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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

A few weeks ago we met up with friends at the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate me turning the big 25. All I wanted for my birthday dinner was cookie dough cheesecake. I am head over heels in love with the combination. So when I found these cookie dough cheesecake bars I knew I would be making them immediately. These are SO good. I could have eaten the entire pan myself.

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbsp. butter, melted

Cookie Dough
5 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling
10 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. Spray 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Place into the oven and bake for 6 minutes. Remove pan and set aside to cook. Keep oven on.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the cookie dough. Beat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar,salt and vanilla together until creamy and smooth. Add the flour to the butter mixture until just combined then add the chocolate chips and mix. Set aside.

For the cheesecake filling place the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla together into a bowl and beat until creamy and smooth. Carefully spread the cheesecake batter onto prepared crust.

Using your hand to form clumps sprinkle the cookie dough evenly in clumps on top of the cheesecake batter.

Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the cookie dough top feels dry and firm. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. (Best if kept in fridge over night). Serve.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Delectable Cheese Dip

One of my many food weaknesses are DIPS...pretty much any kind. The cheesier the better...AND this one is CHEESY...a gooey, oohey, cheesy glob of YUMMY!!! Don't wait for a party or barbecue to make this...its one of those things you can make on a Saturday night, dish yourself up a bowl of it and plop yourself down in front of the TV for a little R&R....its pretty tasty stuff!!

Delectable Cheese Dip

1/2 c. mayonnaise (the REAL stuff..not Miracle Whip OR Salad dressing)
1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened (I unwrap mine from the foil and put in the microwave for 30 seconds)
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (optional...if you don't want a kick, don't add it)
1 bunch finely chopped green onion
1/2 bag crushed Frito corn chips
1/2 lb. cooked bacon, crumbled (cook while the dip is in the oven so the bacon will be warm when the dip is done cooking)

In a mixing bowl, combine mayo, cream cheese, grated cheese, cayenne pepper and green onion. Mix with an electric mixer until fluffy. Spoon into a 9x9 baking pan. Top with crushed corn chips. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and top with warm bacon crumbles. Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite cracker.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BLT Salad

This weekend we hosted our very first family BBQ at our own home. I have been looking forward to this since the day we moved in. I love being surrounded by my family and enjoying this fabulous weather with good food. This salad was a huge hit at our BBQ and I'm sure it will be at yours too.

BLT Salad

1 head of leafy lettuce
2 cups shredded cheese
1 package bacon (cooked)
3 tomatoes (diced)
1 avacodo (diced)

Layer lettuce, cheese, bacon and tomatoes until ingredients run out. Top with avacodos. Serve.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Party Cookies

The "ParTY" is on anytime you make these fun, tasty cookies. They look like they are meant "just for kids" but they are "adult friendly" as well...I promise you, EVERYONE will enjoy these "lip smakin" cookies...they won't disappoint!!!

Party Cookies
2 boxes Rainbow Chip Cake Mix
2/3 c. oil
4 eggs

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredient and mix until fluffy. Dough will be a little stiff. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, shape dough into balls about the size of a small walnut. Place on a greased baking sheet. Press dough balls down slightly with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. (I noticed that my darker pans cooked in less time than my lighter pans did...be sure to NOT overcook or they will go hard). Cool completely. Frost the back side of one cookie with your favorite frosting (I like my homemade...but any will work) and top with another cookie...making a "sandwich". Continue until all cookies are made into a sandwich cookie. Keep in an airtight container for longer lasting cookies....OR just to keep them hidden from little AND big COOKIE MONSTERS!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Homemade Chicken and Noodles

There is something about a big bowl of Homemade Chicken and Noodles that just makes you feel good all over. No matter the season or the day of the week...its just a "FEEL GOOD FOOD". My mom use to make this for me when I was sick. She made her's a little more "gourmet" than I do...and I actually prefer it the way she makes it...full of chopped carrots and peas and celery, BUT my hubby just likes noodles and meat and broth...so I spoil him a bit and make it the way HE likes it. It tastes great either way, so make it how your family likes it...it makes dinner time a "happy" time.

Homemade Chicken and Noodles
8 c. water
8 chicken bullion cubes

Place water and chicken bullion cubes in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stir until bullion cubes have dissolved.

