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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Crazy" Muffins


When I see or hear the words "Fat-Free" I often wonder what kind of taste I am going to be giving up to cut calories. You will be happy to hear that NOTHING but the fat is missing from these yummy muffins! They taste delicious...they are seriously so good, you'll never miss the fat! I could eat them one right after another...I DON'T... but they are good enough to make you want more and MORE.

Fat-Free Crazy Muffins

1 1/3 c. applesauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. Craisons
1/2 c. coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing combine applesauce and egg and mix well. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Do not over mix, just stir until moistened. Gently fold in Craisons and coconut. Spray muffin tin with pan coating and fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until golden brown and when they spring back when they're touched.
*Makes approximately 12 muffins.

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bean and Cheese Burritos


One of my favorite meals growing up was homemade burritos- they were so greasy and cheesy and all around delicious. I made them for Jack a few weeks ago and it shocked me to find out he had never had them before. Since then I have made them many times to make up for lost time. They are so quick and easy and just what you need on nights when the thought of cooking makes you cry. (or is that just me?)

Bean and Cheese Burritos
10 flour tortilla shells
1 can refried beans
1 cup of cheese
Oil (for frying)

Spread approximately 3 Tbsp of beans down the center of your tortilla shell. Sprinkle with cheese and roll up. Set in frying pan of hot oil. Let cook on for 1 min (or until brown) and turn. Serve hot. (with ranch or ketchup)

~Dayna~

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meatloaf Pie

This recipe is dedicated to all of you out there that have "Hamburger Packed" freezers and don't know what to do with all of that beef. I searched high and low for something tasty, yet easy at the same time. When I came across this dandy recipe, I knew that I had to give it a try. Meatloaf Pie is sort of a cross between "meatloaf and pizza". Its easy and can be made with little effort. I love that I can make 2 and freeze one for later. My family was a little leery at first, when I told them what we were having for dinner and some of them even said, "just dish me up a little, I'm not very hungry"...but in the end, when ALL was said and done, three people (yes only 3...and that didn't include me) ate an entire 9" pie plate of this mouthwatering dish! Guess it was a hit, wouldn't you say?! One of those people even asked if I could make it again really soon..."sure thing", I said!

Meatloaf Pie
1 can (10 oz) evaporated milk
1 c. cracker crumbs (crackers such as Saltines, Townhouse, Club, Ritz etc...)
1 t. garlic powder
2 lb. lean ground beef
1-2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 small jar of your favorite pizza sauce

In a bowl combine milk, cracker crumbs and garlic. Add beef and mix well (I use my hands and really blend it up good). Press meat mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie plate. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes (remember oven temps and times vary). Drain grease from meatloaf. Spread desired amount of pizza sauce on top of cooked meatloaf, just like you would for a pizza. Top with cheese. Bake 3-5 minutes longer until your cheese is melted and meat is no longer pink. Cut and serve.

Happy cooking~
Julie

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bourbon Chicken


I think I've admitted my love affair with Orange Chicken many times on this blog. (If not then I just did). It's my favorite food and even thinking about it makes my mouth water. Last year I came across a recipe for Bourbon Chicken. It sounded enough like Orange Chicken to get me interested but it took me over 6 months to actually make it. I can't believe I waited that long. It was absolutely divine. If you love Chinese food as much as me I know this recipe will be right up your alley.

Bourbon Chicken
2 pounds boneless chicken
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup cornstarch

In a bowl mix egg and milk. In a seperate bowl combine flour and corn starch. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Dip in egg mixture, then flour mixture and deep fry.

Sauce:
2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup apple juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Let boil. Add 1 Tbsp of cornstarch to thicken. Stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Pour over chicken and serve immediately.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Easy Coconut Bread

I had never eaten "Coconut Bread" until I made this recipe. I can't tell you how upset I felt that I had waited my entire life, all....."29 years" of it (you thought I was going to confess my real age didn't you?) before I finally broke down and mixed this little "dream" up!  I had seen recipes for Coconut Bread for years (in my hunt for new recipes to make)...but always shied away from making it because it just "didn't sound that good"....WOW, was I so wrong! Its mana from heaven, I am sure of it!...Guess I better get making some more!

