done. This cake often needs additional cooking time. (Mine took 28 minutes and I used 2 round cake pans) Cool completely and frost.....then my favorite part....EAT IT!
*I like to freeze my cakes before I frost them...it makes the process of frosting them so much easier and the cake stays "together" without the mess of crumbs and broken pieces.

Great Grandma's Chocolate Frosting

1 cube margarine
4 T. cocoa
5 T. milk

Bring to a boil, take off heat. Mix in 1/2 bag powdered sugar and 1 t. vanilla. (Sommer adds enough powdered sugar to make it to the thickness that she likes...so add more if you want it thicker, less if you want it thinner)

I used my recipe for the frosting:

Julie's Frosting

2 lbs powdered sugar
3/4 c. shortening
1 T. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

Mix all ingredient together until smooth. Frost cake.
*I use this frosting for everything...my cinnamon rolls, my cakes...anything that calls for frosting. YUMMY!

Thanks again Sommer!! I am sure this recipe will be passed down in my family from generation to generation as well.

Happy Cooking Everyone~

Friday, October 1, 2010

Santa Fe Chicken

A few weeks ago I was on the lookout for a new dinner recipe. I came across the idea of Santa Fe Chicken. Hubby and I are somewhat picky-- so I took the idea and made sure it fit into our food groups of meat, cheese and ranch and this is the delicious dinner that came out of the crock pot. It was to die for amazing. We continued to eat leftovers for a week and we were so upset when we finally ran out. The perfect recipe for all those meat, cheese and ranch lovers who just need a tiny bit of variety to avoid going crazy! This recipe is sure to be a hit at your house!

Santa Fe Chicken

3 cups salsa (I puree mine)
1 cup brown sugar
6 large boneless chicken breasts
1 can pinto beans
4 cups rice (prepared)
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup tomatoes
1/2 cup avocados
Ranch *optional

Combine salsa and brown sugar. Cook salsa mixture and chicken breasts in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4. After chicken is done shred and return to crock pot with the salsa mix. Add pinto beans and cook on low for 1 hour. Keep warm until serving. Prepare rice (2 cups rice boiled in 4 cups water= 4 cups prepared rice). Top rice with chicken, cheese, tomatoes and avocados. Top with ranch if desired (you can't honestly be surprised I threw ranch into the mix). Serve with Naan