While your water is warming and getting ready to boil, make your noodles:
6 eggs, beaten
4 1/4 c. flour
2 T. oil
enough water to make a moderately stiff dough

Add eggs, flour, oil and water (I start with 1/4 c or less, and add more if needed), mix with a fork or your hands (I prefer my hands). Roll dough out on a floured surface, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut pieces to desired size and place into boiling broth. Continue until all noodles are added. Cook until done (usually about 10 minutes)

2 c. cooked chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 cube margarine or butter

Stir until mixed. IF you want a thicker soup base, make a thickener out of 3 T. cornstarch,
2 1/2 T cold water..mix in a small dish and pour into boiling water. STIR continually. Serve hot.

*When I add veggies to my soup, I just use a bag of frozen peas and carrots and add to the boiling broth BEFORE I add my thickening. I let them cook with the soup until they are thawed and done and then I add the thickening. You could use fresh veggies if you wish and cook them in the boiling broth before you add the noodles. Don't be afraid to experiment a little to find what you like.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Penny's Zesty Enchilada's

Years ago when I was sick, one of my neighbors brought over dinner. I remember LOVING her tasty dish and wanting to know what it was, so I asked her for her recipe. She was a fabulous cook and was always whipping up fancy little numbers in her kitchen...this one was no exception. From the time I got her recipe, my family was always requesting this for dinner...it quickly became a family favorite and has continued to be so.

Penny's Zesty Enchilada's
Source: Family recipe

Approximately 16-18 tortilla shells (we like corn shells, but you can use flour if you prefer)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, cooked and drained
3-4 c. grated cheese (more or less according to your likes)
1 c. sour cream
1 can cream chicken soup
1 1/2 c. green enchilada sauce
1 small can diced green chilies

Cook meat, drain and set aside. In a large frying pan, with a small amount of cooking oil, brown tortilla shells (this helps them to not be so stiff when rolling the meat and cheese up in them). Place a small amount of meat and cheese down the center of the cooked tortilla shell, roll up and place in a greased 9x13 baking pan. Continue until all shells are rolled and pan is filled. Set aside.

For sauce~ In a medium saucepan, combine cream chicken soup, green enchilada sauce, sour cream and green chilies. Heat until warm, stirring so that it won't scorch. Pour over prepared enchilada's and top with remaining cheese...add more cheese if you need or WANT it (the more the better I say). Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Won Tons

I love Mexican food. Lather anything in sauce and cheese and I am happy. I threw together these enchilada won tons and they definitely hit the spot. Easy and delicious is always my style.

Chicken Enchilada Won Tons

24 won ton wraps
1 cup shredded chicken
1 cup shredded low fat cheese
1/2 cup green taco sauce

Combine chicken, cheese and taco sauce. Mix well. Drop about 1 tsp. in the center of each won ton. Wet the edges of wrap with water and fold into triangles -- press the edges to seal. Place the filled won tons inside the cup of a muffin tin (2 in each tin). Spray lightly with non stick cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

1 won ton = 1 point (points plus)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Julie's Large Potato Salad

Welcome summer!!!
FINALLY it's HERE...my favorite season! I thought I would post
something to help you all celebrate this wonderful time of year!!

Summer salads are a favorite of mine...and also a WEAKNESS of mine. I try not eat them very often because I have a hard time knowing when to stop (I know, its all about will power but sometimes I just don't have any). I love potato salad, it reminds me of everything SumMeR!! and with the onset of the hot part of summer and all those reunions and family dinners its nice to know that this goes very well with "picnic/barbecue food". This potato salad is a "4 STAR" in my book, its so stinkin good!!! It's probably very similar to your favorite potato salad recipe...because it seems that all the recipes I've seen are very similar. I like it because its so versatile and simple. You can add to, or take away anything you want, as long as you have the potatoes and the mayo/salad dressing...you can call it a potato salad....but I will have to say that this recipe is my families favorite and I think it might become yours too.

Julie's Large Potato Salad

16 baked potatoes, set to cool in the refrigerator over night...then peeled
8 hard boiled eggs, cooled and diced
diced dill pickles
dill pickle juice
1 1/2 c. Mayonnaise (I prefer Best Foods or Western Family...but use what you like)
1 1/2 c. Miracle Whip (or your favorite generic...I like Western Family)
salt and pepper to taste

Dice cold potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Dice boiled eggs and add to potatoes. Dice dill pickles (amount depends on what you like and want, we like a lot, so we add a lot). Mix mayo and salad dressing with enough pickle juice to make a thin sauce...not watery, but thin. If you want more dressing, add more and continue to thin it with the pickle juice. Pour dressing over potatoes, eggs and pickles. Stir until well mixed and CREAMY. Chill before serving.