Easy Coconut Bread

8 eggs, beaten
4 c. sugar
2 c. oil
4 t. coconut extract
6 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2 c. buttermilk
2 c. coconut

Combine ALL ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into 4 regular sized, well greased and floured, bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. 

*Start checking the bread at 45 minutes, when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, your bread is done. Don't over cook or it will be dry. 
*These freeze well so don't shy away from making the entire batch....but if you must (you will regret it, I am sure of it) you can make 1/2 of the batch and get 2 loafs. 

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Monday, July 26, 2010

Berry Trifle


I've been wanting a trifle bowl forever. I love making trifles but they always look boring in a metal bowl. I finally broke down and bought one and knew I needed something summery to try it out. I bought some berries and threw this together thinking it might be good. Oh. My. Gosh. It was amazing. I expected it to taste like strawberry shortcake but it was so much better. It was the perfect treat to eat while sitting outside watching the sun go down on a warm summer night. And that's exactly what we did.

Berry Trifle
1 white cake mix
1 large tub whipped cream
3 cups strawberries
1 cup blueberries

Cook cake mix according to package directions. Once cake is cooled completely crumble it in pan. Layer 1/3-1/2 of cake on bottom of bowl. Top with whipped cream and cover with strawberries and blueberries. Continue until bowl is full. Refrigerate and serve cold.

~Dayna~

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Green Chili Cheeseburgers


In June our little family ventured off on a fun filled family vacation. We ate at all kinds of great little places, and even a few "NOT so great" little places (we won't mention those). One adorable little place that we ate was in Silverton Colorado, up high in the mountains. We rode the train from Durango Colorado up along side of the Anise River until the train stopped and let us off in Silverton. There are only 532 people that live in this small town but its full of ton's of great little "mom and pop" type eating places.

We walked around trying to decide which one looked the best and then tried to figure out what we were all craving. We decided on this cute little cafe called "Grumpy's"....BUT it was anything but "grumpy". We walked in and past a little old man playing the piano, a picture right out of an old western movie. We were seated and given a menu. Everything looked so good...and smelled good too. We all ordered a sandwich...they had about anything you could ever want in the "burger category". I got a Cheeseburger with green chili's, Halle got a Jalapeno' burger (Halle and I split ours with each other because we both wanted "both of the burgers", and just couldn't decide on which one...so we shared!) Cameron and Kimber both got bacon burgers and Deron got a French Dip. Who would have thought that we would come away from this little cafe feeling like we had just had the best meal on the entire trip...and it was a BURGER no less?! When we returned home from our trip, I vowed that I was going to do my best to mimic that burger that I had eaten at Grumpy's...and after a little thought and playing around, I think I did a pretty good job. Wether it's a copy cat recipe or not...I LOVED eating IT again either way! If you ever get to Silverton Colorado...make your way to Grumpy's....UNTIL then, try my burger...its pretty darn good if I do say so myself!

Green Chili-n-Chipotle Cheese Burger

Grilled Burgers (could cook in a pan too, but I prefer grilled)
Cheddar Cheese (I used this new kind that I found.
Its pre-sliced "Chipotle Cheddar", it was amazing!!!!)
1 small can of chopped green chili's
your favorite hamburger buns (I used the "Whole Wheat Sandwich Flats"...very good! But the
regular buns are just as good!)
avocado, sliced

Prepare hamburger, melt cheese on top. Add green chili's...as many as you like (I put a spoonful on mine). Place sliced avocado on burger and add any condiments that you would like on top of that. It's awesome and a great way to "Spice UP" your BBQ.