*I like to add the salt and pepper to the dressing when I mix it. This ensures that it gets spread throughout the salad, instead of just on some of it).


Monday, June 20, 2011

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

A few nights ago the Hubby was craving pasta. I had a delicious recipe in mind with a light olive oil based sauce. It really is delicious but when I started calculating the weight watcher points I realized there was no way I could slim down this recipe. In a panic I evaluated what I had in the fridge and whipped up this quick dinner. I couldn't stop picking at it while it was cooking. It was SO GOOD! Sun Dried Tomato Chicken is one of our favorite sunday dinners so this quick pasta version was gobbled up in no time. Absolutely delicious.

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

2 cups cooked pasta
1/2 cup sun dried tomato salad dressing
1/2 cup diced chicken
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup diced tomatoes

Cook pasta according to package directions. Combine salad dressing, chicken, bacon and tomatoes in a pan over medium/high heat. Cook until tomatoes are tender. Add pasta. Mix well. Serve immediately.

1/2 cup = 6 points


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Walnut Carmel Brownies

I have made several brownie recipes over the years, everything from the good ol' fashioned boxed kind to the ones I post on this blog...I will have to say that I am a HUGE FAN of these Walnut Caramel Brownies. They are super moist but NOT dough like some are. They are chewy and SO VERY tasty...they are also my hubby's new found favorite friend. He said that these are the best brownies that I have ever made, and I will have to say he has LOVED several of the other kinds that I make...so that says a lot for these little dandy's!!! We really couldn't get enough of them...after we ate the last one, I was wishing I would have doubled the recipe so I could have "just one more"...but my hips were glad that I didn't.

Walnut Carmel Brownies
Source: Taste of Home

3/4 c. butter/margarine, diced
4 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 c. flour

In microwave melt butter and chocolate squares. Stir every 30 seconds until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until melted completely. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour until well blended. Pour into a greased 9x13" baking pan. Set aside.

3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
2 eggs
2 T. flour
1 t. vanilla
4 c. chopped walnuts
1 c. caramel bites (buy them in a package by the chocolate chips)

Combine brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. Cook and stir until butter is melted. Stir in eggs, flour and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Spread topping evenly over brownie batter. Sprinkle with Caramel bites. Bake for 350 degrees for 40 minutes. DON'T over bake. Cool before serving.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Ricotta Cheese Waffles

I've been in somewhat of a breakfast rut lately. I eat a lot of cereal and oatmeal. It's starting to wear on me. A few weeks ago my weekly weight watchers email came through and had a list of 10 breakfast foods under 5 points. It couldn't have come at a better time. This morning I finally got around to trying one of the recipes. I changed it around a tiny bit to fit my taste buds but this breakfast was delicious, light and I felt great all morning. The ricotta cheese might throw you off a bit but don't let it fool you. It is absolutely delicious.

Ricotta Cheese Waffles

4 frozen waffles
8 Tbsp. part skim ricotta cheese
4 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sliced strawberries

Toast each waffle. While toasting mix ricotta cheese, sugar and cinnamon. Spread 2 Tbsp. of cheese mixture on top of each waffle. Top with 1/4 cup strawberries. Makes 4 waffles.

1 waffle = 4 points


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homemade Glazed Doughnuts

Years ago I used to work in a bakery...which is where I "gained" my love for all the "finer things in life", like blueberry turnovers, cream cheese danishes, cake frosting and DOUGHNUTS (actually, I fell in love with these sinful treats years prior to this job...but during the 2 years that I worked there my LOVE defiantly intensified )! I ate my share of doughnuts and pastries and loved everyone of them...BUT since I quit working there I don't eat them very often (rarely if ever, just because I know what will happen if I start....)...BUT pastries remain one of my favorite "sinful" foods...doughnuts being one of those at the top of my list. Last week I got an itch to make doughnuts. I remember my mom making them when I was little and they were SUPERB, but they seemed to take a LONG time to make (maybe that was because I wanted to EAT one so bad) so I sort of talked myself out of it...but then I changed my mind and decided to just jump right in and DO IT anyway...what did I have to lose but an afternoon of cleaning...and doughnuts sounded better than clean laundry anyway. I'm happy to say, I didn't regret my "doughnut making" day one bit...but I was SHOCKED to say the least, that they didn't take hardly any time to make. From start to finish it was about 2 1/2 hours...which is pretty darn good!
YOU have to make these, you will love them!!!

Homemade Glazed Doughnuts
3 T. dry active yeast
1/2 c. warm water
3 c. warm milk (I heat mine in the microwave for 2-3 minutes)
1 c. sugar
2 t. salt
4 eggs
2/3 c. shortening
10 c. flour

Oil for frying

2/3 c. butter
4 c. powdered sugar
3 t. vanilla
6-8 T hot water or as needed

Sprinkle yeast over the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 c. flour. Mix for 2 minutes. Pour in remaining flour 1/2 c. at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a HOT damp towel (or plastic wrap...if doing this, spray dough with pan coating before placing plastic wrap over the it). Dough is ready when you touch it and the indention remains.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. cut with a floured doughnut cutter (or use the mouth of a cup and something smaller to cut the center hole). Place doughnuts on cookie sheets that have been sprayed with pan coating. Let doughnuts rise again until double. Cover loosely with wax paper.

For Glaze:
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in HOT water one tablespoon at a time until glaze is thin but NOT watery. Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep fryer or large heavy skillet (I used my electric frying pan). Slide doughnuts into hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from oil to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into glaze while still hot and set onto a wire rack to drain of excess.

*I doubled the glaze because it wasn't enough to do all of my doughnuts. I personally don't like my glazed doughnuts to be COVERED in glaze so I just dip the top...but do it how you like them. Also, I don't have a wire rack (I know, a sin for any cook right?!) so I placed them on a baking sheet that was covered with paper towels, it worked.

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chicken Club Pizza

The other day I was craving chicken club tacos. They are one of my favorite diet friendly foods. When dinner time rolled around I decided to switch things up a bit and serve it pizza style. Deliciously easy. It tops the list at another one of my favorite go to meals.

Chicken Club Pizza

4 Flatout wraps
1 cup diced chicken
1 cup low fat shredded cheese
4 slices cooked bacon
4 Tbsp. ranch
Sliced Tomatoes

Spread 1 Tbsp. ranch on each flatout wrap. Top with 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 diced chicken, 1 sliced bacon (crumbled) and sliced tomatoes. Broil until cheese is bubbly.

1 pizza = 6 points


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Julie's Old Fashioned Meatloaf

Meatloaf is one of the easiest dinners to make. Its something you can just whip right up and throw it in the oven or put it together before hand (even a few days before hand) and cook it later. I came up with this recipe several years ago, when my three oldest children were just little tikes...running me ragged. Its been a family favorite for many, many years, often getting requested for Sunday Dinner. This meatloaf is delish as well as simple.

Julie's Old Fashioned Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef (ground turkey would work just as well)
2 c. old fashioned oats
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 t. season salt
1 1/2 t. onion powder
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. barbecue sauce

Mix all ingredient together, using your hands...this assures a thorough mixing. Place meat mixture in a large loaf pan, pat down. Top with barbecue sauce (as much or as little as you like).
Bake covered with tinfoil for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes. Serve hot.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hawaiian Breakfast Burrito's

Breakfast burritos are so easy and a VERY favorite breakfast served in my house. We eat them frequently so I was really tickled when I came up with this little number to shake the routine burrito up a bit. They were a huge hit...great idea for summer breakfast's OR dinners (we sometimes like to eat breakfast for dinner).

Hawaiian Breakfast Burrito's

6 eggs
1/2-2/3 c. pineapple tidbits, drained completely
16 slices of deli ham (I just bought a ham and had them cut it at the deli to "sandwich thickness)
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 tortilla shells (I like to use homemade or the kind that you buy in the store that is just the dough and THEN
you cook them at home, just my personal preference, but any will work).

Heat shells according to package instructions. Warm ham slices. (I like to warm mine in a frying pan with just a little bit of water to keep them from drying out and becoming crisp). Beat eggs and cook completely. Place three slices of ham down the center of the tortilla, repeat on all 4 tortilla shells. Top with cooked scrambled eggs, shredded cheese and pineapple. Serve while warm.

*You could add avocado and any other toppings that you like.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Cookie Dough Bites

We are huge cookie dough fans in this house. Cookie dough ice cream, brownies, cheesecake, whatever. Throw cookie dough in the mix and i'm convinced it makes it better. So cookie dough bites were a no brainer. Small cookie dough balls dipped in chocolate. Yes please.

Cookie Dough Bites

8 Tbsp. butter (room temp)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine butter and sugar and cream until fluffy. Add flour, condensed milk and vanilla. Mix. Add chocolate chips. Roll into small balls. Poke a toothpick into the top of each one and set in fridge for 20 minutes.