Happy Cooking~
Julie



Friday, July 23, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip


I LOVE Buffalo Chicken. Any restaurant we go to I always drool over it. I love it as an appetizer, meal, in my salads, etc. So when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I was so glad I did. It was absolutely amazing. It tasted exactly like a Buffalo wing. Definitely not for the faint of heart. This dip is definitely packing some heat, but if you love buffalo sauce as much as me you will not be disappointed.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
1 can chunk chicken (drained)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce (or less- depending on how tough you are)
3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat chicken and buffalo sauce in a pan over medium heat. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Stir until well blended and warm. Mix in cheese. Serve with Tortilla Chips.

~Dayna~

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin! It doesn't have to be winter, Thanksgiving or even Christmas for me to enjoy the succulent taste of anything pumpkin! I like it in pancakes, pies, muffins, cakes, cheese cakes...anything, and now even in BREAD! This pumpkin bread turned out so well and tasted to delectable when I made it the first time...I turned around and made some more the following week (after it was all gone and I wanted more). You could add chocolate chips or raisons...even coconut to it if you want...BUT for me, I just like it 100% pumpkin! Bring it on!!!

Pumpkin Bread

3 c. sugar (oh yes, did I say this bread was good? YUMMY)
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
2/3 c. water
2/3 c. oil
4 eggs
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cloves

Cream oil and sugar together. Add eggs and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Put into 2 greased and floured, regular sized, loaf pans. Bake 1 hour (or until toothpick comes out clean) at 350 degrees. For muffins bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 


Happy Cooking~
Julie

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taco Salad Tacos


Taco Salad at my house means crushed chips layered with meat cheese and lettuce. Done. Easy and delicious but I wanted to try something to spice it up. The other day at work they served Taco Salad in a taco shell. It looked and smelled absolutely delicious. I knew I had to try it at home. I invited my sister over and we devoured almost the entire pan. It was absolutely delicious.

Taco Salad Tacos
2 cups hamburger
Taco Seasoning
1 1/2 cups cheese
3 cups bagged salad
3 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup ranch
Small flour tortilla shells

Cook hamburger over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with taco seasoning packet and let simmer. Combine with cheese, salad, chips and ranch over low heat. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately in small flour tortilla shells (I absolutely love the Great Value ones you can now buy at walmart- they are thicker and the perfect size). *Salad is good in a taco shell or just eaten on it's own.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Colossal Crunch Chicken Fingers

Fried chicken is one of my favorite comfort foods, especially if its from KFC...and part of the reason for that is THAT I DON'T have to cook it, but this recipe is one of my favorite "stay at home" fried chicken recipes (since I don't have the secret recipe for KFC chicken). The Colossal Crunch Cereal gives it just enough "sweetness" to make you want another bite, and then another and another. I love to dip my chicken strips into sauces...many for that matter (but not at the same time). Any sauce ranging from Bleu Cheese, to Ranch, to BBQ, to Honey Mustard...all of which I love. Next time you are craving (or even if you're not) fried chicken, give this recipe a try. It will melt in your mouth.

Colossal Crunch Chicken Fingers
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
6 c. Colossal Crunch Cereal, crushed
Oil for frying

Pre-heat oil in a large skillet (I put in 1" of oil) or electric frying pan.

In a small bowl combine flour and seasonings. Mix well. In a separate bowl mix buttermilk and eggs. In another mixing bowl place crushed cereal.

In small batches, put chicken into flour, then milk and egg mixture, then cereal. Place into hot oil. Repeat process until all chicken is cooking. Fry chicken until its golden brown and then turn to the other side, repeat process until chicken is done....I cooked mine (flipping several times) about 15 minutes. Depending on the size and thickness of your strips it could take more or less time. When chicken is done, place on a plate covered with a paper towel, to drain the oil from it. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces or eat it plain, its scrumptious either way.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce:
1 c. mayonnaise
2/3 c. mustard
6 T. honey

Mix mayo and mustard until well blended then add honey and stir. Add more or less of whatever you want depending on your taste...I liked mine as is.

Honey BBQ Dipping Sauce:
1/2 c. BBQ sauce (your favorite)
1 c. Mayonnaise
4 T. honey

Mix mayo and BBQ sauce until well blended then add honey and stir. YUM!

This chicken is really good with a Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce as well, if you like Bleu Cheese! I had a recipe for it, but for the life of me I can't find where I put it! WHEN I DO find it, I will post it because its delish! Anyway...until then...try these out and ENJoY!

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bears


I love the chocolate covered gummy candy you can get at Christmas time. There's something about the big bins of chocolate in every grocery store that seem to just beg you to take some home. One of my favorite is chocolate covered cinnamon bears. I had forgotten about them till recently and I decided I wanted to recreate them. They did not disappoint. These treats are absolutely delicious-and oh so easy.

Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bears
1 bag cinnamon bears
1 bag chocolate chips

Place 2 cups of water in a saucepan and place on the stove over medium heat. Let boil. Cover with a metal bowl and place chocolate chips in bowl. (this allows the steam to melt the chocolate so you don't end up burning it) Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Immediately start dipping the bottom half of your cinnamon bear and place on a tray. Place in fridge to speed up the setting process.

~Dayna~

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cordon Bleu Burgers

With warm weather and barbecuing on the mind, I hope to try out (and post) several, if not many, NEW "Burger" recipes. I get tired of the "same ol, same ol" when it comes to cooking and eating food (you must too or you wouldn't be reading this blog). I think its fun to try out new recipes and change things up a bit (sometimes too much for my family...good thing they love me and are adventurous eaters) as I make up my weekly menu's. This tasty burger makes my mouth water just looking at it. It's defiantly "finger-licking" good...give it a try tonight, it's a keeper.

Cordon Bleu Burgers

ground beef, shape into hamburger patties
sliced ham ( I bought a ham and had them slice it at the Deli)
sliced Swiss Cheese (slice your own or buy the "already" sliced stuff)
canned pineapple rings, grilled (if you want, thats what I did)
honey mustard
mayonnaise

Grill your burgers the way that you like them, then put them on a bun. Top with honey mustard, mayonnaise, ham slices, swiss cheese and grilled pineapple. Eat up! YUMMY!!!

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chicken Noodle Gravy

Jack's Grandma Ady is one of the sweetest ladies I know. I love spending time with her. She warmly welcomed me right into the family. Since the day we got married she has gone out of her way to make us feel important. She calls often to check up on us and she is so sincere. I know she truly means whatever she says. She lives in Canada so we only see her a few times a year but when we do she makes sure we know we are loved by showering us with compliments, hugs and one on one conversation. One of Jack's favorite foods in the whole world is one of her recipes. He requested it on his first birthday that we were married and I've been making it ever since. It's one of those recipes that I know no matter how much I make there will be no leftovers. We talk about Grandma Ady whenever we make it and although she doesn't read this blog I hope she knows how loved she is. Now you can bring a little of Grandma Ady into your house too!

Chicken Noodle Gravy

4 cups chicken broth
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp. corn starch
4 Tbsp. cold water
2 cups shredded chicken (cooked)

Bring chicken broth to a boil. In a seperate bowl mix eggs, salt and flour. Dough should not be sticky (if sticky add more flour). Roll flat and cut into strips for noodles. Drop into boiling broth and let cook. Noodles will expand as they cook so the thinner/skinnier the better. Add shredded chicken and bring to a boil. In a cup mix corn starch and cold water. Add to boiling broth and stir until thickened.

~Dayna~

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Many years of being married and having 6 children has often led to "breakfast boredom"...so as I ventured from one recipe to another trying to "shake things up a bit" I came across this recipe for "Snickerdoodle Muffins"...I think they are quite tasty and go really well with a bowl of fruit and a glass of juice (or milk).