1 bag chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Dip each cookie dough ball into the chocolate, covering half way. Set on wax paper until chocolate is set.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Julie's Lasagna

I want to take up a few lines in my post to wish Dayna a great big, fabulous
She has blessed my life for a whopping 25 years now and I love her to pieces!!!
She is such an amazing person, I really wished that you
could all know her personally, but since most of you can't
you'll just have to take my word for it!!!

Hope that your birthday is full of yummy
CAKE, Ice Cream and" all around great FOOD!"

Lasagna was one of DAYNA'S favorite foods growing up. She requested it for dinner every year on her birthday. SO...since she doesn't live at home anymore, I am dedicating this post to her on her 25th birthday!!! Now she can make it for dinner at her house~

My hubby isn't a fan of "cooked cottage cheese" so we have had to make a few "adjustments" to the ORIGINAL RECIPE'S that you see for lasagna, after trial and error this is what I came up with. My family adores my lasagna and slurps it right down. I love lasagna any which way I can eat it...and this recipe is no exception, I LOVE IT....it's SCRUMPTIOUS!

Julie's Lasagna

1 lb ground beef, cooked and seasoned with your favorite seasonings, drain grease
1 lb ground sausage, cooked and drained
1 package lasagna noodles, cooked and drained according to package instructions
4- 5 c grated cheese (your favorite...we like cheddar and Monterey Jack on ours)
1 jar thick traditional spaghetti sauce (I like most generics OR PREGO)

After meat is cooked and drained, combine with spaghetti sauce and heat until warm. Spray 9x13 baking pan with pan coating, place one layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom of prepared pan. Layer meat mixture, cheese and noodles until you fill the pan. Make sure your top layer is covered in plenty of cheese (mmmm...thats what makes it good...all that cheesy goodness). Bake covered for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with a green salad and garlic toast and you'll almost feel as though you've "gone out" for dinner...except for the fact that there isn't anyone there to clean up after you.

Have a Happy Birthday Dayna!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken Club Sandwich

The other night I convinced my Hubby to do the cookin for me. It's not hard to convince him when I pull out words like BBQ. He loves his BBQer. I had him grill up some chicken breasts and we whipped together these sandwiches in no time. Easy to make and they were gone in a flash.

Chicken Club Sandwich

4 whole wheat thin buns
4 chicken breasts (aprox. 2 oz. each)
4 slices bacon
4 slices cheese

Grill chicken breasts. *We had to cut ours in half so they wouldn't be so thick on our sandwich. Top with cheese. Break bacon slices in half (so you have 8 pieces) and arrange 2 slices on your sandwich. Finish with lettuce and tomatoes. *You can add a dab of ranch for a few extra points/flavor.

1 sandwich = 7 points (points plus) *without ranch


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Melt in your mouth MINT BROWNIES

If you look at our blog very often, you know that I ADORE anything chocolate/mint...I just don't think that you CAN go wrong when combining these two luscious flavors, you just can't. I came across this recipe and tried it out just because I thought it would make for a yummy treat for the family, I didn't plan on posting it because I have already posted a mint brownie recipe that I LOVE...so why post another one, right?! Well, I will tell you why...because they are both CRAZY GOOD, "4 star" kind of good....and thats why they both have a special spot on our blog. This one is quite a bit different from the other "Mint Brownie" recipe that I posted, yet equally as scrumptious! I will make them both often I'm afraid!! Ohhhhhhhhh how I hope you try these, they are perfect for that big summer barbecue or just because, sadly enough...I don't need an excuse to make a treat...just the simple fact that they sound good is reason enough for me.

Melt in your mouth MINT BROWNIES
2 C. BUTTER, melted
3/4 c. cocoa
2 1/4 c. sugar
6 eggs, beaten

Combine and mix well, add to the following:

2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
3 t. vanilla

Bake in a TEXAS sheet cake pan OR two 9x13" baking pans. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes (mine took closer to 22 minutes, so watch yours) OR if you use 2- 9x13" cook for 25-30 minutes. DON'T over bake, this will cause them to dry out. Cool completely. Chill.


4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
5 T. milk
10 drops green food coloring
4 t. mint extract

Mix all ingredient until well blended. Spread frosting on chilled brownies, then chill again. Melt
a bag of chocolate chips and spread for top layer. Chill. Cut into squares and serve with a scoop of chocolate chip mint ice cream!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Cherry Limeade

Last week I posted a delicious recipe for Limeade-- in the original recipe she gives the suggestion to change things up a bit and try Cherry Limeade. I knew after I made the first batch that I would have to try Cherry as well. It blew me away. I think I drank the entire pitcher by myself.