*I love making muffins because I can make enough for breakfast PLUS freeze some for another time when I DON'T have time to make breakfast...I hope that you have found this to be helpful for your family and busy lifestyle too.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. melted butter

topping:
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/3 c. melted butter

In a mixing bowl, blend all dry ingredients. Make a pond in the center of mixture and add the egg, milk and melted butter. Stir until well moistened. (Batter will probably be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins (spray tins with pan coating or line with muffin cups) and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, combine sugar and cinnamon for topping. When muffins are finished baking dip the tops in the melted butter and then quickly into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicken, Bacon and Ranch


I love the mixture of Bacon and Ranch. It's a staple on my hamburger at one of our local favorite burger joints. I wanted to try something similar at home with Chicken Sandwiches. Within 10 minutes everything was completely gone and I didn't have anything left for lunch leftovers. Which is a compliment in and of itself.

Chicken, Bacon and Ranch
1 Chicken Breast Fillet
1 slice Provalone cheese
3 slices bacon
2 Tbsp. Ranch
Hamburger Bun

Cook chicken breast according to package instructions. Spread butter on Hamburger bun and broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Place chicken, cheese, bacon and ranch on bun and serve immediately.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

White Bread

Bread is one of my favorite things. I make it every week. I have tried many recipes and have found them all to be wonderful...but a lot of them dry out quickly, which I don't like. This bread tastes so good and stays moist for several days...usually a week. I make the dough in my Bosch mixer and it whips up quite nicely if you follow the instructions. It uses a lot of flour...17 cups to be exact..but it does make 6 loaves. This beautiful bread freezes well too, just make sure you wrap it good with plastic wrap and then put it in a large ziplock bag to prevent it from freezer burn.

White Bread

2 T yeast
1 T sugar
2 c. lukewarm water
Put in Bosch and let sit for 15 minutes...then add:

6 c. hottest tap water
1 c. sugar
2 T salt
1/2 c. oil
3 heaping Tablespoons dough enhancer
2/3 c. dry powdered milk

Turn mixer on and add:

10 c. flour (I have used whole wheat flour and it works wonderfully!)
Mix for 10 minutes (make sure you set a timer so you don't mix it any longer)

Turn off mixer for 5 minutes and let dough rest. Then turn the mixer on and add:

7-8 c flour

Mix dough for 6 minutes. Turn off mixer and put dough in a LARGE, well greased bowl. Cover with a HOT damp dish towel and let dough rise until double. Punch down dough and let rise again until almost double. Knead dough and form 6 loaves. Spray 6 bread pans with pan coating and place loaves of dough in each pan. Let rise until dough is just above the pans and rounded on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes. 

* I have used Splenda in place of the sugar and it works really well.

Happy Cooking~
Julie  

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dorito Salad

I love summer foods. BBQing is one of our favorite things to do and I love the opportunity it gives me to try new salads. I came up with the idea of Dorito salad and then added random ingredients till I got the finished product I wanted. It was amazing. Every random ingredient worked together and made this salad absolutely delicious. My non-salad eating brother commented on how amazing it was, which is saying a lot. Try this out for a fun change to your summer dinner.

Dorito Salad
1 large bag of mixed greens
1 cup pinto beans
1 cup black beans
1 cup corn
1 cup cooked chicken (diced)
2 cups cheese
3 cups crushed Doritos
Dressing of choice (we used ranch)

Mix all ingredients together. You may want to add Dorito's to individual portions so you can refrigerate leftovers. Chill until served.

~Dayna~

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chocolate Chip Mint Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream is my very favorite ice cream in the entire world, it's been my favorite since I was just a little girl. I could probably eat it every day and NOT get tired of it. When I made these cookies I wasn't expecting them to taste as good as my favorite ice cream, I was hoping they would taste close to the same...thats what I was going for. Much to my surprise, they taste just like chocolate chip mint ice cream....OHHHH they are so delicious!!!!!
I could just eat them by the dozen (I don't...but I've thought about it!) You have got to give these scrumptious little treats a try, I know you'll be hooked!

Chocolate Chip Mint Sandwich Cookies

1 (18.25 oz) package "Triple Chocolate" cake mix
1 (18.25) package "Chocolate Fudge" cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 c. oil
*dough will be very stiff!

In a medium bowl mix the 2 cake mixes together. Add the eggs and oil and mix well. Dough will be stiff. Roll dough into small 1" balls (smaller than a walnut) and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly with the back of a spoon or you finger/hand.

Bake for 7-8 minutes at 325 degrees or until the tops of the cookies are cracked but not hard and burnt. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes until cooled slightly, then move them to a cooling rack or onto a counter top.

*I like to cook my cookies for the least amount of time and still have them done and when I get my cookies out of the oven, I always hit the pan on the counter (carefully so you don't throw the cookies off), this makes the middles fall and keeps the cookie soft and chewy....if you like them a little more crisp, cook them to your desired doneness.

After cookies are done and completely cooled, mix frosting (recipe below) and spread between two cooled cookies. Continue until all cookies are frosted.

*These cookies freeze wonderfully...SO if you have the problem that I do (eating them if they are staring at you on the counter), freeze them and then pull them out when you are ready to eat them again.

Chocolate Chip Mint Frosting:

2 lb. powdered sugar
3/4 c. shortening (not butter or margarine)
1/2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla
2-3 cap full (or more if you like a stronger flavor) peppermint extract
1/2 c. Andes mint baking chips
green food coloring

Mix together all ingredient EXCEPT mint chocolate chips. Stir with electric beaters (start on low so that your powdered sugar doesn't go all over). Continue to beat until frosting is completely mixed. Add mint chocolate chips and stir in with a spoon until well blended. Frost cookies and ENJOY...but not too much *wink*.

*you can also use REGULAR flavored frosting (just leave out the mint flavoring, mint chips and food coloring...but add 2 more teaspoons of vanilla) and make them more like a regular OREO....I've tried them that way too and they are just as good (SO very yummy)....BUT the mint is still my favorite!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oreo Cheesecake Bars


For Fathers Day I gave Jack sole deciding powers on dessert. The only stipulation was that it had to be something I could blog. I tried my hardest to get him to pick Strawberry Cream Puff cake but no matter what I said I couldn't convince him. (no worries it will be a recipe for another day). After looking at a bunch of different recipes this is the one he decided on. I'm a huge fan of Oreos AND Cheesecake so I knew I couldn't go wrong with this recipe. It was absolutely delicious and a perfect end to a Sunday dinner.

Oreo Cheesecake Bars
Crust:
25 Oreo Cookies
3 Tbsp. melted butter

Cheesecake:
12 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
6 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg plus 1 additional egg yolk
10 Oreo Cookies- chopped

To make crust place Oreo Cookies in a large zip lock bag. Use rolling pin to smash cookies. Add melted butter and press crumbs into the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 325.

To make cheesecake beat cream cheese until light and smooth. Add sugar and mix well. Blend in sour cream, vanilla and salt. Beat in the egg and egg yolk until mixture is well blended. Stir in chopped oreos.

Pour cheesecake batter over the prepared crust and bake for 40 minutes at 325- until cheesecake is set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center. Let cool at room temperature for approx. 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate f0r 3 hours. Keep refrigerated until served.

~Dayna~

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jalapeno Poppers

We have a tradition in our family that on your birthday you get to pick whatever you want for breakfast and dinner. This year my 13 year old daughter requested "Shrimp Taco's" and "Jalepeno Poppers", neither of which I had ever made before. I was a little worried about how her big birthday dinner was going to turn out. I figured out the "Shrimp Taco's" but was sweating the Jalepeno Poppers. My nieces mom saved the day, literally. She was so sweet and sent me this AMAZING recipe to try out. I loved it. I think between my daughter and I we ate 24 poppers, yes...I pigged out a little, but I couldn't get enough of them and I have craved them ever since...which means that I am going to make them again SOON!