Cherry Limeade

1 can frozen limeade concentrate
1 bottle diet sprite (2 liters)
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries
2 limes for garnish

Combine limeade (thawed) and sprite. Stir lightly. Add maraschino cherries (with juice) and sliced limes for garnish.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pineapple Chicken Salad Sandwich Filling

Chicken salad is one of my favorite sandwich fillings. I love it stuffed in just about anything...cream puffs, crescent rolls, pitas, rolls...etc (I even love to eat the stuff plain, its that good!) . In my opinion, it just can't be beat! I like it spring, summer, fall and winter..."I like it on a train and in the rain, in a box and with a fox"....ha ha ha (my little twist on Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham)...anyway, you get the drift, I ADORE this stuff. I whipped some up and then ended up doubling it because I knew by the time I had eaten a little here and there and EVERYWHERE, there wouldn't be enough to feed the family too. It is a crowd pleaser and I don't know too many people that don't love this fantabulous tasting "manna from heaven" stuff....Mmmmmm!!!!

Pineapple Chicken Salad Sandwich Filling
2 cans chicken, drained
2 apples, cored and diced in to small pieces
2 c. sliced red/purple grapes (any will work, but these taste the sweetest and look the prettiest)
1/2-2/3 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. (10 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
MAYONNAISE (the amount depends on your likes and how creamy you like it)

Combine all ingredient together and stir until mixed well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes so that flavors can "marry". Fill and serve on your favorite bread....or eat with a fork like I do *wink*.

*Recipe feeds approximately 8-10 people


Friday, June 3, 2011

Guacamole Turkey Wrap

The sun has finally started to shine at my house! After weeks of rain it's finally starting to feel like summer. We've taken full advantage of the weather and eaten most of our meals outside on the patio. There's just something about being outdoors with the people I love eating fabulous food. This was one of the yummy meals we ate recently. It was light, fast and delicious. My type of dinner!

Guacamole Turkey Wrap

4 Flatout Wraps
4 Tbsp. Guacamole
8 slices turkey sandwich meat
4 slices bacon
1/4 cup shredded cheese

Spread 1 Tbsp. of Guacamole on each flatout wrap. Place 2 slices of turkey down the center of the wrap. Top with 1 slice of bacon. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. cheese. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Roll and serve.

1 wrap = 6 points (points plus)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Baked French Toast

French Toast has always been a favorite of mine...morning, noon or night...with syrup, with strawberries and cream, with cream cheese...with ANYTHING! I ran across this recipe for "Baked French Toast" and KNEW it was a "must try". As I ate my breakfast, each bite made my mouth give a BIG "mmmmmm". I honestly had to contain myself from eating the entire pan by myself. It really and truly is divine and you will want to eat MORE than just one too...after which you will then understand why I was tempted to make an utter PIG of myself (I didn't, but I thought about it). We had 3 pieces left over and they warmed up very nicely for a snack the next day *smile*....so don't throw away any leftovers or you'll regret it later. Eat up and ENJOY them as much as I did!

Baked French Toast

1/2 c. BUTTER, melted
12 slices thick bread (I used homemade, don't use store bought...it will go soggy...but French bread or deli bread would work great)
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. nutmeg
5 eggs
1 1/2 c. heavy cream

Pour melted butter into 9x13 baking pan. Combine spices and brown sugar, stir with a fork and mix well. Whisk eggs, cream and vanilla. Place 6 slices bread on the bottom of baking pan. Sprinkle half the brown sugar mixture over bread. Top with remaining 6 slices of bread. Pour cream and egg mixture over bread, making sure all the bread is covered. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight (this is a MUST otherwise it won't turn out). In the morning, keep French Toast covered (with foil) and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes of baking, uncover and bake for 15 more minutes or until French toast is set and browned (mine actually had to cook for about 10 minutes longer). Serve with maple syrup and a dollop of whipped topping if desired.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cookies

I love cookies. And when I found this recipe I knew it was definitely a cookie I HAD to make. I am a newfound lover of white chocolate. I can't get enough of it. So these cookies absolutely hit the spot. These are perfect for Sunday afternoons, family picnics or guilty indulgences. They are amazing.

Cookies and Cream Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter- soft
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 giant cookies and cream candy bar (chopped)

Combine flour and baking soda. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars together. Add chocolate pudding and mix well. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and candy bar pieces. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.