Jalapeno Poppers

This is a very easy recipe and so extremely tasty!!

Whole fresh jalapenos, about 15-20

2 pkg.'s cream cheese
1tbsp lime juice
1 C. frozen corn
1 lb. crab meat (I used cooked, crumbled bacon and it was awesome...but I am defiantly
going to try the crab, I just didn't have any on hand this time)
Cayenne pepper
green onions
tortilla chips ( I used "Frito" chips, because thats what I had on hand)


Cut the peppers length wise making a boat, taking out the seeds, Don't forget gloves! Mix the cream cheese, lime juice, corn and meat together; add the green onions and cayenne pepper and stir well. Fill the peppers, crunch the chips and sprinkle on top. Bake at 450 degrees (or grill them) until the peppers are tender. I cooked mine for 5 minutes and then checked them every few minutes after that. The longer you cook them, the hotter they seem to get.
Seriously, if you love Jalapeno's...you have to try these...and even if you don't, you never know, these might convince you otherwise!


Happy Cooking~
Julie

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Better than Sex Cake


Right after my first year of college I worked for a company called Central Utah Water. It was one of the funnest jobs I've had. Everyone was so laid back and fun to work with. We had parties often and almost every Monday during morning meeting we had some sort of delicious food. My cubby mate Linda made Better than Sex Cake on more than one occasion and I fell completely in love with her recipe. After I got married I found a similar recipe and I've been making it ever since. It's one of my favorite go-to recipes to impress a crowd. The flavor is seriously out of this world and it's so simple. I have to make it for a crowd or else I will seriously eat the entire pan by myself. In one day. It's that good.

Better than Sex Cake

1 pkg chocolate cake
1 can sweetened condensed milk
caramel ice cream topping
1 container whipped cream (thawed)
3-4 Heath or Skor bars

Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 pan. Cool for about 5 minutes. Using the handle of a wooden spool poke holes into the cake. Let the cake cool for a little while. Slowly pour sweetened condensed milk over the cake, letting it sink into the holes; then drizzle some of the caramel over the top of the cake. Let cake cool completely (cover and put in fridge for a while). Top cake with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with candy bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate for 3 hours and serve.

~Dayna~

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blackberry Bread

Quick breads are one of my favorite things to eat...okay, all food it my favorite...but quick breads are right up there at the VERY top of my "favorite" list. For years I thought there were only 2 kinds of quick bread, banana and zucchini. But then I ventured out a bit and started making different kinds and found that there are many, many  recipes out there, some of which are really good...yes and there are some that aren't so good. BUT lucky for you, this is a really good recipe. I love the crust on this bread, its got a really good texture, a delicious taste and just makes me want to eat more and more (maybe thats NOT so good). If you like quick breads, I think you will love this one!

Blackberry Bread

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. salt
4 eggs
1 1/4 c. oil
2 c. fresh blackberries

Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, oil and blackberries and mix until moistened. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans and spoon in bread batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove and put on a clean dish towel. Cool completely and store in ziplock bags. 

*This bread freezes amazingly well...you might want to double the recipe and freeze some for later
*I replaced half of the oil with applesauce and it turned out wonderfully....it just cuts back on some of the fat in the bread, but it doesn't take away from the taste or any of the moist texture. I LOVE IT!
*I think you could put any kind of berry in this and have it turn out...give it a try, I'm going to!

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Monday, July 5, 2010

Steak House Rub


Jack loves to BBQ and I love having him BBQ. We invested in a gas grill earlier this summer and it has been the best investment of the year. There is nothing like the smell of cooking outdoors on a hot summer evening. Plus it's the easiest cleanup and stress free cooking for me. Jack has invested a lot of time into finding the perfect steak rub recipe. We've tried so many that were mediocre that I had almost given up. After trying this recipe I am SO glad we didn't. It was by far the best home cooked steak I had ever eaten. The flavor was so similar to the large chain steak houses and I was shocked at how easy the recipe was. Most ingredients I already had in my cupboard. So if your hubby likes to BBQ do yourself a favor and print him off this recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Steak House Rub
4 tsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric

Mix ingredients together. Sprinkle rub onto steak. Pat rub into steak to avoid seasonings falling off during grilling.

~Dayna~

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mexican Taco Cup


When I was a little girl, we used to eat "something like these" in the lunch kitchen at school. I really liked them and always wanted more...sad enough to say, I probably got more too. The lunch ladies made theirs a little different though, they used refrigerator biscuits on the bottom and they had more of an italian taste to them. Personally, I like these so much better! I was thrilled when I come up with this creative little dish...its got a little "mexican flare" and just enough zip to bring a smile to both the "young ones" and the "old ones" in your house. Eat up and enjoy!!

Mexican Taco Cup

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 15oz can enchilada sauce (I used mild, but if you like it spicier use the hot)
6 homestyle flour tortillas (8" round)
Shredded cheese
Taco toppings: lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced onions, olives, sour cream, ranch, salsa...whatever you like.

In a large frying pan cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain grease. Add enchilada sauce (it won't take the entire can...add just enough to mix in with the meat, you don't want it soupy). Cook until hot. Cut each tortilla into 8 even triangles. Spray muffin tin with pan coating. Warm 4-8 tortilla triangles for 15 seconds, just so they are pliable, then press into the bottom of the muffin cups with pointed side facing up. Layer 4 triangles per muffin tin. Put small amount of cheese on bottom. Spoon meat (enough to fill each cup but not flood it over) into cups and top with more cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes, just until cheese is melted. Garnish with taco toppings.

*You don't want to leave these in the oven too long or your shells will get hard and crunchy...so watch them carefully. I left mine in for 5 minutes and they were just right, but it all depends on your oven.

Happy Cooking~
Julie

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lettuce Wedge


Ruby River Steakhouse is my favorite place to eat. We eat there every year for my birthday and I have never been dissapointed. I have my trusty meal I get every time and I always start out with the Lettuce Wedge. It's a fun new way to make a salad and it looks so deliciously fancy. Ruby River serves it with Blue Cheese dressing and Blue Cheese crumbles. I love Blue Cheese but when I remade it at home I decided to try it using ranch. It was just as good. Absolutely delicious.

Lettuce Wedge
1 head of iceberg lettuce cut into 4 wedges
2 cups ranch dressing
2 cups cheese
2 cups bacon
2 cups diced tomatoes

Cut lettuce into 4 pieces and drizzle ranch dressing over each wedge. Top with cheese, bacon and tomatoes. Chill until served.

~Dayna~

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

These chicken sandwiches are just right for the warmer months of "easy cooking". They are tasty and something different from the "stand by" burger. My family loved these sandwiches. I heard a lot of "yums" and "this is so good" and "is there any more?"...I will defiantly be making these again before the summer is over. When I put this on my menu I was planning on making my own buns because I like them best...but the day got away from me and I never got them made (but I will, trust me)...but the store bought buns were great and we didn't know what we were missing...not yet anyway.

There isn't really a "set amount" of ingredients, just use the amount that you need for your family.

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches
boneless, skinless chicken breast
sliced pineapple rings
lettuce
sliced cheese
sliced red onion
hamburger buns

1 bottle Mr. Yoshida's Sweet Teriyaki Sauce

Broil chicken under broiler for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Put cooked chicken into a large frying pan and cover with Teriyaki Sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes. Drain pineapple and place it on a broiler pan or cookie sheet. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
Build your sandwich by putting your chicken and pineapple on a bun and top with all of your favorite "burger" toppings....YUMMY!

Happy Cooking~
Julie